How drones can improve healthcare delivery in developing countries

Title: How drones can improve healthcare delivery in developing countries
Author: Barry Mendelow
Source: Quartz
Date (published): 08/11/2015
Date (accessed): 15/11/2015
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes
Abstract: The advent of cell phone networks has significantly aided the way results are transmitted from the laboratory to the clinic. But this is obviously not applicable to physically transporting samples. Drones are potentially a solution to this logistical problem.

Kenya: Laptops for Schools Revived

Title: Kenya: Laptops for Schools Revived
Author: Isaac Ongiri
Source: allAfrica
Date (published): 13/10/2015
Date (accessed): 15/11/2015
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes
Abstract: Sh 17 billion will be spent to buy to 1.2 million laptops for Class One pupils after the salvaged procurement was launched by the Information Communication Technology Authority. The laptops will reach all schools around the country in two years after the procurement was split into two.

New case study explores the different stages of the mobile money regulation in Paraguay

Title: New case study explores the different stages of the mobile money regulation in Paraguay
Author: José Sanin
Source: GSMA
Date (published): 12/11/2015
Date (accessed): 15/11/2015
Type of information: case study
Language: English
On-line access: yes
Abstract: New case study explores the different stages of the mobile money regulation in Paraguay. The case study is in Spanish language.

Cuba is using WiFi for short run portable connectivity

Title: Cuba is using WiFi for short run portable connectivity
Author: Larry press
Source: The Internet in Cuba
Date (published): 11/08/2015
Date (accessed): 15/11/2015
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes
Abstract: Let's start with a look at today's Cuban WiFi, then turn to the question of portable and mobile connectivity in the long run.

Using SMS to Reach Schools in Five Minutes in a Conflict-Affected Country

Title: Using SMS to Reach Schools in Five Minutes in a Conflict-Affected Country
Source: Stories of UNICEF Innovation
Date (published): 09/06/2015
Date (accessed): 15/11/2015
Type of information: best practice
Language: English
On-line access: yes
Abstract: EduTrac is an innovative system that uses SMS for the real-time monitoring of schools. It helps the Ministry of Education better understand the situation in schools even in the most hard-to-reach areas in order to provide better learning environments for students. Since March 2015, UNICEF in Central African Republic has been preparing to launch EduTrac in close collaboration with the Ministry of Education.

FightVAW

In the following months, the Observatory will devote a series of blogposts to the recent winners of the highly respected WSIS Prizes. Every year, the World Summit on the Information Society awards creative ICT based initiatives from around the globe that have proved to effectively empower local communities with the help of new communication technology. Typically, the awarded initiatives represent a success also in the sense that they operate a communication infrastructure developed enough to be replicated in other local contexts.

What is FightVAW?

A winner of the 2015 WSIS Prize is Fight Violence Against Women, a support platform for victims of gender based violence (GBV) in Nepal. The platform integrates technologies of voice telephony, SMS, web and mobile applications. FightVAW has quickly become the central hub for addressing and handling the issues of gender based violence in the country. The platform has been designed to effectively connect abuse victims to the relevant governmental and police agencies and to civil society
organizations. The platform supports CSO-s themselves to share their resources and cooperate.

Origins

The idea of the platform rose at a hackathon in June 2013, co-organized by the World Bank, Nepalian web development firm YoungInnovations, and various other civil and governmental stakeholders. The hackathon addressed the question of whether there exist new technology based solutions that could effectively support the (governmental and civil-based) treatment of gender-based violence issues. Around a 100 of developers and stakeholders gathered and worked collectively on various ideas. The most promising of these have been integrated into the web and mobile plaform FightVAW.

