Mobile Tech in Community Radio - Still Ad Hoc and One-Off: A State-of-Mobile Report

Title: Mobile Tech in Community Radio - Still Ad Hoc and One-Off: A State-of-Mobile Report
Author: Melissa Ulbricht
Publisher:MobilActive.org
Date (published):07/06/2010
Date (accessed):23/11/2010
Type of information:report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
„In 2008, Bruce Girard concluded in a MobileActive.org guest post that the addition of text messaging technology into the community radio toolkit was still in its infancy. SMS use at radio stations was informal, he wrote, and the few cases of more complex use of SMS messages accompanied political crisis or natural disaster and were largely donor financed.

Two years later, we delve once again into the state of SMS and mobile technology at community radio stations, by way of an informal survey. While advances have been made and creative projects have emerged, integration remains an ad-hoc and individual enterprise.

This report summarizes existing projects and success stories, highlighting the most popular uses of mobile technology. It concludes with a discussion of the challenges that community radio stations face in adopting SMS and mobile technology.”
via http://www.comminit.com/ and https://twitter.com/#!/ictdev

ICT, Development, and Poverty Reduction: Five Emerging Stories

Title: ICT, Development, and Poverty Reduction: Five Emerging Stories
Authors:Randy Spence, Matthew L. Smith
Pages: 7 pp.
Source:Information Technologies & International Development; Vol 6, Special Edition 2010 (Harvard Forum II Essays)
Publisher:USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism
Date (published):18/11/2010
Date (accessed):19/11/2010
Type of information:peer-reviewed article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
„It is worth underlining that this article is mostly about mobile phone access and use, as this is the dominant story of the last decade for people in the bottom or base of the pyramid. This is not to deny the importance of broadband, Internet connection, or computers and devices with computing power much greater than that of mobiles. Initiatives in telecenter development and “one laptop per child,” for example, are important in bringing more complex services to poor people, and have had mixed success and reviews. Unlike mobile phone penetration, these technologies have been driven more by public and nongovernmental organizations than by market supply and demand. What is clear is the importance of increasing mobile phone access and mobile-based services prior to the proliferation of broadband in the BoP, no matter which forms that eventually takes.”

The Mobile and the World

Title: The Mobile and the World
Author: Amartya Sen
Pages: 3 pp.
Source:Information Technologies & International Development; Vol 6, Special Edition 2010 (Harvard Forum II Essays)
Publisher:USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism
Date (published):18/11/2010
Date (accessed):19/11/2010
Type of information:peer-reviewed article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
„The important issue is what we can do with all the technologies that are available. The right way of seeing IT is also not to cast it in terms of what we can do on the basis of our own culture, unaided, because we do not have any unaided culture. IT has become an interactive culture across the world, and the important question is how we can make people more functionally efacient, not just with their own things, but with everything—the global, as well as the local.”

How Mobile Financial Services and Healthcare bolster each other

Title: How Mobile Financial Services and Healthcare bolster each other
Source:GLG News
Publisher:Gerson Lehrman Group
Date (published):16/11/2010
Date (accessed):17/11/2010
Type of information:article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
„mHealth and Mobile Financial Services (MFS) sectors are inextricably linked to one another. Success of one sector will drive success of the other since MFS is vital to healthcare payments and healthcare is a critical use case to spur adoption and usage of new mobile payments systems. In other words, they drive demand for one other. Together, they also have the potential to extract efficiency gains around costs and improved overall service since they rely on common user bases, infrastructure “plumbing,” business operations and financial elements, and policy concerns. Recognizing these synergies and working cross-sector, stakeholders in both industries will be able to achieve greater impact, ultimately providing better access to healthcare and financial services for the unbanked. ”
via https://twitter.com/#!/auerswald

Capacity Building for ICT in Education

Title: Capacity Building for ICT in Education
Source:Digital Opportunity
Date (published):20/10/2010
Date (accessed):16/11/2010
Type of information:article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
„Capacity Building for ICT in Education, an infoDev-commissioned paper by Price Waterhouse Coopers India, says most South Asian nations need to complement their basic ICT4E infrastructure needs, such as computers, connectivity, and physical resources, with investment in mass-based learning networks, content support and development initiatives.
...
The infoDev / PWC India report identifies the main challenges to ICT4E capacity-building in South Asia:
* Increase in the use of ICT in education has not occurred at the same pace as the increase in overall ICT infrastructure, and the overall increase in ICT availability has not yet reached a stage of providing access to most people in South Asia
* Absence of integration and interaction across the South Asian region restricts sharing of information resources and creates duplication of efforts, resulting in ineffective use of ICT
* Absence of trained teachers of high quality and caliber
* Restrictive access to ICT facilities results in a lack of ICT enablement
* Absence of authentic and adequate data on access and use hampers policymakers
* Narrowly focused interventions limit the overall gain from ICT and miss the broader vision and goals of the sector
* Continued need for a minimal level of physical and complementary infrastructure
* Low use of ICTs’ potential”

Universal broadband for all: ANC

Title: Universal broadband for all: ANC
Source:MyBroadband
Date (published):15/11/2010
Date (accessed):16/11/2010
Type of information:article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
„In the ANC’s latest newsletter the ruling party punts the importance of broadband to all South Africans.

