Liberia IT Revolution Project

C:\Users\William R. Dennis II\Downloads\COLOR LOGO.jpg   The Liberia IT Revolution Project is a two-year initiative to boost the IT ecosystem in Liberia, particularly by nurturing and motivating start-ups to identify creative solutions in mobile and internet technologies, software and web development and link them to market opportunities. The project strengthens the Liberian IT sector, creates a vibrant entrepreneurial culture amongst IT businesses and entrepreneurs, increases the growth potential for businesses.

The project contributes to economic development and (youth) employment in Liberia by

  • Supporting existing small businesses to grow and generate new jobs ,and

  • Introducing the IT sector as an opportunity for entrepreneurship development in Liberia.

The project targets existing IT businesses, university graduates and senior graduates, with a passion for entrepreneurship in technology. We are looking for participants that have the ambition and skills to energize the Liberian IT scene – businesses, non-profits and government. You are welcome to the inspiring events, trainings and other activities in areas such as:

  • Entrepreneurship development (IT Awareness Workshops, Business Skills Trainings, Entrepreneurship Stimulation Workshops)

  • Business development (Business Skills Trainings, Business Plan Competition, Pitching Sessions, Matchmaking Events, Access to Finance, Advisory Board Services)

  • Technology skills (Mobile & Web Technology Trainings, Product Development Trainings,  Innovation Workshops)

As Liberia continues to the road of recovery for economic stability, infrastructure, reforms and education, IT plays a pivotal role in transforming the culture towards a connected and innovative society – the IT services sector is vital across nearly all sectors of business.

Watch out for more info on social media, internet, radio and newspapers! Sign up now to receive regular newsletters and invitations to activities! Sign up at and join the Liberian IT Revolution Community today!!

The project is brought to you by iLab Liberia, Business Start-up Center (BSC) Monrovia and SPARK, and is supported by Swedish International Development Aid (SIDA) and Mercy Corps.


Liberia IT Revolution Project Manager

Terms of Reference: LITR Project Manager

Commitment: 46-hours/week; 6 months with possibility for extension
Location: Monrovia, Liberia
Compensation: salary commensurate with experience
Reports to: iLab’s Managing Director

iLab Liberia is a non-governmental organization dedicated to providing a collaborative and open learning environment as well as free trainings in information and communication technologies (ICTs). iLab’s mission is to assist IT enthusiasts and professionals as well as organizations and institutions in their efforts to more readily share information using ICTs. iLab staff offer trainings in open source tools and systems because they promote interactive communities and shared ownership. iLab works closely with open government initiatives to promote transparency and the freedom of information in Liberia; the lab also serves as an incubator for IT entrepreneurs striving to start tech businesses.

Since the Ebola outbreak, iLab has been providing technical assistance to a range of Ebola response actors, including: the government’s emergency call center and dispatch unit; contact tracers; case investigation teams and burial teams. In the fight against Ebola, iLab’s partners include the International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, SIDA and GiZ among others.


In addition to free ICT trainings, engagement in the Ebola response, and continuing to build an interactive community around open source technologies, iLab is part of the three-year Liberia IT Revolution (LITR) Project. In collaboration with SPARK and BSC, the LITR project strengthens Liberia’s ICT ecosystem by identifying innovative business proposals, assessing their market potential, and incubating IT startups that harness mobile technologies with the potential to contribute to economic development and provide new employment opportunities in Liberia.

The LITR Project Manager will be responsible for coordinating with the project partners (SPARK and BSC) to ensure that all deliverables are being met at each stage of the project’s life cycle.


In close collaboration with the Director of Training and the Managing Director, the Project Manager will supervise each phase of the project, beginning by hosting awareness workshops for potential candidates, identifying strong entrepreneurial candidates to be interviewed, and designing then delivering trainings for selected participants that range from technical skills-building to branding & market research for new businesses. The Project Manager will also liaise with partners to ensure monitoring and evaluation practices are capturing the project’s outputs and outcomes towards its final goal. Engage in report writing as needed, to document project successes and challenges.

The successful Project Manager will be a skillful teacher and collaborative leader who is passionate about supporting aspiring entrepreneurs in Liberia. This Project Manager is organized and thoughtful in planning each stage of the project in partnership with BSC and SPARK; the Manager is pro-active when engaging with partners, participants, and other stakeholders. The Manager has the demonstrated ability to see a project from its start through to completion, with an ability to deliver on activities and objectives that steadily lead towards the project’s goal. In reviewing applicants we will be seeking a demonstrated record of assuming management responsibility and coordinating a range of actors to reach a common goal.
Successful iLab team members are committed to teamwork and accountability, thrive in a dynamic and evolving workplace (much like a start-up), and prioritize clear written and verbal communication.


• Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in relevant field such as management, social science, computer science
• 1-3 years demonstrated success coordinating or managing development projects
• Experience implementing long-term projects, and in partnership with other NGOs
• High level of initiative to innovate and lead
• Excellent written, verbal communication and organization skills
• Generosity of spirit, sensitivity/diplomacy, and willingness to be a team player
• Commitment to empowering aspiring technologists and business owners
• Strong logistical management skills;
• Flexibility and ability to handle multiple tasks at one time in time-sensitive manner;
• Comfort working with a casual but high-performing team
• High degree of English fluency required

Application deadline: January 30, 2015 (qualified candidates interviewed on rolling basis)

Soft-copy applications should be sent to:,

For hard copies:
Carter Draper, Acting Country Director
iLab Liberia
16th Street, Seaview Compound, Suite 5
Sinkor, Monrovia

iLab Helping to Fight Ebola

Several times over the last month, we’ve wanted to share what iLab has been doing in the fight against Ebola, but as soon as we sit down to write something else comes up and we’re again in motion. Just like our colleagues on the ground who are working to improve worsening conditions, we’re short on time because there’s a lot going on – here’s a snapshot of what iLab and our partners are doing to help where our skills and expertise are needed:


Tech for the Emergency Dispatch Unit:

The Liberian government has established an Emergency Dispatch Unit (EDU) in Monrovia’s JFK hospital, conveniently located just next door to iLab. The EDU receives citizen’s calls (forwarded from a government-run Call Center), records the cases and then dispatches the appropriate team – burial team, contact tracing team, etc – to that location. With only three staff at the EDU and a lack of hardware or internet connection, iLab stepped in and provided computers, reliable internet, and five iLab volunteers who digitize the paper case forms and then map them on an Ushahidi instance for Ebola response stakeholders. Everyone from the CDC, WHO, the Liberian Ministry of Health and the Ebola National Taskforce use the password-protected Ushahidi instance to plan their operations.


Mapping the outbreak:

Thus far, these volunteers and iLab staff have digitally archived 2,900+ cases (suspected and confirmed cases as well as deaths across the country) and mapped more than 2,500. iLab has also mapped all of Liberia’s health facilities and plans to update this listing with details such as which facilities are treating Ebola patients, how many are closed, supply stock-outs and other critical information.


Contact tracing and more:

iLab will soon be working with IRC and others on contact tracing – the process of identifying who has been exposed to Ebola and monitoring their health for the 21-day incubation period. iLab will be integrating technologies that make the data collection, processing and analysis of contact tracing more efficient and the information easy to share between the field and relevant Ebola stakeholders. iLab will also provide database management support to the burial teams who are currently unable to manage the task of safe and sanitary disposal as well as enumerating how many bodies are being buried in which locations.

There’s a lot that iLab could be doing – more than we can actually take on with our mighty but small team and volunteers. We are eager to meet urgent needs and trying to ensure we don’t duplicate the efforts of others, while looking for additional funding to address what we now know will be long-standing challenges in this fight against Ebola. As we proceed with a strong desire to help and the restraint we feel is necessary to take on what we can manage, we want to thank the wider iLab community that has offered their support freely and happily in such trying times. It is only together and with determination that we can make a difference in this unprecedented epidemic.


We will be providing more updates as new partnerships and projects get underway.

Message to friends of the iLab on the Ebola situation – we’re limiting public events – let’s fight this disease!

Dear friends of the iLab,

I am sure we are all aware of the emergency situation getting more and more serious –  and are all gravely concerned. Please read through this message.

iLab limiting its activities

For the safety of iLab staff and iLab users (and in reference to the government’s regulations on public gatherings), we are sorry to inform you that all our public events are cancelled or postponed until further notice. Your health is more important!

We are currently still operating, but taking a number of precautions to ensure the safety of everyone. We continually seek the advice of various Liberian and international authorities and act accordingly.

What you can do to help in your community

  • STAY SAFE – wash your hands, do not touch sick or dead people
  • DON’T PANIC – act with concern and safety, do not spread information that you do not know for sure
  • LISTEN TO THE RADIO – constantly
  • GET THE ESSENTIAL NUMBERS ON PAPER! – hotlines, health facilities, police, family, etc
  • RESPECT – health workers, those who are sick, authorities – and your fellow human beings!





Numbers to calls for help or questions relating to Ebola

Ministry of Health and Social Welfare: 1333 (LoneStar) or 4455 (Cellcom)

UNICEF: 0886-520581 or 0886-374733

Radio Stations

  • UNMIL Radio – 91.5 FM
  • Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS) – 99.9 FM
  • Voice FM – 102.7 FM

We will be posting announcements, sending SMS’s to our user base and doing other things. DON’T BE FOOLED BY FALSE INFORMATION AND RUMORS!



