Social norms and stigmas often lead to men owning mobile phones more often than women in many parts of the developing world. Sometimes when a woman does happen to acquire a phone, she even faces threats of violence because of her ownership. These unfortunate findings show that gender is one of the biggest issues in mHealth and ICT for Development in general. Unfortunately, according to a 2013 literature review, there has not been substantial research about gender relations in mHealth interventions. My name is Jack O’Rourke and I am a student at Fordham University.
Author Archives: ICTworks
Recently, Elvis Mushi of Twaweza, shared with me interesting mobile phone survey results from his Sauti za Wananchi program. I find them remarkable in two ways. First, he found that 80% of Tanzanian households own at least 1 mobile phone. Then he found that mobile phone coverage reached 88% of the population. One of the largest and poorest populations now has near-ubiquitous mobile phone access.
Recently, D. Jerome Martin tweeted that he was happy that 50% of USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures grantees were conducting randomized control trials in their interventions. He felt it was a move in the right direction, that big data drives big impact. I disagree.
Thanks to funding from the Internet Society Community Grant Program as well as from the Information Society Innovation Fund (isif.asia) a computer learning lab has been established at the Chuuk Women’s Council! Our goal in establishing a computer lab in the Chuuk Women’s Council (CWC) is with the aim of empowering and connecting, with ICT, the women of Chuuk State, in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). The Chuuk Women’s Council is an established umbrella organization for the different women’s organizations across Chuuk State, which promotes women’s leadership, education on health and gender issues, environmental conservation, practical skills-building for employment opportunities, and the preservation of traditional and cultural crafts. Given the existing strengths of the center and the breadth of the programs already on offer, we believe that the technology of this computer lab will serve to complement and enable this organization that is already extremely successful in its non-technical endeavors. In planning the computer lab, we looked at five key ways to assure long-term sustainability: Computer Hardware (Rugged, Portable, Low Energy Usage, Good Performance & a Webcam) Software (Office Software, Typing Aid, Basic ICT Skill Modules, & Virus Protection) Internet Access (WiFi, Bandwidth) Training (Basic ICT, Email, Web Searching, Office Software) Support and Maintenance (Shares, Onsite, Software/Hardware Repair & Remote Troubleshooting) With our solution requirements and guidelines, a plan was developed and agreed upon with project partners
Elementary school students use the adapted interactive whiteboard to bring new light to learning. CyberSmart Africa’s vision is to provide an effective and highly scalable solution for digital learning in sub-Saharan Africa – including schools without electricity. Admittedly, this is a big vision. How is it possible?
I am Kristen Roggemann, and at the recently-concluded GSMA Mobile for Development Summit, GSMA mWomen was thrilled to host a spirited discussion on the opportunities and challenges facing partnerships in the M4D sector. In what was a frank exchange between representatives of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), NGOs and ecosystem partners, some key lessons – and lingering questions – surfaced: Key lessons: State the obvious and keep stating it: There was some hesitation in the room over articulating things people felt were ‘obvious’, such as working with the right partner team and ensuring you have a strong business case before approaching an operator. These lessons and others are crucial for the entire stakeholder community to state and restate throughout the partnership process. While it might seem obvious, NGOs and MNOs continue to struggle with these foundational tenets of partnership formation – and thus we are not done stating them: Lessons for NGOs approaching MNOs: First impressions matter: do your homework on the MNO to ensure you know their strategy, targets and timelines Having a benchmark matters: prove you’ve done it in another country Get clear on your approach: if you go to CSR folks with a commercial pitch, they will send you to the commercial side, and vice-versa Donor-dominated markets are crowded with NGOs wanting to work with MNOs – ensure you have a clear articulation of the business value you bring to the MNO with your partnership offering Lessons for MNOs working with NGOs: Timelines at NGOs are often slower than at MNOs, so plan accordingly When you’re building a VAS, NGOs can add value in terms of content and market knowledge NGOs face an issue of have the social mandate to work across MNOs in a country, so network exclusivity could be challenging Lingering questions: From the NGO perspective: what is that threshold level when you should approach an MNO? At what point in your service does an MNO pitch make sense
Go ahead, name them. Yes, count them off with your fingers. I bet you can name six in less than 60 seconds. You probably got to 16 or 26 in that time period. Bonus points if you add your list in the comments section.