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Winning Stories Bring Networking to Life: VNI Service Awards

Last week we notified the five winners of our inaugural VNI Service Awards competition.  When we launched this program on March 26, 2013 our goal was to inspire others about the human aspect of what it means to be connected. We wanted to learn how various communication technologies were being used. How does having access to the Internet and mobile services impact the daily lives of people and their community? This is how we want to measure the value of being connected, and having access to reliable communication channels.

VNI Service Awards

The final scores were based on a combination of the judge’s scores, and a ranking assigned to the number of comments per story. It was difficult selecting the top five stories as there were many tied scores. We had to go to two decimal points to get the final list. The point spread between the five winners was only 0.75 out of a max of 5.00 points. Read More »

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Empowering Women, One SMS at a Time

Jason KohnBy Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist.

What’s the best way to accelerate economic development in the developing world? One answer is to do more to empower women. According to a 2012 World Bank report, women now make up 40 percent of the global labor force, but face major gaps in education, access to technology and economic opportunity compared to men. World Bank analysts estimate that closing those gaps could make a big difference, increasing labor productivity by as much as 25 percent in some countries.

There are many strategies for empowering women in developing countries, but one of the most practical is to provide more access to education, especially for women business-owners. Educational content provider ChangeCorp is dedicated to doing just that by capitalizing on growing access to mobile phones. I spoke with ChangeCorp’s CEO, Louise M. Guido, about some of the company’s efforts. Read More »

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Exploring the Mobile Banking Revolution in Tanzania

Jason KohnBy Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

In most developed economies, people can be forgiven for taking banks for granted. After all, an ATM machine is rarely more than a couple blocks away with easy access to funds. People can easily connect with their banks online to pay bills without ever handling cash, and loans and lines of credit are readily available.

In much of the developing world, however, this infrastructure simply doesn’t exist. Thabiso Mochiko recently laid out the latest statistics on the issue at Business Day:

Read More »

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Tapping Innovation for the Sanitation Sector

Jae So, WSPBy Jae So, Guest Columnist

Did you know that around the world, 2.5 billion people lack access to sanitation? This causes billions of dollars of economic losses every year, and claims the lives of 4,000 children each day. Yet of these 2.5 billion people, who make up one-third of the world’s population, 1 billion have access to mobile phones, creating an important opportunity to mobilize innovation for the sanitation sector.

A year ago, the World Bank asked: How can we work with partners to use these 1 billion connections to promote healthier behaviors and improve access to sanitation services, such as containment of waste water? The result is the Sanitation Hackathon, a yearlong strategic process that is a project of the World Bank’s water practice and ICT sector, working together with governments and citizens around the world with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Read More »

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Rewarding Innovation: VNI Service Awards Wants Your Story

word-cloudToday, we are pleased to launch the VNI Service Awards. This rewards program runs from March 26 to May 10, 2013. The five top finalists will share USD $10,000 in cash prizes. The VNI Service Awards is complementary to our VNI Service Adoption research. This work forecasts global trends in how users are adopting 27 residential, business, and mobile services. It’s now time to tell your story. How are you using these networking services and devices in your daily life? If you’ve created a service, what impact has it had on your clients?

Get Involved and Share Your Story 

medical mobile appWe are looking for stories about how you have used network services such as mobile video and gaming, video conferencing, SMS, and social networking. Whether you own a business, manage a non-profit, or involved in community services, we want to hear from you. Read More »

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