The iLab staff

Girls in ICT- A Program Funded by WeTech Seed Fund Grant

Last year we had a program on Girls in ICT, a Google RISE program, for girls in high school or those who have recently left high school.


This year, there’s another opportunity for women & girls everywhere to become creators – and not just consumers – of tomorrow’s innovations. It is vital to expand access to Computer Science Education through programs that inspire, engage, and retain top talent.


iLab is one of the African institutions being funded through WeTech Seed Fund for Women & Girls in Africa.

The courses to be offered are:

  • Introductory ICT for small business
  • Website creation course, using open source tools
  • Introduction to Python Programming – already started
  • Intermediate Python Programming
The program will run from July to September.

3 Interns at the iLab for the month of July

With the yearn to get a sense as to what it feels like to work in a professional environment, and to learn from the staff of iLab and their users in order to help develop their initiatives; these three young fellows applied for a one month internship at iLab.



Daniel Welsh
Intern at iLab

Daniel is an intern from Canada for the month of July 2014. He will be working under mentorship of all members of iLab trying to spread his foundation on IT and business skills while working in a professional environment. He is very excited to be here and plans on working on website development, building a iLab user database, and filming a new updated video about iLab’s story in Liberia. Continue reading

Summer teaching blog 2 – Michael Madaio

It’s hard to believe that it’s already July, and the first month of trainings is completed!
In that time, our Beginner’s Approach to Computer Programming (Python) course and our Digital Video Production course both came to an end. We held a course showcase last Friday night (June 27th) for both of those courses, to award the completion certificates to the students, and to show off all of the great work they did to members of the community.


We had several students from the Python Programming course show off their completed songs they wrote with the EarSketch software. It was really cool to see my students presenting their work to an audience and explaining the programming concepts that went into the music they wrote. Plus, all of their music was great, and the audience was almost out of their seats dancing!


We also had many students in our Digital Video Production course show off their final videos, which were small local news packages, reporting on issues that they felt were important to them in Monrovia. Citizen journalism is a powerful tool for empowering local citizens to speak out and raise awareness for issues that individuals feel are urgent and important, not just issues that get covered by the radio or television news programs or newspapers. Our students, having gone through the course, are now able to film, edit, and write scripts reporting on issues of importance to them. We want to recognize and thank the Accountability Lab for attending and offering some great feedback, and we encourage people to check out the film festival they will be having, and the film courses for social accountability that they offer as well.


Stay tuned, and we will be posting our students’ songs and news videos on our iLab Liberia site, so keep an eye out for those!


In addition to our course showcase, I gave a guest lecture last week on Coding as a Creative Practice, in which I talked about the ways to develop effective problem-solving techniques for programming through learning to code creatively. There are many different platforms for using code to participate in creative practices, some of which we are using here at the iLab, such as using music to learn to program Python, as in EarSketch, and using graphic visualization to learn the Java programming language, as in Processing, a class we are offering in July, beginning this week. The turnout was incredible, with more than 50 people packed in tight, on a rainy night, too! Thanks so much to everyone who came out, and I hope to see you all at the next Lecture night, on Wednesday, July 16th.



Looking ahead, we are in the middle of a Physical Computing course, which uses the Arduino microprocessor to teach about hardware circuits and the software programs that control them. So far, we’ve learned how to control the voltage across the circuit using buttons, potentiometers (or, small dials), and light sensors, and displayed that in the form of LED’s turning on or off, or brighter or darker. Next week, in our final week of that course, the students will be making projects to solve problems they have in their home, or to make things easier or comfortable for them. The end result isn’t the goal, but the process of conceptualizing how to solve a particular problem using hardware and software input and output controls is important, and will translate to other forms of repair, hacking, and problem-solving.


If you’re interested, join us on Wednesday, July 16th, for a lecture I’m giving on Hacking, Tinkering, and the Maker Movement, which will be followed by demonstrations and explanations of the students’ projects. Hope you can join us! See the Events page for more information.


Finally, the last 2 courses that I’m teaching here have begun: an Intermediate Programming class, using the Processing software to teach the Java language, which should be a lot of fun, and a Beginner Programming for Women course, using EarSketch to write music, using the Python programming language. I’m excited to work with the students, and we will be having a final course showcase to show off both of their work on Friday, July 25th. Feel free to follow along on the individual course pages, under the Resource tab of the iLab site, though it’s of course not a complete substitute for being in the course.


That’s it for now! Thanks for reading!


