Climate Change

Sauti ya Wakulima

Posted by cubo23 on Nov 04, 2011
Sauti ya Wakulima data sheet 1050 Views

Sauti ya wakulima, "The voice of the farmers", is a collaborative, multimedia knowledgebase created by farmers from the Chambezi region of the Bagamoyo District in Tanzania. By using smartphones, farmers gather audiovisual evidence of their practices, and publish images and voice recordings on the Internet.

Since March 2011, the participants of Sauti ya wakulima, a group of five men and five women, gather every Monday at the agricultural station in Chambezi. They use a laptop computer and a 3G Internet connection to view the images and hear the voice recordings that they posted during the week. They also pass the two available smartphones on to other participants, turning the phones into shared tools for communication. The smartphones are equipped with GPS modules and an application that makes it easy to send pictures and sounds to the Internet. The farmers at Chambezi use them to document their daily practices, make reports about their observations regarding changes in climate and related issues, and also to interview other farmers, expanding thus their network of social relationships.

Sauti ya wakulima
Basic Information
Organization involved in the project?: 
Project goals: 

- Enable small-scale farmers in rural areas to create an evidence-based multimedia database of their observations about climate change and related phenomena, their effects on their crops and practices, and the strategies and solutions they implement in order to adapt to change. Provide them with the necessary digital communication tools (mobile phones and an Internet-based platform) to do so.

- Encourage the formation of an online and offline network of farmers within the district of Bagamoyo, and facilitate the exchange of knowledge among them through a common web page and periodical face-to-face meetings.

- Establish a communication interface that will improve the flow of information between farmers, extension officers and researchers, focusing on facilitating the two-way flow of information.

- Train farmers in the basic usage of ICT tools, such as web pages and GPRS mobile communications.

- Work in close collaboration with local extension officers and agricultural authorities, who can shape their decisions and policies based on the farmers' field recordings.

- Work together with both local and international agricultural research teams, encouraging them to study and learn from the knowledge gathered by the farmers and integrate it into their practices.

- Link to other entities working with ICT and civil society organizations in Tanzania, Africa and the rest of the world, in order to achieve a cross-regional, multi-cultural knowledge base that can lead to comparative studies and an improved understanding of the day-to-day reality of small-scale farmers in different locations and social settings.

Brief description of the project: 

Sauti ya wakulima, "The voice of the farmers", is a collaborative, multimedia knowledgebase created by farmers from the Chambezi region of the Bagamoyo District in Tanzania. By using smartphones, farmers gather audiovisual evidence of their practices, and publish images and voice recordings on the Internet.

Detailed Information
Length of Project (in months) : 
What worked well? : 

Farmers have expressed their satisfaction with the project, and wish to continue with the publications. The farmers at Chambezi have explicitly asked the "Sauti ya wakulima" team to expand the project to other areas in the District, so that they can learn from farmers in remote locations. They have also been successful in disseminating their collaborative knowledge base, by sharing their web page with other farmers at the regional farmers' fair held in Morogoro, on August 2011. 

In some cases, specific images and voice recordings have triggered successful processes of mutual learning. One farmer, for instance, learned that he was not planting maize in an adequate way, by looking at a picture on the website and listening to its corresponding voice recording.

The active involvement of the local extension officer (who is also the group coordinator for the "Sauti ya wakulima" project) has resulted in timely actions taken to mitigate concrete problems, such as a grasshopper attack which affected rice crops during the month of June. The extension officer took action after seeing the pest being reported on the web page.

Local authorities, up to the highest level of political charge, have been introduced to the project and have expressed their support.

What did not work? What were the challenges?: 

So far, training has been insufficient. Farmers need to undergo more intensive capacity-building sessions, so that they can become more proficient users of smartphones and web browsing. Training on how to do better interviews is also needed.

The project needs continued funding in order to become sustainable. We are currently finding ways to assure continued funding so that the project can continue, expand and realize its full potential.

Display project in profile: 

Mobiles Games for Education and Development: What Is the Score?

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Jul 22, 2011

As mobile gaming explodes worldwide, the market for “games for good” (either with an educational or social-change focus) is open for growth. Mobile games provide a way to quickly pass time, an always-on-hand source of entertainment, and a way to connect with others through competing scores or sharing strategies.  Can mobile games also be used to teach, inform, and raise awareness?

Level One: The Mobile Gaming Landscape

The current mobile landscape shows that games are popular worldwide, regardless of handset type or region. A June 2011 Gartner report on the state of the gaming industry reported that mobile gaming is expected to see the largest growth percentage of any aspect of the industry (compared to consoles and PCs), estimating “its share growing from 15 percent in 2010 to 20 percent in 2015.”  Tuong Nguyen, principal research analyst at Gartner, is quoted as saying, “As the popularity of smartphones and tablets continues to expand, gaming will remain a key component in the use of these devices. Although [mobile devices] are never used primarily for gaming, mobile games are the most downloaded application category across most application stores, […] For this reason, mobile gaming will continue to thrive as more consumers expand their use of new and innovative portable connected devices.”

