ICT4D News Roundup – June 2, 2017

Welcome to our weekly #ICT4D News Roundup! We are passionate about the intersection of technology and social good. Each week we look for the best articles that focus on the ICT4D industry, the issues that impact the sectors we work across, and interesting content for social enterprises.


Highlighted articles this week:

  • Learn how 10,000 midwives will soon use an mHealth app to help improve care for women and children in Myanmar. – JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. 
  • A farmer’s perspective: why data is the new “currency” in agriculture. (note: this is the second post in a three-part series) – AgFunder News
  • By supporting local communities, can we prevent rainforest deforestation? – Rainforest Alliance
  • If the communities you serve have limited access to Internet, why doesn’t your mobile app work offline? – ICTworks
  • Dimagi made Inc. Magazine’s 2017 list of Best Workplaces! – Inc. Magazine



In Myanmar at least 1,900 pregnant women and 53,000 children under the age of five die annually, often from preventable causes. Since midwives often serve are the first point of care for women and children in Myanmar, how can we better equip them so they can provide higher quality care to their communities? JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc., the Myanmar Ministry of Health and Sports, and UNICEF are working together to solve this question with the RMNCH Quality of Care Project (RMNCH QoC). As part of the project, they built an app using CommCare to help midwives track and support a range of healthcare services. This article follows Su Su Htet, an area coordinator (AC) for the project, who shares how the app has made a difference in her job.

Eventually, more than 10,000 midwives will use the application in their daily work. The hard work of JSI’s ACs and the feedback they receive from midwives will ensure that the CommCare tool supports and strengthens the work of midwives.”

Read more on stories.jsi.com

Dimagi has worked with JSI Research & Training Institute Inc. on many projects around the world. In 2009 JSI used CommCare for the Focus Region Health Project (FRHP), which created an early warning system for when reproductive health commodities in Ghana ran low. You can read more about this project here.


Farming Tech

This is the second article in a three-part series that explores the data revolution in agriculture. The first-part explored how to improve agriculture data to make it more actionable and accurate. This article dives into the farmer’s point of view, with a focus on what types of data farmers are looking for, why the buy-in of new data collection technologies is often low among farmers, and what the industry can do about it.

Farmers are always searching for ways to better manage factors outside their control. Droughts, heat waves, regional disease outbreaks and fluctuations in commodity prices can undermine even the most carefully crafted management plans. When data provide the insight farmers need to deal with unexpected crises, the data hold a great deal of value and they become currency.”

Read more on agfundernews.com

Did you miss the first part in this series? Read our recap in our May 19th ICT4D Roundup.


Thriving Communities And Strong Forests Go Hand-In-Hand

Rainforest Conservation

This article reviews how rainforest conservation strategy changed over the past 30 years. Learn how the Rainforest Alliance led the shift away from primarily focusing on vulnerable ecosystems toward examining the connection between deforestation and the economic pressures in the communities surrounding rainforests. Today, the Rainforest Alliance works to train farmers on sustainable farming methods that will improve their crop yield, while minimizing the impact on the environment.

When the Rainforest Alliance was founded 30 years ago, the mainstream environmental movement was primarily concerned with the protection of vulnerable ecosystems through the creation of natural reserves. Most international environmental groups working to stop deforestation did not focus on the economic and social well-being of people living in and around the forest.”

Read more on rainforest-alliance.org

Learn more about the Farmer Training app that Rainforest Alliance built on CommCare here.


Android App Offline

This article was written by Wayan Vota, the moderator for ICTworks, which is a community of professionals that seeks to use ICT’s as a means of improving the social and economic development of communities. In this article, Vota makes the case for why mobile data collection applications must work offline.

 A truly effective ICT4D application does not require Internet connectivity. It should be able to operate offline with a solid feature set, which is enhanced when online, not a useless brick without 4G or WiFi.”

Read more on ICTworks.org



We’re excited to announce that Dimagi was named one of Inc. Magazine’s Best Workplaces 2017. The list is the result of a wide-ranging and comprehensive measurement of private American companies who have created exceptional workplaces through vibrant cultures, deep employee engagement, and stellar benefits. Out of thousands of applicants, Inc. singled out just over 200 winning companies.

As a social enterprise, we couldn’t agree more that a shared sense of purpose is a powerful unifying force,” Jonathan Jackson, CEO of Dimagi said. “At Dimagi, we develop and deploy technology to impact people in need. This shared goal of creating impact bonds us, and creates a fulfilling work environment for our employees.”

Read more on dimagi.com

In case you’re wondering who else made the list, you can view all 200 companies here. This is the most recent award recognizing Dimagi’s work culture. Entrepreneur recognized Dimagi as one of the “Top 25 Best Large-Company Cultures” in 2015.





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