Digify Africa.

Impact Area:

Quality Early Learning Programmes 

Year of Investment and Stage:

2023| Developing and testing to validate problem solution fit

Current Stage

Proof of Concept Stage 

Investment Amount:

R1,485,348

Financial Instrument:

Recoverable Grant

Status:

Open, Active

Through their existing, user-friendly DigiBot platform that uses WhatsApp learning tools and chatbots, Digify Africa (Digify) has developed and delivers affordable, interactive and accessible training for ECD practitioners.

The Kitso DigiBot gives the practitioners access to tailored curriculums and lessons that they can complete at their own pace. By offering the curriculum and training on Whatsapp, users in under-serviced communities can have access to an affordable, self-guided experience within a platform that they are already familiar with.

The Problem

Many ECD practitioners lack access to virtual learning tools and digital literacy knowledge at an affordable cost. eLearning applications (apps) and web-based solutions are excessively expensive and largely inaccessible to large groups of practitioners living in rural and peri-urban areas. 

By providing simple and effective opportunities for practitioners to upskill with general digital skills, we close the digital divide and promote equal access to quality educational material and training. 

This will contribute to the development of young children’s basic digital and literacy knowledge, enabling them to model their literacy skills in the early years and develop a strong positive attitude towards technology. 

 

The Innovation

Digital literacy in early learning can improve critical thinking skills and creative development in young children. However, the early learning practitioners’ inadequate knowledge of many ECD practitioners on how to effectively use technology with young children serves as a barrier in numerous communities. It is therefore critical to upskill ECD practitioners to adopt technology in early learning, to enable them to transfer these skills to children in ECD centres. This led Digify to pioneer the use of WhatsApp as a user-friendly tool to deliver learning using DigiBot technology. 

Digify provides a cost-effective eLearning experience through WhatsApp, using a user-friendly interface and familiar features to ensure ultimate accessibility for all users. It also requires no downloads and no web usage experience. The DigiBot technology and the use of WhatsApp promotes a scalable learning tool and encourages a higher uptake among ECD practitioners in rural or peri-urban locations. 

Studies also indicate that using digital tools in ECD reinforces professional learning and development of practitioners, as well as relationships and collaboration between early childhood centres and parents.  

How It works

The Kitso DigiBot offers a wide range of curated content that caters to the specific needs of ECD practitioners. The platform also provides certifications and other opportunities for advancement. 

One of the features of Kitso is its mobile-only design, which allows users to learn on-the-go. It also includes a microlearning feature that uses a gamified approach to quizzes and leaderboards, making learning fun and engaging. Through Kitso, users will gain basic computer and information literacy skills. They will learn effective searching techniques, how to evaluate information, and how to distinguish credible sources and find relevant educational materials.

Why We Invested

We have seen a high increase in the supply of digital interventions in the ECD sector, focusing on curriculum delivery, centre management, and practitioner skills development. However, there are issues related to the adoption of these interventions, and a larger contributor to this is that practitioners and operators who are required to teach using these interventions are not well equipped with the required digital skills.

We therefore believe that by enhancing the digital literacy skills of practitioners and operators we will enable them to take advantage of the current interventions in the market and be better equipped to serve children in their centres. 

The Project Team

Digify Africa works to bring digital skills to young people across all communities through various programmes, including training, and supporting young people to benefit from the digital economy. They have trained over 700,000 young people in critical digital skills, leading to thousands of livelihoods being created. Working with partners including Meta Platforms, UK Aid, the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, Digify has won multiple awards for innovation and transformation.