Employment and Job Training

Posted by on Jan 01, 1970


Scenes from Amman: Mobile Data for Social Action in the Middle East

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Dec 09, 2009

"Innovations in Mobile Data Collection for Social Action," a workshop co-hosted by MobileActive.org and UNICEF in Amman, Jordan, featured Ignite Talks -- five minute presentations by inspiring people who are using mobiles for social action in the Middle East -- and interviews with key participants.  Jacob Korenblum describes the work of Souktel in Palestine, and Erica Kochi from UNICEF Innovation, the co-host of the event, illustrates why data collected by mobiles is so important for their work in Iraq. 

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.

Tracking the Introduction of the Village Phone Product in Rwanda

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Oct 23, 2009
Tracking the Introduction of the Village Phone Product in Rwanda data sheet 3204 Views
Michael Douglas Futch, Craig Thomas McIntosh
Publication Date: 
Sep 2009
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

This paper presents the results from a quantitative impact study of the Grameen/MTN Village Phone in Rwanda, which was conducted between June 2006 and August 2007. We find that the introduction of a Village Phone had a substantial impact on reported access to telecommunications for local entrepreneurs.

While the introduction of phones did not follow the intended randomized design, we compare the changes observed in 94 study communities that received the phones to the 284 that did not. We find that the placement of a Village Phone in a community was associated with both an increased use of phones to transmit news and a greater propensity for farmers to arrange their own transit.

Despite this improvement in access to telephony, the actual prices received by farmers were not affected. Impacts at the household level were muted by the relatively small size of Village Phone businesses and airtime usage rates, implying that profits must be transferred from other sources to pay off the phone in six months. Reported labor time in household enterprise increased dramatically for Village Phone operators, but positive impacts on consumption or overall business profits were not found.

Posted by on Jan 01, 1970


International Youth Foundation

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Sep 25, 2009

The International Youth Foundation (IYF) invests in the extraordinary potential of young people. Founded in 1990, IYF builds and maintains a worldwide community of business, governments, and civil society organizations committed to empowering youth to be healthy, productive, and engaged citizens. IYF programs are catalysts of change that help young people obtain a quality education, gain employability skills, make healthy choices, and improve their communities.

IYF is based on the premise that throughout the world there are thousands of effective programs and approaches making a profound and lasting difference in young lives. Rather than build new programs from scratch, our mission is to identify programs “that work,” strengthen their impact, and expand their reach so that many more young people may benefit.

All of IYF’s program activity is clustered around four issue areas, which form the core thrust of IYF’s global youth initiatives. These are: Education, Employability, Leadership and Engagement, and Health Education and Awareness.

Organization Type: 

A New Generation of Mobile Developers: Mobile Camps in Africa

Posted by LeighJaschke on Sep 11, 2009

In a classroom in Thies in Senegal, two teachers master an educational game on their mobile phones. Ten minutes later, their pre-school group is using the game to recognize number and count to 10. Noumounthi, Tamsir, Khady Coly and Mamadou, computer science students at the University of Thies, designed and developed the game following a recent Mobile Camp in Senegal. The exitement in the classroom helps the team of students understand the power of their new skills in mobile application programming, and what it means to be a mobile entrepreneur in Africa.

Mobile camps may be building the next generation of mobile programmers by helping to develop a new field of study in African higher education. Recent camps have produced tools for social development and provided educators with new skills.

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.


Posted by CorinneRamey on Aug 31, 2009
Souktel data sheet 8955 Views

Souktel, an SMS service based in the Middle East and East Africa, is all about connections. The service, launched in 2006, uses SMS to connect users to everything from jobs and internships to humanitarian aid and youth leadership programs.

The name comes from "souk," the Arabic word for "marketplace," and "tel," or "telephone. Although at least 80 percent of people in Palestine have access to mobile phones, most people have Internet access only in cafés or public places, said Jacob Korenblum, co-founder of Souktel. "Getting information about medical care, jobs, and food bank services can be difficult," he said. And even at Internet cafes, Korenblum said that many people, especially women, lack access to these services. "We wanted to develop a very simple service," he said. "That's how Souktel started."

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

Souktel works to connect job seekers with employers and to connect humanitarian groups with people that are seeking aid.

Brief description of the project: 

Using Souktels' JobMatch, users can create mini-resumes, which are then accessible by employers. Employers can post job listings, which users can search by factors like job or location. With AidMatch, humanitarian agencies can send messages to field staff, or send create mailing lists and let recipients know when aid is available.

