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Our Story

Bridging the knowledge gap in remote communities

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Listening to local stakeholders

Originally founded as Literacy Bridge in 2006, Amplio Network was established with the vision to solve global poverty by addressing illiteracy challenges in low-income countries through inclusive digital technology. The organization pioneered the development of the Amplio Talking Book, a durable, cost-effective audio device designed for people with low literacy. Initially conceived as a tool to enhance literacy skills among school children, the Talking Book found unexpected applications as a portable tool for disseminating crucial health and agricultural education in remote areas. 


Local experts explained that there were too many villages, too far apart, and not enough time or resources to reach them. For instance, in certain regions of Ghana, the ratio of extension officers to farmers can reach as high as 1:1500. 


Poor infrastructure was also a challenge. When agents visited a village for outreach activities, many individuals were unable to attend due to their engagement in fieldwork. For those who managed to attend, the challenge persisted as illiteracy prevented them from taking notes or reading printed materials. Consequently, people had to rely on memory to retain information about recommended health behaviors or agricultural practices. ​Locally spoken languages created further barriers.


Moreover, women faced significant obstacles to participation, being occupied with childcare, household responsibilities, and farm work. Deep-seated traditional social and gender norms further heightened these barriers. 


In response to this local insight, the organization redirected its efforts towards bridging the knowledge gap for people with low literacy through inclusive digital technology and innovative partnerships.   

In 2017, we changed our name to Amplio Network. "Amplio" is a Latin verb that means “to make wider, increase, extend, amplify.” Our name speaks volumes. Today, the Amplio Talking Book program has reached over two million people in 14 countries. Our technology is helping to improve program reach, message quality, and community engagement across many issues—leading to greater social impact.  

Amplio Milestones



Operating in new countries and regions, including Ethiopia, Haiti, and Bangladesh. Launched a suite of self-service products to help our partners more easily and cost-effectively launch and run Talking Book programs. 

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Selected for the Niger Smart Villages project. Began developing a new Talking Book prototype with a rechargeable battery.



Changed our name to Amplio Network. Partnered with UNICEF Rwanda to deliver health and hygiene messages to 50,000 refugees at Mahama Camp. 

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Received WISE Award for innovation in education. Partnered with AGRA to deliver Talking Book programs for smallholder farmers in 73 communities in northern Ghana.

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Partnered with UNICEF Ghana to reach 49 communities in the Upper West Region with maternal and child health education.

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First Talking Book prototypes field-tested with rural communities in northern Ghana. 

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Achieved the milestone of reaching over one million Talking Book listeners! Partnered with UNICEF and Ghana Health Service on a COVID-19 awareness campaign in Ghana. Partnered with Landesa in Liberia and VSO in Zambia.



In Kenya, USAID's Afya Timiza project used Talking Books to deliver quality health education to semi-nomadic pastoralists. At intervention sites, health facilities saw a 110% increase in the number of pregnant women attending ANC visits.

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Partnered with Centre for Behaviour Change and Communication to pilot Talking Books with pastoralist communities in Kenya. Developed affiliate program model.

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Partnered with MEDA to provide Talking Books for over 600 women farmers groups, as part of the Greater Rural Opportunities for Women project funded by Global Affairs Canada. 

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First impact study completed, showing that Talking Books made a significant impact on agriculture knowledge and healthy behaviors for people with low literacy levels. Signed first partnership with World Cocoa Foundation.

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Amplio was founded (as Literacy Bridge) by Cliff Schmidt, with the idea that those who are most impacted by global poverty are impeded by illiteracy.

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“We can’t wait for the 800 million illiterate adults to become literate. That’s why we took a two-pronged approach—improve literacy and provide knowledge."

Cliff Schmidt, Amplio Founder 

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