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Introducing iCow: The Virtual Mobile Midwife for Cows

Smallholder farmers in Kenya are traditionally conservative, and getting them to adopt new methods and technologies can often take time and effort. In this installment of Digital Diversity, we look at how mobile technology, and one application in particular, is successfully bucking the trend. Digital Diversity is a series of blog posts from kiwanja.net featuring…

Breaking the Silence: SMS Helps Liberian Schools to Improve Education

Students and academics in schools throughout Liberia are taking advantage of a system that allows them to gather information and discuss possible solutions to problems they face in the country’s corrupt education system. In this edition of Digital Diversity, Blair Glencorse talks about “Tell-it-True”, which uses text messages to allow users to share problems and…

Tech & the Cheetah

Some regions of Kenya have better cell phone reception than the heart of San Francisco’s financial district.  This is no exaggeration.  One can easily make a call or text from the Maasai Mara National Reserve.  It’s changed the country’s economy, society in both rural and urban areas, and launched millions of voices onto Twitter and…

The Invisible Borrowers: Opening the Door to Credit with the Mobile Phone

Individuals living in less developed parts of the world often engage in an informal economy where financial identities and credit scores are not commonly used. Little is done to keep records of financial histories, unlike the measures taken in the formal economy. In this installment of Digital Diversity, Rachel Itwaru, an intern for InVenture, explains…

Reconnecting the Disconnected: A Story of Technology, Refugees and Finding Lost Family

In this installment of Digital Diversity, brothers David and Christopher Mikkelsen tell the story of how their organisation, Refugees United, was born. It all began with one man’s search for his family after they were separated for five years because of the war in Afghanistan. The Mikkelsen’s were struck by the frequency of families separating…

SMS and Facebook Help Farmers Reduce Pollution in Resen

Pollution from the overuse of pesticides threatens humans and animal species in the region of the Prespa Lake Basin in Resen, Macedonia. In response, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) worked with farmers in the area to adopt environmentally-friendly practices by setting up a system to monitor pests and diseases, but a lack of local media…

A Voice for the Voiceless: Interactive Radio in Afghanistan and Pakistan

Insecurity and poverty don’t just mean being deprived of material things – they can also deprive people of a voice. Conflict and scarcity make access to information difficult in many regions of the world. Where media are available, it is often the most extreme, dangerous groups who dominate and who falsely represent these regions to…

Mobile meets farmer: Stories from Kenya

As modern communication becomes more ubiquitous in the developing world, increasingly working its way into the lives of rural communities, opportunities to use mobile phones to connect people with each other and the outside world continue to grow. In this edition of Digital Diversity, Clare Salisbury – a recent MA in Multimedia Broadcast Journalism at…

A powerful combination: Radio and SMS promote open dialogue in Chad and Niger

In the age of Twitter, the blogosphere, iPhones and Androids, it is often difficult for people in more developed nations to imagine what it is like to have no voice. Yet for populations not served by broadband Internet and Wi-Fi connections, exclusion from national dialogue and debate continues, leaving many communities and people out of…