Land Rights

SMS Uprising:Mobile Phone Activism in Africa

Posted by VivianOnano on Jun 27, 2011
SMS Uprising:Mobile Phone Activism in Africa data sheet 1551 Views
Ekine,Sokari, Nathan Eagle, Christian Kreutz, Ken Banks, Tanya Notley, Becky Faith, Redante Asuncion-Reed, Anil Naidoo, Amanda Atwood, Berna Ngolobe, Christiana Charles-Iyoha Joshua Goldstein, Juliana Rotich, Bukeni Waruzi.
ISSN/ISBN Number: 
Publication Date: 
Jan 2010
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

This compendium of articles (available at a cost) attempts to critically investigate the use and utility of mobile phones in Africa. Contributors include Nathan Eagle who writes about ‘Economics and power within the African telecommunication industry’,  Amanda Atwood’s report on Kubatana’s experiences in Zimbabwe setting up mobiles as a means of sharing news outside of government propaganda, to Bukeni Waruzi’s essay on collecting data on children’s rights violations in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2004.  SMS Uprising is published by Fahamu, a British-based organization with a focus on information services for Africa. For a critique of the book see our aticle here.


FOLKSOMAPS - Towards Community Driven Intelligent Maps for Developing Regions

Posted by MarkWeingarten on Feb 02, 2011
FOLKSOMAPS - Towards Community Driven Intelligent Maps for Developing Regions data sheet 1546 Views
Kumar, Arun, Dipanjan Chakraborty, Himanshu Chauhan, Sheetal K. Agarwal, and Nitendra Rajput
Publication Date: 
Jan 2009
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

Many services taken for granted in the developed world are often missing from the developing countries. One typical example is that of map systems that form the basis of several location-driven services. Its heavy reliance on content, provides a huge barrier towards building such systems. Further, in developing countries like India, the infrastructure typically has a history of unplanned development, leading to unorganized addresses and absence of standard naming conventions for roads. Detailed map systems such as online maps have only recently started becoming available but for major cities. Remote towns and villages remain out of reach till date.

In this paper, we investigate a community-driven approach for creating maps in developing regions - following Web 2.0 principles, but not entirely relying on the existing Web. Our system, dubbed FOLKSOMAPS is an intelligent, community constructed map system, particularly architected with developing regions in mind. We present the design of FOLKSOMAPS, followed by an implementation of our proof-of-concept system. We present user studies aimed at understanding the uptake, usability and utility of FOLKSOMAPS. The results indicate a strong need for such a community-generated mapping ecosystem.

Earth Day and Mobile Phones, Part 2: Making the Environment Better One SMS at a Time

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Apr 22, 2009

Sensing is just one way in which mobiles are used in environmental protection. Another promising area is wildlife protection in sensitive areas where humans and animals collide, often to the detriment of protected animals. In the Laikipia District in Kenya, the University of Cambridge conducted a project using mobile phones to protect and manage Kenya's second largest elephant population, and the ecosystem they inhabit.  The goal was to alleviate human-elephant conflict between local farmers and the protected elephants.  The project used mobile phones for early warning of elephants approaching farmland by using 'push-to-talk' technologies, and GPS/GSM collars for the elephants, allowing wildlife personnel to intervene before elephant became a danger to farmers and vice versa. 

Virtual Forum "Mobile Telephony in Rural Areas" 17-28 November 2008

Posted by cmasiello on Oct 29, 2008

Mobile phones bridge the rural digital divide, bring economic benefits, and act as agents of social mobilization through improved communication. But what are the real challenges of reaching rural areas, and what are some of today’s most beneficial applications that can help rural communities, specifically regarding agriculture development?

The Virtual Forum on "Mobile Telephony in Rural Areas" will examine the challenges that rural communities face in enhancing the benefits of mobile telephony, and look at some examples of interesting initiatives and good outcomes from around the globe.

Subject Matter experts include: