Technology Salon

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a discussion at the intersection of technology and development

Rob Baker

Author Archive

  • Blockchain for International Development

    Blockchain is at the peak of inflated expectations. Since last year’s Tech Salon on Bitcoin, the hype cycle has eclipsed cryptocurrencies to focus the underlying distributed ledger technology. Just look at who is putting blockchain front and center: World Bank launched a Blockchain Lab and a blockchain RFP. The Rockefeller Foundation invested in New America’s…

  • We Still Talk About Women as if They Were a Sector

    Washington DC | By on September 21, 2017 | Comments Off on We Still Talk About Women as if They Were a Sector

    The title of this post is the most memorable quote from our May 2017 Technology Salon, asking the question “Are We Really Closing the Gender Gap in ICT4D?“, a discussion led by: Catherine Highet, Technical Advisor, mStar at FHI360 Revi Sterling, USAID-GBI Chief of Party Melissa Persaud, VOTO Mobile We’ve talked about gender and ICT4D…

  • How International Development Can Benefit From Artificial Intelligence

    Washington DC | By on September 19, 2017 | Comments Off on How International Development Can Benefit From Artificial Intelligence

    Artificial intelligence used as chatbots made headlines in 2016 with 34,000 bots added to Facebook Messenger alone. Facebook’s F8 conference put artificial intelligence in center stage, as chatbots are now smart enough to fool students at a Georgia Tech CompSci course who didn’t realize their TA “Jill Watson” was only virtual until finals. But Facebook…

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  • Your Organization is Not Ready for Big Data

    Washington DC | By on August 7, 2017 | Comments Off on Your Organization is Not Ready for Big Data

    Big Data for Development. You’ve heard that sentence/question/presentation title before. We’ve talked about it at length and the conversation continues in earnest in a time where more quantitative analysis is needed and increasingly expected. Thankfully, excellent progress is being made. The World Bank’s 2017 Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals was very well received during this…

  • user experience design in international development

    4 Ways to Gain Support for User Experience Design in International Development

    Washington DC | By on July 2, 2017 | Comments Off on 4 Ways to Gain Support for User Experience Design in International Development

      User Experience (UX) Design is, for many companies, a mainstream part of product or project development.  There are employees whose entire job is UX, or at least is spelled out as a specific step in meeting goals, whether it’s building an app or deciding the appropriate technology of how to engage with a community….