Technology Salon

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a discussion at the intersection of technology and development

Wayan Vota

Author Archive

  • Electrical Power is No Longer a Problem in ICT4D

    San Francisco | By on March 4, 2013 | Comments Off on Electrical Power is No Longer a Problem in ICT4D

    It was not long ago that electrical power was the largest barrier to using ICTs in rural areas. Back when desktop computers had big CRT screens, each computer needed 150-200 watts of power. Just turning on a computer required a costly generator and an inverter.

  • A Computer Can Do Your International Development Job Thanks to Open Data

    Washington DC | By on February 21, 2013 | Comments Off on A Computer Can Do Your International Development Job Thanks to Open Data

    At a recent Technology Salon on “How Can We Make Data Useful for Development,” one of the participants put forth an interesting question to the group: Could computers make better international development decisions than humans?

  • How to Use ICT for Citizen Participation

    Washington DC | By on February 11, 2013 | Comments Off on How to Use ICT for Citizen Participation

    The model citizen participation process has citizens holding their governments accountable to deliver quality public services in a transparent and responsive manner. At the recent Technology Salon on How Can ICT’s Support Citizen Engagement with Governments? around 30 thought leaders debated the best ways to empower citizens and governments to define what a government should…

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  • Innovation Spaces: People and Community Matter More Than Tech or Type

    Washington DC | By on January 17, 2013 | Comments Off on Innovation Spaces: People and Community Matter More Than Tech or Type

    Technology hubs, innovation spaces, hacker centers, incubators, telecenters, libraries, co-working offices, etc., there are many names to call the places where like-minded people come together to focus on a challenge. We do this because we believe in them as a model for facilitating collaboration, yet at the January Technology Salon in DC, we asked Do…

  • The Top 6 Technology Challenges in International Development

    Nairobi | By on December 3, 2012 | Comments Off on The Top 6 Technology Challenges in International Development

    Let us be honest with ourselves. Most of the shiny, flashy new technology is not designed for the developing world we care about. Technology is designed for the rich Hardware designers in rich countries are turning out super light laptops and tablets of glass to impress their rich peers. Software developers are creating apps for…

  • Silicon Valley Technology Salon: How Can Every African Woman Have Access to Broadband?

    San Francisco | By on October 4, 2012 | Comments Off on Silicon Valley Technology Salon: How Can Every African Woman Have Access to Broadband?

    We all know that broadband connectivity is an accelerant for social and economic development. And we know that in the developing world, women are the key investors in family health and education. So shouldn’t we be working towards a world where every African woman can have access to broadband Internet?

  • Will the new .Africa domain name have development impact?

    Washington DC | By on July 9, 2012 | Comments Off on Will the new .Africa domain name have development impact?

    Recently, ICANN, the organization that controls the highest levels of the Internet naming system, made it possible for groups to apply for new TLDs – new names to the right of the dot – that would join the likes of .com .org .edu. Along with the many commercial entrants were a number of applications that…

  • The Top 5 Countries for ICT4D in Africa are Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, and…?

    Washington DC | By on March 22, 2012 | Comments Off on The Top 5 Countries for ICT4D in Africa are Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, and…?

    At a recent Technology Salon, we were discussing the countries that have the best environment for ICT innovation that will accelerate economic and social development. Quickly we listed the following four countries:

  • Every African Woman Should Have Access to Broadband – But How?

    San Francisco | By on March 20, 2012 | Comments Off on Every African Woman Should Have Access to Broadband – But How?

