iSTEP Tanzania

2.5 weeks to go!

Posted on: July 15, 2009

Hi everyone! This is the first time TechBridgeWorld (TBW) is writing on the iSTEP Tanzania blog :). TBW is a research group at Carnegie Mellon University that innovates and implements technology solutions to address sustainable development needs in developing communities around the world. My name is Ermine and I’m a Project Assistant for TBW and iSTEP is our new summer internship program for Carnegie Mellon students.

It’s been a wonderful experience for TBW so far to watch the iSTEP internship develop from an idea into a highly qualified team of Carnegie Mellon students and alumni, distributed among three continents around the globe, working on three technology research projects specifically designed to benefit communities in Tanzania.

Our iSTEP 2009 interns are currently in their 8th week of the 10-week internship. The interns have done a great job of sharing their project updates and experiences! I’d just like to give you a birds-eye update of the status of the internship and its projects:

  1. Needs assessment for all three projects are complete and technical development for all three projects is well underway.
  2. The ground team in Tanzania has met with University of Dar es Salaam students who are interested in working with the team on the three iSTEP 2009 research projects. Four students will work with Dan on the social worker application project. Two students will work with Hatem on the literacy tools project. And three students will work with Brad on the Braille Tutor project.
  3. The three Tech Leads ( Dan, Hatem, and Brad) plan to demo solutions by the end of this week or early next week to Mlimani and Uhuru primary schools, Institute for Social Work, and Department of Social Welfare.
  4. The two Tech Floaters (Anthony and Shakir) are helping the Tech Leads with the finishing touches on demos and other technical solutions that are almost at demo stage.
  5. Bea, our ground team leader and monitoring and evaluation coordinator, has begun evaluating the iSTEP internship. She is also in the process of scheduling numerous meetings with the partners/communities to demo project solutions, observe classes, and possibly visit a para social worker on site!
  6. Timi, our needs assessment coordinator, is working with Eric and the University Computing Centre to expand her list of organizations that may be able assist the three partners/communities on issues beyond what the iSTEP internship and TechBridgeWorld research group can address.

With the end of the internship fast approaching, we are beginning to think of the sustainability of all three projects in Tanzania. Stay tuned for more updates on the status of the projects and the interns’ experiences!


My friend and I (on the right, with a silly face) showing our support for iSTEP!


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July 2009
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The opinions expressed by the bloggers are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Carnegie Mellon University, TechBridgeWorld or the iSTEP program, or any employee thereof. Carnegie Mellon University is not responsible for the accuracy of the information supplied by the bloggers.
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