Workshop Coverage: Mobile Innovations for Social and Economic Transformation

We are proud to annouce another workshop organized by our fellows from the e-Development Thematic Group at the World Bank. We continue supporting eTG by covering events and workshops live in social media, namely twitter, facebook, linkedin, xing and flickr – plus through our blog ict4d.at/blog – We are constantly evolving and refactoring our lessons learned to strenghten and bundle this new communication channel and provide a good experience and interaction for the participants of such events and thereby integrating the user base of social and mobile media.

On twitter we are using the hashtag #mobile09

Here the official eTG announcement for the event:

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You are invited to participate via live webcast/social media in this e-Development Thematic Group Workshop:

“Mobile Innovations for Social and Economic Transformation. From Pilots to Scaled-up Implementation”
Time: September 16, 2009, 9:00 am – 5:15 p.m (All times Washington DC)

Event Web page: http://go.worldbank.org/7ZD6MGXWF0

You can watch live and recorded webcast at: www.worldbank.org/edevelopment/live
Click here to register for live webcast: http://go.worldbank.org/BGZ8XU3KF0

Are you very welcome to send this invitation to your colleagues.

Description:

‘Explosive’ is the only way to describe mobile phone growth. Over half of the world’s 6.5 billion people now use a mobile and over 60 percent of mobile phone users live in developing countries. Mobile-based innovations are quickly emerging as the new frontier in transforming government, health, banking, education and many other sectors due to fast growing penetration of mobile phones even in the poorest and remotest areas of the globe. Many services can be now made available on a 24x7x365 basis at any place in the world covered by mobile networks, which today means almost everywhere. Through mobiles, for the first time ever, many public and private services have now reached poor households and communities. The demand for mobile applications is fast picking up developing countries. The multitude of highly innovative applications have been developed for mobile banking and payments, phone based information services for farmers and fishermen, locations based medical services and monitoring and data collection in the health sector, to name a few. However, the enormous potential of mobile devices for transforming delivery of public and financial services is still largely untapped.

This workshop aims to raise awareness of World Bank Group staff of the transformational role mobile technologies can play in improving service delivery, efficiency and transparency by show-casing mobile-enabled innovations in a number of sectors and identifying emerging lessons learned and ways to scale up for achieving operational efficiencies and development impact.

Agenda:

9:00 -10:15 am Overview of Mobile Innovations Space and Enabling Environment
10:15 -10:30 am Coffee Break
10:30 -11:45 am Mobile Innovations in Financial Services
11:45 – 1:00 pm Mobile Innovations in Health
1:00 – 2:30 pm Working Lunch & Session: Mobile Innovations in Education
2:30 – 3:45 pm Mobile Applications in Agriculture and Rural Development
3:45 – 4:00 pm Coffee Break
4:00 – 5:15 pm Mobile Innovations in Governance

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Workshop Coverage: Mobile Innovations for Social and Economic Transformation
was published on 12.09.2009 by Martin Konzett. It files under global
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Announcement: Stammtisch #3

As we successfully survived two previous “Stammtisch” events plus the release party of our movie Hello Africa, we want to continue this series EVERY FIRST FRIDAY of a MONTH in Vienna, Austria and of course vie internet worldwide, open for everybody in the area of ICTs that wants to get to know us, wants to talk about own projects or just wants to have a nice evening with like-minded people.

One of our big aims when we created this platform was not only to provide information about ICT4D topics, but also to establish real life contact between interested and commited people.

It’s not institutional, it’s not even a barcamp so don’t be shy, we are happy to meet you. Bring your own cold drinks, since this is appreciated by the management of the venue.

What: ICT4D.at Stammtisch #3

Where: Museumsquartier Vienna, Meeting point right in the middle of HOF1 (Haupthof); We will hold up a banner, so you can’t miss us … Later on we may recline to one of the bars.

When: Friday, 7th August 2009, 19:00

See you there!

RSVP via: and/or

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Announcement: Stammtisch #3
was published on 02.08.2009 by Martin Konzett. It files under eastern and central europe
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ZIFF Zanzibar International Film Festival 2009

ZIFF is the Zanzibar International Film Festival, and was (almost) in full swing when I arrived here. It is a magnificently (dis)organised event which brings film makers, entrepreneurs, NGOs and chancers from all over East Africa and beyond. Martin (of whom more later), as well as running an NGO which brings sustainable technology to local people, made a film about the growing use of mobile phone technology in Africa. It is well worth watching (will publish the web version sometime). More below. It is an acknowledged fact that in Africa, the mobile phone has leaprfrogged land-line phone technology; almost all people here have a mobile – a SIM card costs £0.50, and calls are cheap. More of this later.

