I M P R O V I N G T H E H E A LT H A N D I N C O M E O F
                                             IMPOVERISHED RUR AL ...
I M P R O V I N G T H E H E A LT H A N D I N C O M E O F
                                             IMPOVERISHED RUR AL ...
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Literacy bridge gsbi 2010

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Literacy bridge gsbi 2010

  1. 1. I M P R O V I N G T H E H E A LT H A N D I N C O M E O F IMPOVERISHED RUR AL FA MILIES THR OUGH KNOWLEDGE Literacy Bridge - GSBI™ Class of 2010 Headquarters: Seattle, WA, Problem Statement: United States For hundreds of millions of rural people, learning new health Established: 2007 practices and agriculture techniques can drastically reduce poverty, malnutrition, and child mortality. But vital knowledge like this is Impact Areas: Ghana, Expanding not reaching them due to illiteracy (774 million adults) and lack of to Nigeria in 2011 electricity (1.5 billion people). Outreach to remote villages is costly Type: Non-Profit/NGO and ineffective; people often forget what they’ve heard when it finally comes time to apply it—particularly when illiteracy prevents Sectors: Economic Development, them from taking notes. Information & Communications Technology (ICT) No Intervention Intervention Staff Size: 4 and 240 volunteers Annual Budget: $130,000 Major Funders: Amazon.com, Yahoo Employee Foundation, Seattle International Foundation Awards: 2009 UN Global Alliance for ICT and Development, 2010 International Conference on ICT and Development Theory of Change: Local experts understand the prob- lems, context, and practical solutions for the regions in which they work; Solution: they also speak the local languages. Literacy Bridge improves the health and income of impoverished Literacy Bridge allows them to rural families by providing easy, on-demand access to locally record and distribute their health and relevant knowledge. We accomplish this today using our “Talking agriculture knowledge to allow easy, Book”—a low-cost audio device designed for the learning needs on-demand access by people with of oral cultures. This allows local expertise to reach more people, no formal education or exposure to more effectively, so they can learn and adopt practices to fight technology. This leads to learning poverty and disease. When provided with such on-demand infor- and behavior change that saves lives mation, 91% of farmers learn and apply the new practices. and raises income. “In our Ghana pilot program, farmers using Literacy Bridge’s Talking Books learned to pro- duce crops worth nearly $3000 in the first year alone. Surpluses were sold to pay for fertil- izer, health insurance, and school fees. Our partners can implement this program for $1000 today.” - Cliff Schmidt, Executive Director | literacybridge.org | info@literacybridge.org | +1 425 780 5669 |
  2. 2. I M P R O V I N G T H E H E A LT H A N D I N C O M E O F IMPOVERISHED RUR AL FA MILIES THR OUGH KNOWLEDGE Milestones Achieved: Impact to Date: 2007: Studied problem in Ghana • Farmers with access to Talking Books increased crop pro- duction by 48% compared with non-users decrease of 5% 2008: Built Talking Book prototype, re- turned to Ghana for feedback, finished • A farmer’s use of a Talking Book led to an extra $89 of v1.0 with less $80,000 crops (controlling for other likely factors) 2009: Strong pilot results; UN Under- • Health clinics report that people waiting in line listen to the Secretary General calls Talking Book recommendations recorded on Talking Books by their nurses a “real opportunity for developing countries.” Annual Budget vs. 2010: The Government of Ghana be- Outcomes: comes first major customer. 47 NGOs/ govts request Talking Books. Growth Plan: 2011: Sell 11,000 Talking Books; im- pact 330,000 people; complete devel- opment of custom microprocessor 2012: Decrease cost of goods from (health and income) $25 to $9; expand sales to 40,000 units; impact 1,200,000 people Cost per Successful Outcome: 2013: Sell 100,000 units; impact $14 3,000,000 people 2014: Sell 200,000 units; impact 6,000,000 people; earned income fully supports expenses “A great thing about this device is the amount of corn its lessons enabled me to harvest. I’ve never harvested even ¼ bag from that piece of land, but this year I got Investment Required: more than a full bag from the same Grants and/or debt totaling $500,000 will allow us to reduce piece of land.” device-manufacturing costs below $9/unit and grow sales to - Anthony Dery, Ghanaian farmer create self-sustainable earned income in four years. This profile was developed during the 2010 Global Social Benefit Incubator™, the signature program of Santa Clara University’s Center for Science, Technology and Society. Updated 8/26/2010. www.scu.edu/sts/gsbi | literacybridge.org | info@literacybridge.org | +1 425 780 5669 |

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