Zarif Jawad is QuizRR’s Systems Developer, and he has been part of the team for a year and a half. Originally from Bangladesh, he studied software engineering in Gothenburg for three years and has extensive expertise with front- and back end database development. Here Zarif speaks about the challenges of delivering workers’ rights programs for markets with a wide complexity of challenges, and how he sees “tech for good” in the future.
QuizRR’s programs have changed considerably since its first program was implemented in 2014. How have you been involved in its IT development?
I am proud of the achievements we have made in such a short period of time. When I came onboard, there was only one application available. Now we have three very complementary and logical programs, which can help supply chain workers grow their knowledge of workers’ rights. I have been involved in the development of the Rights & Responsibilities application of Bangladesh, and have been part of the development of the Worker Engagement and Wage Management Systems applications. I have overseen the development of QuizRR’s training series and portal design, and I am also involved in the daily operational success by solving bugs and log-in problems. We are always looking to improve existing systems and add more features, so it is an exciting place to expand my horizons.
What are the challenges of creating and delivering digital workers’ rights training to countries like China and Bangladesh?
There are a multitude of elements to keep in mind when considering the successful long-term use of QuizRR programs. I am from Bangladesh and can think of three big hurdles to overcome. Firstly, technology tends to be a little unstable with the occasional internet outage. Secondly, smartphones and touch-screens are still new to parts of the population. Finally, we have learners who might be challenged with poor literacy levels. In China, internet activities are the focus of our concerns so our team needs to think about firewall issues, the lack of open wifi, internet in factory environments, and national data-collection laws.
You tend to think more creatively when you have limitations in place! In Bangladesh, we keep the log-in process short and simple, while supporting learners with plenty of Bengali audio files. Chinese learners, on the other hand, want more gamification and feedback so we baked in emoji-icons and rewards into the learning. In both countries, due to the various internet obstacles, we have to ensure that QuizRR works offline. The Internet is only required to upload learning data and factory management can schedule that regularly as they see fit. Most importantly, the data needs to be aggregated when being showed in the portal, which means we protect the learners’ anonymity.
Regardless of our future market presence, we are always very careful about design and flexibility. We found that we could not have a standard format to deliver QuizRR training as each market responded to different colors, icons, and formats. Because we are raising awareness of quite complex topics such as labor rights, we need to stay culturally sensitive to the political social context of the learning, and flexible enough to update any questions to reflect changing policies and regulations.
What does it mean to you to be part of an initiative to address international workers’ rights, particularly in your homeland?
It is exciting to be part of a company that is so clearly focused on tech for good. At QuizRR we take advantage of the best technology has to offer in order to bring basic rights awareness to workers in global supply chains. I have the full scope to explore solutions to bring things together and create better insights and measurability for brands, factories, and learners. It is very rewarding to drive this agenda to thousands of learners all over the world.