This article is about how as contributions to the GDP from Indian villages are increasing, the technology for communication specifically for villages are also increasing and helping with production and development. The ability for rural villages to connect with each other and with larger cities are enabling for the first time, the creation of rural companies. In addition farmers are now able to share videos and new explorations in different farming techniques. There are still many challengers that hinder development, but the new and improved, easy to use technologies that have been translated into the native languages have helped to bridge the gap and bring the country of India closer together.
Author Archives: hesmalley
VolunteerMatch is an online site that matches potential volunteers with volunteer sites. This site targets uses of all ages across America. This website allows individuals, companies and NGOs to create profiles that state where they are located and what they are looking for, either in terms of recruiting or opportunities. Often time’s people want to volunteer but they don’t have the time to look around and contact organizations to find events, this makes it easy to volunteer anywhere nationally. It is a simple matter of clicking a button of interest and then the organization emails you the information. Their vision is:
“What if, somewhere on the internet, there was a community of people who believed in the power of volunteering to enrich our lives and the world around us?”
“What if, somewhere on the internet, millions of good people and good causes could come together to form relationships that serve us all?”
“What if, somewhere on the internet, technology was being used to advance the values and partnerships that strengthen our civil society?”
This vision seems to come to fruition with their website. The site enables individuals to search for opportunities by location or interest or both
The tool can be very beneficial to many people around the country who want to do community service, but do not have the time to go looking for events. This website brings a plethora of varied activities to each persons fingertips. Being able to put in your interests into a search may also open up your eyes to an array of types of events that you previously didn’t know existed. There are flaws, such as the lack of international service opportunities and that lack of accountability held to the volunteers. Additionally, there needs to be more advertising, because regardless of how great the opportunities are, or how many organizations are posting, if individuals do not know to look there, the whole system is useless. That being said, the site is a work in progress and it seems to be progressing well.
My final case study is on the ICT Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), a program set up by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and is used all over the country. The local branch is the Greater New Orleans HMIS, or GNO HMIS. This online program is a data collection program intended to help the homeless around America. There are extensive surveys given to the homeless and loaded into the system, which can be accessed by any organization on this network. This means that if a person goes to a homeless shelter, the shelter should be able to look up their information and check them in, then keeping track of any progress, and keeping tabs on the homeless population. The questions collected ranged from name and age to previous shelters they attended, to income and sources of possessions. Basically it keeps track of their history so that their future can be helped by whatever organizations are in the area to the best of the organizations abilities.
UNITY of Greater New Orleans is an organization that has been making great use of this ICT. UNITY is a nonprofit that works with over 60 agencies to help provide housing and services to the homeless. Because they work with so many organization, GNO HMIS is incredibly helpful because it allows all the organizations to keep their information in order and up to date. The goal in New Orleans is to have real time client information, which means that as one system is updated, the whole system is automatically updated so that all information is continuously corrected at all times. This will allow for services to know what they need to prepare for, and will help greatly in policy making. It essentially is a daily census. This information will be an especially important asset to Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s 10 year “plan to end homelessness” that was just announced on November 29, 2011.
It is hard to see how successful the ICT has been thus far because it was revised in 2009 and so has only been up and running for a short period of time. There are a few cities that were chosen as a trial for this program and due to New Orleans high rate of homelessness, this city was one of the first to implement it. Ideally this means of data tracking will be put into action in every city eventually to get the problem of homeless eradicated in time. If this program succeeds it could also be applied to developing countries, where homelessness is one of their largest problems. Often the term ‘homelessness’ is too broad a topic to address effectively or in a sustainable manner, however this program pinpoints and analyses the largest problems and therefore can help with budding programs and policies.
There is currently no public website for GNO HMIS, however the website for UNITY is wonderful:
And the government website for HMIS has pretty extensive information on the surveys themselves:
I have learned a variety of important information that I will need as a development professional. First of all, as globalization continues to expand and the world in technology continues to progress, the understanding of ICT4D will become crucial when dealing with both international and national development. I have always shied away from technology because I assumed that everything would prove too complicated for my limited knowledge of current technological developments. However this class has been eye opening; I have realized that simple technology such as social media, that is easily accessible, has such an immeasurable impact on both disaster relief and international development. I really enjoyed week 9 (Governance, Social Movements and Social Change), 10 (Participatory and Citizen’s Media), and 12 (Disaster Response and Humanitarian Aid) because they all taught me about technology that I felt I could have a grasp on and utilize when I start my work in the world of development.
