CTA will develop a framework for assessing the usability and functionalities of ICT/mobile applications for value chain development in collaboration with partners involved in value chains development, especially those with close linkages with the private sector (e.g. COLEACP, etc.).

This framework is an initial taxonomy to assess the usability and functionality of the applications within the agricultural value chain. This may constitute an initial consultancy study to draft the framework, followed by validation involving representatives of value chain and app development communities. The framework and its components will consist of the criteria for assessing the applications within the various components of the value chain.

The approach to develop the framework will be through a combination of criteria on the assessment of apps from various perspectives:

  • The potential for the application to address the information processing requirements for a particular segment of the value chain from the perspective of the VC actors.
  • The ability of the application to address the information processing requirements for that particular segment to assist in decision making
  • The ability of the application to process and present information along a VC segment such that it can be integrated into other applications operating along neighbouring value chain segments (openness, interoperability)
  • The ability of the application to integrate several segments of the value chain, without losing its capacity to address the main targeted segment
  • The user friendliness of the interface and presentation of required sets of information
  • The efficiency of processing information from various sources and other ICT criteria for generating information

By applying this framework to existing and newly developed applications, CTA can tag and classify applications in the Apps4Ag database. This framework will comprise of three categories:

  1. People
    What are the different audiences, external stakeholders, and the important demographical information for an application? End users will understand the intended audience of an application by reviewing these attributes
  2. Business
    What purpose does the application serve? What segments of the Ag VC are involved? What is the financial model to ensure long term sustainability for the application? By understanding these components, end users can understand the business value the application might provide to them.
  3. Technology
    Does the application provide content that is relevant to the end user? Is there a potential to use the applications with others that serve different segments of the value chain? On what devices and infrastructure will I need to rely? By understanding these important technology and data attributes, end users can understand how they will use the application within the context of the current business.

The framework will be applied to existing applications deployed in the field, newly developed applications ready to be deployed, will guide the definition of requirements arising from evaluations by the community of practice, and also act as a guide for new applications yet to be developed.

© 2016, CTA. Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation

CTA is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU). CTA operates under the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and is funded by the EU.