We spent several convivial evenings at ZIFF, which is held in the old fort, a double-chambered structure, open to the air. One chamber has a sort of amphitheatre, where the films are shown; the other is an open area with a stage at which concerts took place into the small hours. There is a well-stocked bar in each. Entry was a problem (”residents” get charged £0.50, foreigners £5 or £10).

The first evening passed pleasantly enough – we finally joined up with a group of Belgian film makers who, like many others here, are involved in the general East African cultural scene, which seems to be thriving. Subsequent evenings were quieter, but we were constantly bumping into Martin’s endless contacts, some local, some European – one who came to Uganda/Kenya/Mozambique 5 years ago, and forgot to leave. All manage to make a living, sometimes precarious, but I’m slowly (quite rapidly, actually) realising that you do not need a lot in the way of material goods. It helps, and I know that I am leaving (I hope not for ever) in a few weeks, so a slightly disingenuous thought.

Apart from a few “big” movies, most of the them were sparsely attended. There was an endless cycle of films about AIDS, mostly well-meaning, but I wonder if they ever reach their target audience. Another cycle with harrowing stories of young women in traditional societies, mainly Moslem, who had a relationship, got pregnant, were abandoned and then had to face the most appalling consequences. (While predominantly Sunni Moslem, Zanzibar does not go in for that sort of thing.) One charming film from Cameroun about a couple of friends who compete for a girl (a beautifully choreographed picture of village life); the father wants to marry the girl off to a corrupt politician; she finally succumbs for the good of her family. Her erstwhile fiancée, meanwhile, is in jail after being stitched up by the politician. In the final scene, reminscent of The Graduate (Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft – remember?), the boy is released from jail by an honest policemen and, reconciled with his friend, they race up to the church just as the bride is about to say “I do”. They charge into the church, the girl runs off with her boy, after they have barred the door of the church with a giant pole through the door handles.

The last evening was a gala event, and we went down with the Zanzibits students, who were in a mood of ebullient effervescence. It is hard to exaggerate this; they were absoultely fizzng with good humour. They had made a short film in their class – a series of folk tales and fables, engagingly animated and making liberal use of local children. Another upload for sometime. Finally, Madame Karoume (the mother of the current president of Zanzibar; his father was the first president after indepence, so she is a double first lady) made an endless speech, in Swahili but, like the actor reading the telephone book, never boring. The guest of honour was Danny Glover (Colour Purple), who had previously been driven through the streets in a convoy of Unicef jeeps with blaring sirens. He was rather the worse for wear (or, as they say, tired and emotional but without the emotion), and made a rather uninspiring speech. Then the winning film was shown (an excellent, if violent, film about modern South Africa) and, true to form, everybody (or at least the bigwigs and a sizeable proportion of the audience) left as it started and migrated to the bars and music for more networking.

As a sort of postscript, there was an extra day on Sunday at which Martin’s film – Hello Africal – a cinema verité film about mobile phone usage in Zanzibar was screened to the normal sparse audience. This will also be posted in due course. The streets are now much quieter, and the nightly street market (inter alia, excellent Zanzibarian Pizza, which is not a pizza at all, for £0.75) has migrated to Africa House, which I have not yet visited.

Dan Hamm, our member on site wrote this wonderful review of ZIFF 2009 here: http://hamm.co.uk/zanziblog

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ZIFF Zanzibar International Film Festival 2009
was published on 30.07.2009 by Martin Konzett. It files under east africa
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Refurbishing on the way

Yesterday I received the very nice first impression of the pimped up theme of ICT4D.at done by Oliver Ruhm (Wohnzimmer, Büro für Gestaltung). We agreed on some changes on the layout mostly following Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox, March 30, 2009 “Donation Usability: Increasing Online Giving to Non-Profits and Charities” and some smaller usablity bugs we found while analizing the statistics. So below you can see the first ideas ideas Oliver came up. Feel free to leave your comment.

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Refurbishing on the way
was published on 18.05.2009 by Martin Konzett. It files under global
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e-STAS – Symposium on Technologies for Social Action – Day 1

Image CC by Fumero

Image CC by Fumero

Today was the first day of e-STAS Symposium on Technologies for Social Action. I arrived yesterday here in Malaga and was picked up from the airport and brought to the hotel where all the speakers are staying. In the evening we started socializing and I was introduced (in the real world) to Ken Banks, Christian Kreutz, Jack Dorsey just to name a few of all the interesting people. We had kind of an informal dinner and discussed the actions and topics for day 1 of e-STAS. Today we got up quite early and a bus took us to the venue. We got our name tags and the publication where a saw our article “ICTs for the empowerment of citizens” printed on paper. Very nice.

