Okay, it did not take me years to write, but you can still take a look. Also, I do not want to be a Paperback Writer so I will keep this short. As I have mentioned before in my previous blog posts Internet access can be sporadic here in Africa, especially when you get outside of the larger cities. This presents a problem when trying to gather information from NGO managers and Community Health Workers (CHW) in the field about their projects and trying to send information back to them. So what is the best way to exchange information with NGO managers and CHW’s? Here in Africa, the best way is to use a cell phone application or specially formatted text messages.
My challenge this past week was to research the various cell phone applications, see which ones we were already using, which ones that we could use, and put them all into a document that my NGO could reference for future projects. Needless to say, my best friends for all of this research were Bing and Google. The applications I looked at used any phone system from the latest iPhone, Android, and other 4G phones all the way down to your basic Nokia, Samsung, and Sony Ericson phones that cost between $10 and $30 where you need to buy air time minutes.
After staring at my computer screen for hours looking at the different applications and having that “deer in the headlights” look, I came up with a list of 10 applications that my NGO could reference. It’s not quite as entertaining as the David Letterman top 10, but it will do. It’s not 1,000 pages give or take a few, but I will be writing more for the next week or two before the final draft is ready. Once the list is ready it will be put out on the NGOs’ Intranet for everyone to access when needed. It seems like people over here do not like to share knowledge, but this information needs to be shared within my NGO. This will not be a final list for my NGO to use. It will need to be updated as new applications come out, but at least the next person will not have to start from the beginning.
Finally, my apologies the Messrs Lennon and McCartney for stealing some lines from one of their songs, but when you try to write something up for your PULSE assignment every week you have to get ideas from somewhere.