A moment of discovery and awe

Title: A moment of discovery and awe
Authors: Juliana
Source: Ushahidi
Publisher: Ushahidi, Inc
Date (published): 14/12/2011
Date (accessed): 14/08/2012
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes
Abstract: Subjective report about the Eye on Earth Summit conference, and the meeting of social data and geolocation.

An E-Reader Revolution for Africa?

Title: An E-Reader Revolution for Africa?
Authors: Geoffrey A. Fowler, Nichoas Bariyo
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Publisher: Dow Jones & Company
Date (published): 15/06/2012
Date (accessed): 14/08/2012
Type of information: blog post
Language:
English
On-line access: yes
Abstract: Schools in developing countries are experimenting with digital books; endless titles, spotty electricity

The eLearning Africa 2012 Report

Title: The eLearning Africa 2012 Report
Editors: Isaacs, S. and Hollow, D.
Pages: 56 pp.
ISBN: 978-3-941055-15-5
Publisher: ICWE, Germany
Date (published): 25/05/2012
Date (accessed): 13/08/2012
Type of information: book
Language:
English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
This book is a collective e-Learning experience of 41 African countries. There are 15 "opinion pieces", for example: Critical content and communication capabilities: foundational for African education in a digitally-mediated age; African youth, identity formation and social media; Why radio still matters; How African entrepreneurs are training for new opportunities etc.

Digital and Other Poverties: Exploring the Connection in Four East African Countries

Title: Digital and Other Poverties: Exploring the Connection in Four East African Countries
Author: Julian Douglas May
Pages: 17 pp.
ISSN: 1544-7529
Publisher: USC Annenberg
Date (published): 30/03/2012
Date (accessed): 13/08/2012
Type of information: referred article
Language:
English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:„Although improved access to ICT has been put forward as a possible pathway from poverty, the mechanisms by which this takes place remain unclear. This is due, in part the need to further develop the conceptual and methodological tools necessary for such analysis. This article suggests a way in which indicators of multidimensional poverty can be incorporated into the analysis of access to ICT. Using data from a four countries in East Africa, households without ICT are found to be poorer in all dimensions than those with ICT. A multivariate analysis shows the associations between these dimensions of poverty and ICT access, revealing the importance of human and financial capitals. The use of digital poverty and the inclusion of multidimensional measures of poverty improve the estimation of the predictors of ICT access, and conversely, are likely to be important for future attempts to measure the impact of ICT on poverty reduction."

Divided We Call: Disparities in Access and Use of Mobile Phones in Rwanda

Title: Divided We Call: Disparities in Access and Use of Mobile Phones in Rwanda
Authors: Joshua Evan Blumenstock, Nathan Eagle
Pages: 16 pp.
ISSN: 1544-7529
Publisher: USC Annenberg
Date (published): 30/03/2012
Date (accessed): 12/08/2012
Type of information: referred article
Language:
English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:„This article provides quantitative evidence of disparities in mobile phone access and use in Rwanda. Our analysis leverages data collected in 901 field interviews, which were merged with detailed, transaction-level call histories obtained from the mobile telecommunications operator. We present three related results. First, comparing the population of mobile phone owners to the general Rwandan population, we find that phone owners are considerably wealthier, better educated, and predominantly male. Second, based on self-reported data, we observe statistically significant differences between genders in phone access and use; for instance, women are more likely to use shared phones than men. Finally, analyzing the complete call records of each subscriber, we note large disparities in patterns of phone use and in the structure of social networks by socioeconomic status. Taken together, the evidence in this article suggests that phones are disproportionately owned and used by the privileged strata of Rwandan society."

Towards priority actions for market development for African farmers

Title: Towards priority actions for market development for African farmers
Pages: 402 pp.
ISBN: 92-9146-260-8
Publisher: Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa and International Livestock Research Institute
Date (published): 30/01/2012
Date (accessed): 05/03/2012
Type of information: conference proceedings
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
„From dairy cooperatives, text messaging and grain storage to improved credit, transport and trade initiatives, new book presents “high-payoff, low-cost” solutions to Africa’s underdeveloped agricultural markets and chronic food insecurity…As a food crisis unfolds in West Africa’s Sahel region, some of the world’s leading experts in agriculture markets say the time is ripe to confront the “substantial inefficiencies” in trade policy, transportation, information services, credit, crop storage and other market challenges that leave Africans particularly vulnerable to food-related problems.”
See also:
Linking farmers to markets critical to rural development and efforts to combat Africa’s food woes

Mobile learning in developing countries in 2012: What's Happening?

