Social Networking for Marginalized Communities

Mobile Vaani, launched in 2011, has brought social networking to rural India and resulted in an innovation in communication across the country. Created by Gram Vaani, which means “voice of the village”, it builds technology to induce marginalized communities to voice their news, concerns and demands. Circumventing problems of interpret access and literacy, the vocally-based program works through rudimentary cell phones.

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A Safe, Global, Missing Persons Network

REFUNITE is a technology-based non-profit working internationally to reconnect refugees and forcibly displaced people with their missing loved ones. Developed by David and Christopher Mikkelsen in partnership with Ericsson, a provider of telecommunications equipment and services, the platform is accessible through the web, a toll-free number, or through texting or USSD on even the most basic cell phones.

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A Rapid, Reliable Ebola Test

A fast, reliable and affordable Ebola diagnostic tool is critically needed to contain the spread of the virus and expedite patient treatment. A new research project based at the University of Westminster seeks to develop a viable solution with EbolaCheck, a portable device capable of diagnosing the virus from a small sample of bodily fluids within 40 minutes.

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Staying Safe From Floods Through Gamification

In many parts of the world, flooding and natural disasters can be a seasonal threat to people’s lives. While these may be a recurrent theme in some regions, education on preventive and awareness are not always as readily adopted as humanitarian agencies would like. UNESCO-Bangkok has teamed up with software developer Opendream to address this very problem through a unique approach.

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Tablet-Based Learning for Somali Refugees

Education is the fundamental right of every child and key to combating cyclical poverty. But, in most emergency relief environments, limited financial resources and shortages of qualified teachers make the provision of quality education incredibly difficult. This challenge is especially acute in Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp located 100 kilometres from the Somali border in eastern Kenya. Here, over half of the population is under the age of 18 and school enrollment rates remain alarmingly low.

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Bringing messages of hope, help and change over mobile devices – Part 1

In part one of our series on technology in humanitarian work, we profile two organizations that use cellphone technology to communicate aid initiatives, education programs, research surveys and more. Today, learn how Text to Change (TTC) is changing lives.

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Flying Towards Humanitarian Relief

Flying cars were once the thing of science fiction. Today, they may be set to change the face of aid delivery in remote areas. Two companies, one American and one French, have developed flying cars capable of traveling 200 km per trip with two people and a 300 kg payload. Is this a game-changer, or do the developers have their heads in the clouds?

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