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Science and Technology Development

2012 Social Media as a Tool for Citizen Feedback

Victoire Ngounoue's picture

Un Forum I-Social pour la Promotion de la Santé et la Bonne Gouvernance au Cameroun.More often than not, “we” criticize the “system” for being corrupt; yet it is simply a reflection of what we make of it. For example, what would happen if “we” decided never to collect bribes from users in our health service system? Or if we implemented and respected the rule of ‘first come, first served’ instead of paying or collecting bribes for faster service delivery? What would happen when it is brought to our knowledge that there are irregular practices operating within our health centers?

These questions are for everyone, particularly for authorities in health centers. These kinds of questions are being answered by winners of the Cameroon 2011 Development Marketplace competition. Nowadays, advances in ICT tools and social media channels provide us with various ways to monitor and expose corrupt practices. When I first visited the website of I Paid a Bribe by the Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, I was amazed by the innovation, frightened by testimonies, and thankful to those who had the courage to report irregular practices. My next move while browsing the website was to check if Cameroon was amongst those countries participating on this platform. Unfortunately not!

Hybrid Value Chains – a Method for Solving Grand Challenges in Development?

Kirsten Spainhower's picture

Bill Drayton, Founder of AshokaIn mid-may Bill Drayton of Ashoka visited the World Bank to present his thinking on Hybrid Value Chains (HVC). In a recent article published in the Harvard Business Review, Drayton and Ashoka-colleague Valeria Budinich warned that “if you are not thinking about HVC collaboration, you’ll soon be guilty of strategy malpractice.” (Click here to view a recorded video of the event).

So what does Ashoka mean when they talk about HVC collaboration? The best way to illustrate is through an example.

In 2004, tackling the dismal living conditions in the slums of Gujarat, India, social entrepreneur Joshi Rajendra founded SAATH, an organization that has developed an innovative and integrative approach to development, and is focused on equipping residents of poor urban settlements to become willing customers of basic services and access schemes. The program was rooted in the belief that the poor would be willing to pay for services if the prices were affordable.

Development Marketplace in India supports the vision and ‘can-do’ spirit of social entrepreneurs

Kirsten Spainhower's picture

Satyan Mishra, founder of DrishteeDrishtee is a network of over 14,000 rural enterprises that provides villages in India with access to internet connections, consumer products and critical community services.

Brainchild of Indian national Satyan Mishra, the Drishtee model is perfecting a “last mile delivery system” to reach villages that governments are unable to.

Mishra’s success was due in part to the faith that Global Development Marketplace (DM) — a Bank sponsored partnership that provides grant funding to support testing and scaling up of innovative ideas — had in his idea. In 2003 he received a $68,100 from DM allowing him to transform a budding idea into reality and scale up into three states: Assam, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh.

Disseminating Innovations in the Health Market

Maria Belenky's picture

How do you provide health care for the rural poor when medical professionals are scarce or unaffordable?

One emerging solution is to computerize medical knowledge. In 2007, Arogya Ghar captured the attention of the global health community when it was selected as one of the winners of the Development Marketplace global competition.

Development 2.0 Brought to You by Social Entrepreneurs

Parvathi Menon's picture

We traveled an hour outside of Jaipur to Laporiya village, in the Jaipur District. One of the 41353 villages across 32 Districts of Rajasthan that depends largely on agriculture and dairy for sustenance.

The total cultivated area of the state encompasses about 20 million hectares and out of this only 20% of the land is irrigated. Ground water level is available only at a depth of 30 to 61m. Yet with minimum inputs, the agricultural sector of the state accounts for 22.5 per cent of the State economy.

Innovative tools to match seeds to the needs of women farmers in Ethiopia

Ehsan Dulloo's picture

Climate change poses a serious threat to future food security. Increases in temperatures and changes in rainfall patterns are expected to increase food shortages, especially in Africa. In response, governments and scientists are looking for ways to reduce the negative impacts of climate change on food production.

Ethiopia, which has a strong history of conserving its food crops, has partnered with the CGIAR-supported Bioversity International to implement a World Bank Development Marketplace 2009 winning project called Innovative Pilot Scheme Would Match Seeds to the Needs of Women Farmers. The project works to ensure farmers, particularly women farmers, will have an assured supply of climate-tolerant seeds for food production as climatic conditions change in the future.

The iPod for Development

Kirsten Spainhower's picture

Photo Courtesy of Lifeline EnergyThe Lifeplayer is being billed as the new iPod for development. Kristine Pearson Lifeline Energy CEO, believes that this device will enable rural populations to leap across the digital divide and access vital information in ways they could hardly have imagined.

 

The Lifeplayer is an oversized MP3 device that can be pre-loaded to hold 64GB of educational content. It can also download audio content from the internet or record live voice or radio programs for playback later. With a wireless solar panel and a hand-wound crank, the Lifeplayer can even be used to charge mobile phones.

Hero Rats Are Making News Around the World!

Kirsten Spainhower's picture

Check out the story CNN is featuring on Hero Rats today. In the early days of the project Bart Weetjens of Apopo, the Dutch Company that implements Hero Rats, said that initially “Every where I went to apply for funding, we were just laughed at.” But in 2003 the Development Marketplace took his idea seriously and funded his project. Now Hero Rats are making news around the world.

Hacking Away at Crisis Response Times

Zeeshan Suhail's picture

Fridays can be incredibly quiet at the World Bank, but Friday, July 16, was a completely different day.  The World Bank visitor’s center and lobby were buzzing with energy and enthusiasm. This was the day that the East Asia and Pacific and Latin American and Caribbean region Disaster Risk Management Teams, along with the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), hosted the first-ever International CrisisCongress(In photo above, participants express themselves through sign language.) 

The event was organized by the CrisisCommons – a Volunteer Technical Community (VTC) of software developers, engineers, and technology enthusiasts who are using innovative methods and tools to help save lives in the aftermath of natural disasters. The event brought together dozens of people eager to use whatever skills they possess – technological and non-technological – to ensure tomorrow’s world is one where people don’t die because of a lack of technological assistance in disaster relief and rehabilitation.

Ruminations on Innovation from TED

Aleem Walji's picture

What is it about TED and intellectual polyglots? I’m attending my second TED at Oxford this week and I’m struck by how I can meet a physicist, poet, musician, and blogger all in one person. Imagine what this does for unleashing creativity, imagination, and yes, innovation. While it’s not enough to bring diverse and intelligent people together and just expect brilliant results, the intellectual diversity inherent in a group has much to do with the quality of intellectual outputs and results.

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