The growth of mobile games can be clearly seen in US mobile trends; a July 2011 report from Nielsen says that games are the most popular kind of app for smartphone owners, with 64% of US smartphone owners using a mobile game app at least once a month. The Nielsen report also found that “the average mobile gamer plays an average of 7.8 hours a month,” and that  “those with iPhones tend to play around 14.7 hours each month while those with Android smartphones play around 9.3 hours per month.”

But mobile games aren’t just popular on smartphones; feature phone users are embracing the mobile gaming trend as well. MobiThinking’s 2011 global mobile statistic report found that among Africans who use mobile devices as their primary means of accessing the Internet, 55 percent report downloading games. OnDevice Research’s 2011 Mobile Internet Satisfaction report found that mobile games can influence handset purchase, as users want mobile devices that can support games. They report that, “89% of mobile media users in Kenya consider the quality of games they can play on their device when choosing a new phone.”

A 2009 report on India’s mobile gaming field from Vital Analytics found “approximately 120 million urban Indians used their mobile phones to play games during quarter ending July 2009, a reach of 41%. In terms of time spent playing games, 37% of the population spends less than an hour in a week playing games while on the other end of the spectrum 9% spend over 5 hours on an average.” The report also found that most popular types of mobiles games for Indian users were sports games (such as cricket) and arcade-style puzzle games.

With all these mobile gaming enthusiasts out there, where does that leave educational and social change games? Couldn’t some of this popularity be turned toward math, literacy, or advocacy games? The landscape shows that mobile games are popular regardless of handset and location, so the question now is how to make a game that provides both value and entertainment to the player.

Mobiles for Development: Understanding the Mobile Telephony Landscape

Posted by MelissaUlbricht on Mar 18, 2011

A comprehensive new study, commissioned by UNICEF, sheds light on trends and challenges in global mobile telephony. The report, Mobiles for Development, focuses on mobile tech as an area of significant future opportunity for advancing social development around the word. The report finds that there is an increasing number of mobile-based projects, with the most common sectors being health, socio-economic development and agriculture. Findings also show that "mobile tools can identify the most deprived...communities, provide cost effective interventions, overcome bottlenecks to services, and enable communities to maximise the impact of available resources."

Additionally, the report takes a look at the mobile operators in this field. It finds that there are significant business opportunities for regional operatators in the field of social development, including:

The Mobile Minute: Mobile Apps and Magazines, Checking the Validity of Medicine via SMS, and Speedy Texting

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Aug 23, 2010

Today's Mobile Minute brings you coverage on the Hearst magazine empire's new focus on mobile apps, what can go wrong on your mobile website and how to spot it, a camera phone-to-email project in India, checking African drugs with SMS, and a new speed texting record.

Inventory of Mobile Data Collection Projects and Rapid Mobile Surveys

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Jun 22, 2010

The use of mobile phones for quick-time data collection is proliferating around the world. To get a better understanding of the scale and scope of these new data collection efforts, we partnered with UN Global Pulse initiative to conduct a survey of present and planned mobile data collection efforts. The survey results will help identify new, quick-time data sources.

The first findings of the global survey have been compiled in an inventory. The inventory is a living document that will be regularly updated as we become aware of new projects. If you are managing a mobile data collection project and you would like to have it featured in the inventory, please contact us or leave a comment. 

The inventory is posted in a Google Spreadsheet here:

We are also currently conducting for UN Global Pulse a mobile phone survey across multiple countries including Uganda, India, Mexico, Ukraine and Iraq. The survey is being conducted via text message and uses simple questions to understand how populations in different parts of the world perceive. We are drawing on our extensive network of partners on the ground to conduct the survey and will make the results publicly available (albeit in an anonymous and aggregate format). The survey is an exercise in rapid, bottom-up data collection. Questions in the survey focus on economic perceptions, including:

Earth Day, the Environment and Mobile Phones: A Round-Up

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Apr 22, 2010

Today is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, a global celebration that raises awareness about the enivronment.  To do our part to celebrate this day, we’ve put together a look at some of the mobile tools and organizations we’ve covered recently that are doing their part to help the Earth. If you have any suggestions about tools or organizations that are doing great environmental work with mobiles, please leave a comment and let us know – and have a good Earth Day!

Water Quality

We recently covered the Water Quality Reporter, a program in South Africa that uses mobiles to test the health of water supplies. The program allows field workers to use mobile forms or SMSs to cheaply and effectively transfer data about water quality to a centralized database, while receiving feedback about how to handle local water problems.