The biggest overarching lesson that has been impressed upon me even more than I had known before is that before trying to fix large problems in developing countries it is very important to come up with achievable and sustainable smaller goals and projects. Sustainability may often not come with the cheapest price tag initially, but overall a sustainable project is more economically friendly and socially sound. It is necessary to work from the ground up; every project must be looked at individually. There are some wonderful new technological advancements that can help many people, however if people do not know how to use basic computer programs, or don’t have the fundamental infrastructure to support such technology, it doesn’t matter how great the new findings are, they will not make an impact where they are most needed. This means that local participation and input is required for a project to succeed. It is important to give populations what they need, not what countries thousands of miles away believe that they need. The trickle down effect may work in some situations, however in an area where even the most basic infrastructure is lacking, it is just the wealthy that benefit from the technology. It is important to focus on small goals in education, such as introduction to the Internet, or word processing, rather than unleashing E-government or E-governance before the population can understand that language.
I think this class was really successful in making people with no technological background interested in, and less intimidated by, the technology that will inevitably be a part of our lives now and in the near future.
The International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa has launched a program to enhance and strengthen distance teacher education under their already developed Teacher Policy Development and Capacity Building Programme. There are five aspects of the program, which will hopefully make it a success.
The first is ‘Development of ICT-Enhanced teacher Standards for Africa’. The goals for this project are to identify the competencies necessary to promote a good learning environment in Africa to develop new standards fo an ICT-enhanced education framework. There were three workshops held in 2009 and 2010 and this year they hope to implement a new strategy based on what was learned an taught during those sessions.
The second is ‘Enhancing the Capacity of Teacher Education Policy Makers in Mapping and Planning for Implementation of National ICT in Education Strategies for SSA Countries’. In order to achieve this, experts in the Ministry of Education and policy makers have been meeting to develop new ICT standards and modules for context specific events.
The third is ‘Developing the Science, Technology and Innovation Training Capacity (STITC) in Sub-Saharan Africa’. ICTs will be used for teacher education training in science, math and technology education, since those areas are often criticized in African education.
The fourth is ‘Information and Communication Technology and Open and Distance Learning (ODL) in Teacher Development’. ICT education will be used for training for universal primary education, in addition to utilizing new technologies to improve the distance learning that is already in place.
The fifth is ‘Online Certificate Training Programs in Teacher Development’. These online certificate training programs will be used to help with teacher development and training in many different areas
Granted, in order for these to be successful there needs to be a foundation of technology and internet connection already in place- however once the foundations are down, all of these steps are very important to having qualified and competent globalized teachers.
Originally posted on BlackBoard by Hannah Smalley.
Nigeria is a country that is lost in many aspects of its government and society, lost enough that Chris Uwaje, the President of Institute of Software PRactitioners of Nigeria, stated that ICT is the last hope of boosting the Nigerian economy. The country is currently coming up with software that can hopefully allow Nigeria to keep up with the rest of the world by assisting the government to come up with sustainable policies that will help development in every sector of the country, including specifically, rural development, by providing extensive broadband services.
The use of mobile technology in developing countries is becoming integral to the development of health care systems. The United Nations Foundation (UNF) and the Vodafone Foundation (VF) has begun using mobile health (mhealth) technology to help with data collection, research and education, and to support doctors and nurses with diagnosis and treatment. In addition, it is also being used to help with disaster relief. These new technologies allow outside help to track the spread of epidemics in real time and to send information back immediately. There is a new software being created and utilized by a non-profit called EpiSurveyor. This is an easy to use surveillance system that can collect and analyze field data and write surveys- this program is brought in at the request of countries for the specific requests of said countries. Although this it is a large scale program, it also has a grass-roots aspect in terms of listening to a country’s specific needs. So far, this program along with other mobile technology programs, has been incredibly successful. I think these technologies really are the future of maturing healthcare in developing countries.
Original Post by Hannah Smalley