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All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development celebrates impact on increasing literacy for children worldwide

March 23, 2023


The Grand Challenge is concluding 12 years of funding innovative EdTech solutions and approaches to increase reading outcomes for marginalized children in low-resource contexts. 


Solar-powered crop storage to educational apps: 10 iF Social Impact Prize 2022 Winners


March 26, 2023


iF Design spotlights significant social initiatives from around the globe through its annual iF Social Impact Prize. Landesa was recognized for their innovative use of Talking Books to advance women's land rights in Liberia.

Talking Books provide an innovative solution to reach rural communities in Uganda

September 15, 2022


Dramatic dialogue, music and poetry are not the usual ways that the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) raises awareness of and sensitizes rural communities on women’s land rights... 


Changing and influencing behaviors through innovation: The Amplio Talking Book


January 9, 2022


UNICEF works with local partners in Ghana to deliver key messages and important information in hard-to-reach areas through a digital development tool - the Amplio Talking Book. 

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Communication During a Public Health Crisis — Reaching Last-Mile Communities


August 19, 2021


Communication is the first and most important thing to think about when a health crisis emerges. But how do you get your message to remote communities where there’s no infrastructure, electricity, or internet? 

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Network helps put Amplio Talking Books into hands around the world


June 2021


Cliff Schmidt, founder and executive director at Amplio, first met Revi Sterling at a conference in 2007 in India.  They discovered that they were both Microsoft alumni and within them burned the same fiery passion for having a big impact. 

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Talking Books to Facilitate Behaviour Change in Rural Communities in Ghana

March 19, 2021


Anastasiya Nurzhynska shares how a UNICEF Ghana pilot project has found that Talking Book technology is a maybe a solution to help Ghana Health Service deliver health information more effectively to underserved rural communities.

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Spreading the Word: Landesa and Amplio leverage technology for legal empowerment


November 19, 2020


Landesa and Amplio hosted a panel of land rights experts and social entrepreneurs to discuss our new partnership that is leveraging technology for land rights in Liberia.


S2 E3: Remote Access: Delivering Education to Rural Communities


October 22, 2020


Delivering education to remote communities is a challenge that has become more pronounced during COVID-19. Allana Nelson chats with Amplio’s Toffic Dapilaah and Lisa Zook about initiatives that provide educational information to rural communities — and how they’re doing it in safe, socially distanced ways.

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How to ensure effective government responses as COVID-19 spreads to rural areas


 June 22, 2020 


Policy makers and researchers tracking the impacts of COVID-19 and control measures have thus far focused mostly on urban areas, where the disease can spread rapidly. In this post, Katrina Kosec and Catherine Ragasa point out the need to pay attention to rural areas, which face a distinct set of pandemic challenges.

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Lessons In Design And Scale For Social Impact Organizations


June 2, 2020


Forbes Nonprofit Council member James da Costa writes about the importance of user-centered design and scale—and the lessons learned—as social impact organizations build solutions and programs in today’s COVID-19 crisis.


Preventing CSM & COVID-19


April 21, 2020


As part of the effort to control the increase in numbers of COVID-19 and meningitis cases, In the Upper West Region a non-governmental organization has deployed a digital technology to help educate rural communities.

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Inclusive disruption: harnessing the social power of technology


March 26, 2020


In this article, the World Banks’ Social Development Global Practice team shares their findings about the use of disruptive technologies to reach and help the world’s poorest and most marginalized people.  


Cliff Schmidt – Developer to CEO of Tech Nonprofit in Education 


January 20, 2020


Grant Ingersoll interviews founder and executive director Cliff Schmidt about his inspiration for starting Amplio, why he joined the navy, what he loves about open source technology, and how to get funding when you’re a tech nonprofit.

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Rangers to the Rescue: Kalama WIldlife Rangers education women on benefits of delivering in hospitals


November 16, 2019


In Kenya, Kalama Community Conservancy rangers are working with Afya Timiza Project-Samburu Afya Timiza, a USAID-funded project to help women access proper antenatal care and ensure that expectant mothers deliver in hospitals to avoid maternal death.

