The custom software expert is working with leading charity to bring much needed grass-roots tech development to the region
7 November 2012 – Leading global custom software developer ThoughtWorks, Inc. is working with Amnesty International and iHub UX Lab to bring new innovation to the technology community in Kenya to help its growth as a technology hub for the region.
ThoughtWorks supported international human rights organisation Amnesty International in a series of consultations and security training classes based in Nairobi, designed to explore the number of use cases for digital security tools.
Owen Pringle, head of Digital at Amnesty International, comments: "What began as a fleeting glance with ThoughtWorks at a hackathon organized in association with design and innovation consultancy IDEO earlier in the year is flourishing into a deep and long-term relationship. Amnesty International's goals in respect of how technology can be used in order to effect social change are revolutionizing our approach to digital communications. Our growing needs in this area are perfectly matched by the services and skills offered by the Social Impact Program at ThoughtWorks and we are proud to work with them in these efforts."
Alongside this, ThoughtWorks has run two master-class development workshops for the iHub UX Lab, the first User Experience lab in sub-Saharan Africa. The project hopes to bring a UK technology culture to Nairobi to help fill the user experience gap in Africa and support grass-roots software development.
“The culture of employing user experience strategies in East Africa is almost non-existent in product design processes. Sub Saharan Africa faces some of the most urgent challenges in humanity today. It is therefore vital that these challenges are addressed as effective and efficient as possible. The iHub UX Lab is about helping product developers understand and incorporate user experience processes and design thinking to effectively tackle our socio-economic challenges more effectively,” comments Mark Kamau, Head of the iHub UX Lab.
Jeff Wishnie, Director of Social Impact, ThoughtWorks, comments: “At ThoughtWorks, we believe in software's liberating capacity for society, attacking the most pressing problems of our time. We're excited to continue to work with Amnesty International, an organisation of ordinary people from around the world standing up for humanity and humans rights, and to pair with the iHub UX Lab, East Africa's very first UX design, testing, and training lab.”
Both actions come off the back of ThoughtWorks opening its Ugandan office, which is serving as a center for its commitment to the East African community as it works closely with the local tech scene.