by Jonathan Jackson on 19 November 2008
Dimagi is selected to be 1 of 5 finalists for the Legatum FORTUNE Technology Prize, to be awarded on December 1st, 2008.
“The Legatum FORTUNE Technology Prize was founded upon the conviction that sustainable, scalable, technology-driven business enterprises offer the most effective means to promote prosperity and bring people out of poverty.
A prize fund of USD 1,000,000 will be awarded yearly to honor individuals and organizations whose application of technology solutions has demonstrably improved the quality of life among impoverished populations.” (more)
We are honored to have been nominated and even more so to be selected as a finalist. We will be presenting to a judging panel on December 1st, and the winner will be announced that night. The other finalists are all solid companies, so the competition should be a great event.
by Cory Zue on 12 November 2008
I’ve always been a huge fan of Google Trends and Zeitgeist, and felt that there was TONS more that could be done with the data besides it’s current uses, which as far as I can tell are (1) entertaining bored people like me, and (2) making Google a bunch of money.
Well today Google announced one great (and, admittedly, obvious) thing to do with the data: track diseases.
Google Flu Trends is a new service that uses organic Google searches to track and predict flu outbreaks in the US. According to the article Google is able to predict flu spread much more quickly – and just as accurately – as the CDC’s existing system (in some cases beating the CDC by as much as two weeks).
Unfortunately, this type of organic information gathering via Google searches is not going to help the developing world anytime soon (where most don’t have the internet access necessary for this to worK), but this is an exciting first step towards using the population’s collective wisdom and information sharing towards mitigating the world’s health problems.
Looking forward to seeing where Google takes this!
by Cory Zue on 7 November 2008
So I had the exciting opportunity to experience not only the Zambian elections, but also the US elections while traveling in Zambia.
The Zambian elections were quite interesting to observe on the ground. Depending on who you talked to, opinions ranged wildly from “PF (the opposition party) and Michael Sata (its leader) have no chance, the election will be rigged by MMD (the ruling party)” to “the elections are totally free and fair”. As the results came in it was very fun to track the polls from various locations. Even more so than the US, politics are deeply regionalized, with PF controlling the urban areas and North of the country, MMD dominant in the rural east and west, and third opposition party UPND dominant in the south (taking 80% of the vote in some constituencies to PF’s 1%). Seriously, look at this election map for a while, it’s fascinating. What is frustrating for PF and Sata supporters is that the urban results always come in first – so it looks like they’re dominating, only to have their numbers drop like crazy once the rural votes come in (only increasing the allegations of foul play).
The expectations for the post-election reaction were also interesting and varied. In my very first cab ride after I landed the driver told me “if MMD wins there will be war in this country”. Yikes. But then I got some second opinions. “If it was football I might be worried,” said a colleague (referring to the riots when the Zambian soccer team played in the Africa cup), “but democracy works in Zambia.”
Still some of the ex-pats weren’t so sure. I even heard about an “all-night election party” where people brought plenty of food, alcohol, and sleeping bags, on the off-chance the city exploded in riots and they were unable to leave the house. Still despite the expectations things were for the most part, quiet and smooth. I was at a club, surrounded by Zambians, when the last round of polls came out and sealed the victory for MMD; and while there clear disappointment among some, violence was never an option.
The US election on the heels of Zambia’s was an amazing thing to experience here. Everyone I talked to was thrilled. “We may have lost our election, but we won in the US!” was a common theme. OBAMA WINS! Made the bold headline in the (next) morning’s paper. And overnight it seemed, people were much warmer toward me as an American.
Much has been written about the international reaction to our elections and I don’t want to belabor the point. However one thing that was interesting in Zambia’s context on the heels of a national election, was how interested people were with our process. I had this conversation several times:
“So voting is today, when will you know the results?”
“Tonight?! Man, we need that system in Africa.” (Zambia voted on Thursday and results were final Saturday night – quite a quick turnaround time for the region)
Everybody was also surprised how quickly McCain conceded the result. The most common sentiment being “only in America. This would not happen in Africa.”
So what does happen in Africa?
Well Sata first alleged corruption and fraud, then demanded a recount (a fair and level response, see also: Gore, Al; Diebold). However, before the recounting process had even began, Sata got heated and (allegedly) punched some of MMD members participating in the ballot verification. Now counts have been suspended indefinitely.
Kind of makes the post-election McCain camp’s internal fighting seem a bit mild, doesn’t it?
by Dan Myung on 4 November 2008
Dr. Kumar will be speaking as a Thought Leader at the World of Health IT conference organized by HIMSS in Copenhagen on November 5, 2008.
The co-founder and Chairman of Dimagi delivers a lecture titled:
“Where there are no SysAdmins: Health IT in Resource-Poor Areas”
- Identify resource-poor areas in the places you work
- Appreciate special considerations for system design in these areas
- Evaluate where disruptive technologies can leapfrog these projects
- Plan systems that have a higher chance to succeed in these areas
For more information please go to:
by Dan Myung on 3 November 2008