ActionAid’s pilot communication project with infoasaid in drought-affected Isiolo in Kenya, has won this year’s ‘Innovation’ award at the 2012 Technology4Good Awards.
The project uses basic mobile phones, SMS network technology and simple community notice boards to give local people vital information on food and livestock prices and food distributions, so people can boost their household income and stay informed of humanitarian activities in their communities.
The network, developed with FrontlineSMS and Freedom Fone, is also used to collect important data from the field, which enables ActionAid to respond quicker to needs on the ground.
“The project has established effective two-way communications between local communities and ActionAid, rather than the conventional top-down approach of most NGO projects working in areas affected by disasters,” said Airlie Taylor, Information Officer at ActionAid International. “Through this project, communities can get the information they urgently need and they can also communicate with aid workers on a much more equal footing.”
The ‘Innovation’ award, which was sponsored by Microsoft and CTT, honours organisations or individuals that “use existing technology in innovative and effective ways to help meet the needs of others.”
The Tech4Good awards are organised by AbilityNet and BT and bring together charities and businesses whose work uses IT to improve people’s lives.