The ECD Apps Launchpad.

The ECD Apps Launch Pad seeks to develop an ecosystem of mobile early learning applications that share a common technology infrastructure, with a modular architecture that allows for cost effective customisation and scale.

The need

Early Childhood Development (ECD) experts often enlist the help of software developers for the creation of mobile apps. In many cases, the developers have relatively little understanding of ECD and the target market.

In addition, the support tends to be contract based, making it difficult to undertake changes to the app at a later stage without incurring further costs. In these circumstances, good products may fail to gain traction and become obsolete.

What if there was a platform that was able to house and facilitate a range of ECD apps?

The innovation

The ECD Apps Launch Pad seeks to develop an ecosystem of ECD apps that share a common infrastructure, with a modular architecture that allows for cost effective customization.

Organisations wanting to develop a branded application will be able to build on the existing platform with access to its full suite of functionalities, enabling them to develop their App at a fraction of the full cost.

As these apps scale, there will be a natural cross-subsidisation leading to reduced costs in the longer term. The Launch Pad will also foster a culture of sharing of best practice, allowing partner organisations to share new ideas and quickly refine existing content.

One of the most powerful features of an ecosystem approach is the ability to track users over time (as they progress through the different age-specific applications). This will produce valuable longitudinal data, enabling stakeholders to better track progress in levels of participation amongst parents and teachers.

Initial applications being developed on the Launch pad include CareUp, Every Word Counts and R-maths.

Key insights

In developing and testing CareUp, the Reach team began to develop a platform and data systems that could effectively be used to launch several other ECD specific applications.

The CareUp experience highlighted a number of enhancements that could be made to the backend to ensure a better user experience and make the product more suited to scaling.

This backend is being developed into the ECD Launch Pad for multiple ECD-related user interfaces.

 

The project team

The Reach Trust has helped more than 10 million people transform their lives through access to free education, health and counselling services on their mobile phones.