Indeed @bobj there were challenges with cost. Flat rate cost seems appropriate but when countries like Ghana have variable funding timelines form various donors that don’t facilitate government to government funding then implemented have to get creative with the funds they have.
I stand by my experience with Miradore as a software solution as a positive one. I’m not plugging miradore but it was an excellent solution for the reasons I outlined above—including the scalable cost. Without getting too far into the details I would agree that it did not end well and it was not because Miradore was too expensive for the duration of the project—it was fully funded and set aside— but rather that those funds were taken and used in a way that was out of our control.
To me the issue was not cost but rather enforcement of the original programming/project goals. From the start the idea was to have miradore on every device until the end of the funding in which it would have been tiered down. This would allow for minimum effort to scale it back up to full features, even if it was to install a different MDM software on all devices.
At the time of the project we had negotiated a rate of somewhere close but not above $1.50 usd per device per month which is very expensive, yes, but at the time was one of the best rates available for the features that were around in 2017-2018. These rates were far cheaper than anything else (the alternative was fdroid which isn’t/wasn’t an MDM). @stevie and I discussed these topics in Zimbabwe at the Android academy in 2018 where the Ghana PPME team presented on the rollout in question.
My point being, @bobj is that the rollout of the Android app in Ghana did have a tough time with MDM but it wasn’t because it was a specific software or because it was too expensive but they wanted to use the money for something else after integrating an MDM into the project plan which has consequences on the project’s success when the MDM is not used as intended (monitoring the appropriate use of the devices).
Hopefully this guide can help others avoid the pitfalls we experienced. Hopefully donor programming will take a holistic and long term look a software solutions, fund them fully and enforce the contracts, rather than move money around for short term wins. Also hopefully MDM has gotten cheaper or an affordable and reliable open source alternative comes to light.
Great work again @jaime.bosque.