A question that often pops up in Knowledge Sharing circles is “how can we share knowledge effectively in low bandwidth regions?”
The above New York Times article highlights an example of how this can be possible. Exploiting the growing mobile phone use in Africa, (and the article quotes that “nearly 300 million Africans now have cellphones“) an initiative called “Question Box” was formed.
Questions from rural areas are asked by phone, to operators in a central office who then conduct the online and database searches. There is a video clip showing the service in action on the Question Box blog. Whilst this example is a light hearted one, the the New York Times article also talks of plans to tailor the service to farmers for agricultural information.