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Talking Book, A New Voice for Isolated Communities


October 9, 2019


In today’s internet-connected, mobilized world, it is easy to forget that over 750 million adults remain illiterate, and 800 million live on less than a dollar a day. The Miller Center profiles the Talking Book and Amplio founder, Cliff Schmidt, who participates in the GSBI accelerator program for social entrepreneurship.

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Little Bits For Big Challenges: Digital Technologies For Social Good


September 23, 2018

Arm is the world’s leading semiconductor and software design company. Lorin Fries interviews Dominic Vergine, Head of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, about Arm’s 2030 Vision to create technology partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals—and how Talking Books fit in.


Teaching With Talking Books 

July 2018

In Ghana, MEDA’s Greater Rural Opportunities for Women (GROW) project has made great use of Talking Books. Devices were distributed to over 1,000 lead women farmers to share with the village savings and loan associations.

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Interview with Cliff Schmidt, Amplio founder and executive director 


June 14, 2017


Journalist Charlotte Kan interviews Cliff Schmidt, Amplio’s executive director, during the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum in Geneva. Cliff explains how the Talking Book supports the UN Global Goals and is used for sharing knowledge with people in world’s hardest-to-reach communities.


UNESCO-Pearson initiative for literacy announces finalists for case studies on inclusive digital solutions

May 22, 2017

UNESCO announced that 14 case study finalists will be part of the UNESCO-Pearson Initiative for Literacy: Improved Livelihoods in a Digital World — including the Amplio Talking Book.


How one organization is adapting technology to help world’s poorest


April 18, 2016


Technology tends to create divides. It doesn’t actually lift up the poorest of the poor. And the reason is because the wealthier, and the more educated, have the most access to technology. Amplio uses clever technology and user feedback to maintain a genuine understanding of its target population’s needs.

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Ghana: Simple Technology Offers Rural Communities A Route Out Of Fragility 


August 12, 2015 


Peter Grant writes about how the challenges of distance and infrastructure in Ghana’s Upper West region mean that many people remain economically isolated, making a living through smallholder agriculture and small-scale trading. The Talking Book aims to fill the gap left by the absence of government services.

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A soap opera is changing women's lives in Ghana with information about family planning

August 2, 2015


Alistair Dawber writes about how Talking Books lessons on health and farming have helped to unite the village of Suke in western Ghana, providing access to knowledge women are using to keep their children healthy, grow more food, and earn income.

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Literacy Bridge, UNICEF, ARM Unite on Talking Books project in Ghana

November 24, 2014

As the United Nations marks the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a humanitarian technology company has announced a new multi-year partnership with UNICEF and ARM to deliver health education to 40,000 vulnerable people in Ghana, using Talking Book devices.


Literacy Bridge partners with UN to provide talking audiobooks for farmers, mothers in Ghana

November 20, 2014


Every year in Ghana, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture celebrates Farmers Day. The idea is to honor and celebrate those that have applied innovative methods to grow more food. Last year, a group of winners shared something in common —  a helping hand from a Seattle non-profit.


Talking Book trial to help the “poorest of the poor” in Ghana 


November 20, 2014


Hundreds of handheld audio computers are to be given to some of Ghana's poorest communities to help spread potentially life-saving information. The Talking Books will let families play audio files as well as make their own recordings, which can be shared with others or used to give feedback.


Literacy Bridge Uses Talking Books to Spread the Word in Ghana

July 23, 2013

Inspired by the One Laptop Per Child, software consultant Cliff Schmidt wondered if there was a need for an even more low-cost, low-tech device to spread knowledge in poor areas of the world. In Ghana, he met agricultural and health official who said they needed a better way to communicate with villagers in remote areas.

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Ex-Microsoft worker creates Talking Book to teach literacy

September 7, 2008


Most of the world's billion or so poorest, unhealthiest and disenfranchised people are also illiterate, Cliff Schmidt noticed a few years ago, a chronic global deficit that he believes seriously hamstrings any other humanitarian or assistance efforts under way in the developing world.

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