Title: Mobile learning in developing countries in 2012: What's Happening?
Author: Michael Trucano
Source: EduTech
Publisher: The World Bank Group
Date (published): 31/01/2012
Date (accessed): 15/02/2012
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"In recent chats with officials from [an un-named country], I learned of the desire of educational policymakers there to leap frog e-learning through m-learning. This made an impression on me -- and not only because it succinctly was able to encapsulate four educational technology buzzwords within a five-word "vision statement". In many ways, this encounter helped confirm my belief that a long-anticipated new era of hype is now upon us, taking firm root in the place where the educational technology and international donor communities meet, with "m-" replacing "e-" at the start of discussions of the use of educational technologies."

Initial findings from GSMA mWomen Research

Title: Initial findings from GSMA mWomen Research
Author: Ranjula Senaratna Perera
Source: LIRNEasia
Date (published): 08/02/2012
Date (accessed): 15/02/2012
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"The topline findings from the initial stage of the GSMA mWomen Research in India, Egypt, Papua New Guinea and Uganda were presented recently. It explored the Wants and Needs of BOP Women through a qualitative study.

Some of the insights of ‘mobile as a tool’ are below.

Mobile use by BOP women seem to be driven by practical, utility-oriented needs such as family coordination and emergencies rather than the desire to socialize and ‘chat’.

Radio proved to be important as a kill-time feature of the mobile handset, an indication that greater emphasis should be placed on entertainment and infotainment services for women in addition to important life-enhancing services such as mHealth, mAgri, mobile money, etc.

BOP women had limited knowledge of VAS, including limited use of SMS…"
(Mobile value-added services (VAS) are those services that offer differentiation and the ability for mobile operators to charge a premium price.)

African farmers tap in to smartphones

Title: African farmers tap in to smartphones
Author: Killian Fox
Source: The Irish Times
Date (published): 10/02/2012
Date (accessed): 14/02/2012
Type of information: article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"In the tiny village of Lagude on the wide open plains of northern Uganda, farmers live in constant fear of crop failure. It’s a very real fear: since last summer, the food crisis in east Africa, caused by the worst drought in 60 years, has left 50,000-100,000 people dead, according to recent estimates, and has affected up to 10 million people.

Farming in this part of Africa is a fragile endeavour, but in Uganda a promising new initiative is helping farmers in remote areas such as Lagude safeguard their livelihoods against crop disease and drought.

The microfinance organisation Grameen Foundation has been leasing smartphones to so-called “community knowledge workers” (CKWs) in 10 districts around Uganda so that they can receive vital information – weather reports, disease diagnostics, market prices – from a central database in Kampala and pass it on to their neighbours.

They also gather information that Grameen then relays to major agricultural organisations and food programmes.
… in a country in which a third of the adult population cannot read or write, a digital divide persists. The CKW scheme is addressing this problem by training operatives such as Mr Obwoya to use phones for entrepreneurial as well as social purposes..."

Community media: a good practice handbook

Title: Community media: a good practice handbook
Editor: Buckley, Steve
Pages: 80 pp.
ISBN: 978-92-3-104210-2
Publisher: UNESCO
Date (published): 10/02/2012
Date (accessed): 14/02/2012
Type of information: handbook
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf - 7,5 MB!)
Abstract:
"This is a collection of case studies of good practice in community media. Its intention is to provide inspiration and support for those engaged in community media advocacy and to raise awareness and understanding of community media among policy makers and other stakeholders. The collection is focused on electronic media including radio, television, Internet and mobile. It is global in spread, with examples from 30 countries, but primarily drawn from developing countries. This has the additional consequence that radio is predominant in view of its extensive presence today in developing country media environments and its reach into rural as well as urban communities.

Community media are understood in this collection as independent, civil society based media that operate for social benefit and not for profit. They are present in all regions of the world as social movements and community-based organizations have sought a means to express their issues, concerns, cultures and languages. Community media set out to create an alternative both to national public broadcasters, which are often under government control, and to private commercial media. They provide communities with access to information and voice, facilitating community-level debate, information and knowledge sharing and input into public decision-making.

This collection endeavours to draw from a broad range of geopolitical contexts – different regions, cultures, languages and political systems – including urban and rural examples, small and large countries. The criteria of good practice include the adaptability, relevance and sustainability of the case example; whether it is community-owned and participatory; its uniqueness or innovative nature; as well as the evidential base and credibility of the source material.

The collection is organized in three sections. The first section addresses the enabling environment for community media, the second one looks at sustainability and the third one is concerned with social impact. Each case study has a summary of the good practice, a short description that provides further context, plus highlights of some of the key characteristics. References and links are provided for those who seek further information."

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