FrontlineSMS let users send, receive and manage SMS over a mobile network.

Cutting through Red Tape Little by Little.

We finally heard back from CONISIDA, the Nicaraguan Commission on Aids run by the Ministry of Health, whom we presented our project to about a month ago and whom we need permission from to run ChatSalud. They sent us a series of edits--nothing major--which our team is working on this week. With any luck, we'll be moving forward shortly.

I'd be interested to hear from the community:

  • How much red tape did you need to cut through before beginning your project?
  • How long did it take you to go from "idea" to "action"--or rather, how long did it take to actually start your respective projects?

We've been working at starting ChatSalud for about 7 months now, and there's always someone else to get permission from before we can start. Though, admittedly, with each step in the process, our project is getting stronger and gaining more momentum in the Nicaraguan public health community.  Maybe red tape is a positive thing...Thoughts?

Meanwhile, we found a developer who is helping us add more privacy functions to FrontlineSMS.  Now, when users text ChatSalud, a unique code will identify the individual user instead of their phone number--an important feature to prevent abuse of the system and to maintain confidentiality. Thank you, Alex G.

More meetings next week, and updates to come!

For more information about our project ChatSalud, see previous blog post.



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Comment by Nishant Kishore on December 2, 2012 at 4:29pm

Noted, we'll keep working on our project design to see if we can get a way through it. As long as we have the auto join/leave functions I think we ought to be in the clear. Thanks!


Comment by Laura Walker Hudson on December 2, 2012 at 3:59pm

Great! We'll bear that in mind. Just one thing - not sure sub-groups will be in it. We will keep you posted but I think it likely that will make it into the January/February release.

Best wishes


Comment by Nishant Kishore on December 1, 2012 at 12:14pm

Hi Laura,

  I believe Lauren, a colleague and a much more eloquent writer than myself, is in touch with Sila about writing a blog post. We would be more than happy to share our successes and challenges as we develop ChatSalud!

  As for the release, I would be thrilled to beta test the product. Auto join/leave group and sub-grouping is critical to one of functions of ChatSalud, specifically the one that earned us free server use from CIES.

  We will keep you updated on our progress and I look forward to hearing back about the release.



Comment by FrontlineSMS Admin on December 1, 2012 at 2:56am

Hi Nishant,

Thanks so much for the project update! It would be great to see if we can get you to do a blog post for us. I hope you're in touch with Sila about that - if not let me know.

In answer to your question, that release will be out by Christmas - let me know if you'd be interested in beta testing it for us?

Best wishes


Comment by Nishant Kishore on November 30, 2012 at 7:11pm

Project Update:

We have gotten a semi-official (still waiting for written agreement) green light from the Ministry of Health for ChatSalud! Since we are currently going into December we expect a lag period as things sort of shut down around here, but we ought to be able to keep developing the system.

We have also recently joined forces with CIES, which is the national school of public health, and Guegue a Nicaraguan tech firm. After running the first test, found that the project might need a bit more throughput than a modem can offer and so have decided to move server-side. Luckily due to a join interest project, CIES has agreed to donate their server to us and Guegue will run tech support on the server and a VPN to one of the national telecoms providers free of charge!

With these decisions being made it seems our most prudent step would be to move on to version 2 of frontline so that we are able to mount the software on the servers at CIES and work with the system…well…anywhere. I saw on the update list that auto join / leave groups and sub-groups were very close to being ready for version 2. I understand the development process takes quite a while but I was wondering if any of the FrontlineSMS staff had an idea of when we could expect those functions in version 2?

Looking forward we have some important meetings with members of Corporate Social Responsibility of the local telecoms businesses to see if we can negotiate sponsorship. Wish us good luck!



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