Lessons learned from building chatbots in Africa

NetHope's Emerging Technologies Initiative

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The global pandemic has accelerated digital transformation and automation in the nonprofit sector, and many NGOs are considering and developing chatbots to augment the way they provide services and support. Chatbots are quickly becoming a powerful channel to reach internal staff and public with timely, accurate and relevant information. They can automatically handle routine tasks at scale so that limited and strained resources can be deployed where they provide the most value.

In summer 2020, NetHope and Microsoft partnered to enable NetHope’s Africa Chapter NGOs to integrate conversational AI into their processes to help address some of the challenges that were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of this project, several NetHope members (INGOs) came together to develop chatbot solutions which will enable them to improve the way they provide services and support to their staff.

In this session, participants will:

  • Learn how NetHope Africa Chapter organizations have used Power Virtual Agents to develop Tech Support and Knowledge Sharing chatbots.
  • Hear about what to consider before getting started developing chatbots for your organizations and communities.
  • Get access to chatbot templates that can be adapted and reused by anyone.

About the chatbots

Knowledge Sharing chatbot (Mama Africa) enables NetHope member organizations across Africa to access portfolio of training content, information, and NGO best practices across different technical areas (C&I, Cloud Services, Governance, etc), connect the users to the local expert network, and contribute content to the bot library.

Tech Support chatbot enables Christian Aid staff to resolve technical issues via a self-service, chat-based functionality, get in contact with tech support agents via Jira ticket submission through Power Automate, and request equipment.

Read more here.


Elizabeth Njoroge, International ICT Business Partner, Christian Aid

Ahmed Mihaimeed, Regional ICT Director, SOS Children's Villages International


Leila Toplic, Head of Emerging Technologies Initiative, NetHope


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