In 2006, a non-governmental organization called Digital Green was created as a spin-off from Microsoft Research India’s Technology for Emerging Markets Team.  Digital Green operates with the purpose of “integrat[ing] innovative technology with global development efforts to improve human well being.”  Teams of trained mediators are assembled in various target villages in order to educate community members on locally relevant health and agricultural practices using low cost and adaptive equipment.

Digital Green has already produced over 2,600 videos and has shared these videos with more than 150,000 households in India and throughout Africa.  Each video is content and context specific, based on the community’s individual needs. Digital Green’s efforts have noticeably improved agricultural development efforts in these areas.

Due to the success of the video project, Digital Green is teaming up with Strengthening Partnerships, Results, and Innovations in Nutrition Globally (SPRING) – USAID’s global nutrition project – to try to use similar methods in a new project.  The initiative includes using videos to endorse maternal, infant and child nutrition and hygiene practices.

Digital Green, SPRING and other partners have already made 10 videos designed to educate on nutrition and hygiene techniques in developing communities.  The videos are shown at small women’s groups on a projector.  Participants are encouraged to give feedback, exchange ideas and engage in discourse to improve conditions based on the experiences of others.

SPRING hosted a webinar on December 17, 2013 to highlight and examine Digital Green’s video methods.  Through nutrition education, the process is a testament to how the collaboration between technological innovation and the ability of communities to work together improve quality of life for developing regions.

The Digital Green and SPRING collaborative videos on nutrition can be found at the following links:
Digital Green, Collection of Maternal and Child Nutrition Videos
SPRING Webinar, “Seeds of Change: Leveraging Community Video for Agriculture and Nutrition Behavior Change in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa”

Daren Gottlieb

Sources: USAID Blog, Digital Green, SPRING Nutrition
Photo: Vintage 3D

Online Voting in Telecentres

Telecentres are public places which provide access to internet and communication technologies (ICTs) that help promote social development for populations who otherwise would not have such access. Most telecentres are located in rural areas in the developing world.  The Foundation is hosting its first global telecentre competition in order to promote awareness of best practices.  The general public is welcomed to vote for their favorite telecentre program after registering in the website.  Deadline for voting was May 15, 2013.

To date, there are over 87,513 telecentres in over 53 countries.  The Foundation supports the establishment and sustainability of grassroots level telecentres. These telecentres offer crucial services, skills and opportunities to people living in remote and rural locations around the world.  The foundation is part of a bigger movement in the development community to reduce the digital divide and empower beneficiaries with the knowledge the world wide web could bring so they could lift themselves out of poverty.  Social investors of the foundation include the Microsoft Corporation and the Canadian International Development Agency’s International Development Research Centre.

Semi-finalists for the Global Telecentre Awards include programs which collaborate rural farmers, target trainings for underprivileged women and youth, promote e-learning, and of course, teach computer and internet skills.  These semi-finalists come from developing countries such as Rwanda, Philippines, Russia, India, Bangladesh, Paraguay, Sri Lanka and Malaysia.

– Maria Caluag

Sources: Telecentre
Photo: AICEM