Flood Early Warning System – Standalone Mobile based system for voice information broadcast.

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* A standalone computer running Asterisk/Linux was setup with multiple GSM Modems. * It was IVR operated so ground team did not need to operate the computer, instead their Mobile phones was an input device. * Team Leader/authorised person will call the computer on any one of the lines, authenticate himself with a password and navigate through the IVR menus to “record a message” first which needs to be “broadcasted” to the villagers. * After recording the message and replaying it back to check correct message and proper volume/quality of the message, the IVR will allow the team leader to choose a “group” of people to send the message to. * The groups are defined on number 0-9. Each group can have as many phone numbers along with their names saved in the data base. * The team leader choses a group and the computer hangs up and schedules calls using multiple lines to each one of them. * The whole process of delivering the voice message through voice call takes around 30-40 minutes to around 40 people. * Upon delivery the recipient is asked to confirm if he/she has heard the message clearly and understood it properly, and asked to confirm it by pressing 1/2/3. Third options to repeat the message.

What we deliver?

•Important day to day weather alerts. • River water level status messages. • Eye witness accounts from the village to everyone reported by volunteers. • Any other preparedness alerts for the community.

Why is the project unique?

The input/output device is a cellphone for the users. They do not need to handle or operate a Linux based computer. The GDS team just dials in to the system and using the IVR menu options records a message and initiates a message broadcast. Same applies to the community who just need to use their phone to get an important message from GDS. Low barrier to entry as people are already familiar with using cellphone to make/receive phone calls at least so the new technology still makes the User Experience easy. It is a common sense application of IVR/Open Source telephony software to be used in day to day message delivery using Voice as SMS is not an option due to lack of understanding or capability of the community to read/write SMS. No machine operation required and all tasks are performed using technology that people are already aware of using properly, i.e. mobile phones. Using IVR to execute commands and initiate information broadcast requires little or no training as the voice prompts are recorded in Hindi and local accent/regional language. Use of mobile phones makes it ubiquitous, as the responsible person need not be in the office to initiate a broadcast. It can be done using cellphone from anywhere by dialing to the always on computer numbers.

Grameen Development Services
Ajay Kumar
Lucknow Uttar Pradesh India

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