Technology Salon

Global Sponsor

a discussion at the intersection of technology and development

Meeting Synopsis

  • digital identity

    According to World Bank estimates, about 1.1 billion people lack formal identification. Digital identity and access systems can unlock a range of services for individuals, including financial inclusion, healthcare and education. Equally, they hold significant promise for helping refugees and displaced populations access services. On the other side, digital identity can become a way to discriminate…

  • Humanitarian Crisis

    7 Technologies to Mitigate Humanitarian Crisis and Increase Community Resilience

    Washington DC | By on March 8, 2018 | Comments Off on 7 Technologies to Mitigate Humanitarian Crisis and Increase Community Resilience

    Penny Mordaunt, the UK International Development Secretary, is warning that 2018 will be the worst for humanitarian crises since the Second World War. Simmering conflict is destroying communities in Syria, Congo, Yemen, South Sudan, Myanmar… and the list goes on. Then there will be the inevitable natural disasters that will create new crisis-affected communities. We…

  • whatsapp strategy

    6 Reasons Why WhatsApp is a Game Changer for International Development

    Washington DC | By on March 1, 2018 | Comments Off on 6 Reasons Why WhatsApp is a Game Changer for International Development

    Quickly messaging people via computing technology is not a new activity. Internet Relay Chat (IRC) started in 1988, and we’ve gone through messaging service peaks with AOL, Yahoo, Blackberry, and SMS. Now there is a new wave of messaging apps and it’s Facebook Messenger, Viber, Telegram, Signal and WhatsApp’s turn. As one participant said at…

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  • Blockchain for International Development

    Is Blockchain Ready to be Applied to Asia’s Development Challenges?

    Bangkok | By on February 23, 2018 | Comments Off on Is Blockchain Ready to be Applied to Asia’s Development Challenges?

    While the hype builds to a crescendo, blockchain use is still very much in its infancy, especially within the international development field. When we talk about blockchain, “we’re in the 1996-2000 dot.com stage,” said one participant of the Bangkok Technology Salon on How to Use Blockchain in International Development? In a discussion led by mobile…

  • South Africa Big Data

    How Big Data Can Solve South Africa’s Biggest Challenges

    Johannesburg | By on January 13, 2018 | Comments Off on How Big Data Can Solve South Africa’s Biggest Challenges

    The inaugural South African Technology Salon How Can Big Data Solve South Africa’s Biggest Challenges?, we discussed the potential of Big Data in contributing to the achievement of development objectives in South Africa and the region. Participating in the discussion was a range of public sector M&E officials, private and not-for-profit organisations, donors and programme…

  • Refugees Use Technology

    How 22 Million Refugees Can Create Better Futures Through Technology

    San Francisco | By on December 17, 2017 | Comments Off on How 22 Million Refugees Can Create Better Futures Through Technology

    Recently, 35 professionals sought to understand what’s been called the greatest and most complicated crisis of our generation. They focused on exploring how refugees around the world are using tech to create more agency and better futures in the December SF Bay Area Technology Salon on How Can 22 Million Refugees Use Technology to Create…

  • M&E Data

    How We Can Ethically Use Our M&E Results Data

    Washington DC | By on November 25, 2017 | Comments Off on How We Can Ethically Use Our M&E Results Data

    One thread in this year’s excellent MERL Tech conference was the critical questions on data use: How do we balance project needs with policy requirements? How does that affect data collection, structure, and cleaning? Can we still incentivize both at an organizational level? Ultimately: are we able to generate results data that is usable and…

  • Digital Property Address System

    How Ghana Post GPS Digital Addressing System Can Benefit Ghana

    Accra | By on November 17, 2017 | Comments Off on How Ghana Post GPS Digital Addressing System Can Benefit Ghana

      In October 2017, the President of Ghana launched the National Digital Property Addressing System (NDPAS) also known as the Ghana Post GPS  with the aim of providing every location in Ghana with a unique digital address. It is hoped that the Ghana Post GPS will achieve a nationwide use for spatial database information for…

  • Data-Infused Impact Storytelling

    Data-Infused Impact Storytelling Can Increase Development Outcomes

    San Francisco | By on November 16, 2017 | Comments Off on Data-Infused Impact Storytelling Can Increase Development Outcomes

    At the Technology Salon San Francisco on Data-Infused Impact Storytelling, a vibrant group of technologists and development experts gathered at the Vodafone Americas Foundation in Redwood City to explore how to be better storytellers in our efforts to change the world. The discussion featured a curated group of participants, and discussion leads including: Chantal Buard…

  • Blockchain for International Development

    How to Use Blockchain for International Development

    Washington DC | By on November 16, 2017 | Comments Off on How to Use 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…

  • How to Build Better Partnerships for Global Health

    New York | By on October 19, 2017 | Comments Off on How to Build Better Partnerships for Global Health

    For our Technology Salon on How Can Partnerships Improve the Digital Health Ecosystem?, we discussed partnerships and interoperability in global health systems. The room housed a wide range of perspectives, from small to large non-governmental organizations to donors and funders to software developers to designers to healthcare professionals to students. Our lead discussants were: Josh…

  • How Partnerships Improve the Digital Health Ecosystem

    New York | By on October 16, 2017 | Comments Off on How Partnerships Improve the Digital Health Ecosystem

    Last Thursday, we had the honor of getting together with many of our peers and partners in New York City to discuss How Can Partnerships Improve the Digital Health Ecosystem? The discussion was moderated by Linda Raftree of Tech Salon, sponsored by Medic Mobile and Praekelt, and hosted by Thoughtworks. The main discussants were: Josh…

  • 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…

  • 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….

  • Can Microwork and Impact Sourcing Improve Youth Employment?

    New York | By on April 18, 2017 | Comments Off on Can Microwork and Impact Sourcing Improve Youth Employment?

    Our Technology Salon on Thursday March 9th focused on the potential of Microwork to support youth economic empowerment. Joining us as lead discussants were: Lis Meyers, Banyan Global Saul Miller, Samasource Elena Matsui, The Rockefeller Foundation Banyan Global recently completed a report on “The Nexus of Microwork and Impact Sourcing: Implications for Youth Employment,” supported…

  • 4 Barriers to Using Machine Learning to Support the SDGs

    Bangkok | By on February 7, 2017 | Comments Off on 4 Barriers to Using Machine Learning to Support the SDGs

    Born from the widest ever public consultation by the UN, the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) are a chance to ‘press the reset button on development’. Critically, the SDGs encourage countries to improve data analysis and to track progress with common indicators. Many of the goals are inter-related and influence each other. But with such…

  • How Virtual Reality Activism Can Live Up to the Hype

    San Francisco | By on February 7, 2017 | Comments Off on How Virtual Reality Activism Can Live Up to the Hype

    Recently, 35 leaders in tech, international development, philanthropy and venture capital gathered at frog design in San Francisco for a Technology Salon debating the question, “Is Virtual Reality a New Paradigm for Humanitarianism or is it more Augmented Hype?” Participants experienced virtual reality with several HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and frog design headsets. Coined by…

  • How Technology Impacted Ghana’s Elections

    Accra | By on January 17, 2017 | Comments Off on How Technology Impacted Ghana’s Elections

    On December 7, 2016, Ghana passed yet another democratic test when it conducted what has been described as the best organized general elections in the country’s history. The elections was to choose a new President and 275 members of parliament. From the tech-based systems deployed by some media houses that enabled their collation and projections…