Successful Cooperation With Major African Operators in Tanzania’s Nationwide mHealth Campaign

Airtel Tanzania, Tigo, Zantel and the Vodacom Foundation are the African operators that have taken the lead in the Healthy Pregnancy, Healthy Baby Text Messaging Service (HPHB) (also known as the Wazazi Nipendi SMS Service) in Tanzania. Their bundled services served over 500,000 Tanzanian men and women, whom cumulatively received over 40 million informative safe motherhood messages and reminders, since its launch in 2012.

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TTC Launches Agriculture Information Service in Zambia

In many emerging markets like Zambia, agriculture accounts for the overwhelming majority of rural employment. Therefore providing farmers with timely and relevant information regarding production, market prices and agricultural finance among others will not only improve their income but also improve production and in the long run lower food prices for the populations.
That‘s why TTC, together with IICD and National Agriculture Information Services (NAIS), as part of the Connect4Change (C4C) consortium, has launched a SMS service to provide important information to farmers for example market prices, best practices for farming, and weather updates among others. This service, which is interactive, will also make it possible for farmers to give feedback on ongoing programs and ask questions to the NAIS and get quick response. This will go a long way in solving the problem of delayed feedback between the farmers and the Ministry of Agriculture.

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Mobile technology in emerging markets… Are you kidding me?

When I first heard about TTC and its activities in mobile solutions for emerging markets, I couldn’t imagine its effectiveness and impact. And even after reading an article of the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) about the usage of mobile phones of people living in remote villages in Africa, I couldn’t believe that they are able to call or to receive text messages. I wondered; how on earth is it possible to have access to a mobile network while living in an area without even having clean drinking water? And above all, why would you even want to own a mobile phone when you’re not certain if you have enough money to buy food for dinner?

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International Women’s Day!

The month of March is regarded the month of women because of International Women’s Day, a holiday celebrated worldwide that honors women and women’s struggle all over the world. The UN theme for International Women’s Day 2015 is “Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture it!” Over the years there has been a significant change in the attitude that society has towards women’s emancipation, a shift from the old beliefs in some cultures that women belong in the kitchen.

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SimAgri: New Farmer-Driven Platform for Products, Services and Opportunities for Burkinabe Farmers

Today, February 16, a new ICT-enhanced marketing solution is launched in Burkina Faso: SimAgri. Goal is to improve farmers’ ability to sustainably increase productivity, access markets and increase their income.

All partners responsible for the development of SimAgri will convene in Ouagadougou to officially present the platform, its features and technological capabilities. Attendees will be prominent members of the agribusiness community, the private sector and national and local authorities – including representatives of the Ministries of Agriculture, Trade, Innovation and Information Technology.

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Seven Years of Growth

As you may have heard once or twice… Today we celebrate TTC’s 7th birthday! And so as with every other birthday, we celebrate this by having cake with candles and by reminiscing about the last seven years. For me, personally, it was great to see TTC grow from a small start-up towards a serious social enterprise.  Right from the start, Bas and I were convinced about our idea of sending personalized, high-quality and informational messages to those who need it the most. We saw the potential to not only make communication campaigns in emerging markets more efficient, effective and measurable, but also an opportunity to repackage old development aid messages and make them more appealing to the public. We realized the time was right and TTC was born!

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Three examples of why content is king and context shapes the package

Without understanding context, one can’t communicate effectively. Considering context in communication means you consider the framework of related facts, conditions and circumstances within which the communication takes place. These kind of factors influence the way a message is understood by the recipient. For TTC, this means carefully taking into account our target group when starting a project. Ever since our first mHealth project in 2008, the organization has worked in over 25 different countries worldwide, including Uganda, Bolivia, Sierra Leone, Nepal and now United States among others. Logically, with every country comes a different context. Even within a country there always is a different context. Effective communication can be hindered by not bearing in mind the difference in cultures, traditions, religion, politics and a number of other factors. Therefore, when designing and implementing our programs it is highly important to carefully take into account the context.

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