Module 3 Topic 5 (ICT)

ICT Tools for Enhancing Social Accountability

Mobile Technology

You can apply all of these tools to build applications (or apps) that people can access through the use of Mobile Technology, as many of these ICT platforms are becoming mobile.

Today, mobile devices have become transformative tools for governments and service providers by establishing two-way information provision and communication platforms with citizens. This is especially important for reaching citizens in rural areas where internet connectivity may be poor but mobile devices are reasonably accessible.

One example of the use of mobile technology is the SMS-based monitoring system in Bihar, India. According to the One World Foundation India, through the implementation of the SMS-based monitoring system. Bihar has become the first state in India to leverage cheap mobile technology to monitor the daily progress of public service delivery at the local level. The system gives the citizens of Bihar an opportunity to learn about developmental progress in their own communities. At the same time, it works to strengthen government accountability to the citizens by increasing transparency in public service delivery.

One of the tools that could be implemented to enhance the power of mobile technology is FrontlineSMS. It is an open source software that turns a laptop and a mobile phone into a central communications hub. Once installed, the program enables users to send and receive text messages to and from large groups of people through mobile phones. Examples of its use can be found in one area of Malawi where just 500 healthcare workers serve 250,000 people, and also the distance and poor roads complicate the situation. After the FrontlineSMS software was used to track outbreaks of tuberculosis, in six months, the hospital saved 1200 hours of follow-up time from their staff and over $3,000 in motorbike fuel. Over 100 patients started tuberculosis treatment after their symptoms were noticed by volunteer community health workers and reported by text message.

Last modified: Monday, 25 August 2014, 5:30 PM