Audiopedia - Open Audio Health Education for Marginalized Women

Audiopedia - Open Audio Health Education for Marginalized Women

Health and nutrition education programs are usually targeted at women, as they are traditionally seen as the primary caregivers. Yet 500 million women worldwide are still illiterate. Such numbers make it ever so necessary for a sustainable and adaptable strategy to deliver information to excluded communities that do not depend on the printed language. Audiopedia addresses this challenge. is a multilingual, mobile-friendly and collaborative website for accessible, audible knowledge. Audiopedia combines appropriate and localized Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) audio information with conveniently accessible hardware and software for narrowcasting.

While broadcasting is the transmission of information to a large group of people and geographic area for instance through radio or television, narrowcasting targets a much more select, defined group and can be done fully offline through devices such as solar audio players or loudspeakers. Narrowcasting using digital tools can help local NGOs and CBOs expand their community outreach efforts and make them more robust, especially in times of crises.

Audiopedia provides searchable and categorized transcripts with corresponding localized audio files that can be easily downloaded and shared. In addition, every audio file is easily accessible using a unique QR code. Audiopedia includes health-related expert content on 30 different topics. By the end of 2022, more than 10.000 audio files will be available in 20 languages. Using the same technology as Wikipedia, Audiopedia provides the basis for a free and open, extensible, customizable and reliable platform.

Audiopedia also offers a number of technology options for making information accessible to both educated and uneducated populations. Solar-powered audio devices, web-apps, wifi hotspots, messenger services and SD cards are deployed to offer health education in a number of initiatives in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Common listening to audio contents is an excellent way to enhance discussion and exchange of experiences in groups. This fosters successful learning and activates internal resources in participants as well as self-help group mechanisms. Dissemination of audio contents both to single listeners and big audiences can be realized in many easy, flexible and economic ways.

Even in countries with higher literacy rates, the old oral tradition of preserving and passing on knowledge is still prevalent. Adherence to this tradition makes learning easier for many people and greatly increases the acceptance of Social and Behavior Change content.

Audiopedia was designed as an open, collaborative ecosystem, allowing CBOs and NGOs to include their own audio contents. The goal of Audiopedia is to promote and ease the use of digital audio in SBCC campaigns by providing a coherent infrastructure of contents, technologies and capacity building. To ensure this, an online portal called Audiopedia Academy provides local organizations with courses, guides, checklists, white papers and case studies to help them get the most out of Audiopedia for their activities.

Audiopedia has been conceived as a Digital Public Good (DPG). Digital Public Goods are one of the cornerstones of the UN's roadmap to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They can be defined as open digital tools and contents that help attain the SDGs. A collaborative Digital Public Good like Audiopedia can play an important role in scaling and synergizing Social and Behavior Change Communication efforts globally.

Audiopedia receives financial support from the Smart Development Fund, a joint initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Commission (EC).

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