eMOCHA: Android Data Collection for mHealth

Title: eMOCHA: Android Data Collection for mHealth
Author: Anne-Ryan Heatwole
Source: MobileActive.org
Date (published): 21/03/2011
Date (accessed): 22/03/2011
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"Using mobiles for data collection is increasingly common, particularly in the area of mobile health and with a focus on community health workers. eMOCHA is a program using a smartphone Android application for storing and transmitting data easily.

Developed by the Johns Hopkins Center for Clinical Global Health Education, eMOCHA (which stands for “Electronic Mobile Open-source Comprehensive Health Application”) uses video, audio, touchscreen quizzes, GPS and SMS to collect and analyze large amounts of data. Larry William Chang, director of field evaluations for eMOCHA, explains in an interview with MobileActive.org that the inspiration for developing the tool came out of researchers’ experiences in the field and their desire to build solutions to gaps in health care data collection systems.
...
eMOCHA is an open-source Android application, and runs on all current versions of Android phones...One of the most important features that eMOCHA offers is increased security – the servers and data sent from the phones are encrypted, and data stored on the phones is password protected and stored in the phones’ internal databases. The interactive nature of eMOCHA means that community health workers and researchers can use it not only as a means of data collection, but also for educational purposes.

Another key feature of eMOCHA is its integration with SMS. Chang explains that although the usual method of using eMOCHA in the field is for a community health worker to use the provided smartphone as a demonstration tool, the team realized they also needed to be able to communicate with larger, non-smartphone owning populations. The eMOCHA team added the ability for the application to receive SMSs from patients and to send out SMSs in order to directly target large numbers of users. "

Using Mobile Money, Mobile Banking to Enhance Agriculture in Africa

Title: Using Mobile Money, Mobile Banking to Enhance Agriculture in Africa
Author: Judy Payne, Krish Kumar
Pages: 4 pp.
Publisher: USAID
Date (published): 20/12/2010
Date (accessed): 18/03/2011
Type of information: briefing paper
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
"This is one of a series of briefing papers to help USAID missions and their implementing partners in sub-Saharan Africa use information and communications technology (ICT) more successfully — via sustainable and scalable approaches—to improve the impact of their agriculture related development projects including Feed the Future projects.1
In this context, this paper provides a brief overview of mobile money and mobile banking services. As the resource list at the end of this paper illustrates, there are many other sources of information available to inform the reader regarding the many aspects of m-money and m-banking related to security, risks, legal and regulatory issues, and key challenges for implementers. In contrast, the paper explains the basics of such services; their current and potential use for agriculture related projects; a few lessons learned to date related to such usage; and a few issues to consider when looking ahead."
via http://www.ictworks.org/

The International Digital Divide

Title: The International Digital Divide
Source: ScienceDaily
Date (published): 08/02/2011
Date (accessed): 11/02/2011
Type of information: article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"The developed nations must invest in information and communications technologies (ICT) in the developing world not only the close the so-called digital divide but to encourage sustainable economic development and to create new markets for international commerce.
...
Many observers have suggested that the gap between those with access to ICT and those without it is growing.
...
While the concept of a global digital divide is intuitively understood by academics, politicians and public policymakers, there is little empirical data that considers the gap between the "haves" and the "have nots" at a level beyond measures of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita and its effect on the spread of ICT across a nation.

D. Steven White and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth have now developed a contemporary map of the global digital divide, which they say provides a baseline measure of the investment in ICTs needed on a per country basis in order to close the gap as it currently exists. However, they point out that because ICT is constantly changing and developing, each new technology can widen the global digital divide so it is important that any investment takes into account the diffusion of new ICT technologies.

The researchers used a model-based cluster analysis to determine cohorts of countries based on three variables: personal computers per 100 population, internet users per 100 population and internet bandwidth per person. The results indicate that the global digital divide consists of four tiers rather than the simplistic two of the rich-poor, have-have nots."

“Simple but not easy” – Why strategic integration of ICTs into development programmes is simply not easy

Title: “Simple but not easy” – Why strategic integration of ICTs into development programmes is simply not easy
Author: Patrick Kalas
Source: SDC Learning and Networking Blog
Publisher: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation - SDC
Date (published): 08/12/2010
Date (accessed): 11/02/2011
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"This personal learning reflection and contribution is based on 7 years of engagement within the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for Development sphere, including with non-governmental organizations, multilateral and bilateral donor organizations. It aims to spark a critical reflection on initial lessons to be learned exploring (a) why the strategic integration of ICTs is simply not easy while (b) formulating 3 critical lessons learned."

