Collecting and distributing content to and from remote and/or rural areas is incredibly vital for the next generation of information systems. For instance, reaching communities efficiently in order for them to contribute important information through an intermediary organization is a challenge. In many ways this is founded in a mistrust of organizations why information systems need to support a two-way communication to build a natural trust.
My recent visit to Guatemala taught me a great deal about the challenges faced in a developing country. Poverty is rampant, and contributes to disease and shortened lifespans. According to the World Health Organization, acute respiratory infections accounted for 40 percent of all deaths in children under 1 year while acute diarrhea disease claimed 12 percent. Most of these deaths are preventable by allowing information to be distributed and collected.
The information people need most here is not the national news broadcast at the end of the day, but necessary information like traffic alerts, weather and road conditions (landslides, traffic jams, volcano eruptions, accidents), health alerts for disease outbreaks, crime reports, and other information they can access in the palm of their hands and in a daily minute-by-minute way. The recent devastating rains in Guatemala that left hundreds dead shows us that Nature is unforgiving and can impact people more in developing countries, which lack the infrastructural and governmental support during emergencies.
In The Field Online allows organizations to implement cellphone-powered information systems with ease even if they lack internal technical expertise. All components of the system can be maintained and implemented without technical expertise which sets it apart from other available similar platforms.