Wireless Technology for Social Change: Trends in NGO Mobile Use
By Sheila Kinkade (ShareIdeas.org) and Katrin Verclas (MobileActive.org).
Commissioned by the United Nations Foundation-Vodafone Group Foundation Technology Partnership.
Mobile technology is transforming the way advocacy, development and relief organizations accomplish their institutional missions. This is nothing new to readers of MobileActive. This recent report Wireless Technology for Social Change: Trends in NGO Mobile Use, released by the United Nations Foundation and The Vodafone Group Foundation, brings this point home.
The report examines emerging trends in “mobile activism” by looking at 11 case studies of groups active in the areas of public health, humanitarian assistance and environmental conservation.
Among the programs highlighted are two conflict prevention projects, both active in Kenya. Oxfam-Great Britain and the Kenyan umbrella group PeaceNet created a text messaging ‘nerve center’ that collected alerts about violent outbreaks during the recent civil unrest and mobilized local ‘peace committees.’ The project served as a vital tool for conflict management and prevention by providing a hub for real-time information about actual and planned attacks between rival ethnic and political groups.
The GSM Association, together with a handful of non-profit and private sector groups in Kenya, developed another conflict prevention project that allows farmers to preserve their crops while protecting wildlife. The program monitors instances when elephants approach farmed land, and provides an early warning system via mobile that is reducing the incidence of human-elephant conflict in an area where as many as five humans and 10 elephants are killed each year.
The report, the second in the Access to Communications Publication Series, produces studies that give governments, NGOs and the private sector research and recommendations on how to use technology and telecom tools to effectively address some of the world’s toughest challenges.
How Information and Communications Technologies Can Support Education for Sustainable Development: Current uses and trends
By Leslie Paas and Heather Creech
Published: IISD Publications Centre, 2008. Paper, 38 pages.
As part of IISD's involvement with Manitoba Education, Citizenship and Youth and the UNESCO Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, this paper presents a brief history, and identifies current uses and trends for deploying ICTs, primarily in the formal Kindergarten to Grade 12 education system, with a focus on the online environment. It considers three main questions:
- Why do ICTs need to be considered as a critical tool in education for sustainable development (ESD)?;
- What ICTs are currently being used by educators and learners?; and
- What can we expect to see in the near future?