Internews Center for Innovation & Learning

Internews Center for Innovation & Learning
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Question Box

Question Box is a simple telephone intercom. It's a durable metal box, hung on the wall in streets that makes it easily accessible. With the push of one green button, a person can connect to a live question and answer hotline service. Question Box Operators find answers to a person's questions from the internet and internal database and translates the information back in their local language. One computer-literate Operator can serve thousands of people. It is simpler than a phone, cheaper and requires nothing more than pushing a button. Next generation Question Boxes can be portable; run on solar power; and programmable.

Question Box functionalities:

  • Live telephone hotlines connected to live operators
  • SMS (Text Messaging)
  • Mobile and solar technologies that operate off the grid
  • Open Question - a simple software to start your own Question Box projec

Open Question is software that lets you set up and run a very simple hotline from your office. It is Open Source, meaning your own software programmers can download and install it in your office. Or, we can assist you. Open Question works with or without Question Boxes. Open Question lets you:

  • Track all calls coming in and out
  • Track caller demographics
  • Search the computer and the Internet to find answers,  displaying best results all in one place
  • Track quality by linking the source of information to the caller record
  • Output reports to track what people are calling about, who they are, and what answers are given them
  • Pinpoint questions you can't answer
  • Work either with or without access to the Internet - optimized for slow to no Internet service!

 (text from Question Box website)

Available expertise: 

Anahi Ayala Iacucci

Key Features: 
This tool can be used for SMS, voice calls, tracking of incoming and outgoing calls
Suitable for: 
The information requested are easily accessible online, trusting system in place and good inftrastructure
Time commitment: 
Related to the creation of the workflow and the setting up of the infrastructure
Not suitable for: 
The information requested are not easily accessible online, and where phone infrastructures are not in good conditions
Technical expertise needed: 
The system needs at least a web developer to be set up
Cost considerations: 
The cost is related to the mobile provider used to set up the calls and the cost of the boxes