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How Mobile Phone Technology is Changing Lives in Developing States

BY Lisa Goldman | Wednesday, August 22 2012

The Toronto Star has published a nice overview of how mobile phones are facilitating information access and improving peoples' lives in undeveloped regions with poor infrastructure.

Many places are jumping straight from paper records to mobile information because they are getting cellphone towers before Internet connections or even traditional phone lines. This means that for the first time it’s possible for a doctor in Guatemala City to monitor a newborn baby in a rural part of the country.
“People who never had access to information can get to a telecentre or a computer at their church or they have a mobile phone even if they share that mobile phone with their whole family and everyone just has their own SIM card,” said Revi Sterling, director of Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD) graduate studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

The piece mentions several platforms we've written about at techPresident — like Ushahidi and M-Pesa. It also categorizes mobile phone apps and usage by category — e.g., health, governance, agriculture and finance.

It's a handy little cheat sheet that's worth bookmarking.

Personal Democracy Media is grateful to the Omidyar Network for its generous support of techPresident's WeGov section.

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