Target audience: 

youth, aidworkers, general public

Detailed Information
What worked well? : 

Matching people with jobs has been one of Souktel’s biggest successes, said Korenblum. “When a woman who can't go to Internet cafes finds a job through Souktel, that’s a huge success,” he said. Souktel has also been successful in partnering with other organizations, like universities and humanitarian organizations such as Mercy Corp, UN-OCHA and the Red Cross/Red Crescent. For the university partners, this is the first time that they have used mobile technology and none of them have job centers.

What did not work? What were the challenges?: 

Challenges have included working with the different mobile carriers. The cost of SMS, which averages about $.05 US in Palestine, is also a challenge.

Mobile Learning in Developing Countries

Posted by LeighJaschke on Jul 20, 2009
Mobile Learning in Developing Countries data sheet 3189 Views
Traxler, John; Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes
Publication Type: 
Journal article
Mobile learning, or m-learning, is a personal, unobtrusive, spontaneous, “anytime, anywhere” way to learn and to access educational tools and material that enlarges access to education for all. It reinforces learners’ sense of ownership of the learning experience, offering them flexibility in how, when and where they learn. In developing countries, mobile technologies potentially deliver educa- tion without dependence on an extensive traditional communications infra- structure, leapfrogging some of the intervening development phases encoun- tered in developed countries such as installing extensive electricity power grids, and building multiple computer rooms in educational institutions. Although m-learning experience remains limited, it is becoming a credible, cost-effective component of blended open and distance learning (ODL) provisions, adaptable to an institution’s needs and situation. M-learning devices are lightweight and handheld, including: • Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), and palmtop or handheld computers. • Mobile phones, also called cell phones or handphones. Consider mobile phones, which are cheap and widely available, alongside other wireless communication devices; and handhelds, which are more expensive and scarce, alongside desktop and laptop comput- ers. Mobile devices are educationally interesting because they offer: • Several communications channels on one device, for example, email, voice, and text messaging. • Cheaper, comparable functionality with desktops or laptops. • Wireless access to educational materials, other students and Internet resources. Handhelds are currently the dominant mobile devices, apart from basic mobile phones. These technologies are converging, creating power- ful all-in-one tools such as “smartphones,” mobile phones with the func- tionality of a handheld; and handhelds with mobile phone capability. This guide focuses on the use of handheld computers or smartphones in m-learning.

Scaling a Changing Curve: Traditional Media Development and the New Media

Posted by LeighJaschke on Jul 15, 2009
Scaling a Changing Curve: Traditional Media Development and the New Media data sheet 3821 Views
Sullivan, Marguerite H.
Publication Date: 
Mar 2008
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper
Across the world, journalists and traditional news media organizations have come to realize that new media—including blogs, social networking sites, cell phone messaging, and other relatively new technology applications—are having a profound impact on their work. A recent survey of U.S. journalists noted that for a majority of respondents, the new media have had a significant impact on the speed, tone, and editorial direction of their reporting.1 Yet the field of independent media development has been slow to fully realize the potential of new information and communication technology (ICT). Although new technologies have fundamentally altered the traditional media landscape, many media-development donors, practitioners, and scholars have only recently begun to consider ICT seriously and systematically in their traditional models of media development. Many who do utilize ICT tend to do so in the background, rather than making new technologies the major feature of programming. To complicate matters further, new technologies are not simply being incorporated into the rules of the media game; they are changing them completely. New trends like citizen-based journalism, spontaneous mass organization prompted by new media communication, instantaneous image transmission, and ubiquitous computing have totally reshaped the way people and institutions gather and process information. During the recent presidential primary contests in the United States, for example, viewers were able to submit questions via video networking sites such as YouTube, and discuss candidates’ debate performances on social networking sites such as Facebook. The trend is not limited to developed countries; from the Philippines to Kenya to Korea, new information technologies are transforming the modern news media. To be sure, incorporating and anticipating new media technologies in traditional independent media-development models may be a more complicated process than it appears. Particularly because use of these technologies can be spontaneous, user-driven, and relatively low-cost, it would appear that making creative use of them would be relatively easy for donors and practitioners working on independent media development. Nevertheless, there are additional factors that must be considered, including questions of access; patterns of use; the “non-organic” quality of top-down, donor-driven programs; technical literacy; and other similar factors. Through an examination of the use of ICT in independent media development, this paper seeks to shed light on the state of current practice with respect to media development and new technologies. It will also place these developments within the context of a rapidly changing global information industry, one that is evolving faster than traditional media programs have been able to adapt. Finally, it will offer several recommendations on how independent media-development programs can take advantage of, and keep abreast of, these new global trends.

