Innovative? Inspiring? Courageous? Creative? All that and more.
Since 2008, Information Society Innovation Fund (ISIF Asia) has received over 800 submissions from projects that address critical social and development challenges using the Internet.
In the past six years, over 2.5 million AUD has been allocated, through 40 grants and 19 awards, to projects from 22 Asia Pacific economies, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Cook Islands, India, Kiribati, Micronesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Niue, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Each project showcases innovation, cooperation and technical knowledge in its own unique way.
In 2014 the Awards program received the highest number of nominations in the history of ISIF Asia: 93 nominations from 16 economies.
All ISIF Asia Award winners receive a cash prize to support the continuation of their program, and a travel grant for a project representative to attend a regional or global event to showcase their project, make new professional contacts, and participate in discussions about the future of the Internet.
Every year we are inspired by the creativity, technical ability and courage of Award nominees and this year was no exception. If you haven’t yet had a chance to read about their projects, take a few minutes now to do so. I am sure you will be as impressed as we have been.
Sinar Project, Malaysia– Malaysia has very few publicly available resources of online information on governance, such as budget expenditure, assets of those holding political office and parliamentary bills. Information that is available is not in a usable format. Sinar uses open source technology and applications to improve governance and encourage greater citizen involvement in the public affairs of Malaysia.
Accessible reading materials for grades 1-10 students with print disability through DAISY standard, Young Power in Social Action (YPSA), Bangladesh- YPSA’s project supports students with print and learning disability, and low literacy by creating access to DAISY full text and full audio digital books, Braille books and accessible e- course books. Approximately four million Bangladeshis are visually impaired, and around 48 per cent of the population is illiterate or low literate. YPSA, along with the Prime Minister’s Office, has produced DAISY digital multimedia books for the student of years 1 to 5, which proved accessible and cost effective. YPSA will now extend the range of textbooks to cover the entire secondary level.
e-Action for Universal Healthcare Coverage, ACCESS Health Philippines, Philippines- The project uses innovative mobile technology to expand the capacity of the government’s frontline health workers to deliver high quality, integrated maternal and child healthcare to the poorest Filipino families. The eAKaP project provides mobile tablets and trains CHTs to use an application called iCHT (automated Community Health Team). A health worker can visit a household and use the tablet with iCHT installed without the need for Internet connection. The household information is then stored until an Internet connection is available, at which time it can be uploaded to a cloud-based server that automatically generates reports. The iCHT application has resulted in decreased spending for materials and reduced time spent performing CHT related tasks. The eAKaP Project has so far trained 100 health workers, covering approximately 5000 families.
Connecting remote islands in Vanuatu with LiteGateway Network Access System, Telsat Broadband Limited, Vanuatu– Telsat Broadband has created a broadband Internet system that delivers quality service at a very low cost to small remote island communities. The LiteGateway NAS Appliance, which can scale from a small device supporting up to 25 concurrent sessions through to a large server base supporting a major town, is driven by code specifically created for this project. It allows for easy and quick establishment of new POPs, and is capable of providing both IPv4 and IPv6 to customers. Broadband Internet access is then available for as little as US$2.00. Since the deployment of the platform in three locations, interest has come from various aid agencies seeking to deploy the cost-effective communications solution in their outer island projects.
Sohoj Sonchoy – Easy Savings, Green Networking Research Group, Department of Computer Science & Engineering, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh– Android app Sohoj Sonchoy allows Bangladeshi people—particular vulnerable groups, including women, rural people, the non-skilled and unemployed— to watch hands-on video tutorials online, helping them to develop skills, learn new techniques and increase workplace participation. The training videos—all free, available in Bengali and using free and open source technologies—help people to learn critical skills such as reading, writing, effective agricultural practices, machinery repair, food preparation, simple first aid, personal finance and fire safety from their smartphone or computer.
ISIF Asia operates through a partnership between IDRC, Sida and APNIC with sponsorship from APIA, ICANN, Internet Society, and the DotAsia Organization.
To read more about ISIF Asia and explore previous years Award winners, visit the website.
The views expressed by the authors of this blog are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of APNIC. Please note a Code of Conduct applies to this blog.