FrontlineSMS Guest Posts

FrontlineSMS transforms Community Radio in Malawi

FrontlineSMS transforms Community Radio in Malawi

Nkhotakota Community Radio Station, along Lake Malawi, is a Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA) recognized broadcaster and has been in operation for eleven years. More than 500,000 people live within our coverage area- transmissions reach Nkhotakota and Ntchisi districts and parts of Nkhatabay, Salima, Dowa, Mzimbaand Kasungu.

DataAid: managing information streams in the Philippines disaster response with FrontlineCloud

DataAid: managing information streams in the Philippines disaster response with FrontlineCloud

Over the past couple years, I’ve had the privilege of co-managing World Vision’s Speed Evidence Project, which seeks to improve information management in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.  After most disasters, reliable field data is significant challenge - what we can find is normally incomplete and/or inaccurate.  

Building Sustainability: Lessons from Swazi Cotton

Building Sustainability: Lessons from Swazi Cotton

It’s a simple idea: provide smallholder farmers with information via SMS to improve farming practices and thus increase their yields. In fact it’s a concept that has been replicated by NGOs and MNOs across the developing world, with varying degrees of success. However, the real challenge in launching such a service lies in building a business model that is both commercially viable to the provider whilst remaining accessible to the poorest populations.

Keeping a Remote Sales Network in the Loop

Keeping a Remote Sales Network in the Loop

From the outside, Ibu Sinta’s warung in the city of Denpasar looks like any other small, family-run grocery shop so commonly found throughout Indonesia. But take a closer look and you will see several unusual products, including solar lamps, fuel-efficient cook stoves and water filters.

Combining Local Radio and Mobile Phones to Promote Climate Stewardship

Combining Local Radio and Mobile Phones to Promote Climate Stewardship

According to the report, with support from the Foundation to Promote Open Society, Developing Radio Partners (DRP) launched the one year pilot project, working with three local radio stations in each country. The primary aim of Zachilengedwe Tsogolo Lathu, as the participants named it ("Our Environment, Our Future"), was to empower rural Zambians and Malawians to address key climate change issues, especially local deforestation, by improving their access to information on the subject via radio and mobile phones.

Rapid Prototyping and Tech Stewards: reflections on recent field work

Rapid Prototyping and Tech Stewards: reflections on recent field work

At the heart of our project is the community of practice concept, which refers to a group of like minded people connected through a process of social learning. A CoP does not necessarily conform to organizational boundaries but rather to interests and interactions, and during our meetings we discovered some important relationships between organic farming movements in Sri Lanka and other organizations, including the Department of  Export Agriculture.

A mobile phone text messaging service and a new webportal are bridging the information gap on diabetes in Kenya, where the disease annually kills more people than HIV/AIDS

By P-B Halberg, International Media Support (IMS), and Sandra Sudhoff, CartONG A new project aims to improve diabetes awareness and reliable communication about the disease throughout Kenya through mobile phone technology and a webportal.

Kicking conflict into touch with FrontlineSMS - a post from National Geographic

Kicking conflict into touch with FrontlineSMS - a post from National Geographic

Njenga Kahiro, Kinship Conservation Fellow and member of the  Zeitz Foundation, started the Laikipia Unity Cup in 2010 when he decided to combine environmental education and a football tournament. Laikipia is a countyin central Kenya where conflict between warring communities and stripping of natural resources are both fairly common. Njenga, with the help of his foundation, put together football teams from each region , usually combining young citizens of quarreling communities, and host a tournament that included matches, educational theater, and local conservation projects. 

FrontlineSMS helps The Busara Center for Behavioral Economics cut 16 hours of work down to 30 minutes

FrontlineSMS helps The Busara Center for Behavioral Economics cut 16 hours of work down to 30 minutes

The Busara Center for Behavioral Economics is a research laboratory in Nairobi, Kenya focused onproviding researchers around the world with an opportunity to conduct studies in a variety of behavioral sciences with a strongly under-represented subject pool. Headed by Johannes Haushofer, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University and the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), the Busara Center strives to replicate the controlled lab settings in a novel environment. Busara is housed under the Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), a non-profit organization focused on developing and evaluating poverty alleviation programs around the world.

Patient's Rights: Cambodian Vaccine Clinic Builds Local Reporting System Using FrontlineSMS

Patient's Rights: Cambodian Vaccine Clinic Builds Local Reporting System Using FrontlineSMS

In the spring of 2012 the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge of Phnom Penh (IPC), Cambodia conducted a pilot study on a text message-based pharmacovigilance tool. Don't know what pharmacovigilance is? Not to worry, neither did I! According to the World Health Organization, "Pharmacovigilance (PV) is defined as the science and activities relating to the detection, assessment, understanding and prevention of adverse effects or any other drug-related problem." The IPC used FrontlineSMS as a tool to follow up with patients after they received vaccinations.

