Games for Farmers and the Fall Army Worm Pest

We are excited to announce the latest Digital Principles case study which looks at how took a data driven online approach to reaching farmers across East Africa.

By studying the behavioral patterns exhibited by farmers online, and taking a data driven approach to user research and product analytics, a core team of three at have been able to reach an audience of 150,000+ farmers online.

One of the secrets to the team’s success has been a lean approach to product design: incorporating methods like Sprint to rapidly design and deliver prototypes, and a meticulous focus on user testing informed by approaches like Rocket surgery made easy. “these methods are standard practice in commercial tech, and there’s no reason why projects with a focus on international development shouldn’t make use of these frameworks – no matter how big or small”

The case study examines the approach took to developing their fall army worm (FAW) chatbot to help address the challenge this pest presents in Africa. Originally from the Americas, FAW outbreaks first occurred in West Africa in early 2016 and are now on the precipice of devastating food supplies across the continent, exacerbating global poverty and hunger. FAW attacks more than 80 different plant species and agriculture experts estimate the pest may cause over $13 billion in losses for staple crops such as maize, sorghum, rice, and sugarcane.

The team won the FAW tech prize in early 2019, and will be releasing the full product to their user base in the next few months.

You can learn more about and the FAW chatbot in the case study here:

Claudine Lim

Manager at The Principles for Digital Development

Claudine first joined the Digital Impact Alliance in October 2017, shortly after receiving a dual masters in international relations and public relations from the Maxwell School and S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University. After working as a Program Coordinator and Researcher for DIAL’s Business Operations, she is currently working with the Principles of Digital Development.