You are currently browsing the archive for the Tools category.

Currently the ICT4DEV working group blog and mailing list has focused on the ideas of software.  However, hardware is the initial step in the word of ICT in development.  Recently I visited a Boot Camp held in Cambodia. A ‘ Boot Camp’ allows for anyone to share and express ideas concerning the ICT industry.

I came across a demonstration by the Open Insititute on low cost computing.  The idea was to research the use of a portable / low power consuming computer that could be deployed in isolated areas within Cambodia.

Four different scenarios were researched;

Brief Description of two scenarios.

Scenario 1 : A low powered, portable but secure solution for Windows and Linux.
Scenario 2 :  A central computer with multiple users over multiple monitors and keyboards.

One solution was available for under 300 USD running under 9 Watts.

The conclusions of the experiements can be found here on a wiki.

Twitter is one of the new kids on the block of social networking.  It allows users to send updates to other users through text messages (SMS) or Instant messenger (IM).  The tool like facebook, myspace and other social software’s power relies on the strength of it’s community.

So what does Twitter do?

The main basis of twitter is to ask one simple question “What are you doing” the answer is then sent to all of your followers.

How do your followers get the answer?

Twitter is able to send the answer through mobile phones (SMS), email, Instant Messenger and your web browser.

Why use Twitter?

  • Promotional tool

Caroline Middlebrook discusses how a company can use Twitter for promotional work.

  • Fund raising

Beth Kanter discusses using Twitter as a fund raising tool as she attempted to raise funds for the Cambodia bloggers summit campaign.

  • Disaster Management

Patronus Analytical who are dedicated to supporting humanitarian and development efforts in high-risk environments and complex emergencies talk about the use of Twitter in a recent series of earthquakes in Indonesia.

The recent earthquake ‘Sichuan’ in China was first documented not through CNN or the BBC but by Twitter.

David Stephenson a disaster management consultant talks about using Twitter in an emergency.

If you’re interested in using Twitter please have a look at the links below.

A beginners guide to twitter by Raffe Needlemen

An NGO alternative Frontline

To setup an account please visit here.

Please add ICT4DEV to your Twitter account

Rural Telecentre

he ‘Telecentre in a Box’ is a robust, user-friendly, ‘turnkey’ configuration of several networked PCs providing a variety of Internet utilities/applications, instant access to practical e-commerce utilities, easy to use local administration tools, and globally accessible administration and information tracking tools (extremely useful for evaluation purposes).

The ‘telecentre in a Box’ is designed for installation and applications in rural areas of developing countries, and can be administered locally by people with basic computer skills. The ‘Telecentre in a Box’ is also designed to be a product that can be adopted by Internet Service Providers, telecommunication service providers and various entrepreneurs within a country to create profitable rural telecommunication access points. Using a web portal tool, local users will have access to a wide variety of dynamic local web content and resources, e-commerce utilities for small and medium enterprises, as well as internationally relevant resources.

To learn more about this robust, turnkey system for rural telecentres, visit the Telecommons Development Group website here: