Amplio’s Talking Book Program

 

Amplio’s Talking Book Program is a proven method to share targeted, vital information with people who can’t read and who live communities without electricity in rural areas of developing countries. Our unique program includes Talking Book leasing and support, technology training, content creation and deployment, community facilitation, program management, and performance monitoring and evaluation. User feedback and usage statistics analysis help development organizations make their messages more effective and ensure greater program outcomes.

Program Components and Design

TECHNOLOGY

Amplio’s durable Talking Book audio device is built to survive heavy dust and rainstorms. The user-centered design was developed in the field, with community feedback about the bold colors, button placement, and picture icons for content navigation. Talking Books are powered by locally available batteries: no charging required. All content can be updated or transferred over Wi-Fi or through a USB connection to an android phone.

CONTENT CREATION

We work with our global partners and in-country network affiliates to develop and record engaging, culturally relevant content in local languages and dialects. Content may take the form of interviews, songs, stories, or dramas. New content packages are typically created and deployed on a quarterly basis. One of the Talking Book advantages is that listeners can record questions and comments in response to content. Their feedback helps us to continually improve and adapt content to make programs more effective.

ANALYTICS

Our online dashboard allows us to monitor the content upload, deployment, and messages played for every Talking Book device. User feedback and usage statistics are collected and reported through cloud-based performance analytics, typically on a quarterly basis or whenever a new content package is deployed in the field. User feedback messages and analytics help our partners and affiliates develop performance metrics, monitor and evaluate program effectiveness, and make a greater impact.

Ways to Listen

Talking Books can be used in various settings, with different program models. Some organizations integrate Talking Books with programs that are already in progress, to reinforce knowledge and strengthen outcomes. Many communities are familiar with radio, and they appreciate the convenience of being able to listen to Talking Books when and where it works for them.

IN HOUSEHOLDS

Talking Books can be rotated from household to household within a community, which can help organizations save money and reach more people in remote areas that development workers visit less often. Each Talking Book may be shared by as many as 10 people in a single household. Often families will listen together at mealtimes. Farmers may listen while they’re working.

GROUP LISTENING

Talking Books can used for sharing knowledge in groups like village savings and loan associations, where people listen together and discuss what they’re learning. Users say that being able to play and repeat content helps reinforce their comprehension and memorization, especially for technical information such as farming methods or food security topics.

TEACHING AID

Community health workers use Talking Books as a teaching aid. Talking Books help them present consistent, accurate messages and information. Many community agents are illiterate or have little formal education. They say the Talking Book device gives them more authority in their community and helps them present more efficiently and effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few of the questions people ask about our Talking Book Program. If you’re ready to learn more, reach out through our contact page or send an email to partnerships@amplio-network.org.

Amplio does not sell Talking Books as a stand-alone product. Amplio partners with organizations to develop a customized Talking Book program that includes the training, technology support, and analytics required for success. If you would like to learn more about becoming a partner, please contact us at partnerships@amplio-network.org.

Amplio, along with our partners and established local community experts, creates content based on the program and community needs.

Content includes engaging, culturally relevant audio lessons, expert interviews, dramas, Q&A conversations, and songs recorded in local dialects.

Each Talking Book has a built-in engagement platform that enables users to record feedback, questions, and reactions to content. Amplio and its partners collect and report user feedback and usage statistics in order to monitor the Talking Book program’s effectiveness.

To be more cost effective, Talking Books are often rotated from household to household or listened to in small-group settings. In some programs, community workers will use the Talking Book as a teaching tool for their services.

The Talking Book overcomes the barriers to access that remain with mobile and computer devices. Cellular
phones require a minimum level of literacy, network connectivity, and are expensive for already marginalized groups. Radio broadcasts do not allow users to pause and repeat content, and is limited in its ability to incorporate a built-in feedback channel or capture user data.

Amplio and its partners currently serve communities in Ghana, Kenya, and Rwanda. We are always looking for partners who are interested in the Talking Book program to expand their reach and share their knowledge. If you are interested in learning more, please contact partnerships@amplio-network.org.