AMPLIO NETWORK

Share knowledge through audio technology

aka Amplio   |   Seattle, WA   |  https://www.amplio.org

Mission

Amplio's mission is to empower the world's most vulnerable communities through knowledge sharing. Our innovative technology enables governments and international organizations to amplify their reach in remote rural communities. With the Amplio Talking Book, organizations can share hours of targeted, local language audio content. Users can play messages on demand and record their feedback. A built-in speaker lets families and groups listen and learn together. Because Talking Books collect usage data and user feedback, partners can monitor program engagement, identify issues and trends, and update content for a greater impact. As a result, people challenged by poverty, low-literacy, and remoteness can gain new skills and knowledge to improve their livelihoods and lives.

Ruling year info

2008

Founder and Executive Director

Mr. Cliff Schmidt

Main address

1904 3rd Ave Suite 417

Seattle, WA 98101 USA

Show more addresses

Formerly known as

Literacy Bridge

EIN

26-1335205

NTEE code info

International Development, Relief Services (Q30)

International Human Rights (Q70)

International Economic Development (Q32)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Governments and international organizations are working to reach and share knowledge with the world's most vulnerable populations in order to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. However, they face barriers to program delivery, including poor infrastructure, low literacy, locally spoken languages, lack of electricity or internet, and traditional gender norms and biases. More organization are turning to mobile phones and technologies for program, but there's a risk of creating new groups that are left behind. Over 80% of digital development projects fail (World Bank). Without the right tools, governments and development organizations are limited in their ability to achieve the SDGs and fulfill the UN pledge to leave no one behind.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

UNICEF Ghana CHPS program expansion

Through a partnership with UNICEF and Ghana Health Services, Talking Books are used to strengthen community health education and service delivery at 47 Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) sites (27 health compounds and 20 mobile units) in Jirapa District. The 2021 program expansion builds on a successful 2019 CHPS pilot project. Community health nurses and volunteers use Talking Book to share consistent and accurate local language health message during Child Welfare Clinics, Antenatal Care Visits, and household visits.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Caregivers
Families
Parents
Children and youth

Funded by the World Bank, in partnership with the Government of Niger and International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and other United Nations agencies, Niger Smart Villages aims to reach 15,000 remote villages with digital services. In 2020, the Niger Smart Village pilot launched in two communities to reach approximately 2,400 people prior to project expansion. Niger's ministries of agriculture, health, and education are using Talking Books to share targeted, local language audio messages.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Children and youth
Families
Caregivers
Parents

wWith funding from the Government of Canada, Mennonite Economic Development Association (MEDA) and Esoko are using the Talking Book to support the Farmers’ Economic Advancement Through Seedlings (FEAT) project. Talking Books will be used to reach 17,300 women and men farmers with agriculture extension messaging to support their operational and technical capacities to grow quality seedlings (tree crops).

Population(s) Served
Families
Farmers
Women and girls
Economically disadvantaged people

This Université Numérique Francophone Mondiale's will use Talking Books to train and support community health agents in Cameroon. Health agents will use Talking Books to share messaging and record feedback during visit schools to conduct awareness raising activities with children around vaccines, medication, and symptoms. Project stalled due to COVID-19.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Funded by Arm Ltd, VSO Zambia is using Talking Books to strengthen their Adolescent Training and Local Knowledge (TALK) program to educate and engage youth in Samfya District about sexual and reproductive health and rights. Community health volunteers use Talking Books to facilitate youth discussion groups. Youth also take turns taking Talking Books home to listen with their families. The project is implemented by VSO in partnership with Planned Parenthood Association of Zambia and the Government of Zambia’s Ministry of Health. The project is expected to reach 1,000 group members and 8,000 extended family members. With Talking Books, VSO has been able to implement their program and maintain social distance during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
People with disabilities
Families

APME 2A and CLINISOLS are using Talking Books to train and support smallholder farmers in the Cascades and Hauts-Bassins regions of Burkina Faso. The project aims to reach and help 5,000 farmers improve food security and income for their families by growing and selling maize and cowpea.

Population(s) Served
Families
Families
Farmers
Extremely poor people

Talking Books will be used to share information and facilitate discussion with groups of adolescent girls and boys in rural, hard to reach pastoralist communities in the Afar region of Ethiopia. Community leaders in these communities will be trained on how to use the devices and facilitate discussion based on the audio content. Topics will cover sexual and reproductive health and rights and life skills, in order to ease the transition of adolescents to mature adulthood.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Nomadic people
Families

Funded by Exxon Mobil, this women's economic empowerment project targets women farmers, with a focus on rice production. Talking Books will be piloted with 50 groups to reach 1,000 women with messages on agriculture, entrepreneurship, financial management, and gender.

