Archive for category Development
Training day! We all met up at a cute/sweltering hot meeting center a few miles away from the hotel. Over the course of the day we showed~40 auxiliary nurses how to use the app. They speak little to no English, but luckily we had some worldly coworkers along to help us: Sheena speaks Haitian Creole and Alex speaks French, both of which are common languages in Haiti. Eldivert, the tech guy from Acdivoca and mastermind of TBS, their current data storage system, helped to lead the training session.
Though many people in Haiti know how to use basic cell phones, most of the nurses had no experience using a touchscreen or a smart phone. We went through basic smart phone 101 (turning it on and off, using the touchscreen, menu/home/back buttons) and then moved into how to use the app (all the while standing as close to the AC unit as possible). After picking up the basic features of a smart phone, most of the nurses seem to catch on very quickly.
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Today we trained around 20 AcdiVoca staffers ranging from senior staffers to agronomists to data entry personnel to doctors. It was quite an experience. The morning session was done in English but the afternoon session was done in French and Creole. Alex and I shared the French explanations and Eldivert Savoit did most of the heavy lifting in Creole.
We were supposed to start at 10:00 AM, but we didn’t arrive at the headquarters until close to 8:30. That left us only an hour and a half to get the phones initialized and to test the system — clearly not enough time. (We thought we were going to do that yesterday afternoon or last evening.) Our challenge was compounded by the fact that the room we were presenting in had very poor cell phone reception. We worked furiously to get the phones set up. That entailed putting SIM cards in the phones, initializing the SIM cards, installing the application, making sure the app’s database was wiped clean.
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It was a long day but an HFOSS team is now in Haiti and preparing for end-user training tomorrow at AcdiVoca Headquarters in Jacmel.
The team includes current Trinity students Tina Lipson, ‘14, Alex Zhang, ‘14, Sheena Elveus, ‘12, and is led by recent alumna Rachel Foecking, ‘11, and HFOSS project leaders Trishan de Lanerolle, ‘04, and Ralph Morelli.
We left Hartford on a 6 AM flight (getting up at 3:30 AM or, in some cases, not going to bed at all the previous night). We arrived, via a stopover in Miami, in Port au Prince at 11:30 AM. It took about an hour to clear customs — they didn’t like it that a couple of us filled out our immigration forms in pencil – and then another 4-1/2 hours to drive to Jacmel. The traffic in Port au Prince was awful. They are finally working on repairing the main road along the coast, which was damaged by the earthquake. Here’s a shot from the drive. Check out the little boy sitting on the dump truck. After each shovelful his job was to jump down on the dirt and pick out the big rocks and throw them on the ground.
Emmet Murphy, Chief of Program for AcdiVoca-Haiti met us for dinner at our hotel, the Hotel Cyvadier, right on the beach (and on a nice surf spot). It’s hot here, probably low 80s at 9 PM. We had a nice dinner of lobster, conch and other seafood dishes.
We worked out a plan for tomorrow’s training sessions. Eldivert Savot and some of the other AcdiVoca team members joined us later. Eldivert brought along the SIM cards he purchased and we loaded them in to a couple of phones and tried the app. Tomorrow the training sessions start at 10 PM. Before that we’ll be loading the app on the phones and setting up the server.
In March an HFOSS team traveled to Haiti to observe and collect requirements for a new mobile application to be development by the HFOSS to support beneficiary registration and tracking for ACDI/VOCA to assist with a food aid distribution program for expectant mothers and infants in the eastern region of Haiti.
ACDI/VOCA is a private, nonprofit organization that has been managing a USAID-funded Food for Peace program, the Multi Year Assistance Program (MYAP) in the Southeast Department of Haiti since 2008. It currently provides a food ration to over 10,000 registered beneficiaries and their families on a monthly basis.
On their visit the team observed the present system in operation and met with ACDI/VOCA’s Chief of Party, Commodity Manager, MIS manager and potential end users. The goal of the visit was to finalize use cases and requirements for the application and to conduct field tests of various aspects of the overall system using a proof-of-concept prototype that the team developed before heading to Haiti.
Posting from The Tor blog: (https://blog.torproject.org/blog/weather-change)
Announcing the vastly improved Tor Weather!
The new weather incorporates many new features designed to make it far more useful to relay operators new and old.
The new Tor Weather now checks the current consensus and can notify the relay operators if:
- their node is offline for a specified period of time,
- their node has been seeing very little usage,
- their node’s Tor version is out of date,
- and if they’ve passed the threshold to receive a free Tor t-shirt.
This complete re-write and enhancement of Tor Weather was done by Professor Danner’s students during their summer The Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software at Wesleyan University course. Thanks to Jeff, Kate, and Michael for designing, coding, and testing this new Tor Weather release. Thanks to our own Kaner for mentoring the students and integrating their changes into the infrastructure.
On Thanksgiving day Eli and I were in New York city to observe the Salvation Army’s Thanksgiving Day Dinner program, feeding more than 10,000 New Yorkers across the boroughs, Long Island, and Westchester – up from 800 meals in 2008 and one of the largest Thanksgiving Dinners in the Division’s 129-year history. (http://standtogethernewyork.org/10000-new-yorkers-join-us-for-thanksgiving-day-meal )
The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services team coordinated the one-day event in a style similar to an emergency mass feeding. A work force of 500 volunteers and employees served food across the various sites. The Emergency disaster services team used an instance of Collabbit (http://collabbit.hfoss.org) to plan and track the event as it happened.