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Article in ICT Update

Article in ICT Update

Thanks to Jim Dempsey and his group at ICT Update for this great feature article in the December 2010 e-issue. (et en français, aussi!)

A team of developers has created a single system, called Masawa, to encourage development and delivery of information services to low-cost cell phones via mobile apps. Working with NGOs and local developers, the team will test the system in Kenya in 2011.

For millions of the world’s poor, cell phones are a primary source of information and an important means of communication. But cell phones still do not serve low-income users as well as they could. The cell phone market in many ACP countries is often divided between several network providers, and it is fragmented, with different users having different needs. Producers of cell phones and services rarely meet those needs adequately, as they tend to supply only what is already available, rather than tailoring their products to fit the customers’ requirements. The services that are available tend to be text-based applications that are of little use to people with low literacy skills.

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Announcing the Masawa Prototype
We’ve been quiet for the past couple of months; have we fallen off the face of the earth? Nopers! We spent much of the Summer and early Fall 2010 consulting various individuals and organization ranging from small start-up NGOs to large VCs and Foundations. We listened to their feedback on the Masawa concept and then [...] Read more – ‘Announcing the Masawa Prototype’.
Masawa is an EchoingGreen Semifinalist!
Just found out that Masawa made it to the next round of the EchoingGreen fellowship competition!  Woot Woot. Happy to see that our friends One Earth Designs and the Afghan Scholars Initiative made it, too! Read more – ‘Masawa is an EchoingGreen Semifinalist!’.
Identity and Effective Development
In a recent blog post, Bill Easterly bemoans the tendency of the aid industry and media to paint the poor with a single brush, to define them by the resources and opportunities they lack.  He recounts a recent visit to an Anglican Church service in Northern Ghana as an example of how many Ghanaians see [...] Read more – ‘Identity and Effective Development’.

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