Indigo Christmas Office Clausure

santa_phoneHo ho ho! The Indigo team will be out of the office from mid-December until early January. As such, any proposals received during December will not be reviewed until the New Year and applicants should expect a slower-than-usual response.  Don’t worry, though, we’ll be sure to read all of your emails, tweets and listen to any voicemails you might have left for us over the festive season once we’re back in the office. If you’d like to leave us some real gifts, they’d be most welcome too. If you are celebrating Christmas, we’d like to wish you all a very merry time!

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Digital Development Principles

The following list of digital development principles were developed by Greentree Consensus. What do you think? Is there anything missing or, indeed, something that shouldn’t be there?

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Grant to HORUWO

Indigo is delighted to announce a grant of £6,500 to Hope for Rural Women Uganda. Over the coming months, HORUWO will be implementing an mhealth project aimed at reducing maternal and infant mortality and increasing antenatal and postnatal care. Mobiles will be used to equip women with knowledge and information on pregnancy, birth and care of their children. The idea is to equip women with information directly and to challenge dangerous cultural practices that could harm women or their children. Information will be sent to their phones in both text and picture formats and will deal with issues such as safe birth practices, malaria control, the importance of postnatal checkups and general advice on sexual and reproductive health. HORWO aim to reach 700 pregnant women and 3000 adolescents in schools across Maliba Bugoye and Rukoki counties.

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Grant awarded to Lady Mermaid’s Bureau

The problem of hard-to-reach cLMBommunities is one that most development organisations must contend with at one time or another. The nature of their work means that sex workers are one such category of people who may be overlooked or intentionally missed by many organisations. Lady Mermaid’s Bureau in Uganda, however, exists to address the issues and challenges faced by sex workers and became the country’s first organisation led by and for sex workers. We’re delighted to announce that we have provided them with a grant of £5,000 to help them provide important pieces of legal and health information via mobiles. Continue reading

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Making the most out of social media

Being on Facebook or Twitter doesn’t mean you understand how to make the most out of social media for your charity. That’s why we recently supported Sarah Hartley to undertake some training with our South African grantees on social media – how to find the right platform, how to get your content noticed and how you can use it to target those who need it most. Sarah recently blogged about here.

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A Grant to Magilatech

Parliaments can often seem like opaque institutions with arcane rules and disincentives to too much citizen participation – and in many cases it’s a reputation that’s both accurate and well deserved. That’s why we’re always on the lookout for projects and organisations interested in reducing the barriers to participation in politics. We’re delighted to announce a grant of €14,275 to Magilatech, a Tanzanian start-up pioneering an innovative approach to parliamentary information. The idea is a voice service that citizens can call through any mobile phone to listen live to parliamentary debates. Citizens will also be able to voice their own opinions on the matters under discussion through voice messages. The service is designed to be free of charge to the end user, meaning that cost need not be a barrier to use.

Indigo’s funding will contribute towards the costs of server purchase and set up and some dissemination work. Magilatech’s approach is an interesting one that has clear potential for replication and is a nice complement to much of the web-based parliamentary monitoring we are currently supporting in other parts of Africa.

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3-D Conferences and the QEII

photoFor those readers unfamiliar with Bond, it’s the UK umbrella organisation representing international development charities and organisations and their annual conference is a great opportunity to meet others in the development world that you might not ordinarily get to talk to. So, last week Team Indigo trotted down the road to the lovely – and also quite ugly – Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre. Resembling a large concrete bunker, the building nonetheless has some of the finest views of Westminster you’re likely to get. But you probably didn’t come here for my take on conference centre design, although if you’d like to know more about my views on conference centres from around the world, be sure to drop me a line and I’ll get back to you with my list of favourites. Don’t worry people, I’m not holding my breath. Continue reading

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