Monday, September 24, 2007

New MP3/4 players, Podcasts & Practical Action

Liz reported on an interesting talk at DSA presenting work Practical Action are doing with cheap MP3 players in an Animal Health Programme.  They are using Pencil Technologies low-cost MP3 player and bluetooth social software.  Practical Action have previously done interesting work with podcasts to support rural communities in Peru.

Another MP3/4 player of interest but rather too expensive is the wind-up device from Eco Media

nGOmobile - The Competition

A competition to win a complete kit to run NGO SMS campaigns. 

"nGOmobile is a text message-based competition aimed exclusively and unashamedly at grassroots non-profit organisations working for positive social and environmental change throughout the developing world. Behind the scenes, these unsung heroes of the NGO community battle against the daily realities of life in a developing country, where it can take all day to fulfil the simplest task. These people don’t lack passion and commitment. They lack tools and resources. We’re here to change all that. Every year, nGOmobile will enable four worthy winners to leapfrog the mobile technology barrier

The competition wants to encourage NGOs to think more about how mobile technology could be applied in their work. If you need inspiration, there are plenty of examples in the kiwanja Mobile Database

NGOs from developing countries are invited to submit a short proposal outlining how text messaging could make their job easier. The ideas don’t need to be rocket science, or even earth-shatteringly original. Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest, easiest and most obvious. We should know - most of ours have been!"

What we are looking for is impact - a clear indication that winning an amazing prize, and gaining access to mobile technology, would revolutionise your work and turn mission impossible into mission accomplished"

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Country Wins UK Support in War On Air Freighted Food

The battle to protect Kenyan suppliers of organic produce in their biggest market is heating up with the UK government and UN agency ITC throwing their weight behind developing world growers. more

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Health Check for Microfinance Banks

When one thinks about Microfinance Banking, it is vital that the players (in this case the owners of the MF Banks) are not absorbed in get-rich-quick schemes, but in developing people and their current pecuniary grade. Opinion piece

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Culture Radio

In Sierra Leone, devices like TVs or PCs are out of reach for most of the people. However, an old functional radio can be found in almost every home. With “Culture Radio”, Shelter for Africa intends to reach everyone interested in getting a basic school education.


The Computing Station is an ultra-low-power, affordable and fully functional desktop computer designed for use in rural locations such as schools, clinics, field offices, community centers and Internet cafes.

Workshop on Ubiquitous Sustainability: Technologies for Green Values

Workshop in Conjunction with the Ninth International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing (Ubicomp 2007)

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Flood, famine and mobile phones

Technology is altering humanitarian work and now 'the first people on the ground are often computer geeks'. Donors can track shipments, workers on the ground can coordinate with each other, messages can be more easily sent to communities.

This has implications for non-emergency aid. 'The UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation draws vast detailed maps showing who is vulnerable to food shortages (“poverty mapping”).' Computers can keep public health records and identify early-warning signs.

Mukuru lets people in the developed world send cash and fuel to developing countries (soon to include Kenya).

Complete story here.