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A Map For Haiti's Success Stories

BY Julia Wetherell | Wednesday, January 16 2013

Over the past several years, the proliferation of crisis mapping has provided a hyperlocal perspective on the threats faced by people throughout the world — in conflict zones and corrupt states, under governments practicing human rights violations and in areas ravaged by natural disasters. Yet in Haiti, where crisis mapping played a significant role in the response to the 2010 earthquake, a group of community action workers wants to turn the concept on its head. Read More


Taiwan Fights Dengue Fever with Data

BY Julia Wetherell | Friday, January 11 2013

Mosquito (Wikimedia Commons).

The Center for Disease Control in Taiwan has implemented a geolocational initiative for response to an outbreak of dengue fever. Read More


Dhaka is Getting a Crowdsourced Bus Map

BY Julia Wetherell | Friday, January 4 2013

The Dhaka bus map, from the project's Kickstarter page.

The capital of Bangladesh is among the most densely populated areas in the world. Like many cities in Southeast Asia, it is serviced by a labyrinthine bus system used by millions of commuters every day. The problem is, dozens of different companies provide bus services, and there’s no map, making travel around the city far from intuitive. Read More


Mobile Phone Use in Zambia May Be Enabling Violence Against Women

BY Julia Wetherell | Friday, January 4 2013

A study in Zambia has revealed that, in a country where men often have the upper hand in society, mobile phone use may actually reinforce patterns of violence against women. Read More


Women Make Their Mark on Kenya's Expanding Tech Sector

BY Julia Wetherell | Thursday, January 3 2013

What’s the best way to get women engaged in tech? In Nairobi, a burgeoning African Silicon Alley, it’s to have women implement tech culture in the first place. A NPR story from late last month dropped in on the Akirachix, an all-female collective of programmers and technologists who are collaborating to tackle social issues in Kenya. Read More


For Afghan Women, Bright Screens and Uncertain Futures in Mobile Learning Effort

BY Naheed Mustafa | Wednesday, December 12 2012

Literacy program for Afghan women (credit: Aga Khan Foundation/ Sandra Calligaro)

Mobile phones are in the hands of about 15 million Afghans and some 85 percent of the population lives in a part of the country with network coverage. Given high mobile penetration and low literacy levels for women, the Paiwastoon Networking Services recently developed the Ustad Mobil literacy program using $80, 000 in U.S. aid money. But while the project's initiators are no doubt well intentioned, they have not taken into account obstacles resulting from local culture and custom. Read More


No Internet For You! In North Korea, A Small Elite Accesses Limited Online Content

BY Julia Wetherell | Tuesday, December 11 2012

Screengrab of Naenara, North Korea's state-sanctioned Internet portal

Though North Korea remains as isolated as ever from the technological community (as TechPresident wrote last year,it was a full 48 hours after the death of Kim Jong-Il before the news broke on Twitter), the Internet is a temptation both for the country’s citizens and for the government of Kim Jong-Un, as the BBC reports. Read More


Sierra Leone Teen Becomes MIT Media Lab's Youngest "Visiting Practitioner"

BY Lisa Goldman | Monday, December 3 2012

A video about a boy from Sierra Leone who creates innovative technology solutions with household goods and materials he sources from dumpsters has gone viral, with over 3.5 million views in two weeks. Kelvin Doe, 16, figured out how to make his own batteries out of acid, soda, and metal when he was 13 years old. He also made a generator out of a cast-off voltage stabilizer and built the equipment to start a community FM radio station, which he runs with a team of friends who act as reporters and station managers (Doe goes by the name DJ Focus). He created these things out of necessity — because batteries were too expensive and his family home did not have access to regular electricity. Read More


Free Phone App Teaches Afghan Women to Read

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, November 15 2012

The Ministry of Education in Afghanistan is rolling out a free phone app that it hopes will raise the literacy level amongst women, reports Currently, only 15 percent of Afghan women can read and write. Read More


Inexpensive Smart Phones Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks

BY Lisa Goldman | Wednesday, October 31 2012

Image from the Mozilla blog

While the release of low cost smartphones is a welcome development, their rapid proliferation could come at the cost of presenting an opportunity for malicious hackers. Read More