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Listen in: the effects of ICTs in the developing world

October 19, 2010

This Wednesday, October 20th, Action Speaks Radio will host a discussion about the effects of cell phones and mobile technology on today’s society. Listen in from 5:30-7PM as Plan USA’s Linda Raftree joins the panel.


ICTs in Plan's work 

Information and Communication Technologies, or ICTs, have changed the way people, communities, organizations, and governments around the world interact. They have become indispensable tools in cities and offices around the world, and provide huge potential for growth in the developing world.

Plan is a strong advocate for the use of ICTs, such as the internet and email, instant messaging, social networks and mobile phones, for social and economic development around the world. Plan supports a number of projects that incorporate these technologies to promote child rights, build life skills and transform communities:

  • In Kenya, a new project aims to the birth registration process by incorporating mobile phones and SMS technology. The project will provide a mobile phone number that people can SMS to register their children, thus reducing long walks to the registrar’s office. It hopes to increase the number of parents that get birth certificates for their children, a necessity for them to attend school, avoid early marriage or receive any social services or insurance.
  • In the Violence Against Children (VAC) project, Plan is supporting youth to record and report abuses against children via SMS. Incidents are mapped out by location and type, and this information is used to advocate for solutions at the local, national and international levels.
  • In both Kenya and Uganda, a project called Childline offers free, confidential telephone helplines and support services to children and youth who are the victims of violence or abuse. The numbers are accessible via mobile phones, and have revolutionized the way people in rural areas who don’t have landlines can safely access help and support.
  • A youth-implemented radio program in West Africa called Kids Waves reaches the general public with clear and important messages and invites involvement in positive change that benefits children. Since 2008, the project has been implemented in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
  • Youth Empowerment through Arts and Media (YETAM) is a project through which youth make short films about their own lives and their communities. They also produce various forms of artwork that are shared with the communities to discuss the challenges faced by youth and to find solutions to alleviate them.
  • In the annual 2010 “Because I am a Girl” report, Plan examines the positive and negative consequences of ICTs for girls, particularly mobile phones and the internet. The report highlights new ways of thinking that ICTs open up for girls, and how cyberspace makes them more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.

Learn more

Listen in this Wednesday, October 20th from 5:30-7PM to learn more about the impact of cell phones and other ICTs in today’s world. Visit for more information about the radio program.