The iLab Southeast Asia (SEA) solutions incubator launched one year ago with the mission to inspire and help launch new community based projects using technology to solve social problems in Cambodia.
How does the incubator work?
Potential project ideas are generated from the community through two types of local events run by the iLab SEA: Open Thursdays and iCamps.
“Open Thursday” is a time each week when a local organizations can book an appointment for a face-to-face discussion with the coders and developers at the iLab SEA to discuss their technology idea.
iCamps are a day long invitation collaboration workshop with the goal of generating solution ideas to specific challenges.
For the solutions incubator in 2017 five iCamps ran on the following themes:
- Better Education in Cambodia – issues such as need for education on environmental issues, informing migrants on safe migration, and how to help youth to learn the local Khmer language.
- Improving Farming Production- questioned how to help farmers find a market for their products, get localized weather forecasts, improve systems for disabled farmers and promote the use of quality seeds.
- Protecting Children’s Rights: – focused on problem areas such as migration of families, promoting parenting skills, and making communities safer for children.
- Connecting Rural Youth to Employment Information – included discovery on ways to help youth access employment information, improving soft and hard skills, and finding working abroad.
- Preventing Lifestyle Diseases – discussed problem areas in health that are commonly ignored, such as proper nutrition, dangers of smoking and drinking, and the importance of exercise.
From the five iCamps and weekly Open Thursday, 22 different institutions engaged with the iLab SEA up to dream up and consider ideas for support from the solutions incubator.
After a difficult selection process, three apps for use in smartphones and tablets were selected to advance in the incubator: Sorse Khmer (Khmer Writing App), Go Green, and Trey Visay.
Sorse Khmer (Khmer Writing App) allows students in grade 1 to 3 improve their Khmer writing skills through interactive lessons and exercises.
The application is already in use at various New Generation Schools by Kampuchean Action for Primary Education (KAPE), which covers six provinces across Cambodia.
Go Green helps citizens in Phnom Penh communicate on improving neighborhoods cleanliness.
The app can be used to report either clean or in need of a clean up areas and organize their own group clean up events. The application is set to launch in early February 2018.
Trey Visay helps high school students from grade 9 to 12 to understand more about their talents, personality, and to help select a future career that best matches them.
The app will be first deployed in schools in three different provinces across Cambodia starting later in February.
In 2018 more iCamps and Open Thursdays will be held and additional ideas considered for incubator support.
The next iCamp challenge area will be on Mental Health taking place on 22nd of February at the iLab SEA offices. Details on iCamps can be found here.
The iLab SEA solutions incubator is made possible by a grant by the SPIDER Center: https://spidercenter.org/