Kolorob App Launched to Light Up Communities
Kolorob launched two community programs, engaging over 580 community members in Bauniabadh and Paris Road, Mirpur on 2nd and 3rd September, 2016.
Ishtiaq Mannan, Deputy Country Director and Ashiq Iqbal, Acting Director of Policy, Rights and Governance Team at Save the Children in Bangladesh, inaugurated the launch over the two days, referring to the country’s significant achievements towards achieving ‘Digital Bangladesh’.
Save the Children’s innovative ICT project Kolorob aims to bridge the information gap faced by people living in slums and poor urban settlements through the use of ICT. Kolorob provides community members with reliable information on essential services such as health, education and child protection services through a free android mobile application.
“We know that information is ‘power’. Kolorob ensures that parents have accurate and quality information to ensure the growth of their children and in minimizing information gaps in accessing essential social services relating to health, education and child protection,” Dr Mannan stated in his opening speech.
Kolorob initially began its journey in late 2015, engaging young people in a collective act of volunteerism to map and collect data from our two project sites in Bauniabadh and Paris Road area of Mirpur. This innovative urban initiative was unique, in that it explored how a development issue could be addressed through the lens of a technological solution for those who may otherwise have little or no information to navigate their own cities, and services within. Currently the project area is expanding in surrounding areas of our two initial project sites, Bauniabadh and Paris Road, with the aim of impacting the lives of 2-3 million people living in slums and poor urban settlements.
Throughout the afternoon, two short videos were screened reflecting the ‘kolorobian’ experience of Deena, a Kolorob Youth Facilitator and Afroza Akhtar, a Bauniabadh resident, demonstrating how they believe Kolorob has the potential to make positive changes for their community and Dhaka city.
Md. Masudur Rahman, from the Policy, Rights and Governance team presented how Kolorob acts as a social accountability tool for communities, enabling them to not only search, locate, estimate costs and compare services, but also voice their feedback on services once they have visited them.
Md. Fazlul Haque Choudhury, Executive Director of SEEP, talked about his belief that Kolorob has the ability to change the lives of communities in providing people with readily accessible information through the use of ICT.
A short drama was performed by youth from the community prior to the official closure of the program. The play dramatized a mother frantically trying to locate a nearby doctor due to the illness of her child, with her neighbor drawing assistance from the Kolorob application to provide her with directions to an appropriate hospital.
The people attending the launch were very positive as well as curious about how Kolorob would be able to resolve their information needs. Many stopped by the download stall, to check out the application. Staff and participants were encouraged to post on social media throughout the community launch under the hashtags #Kolorob #LightingUpTheCity.