Question Boxes heading to Pader, Uganda!

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Hello friends of Question Box. We’ve got some big news – EIGHT new Question Boxes, built by our partner manufacturing facility in Taiwan, are right now making their way to Pader, Uganda! They are going to a great grassroots organization – the Northern Uganda Medical Mission. NUMEM is founded by local clinicians from Pader, who have founded a medical facility in the area. The Question Boxes will link directly to the clinicians during office hours, allowing people in 8 villages access to a medical specialist right away when something is of concern. Additionally, the Question Boxes will serve as a 24/7 ambulance dispatch, for the only ambulance in the District! The nearest hospital is 2-3 hours away, and this service will ensure that people in need can get transport in time. If you’d like to support or learn more about the project, please connect with us, or with NUMEM.

NEW VIDEO – Question Boxes in Pader, Uganda

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

We are working with a great local group, Northern Uganda Medical Mission – to bring 8 Question Boxes to villages in Pader, Uganda. Take a look at the great video NUMEM made, explaining why this new medical hotline is important, and how the introduction of Question Boxes will link communities to medical care:

New Question Boxes in Development

Monday, August 19th, 2013

We are working with a new manufacturing partner in Taiwan, who is developing Question Boxes for us. Here’s a sneak peek:

Berkeley Innovation Group working on open source Question Box Hardware

Monday, November 12th, 2012

A team of students at UC Berkeley in the Berkeley Innovation Group are developing blueprints for an open source Question Box!

“Our current goal is that by the end of the semester (December 14th), we will publish a construction manual that anyone can use to build their own Question Box. It’s not yet clear exactly what form this document would be, or even whether it would be a typical document at all; but if rural villages in Africa, India, or Asia can use our creation to build a Question Box and connect their members to the world, we’ll consider it a success.”

Follow their blog and progress at

Open Question – Navigating the technical white water rapids

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

The Indigo Trust just published our recent account detailing the wild and wooly journey we have taken to develop our newest offering, Open Question. This journey was generously sponsored by The Indigo Trust, and we got there thanks to our incredible and dedicated programming team, who went through incredible challenges to get us to the finish line.

Open Question – Persevering Through Technical White Water Rapids

By Scott Fairbanks and Rose Shuman – Question Box

Our organization, Question Box, spent years creating and running local hotlines in rural, developing world communities. In 2010, the Question Box team agreed upon a major shift in direction. To achieve a real shift in development practice we needed move away from being implementers, and towards being a tool-provider. That way, we could spread and scale the promise of low-cost hotlines by taking what we had learned and creating a way for NGOs to build and manage their own hotlines.

Open Question, our software concept, was a keystone to building a hotline toolkit. Open Question is a software program that helps community organizations record data from incoming hotline calls, efficiently search for answers, and track call times, caller demographics, and answers to survey questions. The spec demanded a simple desktop interface that could work on offline, outdated computers in developing countries. Meaning, it had to be compatible with the likes of a Pentium II PC with 128 MB of RAM running Windows XP.

Read more

From our partner, The Zimbabwean

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Please help us win News Challenge!

The Zimbabwean has entered the 2012 African News Challenge in partnership with Question Box – but we need all our readers to help us win. We propose to harness the unique power of Question Box technology to engage our existing network of journalists and readers in opening up new avenues of discussion and news gathering inside Zimbabwe.

In our own country as well as in much of Africa, media access is not free, nor is it a two-way discussion. Our submission can change that – but we need your help! The more popular our entry, the better our chances of winning the money we need to get it off the ground. If our supporters take 15 seconds of their time to leave a “heart” and comment on our entry, we stand a much better chance of being able to make a real difference.

So, please visit the link below and leave a comment and a “heart”, and then forward this message on to all your friends. We’re really grateful for the support you’ve shown us so far; we know that with your help we can continue to help promote freedom and justice in Zimbabwe.

Our submission:

Wilf Mbanga

Editor The Zimbabwean

Please <3 or comment QB entry to ANIC Media Challenge – deadline July 10th!

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Question Box & The Zimbabwean newspaper are entrants in ANIC media grant challenge. Your comment & <3 help us stand out

Question Box auf Deutsch

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Question Box was recently featured in Betterplace Lab’s Trendreport.

” Sie können nicht lesen? Sie leben in einem Slum oder auf dem Acker ohne Internetzugang? Sie sprechen kein Englisch oder Deutsch? Aber sie müssen unbedingt was wissen? Fragen Sie die Question Box, eine Sprechanlage, bei der man auf Knopfdruck mit jemandem verbunden wird, der im Internet recherchiert. Etwa wann der nächste Bus in die Großstadt fährt. Auf welche aktuellen Preise für Weizen sie sich beim nächsten Verkaufsgespräch beziehen können. Wie das Wetter morgen wird, falls sie sähen wollen.”

Read the entire article – auf Deutsch!

Question Box at UNESCO World Press Freedom Day

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Question Box was a featured technology presented at UNESCO World Press Freedom Day in Tunis, Tunisa May 3-5, 2012. In developing, emerging, and conflict/post-conflict countries, we demonstrated how Question Boxes can connect the local media to citizens safely and efficiently. Question Boxes are useful both to get tips and reporting from citizens on the ground, and to give citizens a point of access to learn the latest news updates live.

Check out our slide presentation below! If you are a news media outlet, please get in touch if you would like to use Question Box for citizen outreach.

UNESCO World Press Freedom Day Question Box Tunisia May 2012

View more presentations from Open Mind.
Thanks to IREX for sponsoring our participation.

Presenting next week at UNESCO World Press Freedom Day

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

Question Box will be represented on a panel at UNESCO World Press Freedom Day in Tunis, Tunisia on May 4th. Presenters will share “Innovations in Gathering and Sharing News.”

At Question Box, we’ve always seen a natural fit between media and the Question Box approach, both as way for the media to get information from citizens, and for citizens to get information from the media. We will post our slideshow after the presentation. If you are going to be at the conference, please get in touch!