id21 insights 69 l September 2007: Research findings for development policymakers and practitioners id21 insights

Posted by LeighJaschke on Jul 14, 2009
id21 insights 69 l September 2007: Research findings for development policymakers and practitioners id21 insights data sheet 3022 Views
Donner , Jonathan
Publication Date: 
Sep 2007
Publication Type: 
Magazine or newspaper article

id21 insights is published 10 times a year and is online at www.id21.org/insights. Readers
may copy or quote from any article, providing the source (id21 insights) and author are
and informed. To subscribe, email insights@ids.ac.uk with your name and
address. id21’s website, www.id21.org, offers free access to over 4,000 research highlights
on development policy issues including health, natural resources, education and more. This issue focuses on micro-entrepreneurs in Nigeria, mobile ladies in Bangladesh, unequal gender relations in Zambia, getting beyond the three billion mark, mobile banking and poor households in Jamaica.

The GSMA Development Fund Top 20 Research on the Economic and Social Impact of Mobile Communications in Developing Countries

Posted by LeighJaschke on Jul 14, 2009
The GSMA Development Fund Top 20 Research on the Economic and Social Impact of Mobile Communications in Developing Countries data sheet 4143 Views
HMS Wireless
Publication Date: 
May 2008
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

The positive implications of landline telecoms infrastructure and, more recently, of mobile communications on
economic growth in the developed world have long been acknowledged, with numerous studies analysing the
issue. Now that most of the developed world has reached high penetration levels of mobile phones, both current
growth patterns and future projections suggest that virtually all of the mobile industry’s new customers in the
coming years will come from developing countries. In fact, as of 2007, there were more mobile customers in
developing countries than in the entire developed world (ITU).
What impact are mobile phones having on developing countries and are user experiences and overall impacts
unique or similar to those of developed countries? While it might seem intuitive to just extrapolate from the results
of earlier studies in developed countries, the developing world is in fact leap-frogging the developed world when
it comes to mobile communication and its many uses. The implications of this technology on daily life in
developing countries appear to be more far-reaching than they were in the earlier developed country rollouts. For
example, studies have demonstrated that mobile technology is driving improvements in social links, the creation
of social capital, improved market information flows and productivity, as well as increases in GDP and Foreign
Direct Investment.
This report surveys recent research and highlights the top studies in this area based on content, relevance,
originality and credibility. While it is not an exhaustive and scientifically developed list, it illustrates the work that
we feel is most important at the moment and highlights key conclusions on the impact of mobile technology in
developing countries.
Further, while the existing research is valuable in understanding the impacts, the literature is still limited in its
coverage and scope. We therefore recommend additional research to expand evidence and knowledge, particularly
with respect to basic economic studies, prospective applications and the needs of users around financial services.
We also call on stakeholders such as mobile operators, governments, industry groups, foundations and
development organisations to play their part in improving information sharing, increasing research and driving
developments in these countries.
Finally, we provide information on additional research on impacts and policy issues, as well.

Final Evaluation Report: Emergency capacity building project

Posted by LeighJaschke on Jul 08, 2009
Final Evaluation Report: Emergency capacity building project data sheet 2645 Views
Margie Ferris Morris Daniel E. Shaughnessy
Publication Date: 
Jul 2007
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

The Management of the Emergency Capacity Building Project called for a final evaluation of the Project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Microsoft Corporation to assess progress towards its stated goal and outcomes “to improve the speed, quality and effectiveness of the humanitarian community in saving lives, improving welfare and protecting the rights of people in emergencies.” The main objective of the evaluation is to review progress towards project objectives and goals, to inform future endeavors, and to learn. The primary users of the Final Evaluation are the Senior Managers at the IWG agencies, the Interagency Working Group Emergency Directors, project donors, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Microsoft Corporation, as well as agency staff working on the project. The evaluation used a mixed methods approach, including interviewing individuals, holding focus group discussions with most agencies, and conducting two field surveys, one to partner organizations and one to field staff. A limitation to the evaluation was less than full access to field perspectives due to time/resource constraints and the practical inability to contact all the key staff and partners, as well as non-IWG contacts involved in the project – there simply were more than time permitted (over 500 persons). However, 93 agency staff, partners and non-IWG agencies and individuals were interviewed or surveyed. Because of the complexity of the project, evaluators were given a greater page limit to address all the points in the Terms of Reference.