Consumentor Ek. förening

Posted by Ola Thorsen on Apr 15, 2010

Consumentor is a cooperative with 10 employes.Our goal is to offer a simple and flexible tool that enables all consumers to make longterm sustainable consumer choises on a daily bases. It should be easy, fun and awarding to do right !

Organization Type: 
House of Win-Win, Tredje Långgatan 13 B
Västra Götaland
Postal code: 


Posted by mrestrepo on Dec 18, 2009

Editacuja is a Brazilian startup focused in knowledge management and contend development services for education, training and culture.

Integrate emerging technologies to provide innovative solutions to companies, universities and schools, enabling cross border iniciatives with high ROI

Works with a multi-media approach, enabling mobile, press, audiovisual and web media services and products.

With a multi-disciplinary team, Editacuja adds value and knowledge for projects that can educate and relate.

Editacuja Integrate Technologies

  • Mobile 2.0 based learning
  • Web 2.0 and social based learning
  • Artificial and collective intelligence
  • Immersive Learning
  • Augmented Reality
  • Simulations





Organization Type: 
Rua Aimberé, 2090 - 42
São Paulo
Postal code: 

A Cleaner, Safer Way to Cook (tracked with Mobile Tech)

Posted by admin on Oct 28, 2009

Cross-posted by permission. Written by Michael Benedict.

Suraj Wahab is passionate about cookstoves. Indeed, efficient charcoal burning stoves like those made by his company, Toyola Energy Limited, offer a lot to be passionate about.

For hundreds of thousands of families in Ghana who cook using traditional methods, these simple metal and clay devices provide a cleaner, safer, more efficient way to prepare their daily meals, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation. The stoves are sold in markets and door-to-door by Toyola “evangelists”, individuals who record each sale in a notebook and then are paid on commission. With 50,000 stoves projected to be sold this year and double that possible in 2010, the paper records are becoming increasingly difficult to maintain.

Texting for a Cleaner Planet: How Used Mobiles

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Oct 20, 2009

On October 24th, 2009, more than 5200 events in 181 countries took place as part of a climate change awareness campaign. Planned by, this worldwide festival of events is a call to action.

In December, world leaders will meet in Copenhagen with one critical goal in mind: to create a global treaty to curb carbon emissions. wants to ensure that the treaty is tough enough to enforce the changes necessary to lower atmospheric carbon levels.

The name comes from the level of acceptable carbon dioxide –350 parts per million – that can exist in the atmosphere before effects of global warming begin to manifest. Currently, the carbon levels in the atmosphere are at 390 parts per million; believes that lowering the carbon emissions in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million can help undo some of the damage caused by global warming.

Voices of Africa Media Foundation

Posted by PrabhasPokharel on Oct 08, 2009

From the website:

A new-media training organisation that empowers young African men and women to build and pursue a career as reporter and to strengthen the media function in Africa. Visit the progress of our trainees on our Online Training Platform:

Voices of Africa Media Foundation has led the Voices of Africa project that trains journalists around Africa to use mobile phones in video and multimedia reporting.

Organization Type: 
Jansweg 42-E
Postal code: 

A Global Wake-Up Call

Posted by CorinneRamey on Sep 21, 2009

At 12:18 p.m. today, thousands of mobile phone alarms went off all over the world.

"It creates a ringtone symphony, and people find each other," said Ben Wikler, spokesman for advocacy group "Then they simultaneously call government offices."

The alarms, and subsequent phone calls, were meant to draw attention to climate change legislation on the eve of the United Nations Climate Summit, held this week in New York City.  At each event, a flashmob of people all set their phone alarms for 12:18, held their phones above their heads when the alarms went off and then found the other participants.  Flash-mobbers then used their phones to take pictures, and called government offices. There were about 1500 flashmob events in 130 countries, said Wikler.

"It's a global climate wake-up call," said Wicker.  Although the event that Wikler attended, in New York's Union Square, had only about 30 attendees, an event in India had more than 1300.


Posted by wildneil on Sep 09, 2009

WildKnowledge (WK) are a spin out company from Oxford Brookes University in the UK. WK enables members to create and share mobile recording forms (WildForm), decision trees (WildKey), maps (WildMap) and diagrams (WildImage). These tools enable the user to make informed decisions in the field and gather good quality data. This collated data can then be uploaded and shared as part of collaborative projects. Most of our members are UK school children and students, we are keen to explore new areas both geographically and contextually. All WK applications are wep apps and can work on any device with a web browser from a mobile device to a laptop (functionality will vary according to browser's capabilities).

Organization Type: 
United Kingdom

World Wildlife Fund: South Africa

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Sep 02, 2009

WWF South Africa was founded in 1968 by the late Dr. Anton Rupert and was then know as the Southern African Nature Foundation. Throughout the past 40 years, this national office of the leading global conservation organization has been committed to conserving the natural heritage of South Africa for future generations. WWF South Africa currently has 7 main programs; Climate Change, Trade and Investment, Environmental Education, Species, Marine, Freshwater and the Ecosystems Partnership. We work with numerous partners including NGOs, industry and government to achieve our goal of people living in harmony with nature.

