Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Texting in struggle against corruption

24.01.2012
Corruption is a widespread problem in public administration in many developing countries. Gudrun Wicander from Karlstad University in Sweden shows how text messaging can be used to counteract corruption and how the mobile phone can be a tool for more efficient administration and resource distribution in the education sector.

Through field studies in Tanzania, among other methods, Gudrun Wicander has developed a model for how mobile phones can be nodes for reporting statistics from the country’s elementary schools. Statistics are the foundation for distributing important resources. Sending in information via text messages simplifies and speeds up administration and resource distribution while also making it more transparent.

The school system in Tanzania comprises some 15 000 elementary schools and 10 million pupils. The system for following up and for distributing resources has major drawbacks, not least owing to problems with reporting statistics, which takes a long time and is not always reliable.

“You can’t trust the mail service. Forms need to be distributed all over the country, and completed forms then have to be taken to local offices. Manual compilations are done there and, once again in physical form, they are then physically delivered to the ministry,” says Gudrun Wicander.

There is a strong will in Tanzania to modernize government administration and, not least, to invest in schooling. Wired Internet connections are not available all over the country, and they cost ten times as much as in the West. Any commitment to electronic administration using computers is also hampered by the shortage of electricity.

“On the other hand, the mobile phone network covers the majority of the population. But Internet connection via the mobile network would be far too costly. But it would be possible to use text messaging to send in statistics directly to the central government’s computers. Many people in the countryside, including all the school principals I interviewed, have mobile phones. Mobile phones are easy to use, cheaper, and more reliable than computers,” says Gudrun Wicander.

In her dissertation Mobile Supported e-Government Systems she presents a model that covers not only the technology as such but also methods for implementation and follow-up. The solution proposed is to make use of the well-developed mobile network and link it to other communications tools.

“I see great opportunities in reporting statistics regarding the number of students in schools, for instance, with the aid of texting via mobile phones. This would mean faster and more reliable base figures for distributing resources to schools, which would ultimately benefit the pupils,” says Gudrun Wicander.

Widespread access to mobile phones in developing countries would also entail that the rural population would not have to travel to convey information.
“Paradoxically, the mobile phone presents an opportunity to remain ‘immobile,’ so to speak,” concludes Gudrun Wicander.

Gudrun Wicander completed her doctorate in informatics at Karlstad University in December 2011 and is working today at Stockholm-based Spider – a network for researchers, public-sector actors, and business collaboratively advancing the use of IT (ICT4D - ICT for Development).

Gudrun Wicander, mobile: +46 (0)709- 109 805; gudrun.wicander@kau.se or gudrun@spidercenter.org

Christina Knowles | idw
Further information:
http://kau.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2:447593

More articles from Business and Finance:

nachricht Microtechnology industry is hiring – positive developments of past years continue
09.04.2018 | IVAM Fachverband für Mikrotechnik

nachricht RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index with minor decline on a high overall level
20.03.2018 | RWI – Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung

All articles from Business and Finance >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Controlling superconducting regions within an exotic metal

Superconductivity has fascinated scientists for many years since it offers the potential to revolutionize current technologies. Materials only become superconductors - meaning that electrons can travel in them with no resistance - at very low temperatures. These days, this unique zero resistance superconductivity is commonly found in a number of technologies, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Future technologies, however, will harness the total synchrony of electronic behavior in superconductors - a property called the phase. There is currently a...

Im Focus: How Do the Strongest Magnets in the Universe Form?

How do some neutron stars become the strongest magnets in the Universe? A German-British team of astrophysicists has found a possible answer to the question of how these so-called magnetars form. Researchers from Heidelberg, Garching, and Oxford used large computer simulations to demonstrate how the merger of two stars creates strong magnetic fields. If such stars explode in supernovae, magnetars could result.

How Do the Strongest Magnets in the Universe Form?

Im Focus: Liquifying a rocky exoplanet

A hot, molten Earth would be around 5% larger than its solid counterpart. This is the result of a study led by researchers at the University of Bern. The difference between molten and solid rocky planets is important for the search of Earth-like worlds beyond our Solar System and the understanding of Earth itself.

Rocky exoplanets that are around Earth-size are comparatively small, which makes them incredibly difficult to detect and characterise using telescopes. What...

Im Focus: Axion particle spotted in solid-state crystal

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids in Dresden, Princeton University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have spotted a famously elusive particle: The axion – first predicted 42 years ago as an elementary particle in extensions of the standard model of particle physics.

The team found signatures of axion particles composed of Weyl-type electrons (Weyl fermions) in the correlated Weyl semimetal (TaSe₄)₂I. At room temperature,...

Im Focus: A cosmic pretzel

Twin baby stars grow amongst a twisting network of gas and dust

The two baby stars were found in the [BHB2007] 11 system - the youngest member of a small stellar cluster in the Barnard 59 dark nebula, which is part of the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Symposium on Functional Materials for Electrolysis, Fuel Cells and Metal-Air Batteries

02.10.2019 | Event News

NEXUS 2020: Relationships Between Architecture and Mathematics

02.10.2019 | Event News

Optical Technologies: International Symposium „Future Optics“ in Hannover

19.09.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electrochemistry to benefit photonics: Nanotubes can control laser pulses

11.10.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologically inspired skin improves robots' sensory abilities (Video)

11.10.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering

New electrolyte stops rapid performance decline of next-generation lithium battery

11.10.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>