World Bank funds IFMIS for The Gambia and Liberia

The World Bank has approved loan funding of a $5million Integrated Financial Management and Information System (IFMIS) to increase the Government of The Gambia’s capacity in public resource management. There are five components to the project:

  • IFMIS rollout, interfaces and system training.
  • Laying the groundwork for the introduction of new IFMIS applications.
  • Communications and change management, creating greater awareness amongst government officials and the public at large about the IFMIS.
  • Accounting and information technology (IT) capacity building for sustainability.
  • Project implementation support.

A similar project is being prepared for Liberia. Funded by a $3,7m grant this project was approved a year ago, but has yet to publish any details.

World e-Parliament Report 2010

The United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union have released the World e-Parliament Report 2010. The Report, prepared by the Global Centre for ICT in Parliament, intends to help legislatures to harness the potential benefits of ICT for their work and establish key goals and priorities for exploiting this valuable resource. While providing evidence of the complexities of e-parliament, the report suggests ways to overcome some of the obstacles to the effective use of technology in parliamentary settings. The findings  are based on the results of the Global Survey of ICT in Parliaments conducted between July and November 2009, to which 134 parliamentary assemblies responded.

via World e-Parliament Report 2010.

Grameen puts mobile technology to the test

In early 2009 the Grameen Foundation went to Uganda with the idea of creating a fluid and effective two way communication channel between rural farmers and the world of agricultural experts, development agencies, traders and commercial players. Through this loop, rural small holder farmers would be given livelihood saving agricultural information generated by the experts and the big players would keep informed on conditions on the farm from adoption of best practices to available produce for sale. Grameen has now published its Community Knowledge Worker pilot report to share some of the lessons learned on what it takes to sustainably build and expand such a network of information intermediaries.

New soil information service for researchers and farmers

The African Soil Information System (AfSIS) is developing a map to show soil conditions across the continent. The service will help to identify the risk of soil degradation, how to prevent it and how to restore land where soil fertility is already depleted. AfSIS takes advantage of recent advances in digital soil mapping, remote sensing, statistics and soil fertility management to analyze the various alternatives to protect and rehabilitate soil. The project is also testing a variety of farming techniques in an effort to discover the most effective methods to suit a wide range of conditions and situations.

The soil map will be available for free on the internet, and continually updated. The high resolution of the map means that farmers will have the possibility to zoom in to see the condition of the soil on their land. The project team are also looking at other ways to make the data available, via mobile phones, for example. Farmers and extension services would be able to directly access specific information for their location, and use the proven methods to develop the land and improve harvests in that area.