Have Your Say with CGNet Swara - Tribal Citizen Media in India. A New Case Study

Title: Have Your Say with CGNet Swara - Tribal Citizen Media in India. A New Case Study
Author: PrabhasPokharel
Source: MobileActive.org
Date (published): 08/07/2010
Date (accessed): 04/08/2010
Type of information: case study
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"We have another new case study up where we report on an innovative audio-based citizen journalism project in Chhattisgarh, India. Tribal citizen journalists have been reporting news in their own languages through a new service called CGNet Swara. CGNet stands for Chhattisgarh Net. The service allows citizen journalists to call in and record news in one of four local languages. The news that has been produced has been picked up in India's mainstream media, and some reports have led to concrete action: in one case, teachers whose salaries hadn't been paid for months were paid after a news report elicited a calling campaign from listeners."

“information needs to be democratised”

Title: “information needs to be democratised”
Source: eGov
Date (published): 01/07/2010
Date (accessed): 04/08/2010
Type of information: interview
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
A key architect of India’s well-lauded telecommunication revolution, Sam Pitroda is currently entrusted with the role of Advisor to the Prime Minister on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations. In this role, he will be driving creation of an information infrastructure for delivery of services to citizens and will also be charting a roadmap for a “Decade of Innovation” to drive benefits of technology at the grassroot level. In his usual candid and transparent manner, Pitroda spoke to Ravi Gupta and Pravin Prashant at length on how an all-inclusive development is at the core of the innovation objectives and on the progresses that have been made thus far.

A Mobile Payment Trifecta in Kenya

Title: A Mobile Payment Trifecta in Kenya
Author: Erik Hersman
Source: WhiteAfrican (blog)
Date (published): 28/07/2010
Date (accessed): 03/08/2010
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
Kenya is quickly gaining a competitive advantage in the mobile payments space. Led by mobile operator giant Safaricom with their Mpesa product, the market locally sees huge value in mobile money transactions. Add to that a regulatory system that is relaxed enough for innovation to be encouraged, and you have a great space for interesting things to happen.

New model to get broadband to under-served communities in South Africa

Title: New model to get broadband to under-served communities in South Africa
Author: Ungana-Afrika
Source: Association for Progressive Communications (APC)
Date (published): 26/07/2010
Date (accessed): 03/08/2010
Type of information: press release
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"Pretoria-based APC member Ungana-Afrika building an alternative “ecosystem” which emphasises local value and keeping revenues in the community where possible.

The model leverages internally developed wireless-mesh technologies to link priority government sites and high bandwidth users such as schools, municipalities and government offices, who in turn provide a link to smaller customers such as businesses, NGOs and individuals. The model relies on local entrepreneurs to operate, maintain and expand the network, tailoring their services to meet local needs. By aggregating the latent demand for internet in under-served areas and using low-cost technologies, Ungana-Afrika expects the model to provide affordable internet connectivity in areas that larger service providers do not see as economically viable.

To benefit from economies of scale, numerous implementation sites are needed, which must be evaluated efficiently to test their viability and Ungana-Afrika has developed a site feasibility assessment methodology for the project."

Philippine precision farming gets a mobile upgrade

Title: Philippine precision farming gets a mobile upgrade
Author: Joel D. Adriano
Source: SciDev.Net
Date (published): 21/07/2010
Date (accessed): 03/08/2010
Type of information: article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
Rice farmers in the Philippines will be able to dial a specialised service on their mobile phones to obtain tailored advice on fertiliser use when they plant their crops in September.

Scientists at the Philippine-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), officials of the Philippine Department of Agriculture, and local private telecommunications firm Globe, have joined together to create the service that will enable poor farmers to tap into sophisticated 'precision agriculture' techniques commonly used in developed countries. These include technologies such as remote sensing, not often available to Asian farmers

Tweaking technology for the bottom four billion

Title: Tweaking technology for the bottom four billion
Author: Kafil Yamin
Source: SciDev.Net
Date (published): 30/07/2010
Date (accessed): 03/08/2010
Type of information: article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
Texting is great if you are literate. But for those who cannot read and write it is a useless feature of a piece of technology — the mobile phone — that is otherwise beautifully pro-poor.