The innovative side

FightVAW is an innovative platform because the features it offers make it possible to overcome several difficulties encountered in conventional support systems based on voice telephony. The conventional practice of reporting abuse was based on helplines and green numbers, and victims were supposed to get in touch with an operator who registered their case and reported it to competent institutions. However, this system was highly dependent on information bottlenecks, like operators’ actual availability (office hours, ) and efficiency (whether or not they report the case to relevant institutions). The FightVAW platform, by contrast, adds three new channels to the conventional helpline, for it can be reached via SMS, a web interface and Android based mobile application. Of course, the FightVAW system uses human operators, but it automatizes their work at each relevant step of the process. The system automatically records all incoming requests, it urges operators to catalogue them, and it automatically processes each case (eg. sends out the case to relevant CSO-s). Importantly, the system has a self-help feature as well, for it allows victims to get in touch with nearby friends and relatives in the case of an instant threat.
In this recently installed system, 56 incidents have been reported since 2014. On the whole, the developers of the system cannot claim to have created something radically new, instead, the truly innovative point was to identify all potential inefficiencies and bottlenecks in an existing system and offering a systematic solution with partly automated ICT technology.

Features

Among the most interesting features of the system, we find the followings:
- A 24-hour helpline that works via four different communication channels (voice, SMS, web interface, mobile app) and automatically records all incoming information on incidents
- A customised Case Management System which assigns incidents to CSO and government networks. The CMS is flexible, allows quick intervention and supports the cooperation of various civil organization representatives.
- A self help mobile app, which allows victims to communicate with their nearby relatives or friends directly in the moments of immediate threat. Once the app is installed on a mobile device, it provides the user with a quick and hardly noticeable method to SMS a preset help message to 5 connections. Alert messages are automatically sent out if the user presses the power button three times.
- A media monitoring tool that collects the coverage of GBV related issues in mainstream media.
- FVAW offers support for organizations of a similar profile in implementing the above system – which offers impressive tools, indeed, for the fight against gender based violence.

The Digital Matatus Project

Title: The Digital Matatus Project
Source: digitalmatatus.com
Date (accessed): 06/11/2015
Type of information: best practice
Language: English
On-line access: yes
Abstract: Digital Matatus shows how to leverage the ubiquitous nature of cellphone technology in developing countries to collect data for essential infrastructure, give it out freely and in the process spur innovation and improved services for citizens. Conceived out of collaboration between Kenyan and American universities and the technology sector in Nairobi, this project captured transit data for Nairobi, developed mobile routing applications and designed a new transit map for the city. The data, maps and apps are free and available to the public, transforming the way people navigate and think about their transportation system.

Rise of the smart farm: get ready for satellite-controlled cows

Title: Rise of the smart farm: get ready for satellite-controlled cows
Author: Andy Powell
Source: The Guardian
Date (published): 30/10/2015
Date (accessed): 06/11/2015
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes
Abstract: From tracking cows and Peruvian asparagus to monitoring harmful algae blooms, satellites offer the food industry valuable information.

Social media dominates women’s use of the web

Title: Social media dominates women’s use of the web
Author: Sumita Thapar
Source: SciDev.Net
Date (published): 21/10/2015
Date (accessed): 25/10/2015
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes
Abstract: Poor women in cities are using the internet just as much as more affluent women and men, but are less likely to use it to increase their income or engage with politics online, a study has found. The report launched says that poor urban women are held back by a lack of education and language skills when they use the web. The study found that 97 per cent of women who use the internet do so through social media, especially Facebook. But, for example, just 20 per cent said they had used the internet to access information on sexual health and contraception.

Will Outernet Bring Connectivity to the Unconnected Parts of the World?

Title: Will Outernet Bring Connectivity to the Unconnected Parts of the World?
Source: ICT Works
Date (published): 21/10/2015
Date (accessed): 25/10/2015
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes
Abstract: One new start-up company, Outernet, is taking a longer-term approach. Outernet is working to find innovative, long term and multi-sectorial solutions to connect the poorest parts of the world to the Internet. According to the founder and CEO, Syed Karim, Outernet is a “universal information system available to all of humanity.”

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