As Adrian Mangin promised, the event is highly interactive and everybodies voice is heard. As usual, Ismael Peña-López started taking notes and publish them in real time. It was very fascinating sitting next to him and watching him “power-blogging”. Here is his outcome chonologically:

The only missing piece was a workshop, where all the people split into groups and were trying to find a definition for the term “Empowerment”. I was apointed to be the moderator of the bunch of all English speaking guys and we brought up a lot of issues. This will be covered by a separate blog post ASAP.

I was also participating in a round table on Empowerment (see Ismaels link above and the picture) with Bárbara Navarro, Google.es, Luis Millán Vázquez, FUNDECYT and expert at UN-GAID and Fernando Bothelo, Literacy Bridge which was moderated by Idelfonso Mayorgas. Everybody was introduced and had a 2 minutes pitch before we got into medias res. I was the only one speaking English, so I had to stick to my headset with the transation. We brought up our visions and sights on empowerment and I tried to put the focus on the developing world and proposed that we have to educate the people there and let them empower themself. A second topic was cloud computing, where I brought up the lack of computing power and storage capability of mobile devices which are so much growing and cloud computing as a natural result of this. I said that there is open source software for building a cloud system and everybody is able to build it’s own cloud and sticking to e.g. Google is in the long run just a matter of cost (big clouds shoud be cheaper). Another argument we had was on the “information / knowledge / innovation society” which was put into the spotlight by Luis. I said: The problem with this is, that all the information and knowledge is mostly available in written form and in English, so all the illiterate people are not part of it, so it is matter of accessibility. But I insisted later, that this is just a matter of time and the problem should be solved sooner or later.

I will get the video of the round table tomorrow and will push it on youtube.

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e-STAS – Symposium on Technologies for Social Action – Day 1
was published on 26.03.2009 by Martin Konzett. It files under global
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Internal #Q1 2009

We finally made up our budget for 2009 somehow, and yes: the year is already running …

So far we didn’t stop blogging and pushed our video podcast forward.

We went to SocialBar Wien and AfrikaCamp in Vienna, which we supported with money and own contributions. We were present at AfrikaCamp with 7 people, made interviews for our video podcast and socialized with other attendees.

Later – in February – we went to Spain to attend Coop 2.0, a meeting dedicated to innovation in ICT4D. Anders Bolin, Florian Sturm and me (Martin Konzett) created good connections to several people in the international ICT4D scene and again shot interviews for our video podcast. We talked to Oleg Petrov from the e-Development Thematic Group (e-TG) of the World Bank about a possible partnership and had an own presentation about Web 2.0 in ICT4D organizations.

Since ICT4D.at founding member Martin Tomitsch now started lecturing down under, we are now offically partnering with University of Sydney. This is the second university partnering with us – the first one is Vienna University of Technology.

We already rolled out our first cooperative article (ICTs for the empowerment of citizens) which is going to be printed for the meeting e-STAS in Malaga, where I will be going to by the end of this month.

We also fixed our contribution for Africa Gathering in London the end of April.

Out movie project UZI Africa has rolled out a second trailer for scientific use.

We are proud to welcome Joanna Knueppel in our team. She will take care of the upcoming applications for funding together with Petra Busswald. We have three to five grants in the pipeline to which we will aplly by the end of April. As Joanna is an English native speaker, she will also do quality engineering on our blog and wiki.

2 of our members are starting the Swahili Course with Elisabeth Zenz this week to be prepared for Zanzibar this summer where they will carry out the Zanzibits Support project. The Swahili Course will also be documented and there will be a weekly blog post about it.

So far so good – we hope everything will continue this smooth and are looking forward to the next exciting events.

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Internal #Q1 2009
was published on 05.03.2009 by Martin Konzett. It files under global
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Article: ICTs for the empowerment of citizens

Here comes our contribution to e-STAS – Symposium on Technologies for Social Action – next month in Malaga, Spain. I will attend the symposium and will meet great people and make new friends, all of them ruling ICT4D. Adrien Mangin which is co-organizing the event invited us to attend, so we just said yes and we spontaneously made up this article. It is only the first draft but kind of stable. Enjoy:

How do Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) influence society in Lesser Developed Countries (LDCs)? In our opinion, ICTs are the most promising tools that can shift the power balance between the rich, the poor, the institutions and the people to be offered in decades. In areas such as democracy, journalism or the business/financial sector, new and innovative movements are emerging, empowering the poorest of the poor. The first part of this article attempts to express our views on how this is being accomplished and provide examples demonstrating the enormous power of Information and Communication Technologies for Development, known as ICT4D. The second part of this article suggests a research approach and methodology that we use to evaluate how people in LDCs interact with ICTs using a User Centered Design approach, which what we also call UCD4D.

