Using Mobile Phones and Open Source Tools to Empower Social Workers in Tanzania

Mary Beatrice Dias , Daniel Nuffer, Anthony Velazquez, Ermine A. Teves, Hatem Said Alismail, Sarah M. Belousov, Malcolm Frederick Dias, Rotimi Abimbola, Bradley Hall, and M Bernardine Dias
International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD2010), December, 2010.


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Abstract
Although para-social workers carry the primary responsibility in providing essential services to the growing population of orphans and vulnerable children in Tanzania, they are often not paid for this work. Moreover, these para-social workers are unable to access governmental resources due to the lack of an efficient means of reporting their needs to relevant government officials in a timely manner. In this paper we describe a text message (SMS) based solution that harnesses the prevalence of mobile phones coupled with several Open Source tools to empower these para-social workers. Specifically, we build a more efficient mechanism for reporting summary data on orphans and vulnerable children to relevant government officials in a cost-effective and efficient manner. This paper reports on our needs assessment process, reviews the related work, describes the implementation and testing of our prototype solution, and concludes with a discussion of relevant future work.

Keywords
Mobile (Cell) Phones, Text Messaging (SMS), Open Source, Social Workers

Notes
Associated Center(s) / Consortia: Field Robotics Center
Associated Lab(s) / Group(s): TechBridgeWorld

Text Reference
Mary Beatrice Dias , Daniel Nuffer, Anthony Velazquez, Ermine A. Teves, Hatem Said Alismail, Sarah M. Belousov, Malcolm Frederick Dias, Rotimi Abimbola, Bradley Hall, and M Bernardine Dias, "Using Mobile Phones and Open Source Tools to Empower Social Workers in Tanzania," International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD2010), December, 2010.

BibTeX Reference
@inproceedings{Dias__2010_6727,
   author = "Mary Beatrice {Dias } and Daniel Nuffer and Anthony Velazquez and Ermine A Teves and Hatem Said Alismail and Sarah M Belousov and Malcolm Frederick Dias and Rotimi Abimbola and Bradley Hall and M Bernardine Dias",
   title = "Using Mobile Phones and Open Source Tools to Empower Social Workers in Tanzania",
   booktitle = "International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD2010)",
   month = "December",
   year = "2010",
}