Disaster & Humanitarian Relief

Mobile Phones and Social Activism - An Ethan Zuckerman White Paper

Posted by KatrinVerclas on May 09, 2007

Ethan Zuckerman has written a solid overview of mobile phones in international activism. It is re-posted here under its Creative Commons license. For additional resources, see also the mobileactive.org Strategy Guides on using mobile phones in elections, advoacy, and fundraising.


UNICEF use Red Oxygen Text Messagings solutions to communicate with field workers

Posted by redoxygen on Sep 02, 2006

"SMS lowers the cost of operations for UNICEF - to help feed the children of Africa"SMS messaging has become an important communication tool for many of the most successful businesses in the world. Thanks to collaboration between the United Nations' UNICEF and Australian software company Red Oxygen, SMS has also become an essential tool for helping some of the poorest people in Africa.Tauhidur Rashid, the director of UNICEF's operation in the African nation of Tanzania, says that Red Oxygen's two-way email to SMS software has become an indispensable part of UNICEF's operations. "We've found that SMS is the best way for us to reach the wide variety of people all over the country that we need to keep in contact with. Red Oxygen's software has made that SMS communication easy and practical".UNICEF is a worldwide agency of the United Nations specializing in human rights, education, public health and development issues, primarily for children and women. With such a broad mission, the UNICEF team has a wide range of communications needs. SMS is the best communications option to meet those needs in Tanzania, according to Mr.

Madrid train bombs

Posted by Simon Pavitt on Apr 02, 2006

On 11 March 2004, just before the Spanish general election, bombs exploded on 4 trains as they entered Madrid killing 200 people.

The Government hurredly put the blame on ETA, an organisation fighting for Basque independance from Spain. But many people assumed the bombs were a consequence of Spain's support for the war in Iraq and started gathering in the centre of Madrid.

News of the protests spread by mobile phone and more and more people joined, accusing the government of managing the release of information about the attacks to their own political ends. The national newspaper El Pais referred to "the more than dubious attitude of the government in relation to the lines of investigation". Eventually the Government was forced to admit that the explosions might have been caused Al-Qaeda.

In the election a couple of days later the ruling Partido Popular, which had been ahead in the polls, surprisingly lost to the socialist PSOE. As one person put it: