TECHNOLOGY: IRIN’s pick of the year – 2010

NAIROBI, 21 December 2010 (IRIN) – It has been a big year for the uptake of new online technologies in emergencies, especially those using mobile money, text messaging (SMS), online mapping and crowd-sourcing. We have also spotted a number of interesting, off-beat and innovative science and technology developments.

Here is a round-up of the year’s most intriguing and important humanitarian technology articles from IRIN.

Is the humanitarian community ready or able to take up the potential of crowd-sourcing?

There are so many mobile health initiatives, we rounded up a few of them in December.

Mobile-phone cameras and barcodes are being used in a Kenyan scheme to insure farmers’ purchases of fertilizer against bad weather. Payouts are made by mobile money.

Delayed HIV test results can complicate treatment. In remote areas of Mozambique, results are being returned from the laboratory by mobile networks using SMS printers.

After several false starts, a vaginal gel (or microbicide) to help protect against HIV infection showed promise in trials in South Africa.

Magnetic resonance sounding is being used to search for underground water in arid eastern Chad.

Sugar glassification may reduce the need to refrigerate vaccines.

Could a bio-control method a “good mould” reduce poisoning by aflatoxin?

Sanitary pads made from papyrus in Uganda bolster refugee women’s dignity.

Kenya’s record in pioneering mobile-powered civic activism continued with two systems using SMS to monitor its referendum vote.

Genetically-modified mosquitoes are soon to be released in the wild in trials in Asia.

In September, a two-hour TB test was announced, revolutionizing TB testing, later approved by WHO in December.

Source – IRIN