Research Topic:
ICTs in Development: Community Based Information Systems

Focus on topics of public services/e-governance, community radio 2.0, local health information, edutainment, behavior change communication, community mapping, and participatory appraisal and planning could help inform the planning for CBIS. These areas are more "traditional" and less tech focused so the challenge will be to figure out how we use technology to incorporate them into a CBIS program.

Within each area, answer these questions:
  1. What is this exactly and why is it important? This will be more from a social science, development perspective. Explore how each area could help achieve MDGs, and how they are important for rural areas. (So delineate the main characteristics and challenges of these areas)
  2. How are these areas being promoted in a development/rural context? What programs and tools are out there to do this? These can be traditional (i.e. literacy training) and not tech related.
  3. What are your ideas of how they could be adapted for MVP via the CBIS. How do you foster with community participation?

Current project phase: Answer "what is a community based information system". Research specific focus areas: public services/e-governance (Anjali and Diana), community radio 2.0 (Diana), local health information (Eric), edutainment (Amy), behavior change communication (Amy), community mapping (Denise), and participatory appraisal and planning (Jaclyn)

Update List:

11/4 - Jaclyn - Updated project goal at top and added area for class feedback/discussion

10/21 - Jaclyn - added really great resource on media/comm data source

10/21- Eric- Added CRM summary to "Project Framework," Moved old updates to shorten the length of the page

10/21- Amy - Added Cultural Preservation/ Poverty Reduction links to studies, presentations, and agencies

10/18 - Jaclyn - Added a few more article resources below.

10/14 - Jaclyn - Added current project phase at top. Removed framework image and added PP file with framework (and other things). If edited, please remember to upload your new version.

Old Updates

Class Feedback, Resources

Do you have comments or resources we should look at? We welcome your comments here!

Group Members
Jaclyn Carlsen (jlc2197)
Preferred E-mail:
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Anjali Chowfla (ac3104)
Preferred E-mail:
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Eric Couper (eac2185)
Preferred E-mail:
I'm interested in
  • practical solutions for eradicating poverty
  • uses of technology to improve quality of life
  • the management of efficient systems
  • empowering individuals to control their lives

Denise Lee (dll2121)
Preferred E-mail:
<Interest Paragraph>

Amy O'Neal (aeo2120)
Preferred E-mail:
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Diana Rodriguez-Wong (dcr2141)
Preferred E-mail:
<Interest Paragraph>

External Contacts

Oleksandr Ilchuk
Has offered to help us with contacts at UNICEF's innovation department and would like to be kept in the loop of our activities. Would probably be a good consultant to our project if we need to bounce ideas. Head of SIPA's UN New Media Working Group (UNICEF New Media Task Force), has worked with UN on energy and climate issues.

Vijay Modi
MVP infrastructure coordinator. Professor of Mechanical Engineering.

Matt Berg
ICT Coordinator for the Millennium Villages Project based out of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. He is responsible for overseeing the design and implementation of ICT activities across the fourteen Millennium Villages sites in Africa.
Meeting Oct. 6

Sean Blaschke
E-mail: Graduated SIPA 2009. Works for UNICEF Innovations, coordinating both their ICT mobile SMS platform ( (http://www. mobiledevelopmentsolutions. org/unicef.pdf) and academic partnerships with Columbia (as well as other institutions)

Glenn Denning
Professor of Professional Practice, SIPA and Earth Institute, Program Dean of Masters in Development Practice

Patricia Mechael
Responsible for the mobile phone part of the MVP. mHealth and Telemedicine Advisor at the Earth Institute and consultant to
__Interview with MobileActive__

Josh Goldstein
Works for UNICEF. Will be coming to speak to our class on November 11 and we may have opportunity to speak with after class

Project Framework

See Slide 3:

Consumer Relationship Management (CRM)

MVP & ICT Strategy

About the MVP

The Millennium Villages project (MVP) is a partnership between the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Millennium Promise and the United Nations Development Programme. It is founded on the concept that the Millennium Development Goals can be achieved in even the poorest and most remote rural communities in Africa by "combining the best scientific and local knowledge to chart a course for ground-level, community-based support for agriculture, health, education, infrastructure and business development."

The MVP ICT Program Overview

  1. Cell phone access within 2 km of 80% of households
  2. 80% of households have access to local community radio where legal/economically viable
  3. Institutional data connectivity
  4. Functional community-wide emergency response community system

Mobile Technology in the MVP

Patricia Meahan illustrates the challenges of implementing mobile technology applications in the Millenium Villages

ICT for Development, Best Practices

The Digital Shift: Youth and ICT for Development Best Practices

A compilation of best practices and projects from around the world that have used Internet and Communication Technologies to aid social development.

Community Information Systems in Developing Communities: Finding a Link Between Cultural Preservation and Poverty Reduction

The Case of Fez Morroco and the Millenium Challenge Corporation
This case study focuses on using cultural preservation as a means of development strategy, training of local population in conservation trades.

A New Blueprint: Fusing Cultural Preservation with Disaster Relief
Funded by the Asian Development Bank, the project seeked to preserve the unique architecture of the Indonesian island of Nias in March 2005 after a severe earthquake shook the island. Most of the families had built their homes, but lacked resources to rebuild. The article states, "By fusing cultural preservation with disaster relief, ADB was able to provide needed assistance while protecting Nias's irreplaceable cultural treasures."

Presentation on the Global Development Alliance by Sarah Wines, United States Agency for International Development
Exploring alliances between development agencies and US Private organizations

The Cultural Preservation Fund

InfoDev ICT for Development (ICT4D) Research

New ICT4D Research

info Dev is a global development think-tank in the field of technology for development working on behalf of international development partners. They deal with cutting edge issues and sponsor original research on themes of high current policy relevance. Current research projects (part of 2009-2012 work programme) include:

Data Sources for ICTs:

International Telecommunication Union: Great for raw data.
UNESCO media indicators:

Mobile Technology

UNICEF Innovation

"Combining low-tech hardware with sophisticated open-source software, we explore novel ways to both empower young people and improve UNICEF's operations. We seek to connect youth who have access to information on the Internet to those who do not, through innovations in technology and program initiatives that are educational and inclusive."

Columbia/UNICEF Award Winning Project Report: Great format! May give some good ideas for final product template.

Mobile Active

"A global network of people using mobile technology for social impact."

Mobile Money

An article in The Economists about using mobile technology for monetary transactions.

World Bank Overview

A comprehensive overview of how mobile technology is being used in rural poverty reduction.

Other Relevant Articles Agriculture


Meeting Notes


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