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How Smartphones are changing dermatology in Tanzania

Situated in the Mara region of Tanzania, in the northwest between Lake Victoria and the Kenyan Border, the rural village of Shirati is home to Read More

World map

Data and metrics essential for meeting future development goals

Guardian – Poverty Matters Blog, July 4: Our report outlines the need for sustainable development goals to be monitored and measured in real time to Read More


Polio, MDGs, UHC, and more: WHO Bulletin July 2014

In this month’s bulletin: • Why polio is a public health emergency of international concern• Factors that predict success in meeting MDG 4 and 5• Read More


Data Revolution from the Bottom-Up

Data revolutionaries around the world (myself included) are using every forum possible to call for more and better data that is disaggregated, produced more frequently, more open, and more useable. Recently, my colleague Alex Ezeh at the African Population and Health Research Centre wrote me: “We cannot address data system challenges in Tanzania or Nigeria by holding high level meetings in New York or London.” He’s right: The path to more, better, timely, and open data starts with strengthening country governments’ core data collection, analysis, and use, whether it’s routine economic statistics or sustainable development goals. Country action should drive the revolution, bottom-up not top-down.

Rethinking livelihoods.

This post appeared on the PopTech blog and has been republished with permission. You can read the original post here. This post is co-authored by PopTech president Leetha Filderman, and Ken Banks, founder of and FrontlineSMS. Together they are co-facilitators of the 2014 Bellagio/PopTech Fellows program.  We are pleased to announce the 2014 class of Bellagio/PopTech Fellows, a diverse group of designers, social innovators, technologists and writers with expertise in technology, global health, poverty alleviation, environmental sustainability and informal sector economics. Sean Blagsvedt, Alexice Tô-Camier, Dominic Muren, Robtel Neajai Pailey, Solomon Prakash This year’s program is focused on rethinking livelihoods

GHTC Highlights Global Health Innovation Takeaways From U.S.-Africa Summit

Global Health Technology Coalition’s “Breakthroughs”: Four key takeaways from the Africa Leaders Summit Ashley Bennett, senior policy associate at the Global Health Technologies Coalition, discusses key takeaways from the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit around global health innovation (8/12).

SFCG Nigeria uses FrontlineSMS to create a conflict Early Warning System

After successfully using FrontlineSMS in the Tomorrow is a New Day (TND) project to monitor and improve radio dramas in the Niger Delta, SFCG Nigeria chose to use the platform in a completely different capacity in Jos, a city in Northern Nigeria.  SFCG Nigeria is part of Search for Common Ground, one of the first and largest conflict resolution focused NGOs.  In Northern Nigeria, SFCG partnered with Community Action for Popular Participation (CAPP) to develop an Early Warning System (EWS) funded by the US Institute for Peace (USIP). SMS and emails have been used to spread rumors and inflammatory messages at terrifying speeds in Nigeria, exacerbating tensions. In order to empower local communities to respond, an EWS was developed to provide timely and accurate information to the Plateau Peace Practitioners Network (PPPN)[1] and Operation Rainbow, using FrontlineSMS, Ushahidi’s CrowdMap, and 109 focal points drawn from eight Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Plateau State.[2] The 109 focal points were chosen from a group of trusted community leaders and representatives, and were then trained in using SMS to submit reports on peace and violence in their areas as part of a bounded-crowd approach to crowdsourcing.  These SMS reports were collected using FrontlineSMS, which were used to create bulletins and monthly reports and to inform SFCG’s Voices of Peace Radio Program, in order to discredit inflammatory rumors.

FrontlineSMS transforms Community Radio in Malawi

Thank you to John Kisewe Mpakani for writing this post about his experience using FrontlineSMS as a producer and presenter at the Nkhotakota Community Radio Station in Malawi. Background Information Nkhotakota Community Radio Station, along Lake Malawi, is a Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA) recognized broadcaster and has been in operation for eleven years. More than 500,000 people live within our coverage area- transmissions reach Nkhotakota and Ntchisi districts and parts of Nkhatabay, Salima, Dowa, Mzimbaand Kasungu

SFCG Nigeria uses FrontlineSMS to Improve Radio Dramas

ARDA recording Day Don Break SFCG Nigeria is part of Search for Common Ground, one of the first and largest conflict resolution focused NGOs.  To support the reconciliation and reintegration of ex-militants in the Niger Delta, the Tomorrow is a New Day (TND) project was implemented with the support of the European Union from December 2011- June 2013.  The project was carried out with five local partners,[1] who were instrumental in SFCG Nigeria’s ability to work directly with seven local communities in the Delta. One of TND’s major activities was to develop radio dramas to address rumors and misinformation, to provide community members with relatable characters and scenarios, and to support SFCG’s conflict resolution training and advocacy work.

Kazi ya Mkono

Entrepreneurs who succeed are hungrier, and the get their hands dirty. A couple stories: The Coffee Man Pete Owiti is a coffee connoisseur, he learned the trade back in the late 90′s as on of Java House Nairobi’s earliest baristas, became one of the best in Kenya, winning global barista competitions and then went to […]

U.S. Using Mobile Technology To Improve Health In Africa

Politico: Mobile tech on the Africa health frontier “Billions have been spent to bring AIDS medicines to patients in Africa, but a technology with just as much lifesaving potential can be had for pennies: the text message. As African leaders gather for a summit with President Barack Obama this week, U.S. health agencies are beginning…More

Piloting SMS for Legal Aid

Bill Mill, “You Know My Name, Look Up The Number”. 2009.

An Undersea Cable History and Primer

There’s a great resource that Built Visible has just written about the history and power dynamics of the internet’s undersea cables. It’s well worth a read, if even to just get a snapshot view of the surveillance programs that governments use to tap information, as well as seeing a map that plays by year to […]

Time for a Donor Funding Charter?

“Innovation isn’t about green bean bags and whacky idea sessions. It is a long term business development strategy“ Lucy Gower Behind almost every good social entrepreneur you’ll find a donor. These donors come in all shapes and sizes – family members, friends, companies, CSR departments and sponsors are the most typical, increasingly followed by the crowd funders among us. While plenty of great things get funded, pretty crazy stuff does, too.

How Smartphones are changing dermatology in Tanzania

Flickr - whiteafrican

Situated in the Mara region of Tanzania, in the northwest between Lake Victoria and the Kenyan Border, the rural village of Shirati is home to Read More

PLOS NTDs Examines Challenges Around Acute Chagas Disease

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases: Acute Chagas Disease: New Global Challenges for an Old Neglected Disease Daniela Andrade and Walderez Dutra of the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais in Brazil, and Kenneth Gollob of the National Institute for Science and Technology in Tropical Diseases, discuss the global challenges of acute Chagas disease…More

Understanding Mobile Access From an Ecosystem Perspective

Editor’s note: Many thanks to Dave Algoso and Reboot for letting us cross-post this wonderful blog post! This post is written by Dave Algoso, the Managing Director for Reboot.  The expansion of mobile access has been a common refrain in international development for years now. It plays an important role in supporting human development, from economic and educational opportunities to political freedoms and human rights.

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