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Using Technology for Social Good

Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Angeline, 12, works in the computer lab at the Thomas Food Project in Thomas, Haiti. She says she wants to use the computer to write and do research.

Harnessing the power of technology

Technology alone is never the solution. Technology by itself is confusing, breaks down, wears out, and provides little humanitarian relief.

But when technology is used for good by people who want to improve their own communities through health, education, agriculture, income generation, sharing God’s love, etc., then human and community development occurs. Lives can be made better. Lives can be saved.


Stories of technology building better lives

Isaac Broune (left) and Joe Tueche Ndzulo handle the French desk during the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. News reports from General Conference were transmitted via text message in four languages to almost 4,000 recipients in Africa.

Thousands of Africans received GC2016 news via text

A new texting program kept African United Methodists in the loop as General Conference was happening. Read More

Maeghan Orton (center, in purple shirt) visits with villagers in Bumpe near Bo, Sierra Leone, about mobile phone technology. Orton is from Medic Mobile, a technology partner of United Methodist Communications. Several villages in the Bo district will receive new, insecticide-treated mosquito nets from the United Methodist Church's Imagine No Malaria campaign in the first planned redistribution to replace nets given in 2010. 2010 File photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Women can be game changers through technology

Gender divides lead to digital divides and often women don’t get the important, life-changing messages they need to survive. Read More

The Rev. David Valera gives the sermon during morning worship at the United Methodist Communications Game Changers Summit in Nashville, Tennessee. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Conference attendees encouraged to ‘change the world’

Communication technology can overcome cultural barriers and help those in need, attendees at the 2015 Game Changers are told. Read More

Revi Sterling speaks about the empowerment of women through the use of communications technology during the United Methodist Communications Game Changers Summit in Nashville, Tennessee. Photo by Mike DuBose, United Methodist Communications.

The church can help close the technology gap for women

“Women bear the brunt of poverty, and if you don’t have access to information, you stay under-empowered.” Revi Sterling's work centers on gender inequity in technology. Read More

The Rev. Neelley Hicks welcomes attendees to the United Methodist Communications Game Changers Summit in Nashville, Tennessee. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Ground-breaking technologies mean empowerment

2015 Game Changers Summit features leaders in using modern technologies to empower the poor. Read More

Social media opening new doors to communication

You may not think of Facebook and Twitter as theological tools, but social media is another way to invite people “to the table.” Find communications ideas and how-to resources. Read More

The United Methodist seminary in Côte d'Ivoire is located in Abadjin-Doumé, a remote area some 25 miles outside the cultural capital in Abidjan.

E-readers offer better, cheaper theological texts

E-reader project brings needed French theological texts to seminary in Côte d’Ivoire. “Now, they can have access to knowledge at any time even without Internet.” Read More

Matt Crum with United Methodist Communications and Pierre Qmadjela in Kindu, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo by Neelley Hicks, United Methodist Communications.

No greater gift: Communication in time of crisis

United Methodist Communications is working to strengthen communications in Cote d'Ivoire and the DRC so church leaders can better reach each other. Read More

An historic text message regarding the Ebola outbreak is sent via mobile technology from Bishop John G. Innis to 20 United Methodist district superintendents in Liberia. Transmitting the message from the offices at United Methodist Communications, Nashville, Tenn., are (from left) Jill Costello, project manager, and the Rev. Neelley Hicks, director, ICT4D Church Initiatives. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications

Life-saving Ebola messages in 160 characters or less

Words of hope and vital information going out to United Methodist pastors in Sierra Leone and Liberia to pass along in midst of most horrific Ebola outbreak in history. Read More

United Methodist Communications a Leader at Global Education and Technology Summit

The Ebola crisis shows why communications technologies are desperately needed in low-resource parts of the world. Read More

Students at Gbarnga School of Theology in Libera work on e-readers preloaded with three years of theological content shown in a 2013 file photo. Photo by Jeff Oliver.

E-Reader Project set to expand in Africa, Philippines

The pilot school, although temporarily closed due to Ebola, showed the project’s potential for helping pastors-in-training. Read More

Game Changers Summit Dreamers and doers gather to harness the power of communications technology, September 3-5, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn.

Game Changers Summit 2014 News Coverage

United Methodists from around the connection are discussing the life-saving power of technology. Learn how you can get involved. More

An educational poster on the dangers of the Ebola virus hangs in the community center at the Jaiama Bongor Chiefdom, outside Bo, Sierra Leone. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

How the humble text message is fighting Ebola

Ken Banks, developer of a free text-messaging system, on how the church and others are using technology to distribute vital information in West Africa. Read More

Isaac Broune (left) and April Gonzaga-Mercado lead a panel discussion on using communications as aid as part of the Game Changers Summit at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tenn. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Grab your cell phone in typhoon, flood, or war

When disaster strikes a community, cell phones and other communication aids can help with emergency response and recovery. Read More

Eric Youngren (right) and John Macdonald view a solar-powered light during the Innovation Fair at the Game Changers Summit at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tenn. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Text messaging can be lifesaving

Technology such as mass text messaging can be lifesaving. Read More

State of ICT4D: Address by the Rev. Larry Hollon

United Methodist Communications' top exec addresses Game Changers Summit on how technology today is used for the social good. Read More

Leveraging information for development

Game Changers Summit draws people from nine countries to hear experts on how technology helps the social good. Read More

Angeline, 12, works in the computer lab at the Thomas Food Project in Thomas, Haiti. She says she wants to use the computer to write and do research.

Technology changes game for communities, churches

Some of the world’s foremost game changers will gather Sept. 3-5 to share information about communications technology and how it is making a difference in the world. Read More

Best practices for using communications technology for development

This discussion paper captures best practice in the use of mobile phones and other low-cost communications technologies through a series of interviews with experts and practitioners. Read More

A simple exercise demonstrates the importance of mass communicaiton through FrontlineSMS.

FrontlineSMS opens church communication in Malawi

Youth learn how to use FrontlineSMS (mobile texting) so people receive the same information at the same time and are likely to respond uniformly and on time. Read More

Tablets Help Relief Efforts

On a Dec. 16-19, 2013 trip, a communications team distributed mobile tools to nongovernmental organizations serving in the area of the Philippines devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. Read More

An Inveneo-installed wireless networking dish provides connectivity to a NetHope member non-governmental organization in Tacloban.  Photo courtesy of Inveneo.

Reconnecting the Philippines: Tracking the progress

Since Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines Nov. 8, 2013, United Methodist Communications and its partners have been working to help restore communications in the disaster area. Read More

Jake and Mark Bennett attend the April 9 session on information and communications technology for development, held at the Church Center  for the United Nations in New York. Photo by Neelley Hicks, United Methodist Communications.

A United Methodology: Reflections on Infopoverty ‘14

Young person shares how The United Methodist Church is leading efforts to amplify the world’s least heard voices. Read More

Computers feed minds and bodies in Haiti

United Methodist Communications partnership putting solar-powered technology in hands in remote areas of world. Read More

United Methodists working to connect Haiti

Communications agency, church volunteers, nonprofit combine to establish technology centers to help Haitians support themselves. Read More