Opportunity: online course on "Using Mobile for CSOs" (Feb 24-Mar 5, 2015)

Publish Date: 
Friday, February 20, 2015

Mobile phones and other mobile devices are all around us. Almost everyone, from a 13-year old in Brooklyn, to a 65-year old in Dar es Salaam uses, or at least has access to a mobile device. While a relatively new technology, their impact can already be seen and it continues to grow. Recently, organizations have used mobile technology to engage users in a variety of different arenas. One such arena has been social change. Developers, like SIMLab, have created technologies which connect non-profits and NGOs to mobile phone and device users.

With these technologies, organizations are able to collect vast amounts of data, from users with many backgrounds, regarding a wide-range of topics, for a relatively small price (the cost to send an SMS). On 24 February through 5 May 2015, SIMLab will host an online course outlining the use of their two signature products, FrontlineSMS and FrontlineCloud – open-source software designed to engage organizations and mobile devices users. Participants must be able to dedicate 2-3 hours per week on the course for 10 weeks. A $50 registration fee is required. According to their website, registration officially ended 13 February, though it may be worth trying to apply late if you are interested. But hurry!

A quick overview of how this technology works: FrontlineSMS is a computer program which allows users to send and receive SMS messages from a computer. The program allows you to tailor your the message sent out, including survey questions, and to whom they are sent. Perhaps most importantly, you are also able to track responses.

This would be a great opportunity for those of us looking to find new and (relatively) cheap ways to engage the public and collect valuable data to track ESCR violations.

Working Group(s):