Smart PAHWs with smartphones

Written by Fabienne

We have finally been able do a preliminary smartphone field test of the poultry raising app with a sub-sample of 8 PAHWs!

Our initial aim is to determine whether smartphone-based knowledge mobilization can help build PAHWs’ capacity in animal health. If
successful, this method will contribute to sustainability and security of our overall objectives in Laos, which are to improve livestock-based food security, income and social capital. The current app is focused on best practices in poultryraising and covers topics such as ‘Selection & Reproduction’, ‘Nutrition & Feeding’ and ‘Housing’. With lots of photographs, ‘how-to’ videos, and easy to follow text, it is catching the PAHWs’ interest and offers them a quick resource to important information.

But while cellular phones are widespread in Laos, many of the PAHWs have never used a smartphone before. Project team member and
smartphone app expert Bounlerth from FoA did an excellent job guiding the PAHWsthrough the basics such as how to turn on and off the phone, how to swipe from one screen to the next and how to find all the information in the app. Everyone was eager to figure it out and caught on really quickly! Following this introduction, the 8 PAHWs got to test their app for one week, at the end of which they reported back to us on how easy it was for them to use the phone, the app and what they liked or didn’t like about the app and the information it provided. We have been very encouraged to hear that none of the PAHWs had a problem using the phone or the app itself!

So what is next? The team will make some final   adjustments, download the app to all the smartphones and ensure their accurate performance… and then… then we are ready to launch the app and release it to all the PAHWs in our project! How exciting is that?!