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Designing Liberation Technologies: Design Projects


Photo credit: 
Margaret Hagan

Engaging Stanford graduate students across a range of disciplines, a course entitled "Designing Liberation Technologies" is taught at Stanford's Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (the “d. school”) during the spring quarter. The course, founded by the Program on Liberation Technology, explores innovative ways to use mobile applications in the areas of health, education and economic development and bridges the theoretical application of design thinking with grassroots level research and implementation.

Below is additional information about the design projects that have emerged from this course and the Program on Liberation Technology.


M-Maji is a novel ICT-based water intervention that improves clean water access in developing country slums by facilitating the flow of water information across communities. The core component of the intervention is a mobile platform that allows water vendors to advertise their water availability, location, price, and quality, so that buyers can find the closest, cheapest, and cleanest water. M-Maji is currently being piloted in Kibera, Kenya -- one of Africa’s largest urban slums -- in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Within six months of launching the pilot it facilitated over 30,000 transactions.

For more information please visit:

Nishauri: Texting for Sexual Health

Nishauri is a text message-based counseling service, developed in collaboration with Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA) for youth and adults in need of confidential and reliable information about sexual health.  Health counselors provide information and support through SMS on a variety of topics such as protection, contraceptives, STDs and  reproductive health in response to user-submitted questions. An impact evaluation was conducted in 2012-2014 to assess changes in users' knowledge and behavior. The Nishauri service continues to be operated by MYSA in Mathare, one of the oldest informal settlements of Nairobi, Kenya.

To learn more visit:

Salama Documents

Salama Documents allows residents of Kibera a means to protect important documents through a mobile phone application.  In partnership with a local office and printing station, residents can bring important documents to the local partner where they can be optically scanned using a smart phone equipped with the Salama Documents application. The documents are then password protected and uploaded to the cloud. Should the document's owner ever need to access a copy of his documents, he or she can access local partner's offices and provide his/her password. The document is then retrieved from the cloud and printed directly from the phone.

To learn more visit:



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