When Okey Okuzu first started using mobile technology to track health data in Nigeria, the system he used relied on texting via a simple mobile phone. The platform was a great first step for social change, but it could record only limited information.

Creating these game-changing solutions is not enough. Even if you create the best technology in the world, unless people understand it and see how it will make a difference in their own lives, they will not use it, and it will falter in its potential to alter the future of the people it aims to help:

  1. It takes significant time and resources to train people well.
  2. Keep it local.
  3. Remember who the technology is meant to serve.
  4. There are no silver bullets.

Of course, a variety of factors will influence the success of any technology solution that aims to create social impact. Supportive policies, infrastructure, culture, and institutions are also hugely important. But customer-centric development and training should never be afterthoughts. They should be central to the planning and adoption process.

Read the full article about technology and social change initiatives by Stephanie Buck from Stanford Social Innovation Review.