Meet the Innovation Program Winning Teams #2

June 8, 2021

Four teams have been selected as winners of the second round of the Innovation Programme after successfully pitching their ideas that aim to provide innovative digital solutions to advance human rights. The win comes with a Shs 60 Million grant to be shared among the four teams and a six-month mentorship program to further work on their ideas.

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Disability Innovations Uganda

(Awarded Shs 16 Million)

For many people with hearing impairments, access to health services, especially Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) remains a challenge. Young people aged 12 to 35, who need these services are often not able to access them because health workers lack knowledge and skills in sign language. Disability Innovations Uganda seeks to change and address the challenge by expanding access to information through training health workers in sign language using various platforms including through an app and video formats. The team hopes that acquiring these skills will ensure equal inclusion and accessibility of health services for deaf people.

Awesome Mind Speaks

(Awarded Shs 17 Million)

Mental health remains one of the most stigmatized conditions in Uganda. As such, many people do not know where and how to access services. This is especially true for young people who often lack access to accurate information and knowledge, and subsequently services. This is what the My Pal App, an initiative of the Awesome Mind Speaks team hopes to address. With the app, the team hopes to reach more young people digitally with mental health services and information and also be able to normalize conversations on the subject.

Through the App, young people are able to connect with a number of service providers including psychiatrists, counsellors and therapists while remaining anonymous. Awesome Mind Speaks hope to reach hundreds of youth in need of mental health services in the communities in which they work.

Naguru Youth Health Network

(Awarded Shs 15 Million)

Through an application called Centres4Her, the Naguru Youth Health Network hopes to make it easy for women and girls to report cases of domestic violence and also access legal aid and justice in a timely way. One of the biggest challenges faced by victims of domestic violence is the limited access to services, including access to justice.

Oftentimes, women fear to be judged by society and family members are ignorant about where services are and the cost of accessing these services. With the app, women and girls are able to access services including legal, law enforcement, and protection from police, shelters, HIV testing and access to sexual reproductive health and services.

The Debunk Team

(Awarded Shs 12 million)

In Uganda, as is the case globally, fake news remains a big challenge. Many people are more likely to believe and spread fake news than accurate news. To counter this problem, the team at DeBunk hopes to use its platform to address the issue of fake news in real-time using a dedicated BOT.

The BOT is a WhatsApp number that can be added in WhatsApp groups or that individuals can add to their phone contacts and have private chats with the BOT. It works in a way that users can send any information they want to fact-check to the BOT. The BOT forwards the information to different fact-checkers who verify the information through experts. The team will also produce video and audio shows that will help people learn about the negative impact of fake news and disinformation. These shows will be shared via social media platforms and with various newsrooms that sign up for the information. They will also offer skills training to young people on how to identify and debunk fake news.