Information access in off-grid locations

Outernet is a powerful tool with use cases across a number of sectors. Lighthouse is being used to deliver access to digital content in places where internet is unavailable, unaffordable, or unreliable.

Health Care

Information access is a matter of life and death when it comes to health care. Outernet delivers community health worker training and medical resources, and supports rural response to health crises.

Empowering Frontline Healthcare workers in Uganda

Equipping healthcare workers with high-quality training and information resources can save lives, but delivering these resources remains a challenge.

Powered by solar panels, Outernet provides a free hotspot of high-quality training and health information from the ORB platform to 3 of Makerere's COBERS health centers in rural Uganda: Atirir Health Center in Soroti District, Rwashamaire HC IV in Ntungamo District, and Kiboga Hospital in Kiboga District. Healthcare workers view and download ORB content to mobile devices for use in the field, or to share with patients. New content or health alerts can be delivered directly to the health centers via Outernet when needed.

The benefits do not end at health care itself. Patients, staff, Makerere students doing their COBERS term in these locations enjoy the free news and entertainment provided by Outernet.

Partners: mPowering Frontline Healthcare Workers, Makerere University College of Health SciencesUganda Diaspora Health Foundation (UDHF), The Royal Society of Medicine, and Mozilla-Uganda

 

Community Healthcare Workers in Kano State, Nigeria

Health centers in Kano state lack connectivity, so health care workers have limited resources to help them make diagnoses, retain their training, and educate the public. They also are vulnerable to health crises, as there is no channel to deliver breaking medical news and information to these remote areas.

Lighthouses, powered by solar panels, deliver life-saving ORB platform content to these facilities, improving the skills and knowledge of Community Healthcare Workers, so they may provide better care to their patients. Recent health crises have shown that an established information channel can help health facilities anticipate and take proactive measures to save lives. These health facilities now have an off-line information channel via Outernet.

News and entertainment is also available for patients visiting the site via Outernet. This free content service fosters a positive relationship between the health center and the community. 

Partners: mPowering Frontline Healthcare Workers, Instrat Global Health Solutions

Education

Send localized education materials or customized curriculum. Content can also be added locally to a Lighthouse for free.

Schools in Malawi

In Malawi, schools budgets are strained, connectivity is low, and materials are often out-of-date.

Several schools installed Outernet to access updated, high-quality resources to use in the classroom. The staff controls what content is available, so students can explore and learn in a safe digital library. Today, teachers have access to improved teaching materials and classroom resources. Students browse and download content, while developing digital skills.

All of this is achieved without recurring costs!

Partners: Shift IT Solutions

Internally Displaced Students in Ukraine

Outernet was selected as a winner of the All Children Reading's " Technology to Support Education in Crises & Conflict Settings" for Conflict zones. The focus of our project was students affected by the conflict in Ukraine. 

The Ukrainian armed conflict displaced over 215,000 children. Schools surrounding the conflict areas struggled to accommodate new enrollment. Destruction of infrastructure prevented newly-connected Bibliomist Libraries from accessing online education content, further exacerbating resources.

Outernet’s satellite broadcast technology was installed in strategically located libraries to deliver digital learning content to reestablish basic education services in areas where conflict has robbed students of educational achievement. Internet access has since been restored in these libraries due to the current cease-fire, but Outernet remains a reliable back-up service, should the need arise.

Read about this project in our blog here, and our update here

This project was made possible through the generous support of All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development Partners: USAID, World Vision and the Australian Government

Implementation partner: IREX

National Library in Blantyre, Malawi

Outernet was installed in Blantyre’s library, augmenting its physical collection with a digital one. Users can access content covering a range of topics. New resources are added every day, and patrons can drive the selection process by Tweeting requests for new topics. Recent requests include aquaponics, food security research, and programming courses.

Partners: Shift IT Solutions

Disaster Recovery and Refugee Support

Outernet requires no communication networks. When a disaster destroys terrestrial infrastructure, Outernet can be deployed to disperse information.

Za'atari Refugee Camp

The organization Refugee Open Ware (ROW3D) is creating maker spaces in the Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan on the Syrian border and in the Erbil refugee camp in Iraq. "The lab will provide informal training on digital fabrication tools and open-source hardware, empowering refugees to create solutions to the problems they identify as most important."

Outernet will allow the refugee camp to receive current information about the ongoing crises and other media to enhance ROW3D's fablab.

Learn more here.

Rural Communication

Reach a vastly dispersed global network of personnel. Upload material centrally and files will be delivered to every Lighthouse.

Case Study: Mozilla Uganda

Mozilla Uganda has conducted various activities over the past five years including hackathons, localization sprints, train-the-trainer activities, Firefox Flicks contests, webmaker trainings and school tours and most recently the Mozilla Festival East Africa attracting participants from all over the globe.

Through these activities, they have been able to reach over 10,000 (ten thousand) participants with their digital literacy campaigns, trained over 600 webmaker mentors, 175 super webmaker mentors and localized the Firefox web browser to Luganda and Acholi.

Using Outernet, they will be able to provide ongoing information to locations they work in.

Learn more about their first installation here.

Spiritual Work

Send the latest devotional materials to every place of worship in the world, or send communications to remote missionaries.

United Methodist Church

United Methodist Church Communications (UMCC) is "charged with the task of meeting the communication, public relations, and marketing needs of the entire Church, reflecting the cultural and racial diversity within The United Methodist Church." That is a considerable task given their membership of 80 million in dozens of countries around the world.

UMCC purchased Lighthouses from Outernet to sell to their members who travel abroad for ministry and for education. Their first institutional installation took place in August, 2015 in Kamina in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and was "really a success!"

Using Outernet, UMCC will be able to distribute church material to its ministries all over the world as well as schools and hospitals supported by the church.

Learn more here.