    If we are serious about ICT as an accelerant for social and economic development, and we know that a) women are the key to investments in family health and education, and b) broadband connectivity is a major ICT catalyst for both, then we should be working towards a world where every African woman can have…

  • In 2007, Peru announced it would distribute tens of thousands of XO laptops from One Laptop Per Child to children in rural schools across the country, and expanded the program every year since. Almost 1 million laptops later, the program is now the largest XO deployment in the world and one of the most faithful…

  • Mobile Money is Better than Cash at the Bottom of the Pyramid

    Washington DC | By on December 7, 2011 | Comments Off on Mobile Money is Better than Cash at the Bottom of the Pyramid

    Open your wallet right now. Most likely, you have a debit card, a credit card, a health insurance card, and access to the massive financial infrastructure that these three cards represent. The ability to store, save, use, and borrow money anywhere in almost limitless fashion, without worry about amount, theft, or even making change. Add…

  • How Mobile Financial Services are Transforming the Economics of International Development

    Washington DC | By on November 22, 2011 | Comments Off on How Mobile Financial Services are Transforming the Economics of International Development

    Terms like mobile money, mPayments, and M-PESA are all the rage in International development these days, but what do they really mean for the national development of countries we attempt to help? Menekse Gencer of mPay Connect will lead us in a discussion of mobile financial services, the full gamut of finance that is now…

  • How Can New Technologies Enhance Transparency, Accountability, and Good Governance?

    New York | By on November 22, 2011 | Comments Off on How Can New Technologies Enhance Transparency, Accountability, and Good Governance?

    In theory, making information open and available leads to more transparent decisions of governments, aid agencies, corporations and other such institutions because stakeholders at different levels push for accountability and better governance. That is why civil society actors have been working on transparency, accountability and good governance for years. Now new actors on the scene…

  • Back when Bill Gates was young, he had multiple opportunities to geek out – he had access to computers at home and at school – but he would sneak out of his house to go the library. Why? Because he loved the wealth of knowledge, curated and guided by libraries.

  • What is the Future of Public Access to Information in the Mobile Phone Era?

    Washington DC | By on November 7, 2011 | Comments Off on What is the Future of Public Access to Information in the Mobile Phone Era?

    Access to information has been part of the development discussion since the Internet arrived. Previously, many saw community telecenters as the way to bring technology to the developing world. Yet telecenters are not sustainable without donor funding and the concept of public access hasn’t kept pace with advancing technology.

  • Fail Faire DC 2011 – A Celebration of Failure

    Washington DC | By on September 20, 2011 | Comments Off on Fail Faire DC 2011 – A Celebration of Failure

    Fail Faire DC 2011 is a celebration of failure. We will have great speakers with fun, fast, Ignite-style presentations of their professional failures. Audience participation is not only encouraged, it is mandatory! We are all peers and none of us is perfect. Expect much laughter as we navel-gaze at where we have all gone wrong…

  • ICT4Ag – Enriching Rural Coffee Farmers Via iPads

    Washington DC | By on September 2, 2011 | Comments Off on ICT4Ag – Enriching Rural Coffee Farmers Via iPads

    We all lust for iPhones, iPads, and the like, and yearn for the day the developing world can use the same cool gadgets we geek on. But did you realize that iPads could be used in remote areas today? That rural coffee farmers in Mexico, Peru, and Tanzania are enriching themselves and their communities through…

  • How Can Social Capital Expand ICT4D?

    San Francisco | By on August 11, 2011 | Comments Off on How Can Social Capital Expand ICT4D?

    A new form of capitalism is arising that recognizes our ability to direct the power and efficiency of market systems toward social impact, leading to a more balanced set of “returns”. This social capital market is real and growing, and has real impact on emerging economies. But does it impact ICT4D? How can technology companies…

  • How to Build Effective ICT Tools for Quality M&E?

    Washington DC | By on July 28, 2011 | Comments Off on How to Build Effective ICT Tools for Quality M&E?

    Last month, the M&E for ICT4D Technology Salon noted that we lacked quality tools to measure outcomes. We all intuitively know that ICT could be the basis for great M&E tools, but what about taking that feeling into action?

  • No one ever fails in ICT4D. Isn’t that amazing! Technologies come and go quickly – bye, bye PDA’s, Windows Vista, and soon Nokia – yet in ICT4D, each project has impact and we never fail. We just have lessons learned. In fact, can you name a single technology program that has publicly stated that it…