The Tech Awards 2009 The Katherine M Swanson Equality Award Kiwanja net

2009 Equality Award Laureate FrontlineSMS
Laureate Country: United Kingdom
Project Country: Global (over 50 countries)

FrontlineSMS, an initiative of Ken Banks’ organization, is free open source software that turns laptops and mobile phones into central communications hubs.

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NGOs (non-governmental organizations) often have difficulty providing timely information to the people they serve because of a lack of communications infrastructure. However, mobile phone ownership is high even among the poorest members of society, and in many cases they provide the only means of telecommunication in areas where landline infrastructure is lacking.

FrontlineSMS provides a two-way communication channel that runs from any laptop or desktop computer. The program enables users to send and receive text messages with large groups of people through mobile phones. Hundreds of NGOs worldwide are using FrontlineSMS technology for such diverse activities as election monitoring, security advisories, and providing medical services to rural areas.

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The Tech Museum is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds. The museum — located in the Capital of Silicon Valley — is a non-profit learning resource established to engage people in exploring and experiencing technologies affecting their lives. Through programs such as The Tech Challenge, our annual team design competition for youth, and internationally renowned programs such as The Tech Awards presented by Applied Materials, Inc., The Tech Museum celebrates the spirit of Silicon Valley by encouraging the development of innovative ideas for a more promising future.

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