Full text: Article: ICTs for the empowerment of citizens

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Article: ICTs for the empowerment of citizens
was published on 22.02.2009 by Martin Konzett. It files under global
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Zanzibar for sure. Stories from the field.

Due to the load of field work we have been busy with, and the lack of decent internet connection, we have not been able to post as frequently as we would have liked. So we give you here a wrap-up of the recent weeks activities so you get a glimpse of the many stories we have documented so far. Next week we will have free wi-fi in our apartment so we can also post some good shots.

We want to mention that the output of our misson is to shoot a movie and we will publish all the raw material of the Nikon D90 HD-ready video and H2 Zoom WAV audio as Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike and provide download or mail delivery service. (You should attribute “ICT4D.at” and link to https://ict4d.at)

The champion

We had a very interesting meeting with a guy called Juma Lukondya. We met him in Jambiani while we were staying at a local kitchen and he introduced himself to us as the bicycle champion of Zanzibar. It turned out that he is sponsored by the Austrian bike team Cyclopia. He is using his mobile phone to keep in contact with his family in a remote part of the mainland. He also get updates in his phone from upcoming bike competitions, it also keeps him in touch with the Austrian team. We have footage of him training on the beach, riding his bike and using his phone.

Massais at Paje Ndame

We had a very successful day meeting traditional Massais working in Paje. We interviewed Faraja who shared his experiences with mobile phones. He introduced us to his friends who were very cheerful and avid mobile users. We have lots of film material with them chatting and telling their stories and opinions of network operators. One guy was all the time dancing to his favourite mobile tune on his Nokia. Later they all gathered to play a traditional game called Bao, and all the time the phones are ringing while they are playing.

Fishermen

As the tide was good we decided to go out fishing with captain Mohamed and his crew on a traditional sailing boat. The weather was stable but as we left Jambiani there was heavy rain all time we were on the boat. Everything got wet and everybody jumped into the water to have a swim. So no mobile phone acitvity on the boat. The fishermen left the phones at home charging. As we got back to their house on the beach they started using the phones and we did some interviews while they were repairing the fish traps and the nets and peeling the fish.

Local wedding

We were invited to a local wedding ceremony. It was a very nice experience and we were allowed to catch everything on film. It started outside and there was a big gathering of families and friends of the couple. There was a lot of people taking pictures with their cellphones and also DV cameras around. We brought a gift for the bride therefore we were invited in to their house where they had already set up a scene with lightning gear and filming equipment. Afterwards we were offered traditional spicy Pilau rice dish outside. All people were sitting on the ground between the village houses together with goats and chicken and eating the food with the hands from big plates.

Sound recording

We met a cool guy in Stone Town, Akhran Mohammed. He makes his living in town as a shopkeeper but his real passion is recording songs with his friends. He showed us to the basic studio they have and we filmed them while they recorded a new song. The sound producer provides a cool beat on his  Macbook while Akhran is rehearsing a catchy lovesong. When they are finished recording the producer converts the new song into a mp3 file and transfers it via bluetooth to Akhrans mobile phone. Later Akhran plays the song for his impressed friends on the phone in town.

What else do we have?

We cover the school in Jambiani where we are having Swahili lessons. Our teacher Mr. Faridi is holding a special class about mobile phones in his secondary school class. We interviewed the teachers and got a lot of opinions about mobiles. We have a lot of night life shots here and there. most of them in local bars and people having party.

We cover Zanzibits, a Dutch project, which is a multimedia school where they teach programming and handling complex software for editing media. We have a local band called Dwumbaki. They are playing Ngoma, traditional Zanzibarian music. We cover a local kitchen where potatoes are fried and we see randomly shots of customers coming in and out. We have the Jambiani town councellor and we follow him around in his duties. We feature the seaweed women harvesting and drying seaweed.

We follow the student Muhammed when he is playing football and taking photos with his phone. We film a fundi in town repairing and hacking phones. We join an engineer which is building up a new lodge. AND we went to another wedding (!).

