Announcing CITE's 2015 Technology Evaluations
This year, CITE is scaling to evaluate a number of new product families, including post-harvest storage technologies, educational technologies, malaria rapid diagnostic tests, and water test kits.
CITE will also continue work on evaluating water filters, work that began last year in Ahmedabad, India and the Consumer Reports labs in Yonkers, New York.
Learn more about each of our planned 2015 evaluations below.
Post-Harvest Storage Technologies
Each year, about one-third of the food produced globally goes to waste, much of it as a result of post-harvest loss. Smallholder farmers and the communities they feed are among those hit hardest by these losses. CITE will evaluate the technologies most often used by these farmers such as multi-layer bags, containers, and silos in the Jinja and Gulu districts of Uganda.
For this evaluation, CITE will focus on evaluating products’ sustainability and scalability in partnership with the World Food Programme and Makerere University. Both partners are well equipped to help CITE investigate the local supply chain and adoption aspects of crop storage technologies.
Suitability, Sustainability, Scalability
Educational technologies of all types are quickly gaining popularity across the developing world. Governments, school districts, and teachers have made investments in these technologies in hopes that they will aid learning and achievement. However, assessing the best uses of an educational technology in the classroom is difficult. Not only do uses of the technologies vary, but these different uses also can affect a variety of factors in the classroom.
CITE will create and test a replicable framework for governments, organizations, and schools to effectively evaluate educational technologies for specific uses in their classrooms. This evaluation will take place in India, and will primarily focus on English language learning software.
The matrix will be of general use for evaluating educational technologies in developing countries, but CITE is also working with World Vision and USAID to design a specific adaptation of the framework to help evaluate submissions in its literacy-based Grand Challenges for Development competition: All Children Reading.
Water Test Kits (& ongoing work on water filters)
Building on CITE’s water filter evaluation work, the team is evaluating water test kits in India. Using filters and test kits together is crucial. Using an improved water source does not guarantee that water is safe. Recontamination of water can occur even after water is filtered for several different reasons.
CITE will work closely with the Water and Sanitation Management Organization in India to understand how user skill and training influences the results of water tests and to compare different tests based on their ease of use.
CITE will also continue work on evaluating water filters, with plans to publish its water filter evaluation report in Spring 2015.
Malaria Rapid Diagnostic Tests
Rapid diagnostic tests are an important tool to combat malaria in resource-constrained settings. They offer a fast and accurate diagnosis of the disease and do not rely on lab equipment or trained personnel. Rapid, accurate diagnosis for malaria is important to ensure early and effective treatment, facilitate public health surveillance, and prevent drug resistance.
The effectiveness, or suitability, of rapid diagnostic tests is well understood and documented due to extensive World Health Organization (WHO) evaluations and guidelines. In addition, there is literature on concerns and approaches in integrating rapid diagnostic tests into a community from the patient’s and health worker’s perspective. However, there is less known about the scalability of these products, including how sustainable business models can encourage use and pharmacies’ willingness to stock the product.
CITE will evaluate the scalability of the rapid diagnostic tests on the market in Uganda, examining business and service models, pricing schemes, and availability for the technologies recommended by WHO.