Engaging Populations Utilizing Indigenous Communications Technology
IST Research has developed novel approaches to collecting highly structured data from indigenous populations in the most austere locations around the globe. The IST Research Data Collection Environment includes new technology development and social engineering efforts necessary to effectively engage populations in information sharing campaigns.
IST Research has recently deployed its Data Collection Environment (DCE) to both Colombia & Zambia with the intent of engaging and collecting data from the local residents in these countries using the technology with which they are most familiar. The system was designed to seamlessly launch collection tools across a number of different modalities enabling the largest possible proliferation of input mechanisms. Based on 2011 data from the International Telecommunication Union, two-thirds of the world’s population has no access to the Internet, whereas 87% has access to a cell phone subscription (79% in the developing world). As part of the DCE, IST Research engineers have created a globally deployable, Android-based SMS gateway, which is being deployed in support of these projects.
Mrs. Jennifer Paterson, a registered nurse, doctoral candidate and founding member of IST Research, is leading the Improving Infant Outcomes in Zambia effort. As an initial step, Mrs. Paterson is training Zambian midwives how to effectively use a simple ‘bulb syringe’ during deliveries in poor and rural communities. The DCE will be used to collect bioinformatics, following each birth, via SMS submissions by the rural nurse midwives. Data collected during this research will measure the effect of new skills on infant outcomes, the spread of skills through the volunteer medical network, and provide additional baseline data to the Zambian Minister of Health. This project is being conducted in conjunction with the University of South Alabama, School of Nursing and Tiny People Matter.
Mr. Todd Huffman, IST Research’s Crowdsourcing Architect, will be leading our efforts in Colombia. IST Research will deliver a fully configured system, training materials, and on-site set up instructions. The service will run completely as a stand-alone system at the operational location in Colombia. The aim of the project is to offer a method of simple and meaningful communication between the poor, rural communities of Colombia and the government entities and agencies engaged in aid support. The project hopes to leave a sustainable means of communication with the targeted populations while also having a positive impact on the lives and communities of the local residents.
IST Research delivers decision support innovation to the edge. Our current work involves global deployment of our Data Collection Environment (DCE), an architecture comprised of the best technologies the open source community has to offer. Our information goals are to interact with the global population across the communications channels that are in their hands today. By engaging residents of the world utilizing the devices they already own, high tech or low, we believe there is an opportunity to create an eternal impact with extreme value.
For more information on IST Research and their projects, they can be reached at the contact info provided here.