Posts Tagged ‘connectivity’
I am Anna Shaw and I recently attended a Tech Salon that really got me thinking. We spent a morning discussing, What Are the Technology Challenges in Congo Brazzaville? The conversation started out with a relatively typical examination of the challenges the ICT4D community knows all too well. The cost of mobile phones is too…
I am Amos Cruz and below are my thoughts around a recent Technology Salon on “How Can We Make ‘Cloud’ Solutions Relevant in the Offline World” with a cohort of though leaders and decision makers in information technology and international development.
If we are serious about ICT as an accelerant for social and economic development, and we know that a) women are the key to investments in family health and education, and b) broadband connectivity is a major ICT catalyst for both, then we should be working towards a world where every African woman can have…
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We at SSG Advisors are currently incubating a new approach to the delivery of higher education services that leverages both new technology and disruptive business models. We presented this model at last week’s eLearning Technology Salon and I am very grateful for all of the thoughtful and useful input received The Salon was a great…
In our September Technology Salon, we took on James BonTempo’s pertinent question of What Does the “m” in mHealth Really Mean? in a spirited debate with technology and development practitioners.
We were seeking a better definition of mHealth than the current focus on devices, and specifically the hype around mobile phones. As one participant bemoaned, it seems that every health project with a mobile phone or PDA, no matter their usage, is now an mHealth project.
So we sought to put parameters on what could be called an mHealth project, and through that, come up with a new definition for mHealth. After an hour of vibrant debate, we developed these four aspects for mHealth projects:
Last week I had the privilege to participate in the Humanitarian Technology ChallengeTechnology Partnership with the Vodafone Foundation.
Over two days, IEEE members were encouraged to develop and implement technological responses to three humanitarian challenges in developing countries:
- Reliable Electricity: Availability of power for electronic devices
- Data Connectivity of Rural District Health Offices: Capability of exchanging data among remote field offices and central health facilities
- Patient ID Tied to Health Records: Maintain consistent patient records, including when patients visit different clinics and when they relocate
Working with them were representatives of 10 humanitarian organizations, and the brainstorming sessions where technology and development experts came together to devise solutions made the conference feel like a large-scale Technology Salon.
There needs to be a micro mobile telco solution, an entrepreneur-led, small-scale business model to deliver connectivity to rural or underserved areas not seen as commercially viable by large GSM providers.
In this model, voice communication is the original “killer app” – the key functionality that drives early and widespread adoption and revenue. But should broadband data also be provided, even if there isn’t obvious demand?
Broadband data connectivity is needed for many applications in virtually every development sector, from e-government to e-health, and is often central to any educational intervention. And as mobile carrier backhauls are almost always IP networks, the technology it there.
In fact, there was also consensus that technology was not the main micro mobile telco constraint – costs and functionality continue to develop to the advantage of potential effective solutions like WiFi mesh networks, WiMax technology, and GSM infrastructure.
In northern Mali, out beyond the famously remote Timbuktu, distances are vast and communication difficult. National borders often are less than lines in the sand, and the rule of law just a vague idea. In this power vacuum, bandits still hijack convoys, Tuareg stage rebellions, and terrorist organizations can take root and train.
Yet one brave organization is connecting remote Malian communities to reduce the threat of banditry or worse. Geekcorps Mali is building links between caravans, villagers, and local government – with information and communication technologies.
Geekcorps Mali has developed an innovative ICT intervention that marries FM radio broadcasting with Internet-enabled computers and digital audio recording to give a voice to local communities. The radio stations have become beacons of objective information and a de-facto early warning system for northern Mali and even the country as a whole.