mBillionth South Asia Mobile Awards 2014 winners: mobile content and apps for women

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In previous posts, we shared profiles of winners in the categories of mobile business, travel, entertainment, governance and inclusion from the mBillionth Awards. Each year, the Awards recognise and honour outstanding mobile content and apps from around South Asia. A jury process screens nominees online followed by three days of heated face-to-face debates. Here are the 2014 jury picks for winners in the categories of mobile content and apps for women, in the areas of health and entrepreneurship opportunities.

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RUDI Sandesha Vyavhar / India

Women are evolving as entrepreneurs in many emerging economies. Although many women aspire to be entrepreneurs, they lack sufficient support to build their businesses. In this regard, RUDI Sandesha Vyavhar has developed its own MIS tool for supply chain management that runs on simple feature mobile phones. The app enables women working with the Rural Distribution Network (RUDI) of SEWA to order stock from the field. The application tailors to the specific products that are bought and sold by the RUDIbens. It transfers management of the RUDI from paper to electronic data. The app is being refined to include new features, such as Vodafone’s MPesa service, which will enable RUDIbens to pay for their stock or receive payments from their customers remotely. The application is available in Gujarati and English.

URL: www.sewa.org

LunaCycle / India

Zero-Sum Wireless Solutions India Private Limited have developed an app, LunaCycle, to empower women via a mobile tool for fertility cycle tracking. The app makes it easy for a woman to track her periods, calculate its average length, predict the next period with precision and project the fertility calendar on the basis of time of the month. Women can also keep a check on their body weight and diet and achieve their fitness goals by using the app. It helps them have a better understanding and control over their health and lives. All information on the app is available in English and can be downloaded for free.

URL: www.zero-sum.co.in App: click here

Safetipin / India

India and other parts of South Asia are unfortunately rated high in terms of crimes against  women, lack of safety and security. In this context, Safetipin was launched as a free-to-download app, which works towards making communities and cities safer by providing safety-related information collected by users and trained auditors. At the core of the app is the Safety Audit. It consists of a set of nine parameters that together contribute to the perception of safety by women. Each audit results in a pin on the specific location where the audit was performed and also records the time and date. Different colours are used to indicate the safety level for a particular place. The app has been launched in Delhi and Bengaluru and will soon be launched in other Indian cities. The app is available in Hindi and English with other languages to follow.

URL: www.safetipin.com

Amako Maya / Nepal (special mention in mHealth)

Amako Maya is a mobile based application to support the needs of pregnant women in rural and mountainous parts of Nepal. It is supported by video, audio and text content designed in the Nepali language for rural communities. Women can create their own account on Amako Maya in order to seek any kind of assistance. The mobile application informs them about the changes that are going through in their body prior to childbirth, and keeps them informed about all stages of their pregnancy. The app gives health guidance and helps schedule appointments with doctors and clinics.

URL: www.yagiten.com

Paywast mHealth Call Centers for Maternal Health / Afghanistan (special mention in mHealth)

At 71 deaths per 1,000 newborn babies, infant mortality rates in Afghanistan are unfortunately among the highest in the world. To bring some relief in this scenario, Paywast m-Health call centre was launched in Kabul. It also provides an app that functions as a CRM system for managing communities of patients and health care workers. The app supports an SMS based cash voucher system to reimburse transportation providers in a safe and verified manner. The call centre provides information and connections for pregnant women to get an opportunity to deliver their baby at a proper health facility with qualified staff and medical professionals. Paywaast hopes the technology will help reduce maternal and infant mortality rates. The service is available in Dari, Pashto and English.

URL: www.paywast.af

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Madanmohan Rao

Madanmohan Rao is research director at YourStory Media and editor of five book series (http://amzn.to/NpHAoE). His interests include creativity, innovation, knowledge management, and digital media. Madan is also a DJ and writer on world music and jazz. He can be followed on Twitter at @MadanRao