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Information Communications Technology - Engineers Without Borders Australia

ICT Project Statement

Telecommunications infrastructure and coverage in Vietnam is well-developed and affordable. Most people in the Mekong Delta have mobile phones as this service is cheap with generally reliable signal. Landline access is available but is no longer popular. Internet is commonly only available at internet shops in larger villages, with limited rural access. Typically, people communicate through telephone and in person. Furthermore, televisions are popular and readily available and thus present another source for communicating information. The government distributes information through all types of media and disaster warning through loudspeaker systems in villages.

Design Projects

 

Engineers Without Borders and Habitat for Humanity invite you to consider one or more of the following design projects:

  • Habitat For Humanity works with local government and community partners in their micro-finance program. Typically these people lack computer literacy and access. Develop a way of transferring information to and from Habitats partners in a simple, quick and user-friendly manner. Furthermore, design a simple training course to teach partners how to use this system.
  • Develop user-friendly housing design software that incorporates the key housing design goals of Habitat for Humanity. Local construction supervisors generally have little formal education and low computer literacy.
  • A worksite safety training program for construction workers.
  • A proposal for an electronic disaster warning system. As the sea levels rise the region will become more and more vulnerable to a serious flood disaster. The proposal would have to consider how to contact people (e.g. via radio or loudspeaker), and where to source data from (e.g. seismic readings, coast guard.)

Design Considerations

 

When designing a solution, the following issues have been identified and should be considered a priority:

  • How cultural differences might effect the reception of your material.
  • The availability of different types of hardware, i.e. how many people have access to computers, smartphones, etc.

Multimedia



Additional Information

Internet and mobile phones

There are roughly 10 computers per commune in Kien Giang Province and these will mostly be based in commune council office with no internet connection. The internet is only available in cities and costs approximately 165,000 VD for a family a month. Many people in city use internet on their phones through 3G connection. However rural families do not have access to broadband or 3G mobile access, and most likely could not afford the models of phone with this capability.

90% of area has mobile coverage, but 3G only in District centres. An average new phone Nokia 6210 costs around $US30, phones enabled with 3G are often more than $US100 and customers need to pay extra for this service. There are also second hand phone markets, but the prices are not significantly cheaper (approximately 30% cheaper). Most people have a mobile and can receive voice and text. There is some text spamming in Vietnam, however you can get this removed by your phone company.