UoN students develop campus app

The University of Nairobi in partnership with UNESCO has developed a mobile application that will help improve students’ livelihood.

The mobile application, RADA , developed by UoN students creates  a safe space for students to share, seek counseling, get professional information on sexually transmitted Infections and diseases, report and seek help while in an emergency and/or abusive situation, get career tips and discussion forums for the issues that the students are facing.

The Mobile app that will be launched during the 5th Nairobi Innovation Week, June 13, 2019 has received accolades as a solution to curb the high number of students drop out, depression, suicide, alcohol and drug abuse and HIV infections.

“Of all the new HIV infections, 40% is attributable to the young people this means that there's a lot of casual relationships going on. The current mental health related homicides and suicides have been reported from all universities. On employability, students are getting depressed that there are no jobs after they complete their studies,” remarked Lisbeth Kageni, Programme coordinator, Centre for HIV prevention and research (CHIVPR) at the college of Health Sciences.

A working group of 12 students from different courses at the University of Nairobi were involved in the app creation and development some of them shared their experience with us.

Vincent Robin, 4th year, BA, Political Science said, “when I joined the group, I was trained on codes and together with other students we joined ideas to form what we have now. I was in the content creators group and I have also been in charge of graphic content for the app"

Musa Ibrahim, 3rd year, Microbiology and biotechnology, "I was just walking around Chiromo after class and I was informed of the project by a friend. I had started working on basic coding before I joined this project, I can say I was a programmer, but now I am a software developer. I met two other developers in the group who are external developers, I have learnt a lot from them and I believe I can do anything. I am planning to enroll for an Androids applications course and learn more. I am grateful to the project coordinators and partners for the moral support throughout the project.”

Dinah Ntinyari, 4th year, Bachelor of Education, Arts, English Literature, “I first heard about the app during some training sponsored by UNESCO that I had attended. I wanted to join the team, after I was informed of the stages.  I preferred to be in the testing stage. Over a month now, we have been getting updates from the developer's team. We advertised the app to some of our students who downloaded it and helped us in testing and gave us feedback. The feedback we have given the team has been incorporated especially the one for sharing career tips through the app. The team is great to have worked with, they are very creative, and from different courses we were able to get different views from all the students.”

Simon Medan, 4th year, BSC Biology, " I am a chairman of a club, UoN Anti drugs and substance abuse campaign, UNADSAC, through a counselor Catherine from University Health Services I was introduced to the programme coordinator Lisbeth and I joined the project. I was among the software developers. I had some background on web development. Through this process I have learnt a lot. I know how to come up with a prototype. I want to go a software development school specifically for Android development.

We have come up with something that will help UoN students. When I joined the University, we were 120 in my class. Now we are 45. A good percentage of the students that have dropped out have been affected by drugs and substance abuse. I believe that this app will change the narrative especially for the students joining the University.”

Joseph King'ori Ndung'u, 3rd year, Bachelor of Arts, Sociology and. Political Science student, “I was introduced to the group by one of the team members. When I first heard about the project, I expected a lot of coding but the workplan was inclusive. I gave a lot of my input. I was part of the user experience. Usability was my duty.  I learnt how to communicate in an attractive yet educative way.  I learnt how to plan a project, checking milestones, I learnt about HIV and Drug abuse. I think this app is what students need because for the first time, you get information and help on an app. The team was cooperative, friendly and most of all professional.”

Kariuki Mbuthia,a 4th year, Bachelor of Science Biology, " From my membership in the UNADSAC, I got to know about the group .I was among the content developers. I worked on the HIV and AIDS content. I learnt a lot on the new techniques in the field. Now I have developed an interest in coding. I have started doing programming with some basic programming languages.”

My advice to the students is, “Do not limit yourselves. Allow yourself diversity. What I did is not within my speciality but I have learnt a lot. We are the people to create a safe space for ourselves as the youth! "

Diana Sarange, a 3rd year, Bachelor of Arts, Anthropology, “I was Invited by a friend to the group. I am among the app testers. It was such an awesome experience. Through the app, we got to interact with other people. The app is open in such a way that you can share with other people and you can reach a counselor. You can call for help when in an emergency because of the location feature in the app.

Once the app is launched, it will help many students especially first years’ to make informed decisions. It will help them not to act under pressure for fear of “fitting in” and being confident in who they are.”

Julius Kibagendi, 3rd year, Bachelor of Arts, Political Science,” I have an IT background; I was among the content developers in this project. I learnt a lot from the training and guidance given by the stakeholders. I also learnt a lot from my friends. I would like for most of the students to know about the app coz of its benefits.”

Lisbeth Kageni, Programme Coordinator, (CHIVPR) said, the University approached UNESCO with a proposal on a solution of how to improve the students’ livelihood in the University. UNESCO did a one day workshop to establish the concerns and proposed a mobile app as an innovative way of mitigating the challenges. They also proposed working with students from all courses. They have trained and supported the students throughout the project.

Ministry of Health, Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights Alliance (SRHRA), NACADA, Jhpiego, KANCO and Fountain of Hope also partnered with the University on this project.

“The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Peter Mbithi has given us immense support. Since we briefed him on this project, he allowed it to be hosted at the University’s ICT Centre,” noted Lisbeth.

RADA App is openly licensed by the University of Nairobi. This means that any other institution can adopt it and customize it to their specific institution. Soon the app will be accessible through Google Playstore. Anyone can download the app but there are specific features that can only be accessed by a UoN student.

The app has emergency numbers/ hotline feature, a feature that helps a student locate the nearest ambulance and  a hall’s officer.

Expiry Date: 
Fri, 2022-04-01 (All day)