Updated Jun 16, 2020

Tech4Families

Part of Equal Access International

Gemma Ferguson

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Tech4Families works with families in Northern Nigeria to address the normative barriers that prevent women and girls access to and use of technology and the internet.

The project facilitates an enabling family environment that questions existing norms and models new behaviors via familiar characters and trusted influencers. Rather than focusing exclusively on women, Tech4Families brings together whole families twice a month to listen to a radio program, critically reflect on barriers preventing women and girls’ use of technology, take part in facilitated exe...
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The project facilitates an enabling family environment that questions existing norms and models new behaviors via familiar characters and trusted influencers. Rather than focusing exclusively on women, Tech4Families brings together whole families twice a month to listen to a radio program, critically reflect on barriers preventing women and girls’ use of technology, take part in facilitated exercises that illustrate the benefits of the internet for all, and learn new skills, from setting up an email account to effectively communicating as a family. In the final phase of the intervention, participants work together to plan additional activities to share new ideas, attitudes, and behaviors from their small family groups with the wider community. Based on our proven approach from Nepal, Tech4Families has been validated in Nigeria with endline data, highlighting shifts in attitudes among both female and male participants, the adoption of new norms that encourage and inspire women and girls’ equitable use of technology. Families also shared how meeting together brought them closer and shifted dynamics to allow for more open conversations about the internet and other related issues at home: “To be honest I feel this program has changed my parents the most. Initially all they spoke about was how the internet is a really dark place and we have to try to minimize our usage. Right now my father has gotten new phones for all his children and we are also thinking of taking a course.”
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Stage 3: Proof of Concept

We have developed and tested a family focused curriculum & radio program, designed to address specific norms identified as barriers to women and girls access to and use of the internet. We are now looking to scale this concept and tools to families across Northern Nigeria and beyond.

Focus Areas:

Gender, Digital Inclusion & Connectivity and Social and Behavior Change

Gender, Digital Inclusion & Connectivity and Social and Behavior ChangeSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Nigeria

NigeriaSEE LESS

1
Country Implemented In
$100,000
Funds Raised to Date
Verified Funding
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Problem

Digital technology has had an huge impact on many across the globe. However, access to and use of technology is neither universal nor equitable. In Northern Nigeria around 60% of the female population is not able to access the internet. Family-guided decision making and gender norms play a key role in digital inclusion, with 55% of men in Northern Nigeria claiming they do not want their wives to use the internet, and 61% of fathers discouraging their daughters’ use.

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Solution

Based on Equal Access International’s proven approach to social norms change, Tech4Families is addressing the normative barriers that prevent women and girls access to and use of digital technology, through a family based, social behavior change model that combines mass media, peer to peer family group sessions and organized diffusion tactics.

Target Beneficiaries

Rather than addressing women and girls in isolation, Equal Access International’s (EAI) approach to lessening the gender digital divide in Northern Nigeria is to take a whole family approach to the issue that is grounded in collective empowerment of all members of a family.

Mission and Vision

The goal of the Tech4Families project is to reduce the gender digital divide through empowering women and girls to access and use digital technology. The main objectives of the project are: To reduce cultural and patriarchal barriers to women and girls’ access to technology. Increase digital literacy within the family. Generate community awareness of the benefits of women and girls’ access to technology. Create a case study that proves an approach to the gender digital divide centered on norms.

Competitive Advantage

Tech4Families is the first of its kind to take a family-centered, norms based approach to the gender digital divide. With the tested and proven intervention design captured in the curriculum, this approach can be replicated and scaled both in Nigeria and other settings where norms have been identified as a key barrier to women and girls access to the internet and technology. A norms-based approach to the gender digital divide, particularly one that focuses on the family level, is still very novel and there is limited research or examples of best practice in this area. Coupled with Equal Access' extensive practice and research into norms diffusion programming, Tech4Families offers a cost-effective way of bridging the gender digital divide.

Planned Goals and Milestones

Given more funding, we would be very interested in scaling Tech4Families to reach more families in Northern Nigeria and other relevant contexts. By embedding the curriculum with local community-based stakeholders and educational agencies, such as the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and the National Digital Literacy Council (NDLC), we can incorporate approaches that will address the gender digital divide into their systems - ensuring long term sustainability and broad reach.
Funding Goal500,000
New Implemented CountriesAfghanistan, Chad, Nigeria, Niger, Pakistan
New FeatureEmbed the curriculum and approach in existing government and private educational institutions

The Team Behind the Innovation

Fatima Turaki Ibrahim (Project Manager for Tech4Families) has a bachelors in Information Systems from the American University of Nigeria, a Master's Degree in ICTs for Development from The University of Manchester and a Post Graduate Diploma in Education from the National Teachers' Institute. Fatima has worked in the development sector for over 4 years. Gemma Ferguson is an expert in Social Behavior Change Communication and social norms programming and designed the Tech4Families innovation.

EXECUTIVE TEAM INCLUDES WOMEN

Milestone

Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
Nigeria