Technology Salon

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a discussion at the intersection of technology and development

Asia Hege

Author Archive

  • One Photo That Explains Why Organizations Should Work With VAS Vendors

    Washington DC | By on July 31, 2015 | Comments Off on One Photo That Explains Why Organizations Should Work With VAS Vendors

    Value Added Services (VAS) are an increasingly popular way to engage mobile phone owners, even in the most rural areas. In Bihar, for example, Unilever has established a mobile radio station that calls users to provide “infotainment” in the form of music, jokes, and of course ads for up to a 15-minute period. Of all…

  • Can Zero-Rating Support Ecosystems To Bring the Next Billion Online?

    Washington DC | By on June 9, 2015 | Comments Off on Can Zero-Rating Support Ecosystems To Bring the Next Billion Online?

    Tech lovers can be guilty of techtopia. We imagine that technology makes life better for anyone, regardless of socioeconomic status or access to basic resources. With 4.4 billion people in the world still not online, the tech community is deliberating over how we will get the next billion online. Will it be through policies like…

  • 4 Challenges to Using Design Thinking in ICT4D

    Washington DC | By on May 20, 2015 | Comments Off on 4 Challenges to Using Design Thinking in ICT4D

    On project teams, everyone envisions a solution or product. When everyone leaves the room, most imagine a “piece of an animal” or even “the whole animal” in completely different ways. When teams have designers, some of these barriers are eliminated because designers create testable prototypes of “the whole animal”. Prototypes present ideas in a tangible…

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  • ICT in Cuba: Economic Driver or Casualty of Complicated Political Realities?

    Washington DC | By on May 19, 2015 | Comments Off on ICT in Cuba: Economic Driver or Casualty of Complicated Political Realities?

    In December 2014, United States President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced an agreement to restore diplomatic ties between the two historically adversarial countries. As Cuba becomes a more open country, especially in relation to the United States, how will they welcome NGOs, businesses, or government activities in the formerly cloistered country? And…

  • Is ICT4D Slowly Dying or Slowly Changing?

    Washington DC | By on February 24, 2015 | Comments Off on Is ICT4D Slowly Dying or Slowly Changing?

    At the September 23 Technology Salon, attendees faced a question: Is ICT4D slowly dying or slowly changing? Earlier this year, James BonTempo, Director of ICT and Innovation at Johns Hopkins CCP wrote that ICT4D is slowly dying. ICT4D enthusiasts had a lot to say in response (don’t miss Part II of BonTempo’s blog post). While…

  • How Can We Successfully Partner with Mobile Network Operators?

    Washington DC | By on July 29, 2014 | Comments Off on How Can We Successfully Partner with Mobile Network Operators?

    Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and development organizations need each other, but few preexisting partnerships have yielded success stories worth boasting about. MNOs offer scale and an established structure for services, while development organizations offer unique insight and connections to “untapped” markets such as rural populations and women.

  • ICT4Ag in Ethiopia: The Three S’s

    Washington DC | By on July 1, 2014 | Comments Off on ICT4Ag in Ethiopia: The Three S’s

    “ICT is not the silver bullet. Find what works and do that.” This idea came out of the Tech Salon “What Can We Learn from ICT4Ag in Ethiopia” held last week, where ICT4Ag leaders discussed some of the current initiatives aimed at feeding 92 million people in Ethiopia.

  • Tweet Tweet! Cuban Twitter and its Implications for ICT4D

    Washington DC | By on May 6, 2014 | Comments Off on Tweet Tweet! Cuban Twitter and its Implications for ICT4D

    On April 4, the Associated Press released a story about the ICT project in Cuba, reporting that the pseudo-Twitter platform, ZunZuneo, was a covert program created with the intention to ‘stir unrest’. USAID maintains the platform was created to facilitate conversation between Cuban citizens, and approved by the Government Accountability Office. (USAID refutes eight facts…