Voice of Kibera takes awareness of its platform to Mashinani “Grassroots”

by: December 3rd, 2012 Comments Off

An Attentive Audience at the Meet-up

Introduction:

“I want to play a pivotal role in updating and sharing community generated information with the community and the world at large through citizen journalism. I say so because I witnessed an incident a few months ago during the oil shortage problem, where a CNN journalist came to Kibera slums and paid a woman stage manage some kind or a demonstration saying the price of Paraffin had gone up as he recorded her. I would like to know more about www.voiceofkibera.org so that I can challenge the perceptions and misrepresentations that Kibera goes through.” This was what Ann one of the participants had to say during the introductions session at the meet-up.

Before then, Map Kibera Trusts’ Voice of Kibera had organized a presentation in Soweto East village to engage the youth group leaders more on how they can get engaged with the platform. Having invited 30 representatives, 22 were able to turn up for the event that started at about 2:15pm on Saturday the 1st of December. 

Preparations for the day:

Adequate arrangements by the V.O.K team were made to ensure that the days program would run smoothly hence achieving its purpose. Below was the program flow.

  • Introduction of the entire Map Kibera Trust and Voice of Kibera.
  • The relationship between Map Kibera Trust programs.
  • The Voice of Kibera platform and how it works, what the participants think can be improved.
  • Question and Answer time to enable a brain storming session for better understanding.
  • Distribution of Maps on 3 themes; Education, Health and security to the line organizations that attended.
  • Refreshment and Networking
  • Conclusion

The voice of Kibera Presentation:

This was a step by step presentation done with Fredrick, one of the Map Kibera trust members. I could feel the mood in the hall, one with silence meaning the participants were keenly taking in what was being said. Some of the details that were shared are; How to submit a report, The ways with which you can send the report to the website, the details and importance of categories, editing, proof reading and approving or reports among others.

Fredrick Doing the Presentation in Soweto East

After the session Sande took over to reinforce what had been discussed even as he led the question and answer time.

Some of the questions:

  • How do you ensure authenticity of the reports you collect?
  • Now that we have new boundaries, what is your organization doing to that effect?
  • Do you have anywhere you advertise jobs for the youths in the slums?

 Our Response to the Questions:

That when you have a report and you are not sure about its’ contends, you can get call back the person who send it to get more clarification, if the news has been covered by a 2nd or 3rd parties you can use that as well as using your available networks to get confirmation or more information on the same. Map Kibera is currently remapping the new boundaries by IEBC including information on the location of polling stations so that this information can be available to the locals before the elections in March 2013. We are developing a plartform under the name organizational directory that will see advertisement of opportunities a reality in the sense that those who consume contend do it for free apart from profiling organizations in Kibera on the Platform.

The meet-up that took close to 3 hours came to an end with the p

How do you represent health services in informal settlements?

by: April 9th, 2010 comments: 2

Map Kibera team reviews printed map (in draft stages) of their work
Map Kibera team reviews printed map (in draft stages) of their work

As the Map Kibera project moves into the second phase, the team’s mapping activities become more focused. For the next week mappers will be collecting Health Service data. They will concentrate on ensuring that all of the information pertaining to Health and Health Services is as detailed as possible and that it is accurate and up-to-date. That’s where I come into the picture. During the previous data collection phase, Health Facility information was collected, however it was not standardized. Using the Kenya Master Facilities List (MFL – a project of the Ministry of Health Services) as a guide, and the Wikipedia article on Healthcare in Kenya, a data collection form was developed to capture information about each individual Health Service located in Kibera.

An interesting point to note is that, at present, the MFL website does not include definitions for each facility type (i.e. what characteristics makes a Health Centre a Health Centre vs a Medical Clinic or a Nursing Home) and the website of the Ministry of Health Services is down. The Wikipedia article contained the most comprehensive information I could locate in terms of definitions. Additionally, the MFL project has not yet determined how to incorporate Community Based service provider data into their classification schema, not-to-mention how to go about collecting this data. The data collection guide the Map Kibera mappers will use is thus a modified version of the MFL classifications, tailored to the needs and realities of Health Services in Kibera.

Today, Mikel, Erica and I sat down with the mappers and had an in-depth discussion of the data collection form. It is this discussion of the realities of Health Services in Kibera that really intrigued me. As expected, the most challenging aspect of data collect will be determining which Service (or Facility) Type each point of interest really is.  This is due in part to the lack of a clear, publicly available definition of characteristics for each service type, as well as the discrepancies between the medical community’s definition of each health facility and the community definition of the same facilities. For example, what exactly is a Health Centre? How many clinical officers or medical officers must be on staff at a Health Centre? How is this different from a Dispensary?

The most contested distinction was that of dispensary vs pharmacy vs chemist. In the MFL, only dispensaries are listed. Should all chemists and pharmacies and dispensaries thus be called dispensaries? The mappers were clear that the answer is “no”.

In Kibera, a pharmacy is a dispensing facility, usually located in a hospital; a dispensary can be large – as large as a Health Centre -  and provide diagnostic and treatment services, or a dispensary can be small and serve functions, including but not limited to dispensing (no clear conclusion was reached on this); a chemist is a private operation that dispenses drugs (both prescription and over-the-counter drugs). One caveat – a chemist in Kibera often operates as a Medical Clinic, with an exam room in the back of the facility. The catch is that these ‘chemists’ are not licensed as clinics – often there is not even a certified pharmacist working in the “chemist” and the drugs are supplied to the facility by people who work at the larger hospitals outside Kibera and are seeking to make a profit by selling drugs at a cheaper cost inside the informal settlement.

How can these distinctions be visualized on a map? Should they be? What is the role of such ‘backdoor’ operations? Which definition should be used in order to add value to other on-going processes while also ensuring that the data are valuable to the local community? This is food for thought.

Another point of interest for me is that a Nursing Home (which in North America is a rest home for the elderly) in Kenya functions as a large, well-equipped, privately owned hospital. The mappers all knew exactly what a Nursing Home is, and did not need to hear the Wikipedia definition (which I did not even clearly understand).

This just goes to show, things are not always what you expect them to be.

[Cross-posted on my Health Geography blog.]

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