Dimagi

Coded in Country

Coded in Country

An initiative to locally train and support programmers and entrepreneurs in developing regions working on projects that directly impact their own countries.

Mission

At Dimagi, we believe that ICT capacity-building is more likely to happen when more of a project’s “coding” (ie, programming) is done in-country, by local developers. Our Coded in Country (CIC) initiative, developed in conjunction with DataDyne.org, aims to increase awareness of this by encouraging programs to put more than 50% of their programming funding towards local coders. Towards this end, Dimagi and DataDyne have created a CIC office, or node, in Nairobi Kenya, where DataDyne Kenyan programmers will work in collaboration with Dimagi trainers and other organizations on collaborative projects including the JavaROSA project.

There is an ongoing need for high-quality software development to support both public and private organizations within Africa and other countries, including many public health efforts combating HIV/AIDS and other diseases. These organizations are implementing a variety of eHealth systems, including electronic medical record systems, reporting systems, human resource information systems, and mobile data collection tools.

Currently, this need for software development is met primarily by programmers largely trained and based in wealthy countries. This is unsatisfying on many levels, including that the projects remain foreign solutions, incur high maintenance expenses, and that these solutions are often overly dependent on single individuals.

Coded in Country propose to utilize the expensive experts to train, mentor, and supervise talented junior developers in low-income countries, rather than paying those experts to build the software themselves. While this may take slightly longer and even cost more initially, the result is strengthened capacity by increasing the number of local, skilled software developers with expertise in the relevant eHealth packages. This will result in lower total cost of ownership as future development, modifications, and support can be provided locally.

The Coded in Country initiative is still under development, and you can learn more at http://groups.google.com/group/coded-in-country-launch