A team of some of IBM’s top experts have completed big data-oriented pro bono projects in Machakos and Isiolo counties aimed at improving economic competitiveness, technical skills, citizen engagement and social services.
The 12 IBM employees, hailing from all over the globe, were there from June to July as part of IBM’s Corporate Service Corps, which provides problem-solving support to educational institutions, small businesses, non-governmental organizations, and governmental agencies in emerging markets.
One IBM team defined a strategy for developing, operating and marketing Machakos County’s forthcoming data centre in the near and long term. In the near term, the data centre will host and support a mobile app and initiative called “Machakos Connect.” Fulfilling a mandate of Kenya’s Vision 2030, this will enable citizens to engage with the County government to exchange information, ideas, feed-back and as a way to conduct official business while ensuring that public participation is enhanced in the Government.
The resulting local technical, governance and operational skills are thought to also be attractive in eventually positioning the County’s data centre as a potential host to other digital County services, and even for the National Government’s security initiative.
“This is one of the major initiatives that Machakos County is pursuing to position itself as a favored business destination capitalizing on its proximity to Nairobi, which is Kenya’s capital city,” said Machakos County Governor, Alfred Mutua. We not only want to ensure that we have an easily accessible open dialogue platform with our citizens but also that businesses who choose to base their operations here can do so driven by efficiency from state of the art technology.”
Other IBM teams also worked with the Millennium Water Alliance in Isiolo and the Gender Violence Recovery Center in Nairobi.
Isiolo County suffers from chronic water scarcity, so IBM designed a data-driven integrated approach that can help the county monitor, manage and plan the water resources for consumption and sanitation based on current and future demand.
The team also elaborated a governance framework for water policy, improving an application that helps clarify the roles and responsibilities of the county government, private sector partners and development partners.
For the Gender Violence Recovery Center (GVRC) the IBM team of experts developed a comprehensive program for its One In A Million campaign. This included recommended best practices for launching, monitoring and improving fundraising and developing community awareness.
“IBM is committed to providing governments and other development actors in Kenya with the expertise their require as they strive to meet the overall development goals under Vision 2030,”said IBM General Manager for East Africa, Nik Nesbitt. “By taking our expertise to the county level through programs such as IBM Corporate Service Corps, we are supporting Kenya in meeting its devolution goals under the new constitution.”
This is the tenth IBM Corporate Service Corps engagement in Kenya.