Advocating open and inclusive digital innovation for development

Hi there,

I am Marcel Heyne, the founder end director of the Audiopedia Foundation (formerly known as URIDU).
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An internet entrepreneur for over 20 years, I started the non-profit organization URIDU back in 2016 to develop the Audiopedia platform. Audiopedia is a multilingual, mobile-friendly and collaborative website for accessible, audible knowledge. It combines appropriate and localized Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) audio information with conveniently accessible hardware and software for narrowcasting.

Audiopedia 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.

In 2020 Audiopedia won the the Smart Development Hack, a joint initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Commission (EC). This allowed us to scale the project globally. In 2022 UNDP audited and selected Audiopedia for their Digital-X catalogue of solutions that are recommended to attain the Sustainable Development Goals. As a consequence of those developments we renamed URIDU into Audiopedia Foundation.

I strongly believe that open digital tools are key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, as they provide an accessible pathway for digital transformation in the Global South. My aim is to lay the foundations for local development of inclusive digital tools where they will ultimately be used.

This is why I created the Open Source for Equality initiative in 2022. The goal of Open Source for Equality is to promote the development and use of free and open software that bridges the digital gender gap.

Only 6% of all open source contributors worldwide are women - in the Global South this number is even much lower. We need to act now if we want to bridge the digital gender gap with open source solutions developed for and by women.

Let's get in touch!