Ocean pollution: Crowdsourcing data for advocacy

03-03-2016 – Filed under environmentcrowdsourcingmonitoringmobiledata

At the border session festival I had the pleasure to attend a fascinating presentation by Jeroen Dagevos from the Plastic Soup Foundation. He highlighted the extent of ocean pollution by plastic and trash and how his organization uses crowdsourcing data to campaign against it. The image above shows a crystal…

Read more

What can we learn from Africa on the use of mobiles for social/digital inclusion?

01-02-2011 – Filed under ICT4Dinclusioninnovationmobile

David Wilcox asked me on Quora this question, which I also want to publish as a response here to discuss the topic further. Would be great to get some more thoughts on that topic from you. I imagine we can learn a lot from digital inclusion in Africa. Here are some points:…

Read more

Revenue? Examples of nonprofit or business model for open data

20-01-2011 – Filed under knowledge managementapplicationbusiness-modelfoodmobilenonprofitopen-data

As open data becomes more popular, I wonder where are the nonprofit and business models for open data? It is clear that somehow open data needs to generate revenues, because it will not only work with voluntary efforts. I did a little research to find interesting approaches to do more…

Read more

What we can learn from farmers about ICT4D and trust

25-06-2010 – Filed under ICT4Dlearningmobilerural-developmentsmstrust

There is often that notion that once you have access to the Internet or to other information and communication technologies (ICT), the whole world of information lies rights at your feet, so you only need to pick the best of it. But in contrary, it can become incredibly time consuming…

Read more

Feasibility vs. constraints - learning with mobile phones

25-03-2010 – Filed under ICT4Deducationlearningmobile

Mobile phones have tiny screens and keyboards, and need an agile finger to handle them. Yet some pioners believe mobile phones might be a key learning device for the future, and have even come up with smart ideas to make learning on the go a motivating and interactive approach. No…

Read more

SMS Uprising: Mobile Activism in Africa

06-02-2010 – Filed under activismfuturemobile

The new opportunity to have activism through mobile phones is fascinating. I  have already often written about it. A while ago Sokari Enkine asked me to write a chapter for a recent published book funded by Hivos. I wrote about future trends and software developments, and then blogged about some…

Read more

Culture of social networks in Africa on the example of trade

01-12-2009 – Filed under ICT4Dafricabusinessmarket-informationmobilesocial-networkvalue-chainweb2fordev

There are over one billion Internet users worldwide according to a list from Wikipedia. Every day thousand of people joining social networks such as Facebook. How can these social networks be used to boost business? Are there differences between countries or regions how such social networks work? Mark Davies from Esoko, explains…

Read more

From global to local: Mobile, mapping and action

23-11-2009 – Filed under activismICT4Dmappingmobilemonitoringvisualization

Location, mobile phones and the Internet, combined together, are becoming an attractive amalgam for new opportunities. There is a fascinating trend to see the convergence of mobile technologies connected to the Internet and the rising importance of location. This is not just another hype, but could really be interesting for…

Read more

The many potential channels for mobile services

01-11-2009 – Filed under ICT4Dmobilemobilewebrural-developmentwireless

There is a wide variety of information and communication technologies, but even more ways to use them to deliver content. Particularly in constraint environments such as rural areas, a whole range of channels are offered to get information to a person needed. In preparation for next week’s ICT observatory 2009…

Read more

Citizen scientist - how mobile phones can contribute to the public good

31-08-2009 – Filed under knowledge-managementcitizen-actioncrowdsourcingmappingmobilesciencevolunteering

Imagine we do not only use our mobile phones to make phones calls and SMS, but to contribute to science. How does that work? We can directly engage in micro-voluntarism or contribute valuable information without doing much more than carrying our mobile phone with us. Just as volunteers share computer…

Read more

Mobile Activism in Africa

11-05-2009 – Filed under activismICT4Dafricacitizen-mediaelectionsmediamobilenetworkzimbabwe

Why and how does the mobile phone play a role in activism in Africa? What makes it be different from other forms of activism? And what are the potentials and challenges behind it? I tried answering these questions two weeks ago at the Medien Jour Fix,  an interesting German network…

Read more

Perspectives on constraints of ICT in Africa

08-05-2009 – Filed under ICT4Dconnectivitymobilerural-development

Despite the exciting potentials about new technologies for development and, particularly, the latest hype on mobile phones, it is necessary not to loose out sight of the incredible challenges towards Internet access or extended mobile usage. I have collected over the past months some interesting facts and figures from a…

Read more

What does local content have to do with low-bandwidth applications?

