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Amartya Sen on dangers of climate change ‘obsession’

Amartya Sen has an important piece out in the New Republic magazine, on the links between environment and development. It’s quite long, so I thought I’d offer my precis service. He argues that the attention to climate change is disproportionate, not because we should think less about it,…

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4 Ways to Properly Include Women in Your mHealth Initiative

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.

Flag_of_Tanzania_(WFB_2004)

Accept the Smartphone Reality in Development

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.

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Campaign To Reduce Maternal Mortality Using Mobile Technology Launched

Media sources report on the launch of a new campaign, Zero Mothers Die, aimed at reducing maternal mortality by providing mothers with access to health care information through mobile phones. Newsweek: The $30 Pink Cellphone That Could Help Save the Lives of Pregnant Women “A new campaign launched Monday is hoping to reduce deaths of…More


Welcome US Action against Drug Resistance, but Livestock Loophole Remains

With the threat of antimicrobial resistance on the rise, we are heartened by President Barack Obama’s recent executive order that outlines a national strategy to combat drug resistance, including creation of an inter-agency task force to implement and monitor the plan. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that up to 2 million Americans suffer from antibiotic-resistant infections each year and that 23,000 of them die.


Sendy: Digitizing Motorcycle Deliveries

This year at Pivot East I had my first look at Sendy, which does for motorcycle courier deliveries and customers in Nairobi, what Uber did for taxis and passengers in San Francisco. At its heart, Sendy is about bringing the vast and growing motorcycle courier and delivery network in Africa into the digital and networked […]


White House CIO Steps Down To Coordinate Ebola Efforts At USAID

News outlets report on Steven VanRoekel’s move from the White House to USAID to help lead the U.S. Ebola response. The Hill: USAID seeks to bring high-tech fight to Ebola “The White House’s chief information officer is being dispatched to improve the government’s use of technology and data to respond to the Ebola crisis, an…More


The folly of “Designing with the end user”

After years of near-invisible end users, it’s promising to see the beginnings of ‘end-user recognition’ in much of ICT4D‘s emerging best practice. It looks like we’ve made a big stride forward, but we’re not where we need to be yet, despite making all the right noises. To a great extent, we’re still saying one thing and doing another. The international development sector, which includes the ICT4D community, is famously uncoordinated. That’s no surprise to many of the people who work in it.


Magpi rated #1 mobile data collection app

Mobile data collection is become more and more popular nowadays, and everyone at Magpi was thrilled this past week to learn that Magpi was just rated the #1 mobile data collection app by Kopernik, an Indonesia-based organization, at their “Impact Tracker Tech” site. The new site, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, aims to establish “a central […] The post Magpi rated #1 mobile data collection app appeared first on Magpi.


GHIT Fund Announces $15.3M Investment To Tackle Malaria, Chagas, Dengue

Global Health Innovative Technology Fund: Seven New Grant Investments for $15.3 Million to Tackle Malaria, Chagas Disease and Dengue, which is Dramatically on the Rise “The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund), a new public health partnership that is bringing Japanese know-how and investment to the global fight against infectious diseases, today announced seven…More


Mobile Technology Helping HCWs In South Africa

SciDev.Net: Mobile technology supports frontline health workers “Primary health care in South Africa is notoriously overstretched and under-resourced, making the daily demands of record-keeping, home visits and patient monitoring a challenge for workers. Telemedicine — the remote provision of health care using information and communications technology (ICT) — holds great promise for a country with…More


International development: A problem of image, or a problem of substance?

The world has problems. Big problems. They need big answers, ambitious projects and innovative solutions. And they cost money. Lots of it.


Amartya Sen on dangers of climate change ‘obsession’

World map

Amartya Sen has an important piece out in the New Republic magazine, on the links between environment and development. It’s quite long, so I thought I’d offer my precis service. He argues that the attention to climate change is disproportionate, not because we should think less about it,…


4 Ways to Properly Include Women in Your mHealth Initiative

Womanpower_logo

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.


Barcamp Nairobi 2014 Edition

Barcamp Nairobi 2014 is set to begin, seven years after the first one was held. It’s one of those events that brings people out of the woodwork around the city, where techies who don’t normally meet end up having great conversations, and relationships are formed. This Saturday, Aug 30th at 08:00, your chance to lead […]


A Taxonomy of Arguments in Favor of Bad Aid

As promised, what began as a compendium of arguments in favor of bad aid, but is now more of a taxonomy with non-exhaustive illustrative examples and discussion under each category. Just so there’s no confusion, and because by now I typically know how these arguments go before they’re even fully uttered, by “bad aid” I […]


Accept the Smartphone Reality in Development

Flag_of_Tanzania_(WFB_2004)

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.


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