APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
The AppBridge will concomitantly:
Fundraise and establish an endowment;
Build the AppBridge platform;
Begin development on the universal educational app coding language;
Create communities of content partners and app developers, who can help create required apps for English, math, business skills, and health education;
Create and pilot the distribution of English language and small business skill mobile applications in 5 countries in partnership with Bharti Airtel and QTel;
Work with handset device companies to develop and distribute phones that can support AppBridge-distributed applications, at subsidized rates to reach disadvantaged youth.
IMPLEMENTATION, TIMELINE, AND DELIVERABLES
Fundraise and begin building v1.0 of the AppBridge Platform: an open-source, cloud-based platform that will enable partner organizations and individuals to submit ideas for mobile applications, receive completed mobile applications, test the apps, and submit the appropriate apps to partner Telco App Stores and devices. The platform will track the app usage through analytics and partner feedback from localized communities using the apps. The platform will have a public area to share what apps are being developed and deployed including stories from those using the apps.
Identify five content partners and ten app developers.
Fundraise and begin development on a series of mobile applications to teach business skills to young people in the Middle East beginning with young women in Yemen and Palestine in direct partnership with Mobile Movement and QTel.
Launch twelve SMS-Based English Language Learning Games from Carnegie Mellon University's Mobile and Immersive Learning for Literacy in Emerging Economies (MILLEE) Project through the InfoSys FLYPP App Store for free distribution to young people wanting to learn English throughout India. The apps will also be promoted on the ground though the Bharti Foundation which operates over 245 schools with 30,000 students across India. AppBridge will receive input from the teachers on the ground and share such inputs to its community of application developers who can design and develop future apps.
Launch v1.0 of the AppBridge Platform;
Launch the business skill apps with Mobile Movement and QTel in Yemen;
Work with Bharti Foundation on English language training content and developers to build additional apps
Deploy 45 Apps in three additional countries through QTel and Bharti Airtel - in some regions the apps will be preloaded;
Release v1.0 of the Universal AppBridge Coding Language to developers globally.
The World Bank estimates that there will be approximately 1.3 billion young people entering the labor market over the next 15 years with only 300 million jobs awaiting them. As a result, young people will increasingly be required to pursue self-employment opportunities. Currently, the education system does not adequately prepare young people in this way, particularly in underserved populations. According to UNICEF, over 100 million primary school-age children do not attend any primary school education. While computers and tablets have penetrated much of the western world and offer rich educational materials, in emerging markets there are significant technical challenges for youth and adults to access tools. Quality education systems, computers and the web remain out of reach for most at the base of the pyramid due to lack of infrastructure, the costs of hardware and access, computer literacy and the limited relevant content in local languages.
With 3.8 billion subscribers in the developing world and growing, mobile is a powerful platform to enable the democratization of access to knowledge to those who do not otherwise have access to quality education, basic skills training, small business related information, or computers. Most base of the pyramid families have at least one mobile phone - a case study across rural India by the Bharti Foundation found every target rural family had at least one mobile phone although none had computers. By 2012, two Billion people globally are projected to have at least one Smartphone, according to research by Parks Associates.
Although there are fine academic and research institutions globally that are designing educational tools and games for disadvantaged young people to access through their mobile devices, most applications lack a delivery channel to App Stores, promotion to the targeted end-users, analytics, or on-the-ground feedback for developers to improve the utility of applications. Additionally, there are significant challenges developing and maintaining applications across multiple devices and languages.
The AppBridge is committed to creating a collaborative online ecosystem that will bring together a global community of application developers, academic institutions, content providers, telecom operators, NGOs and sponsors to deliver mobile education tools to young people anywhere, anytime.
From the 2012 Progress Report:
- Seeking partnerships with Telecom Companies to distribute and promote mobile applications (SMS, voice and smartphone) that focus on improving the lives of people living in poverty or at risk of becoming impoverished.
- Seeking partnerships with educational and relief organizations
Prior to 2012 Progress Report:
SEEKING: Financial Resources, Implementing Partners, Media/Marketing Opportunities
- The AppBridge is seeking partnership with technology corporations for mentorship and financial support as they develop the AppBridge open-source platform and language.
- Seeking partnership with telecom partners to distribute applications to target subscriber groups through appstores in emerging markets, promote the apps to targeted users, and offer affordable data plans and devices for disadvantaged youth.
- Seeking partnership with content providers to develop powerful mobile applications in the education, employment and entrepreneurial space.
- Seeking partnership with mobile application developers to create educational games and applications targeted at specific curriculum, localities and end-user needs.
OFFERING: Financial Resources, Implementing Partners, Best Practice Information, Media/Marketing Opportunities, Other
The AppBridge is offering targeted in-app and web promotional marketing opportunities to individuals or entities who sponsor application creation, content for app creation, free devices or free data plans for end users.
- Offering educational content and application developers access to global telecom providers to be able to distribute their content to relevant global communities.
- Assist corporations with corporate and social responsibility programs in local communities.