mobile application development

Mobile Apps for Development: Focus on Content By Users, Not Just For Users

Posted by Ignacio Mas on Mar 28, 2012

(This blog post was co-authored by Rafael Anta, a Technology Specialist at the Inter-American Development Bank, and Ignacio Mas, an independent consultant.)

Most applications for development (m-whatever) are based on giving poor people access to information that the provider of that information thinks people need.  There is little interaction and no user-generation of content in many first. Does it need to be like that?

There are two basic attributes of mobile communication. First, it is immediate. A person with a phone can communicate right here and right now,  the result of the expansive mobile network coverage and our ability to carry a network end-point (a.k.a. a mobile phone) with us wherever we go. Secondly, the communication is interactive - a two-way communications, with equal capacity for sending and receiving. Both these factors – immediacy and interactivity— involve users not just as consumers but as contributors of content. In fact, the most widely-used mobile channels are purely user-generated:  voice and SMS, some picture messaging, more recently Facebook and Twitter. 

These applications implicate us in one more sense: we are also marketers of our content. User-generated content involves a level of audience targeting and content tailoring that no studio executive will ever achieve. Our content fills the airwaves in ever-growing quantities, but any bit of it has scarcity value – at least for the sender and for the intended recipient. Content is king, but our content is supreme.

Christelle Scharff, Mobile Bootcamps, and Training the Next Generation of Mobile App Developers in the Global South

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Nov 19, 2009

Christelle Scharff is an associate professor of computer science at Pace University in New York. In our occasional series of mobile innovators, she is discussing her work with the Mobile Development and Web Design for Senegal project that teaches students to develop mobile applications.

We have recently written about the proliferation of mobile bootcamps to nurture the next generation of mobile app developers in Africa.  Christelle Scharff and her colleagues Anita Wasilewska from Stony Brook University, and Mamadou Bousso, Ibrahima Ndiaye and Cheikh Sarr from the University of Thies coordinated the camp in Senegal that is now expanding in reach. The students there developed three mobile phone applications, including an educational game (Wannigame) and an application to manage sales and expenses for local artisans.

To date, the project has also trained 22 teachers in Senegal in a training organized with Manobi. Most of the teachers did not previously identify mobile application programming as a field of study.  The do now! Take a look at Christelle's work.



Christelle Scharff, Mobile Bootcamps, and Training the Next Generation of Mobile App Developers in the Global South data sheet 4910 Views
Countries: Senegal