Writing on the Wall as Appropriate Technology for Transparency

NREGA Report on Wall

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (known widely as NREGA) is the rural employment guarantee scheme implemented by the Indian government in August 2005. The law guarantees 100 days of work for a pay of Rs 120 a day (see MGNREGA on Wikipedia). With its Rs 40,000 crore budget, it is no surprise that the project is bedeviled by charges of corruption and

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Categories: asia, featured, regions

Rote Memorization Fail: Thiruvilayadal vs. Konar Tamil Urai

Recently we were watching the movie Thiruvilayadal at a friend’s place. Without going into too much of the plot (since that does not add anything to the subject of this post), there is a segment in it where Nakkeeran, the court poet, finds fault with a poetic piece composed by none other than god Shiva himself. Here is the piece, cued to start at 55

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Categories: asia, solutions

Required Skills for the Future Work Force

Apollo Research Institute (formerly University of Phoenix Research Institute) has identified 10 work skills that are critical for the future work force:

Sense-making: ability to determine the deeper meaning or significance of what is being expressed
Social intelligence: ability to connect to others in a deep and direct way, to sense and stimulate reactions and desired interactions
Novel and adaptive thinking: proficiency at thinking and

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Categories: tools

Small Revolutions Expand Epic Innovations

Gutenberg’s printing press is widely (and rightfully!) celebrated as an innovation of epic scale. It fundamentally changed society as it existed up until that point. Printed materials became easy to produce, heralding a new age of information and idea dissemination.

Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations has a related invention that is not as commonly known:

In 1501 Aldus

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Categories: solutions

Wishing Upon a Star…

Appropriate IT Development Academy
Education for Life

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Dear Friends,

A new year is upon us. When we look back to the beginning of 2011 for Appropriate IT, I remember feeling like we were wishing upon a star. We had an audacious idea of what we wanted to achieve – enable under-privileged young women become full participants in the

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Categories: appropriate it, development academy

Kenya Open Data Initiative (KODI) Heralds a New Era for Access to Information

Samburu & Masai Mara, Kenya (cc) CanWeBowlPlease

2011 has been a great year for Kenya in the areas of access to information and open data.

First, in April 2011, Kenya Gazette Notices dating back to 1906 were digitized and made available online through a partnership between Kenya Law Review and Google Kenya.

Then, in July, Kenya partnered with Google Books to release 60 years of Kenya’s Hansard (the official report of parliamentary

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Categories: africa, regions

Understanding the Wants and Needs of Customers

In their chapter titled “Innovation for the BoP: The Patient-Capital Perspective,” Robert Kennedy (University of Michigan and WDI) and Jacqueline Novogratz (Acumen Fund) give a real-world example of why a social (or any) enterprise should be willing to learn from their customers on what their wants and needs are and be ready to tailor their services appropriately.

Human-centric design begins with attempt to understand the

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Categories: resources

Mapping with Google Fusion Tables

Google’s Fusion Tables, a way to manage large amounts of data online with powerful visualization capabilities built into it, was recently graduated out of Google Labs and became an app available on the Google Apps dashboard. I have used Google’s Spreadsheet Mapper to create embeddable maps before, so I needed to know what Google Fusion Tables is all about and whether I need to

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Categories: tools

Online Privacy: Enabling Identified, Pseudonymous, & Unidentified Uses

Alma Whitten (Director of Privacy, Product and Engineering, Google) in her blog post “The freedom to be who you want to be…“ makes the distinction between three modes of online use which Google sees itself as serving. The distinction between the three is important for those of us who are interested in online privacy, especially for those activists who are working in closed

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Categories: solutions

Rules for Organizing a Protest

Rules for organizing a protest from How Did the Wisconsin Capitol Occupation Begin, Anyway? by Rebecca Greenfield in today’s The Atlantic:

1. Be flexible. Adapt your plans according to events as they happen.

That night was the first of 10 — and counting — that hundreds have occupied the Wisconsin state Capitol. The TAA hadn’t planned to stay there overnight. “It emerged rather organically,” explains

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Categories: tools
Featured Posts
  • AIDA Launches with a Celebration and Inspiration for Social Change

    Appropriate IT Development Academy (AIDA)

    On August 15, Appropriate IT Development Academy (AIDA) hosted a special event to celebrate India’s independence day and mark the opening of AIDA’s first training center in Kinathukadavu, near Coimbatore, India.

    This event “Celebrating Ourselves, Inspiring Social Change” took place at NGP Engineering College, Coimbatore on Aug 15 from 3 – 5 pm. The ceremony opened with a short presentation on Appropriate IT’s

  • Introducing Janani: A Crowdsourcing + Citizen Engagement Platform

    Janani: An open source crowdsourcing + citizen engagement platform

    Appropriate IT’s Innovation Lab is delighted to announce the release of our first product: Janani, an open source crowdsourcing + citizen engagement platform for social accountability.

    Janani is a citizen engagement platform ideal for crowdsourced assessments of publicly funded projects, monitoring of service delivery to citizens, improving accountability in governance, or increasing participation for programs.

    Key features of the platform include:

    An easy-to-use text messaging

  • Appropriate IT Becomes a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC)

    The Blue Marble (©) NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

    Big news this week – Appropriate IT Inc, a Delaware incorporated corporation, has converted to a different corporate structure on June 3rd May 29 **. We are now Appropriate IT PBC, a Delaware Public Benefit Corporation. Yay!

    So, what is a PBC? A Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) is a new kind of corporate entity, so new that the Delaware Senate Bill #47 that brought PBC

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