14-04-2009 – Filed under ICT4Dlinksafricabandwidthbloggingconnectivitymobilerural-developmentweb2fordev

High bandwidth access expands worldwide, finally in Africa too, but in many places the connectivity does not allow for an easy Internet usability, let alone the use of many tools for publishing own content and interacting easily with other users. Aside from many other challenges, one important to remark is…

Read more

9 Examples of innovative tools for the mobile phone

05-03-2009 – Filed under activismICT4Dapplicationconsumer-rightsenvironnmentmobilemobilewebsocial-change

One of the major shift is not the growth of mobile phones, but its transformations to a multi-purpose tool and its ubiquitous nature. Being it a calculator, a translator or a broadcasting, sensing or analyzing medium – the mobile phone will affect much more daily life than personal computers did….

Read more

My take on the state of mobile phones for developments

25-01-2009 – Filed under ICT4Dafricaagriculturedevelopmentmobileopen-sourcerural-development

As an outcome from the virtual forum on mobile phones by FAO – where I experienced a great exchange with mobile phone practitioners worldwide – I was interviewed by the e-agriculture.org forum. During the interview, I tried to summarize my observations and discussions around mobile  phones for development from the…

Read more

The participatory web – new potentials for ICT in rural areas

11-01-2009 – Filed under ICT4Dagriculturelocal-knowledgemobilerural-developmentweb2fordev

I had the honour to be the editor of a new cover publication by the Deutsche Gesellschaft for Technische Zusammenarbeit (German Technical Cooperation). This is one of many pieces the sector project “Knowledge System in Rural Areas” has published in recent years, which I can highly recommend. One is a…

Read more

Flu alerts and what it says about the future power of information

26-12-2008 – Filed under ICT4Dapidevelopmentenvironmentfeedmappingmashupmobileopen-sourcerss

The other day I stumbled over this news piece: “The phone that feels the flu before you do” – a company offers a service, where one can find out how intensive the level of flu is in their area. So, basically, you can get “Open Source Intelligence” via mobile phone….

Read more

Future trends of mobile activism

15-12-2008 – Filed under activismICT4Dafricakenyamobileparticipationsmssocial-networksoftware

The simplest and most powerful form of mobile activism in the future will probably still be ordinary communication. However, in all fields of activism such as advocacy, awareness, research and protest, the mobile phone can be a strategic tool for communication, collaboration, coordination and collective action. In this regard we…

Read more

Mobile phone innovation may not happen where you think it does

22-11-2008 – Filed under ICT4Dafricagpsinnovationiphonemobilesmssoftwaretechnology

The first days have passed by at the the Virtual Forum “Mobile Telephony in Rural Areas” and it has triggered some interesting discussions. One thread is around innovations and mobile phones. Being it software or ideas to extend the usage of the all purpose tools, cutting edge innovations are not…

Read more

Virtual Forum: Mobile Telephony in Rural Areas

14-11-2008 – Filed under ICT4Dagriculturemobilerural-development

Next week starts a two-week-long virtual forum on mobile telephony in rural areas, put together by the FAO through the e-agriculture initiative. The forum brings together people from all around the world to dicuss the potential of mobile phones particularly for rural development, but probably also various other topics around…

Read more

Mobile phones for development = grassroots innovations

20-07-2008 – Filed under ICT4Dcollaborationconnectivitygrassrootskm4devmobileopen-sourcetwitter

Recently, there seems to be a hype around mobile phones in developing countries. It is great to see the investments being made in mobile technology and communication. At the KM4DEV unconference Pete Cranston, Luca Servo  and I organized a little session around the potential of mobile phones for knowledge sharing….

Read more

Wisdom of crowd: Bottom up measuring of development results

19-05-2008 – Filed under activismICT4Ddevelopmentkenyamobileopennessorganizationweb2fordevwisdom-of-crowd

Some days ago, I had a talk with a colleague from another development organization about web2fordev. We were asking whether web2.0 can really make a difference in development work? We both agreed it can, but we were unsure whether the organizational culture has to change first or the external pressure…

Read more

Mobile everything: 3 new dimensions of citizen engagement

28-04-2008 – Filed under activismICT4Dcitizen-journalismmobilesocial-networktwitter

Blogs have started a little revolution – nowadays everyone with Internet access can publish content on the web. Citizens can articulate their perspective and exchange it within a network of blogs. The mobile phone, with its improved access to the web, gives new means for citizen engagement because one can…

Read more

Is mobile development repeating ICT4D errors?

16-03-2008 – Filed under ICT4Dconferencemobilemobilewebweb2fordev

In the mobile and development list of Dgroups, Prof. Richard Heeks wrote this message recently: There’s a notion that “m-Development” will be more attuned to the needs and context of users than was the initial round of ICT4D projects (what we might call “ICT4D 1.0”). But I wonder if, in…

Read more

When is the collaborative mobile web coming?

