Mobile technology: cell phones, Google Apps help bring basic sanitation and more transparency in Kenya
Updated - Friday 10 September 2010
Nuru International, a US-based NGO is using some free Google platforms and Nokia phones to increase sanitation in Kuria, Kenya.
The organization has registered a Kenyan web domain name and created an account with Google Apps, providing access to each of the 60 Kenyan staff members. GPRS-enabled handsets using the Opera browser have been purchased for about US$ 40 each. With these phones staff can email one another very inexpensively.
Community Healthcare Workers use the phones to collect and submit data on sanitation and hygiene. The teams use the cameras on the phone to photograph and video the sites they're supervising and upload the images to a permanent, searchable database. The use of Google Sheet instead of keeping hardcopy records saves costs and office space.
Another unexpected advantage of the use of cell phones is increased transparency. Google forms on the phone are now used to register attendance at important training events. Participants no longer ask the training coordinator to change their records anymore. With the phones, there is no cheating.
Read more about the technologies used in David Carreon's blog post "Farmers Fighting Poverty with Nokia Google Opera and Safaricom", 20 May 2010
Related news: Kenya: Solar power, electronics and mobile telephony bring water to villages, Source Weekly, 05 Mar 2010
Web site: Nuru International - Water & Sanitation
Contact: Nuru International, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
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