Organization Type: 
South Africa

Greenpeace India/SMS Lead Generation

Posted by CorinneRamey on Sep 02, 2009
Greenpeace India/SMS Lead Generation data sheet 5858 Views

Greenpeace's first use of SMS in India was as a fundraising tool.  As part of a campaign to encourage people to plant trees, Greenpeace India sent out text messages offering free saplings.

All text for this case study came from this description on SOFII.

Basic Information
Organization involved in the project?: 
Project goals: 

The objective of the campaign was to increase productivity from Greenpeace India's recruiters (paid fundraisers) and thus increase financial support to the organisation. Before the SMS lead generation campaign, GPI used a simple direct dialogue (face to face) method of fundraising that involved stopping people in the street and requesting their time to present the aims of the organisation with the goal of recruiting them as a financial supporter.

Using this method, only 17% of people approached agreed to listen to the presentation, and of these people only 10% would then go on to sign up as financial supporters. The average productivity of each recruiter was 0.45 sign ups per day. Those requesting saplings were personally visited by a recruiter and asked to make a donation. So far it has been possible to make three such visits per day, with a conversion rate above 25 per cent.

Brief description of the project: 

The SMS lead generation campaign is a filter mechanism designed to source ‘warm prospects’. An SMS text message was sent to 56,137 people, all qualified as potential warm prospects with an interest in environmental issues. It said “Hi, don’t you wish your city was cleaner ‘n’ greener? Begin by planting a free sapling offered by Greenpeace. Reply GREEN to 6363 to get your free sapling. Sender Greenpeace’.

The text message was sent  to  the mobile phones of prospects in and around the region of Bangalore and Pune. The offer to receive a free sapling fit well with Greenpeace’s objective to improve the environment and it allowed recipients to feel they are actively involved in combating the problem. Take up was much higher than expected.

This approach significantly increased the return on investment and introduced new donors at a high (25 per cent) conversion rate. It exceeded all expectations in terms of responses to the SMS, doubled the productivity of recruiters and increased the number of financial supporters recruited. Greenpeace is still seeking a more effective system to reduce travel time so that recruiters can approach more people each day. Greenpeace also found from this test that it is vital to respond quickly to interest  – within two days or interest will be lost.

Detailed Information
What worked well? : 

This approach significantly increased the return on investment and introduced new donors at a high (25 per cent) conversion rate. It exceeded all expectations in terms of responses to the SMS, doubled the productivity of recruiters and increased the number of financial supporters recruited. Though Greenpeace is still seeking a more effective system to reduce travel time so that recruiters can approach more people each day. Greenpeace also found from this test that it is vital to respond quickly to interest  – within two days or interest will be lost.


Posted by CorinneRamey on Sep 02, 2009

Organization Type: 

Peace Corps

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Sep 01, 2009

The Peace Corps traces its roots and mission to 1960, when then-Senator John F. Kennedy challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries. From that inspiration grew an agency of the federal government devoted to world peace and friendship. Since that time, more than 195,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in 139 host countries to work on issues ranging from AIDS education to information technology and environmental preservation.

Organization Type: 
Washington, D.C.

September Mobile Events - A Roundup

Posted by LeighJaschke on Aug 31, 2009

Here are some mobile events for the month of September that we thought are noteworthy and of interest to the community. If you know of others, please mail us at  info at MobileActive dot org.

Wed Sep 2 – Fri Sep 4: M4Life, Barcelona

mDevelopment, one of the three events at the conference, explores the impact of mobile technologies on economic and social development.

Fri Sep 4: Mobile Tech 4 Social Change Bangalore

Mobile Tech 4 Social Change Camps are local events for people passionate about using mobile technology for social impact and to make the world a better place.

Mobile Tech 4 Social Change Camp in Bangalore includes:

Cellphones: The Mobile Frontier for NGOs

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Jan 29, 2008

We are occasionally commissioned to write introductory articles about the mobile revolution and implications for NGOs for various publications. Here is one broad overview of some areas where mobiles are deployed in civil society.

Cellphones have become the most ubiquitous communication device in the hands of human beings. There are an estimated 3.5 billion mobile phones in use and there is coverage in even remote corners of the world. Cellphones have revolutionized not just the way we work and organize within cultures and societies, but have the potential to change how NGOs (non-governmental organizatios) operate.

Mobile phones are already experimentally used in multiple ways by NGOs. We at have been tracking how organizations in areas such as health and disease prevention, economic development, humanitarian relief, democratic participation, and advocacy are using mobile phones to make their work more effective and efficient.

Following are a few examples of what we have seen and where we think mobile phones have potential to be used more strategically by NGOs.