UNESCO: end-to-end build of a new online ‘community of practice’ service for sub-Saharan Africa

UNESCO commissioned SheShe to deliver an online community of practice for people wanting to freely collaborate, share knowledge and build local radio communities. This was a mobile-first Q&A platform that needed to consider the needs of the audience above all. Sheila worked closely with stakeholders in Brazil, New York, Paris and five small African communities to gather requirements and lead design and development on the project.

Both the website and platform had to be in English and French, with potential to expand to other non-European languages. With many areas of rural Africa still on phone or satellite network Internet access, this project had to be light, backwards-compliant and accessible with extremely low bandwidth and slow connection speeds. Also the project needed to work on feature phones (Nokia, Ericsson, Blackberry, etc.) as well as on smart phones, without users having to fuss with accessing the system with their devices. Both in the creative and technical aspects of the build, this presented a particular and unique challenge – generally in our business the clients want only the latest technology. Our team’s combined and long term experience proved vital. The project was massively successful in the creation of an active radio community in the region and continues to be used on Quora and other forums.