Using the Power of Technology to Improve Lives

Improving food production for small-hold farmers. Ensuring access to healthcare systems for newborns. Broadening the democratic process. Safeguarding access to clean drinking water.

To be pilotted in Guatemala and scaled-up to other countries in Latin America and beyond, AgriUp is a user-friendly, low-bandwidth smartphone app/website that aims to provide farmers with location-specific information including weather alerts, agricultural advice and nutrition tips.

“There is a risk of heavy rain in the long-term weather forecast for your location. We suggest that you begin to harvest in the next three days.” Think of the difference a practical weather alert like this could mean to a struggling farmer. Actionable tips about agriculture could ensure they have access to modern techniques instead of relying on traditional methods; information about prices could guarantee fair market conditions.

By connecting them to critical information through the power of technology, AgriUp could help farmers to improve their harvests, support their families, and go on to grow their businesses and local economies.

Using a VaxTrac tablet PC loaded with the BirthTrac app, pregnancies can be registered and births can be recorded in near real-time. VaxTrac can then push regular SMS reminders directly to new mothers, notifying them when their children are due for vaccinations. As hard-to-reach pregnant women and newborns are registered through BirthTrac into formal healthcare systems, a wealth of information will become available, increasing the ability to monitor maternal issues and provide much-needed care.

But paradoxically, this also creates issues. The lack of data processing tools for crowdsourced citizens’ ideas can lead to enormous amounts of data overwhelming civic servants and leaving their valuable input unused.

The solution will better enable governments and aid agencies to explore underlying issues and potential solutions in more depth, and turn existing data into actionable information. Richer data will enable improved research and policies to keep water flowing and communities healthy.