A Gift to Denmark: A Whale in a Can on Mobile Video

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Mar 07, 2007

Greenpeace Argentina, as part of Greenpeace's global Whales Campaign, in a protest action yesterday delivered cans of fake 'whale' to the Danish Embassy in Buenos Aires.  The action was recorded clandestinely by the activists on mobile video.  According to Greenpeace, the Danish government is part of the pro-whaling meetings held in Japan. The cans were inscibed with "Whales Canned thanks to Danish support."


Four Questions Non-Profits Should Ask Before Jumping Into Mobile Apps

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Nov 24, 2010

Mobile applications gets a lot of attention today.  The market is growing every day. Cellular-News recently reported that this quarter’s worldwide smartphone sales increased 96% compared to a similar period last year, and that smartphones now account for nearly 20 percent of worldwide phone sales. Apps are admittedly a great way to reach out to new audiences.

But for non-profits, developing mobile apps can be a tricky undertaking. There’s a lot of hype around apps, and it’s hard to know how to approach the smartphone market. Planning for a mobile app that fits into a non-profit’s mobile communications strategy can make the difference between a great app and an app that doesn’t meet expectations. For non-profits wanting to develop apps, it’s important to make sure that they are meeting a real need – both for the organization and for users. Before launching an app, there are four questions non-profits should ask themselves: 

Four Questions Non-Profits Should Ask Before Jumping Into Mobile Apps data sheet 4339 Views
Countries: United States

Qton Solutions

Posted by penunn on Nov 04, 2009

Qton Solutions

Qton provides development and government organisations in the emerging markets with appropriate mobile and web based applications.

With extensive experience in mobile applications and software development Qton has a knowledgeable team committed to supplying affordable and effective solutions.


To assist organisations achieve their aims by enabling basic mobile phones to:

Organization Type: 
139 Oxford Road
Postal code: 


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 5525 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:

Wireless Technology for Social Change: Trends in Mobile Use by NGOs

Posted by LeighJaschke on Jul 16, 2009
Wireless Technology for Social Change: Trends in Mobile Use by NGOs data sheet 3191 Views
Kinkade, Sheila; Verclas, Katrin
Publication Date: 
Jan 2008
Publication Type: 
Magazine or newspaper article

This report explores the ways in which non-
governmental organizations (NGOs) and
other groups deploy and use mobile
technology in their work to help solve some
of the world’s greatest problems. This study
is not meant to be exhaustive or definitive,
but rather to provide a view into how a
number of organizations are using mobile
technology to achieve social impact. The authors
selected case studies that enabled an
exploration of significant innovations,
opportunities, and emerging trends, as well
as the obstacles, in the use of mobile
technology to advance social goals.

Are There Conflict Minerals on Your Mobile Phone?

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Jun 01, 2009

So asks the Enough Project, and its new campaign Raise Hope for Congo. The Enough Project is part of the Center for American Progress, a US-based left-leaning think tank and advocacy organization. The Enough Project's campaign aims, according to Eileen White Read from the organization in an article submitted to to

..end the trade in “conflict minerals” from the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, which are sold by rebel groups to purchase arms and serve as a direct cause of widespread sexual violence in that country.

Improving Livelihoods and Incomes With Mobile Phones

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Apr 21, 2009

Telecom TV has a short report on “Market Intelligence: How Mobiles are Helping Farmers and Fishermen.” The reports covers KACE, the Kenya Agricultural Commodity Exchange. Of course, there is also a short segment on the famous fisherman of Kerala, studied in the seminal study by Robert Jensen that he conducted in Kerala from 1999 to 2001 in MIT's Quarterly Journal of Economics. The study definitively showed the increase in income for fishermen and decrease of consumer prices of fish upon the introduction of mobile phones.  The video is here.

Earth Day and Mobile Phones, Part 1: Sensing for a Better World

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Apr 21, 2009

If 2009 is the year of the mobile phone for social impact, then Earth Day should mark a special occasion in this regard. More and more organizations and people are discovering how mobile phones can be used for social impact, including how to use mobile tech for environmental protection, sensing, and to leverage just-in-time information to make our movements and actions more environmentally friendly.

An emerging field of research, for example, uses mobiles for "urban sensing," allowing phones to collect scientific data in new and innovative ways. By affixing a sensory device to a mobile phone, mobile sensing provides the opportunity to track dynamic information about environmental impacts and develop maps and understand patterns of human movement, traffic, and air pollution.

A leader in this field is the University of California Los Angeles CENS Lab.

Celebrate The Day of Love with Mating Call Ringtones

Posted by CorinneRamey on Feb 11, 2008

This Valentine's Day, forget the chocolate, roses, and poetry-filled greeting cards. Instead, consider surprising your love with ringtones of animal mating calls available for download to North Americans at

The site features 20 different ringtones with more to come in the future. Current animals include a lovelorn howler monkey, a horny tree frog, a lonely African lion, various birds, and many other species. The ringtones can be downloaded at no cost. And if you are curious and want to learn more, each mating ringtone page contains a description of the animal's mating habits and calls. We are sure you'll be able to delight your love there.

Presentation on the use of SMS in conservation and development

Posted by kiwanja on Apr 27, 2006

I recently made a presentation at a Conference hosted by Technologies for Conservation and Development (t4cd) at Microsoft's Research Centre in Cambridge, UK.

The Conference, which I helped organise through my work with the lead project partner - Fauna & Flora International - brought technologists and conservationists together to try and join the dots in this 'mini digital divide'. My talk was on the growing use of text messaging within the conservation and development communities, and more generally in wider society.



Save the Seals: SMS "Ban It"

Posted by justinoberman on Mar 28, 2006

sealtxt Who would not want to save this guy?

As the seal hunting season opens, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is launching a major campaign at and on cell phones all across the UK.

Starting yesterday, IFAW launched advertisements, like the one showed above, in the Sunday Mirror and has already received well over 10, 000 responses which, according to Jed Alpert, CEO of Politxt (the political arm of his Rights-Group media) the company responsible for the back end technology of the campaign, is a very sizeable response rate for a newspaper ad. IFAW will be displaying the add in various UK newspapers throughout the week and will be putting them up in the London tube some time in early April.  In the UK, send the text message "Ban It" to the short code 60123.

More on the story is at Personal Democracy.