Using SMS for Stories from Somalia: New on the Mobile Media Toolkit!


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In the Horn of Africa, Somalia makes headlines but often only because of drought, famine, crisis, and insecurity. Al Jazeera recently launched Somalia Speaks to help amplify stories from people and their everyday lives in the region – all via SMS. 

Somalia Speaks is a collaboration between Souktel, a Palestinian-based organization providing SMS messaging services, Ushahidi, Al Jazeera, Crowdflower, and the African Diaspora Institute. Al Jazeera’s Soud Hyder said in an interview with us, “We wanted to find out the perspective of normal Somali citizens to tell us how the crisis has affected them and the Somali diaspora.”

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January 3, 2012

Global Mapping of Technology for Transparency and Accountability

Author: 
Avila, Renata, Hazel Feigenblatt, Rebekah Heacock, and Nathaniel Heller

Publication Date: 
Jan 2010

Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

Publisher/Journal: 
Open Society Foundation

Publication language: 
English

Abstract: 

As internet and mobile phone use increases, technology is transforming the field of transparency and accountability making it an increasingly dynamic space across the globe. Technology is helping to improve citizen participation in decision-making and producing new ways of identifying public service challenges through processes such as ‘data mashing’.

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October 22, 2011

Sowing Seeds with SMS: Assessing Mobile Phones’ Role in Agricultural Extension


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Mobile phones may be one mechanism to increase effectiveness and efficiency for agricultural extension in low-income countries. Agricultural extension, broadly defined as the delivery of information to small-scale farmers, was developed to counteract information asymmetries suffered by farmers with limited access to information sources like landline phones, newspapers, radios and TV programming.  This has meant that farmers have not been able to take advantage of innovations in agricultural production (from seed types to information about pest control or crop rotations) and have been largely unable to increase their yields and hence incomes. 

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October 8, 2011

Grassroots Support Organizations and Capacity-Building in M4D: A Case Study of the Jokko Initiative in Senegal

Author: 
Lindsay E. Powell

Publication Date: 
May 2011

Publication Type: 
Other

Publication language: 
English

Abstract: 

Fueled by renewed enthusiasm about the potential of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) for development, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are implementing ambitious projects with mobile technology components in the developing world in a phenomenon commonly referred to as “Mobiles-for-development” or “M4D.”

 

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October 1, 2011

Texting, Tweeting, Mobile Internet: New Platforms for Democratic Debate in Africa


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Author: 
Tom Sarrazin

Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

Publisher/Journal: 
fesmedia Africa

Publication language: 
English

Abstract: 

New media platforms are changing how people communicate with each  other around the world. However, there is great variation in both the kind of 

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September 26, 2011

FoneAstra: Enabling Remote Monitoring of Vaccine Cold-Chains Using Commodity Mobile Phones

Author: 
Chaudhri, Rohit,Eleanor O'Rourke, Shawn McGuire, Gaetano Borriello, Richard Anderson.

Publication Date: 
Dec 2010

Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

Publication language: 
English

Abstract: 

 We present a low-cost, energy-efficient system to remotely monitor the temperature and location of vaccines in a countrywide “cold-chain”. Our system is based on FoneAstra [11] – a low-cost, microcontroller-based, programmable device that extends capabilities of low-tier mobile phones that are commonly used in developing countries.

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September 24, 2011

Mobile Stats for Africa: Video Report on the Growth of Mobiles


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The Praekelt Foundation, a South African organization that runs several mobile-based programs in South Africa, recently produced a catchy video infographic of mobile statistics for Africa. Looking at accessibility, growth, and usage, the video gives a good look at how mobiles have taken off in in the continent of Africa.

The video covers a lot of facts about mobiles, from a breakdown of the rapid growth of mobile phones compared to other forms of media (like radio and television) to the huge drop in price points (the first mobile phone cost US $3995 in 1973 compared to roughly US $15 for certain models today). Some facts from the video:

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September 17, 2011

Mobile Media Services at Sub-Saharan African Newspapers

Author: 
Kristina Bürén

Publication Date: 
Aug 2011

Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

Publisher/Journal: 
World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the African Media Initiative (AMI)

Publication language: 
English

Abstract: 

Published by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the African Media Initiative (AMI), this guidebook aims to help African newspapers implement mobile platforms.

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September 15, 2011

‘We Use It Different, Different’: Making Sense of Trends in Mobile Phone Use in Ghana

Author: 
Araba Sey

Publication Date: 
Mar 2011

Publication Type: 
Journal article

Publisher/Journal: 
New Media & Society

Publication language: 
English

Abstract: 

Drawing on ideas from the sustainable livelihoods approach to poverty reduction and the concept of technology appropriation, this article discusses findings from a mixed methods study exploring mobile phone use in Ghana. The results suggest that most respondents value their phone for the connectivity it affords with a variety of personal and professional contacts. In this sense, the mobile phone is not an overt means of poverty reduction for respondents but an integral part of their lives, in which it serves multiple functions. The study contributes empirical data to the emerging body of research on mobile phone communication in African countries

Location
Countries: 
Global Regions: 
Sub-Saharan Africa

Research Paper – Link to or Upload
Citation: 
Sey, Araba. "‘We use it different, different’: Making sense of trends in mobile phone use in Ghana." New Media & Society. (2011)

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September 15, 2011

Mobile Learning Toolkit

Author: 
Parker, Jenni

Publication Date: 
Jul 2011

Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

Abstract: 

The mobile learning toolkit is the result of research into mobile phone use and user needs within the African context, however it has been developed for use in all developing contexts. It is intended as a “trainer’s toolkit” that can help deliver a wide range of training activities both inside and outside of the classroom.

 

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August 31, 2011