Farming advice on a cell phone

Posted by CorinneRamey on Jun 16, 2009

At a small agrarian cooperative in Chile, farmers with little access to the internet have a new source of farming information: text messaging. The messages, a combination of national and international news and farming information about topics like weather and pricing, are part of a project called DatAgro, which aims to bring relevant farming information to rural populations that have little access to computers.

DatAgro is a collaboration between Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit DataDyne and the Santiago-based Zoltner Consulting Group, which looks at ways that ICTs can be used for development. The project is primarily funded by a $325,000 Knight News Challenge Grant and will continue until November 2010.

Datadyne: Collecting Health Data through Open Source Tools

Posted by KatrinVerclas on Jun 15, 2009

Tagged With:

Datadyne: Collecting Health Data through Open Source Tools data sheet 4866 Views

Adapted from: Wireless Technology for Social Change: Trends in Mobile Use by NGOs. Sheila Kinkade and Katrin Verclas. Washington, DC and Berkshire, UK: UN Foundation–Vodafone Group Foundation Partnership, 2008.

Issue: Monitoring Disease in Developing Countries

"It was the late 1990s and I was amazed by the lack of adoption of modern IT [information technology] in collecting health data, whether you were in Haiti or parts of the U.S.,” recalls Joel Selanikio, a pediatrician, technologist, epidemiologist, and co-founder of the non-profit

“Government agencies tend to lag far behind the private sector in pursuing new technologies.”

Organization involved in the project?: 
Brief description of the project: 

An overview of Datadyne's work with EpiSurveyor, a mobile data collection tool used for conducting health and other surveys, with a specific focus on several pilot projects implementing the application in Kenya and Zambia.

Target audience: 

Health workers

Global Regions: 
Last Name: 
First Name: 
Washington DC

News Headlines Via SMS

Posted by CorinneRamey on May 31, 2008

Dr. Joel Selanikio believes in the value of the news. "It's one of my core beliefs that the more people know, the better decisions people are going to make," he said. Selanikio, the director of, was recently awarded a Knight News Challenge grant for a project that distributes news on mobile phones.

Selanikio sat down with MobileActive for a discussion about his project. Selanikio isn't new to mobile phones. As director of, he has used mobile phones for data collection with EpiSurveyor (read more about this in Wireless for Social Change: Trends in NGO Mobile Use.) He is also part of a consortium on mobile data collection, OpenROSA.

Congratulations to the Knight News Challenge Winners!

Posted by CorinneRamey on May 16, 2008

Two organizations in the MobileActive community were recently awarded Knight News Challenge Grants, given annually to fund "innovative digital projects around the world." There were 16 awards given in all to projects that use digital and open source technology to provide public-interest news.

Bev Clark, the co-founder of, was awarded the largest grant in the Challenge for Freedom Fone, a way to distribute news and independent media:

Freedom Fone will provide a voice database where users can access news and public-interest information via land, mobile or Internet phones... Independent radio station content will be broadcast, along with frequently updated audio reports created specifically for Freedom Fone.