2014 FRIDA Grants

It is with great pleasure that we announce the six projects that will receive the 2014 FRIDA Grants.

One hundred and eighty proposals applied for funding in two major non-competing areas: 1) research projects, and 2) ICT development projects.

Winning projects will be executed during a twelve-month period beginning in November 2014.
Projects were evaluated by a committee of experts representing FRIDA member organizations: Fernando Perini (IDRC), Shernon Osepa (ISOC) and external consulting expert Ida Holz. This time, a total of USD 120,000 will be awarded – USD 20,000 for each project.

Congratulations to the winners!
We encourage the region to participate in the 2015 edition of the program and to keep up to date with the activities that FRIDA has in store for next year aimed at continuing to strengthen innovation in the field of ICTs in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Winning projects by category:


Category: Creating and Developing Skills and Content for Sustainable Human Development

Project: Community Action Networks - Kit Reacción. Conexión al Desarrollo Association - Civil Society. El Salvador. Project Leaders: Carlos Valladares, Francisco Quezada.

Project Goals: "Reacción" is an open source electronic device that allows communities to communicate with each other and with humanitarian aid organizations in case of natural disasters. It helps effectively channel early warning information and the communities' basic needs before and during emergencies caused by catastrophes or natural disasters and operates over a decentralized wireless network using a real-time distributed communication protocol that allows communicating, consolidating and keeping a historical record of qualitative indicators of the communities' situation. It will help improve decision-making capacity about where to channel assistance within a country during the first 12 hours. "Kit Reacción" involves implementing the technological device and its effectiveness is based on the participation of community, government and humanitarian aid organizations in the early training of urban or rural communities on how to plan their response when faced with different types of disasters.

Category: Devices, Infrastructure, and Technologies. Accelerating and Expanding Access

Project: Accelerating and Expanding SIVIPCAN version 4.0 in Nicaragua. Movicancer Foundation - Civil Society. Nicaragua. Project Leaders: Orlando Martínez; Carlos Leal.

Project Goals: SIVIPCAN (a monitoring system for preventing cancer in women) has not only been helping monitor women with precancerous lesions; it has also been used to evaluate the cancer control program from the first level of care in the healthcare regions (SILAIS) where it is implemented. Based on open technology and used as a management tool, the software allows increasing both effectiveness (attaining goals) and efficiency (cost savings). This experience is relatively new in Nicaragua and has already improved how cancer control is managed. In this next stage, the project seeks to allow SIVIPCAN's current local application to connect remotely to a web platform that unifies the country's healthcare regions with the Ministry of Health's head offices to enable timely decision-making and evidence-based planning. - To extend the information and monitoring system's coverage for positive cases of breast and cervical pre-cancer through SIVIPCAN. - To standardize knowledge of the Human Resources who manage the online SIVIPCAN application. - To establish a National Monitoring and Evaluation System based on SIVIPCAN that will strengthen management for continuous improvement of healthcare for women.

Project: Early Autism Diagnosis through Gaze Tracking. Emily Fenichel Foundation. Civil Society. Argentina. Project Leader: Dr. María Teresa Sindelar.

Project Goals: To develop a software program that will allow using conventional laptop computers for gaze tracking and establishing a child's eye movements in response to different images and videos within a recreational environment. This development will use open-source, royalty-free platforms, so it may be distributed and used free of charge without infringing copyright, patent or utilization rights. The software will also consolidate information in a common data base shared by the entire research team, which will allow collecting statistics, easily establishing transverse and longitudinal studies of different groups of patients, and georeferencing information to understand its distribution.

Category: Mobile Internet for Social Inclusion, Growth, Political Participation, and Active Citizenship:
Project: Home TeleMAP.
Universidad de Antioquia - Academia. Colombia. Project Leader: Jorge Iván López Jaramillo.

Project Goals: To design a model of patient care and characterization for a home Telecare system for victims of anti-personnel mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO). Thirty-one of Colombia's 32 departments have been affected by anti-personnel mines. Since 2005, on average, three victims per day die, are injured and/or suffer an amputation. Unfortunately, of all those affected by anti-personnel mine accidents, 97.7% live in rural areas, a fact that causes additional problems in terms of victims moving to urban areas in search of proper medical care. Approximately 19% of the victims die on site; those who survive and receive timely medical care suffer permanent disabilities and generally require more than one surgery and a long and seemingly endless rehabilitation treatment. In this scenario of helplessness and isolation, the offering of services aimed at satisfying the population's basic needs is highly affected, thus deepening social exclusion and abandonment.


Category: Creating and Developing Skills and Content for Sustainable Human Development:
Project: Using the Graphogame computer game for leveling pre-reading competences in vulnerable first-year students of Chile's Araucanía Region. AraucaniAprende Foundation for Education. Civil Society. Chile. Project Leader: Carlos Dreves.

Project Goals: To evaluate the effectiveness of using Graphogame to facilitate the initial reading learning process in regular classrooms for first-year children at psychosocial risk in vulnerable schools within the Araucanía Region. Specific Goals: - To support first-year students that are part of vulnerable sectors of the Araucanía Region who are at psychosocial risk so that they can learn to read through an explicit intervention in Phonics based on the Graphogame computer game. - To describe the Graphogame transfer and utilization process, establishing which aspects help and hinder its use in technological, human and organizational aspects of education and would allow students to use the game on a larger scale throughout the region - To analyze the effectiveness of using Graphogame in the initial reading learning process as compared to the regular classroom work carried out in vulnerable schools of the Araucanía Region.

Category: Internet for Promoting, Guaranteeing, and Exercising Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms:
Project: Violence against Women and the Use of Information and Communication Technologies in Jamaica. Centre of Leadership and Governance. Academic Sector. Project Leaders: Dhanaraj Thakur, Lloyd Waller.

Project Goals: Existing research points out that a large number of women and girls in Jamaica suffer from gender based violence. In fact, violence against women (VAW) is a problem throughout the Caribbean region. At the same time, the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) has grown rapidly in recent years. We note that there is now some evidence to suggest that ICTs are being used to undermine the rights of women and girls and to promote violence online and offline. However, there is very little research in this area that can inform policy-makers and those in support services. This proposal consists of a research project that includes the collection of empirical data and analysis to yield new insights into how ICTs are used to perpetuate VAW in the Jamaican context. This is the first such study of its kind in Jamaica and indeed the Caribbean. It will yield theoretical contributions in terms of the causal links between the unique communication functions of specific ICTs and different forms of VAW. The project will also develop practical recommendations for the government, civil society, and the public to reduce the potential for VAW based on online activities. Such recommendations and analysis can also bring greater public awareness and action around the issue of ICTs and VAW. This includes greater academic focus particularly from an inter-disciplinary perspective. Finally, the project's results can inform the larger discussion of how to address gender-based violence in the country. Indeed, this is a particularly important time as the government is currently drafting a national strategy to address this problem.