Wednesday, March 05, 2008

NGO mobile

Digital Planet this week featured an interesting piece on the activities of NGO Mobile, which has been running a competition that gives recognition to the best 'grass-roots' uses of mobile/SMS technologies in the developing world.

One of the winners was NETWAS, an organisation that has launched an SMS-based service for rural communities in East Africa which allows them to ask a range of water-based questions on topics such as sanitation, hygiene, water harvesting, and water technologies.

Another winning entry came from the Equilibrium Fund which has been using SMS technologies with women who cultivate the Maya nut in Central America to feed them with information tidbits that make them better able to judge when to water and when to harvest, thereby empowering them (apparently) while helping to reduce the kind of deforestation typically caused by under-informed Mayan agricultores.

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