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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.

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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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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

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Frontline at Nine

For a technology product, a 9th birthday is no small feat. It’s an even bigger feat for a technology non-profit.


Every three seconds

Every three seconds, someone in the world dies from hunger or extreme poverty. In a society where materialism reigns, what is the real secret to happiness? Award-winning filmmaker Daniel Karslake (For the Bible Tells Me So) tells the unforgettable stories of five regular folks – a boy, a college student, a thirty-something and two seniors – whose lives went from ordinary to extraordinary based on one simple decision: to engage. Each chose action over apathy, and in the process, each one has had a significant and lasting impact on two of the most challenging, yet solvable, issues of our time: hunger and extreme poverty.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 kiwanja.net 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


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.


Obstetric First Responders in Chiapas: innovative trainings by PACE-MD

We have been following PACE-MD with great interest. They focus on Obstetrical First Responders as the first link in the chain of survival in Mexico. We have long believed that the analogy to an EMT might be a better way to get beyond the long-standing disputes over what traditional birth attendants versus midwives versus others, including community health workers, can handle as far as maternal health emergencies. PACE-MD focuses on handling obstetric emergencies starting at the first contact with a health worker.


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.


Piloting SMS for Legal Aid

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


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


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