The ANC supports, among other things:

* Asymmetric interconnect rates for operations in rural areas;
* Re-farming voice spectrum to be used for broadband provisioning in rural areas;
* Prioritizing high capacity spectrum for wireless communications in rural and urban poor areas will be needed.”

Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on M4D - Mobile Communication Technology for Development

Title: Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on M4D - Mobile Communication Technology for Development
Editors:Jakob Svensson, Gudrun Wicander
Pages: 355 pp.
Publisher:HumanIT (Karlstad University, Sweden)
Date (published):03/11/2010
Date (accessed): 15/11/2010
Type of information:proceedings
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf, 9.1 MB)
Abstract:
„This years conference contributions covers a wide field of mobile technology uses, from mHealth to mAgriculture, from mCommerce and mGovernance to mLearning and Best Practices. The papers encompass aspects from ICT developments in sub-Saharan Africa to mobile telephony in Latin America, from oral telemedicine in Botswana to privacy issues in Bangladesh, from mobile Internet pricing in rural India to mobile money use in Uganda. These few examples from the rich diversity of papers in this volume bear witness to the prominence and importance of mobile technology for development”
via https://twitter.com/#!/mberg

Analysing e-Government Project Failure: Comparing Factoral, Systems and Interpretive Approaches

Title: Analysing e-Government Project Failure: Comparing Factoral, Systems and Interpretive Approaches
Author:Carolyne Stanforth
Pages: 17 pp.
ISBN:978-1-905469-14-7
Source:Manchester Centre for Development Informatics, iGovernment Working Paper
Publisher:Centre for Development Informatics, Institute for Development Policy and Management, SED, University of Manchester
Date (published):05/11/2010
Date (accessed):13/11/2010
Type of information:research report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
„It is a well-known secret in the computer industry that information systems projects are more likely to fail than not. Academic studies by e-government researchers provide the analytical findings that confirm this practitioner insight. Failure and success are subjective assessments that vary over time and with the standpoint of those making the judgement. Evaluation results are often contested, with the dispute based on political, legal or contractual matters – and even differing academic points of view.

This short paper reviews the three main categories of diagnostic approach being used in the study of failed e-government projects – factoral analyses, systems approaches and interpretive studies. It shows that each category derives from a separate academic discipline, is based on differing theoretical constructs and entails a particular epistemological stance and research methodology. The story is told of the author's own experience in deciding on an appropriate research strategy for the study of a failed e-government project in Sri Lanka. Practical conclusions and recommendations are drawn to guide future research.”

Educator's guide to student questions for this paper

Voice Search in Underrepresented Languages

Title: Voice Search in Underrepresented Languages
Authors: Pedro J. Moreno, Johan Schalkwyk
Source:Google Research Blog
Date (published):09/11/2010
Date (accessed):12/11/2010
Type of information:blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
„Today we’re introducing Voice Search support for Zulu and Afrikaans, as well as South African-accented English. The addition of Zulu in particular represents our first effort in building Voice Search for underrepresented languages.

We define underrepresented languages as those which, while spoken by millions, have little presence in electronic and physical media, e.g., webpages, newspapers and magazines. Underrepresented languages have also often received little attention from the speech research community. Their phonetics, grammar, acoustics, etc., haven’t been extensively studied, making the development of ASR (automatic speech recognition) voice search systems challenging.

We believe that the speech research community needs to start working on many of these underrepresented languages to advance progress and build speech recognition, translation and other Natural Language Processing (NLP) technologies. The development of NLP technologies in these languages is critical for enabling information access for everybody. Indeed, these technologies have the potential to break language barriers.”
via https://twitter.com/#!/RitseOnline

Survey reveals bridging digital divide between urban and rural Africa represents major growth opportunity

Title: Survey reveals bridging digital divide between urban and rural Africa represents major growth opportunity
Author:Denise Duffy
Source:ModernGhana.com
Date (published):03/11/2010
Date (accessed):12/11/2010
Type of information:article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"Connecting rural communities has become a major issue for the telecommunications industry in Africa, according to a recent survey conducted by Informa Telecoms & Media. 75% of respondents* surveyed said that the improvement of access to and adoption of telecommunications services in rural areas is “very important” to their business. A further 20% thought it “moderately important”.

Commissioned as a part of Informa Telecoms & Media's Rural Connectivity in Africa research, which is due to be published this month, the findings of the study reveal how the mobile revolution has failed to touch all parts of Africa. That this is the case is holding the continent back from becoming a fully joined-up member of the global knowledge economy.
...
Access to power emerges as a recurrent theme throughout the results of the survey as a barrier to greater rural connectivity. When asked what is the single biggest barrier facing operators in the greater adoption of ICT services in rural areas, over a third of respondents from Africa cited “access to power” as the single biggest obstacle for operators, ahead of cost of ownership and lack of awareness. Very low electrification rates across sub-Saharan Africa and especially in rural communities, where they tend to fall well below 20%, have a huge impact on the availability of ICT services in remote areas."

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