For many of the educational and capacity building programs in Zambia beginning in 2006 and then in Ethiopia beginning in 2013, the challenge of availability and delivery of educational content was apparent. The challenges were greater because of lack of internet availability in the mid-2000s on the African continent which was subsequently enhanced but remains expensive and unreliable outside of large urban areas. These challenges are exacerbated further by variability of electricity.
To address these challenges, the Sparkman Center for Global Health (SCGH) began investing in systems which could deliver internet-based content without the need for internet. SCGH partnered with Widernet beginning in 2008 in the development of their eGranary (eG) tool. SCGH contributed to the development of the Zambia Knowledge Centre portal for primary and secondary schools, and the Sparkman Nursing and Mid-wifery, Public Health and Medical portals focused on health care worker training materials.
While working to disseminate these eG resources, we sought a system with more versatility for adding local content and being able to organize and package content around specific curriculum or programs. A system, which is still under development, was prototyped in 2016 in Zambia and developed further in both Zambia and Ethiopia through programmers at Hacker’s Guild and Support Education respectively. These developments were supported by SCGH. In a collaboration with the Ministry of Education in Ethiopia, the full Ethiopian secondary school curriculum and full set of resources have been loaded into this new platform and pilot projects are in place with plans for further dissemination. Other projects focused on middle school and medical and veterinary schools are in development in Ethiopia with parallel projects in Zambia. More details on these projects follow.