Product Innovation Knowledge for Developing Economies, Towards a Systematic Transfer Approach

Title: Product Innovation Knowledge for Developing Economies, Towards a Systematic Transfer Approach
Author: Johan Carel Diehl
Pages: 303 pp.
ISBN: 978-90-5155-068-9
Source: Design for Sustainability program publication nr. 22
Publisher: University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands
Date (published): 26/11/2010
Date (accessed): 10/02/2011
Type of information: PhD Thesis
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
"There are different strategies towards economical development for developing countries. One of them is to increase the local capacity and implementation of product innovation. According to the World Bank, OECD, and other financial and research institutions, the transfer of product innovation knowledge to developing countries is expected to be one of the key drivers for competitiveness and economical growth, and part of the solution to environmental and social challenges. However, at the moment, the majority of this knowledge is generated in developed countries. Because of the local deficiency in the coming decade in regional knowledge on product innovation, companies and universities in these countries have to (partly) rely on the acquisition of knowledge from outside sources until sufficient local capacity has been built up. The current transfer of product innovation knowledge is considerably finance and staff intensive and its content and transfer mechanisms do not always fit the needs and characteristics of the knowledge recipients in developing countries. Subsequently, in order to answer this increased need for knowledge on product innovation in developing countries, more efficient and appropriate knowledge transfer methods will be needed. Although interest in the transfer of product innovation knowledge to firms and universities in developing countries is increasing significantly, there is a general lack of systematic interest of knowledge institutions and international organisations in how the current transfer takes place and how it can be improved. The present study focuses on this underexplored research area."
via https://twitter.com/#!/jnndbr

Global Village Construction Set

Title: Global Village Construction Set
Source: Open Source Ecology
Date (accessed): 08/02/2011
Type of information:
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"he GVCS is a set of 50 tools / technologies for building post-scarcity, resilient communities.
...
This page is about the Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) and the plan for how it will be built by Open Source Ecology.
...
The Global Village Construction Set - Products and services for a self-sufficient economy
HABITAT: CEB Press - Sawmill - Living Machines - Modular Housing Units
AGROECOLOGY: LifeTrac Multi Purpose Tractor - MicroTrac - Power Cube - Agricultural Spader - Agricultural Microcombine - Hammer Mill - Well Drilling Rig - Organoponic Raised Bed Gardening - Orchard and Nursery - Modular Greenhouse Units - Bakery - Dairy - Energy Food Bars - Freeze Dried Fruit Powders
ENERGY: Pyrolysis Oil - Babington Burner - Solar Combined Heat Power System - Steam Engine Construction Set - Solar Turbine - Electric Motors/Generators - Inverters & Grid Intertie - Batteries
FLEXIBLE INDUSTRY: Lathe - Torch Table - Multimachine & Flex Fab - Plastic Extrusion & Molding - Metal Casting and Extrusion
TRANSPORTATION: Open Source Car
MATERIALS: Bioplastics
In effect, the products serve as a sufficient, but incomplete, basis for a Global Village Construction Set (GVCS). We are talking about resettling land to become its stewards - whether in locations already settled or on frontiers.
Economy creates culture and culture creates politics. Politics sought are ones of freedom, voluntary contract, and human evolution in harmony with life support systems. Note that resource conflicts and overpopulation are eliminated by design. We are after the creation of new society, one which has learned from the past and moves forward with ancient wisdom and modern technology.
Furthermore, it should be noted that this is a real experiment, and product selection is based on us living with the given technologies. First, it is the development of real, economically significant hardware, product, and engineering. Second, this entire set is being compiled into one setting, and land is being populated with the respective productive agents. The aim is to define a new form of social organization where it is possible to create advanced culture, thriving in abundance and largely autonomous, on the scale of a village, not nation or state."

Open data: Empowering the empowered or effective data use for everyone?

Title: Open data: Empowering the empowered or effective data use for everyone?
Author: Michael B. Gurstein
ISSN: 1396-0466
Source: First Monday; Volume 16, Number 2 - 7 February 2011
Publisher: University of Illinois at Chicago University Library
Date (published): 23/01/2011
Date (accessed): 08/02/2011
Type of information: peer-reviewed article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"This paper takes a supportive but critical look at “open data” from the perspective of its possible impact on the poor and marginalized and concludes that there may be cause for concern in the absence of specific measures being taken to ensure that there are supports for ensuring a wide basis of opportunity for “effective data use”. The paper concludes by providing a seven element model for how effective data use can be achieved.

