mHealth

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Prevention of sexually transmitted infections using mobile devices and ubiquitous computing

Background: Advances in the development of information and communication technologies have facilitated social interrelationships, but also sexual contacts without appropriate preventive measures.

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Evidence on feasibility and effective use of mHealth strategies by frontline health workers in…

Objectives Given the large scale adoption and deployment of mobile phones by health services and frontline health workers (FHW), we aimed to review and synthesize the evidence on the feasibility and effectiveness of mobile-based services on healthcare delivery.

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Reading on Mobile Phones? mLiteracy Opportunities and Challenges

Recently, the Goethe Institute of Johannesburg hosted an mLiteracy Networking Meeting to examine the opportunities and challenges for mobiles to increase literacy development, especially in Africa. It was an incredibly valuable, interesting and much-needed gathering by some of the old and new players in this space. While reflecting on how far the field of mobiles for literacy has come since 2009 when I first launched Yoza Cellphone Stories, two key points really struck me. Mobile Usage is SkyrocketingThe mobile uptake in South Africa is continuing to grow.

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Making a new ending

Exactly two-and-a-half years ago I sat on the Unreasonable at Sea ship, docked in Ho Chi Minh City, planning next steps in a life and career that’s taken me from programming Commodore PET computers, running primate sanctuaries and developing messaging tools to mentoring tech startups and students on a ship with Archbishop Desmond Tutu. If it’s all about the journey, then I think I’ve passed on that one. Despite all of that, as time passes the destination inevitably becomes just as important. After 25 years working in technology – 22 years of those in conservation and international development – I’ve been rewarded with some amazing friendships, many wonderful experiences and more than my fair share of (unexpected) awards and recognition.


Global development R&D: Maintaining a balance

My first brush with technology-for-development, almost twenty years ago, wasn’t on the potential of the Internet, or how mobile phones were going to change, well, everything. To be honest, neither were really on the development radar in any meaningful way back then. It’s almost funny to imagine a time when that was the case. No, my first contact with what was to become a career in ICT4D started off with an essay on the failure of plough and cook stove projects across Africa. I was struck by the beauty of simple, locally appropriate solutions and amazed at how development experts just didn’t seem (or want) to get it


Frontline Powered by APIs

Here at Frontline, we recognize that each user has specific needs, operating on a wide variety of platforms. That’s why, over the last decade, we’ve tried to makeFrontline as configurable as possible to meet these needs, wherever you are. With our new APIs, you can push messages and information in and out of FrontlineCloud – letting you keep data where it’s most useful to you. To get things started, we’ve preconfigured an integration into one of our favourite digital campaigning and management platforms, Nationbuilder.


Is ‘fixing development’ the real Grand Challenge for Development?

“Don’t let complexity stop you. Be activists. Take on the big inequities. It will be one of the great experiences of your lives” – Bill Gates, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation I’ve got an idea for a great new project if anyone out there is looking for one. But we warned – it won’t be easy


In global development, is the pen mightier than the sword?

I’m reading two books in parallel right now – Ben Ramalingam‘s ‘Aid on the Edge of Chaos‘ and Kentaro Toyama‘s ‘Geek Heresy‘. With both books I’m finding myself regularly pausing for a nod of approval or a wry smile. Both books are spot on in their identification of the issues – Ben in global development more broadly, and Kentaro in ICT4D, a sector/field/discipline/specialism of global development. A while back when Bill Easterly published his ‘Tyranny of Experts‘ I started to wonder what impact his previous book – ‘The White Man’s Burden‘ – has had on the practice and policy of global development. I have the same question for Dambisa Moyo, too, whose ‘Dead Aid‘ is another classic development critique.


The “Tweet. Recycle. Repeat” of ICT4D

During a rare, quiet, bored few minutes last week I looked through a few early blog posts from some of the longer standing members of the ICT4D community. Between around 2012 and now, many of the same statements, proclamations and questions have come up time and time and time again. The same tweets with the same outcome – usually nothing. Many have regularly appeared on my blog over the past seven or eight years, too, without making the slightest bit of difference. I recently wrote about the need to stop just meeting up and repeating ourselves in the ICT4D echo chamber, which is what has been happening


Running an SMS Quiz for 1000s of users with Frontline

Messaging for the Nairobi iHub’s #5yrTechBash – Powered by FrontlineSMS Last month our friends at the iHub celebrated their 5th anniversary (happy birthday!) with a fittingly grand celebration in the Nairobi Arboretum. The tech conscious of Nairobi, from senior organizations to aspiring developers came along and a great day it was. To help promote the event, the iHub decided to use SMS to get the word out.


Prevention of sexually transmitted infections using mobile devices and ubiquitous computing

Image woman-with-phone-300x199.jpeg

Background: Advances in the development of information and communication technologies have facilitated social interrelationships, but also sexual contacts without appropriate preventive measures.


Evidence on feasibility and effective use of mHealth strategies by frontline health workers in…

Image unhcr_mobile.jpg

Objectives Given the large scale adoption and deployment of mobile phones by health services and frontline health workers (FHW), we aimed to review and synthesize the evidence on the feasibility and effectiveness of mobile-based services on healthcare delivery.


Publishing and the art of iteration

Eighteen months ago, “The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator” hit the shelves. The product of a combination of donations, crowdfunding, ten inspiring innovators, an editor with too much time on his hands, and an engaged publisher, the book was always something of an experiment. Tales of people innovating ‘outside the system’ – people with little by way of resources or money, and often without qualification or permission – just getting on with fixing social ills that deeply bothered them seemed like stories the world needed to hear. Today, it looks like I may have underestimated the number of people who wanted to hear them. Professional book reviews are hard to get, particularly when you self publish.


Talking ICT4D

Back in 2009 I carried out something of an experiment. Me and Erik Hersman attended ICT4D in Doha. For both of us it was our first time at a ‘professional’ tech-for-development gathering. After hearing and writing so much about the disconnect between academia and practitioners in ICT4D, I wanted to see if it existed – and in what form – for myself. I wasn’t disappointed


Reading on Mobile Phones? mLiteracy Opportunities and Challenges

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Recently, the Goethe Institute of Johannesburg hosted an mLiteracy Networking Meeting to examine the opportunities and challenges for mobiles to increase literacy development, especially in Africa. It was an incredibly valuable, interesting and much-needed gathering by some of the old and new players in this space. While reflecting on how far the field of mobiles for literacy has come since 2009 when I first launched Yoza Cellphone Stories, two key points really struck me. Mobile Usage is SkyrocketingThe mobile uptake in South Africa is continuing to grow.


Collecting syndromic surveillance data by mobile phone in rural India

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Background: Infectious disease surveillance has long been a challenge for countries like India, where 75% of the health care services are private and consist of both formal and informal health care providers.


The Government of Kenya and ICT4Peace Foundation co-organize the first Regional Training…

The ICT4Peace Foundation is honored to have been invited by the Government of Kenya to co-host the first regional training workshop in Africa (2 to 3 March 2015) on International Security and Diplomacy in Cyberspace with over 30 participants (Diplomats, Legal, Security and Technical Staff) from 12 African Countries, the African Union, and Civil Society Representatives. The workshop was co-chaired with Dr. Katherine Getao, Secretary, ICT Authority of Kenya.


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