Having worked with youth to establish One Stop Youth Centres in Kampala, Uganda, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Nairobi, Kenya, and Kigali, Rwanda, I have seen the power of mobile phones both to convene people as well as disseminate important information. What I find really exciting is to see how quickly and to what success mobile phones are being adopted in the health field, especially around the prevention of HIV/AIDS, an issue so important to youth in this region.
Here are four posts from the last 24 hours on mobile phones and health from the Urban Health blog of USAID:
This is a repost from the Polis blog with my comments (my comments first, polis blog From Kodak to the Mobile Phone below):
Thank you for this post. I think that the mobile generation with their ever more powerful mobile technologies are changing how we view, analyze and plan our cities. I work with youth in East Africa, and i have found that through the use of mobile phones, which are now prolific throughout the region, we have been able to not only capture images, both still and in video, but use these images to tell the rarely heard story of some of the poorest of the poor. (An example of such a project is http://mobilemovement.tv/)
I have as well found that “photovoice” is an excellent way to allow people to “map” their communities. I have used this technique with youth in North America, through the Growing up in Cities project , and more recently through work with UN-HABITAT on their community mapping project (you can check out a story a wrote for them titled Bridging the Digital Divide .
When there is an increase in broadband speed in the North America, we can download more episodes of our favorite TV show (mine is 30 rock); when broadband speed increases in Africa, millions more people get online through mobile technologies.
Whole “development” leaps are being taken on the African continent – mind numbing and corrupt bureaucracy is in one click being overcome with government services going online; banking is being revolutionized with mobile “MPESA” banking; “urban wilderness”, the unplanned settlements or slums, or being mapped for the first time. And I can go on – read my article on Bridging the Digital Divide.
Just saw this great article and video done by Declan McCormack on the impact of mobile phones and the internet in east Africa that i thought nails it in regards to what is going on. Enjoy.