Contents
The open data movement
Open data access vs. open data (effective) use
Raising critical issues concerning open data
An effective use approach to open data
Open data supply side and demand side
A model for effective data use
Applying the effective data use model
Conclusion"
via https://twitter.com/#!/mariaigarrido

Mobile Phone Use in West Africa: Gambian Statistics

Title: Mobile Phone Use in West Africa: Gambian Statistics
Author: Richard Heeks
Source: ICTs for Development blog
Date (published): 30/01/2011
Date (accessed): 31/01/2011
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"This entry reports findings from a survey of nearly 400 mobile phone users in The Gambia conducted by Fatim Badjie, who recently participated in Manchester’s MSc in ICTs for Development.

Its findings fall into six main areas:
Ownership and Costs
Mobile Usage
Availability and Issues
Impacts and Benefits
Male-female differences
Locational differences
...
My commentary would be that, overall, this is a reminder of how mature the mobile market is getting in Africa with very high rates of ownership, very high rates of usage, and signs of movement beyond basic calls/SMS: at least 15% going online via their mobiles, at least 13% using video/conference calls. With roughly one-third saying they use mobiles to make or get money, it looks like quite a valuable financial tool: so embedded that nearly fourth-fifths of users couldn’t imagine life without it, including some who see mobiles as a “necessary burden”."

Bursting the 9 Myths of Computing Technology in Education

Title: Bursting the 9 Myths of Computing Technology in Education
Author: Kentaro Toyama
Source: ICTWorks
Date (published): 28/01/2011
Date (accessed): 28/01/2011
Type of information:
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"I am Kentaro Toyama, and in the Educational Technology Debate post, There Are No Technology Shortcuts to Good Education, I’ve argued that technology in education has a poor historical record; that computers in schools typically fail to have positive impact (with the rare exceptions occurring only in the context of competent, well-funded schools); that information technology is almost never worth its opportunity cost; and that quality education doesn’t require information technology.

Though I only presented a smattering of the evidence in the post, the conclusions are clear. Put together, the strong recommendation is that underperforming school systems should keep their focus on improving teaching and administration, and that even good schools may want to consider more cost-effective alternatives to technology when making supplementary educational investments.

Unfortunately, all of this evidence doesn’t provide the gut intuition required to reject seductive rhetoric. So, below is a point-by-point refutation of frequently heard sound bites extolling technology in schools.

The 9 Myths of ICT in Education
Pro-Technology Rhetoric 1: 21st-century skills require 21st-century technologies. The modern world uses e-mail, PowerPoint, and filing systems. Computers teach you those skills.
Pro-Technology Rhetoric 2: Technology X allows interactive, adaptive, constructivist, student-centered, [insert educational flavor of the month (EFotM) here] learning.
Pro-Technology Rhetoric 3: But, wait, it’s still easier for teachers to arouse interest with technology X than with textbooks.
Pro-Technology Rhetoric 4: Teachers are expensive. It’s exactly because teachers are absent or poorly trained that low-cost technology is a good alternative.
Pro-Technology Rhetoric 5: Textbooks are expensive. For the price of a couple of textbooks, you might as well get a low-cost PC.
Pro-Technology Rhetoric 6: We have been trying to improve education for many years without results. Thus, it’s time for something new: Technology X!
Pro-Technology Rhetoric 7: Study Z shows that technology is helpful.
Pro-Technology Rhetoric 8: Computer games, simulations, and other state-of-the-art technologies are really changing things.
Pro-Technology Rhetoric 9: Technology is transformative, revolutionary, and otherwise stupendous! Therefore, it must be good for education."

Rwanda: Third Phase ICT Action Plan Unveiled

Title: Rwanda: Third Phase ICT Action Plan Unveiled
Author: Frank Kanyesigye
Source: allAfrica.com
Date (published): 18/01/2011
Date (accessed): 18/01/2011
Type of information: article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"The implementation of the National ICT Plan (NICI 3), that runs from 2011-2105 is set to focus on service development in the country.

The plan, elaborates how Rwanda is going to move from being an agriculture-based economy to the knowledge based economy.

According to Ignace Gatare, the Minister in the Office of the President in charge of ICT, the plan will focus on the service delivery where all institutions will work together using the already existing infrastructure.

"We have several facilities in place such as the fibre optic cable, ICT buses, Telecentres, wireless broadband services, among others. Now let's make use of them," he challenged.

"We do believe that after enabling environment infrastructure development in our county, now we have to take advantage by focusing on the service sector development which will allow us to shift to the knowledge-based society."

Gatare added that, under NICI 3, the focus will be on service development through diversifying citizen-centric ICT applications and digital content for community development, promoting of an ICT culture and use of data for decision making in Local Government (through adequate training in ICT)."
See also:
The Rwanda ICT Strategy and Plan for 2010-2015 under development

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