Amplio is a Seattle based company with a mission to empower the world's most vulnerable communities through knowledge sharing. They have developed a robust offering that combines innovative technology, services, and a network of in-country affiliates to help their global partners share critical information with illiterate people in rural areas of developing countries.
The Amplio Talking Book is the centerpiece of their operation: an audio device designed to overcome barriers such as low-literacy, lack of electricity or Internet, and gender inequalities that can limit access to information.
Requirements & Context
Amplio has been operating for a long time and, over the years, they have developed different tools as they adapted to different program needs and strategies. This resulted in some degree of technological fragmentation, and it created a lengthy onboarding process.
The main goal for this project was to streamline that onboarding experience for new program managers, by reorganizing these tools around a coherent user interface.
As Cliff Schmidt, Executive Director of Amplio, puts it: “every user should have the ability to get on-boarded onto a new project easily, without having to install multiple files and go through the difficult and time-consuming existing process”.
In collaboration with InSTEDD, we suggested starting our relationship with a small, non-critical project that allowed Amplio to get to know us and how we work. They liked that idea and we began our collaboration by revamping their website: platform and stylesheet updating, content organization in landing pages, some wordsmithing and a general redesign of the look and feel.
That initial experience allowed us to move on to working on the core of Amplio’s operation much more comfortably.
The next stage, beginning in June 2020, was building the Amplio Suite: a web application that orchestrates every key resource in the Amplio ecosystem, so that they can be easily accessed by program managers. To simplify and accelerate their onboarding, we devised a wizard that guides them in the activation of tools and resources, unifying previously disconnected tasks into a single process.
Tech & Implementation
The suite is built as a serverless application using AWS Lambda functions in Ruby. The creation of new users is triggered via Salesforce, and we use Cognito to enable SSO authentication. The frontend is built with Vue.js, using TailwindCSS.
Amplio's Talking Book is a way for the world’s most vulnerable communities to gain new knowledge and skills to keep their families healthy, grow more food and improve their lives. The audio platform enables partners to amplify their reach, strengthen program impact, and uphold the pledge to leave no one behind.
Programs that incorporated Talking Books have achieved remarkable success: in a pilot project with messages from agricultural experts, one of the target communities increased their crop yield by 48%, leading to greater food security and nutrition.
In Ghana, Talking Books have been used to share agriculture, marketing, and financial information with over 1,000 Village Savings and Loan Associations, empowering women farmers to double their annual income, with over 53% of them achieving income stability.
And in Kenya, Talking Books are being used to train and support hundreds of community health workers, increasing the number of pregnant women attending antenatal care visits by 110%.