InSTEDD Presentation at HISA

posted on: August 14, 2008

Here is the presentation we gave at HISA.

  • Brief intro about InSTEDD,
  • An overview of information flow challenges in health we found in Cambodia which we hear are also present in other contexts,
  • How collaboration can help with those challenges, and concretely, what are the technologies InSTEDD is focusing to help with that collaboration and information flow,
  • A quick overview of method: Agile practices, trying to be a good OSS neighbor, and the innovation lab we are building in Cambodia to bring the field needs and local creativity into the very first steps of future tech development.

I believe any sustainability planning is at its core an exercise in business modeling. At InSTEDD we think one way we could attain this elusive sustainability is to shift focus from having beneficiaries sustaining external efforts, into creating an environment with the capacity to generate and grow new innovations. It’s harder, and there’s no silver bullet, but still worth learning to do right.

PD: This first slide always gets folks’ attention, by design…

I think some slides had issues converting, if you run into trouble please let me know and I’ll fix it.

From the slides you may wonder what is the status of the tech we have been working on?

  • Mesh4x has been extensively blogged about, with its recent addition of an adapter that lets you sync via SMS messages.
  • Geochat (Overview, Details and source)  we’ve demoed chunks of it, but after Myanmar and the Golden Shadow exercise we knew we had to go back to the drawing board with the UI and some aspects of the infrastructure. We’ll be blogging about this soon, when the UI allows again the end-to-end scenarios folks expect.
  • Riff allows you to create public or private groups for collaboration around information streams by adding metadata to items, analytics and visualization capabilities. Much blogging needs to happen about this project. We have two interns for Trinity College working on the machine learning aspects of the project under the guidance of Taha Kass-Hout and Nicolas di Tada and the contributions have been fantastic. We even have an early SDK that Olaf put together while working with InSTEDD that simplifies how to build modules that extend Riff. We haven’t shown because the UI has big (massive) room for improvement (in other words it’s quite terrible right now in relation to the potential of the tool). Mea culpa. But folks who have seen it tell us it will be worth the wait if we do a competent job at the user experience.

  On a side note I am off to Foo Camp this weekend under the generosity of Tim O’Reilly, where I expect to learn a lot, and after that I’m straight off to Phnom Penh to continue the hiring process and setting up our innovation lab.

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