Romdoul Kim, who works for the nongovernmental organisation Innovative Support To Emergencies, Diseases and Disasters [InSTEDD] in Cambodia, would muse on this problem as she witnessed its consequences: the poor could not benefit from the flow of information that could otherwise have been passing between health workers and patients in her area.

The solution, Romdoul told a conference earlier this year in Jakarta, Indonesia, was GeoChat, a facility that turns the spoken word into the written word and allows information to be gathered on subjects ranging from disease outbreaks to rural businesses.

GeoChat is an example of a technology that has been tweaked and adapted so it can reach the poorest people — those who inhabit the "base of the pyramid", or BoP.

Email with a Pen, Paper and a Mobile Phone?

Title: Email with a Pen, Paper and a Mobile Phone?
Author: Serene Leow
Source: FutureGov
Date (published): 03/08/2010
Date (accessed): 03/08/2010
Type of information: article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
Citizens in India will soon be able to send emails using a pen, paper and mobile phone camera. HP Labs based in Bangalore are in the final stages of developing new technology that would enable any mobile phone with a camera to become an emailing device.
Simply write out the email text on a piece of paper and include the email address of the recipient, photograph the text using the mobile phone camera and the HP application software will send the message to the addressee as an email.

From Silicon Valleys to Community Informatics Neighbourhoods—Digital Development Strategies as Though Local Economies Mattered

Title: From Silicon Valleys to Community Informatics Neighbourhoods—Digital Development Strategies as Though Local Economies Mattered
Author: Michael Gurstein
Source: Gurstein's Community Informatics
Date (published): 02/08/2010
Date (accessed): 03/08/2010
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"Many (most) countries in the world have in the decade just passed, developed and at least partially implemented what may be called a “digital development strategy”. These strategies are based on a perception that the kind of economic activity that has resulted from the technical/digital development taking place in Silicon Valley and similar such locales particularly in the US is a necessary element of the economic development strategy for any/every country that wants to be competitive and thus prosperous at this time in economic history.

The perception is that the well funded science and technology programs at the leading universities in the San Francisco and California region—Stanford, CalTech, UC Berkeley and so on attracted faculty and produced students whose leading edge work contributed more or less immediately and directly to the generation of technology innovations which in turn led directly to the creation of start-up technology enterprises. These mixed with fairly ready availability of investment capital, in turn sparked the technology (and commercial) digital revolutions of the Internet and other digital enterprises. In turn these enterprises provided the basis for economic advance and importantly (from a government’s perspective) job creation and enhancements to the national revenue stream through taxes and so on.

This logic is probably correct at least in outline (but would be worth examining in some close detail) however, what is rather less obvious is that this model can (or should) be reproduced not just once or twice but repeatedly in tens and hundreds of locations around the world..."

"Either you make films or make excuses” – ICT and the Nigerian film industry

Title: “Either you make films or make excuses” – ICT and the Nigerian film industry
Author: Ethan Zuckerman
Source: My Heart's In Accra (blog)
Date (published): 27/07/2010
Date (accessed): 03/08/2010
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
In discussing this workshop with our Nigerian partner, we’d proposed a round-table conversation between three ICT and development scholars and a dozen participants from the Nigerian film industry. Our goal was to learn more about how Nollywood (and Kanowood – turns out that “Nollywood” has become a political term in Nigeria, more associated with the South than the North) works, what the challenges the industry faces are and think about how we as academic researchers could take on questions that might help the sector move forwards. Basically, it was intended to be the first step in a process that might later lead to giving some presentations about what we’d learned.

Salim’s ICT4D advice part 1: consider both process and passion

Title: Salim’s ICT4D advice part 1: consider both process and passion
Author: Linda Raftree
Source: Wait… What? (blog)
Date (published): 01/08/2010
Date (accessed): 03/08/2010
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
Plan’s Kwale District office in Kenya has been very successful in building innovative community-led programming that incorporates new ICTs. I had the opportunity to interview Salim Mvurya, the Area Manager, last week, and was really struck by his insights on how to effectively incorporate ICTs into community-led processes to reach development goals and improve on child rights, child protection and governance.

See also: Salim’s ICT4D advice part 2: innovate, but keep it real

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