Population(s) Served
Women
Farmers
Extremely poor people

CARE Haiti will distribute 50 Talking Books to lead farmers to share with their farmer/VSLA groups and support income and food security. Content will include sustainable agriculture, financial literacy, maternal and child health, breastfeeding, and more. The project targets women and youth and will reach 1,000 people.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Women and girls
Farmers
Extremely poor people

CARE Bangladesh’s Joint Action for Nutrition Outcomes (JANO) project will use Talking Books to spread knowledge, promote positive changes in attitudes, and influence the behavior of project participants in the areas of nutrition, health, WASH, climate-smart agriculture, and gender equality and women’s empowerment. The JANO project is a five-year project funded by the European Union (EU) and Austrian Development Agency (ADA) to support the effective implementation of the National Plan of Action for Nutrition (NPAN). Community health volunteers will use 215 Talking Books to reach and train 86,000 people.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Farmers
Extremely poor people

Where we work

Awards

Recognized for using ICT to improve agriculture production in developing countries 2010

EU Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation

Global Social Benefits Institute Scholar 2010

Santa Clara University

Integral Fellows Award 2009

Microsoft

Education Laureate 2012

The Tech Awards

21st Century Achievement Award 2013

Computerworld Honors

PBS NewsHour Agent of Change 2013

PBS

Integral Fellows Award 2014

Microsoft

WISE Award 2015

Qatar Foundation

UNESCO-Pearson Initiative for Literacy (Digital Solutions) 2017

UNESCO

2030 Vision Project 2018

Arm Ltd

Affiliations & memberships

Clinton Global Initiative 2011

Million Lives Club 2020

Principles for Digital Development 2020

World Summit on Information Society 2021

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Families, Extremely poor people, Farmers, Adults, Children and youth

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2020, Amplio passed a milestone: Talking Book programs have now reached over 1M listeners. Because programs span years and Talking Books are re-used, we measure this # cumulatively.

Net promoter score

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Children and youth, Families, Extremely poor people, Farmers

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Net promoter score for Talking Book platform was introduced in 2020. We measure it for both our products and our partnerships.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

In 2020, Amplio passed a major milestone: Talking Books have now reached over one million listeners! Our five-year program goal is that by 2024, two million people challenged by poverty, remoteness, or low literacy will have acquired knowledge to address their greatest needs.

In order to reach and serve those who are the furthest behind, Amplio is committed to forming partnerships with organizations that focus on the most vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations. Our program strategy include:

1. Grow the number of vulnerable communities served by our products by expanding our affiliate network and community of practice.
2. Regularly evaluate sales channels(e.g. affiliate vs. self-service) and bizdev strategy.
3. Help customers effectively achieve their objectives.
4. Invest in technology and training resources to improve scalability and quality.

Amplio partners with local affiliates to plan, implement, and monitor and evaluate Talking Book programs and to continually update and improve our technology and services to achieve our goals. Our team brings strategic skills and experience to this work.

Arthur Tao co-founded Amplio with Cliff Schmidt in 2007. He previously was a senior program manager at Microsoft. He has extensive experience in the management of large, complex software programs and working with global teams. Arthur has a MS. in computer engineering from Cornell University.

Bill Evans, Senior Software Design Engineer, started out supporting room-sized mainframe systems for the healthcare industry in 1978. Bill was a founding member of the Microsoft team that created the .NET development environment, and later worked on the Kindle reader at Amazon. Bill has programmed professionally in more than a dozen computer languages. He has a BS in electrical engineering from Mississippi State University.

Lisa Zook, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, has 11 years of international development experience. As a senior specialist for World Vision International, she designed and led M&E capacity building workshops in 14 countries and gained field experience in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. She has a MPH in epidemiology and international health from University of Michigan and a BS in mathematics from Davidson College.

Lindsay Dakan, Global Partnerships Program Manager, has eight years of international development experience, including program monitoring and evaluation for NGOs in Uganda. She has an MA in sustainable international development from Brandeis University.

Rabiya Abdul, Product Manager, is a software engineer with an MBA in finance. She has worked as project manager for Oregon Department of Administrative Services, a senior business analyst for Avanade, a Microsoft Parter, and product manager for NEOGOV's business management suite. She specializes in analytics and product management for hardware and software assets.

