Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Rose Schuman's Question Box

The Question Box - Rose Schuman from Jonathan Marks on Vimeo.

I was delighted to meet Rose Schuman, a young graduate of Brown University of Rhode Island, and now travelling the world from her base in California. You don't have to travel far in India or Africa to find places where Internet access is out of the question, especially in villages where mains electricity and ADSL are in short supply. Now there's a series of practical trials to try to change that.

Rose has called it the Question Box. In the Indian villages of Ethida and Poolpur, a few hours from New Delhi, they have installed a simple system for getting information online. Now this trial is to be adapted and expanded in Uganda.

Rose explains in this interview at SxSW how they have tackled the problem of access to relevant information. As community radio starts to become more widespread in India, I can see the radio station providing the portal in local languages, and broadcasting the answers to FAQ's over the radio.