We want to mention that we are using a 3 year old Nokia Communicator 9300i and we share it (2 people). It is very useful to write SMS on the keyboard and manage contents in folders. it is also a great notebook where you just enter rich text, format it with RTF editor and then bluetooth it to the Macbook, transfer it to a USB stick and then post this blog 🙂 Also, people we meet love to play with it and pretend doing phonecalls with it.

That’s all for now, stay tuned.

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Zanzibar for sure. Stories from the field.
was published on 09.11.2008 by Martin Konzett. It files under sub saharan africa
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Truly Zambian

Shortly after MobileActive08 we took the plane to Zambia with South African Airways, At the airport we got a Zain (formerly Celtel) SIM card for about 3000 Zambian Kwacha (less then one US Dollar) and some credit. We were picked up by Patience Tropo with our driver Henry and a Mitsubishi Pajero, which was supposed to take us arround the following days. We took the road from Lusaka towards the Zimbawean border to the town of Chirundu. The road was built by the Chinese and it is in pretty good condition. Near the border there were a couple of hundred trucks waiting for clearance. Most of them were US brands operated by South African companies. Many of them bring in goods to Zambia, a lot of them transit to Congo.

In the evening we arrived at Gwabi River Lodge located 20 km east of Chirundu just next to the river Kafue. They offer wireless Internet there for USD 5 for half an hour. We had a very nice dinner at the lodge and decided to do a whole day game drive the following day at Lower Zambezi National Park. So we got up early and hit the road along the river Zambezi. The road was in a horrible condition but after crossing Kafue river with a pontoon we arrived at the first gate about one hour later. Elephants were crossing the road shortly after the gate, which was pretty exciting. Then we lost the track and ended up at Kasaka River Lodge to ask for the way. The guys working at the lodge pointed us to the leaking radiator of our car! So we had a lot of luck not beeing stranded somewhere in the bushes with a overheated car. They fixed it properly and did not even charge for it. Thanks to Kasaka for this great favor. We continued our way and picked up a guide at the park gate, who was supposed to bring us to the animals. We were not very lucky and we had only one hour left to do the game drive, since we had lost quite some time with fixing the car. We saw zebras, impalas, crocodiles, baboons and vervet monkeys which was still very exciting. No lions though.

On our way back we again stopped at the gate and did an interview with Moonga Mulauka, one of the rangers. He mentioned that there is no cell phone network coverage in and arround the park and that they use radios to communicate. He pointed out that no coverage is actually good for the park, because otherwise poachers (illegal hunters) could easily communicate with each other using cell phones.

On the next day we went out to Zambezi river with a speed boat to do some fishing. Again, we were not lucky, but the fish were 🙂 We ended up watching a herd of elephants taking a bath in the river and crossing over to a sand bank to feed there. This was terriffic! While on the boat we also did an interview with Moses Banda, the boat captain.

After that we went back to Gwabi to do the check out and head back to Lusaka.

In Lusaka we met up shortly with Patience again and got to see the Zain headquarters, which is in the embassy area. We wanted to take a picture of the front building which turned out to be quite a hassle, the guards finally agreed after a lot of convincing.

More about the trip from Lusaka < > Dar Es Salaam coming up on the next blogpost!

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Truly Zambian
was published on 21.10.2008 by Martin Konzett. It files under sub saharan africa
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MobileActive08

So there we are. We had three great days at MobileActive08 in Johannesburg so far. MobileActive brings together researchers, professionals and donors in the field of ICT4D.

MobileActive08: Unlocking the potential of Mobile Technology for Social Impact. A global Summit about Mobile Technology for Social Impact.

It has been a wonderful experience, so many people, so many ideas and already mature projects. We were quite impressed. The conference included different sessions like the SIMlabs (test driving mobile applications), SIMplace (show casing projects and products), Mini Talks (short presentations and QA) and the self organized sessions (where people came up spontaniously with their thoughts, BarCamp style; we also hosted one). All of them allowed people to share their ideas and experiences. It proved to be a really good format for a conference on a new field like this.

We connected with a lot of attendees and speakers and did about 25 short interviews (5 minutes each) with our film equipment: Gary Marsden, Erik Hersman (aka white african), Alex Comminos, Ugo Vallauri, Yeal Schwartzman, Kutoma Wahunuma, Chris Williamson, David Barnard, Jacob Korenblum, Andi Friedman and many more …

We will publish all interviews as Creative Commons video podcast in about 3 weeks.

Tomorrow we are heading to Lusaka, Zambia. Stay tuned!

[Image by whiteafrican]

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MobileActive08
was published on 15.10.2008 by Martin Konzett. It files under sub saharan africa
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