Bea Covington, Global Partnerships Director, is an economist and data-driven leader. Bea worked for USAID, International Finance Corporation, and private sectors clients. She has extensive experience leading and scaling public/private partnerships. Bea has an MAg in natural resource economics and MS in adult education/communication from the University of Florida.

Gumah Tiah, Ghana Country Director, has developed and managed programs across multiple sectors for the SEND Foundation, Populations Services International, and the British and Swiss Red Cross. Gumah has worked in Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Sudan. He has an MPhil in Development Management.

Since 2007, Amplio has reached over one million people through Talking Book program and partnerships. The Talking Book is recognized by UNESCO as an inclusive digital solution that people with low-literacy skills can use to gain new skills and knowledge to improve livelihoods and lives. The Talking Book also has proven effective as an economic, safe, and appropriate tool to help bridge the gender digital divide.

- A Ghana pilot project that used Talking Books to share messages from agriculture experts saw a 48% increase in crop production, leading to greater food security and nutrition.

- Funded by Global Affairs Canada, MEDA's Greater Rural Opportunities for Women project used Talking Books to help empower over 23,000 women farmers in northern Ghana to improve food security and nutrition by growing and selling soybeans. The women doubled their annual income. Over 53% percent achieving income stability.

- In Kenya, the USAID-funded Afya Timiza project used Talking Books to train and support community health workers to improve access to quality health information and services for semi-nomadic pastoralist families. As a result, community health post saw a 110% increase in pregnant women attending antenatal care visits.

- The Government of Niger, in partnership with ITU and other UN agencies, has include Talking Books in the Niger Smart Villages project, which aims to reach 15,000 rural villages.

- In 2020, Amplio partnered with UNICEF and Ghana Health Service to launch a COVID-19 awareness in eight vulnerable districts in the Upper West Region. Community health nurses and volunteers used Talking Books to share consistent and accurate local language health messages more efficiently and effectively.

- Landesa is currently using Talking Book to reach and inform rural farmers in Liberia about their constitutional land rights and to expand program delivery while maintaining social distance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

- In 2021, Talking Book programs will expand to countries and regions, including South Asia and Latin America.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Amplio provides technology and consulting services to international development organizations, government agencies, and local NGOs in low-income countries. Through our partnerships with those organizations, we serve low-literate women, men, and youth (families) in rural, remote, and hard to reach areas.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Talking Book usage data and user feedback,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Amplio's technology, the Amplio Talking Book, collects usage data and user feedback for every device and community served. Amplio and our partners use that data to monitor program engagement, identify issues and trends, and continually update and improve Talking Book program content/message delivery. Partner feedback has led to the development of new products and services. In 2021, we are launching a suite of self-service products, including an online program specification, a learning portal, a better dashboard, and new system for processing user feedback recordings. Talking Book 2.0 is in development and features a better speaker and rechargeable battery.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners, Prospective partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Feedback from our partners has lead to the development of new and improved technology products and services. In 2021, we are launching a suite of self-service products, including an online program specification, a learning portal, a better dashboard, and new system for processing user feedback recordings. Talking Book 2.0 is in development and features a better speaker and rechargeable battery. In addition, we are working to identify and offer a range of consulting services to support our partners' Talking Book programs. Talking Book usage data and user feedback (collected by our technology) and field surveys are used to monitor and evaluate content performance and program impact. Amplio and our partners use that feedback to inform updates and improvements to Talking Book content.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

AMPLIO NETWORK
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

AMPLIO NETWORK

Board of directors
as of 4/26/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Paul Cotton


Board co-chair

Mr. Cotton Paul

Cliff Schmidt

Founder and Executive Director, Amplio Network

Kevin Reed

Shelby County Tennessee General Sessions Criminal Court, Magistrate Judge

Paul Cotton

Philanthropist, Information Technology Leader

Christine Chew

School Board Director, Nonprofit Leader

David Vogel

Data Scientist, Hedge Fund Founder

Anthony Cavalieri

Senior Program Officer, Gates Foundation

Dena Morris

President, Washington Global Health Alliance

Tawiah Agyarko-Kwarteng

Sustainable Development Consultant, Ghana

Tim Akinbo

Founder and CEO, TimbaObjects

Revi Sterling

Director, USAID WomenConnect Challenge

Margo Schneider

Senior Director, Digital Strategy, UW Medicine

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 02/12/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data