A review of the research on mobile used by micro and small enterprises (MSEs)

Posted by LeighJaschke on Jun 25, 2009
A review of the research on mobile used by micro and small enterprises (MSEs) data sheet 2888 Views
Donner, Jonathan; Escobari, Marcela
Publication Date: 
Apr 2009
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

This paper offers a systematic review of 14 studies
of the use of mobile telephony by micro and small enterprises
(MSEs) in the developing world, detailing findings about changes
to enterprises’ internal processes and external relationships, and
findings about mobile use vs. traditional landline use. Results
suggest that there is currently more evidence for the benefits of
mobile use accruing mostly (but not exclusively) to existing MSEs
rather than new MSEs, in ways that amplify existing material
and informational flows rather than transform them. The review
presents a more complete picture of mobile use by MSEs than
was previously available to ICTD researchers, and identifies
priorities for future research, including comparisons of the
impact of mobile use across subsectors of MSEs and assessments
of use of advanced services such as mobile banking and mobile commerce.

EPROM Update: 10 Countries and Counting

Posted by LeighJaschke on Jun 18, 2009
EPROM Update: 10 Countries and Counting data sheet 2612 Views
Eagle, Nathan
Publication Date: 
Sep 2008
Publication Type: 

This issue of the EPROM newsletter (2.0) chronicles the growth of the growth of the Entrepreneurial Programming and Research on Mobiles affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) in partnership with Nokia. EPROM was founded by Nathan Eagle in 2006 at the University of Nairobi. EPROM is part of the Program for Developmental Entrepreneurship program at MIT. This issue highlights examples from expansion of mobile programming courses to 12 computer science departments across sub-Saharan Africa. The issue also describes phone applications developed specifically for the African market, and start up ventures based in Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Kampala and Kigali. Teacher training and future courses are listed.

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.

Souktel: Jobs and Aid via SMS

Posted by CorinneRamey on Jun 09, 2008

Getting information in the West Bank in Palestine can be difficult. Public transportation is fragmented and some 500 checkpoints around the area make travel time-consuming and difficult. Most people don't have regular Internet access, and newspapers are expensive. A project called Souktel has stepped in to fill this information gap. The service, launched in 2006, uses SMS to connect users to two services: job opportunities and humanitarian aid. The name comes from "souk," the Arabic word for "marketplace," and "tel," or "telephone."

Jacob Korenblum, co-founder of Souktel, talked with MobileActive about the project. "At least 80% of people in the West Bank have cellphones, but Internet access is a problem for people here," Korenblum said. "So getting information about medical care, jobs, and food bank services can be difficult." Although there are Internet cafes, Korenblum said that many people, especially women, lack access to these services. "We wanted to develop a very simple service," Korenblum said.

Mobile Phone Use Among Homeless People

Posted by CorinneRamey on May 29, 2008

For 40,000 people a year across the U.S., voicemail is a lifeline. The Community Voice Mail (CVM) program, started in 1991, has helped provide over 40,000 homeless and low-income individuals each year with access to voicemail in 41 U.S. cities. For many CVM clients, their voicemail is their connection to a job, an apartment, and relationships with teachers, doctors, or social service agencies. (MobileActive wrote about CVM and similar programs here). However, as mobile phones have become ubiquitous across the United States -- even in the hands of homeless people -- CVM has questioned the impact and relationship of mobile phones to their traditional voicemail model.

MobileActive sat down with Steve Albertson, Director of New Initiatives at Community Voicemail, for a chat.

SOS SMS: A Text Helpline for Philippine Workers

Posted by CorinneRamey on Feb 14, 2008

A single computer, hooked up to a modem in Bobby Soriano's house in the Philippines, receives a steady of stream of text messages begging for help. There have been messages from Philippine seamen, who, after being accused of the murder of a Korean captain, were forced to confess by Omani police. There was a Philippine domestic worker in Lebanon who was forced to flee to the mountains to escape Israeli bombings, and a message from twenty Philippine sailors who were evicted from their ship by police near Denmark. In each of these cases, a single SMS message with the keyword "SOS" was sent to a hotline in the Philippines, activating a network of nonprofits and government agencies to come to the workers' rescue.