Repost: Written by me, originally published by HNI
Cellcard’s 3‑2‑1 Service: A free, on-demand information service for Cambodia
Phnom Penh, Cambodia, May 18, 2016 — Cellcard has introduced a free, on-demand service providing trusted public service information on any type of mobile phone.
The call-in system, called The 3-2-1 Service, is designed to be very easy to use, and was specifically developed to be of service to all Cambodians, especially those living in rural areas. The service is accessible to everyone with a simple mobile phone, smartphone or otherwise.
Dialing “321” will connect the caller to clear voice prompts in Khmer, allowing the caller to find trusted information on topics including, Weather, Currency Rates, Market Prices, Reproductive Health, and Emergency Numbers. Using recorded Khmer speakers makes the service accessible to all Cambodians, regardless of age, education and literacy.
The 3-2-1 Service is provided in partnership with Human Network International (HNI), a global development organization dedicated to technology in the developing world.
All Cambodians who are on the Cellcard network can call The 3-2-1 Service free of charge.
For those who are not on Cellcard, the service can also be accessed and regular cross-net rates apply.
The information is also available on a mobile website that Cellcard subscribers can access for free from mobile devices.
More topics and messages are planned for the service in the near future, such as Financial Literacy, and Health & Nutrition.
“While technology and the Internet has made access to information within reach of everyone with a smartphone, we feel that a substantial portion of the Cambodian population are yet to discover or afford the benefits of an Internet connection. And with education and literacy concentrated more in key urban areas, language is another barrier that most Cambodians need to hurdle. We hope that The 3-2-1 Service will help bridge the gap and will be of use and service to all Cambodians. We are proud to find a partner in HNI to spearhead and deliver this service and we are happy to provide this service free of charge to our subscribers as one way of demonstrating corporate social responsibility on our end. We hope that the service will be well utilized and well received by the public.” – Laszlo Barta, Chief Commercial Office, Cellcard
The public service messages are created and curated by committees convened by HNI and including representation from government ministries, plus Cambodian and international subject area experts.
The service’s Reproductive Health information was supported by Population Services Khmer (PSK). Cambodian microfinance institution Ly Hour is providing daily currency exchange rates to the 3-2-1 Service.
“The 3-2-1 Service is an additional channel that will allow Cambodians to access basic but correct information about important health issues such as family planning and safe abortion – and in a way that is convenient and confidential,” said Dr. Kheng Heng, Director of Health Services for PSK
The 3-2-1 Service has been active in Madagascar since 2010, in Malawi since 2014, and in Ghana since last month. HNI will launch the service with telecom partners in more than 10 more countries worldwide by the end of the year, reaching more than 100 million people.
Cambodia is the first country where HNI has launched the service with a mobile-friendly website. “We at HNI aim to include all the people in need of the 3-2-1 Service independent of their level of technology use and want to make sure we accompany them on their evolution of technology integration.” said Sandra Gubler, Director of User Experience for HNI. “The website has been designed in a user-friendly way and works on even the most basic phone with network access. People can even download the information and share it with others when they are offline.”
Human Network International (HNI) is a global development organization dedicated to bringing the benefits of technology to individuals and organizations in the developing world. HNI works across all sectors to promote the free flow of information between vulnerable groups and the humanitarian and development professionals dedicated to helping them.