Join the Conversation on Mobiles in Citizen Media

Posted by MelissaUlbricht on Jul 27, 2011

Join New Tactics in Human Rights, and others for an online dialogue on Using Mobile Phones for Citizen Media. The dialogue is starting tomorrow, and will conclude on August 2nd. 

The conversation takes place here.

With the growing use of mobile phones for citizen media comes new risks, challenges and opportunities. This online dialogue is a space to discuss stories, tactics, and resources for using mobile phones for citizen media, as well as a space to discuss mobile risk assessment and security. Jin the discussion on July 27 to share your stories, ideas and resources!  

You can find more information on how to participate here.

Ekgaon: Focus on the People

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Jul 01, 2011
Ekgaon: Focus on the People data sheet 2849 Views

Mobile coverage reaches over 90% of the world's population, but mobile services in traditionally rural, lower-income areas have lagged compared to opportunities in more urban areas. One company in India, Ekgaon, is tapping into the rural market by bringing financial, agricultural, and citizen-oriented mobile services to under-served regions. Vijay Pratap Singh Aditya, CEO of Ekgaon, explained to how his company developed and evolved over the years. 

With a focus on under-served markets, Ekgaon partners with financial institutions, agricultural organizations, NGOs, and corporations to bring mobile services to those who need them. Users of the agricultural system receive personalized and customized soil nutrient management information and crop advice along with weather updates, market information, and alerts; users of the financial services use mobiles to manage savings, remittances, insurance, investments and mortgages; and citizen services allow users to monitor and report on the delivery of government programs.

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

The goal of the project is to bring mobile services to previously unreached rural groups by focusing on creating technology for basic mobile phones (with a focus on SMS and IVR).

Brief description of the project: 

Ekgaon is a suite of mobile tools that the company incorporates into existing programs. The group creates financal, agricultural, and citizen-oriented tools (designed mostly as either SMS or IVR services) for an audience of primarily rural-based mobile phone owners.

Target audience: 

The target audience for Ekgaon is two-fold: 1. Low-income mobile phone owners who live in rural areas in South Asia; 2. Companies, NGOs, and other organizations that would like to use mobile services in their work with rural populations.


Detailed Information
Length of Project (in months) : 
What worked well? : 
  • The project has reached large numbers of users through its partnerships, and has found an audience that was eager to incorporate mobile technology into their financal and professional work.
  • Ekgaon also uses open-source solutions, and found that the open-source community has been a good resource for solving technology-related questions. 
What did not work? What were the challenges?: 

Ekgaon's main challenge are keeping costs low for their services, as their target audience is mostly poor, rural communities; since Ekgaon partners with other organizations in order to incorporate their tools into other programs, keeping costs down is a challenge.