We had the honor of being one of the trainers for the TechCamp Kenya conference on September 9th and 10th in Nairobi. TechCamp's are organized by USAID and are incredibly neat because they are so hands on and relevant. Instead of picking a theme themselves, the organizers query the aid organizations in a particular area asking them what they want to hear about. From that they put together a list of topics and then seek out subject matter experts to help train and organize the participants.
This TechCamp was focused on health and we were lucky enough to be invited to train on SMS technologies. I say lucky because it is always inspiring to see the work others are doing, both in very large organizations and very very small ones. TechCamp's format means we were always working in small groups, really talking about the problems they faced and helping us better understand the needs and realities on the ground.
Perhaps the most rewarding part for us was seeing the reception to TextIt. Though we have large customers using TextIt now, it is great to see smaller organizations see the potential and talk about how they can use our low cost tool to help them achieve their goals. We also got to share our experiences in building other SMS systems in East Africa, both good and bad and generally just had a lot of fun meeting others in the ICT4D community.
If you a TechCamp comes to your part of the world, I would encourage you to attend. They are fantastically organized and they are a fantastic way to see how others are solving problems and share your own experience. We're already looking forward to the next one.