SMS Story Research Project, Papua New Guinea

SMS Story Research Project, Papua New Guinea

We are using Frontline SMS in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to send stories and lesson plans every day to elementary teachers in rural areas. The SMS story team includes international volunteers working with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) and the research project is funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) through the Economic and Public Sector Program (EPSP).

FrontlineSMS Named #1 Tech NGO in the World by the Global Journal

FrontlineSMS Named #1 Tech NGO in the World by the Global Journal

On the same day that the Global Journal announced us as their pick for “#1 Tech NGO in the world”, my laptop died.  As my coworkers celebrated our newly-bestowed honor, I relished the irony of my technological failure and felt what has come to define my time working in the non-profit world: humility.

VNI Service Award Finalist Jimmie Ssena uses FrontlineSMS to Empower Rural Farmers in Uganda

VNI Service Award Finalist Jimmie Ssena uses FrontlineSMS to Empower Rural Farmers in Uganda

Congratulations to Jimmie Ssena for being recognized as a finalist of the VNI Service Awards for his work with rural farmers using FrontlineSMS! Since its founding in 1997, the Nakaseke Telecentre has served as a knowledge portal for poor rural farmers in their district, working to use ICTs “for rural development, reduction of poverty and... a better livelihood of the rural poor.”

VNI Service Award Finalist Pierre Omadjela uses FrontlineSMS to Raise Malaria Prevention Awareness in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

VNI Service Award Finalist Pierre Omadjela uses FrontlineSMS to Raise Malaria Prevention Awareness in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Congratulations to Pierre Omadjela for being recognized as a finalist for Cisco’s VNI Service Awards for his work in healthcare awareness using FrontlineSMS! The World Health Organization estimates 80,000 citizens of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) died in 2010 from Malaria. The mosquito-transmitted disease is responsible for 40% of the mortality in Congolese children under five, and in a country where a quarter of the population lack access to healthcare facilities, promoting prevention has proven to be more effective than only treating infected patients. The President’s Malaria Initiative, launched in 2005 through USAID, provides malaria prevention and treatment in five provinces, which make up 26% of the DRC’s health zones.

UPDATED: Using SMS to mobilize the community clean-up of Ciliwung River, Indonesia: One piece of garbage at a time.

UPDATED: Using SMS to mobilize the community clean-up of Ciliwung River, Indonesia: One piece of garbage at a time.

UPDATE: 18 June 2013 According to the Mobilisation Lab, this is now a World Record-breaking garbage clean-up! Congratulations everyone! FrontlineSMS has had a strong connection with environmental issues since our Founder had the initial spark of an idea while working on an anti-poaching project in South Africa. We're delighted to be able to host Een Irawan Putra of KPC Bogor and the Indonesia Nature Film Society to our blog, to share how he used FrontlineSMS in Indonesia to invite he community to help clean up the garbage clogging the Ciliwung River.

The Umpteenth Blog on using SMS Feedback in Projects…Now with Support!

The Umpteenth Blog on using SMS Feedback in Projects…Now with Support!

With shiny apps hogging the mobile spotlight these days, one could be forgiven for forgetting about SMS (“Short Message Service” or text messaging).  But although apps often disguise themselves as universally useful, their data and hardware requirements preclude their widespread use in poor countries.  Amongst the world’s poor, SMS is still king.  Given the World Bank’s mandate to serve the exactly that population, and in response to demand from staff, I recently attended a 2-day Frontline SMS training here in DC.

Health Information for Remote & Rural Eastern Indonesia

Health Information for Remote & Rural Eastern Indonesia

The landscape of NTT is largely rugged and infertile with a short and intense wet season. In this environment subsistence farming, the predominant livelihood, is marginal with many communities experiencing periods of hunger through the dry season. The provision of services to the rural population is difficult because there the few roads are generally of poor quality and frequently impassible in the wet season due to flooding or landslides. For many accessing health services requires walking long distances and the use of public transport where available. It is not uncommon for people in need of emergency care to be carried by a group of villagers to a point where road transport is available.

A project with teeth: improving dental health outcomes in the Gambia using FrontlineSMS

A project with teeth: improving dental health outcomes in the Gambia using FrontlineSMS

'As part of our Masters program at Drexel University School of Public Health, we were afforded the opportunity to work on addressing public health concerns in the Gambia for six weeks in summer 2012. We would be working on a community-based masters thesis. Our project focuses on advancing mobile health concerns by improving dental health practices using SMS messaging, as well as enhancingvaccine inventory control at village trekking sites. Health workers could manage referrals, follow-up treatment, and reminders to patients using SMS.

Keeping it Simple with SMS

Keeping it Simple with SMS

UN Special Envoy to the Western Sahara Christopher Ross landed in Morocco last Wednesday. While the international community anxiously waits to see where his next round of negotiations go, here's a peek into the lives of those affected most by the outcome - Sahrawi refugees. For once, a little hope for the future coming from the Sahara...