12-02-2008 – Filed under ICT4Dcollaborationlearningmobilersssocial-network

In Phnom Penh, as everywhere else, the mobile phone is a must have accessory for the youth, and when they get together, they enjoy bluetoothing; or so Thomas Wanhoff told me during my stay in Cambodia. This basically means that they share ringtones, images, videos and games through their mobile phones. The other…

Read more

How Can Nonprofits Use Twitter? Should They Even Bother?

14-01-2008 – Filed under activismcommunicationcivil-societyhuman-rightsmobileNet2ThinkTanknonprofittwitter

This blog post is a contribution to the Net2ThinkTank from the netsquared community. It is great community of people discussing about non-profits and technology. I can highly recommend their podcasts. When I got from Britt Bravo an email to join the discussion about above topic I was more than happy…

Read more

Citizen journalism in Africa

06-12-2007 – Filed under communicationafricabloggingcitizen-journalismhuman-rightsmediamobile

Most countries are far away from reaching the level that Koreans have on citizen journalism, such is the case of the famous Ohmynews: “The Net and Netizens Watchdogging Government.” A pioneer of citizen journalism was certainly indymedia.org, which got famous during the WTO protest back in 1999 in Seattle. In…

Read more

Start of the web4dev conference: Major issue connectivity

28-11-2007 – Filed under ICT4Dafricaconnectivitymobiletechnology

I am at the Web4Dev conference in Nairobi, Kenya. The conference brings together people from all over the world to discuss how the web can contribute to development. One overarching topic are the Millennium Development Goals and how information and communication technologies (ICT) can help to achieve them. I will…

Read more

10 reasons why statuses and tweets are a key for social networks

19-11-2007 – Filed under communicationmobileopennesssharingsocial-network

For the past weeks I have been experimenting with Twitter and Facebook. I have checked out the value of statuses (Facebook) and tweets (Twitter) over these two social network tools. For those of you who do not know, Facebook is a social network platform which lets one not only to…

Read more

An overview of blogging for development

19-09-2007 – Filed under ICT4Dbloggingdevelopmentmobilescience

Background As some of you might already know I work for GTZ (German Technical Cooperation), and I am of course very interested in the potential of the web towards development aid and international cooperation. Surprisingly–and correct me if I am wrong!–but to me, it seems there are not many blogs…

Read more

Weekly links: Blogging for democracy and African ingenuity

15-09-2007 – Filed under linksafricabloggingmobile

Two articles on mobile for development Mobiles for the ‘world’s poorest’ is a new article from BBC, which describes how Jeffery Sachs Millenium village project applies mobile phones. Another article describes how PDAs are saving lives in Africa. Blogging for democracy around the world Interesting interview with Antony Loewenstein, who…

Read more

4 examples for innovative mobile phone use in Africa

29-08-2007 – Filed under ICT4Dafricabusinessmobile

According to the latest statistics from the New York Times and the World Bank, the African continent is lagging behind in mobile phone subscribers and Internet users. However, African countries have one of the highest quota of mobile phone subscribers. The rate of subscribers varies a lot –between 724 in…

Read more

Does Twitter make sense?

19-08-2007 – Filed under activismcommunicationafricamobilesharing

To begin with, I have to say, I am not a Twitter user. I have signed up for an account but have not used it at all. I, personally, prefer tools such as Skype. But still, I am willing to be convinced that it does bring an advantage for personal…

Read more

Weekly links July (4): Africa and ICT

29-07-2007 – Filed under linksafricamobile

This week I selected some interesting articles on African countries and information and communication technologies. Mobile Phone Reporters in Africa White African has an interesting blog post on Africa’s Voices experiment on mobile phone reporters. For Ugandan Farmers, Agricultural Tips Just a Phone Call Away An example for a project,…

Read more

Social webs in Africa

14-07-2007 – Filed under activismcommunicationICT4Dafricabloggingconnectivitymobilesocial-network

Today I was interviewed by the German radio station “Deutschland Radio Kultur.” The interview is now available as a podcast at blogspiel.de. The interview’s main topic was Social Webs in Africa, stressing general issues about connectivity in Africa and social web such as the blogosphere. Thanks to Sokari Ekine I…

Read more

Mobile phones for development

07-05-2007 – Filed under ICT4Dafricamobilemobilewebnetworksocial-network

A lot has been debated about the one laptop per child initiative, but less has been said about the use of mobile phones for development. Even though according to a DFID and vodafone study “the number of mobile users is growing twice as fast in developing countries as in developed…

Read more