Implementation of the vision of a large number of collaborating smart hubs is a non-trivial task due to the technical, management and logistical challenges. These are serious barriers that must be crossed systematically. Unfortunately, many ICT projects are not carefully addressing these challenges and are re-inventing the wheel leading to a failure rate of 60-85% due to expensive retries, especially in developing countries. Smart Hub projects are no exception.
Computer Aided Methodology
We have developed and are actively using a systematic computer aided planning methodology, displayed in Figure 1, to address these challenges. This methodology relies heavily on the SDG Advisor and a powerful computer aided planning and decision support environment, called SPACE (Strategic Planning, Architecture, Controls and Education). The SPACE environment (www.space4ict.com) produces a highly customized portal to support different smart hub configurations within hours. Most importantly, SPACE supports individual services that can be combined into complex “service bundles” to represent offices, community centers, corporations and even cities. This allows us to plan and architect very simple to very large and complex scenarios for smart hubs. The methodology consists of the following phases for a detailed tour of the methodology):
Figure 1: Computer Aided Planning, Engineering and Management Methodology
Important Knowledge gained in deploying the hub is added to the Planning Tool for future use.
- Phase 1 - SDGs Advisor:
We invite potential users to join a Smart SIDS Pilot Project that implements Smart Hubs to support health, education, public safety, public welfare, and other SDGs for SIDS. The SDG Advisor is used to help them assess their needs and determine which SDGs should be addressed in the Pilot Project.
- Phase 2 - e-Planner:
A Hub vision is proposed and a Pilot Project is initiated by a user and a Point of Contact (POC) is appointed by the target community. The POC is trained to use the SPACE computer aided ePlanner to conduct an extensive feasibility study and produce a strategic plan, a funding proposal and a working prototype of the selected Smart Hub(s) – all within a day.
- Phase 3 - Training and Capacity Building:
The results of the feasibility study are studied/revised and a final Smart Hub is created in collaboration with the POC and local experts. The final hub is “registered” in a Collaboration Matrix and also in the appropriate Global Center (e.g., a hypertension hub is registered in the World Hypertension Center). These capabilities are explained better below. The main focus of this phase is to educate the POC and other members of the team in SIDS.
- Phase4 - Launching and Hand-off:
The produced portal is refined for a production version as a repeatable asset. The results are published in a Donor Portal for attracting funding sources, business partners and system builders. Funding models accessible by this process include, public, private, or even “crowd sourcing” which allows individuals to contribute to specific projects. A production version of the hub portal is launched and the Pilot Project concludes at the end of this Phase.
Click here for a detailed tour of the methodology.