Amanda Atwood

by Amanda Atwood

This week, Kubatana launched Inzwa, Zimbabwe’s experiment with Freedom Fone, providing audio information via mobile phones. We’ll be updating our information every Tuesday, and we are interested in any feedback to help us improve the service. How does it work? Tune into Inzwa by phoning +263 913 444 321-8 and . . . - Press [...] more »

by Amanda Atwood

It has been an exciting few weeks for Freedom Fone. We finally got back a version of our prototpye software which works with SIM cards, so we can use it here in Zimbabwe. We’ve been having focus group discussions with a range of people to help inform our first local deployment. And our Technical Director, [...] more »

by Amanda Atwood

Freedom Fone’s Technical Director, Brenda Burrell, is currently at the W3C workshop in Maputo: Africa Perspective on the Role of Mobile Technologies in Fostering Social Development. The workshop has organised by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), particularly the Mobile Web Initiative, and its Mobile Web for Social Development Interest Group. As the organisers put [...] more »

by Amanda Atwood

An upcoming event caught my attention as something I thought other Ideas Lab bloggers and readers might be interested in: Using Social Networking to Marshal the Youth Vote: Online discussion with Rock the Vote director Heather Smith – Tuesday April 7 Very significant elections are coming up in South Africa on April 22, and for [...] more »

by Amanda Atwood

We recently applied to present Freedom Fone: Dial-up Information Service at an upcoming ICT for Development workshop. Our application was eventually accepted, but not before concerns were raised that Freedom Fone might be on its way to becoming a for-profit entity, which would be inconsistent with the conference sponsors’ objectives. This was an ironic obstacle [...] more »

by Amanda Atwood

This week we gave our first targeted demonstrations of Freedom Fone, aimed at encouraging local health organisations to use Freedom Fone as one of the communications tools in the response to Zimbabwe’s cholera crisis. We believe that given the rapid spread of the cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe, greater use should be made of the country’s [...] more »

by Amanda Atwood

Freedom Fone’s technical director, Brenda Burrell, was recently interviewed by Digital Planet, the BBC’s weekly world technology update. Read the article, or listen to Brenda speak about Freedom Fone, and the potential of mobile phones as a vehicle for voice based information services. more »

by Amanda Atwood

Freedom Fone had its first public debut at the Association of Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) 2008 Forum in Cape Town, 14-17 November. The event was a great opportunity to deploy Freedom Fone — even in its software prototype state. We prepared different content for each of the four days of the conference, and ran [...] more »

by Amanda Atwood

A key component of Freedom Fone is the software development we will undertake over the next two years. Last weekend Brenda and I met with a handful of people who have experience with open source development projects like those we’ll be undertaking. We got to share our ideas and experiences to date developing the Freedom [...] more »

by Amanda Atwood

Brenda and I went to Paris recently for a development launch and brainstorming meeting for Freedom Fone. In addition to picking the brains of a small handful of experts in the field, we thought it would be a good opportunity to have some of our equipment assessed. So in my bag I packed my own [...] more »