Of the 1.2 billion people who lack basic energy access around the world, 772 million are covered by mobile networks. Similar figures exist for water and sanitation, as 289 million of those lacking access to drinking water, and 2.4 billion people without improved sanitation facilities are covered by mobile networks. The GSMA M4D Utilities Innovation Fund awards grants to mobile operators, innovators and service providers to trial or scale commercially sustainable solutions that leverage mobile to directly improve access to basic utilities for underserved consumers. The GSMA M4D Utilities Innovation Fund is now open for applications!
Author Archives: ICTworks
Way back in 2001, Satellife pioneered the use of PDA’s for health-related data collection in Uganda and Kenya. In the 15 years since, Satellife became the TechLab at FHI 360 and mobile data collection has become routine and easy with Open Data Kit, countless derivatives, and a whole plethora of companies dedicated to delivering seamless mobile data collection as a service. Yet, there are still people advocating for paper-based surveys and projects that actually send out enumerators with questionnaires and clipboards. Why? Here are five reasons why you are wasting everyone’s time if you are still collecting data on paper.
Are you using digital technology to help individuals, families, communities, businesses or governments in Asia adapt to shocks and chronic stresses? If so, we want to hear from you by March 24th. FHI 360 is working with The Rockefeller Foundation, in association with the Global Resilience Partnership, to identify potential digital technology innovations that may have a positive impact on resilience outcomes in Asia. We’re interested in the whole range of digital technologies, from mobile-based communications, to sensor technologies, gaming, big data applications, and beyond. Basically, if it uses any form of digital technology, we’re interested.
At Worldreader, we love using data to help our readers find books they not only want to open but love to read. That’s why this year, when thinking about our top books, we decided to focus on the books that drew people in and kept them reading. One of our biggest challenges at Worldreader is that we work with a wide range of readers who hail from Lagos to Delhi and everywhere in between. These different readers naturally have different tastes and needs but the similarities are sometimes the most striking. Regional Reading Tastes Our preschoolers and their parents in Delhi tended to like beautifully illustrated, fanciful tales like the The Talkative Tortoise, a bilingual Hindi-English picture book.
Transformative successes have been achieved by those harnessing information and communication technologies (ICT) for development (ICT4D), and yet many people still lack access to ICT, and there is a sense that more needs to be done to understand how technology can best support humanitarian and development initiatives. In January 2016, Oxfam commissioned research to explore these issues in the Horn, East and Central Africa (HECA) region, where there is a burgeoning technology scene and numerous development projects incorporating ICT. The objectives of the research were: to explore what actors in the region consider good and bad practice; to ask where they see the most interesting opportunities in the future; and to bring this together in a form that informs the role of iNGOs using ICT4D, especially in the HECA region. Digital Development: What is the role of international NGOs? provides the analysis and key lessons from this research, including recommendations for Oxfam and other iNGOs on the use of ICT.
As health programs are relying more on decentralized models of care, mHealth has made it easier to collect, manage and store community-level health data. This data can feed into national health information systems and be used to inform decision making for improved service delivery at the community level. But how can we ensure that our community-based mHealth programs are collecting accurate, high-quality data that will help us deliver the right services to the right places at the right time? We at MEASURE Evaluation have developed the mobile community based health information system (CBHIS) data quality assessment toolkit to allow programs and projects to rapidly assess the ability of their mobile data systems to collect, manage, and report high-quality community-based data. We recently had the opportunity to present our toolkit for the first time to a group of participants at the MERL Tech Conference.
Kabul, 2016. I’d been here before: a cold cup of Nescafe and stack of overly formatted CVs on the table next to me, an over-worked HR officer slow-blinking at me from across the room in subtle panic. Of the 35 CVs in the stack, culled from hundreds submitted online, only two had any mention of ICT experience—the rest were full of network engineering degrees, Oracle and Microsoft certifications, and years and years of experience managing IT networks and project systems. If I had been looking to hire IT staff, I would have been spoiled for options—but I wasn’t. I was trying to hire an ICT officer, and it was almost impossible
Floods and mudslides regularly devastate El Salvador. Villagers can identify impending floods and mudslides, but they are unable to warn others in time. Rugged terrain, lack of power and cellular networks present a formidable communication challenge. Reacción, a team of El Salvadorian experts in electronics, community development and disaster relief, decided to do something about it.
The proliferation of mobile phones among rural households in Kenya, Tanzania, and Ghana has seen a significant increase of digital information solutions for farmers. The AGRA financial inclusion team identified 150+ different ICT solutions in these countries that allow farmers to access information on market prices, good agronomical practices, and weather updates. However, research from GSMA, CTA, and Mercy Corps found that many of these solutions do not sustain beyond the life of an award or a typical three-year donor project due to flawed business models. To find out what does work, AGRA commissioned How to Grow and Sustain the Digital Harvest?
I am often called in to help when a technology project has gone awry. For example, once a partner organization gifted a network-attached storage server (NAS) to a local development organization to help them automatically backup their computers. They did a good technical installation, with all the right electrical wiring and computer configurations, but only provided brief, 1 day training to the local technical support person, whose primary role was laptop support. They were then surprised and dismayed a year later to discover the NAS sitting in a back room unplugged and unused. Why