Michael Madaio
Georgia Institute of Technology

Mobile Data collection: The Liberian experience

Mobile data collection is a new way of conducting enumerations, surveys, etc using mobile devices with various mobile technologies.

 These technologies come with a lot of advantages from easy collection, analysis, collaboration to disseminating data in real time onward to finding a unique way to curate and organize data directly from the field, helping to reduce the time it takes to complete survey by improving data integrity and accuracy.

There are a lot of mobile data collection tools, proprietary and open source alike in used nowadays, each with it’s unique functionality; from mapping, curating, analyzing, collaborating data, to real time collection.


The System

Our implementation methodology uses formhub instead of ODK Aggregate which wasn’t conducive for our reporting structure. We chose to use formhub as server and Open Data Kit Collect  Android app to render and handle the forms on the mobile devices.

Continue reading

Innovative mobile service for gathering reports from citizens about road conditions in Liberia launched by Ministry of Public Works

The GIZ/Transport Sector, a department of the German International Cooperation (GIZ) in Liberia recently contracted us to implement one of the first mobile services for citizens engagement for use by the Ministry of Public Works, Republic of Liberia. The project implements and pilots a text message based service for a) citizen reporting of abnormalities in road construction projects and b) the communication of starting road construction projects. This will improve citizen awareness of Ministry of Public Works (MPW) /road construction and maintenance projects in the pilot regions and facilitate monitoring of road construction site work.


The new technology or service dubbed Ministry of Public Works and GIZ/Transport Sector Mobile Services for Government to Citizens – Citizens to Government Communications and Engagement Project (G2C2G) affords road users and residents within the targeted counties mentioned supra to make inquiry about the status of on- going road works on various segments of the road from Red Light to Ganta in Nimba County and obtain an instant feedback. The new technology or service also allows road users and residents along the stretch of road to be fed with information concerning on – going road works on various segments of the road with no cost to road users and residents.


The road users and residents within Montserrado, Margibi, Bong, and Nimba Counties respectively desirous of subscribing to and using this new service or technology should simply make use of the service by sending a simple text message.

To report an issue on the roads TO Ministry of Public Works, send a text message to 7623 FREE of charge whether a LoneStar Cell MTN or Cellcom GSM subscriber.


Also to subscribe to the service to get regular updates FROM Ministry of Public Works, send the message JOIN to 7623.


This service or new technology was realized owing to enormous support from the German International Cooperation (GIZ) to the Ministry of Public Works and utilizing the services of Liberia’s leading GSM providers LoneStar Cell MTN and Cellcom.


The Formal launch ceremonies in Margibi and Bong Counties:


A team consisting of representatives from all three partner entities GIZ, Ministry of Public Works and iLab officially launched the service last month. The official launching ceremonies of the service took place in two counties with scores of well meaning Liberians in attendance. The launches took place on May 19 at 11:00am at the Administration Building in Kakata, Margibi County with over fifty participants ranging from local authorities, civil society organisations, schools, religious institutions, International NGOs to local residents in attendance while the launch in Bong Country took place at the Gbarnga Administration Building in Gbarnga, Bong County with over eighty (80) participants in attendance as well. Continue reading

2014 Summer Teaching Blog #1 – Michael Madaio

Hi everyone, I’m Michael Madaio, a graduate student in the Digital Media program at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and I will be spending the next two months teaching several courses at the iLab.




I’ve been here a little over a week, and I’m loving my experience so far. Everyone at the iLab has been very welcoming, and very supportive in helping the trainings get up and running. I’m starting to try some traditional Liberian food, and I can’t wait to explore more of the area.


The courses I’m instructing right now are:

  • Introduction to Python Programming
  • Digital Video Productions class, and
  • Open Source Learning.

The course pages for all of these are listed under the Resource tab on this site if you’d like to take a more in-depth look.




The Python Programming course is using a software called EarSketch, which was developed by a research group at Georgia Tech, and uses music composition and remixing to teach programming fundamentals. After 2 days of classes, the students have already written their first functioning program, and have seen how to create music using a few short lines of code.


Next, the Video Production class has been very interesting, and is a nice mixture of analyzing videos and “reading” them to understand the kinds of shots used and how the filmmakers created the effects that they did, and then the actual practice of recording and filming videos that they will create and edit themselves. In the first week, we have watched and analyzed some commercials, some Public Service Announcements, some news broadcasts, and even a clip from a James Bond movie, and the students are already becoming very astute observers of filmmaking techniques. Our first short exercise was something called the Door Project, where the students have to shoot 30 seconds worth of footage to create a short, suspenseful scene involving a door. The trick is that they can’t add music or dialogue, and they aren’t able to edit the clips, so they have to create suspense through what they choose to show, and how they choose to show it.

Continue reading