Technology Salon

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economic development

Posts Tagged ‘economic development’

  • 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…

  • 7 Considerations for Mobile Money Cash Grants to Change Development

    Washington DC | By on December 3, 2013 | Comments Off on 7 Considerations for Mobile Money Cash Grants to Change Development

    Let us start with the classic (borderline cliché) development proverb: if you give a man a fish, he eats for a day, but if he is taught how to fish, he will eat for a lifetime. It was this analogy that got conversation started at the latest Technology Salon, “Are Mobile Money Cash Transfers the…

  • How to Create Digital Job Opportunites for African Youth

    New York | By on July 10, 2013 | Comments Off on How to Create Digital Job Opportunites for African Youth

    At the Technology Salon on “How Can We Create Digital Jobs for African Youth?” our discussion was led by Lauren Dawes, who leads the GSMA’s Mobiles for Employment team, and Lillian Chege from the Rockefeller Foundation’s Digital Jobs Africa program. The GSMA will release a study on Mobiles for Youth Employment in July, and Rockefeller…

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  • 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?

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • iPads in Agriculture: Glitz Toys or ICT4Ag Business Tool?

    Washington DC | By on September 19, 2011 | Comments Off on iPads in Agriculture: Glitz Toys or ICT4Ag Business Tool?

    This month’s Technology Salon ICT4Ag – Enriching rural coffee farmers via iPads raised a couple of eyebrows from the outset. How can Exprima Media and Sustainable Harvest realistically improve rural coffee farming via iPads? Initially, it struck me as another attempt to use the latest and greatest technology to tackle longstanding challenges within the value…

  • 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…

  • Youth Economic Empowerment with ICT

    Washington DC | By on April 25, 2011 | Comments Off on Youth Economic Empowerment with ICT

    Let us start by agreeing that technology has great promise in increasing the economic empowerment of youth in the developing world. We all believe it. But what is that promise in reality? Which technologies hold greater promise? What innovations work? That was the issue we discussed at the Technology Salon on Youth Economic Empowerment with…

  • Can Youth Find Economic Empowerment via Apps, mPayments, & Social Media?

    Washington DC | By on April 6, 2011 | Comments Off on Can Youth Find Economic Empowerment via Apps, mPayments, & Social Media?

    Today’s youth population is the largest in the history of the world, and 90% of these young people live in developing countries. The global youth unemployment rate is the highest on record, and we’re seeing discontent and disenfranchisement play out on the news each day. In fact, the revolution in Tunisia started with an under-employed…

  • Is Mobile Money the Killer mService for Women?

    San Francisco | By on January 28, 2011 | Comments Off on Is Mobile Money the Killer mService for Women?

    Brooke Partridge, CEO of Vital Wave Consulting, put forth a startling proposition in a previous Technology Salon. She described a new ICT4D paradigm: Women + Mobile Phones + mServices = Economic Development. She believes that combining the traditional role of women in the family and the power of services delivered through the mobile phone (mServices)…

  • A New ICT4D Paradigm: Women + Mobile Phones + mServices = Economic Development

    Washington DC | By on July 19, 2010 | Comments Off on A New ICT4D Paradigm: Women + Mobile Phones + mServices = Economic Development

    While everyone is amazed at the quick proliferation of mobile phones in the developing world, here’s a startling statistic which should check our unbridled enthusiasm for m-everything: 73% of women in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia do not have a mobile phone. Across all developing countries, adult women are 21% less likely to have a…

  • How to Build Better Global Development Alliance Partnerships

    Washington DC | By on April 29, 2010 | Comments Off on How to Build Better Global Development Alliance Partnerships

    On April 15th, we had a lively discussion on public-private partnerships with Robert Schneider, Senior Alliance Advisor, in the Office of Development Partnerships, Private Sector Alliances Division at USAID. Rob is the ICT partnerships lead for ODP/PSA, or as many may recognize better, the Global Development Alliances (GDA) office.

  • eLearning’s Promise: Will New Models Scale to Educate Youth?

    Washington DC | By on February 19, 2010 | Comments Off on eLearning’s Promise: Will New Models Scale to Educate Youth?

    Young people make up 18% of the world’s population today, or 1.2 billion in absolute terms. Of these 15-24 year-olds, 87% live in developing countries. At the same time, their basic educational needs are not being met. More than one-third of all youth around the world are not in the classroom – 73% of youth…

  • Competitive private companies know that just adopting the tools of ICT will not magically lead to productivity gains – it takes much change and investments in business processes to really reap the rewards that ICT can bring. But this basic tenant can be lost in the hype around specific devices or technologies.

  • Whew, I think this was one of the most intense and contentious Technology Salons yet! After an hour of lively discussion around what “sustainability” and “scale” means to information and communication technology programs, we were just starting to pull back the layers around the topics.

    (Want to attend the next Technology Salon? Then subscribe to our meeting announcements to be invited.)

    Sustainability Means Many Things

    We quickly found that there were many definitions of sustainability and scale. Maybe too many, as these terms differed wildly across implementers and donors. It was even suggested that in the realm of ICT, development has an unbroken string of failures since none of the projects have scaled to the extent of mobile phones.

    Before we cast out the entire body of work to date, much of ICT4D is done as experimentation – there is an expectation of failure while we figure out models that would work. At least we have mobile phones to show that there are ICT models that can scale, sustainably.

  • “Sustainability” and “Scale”: What’s that really mean for ICT4D?

    Washington DC | By on October 9, 2009 | Comments Off on “Sustainability” and “Scale”: What’s that really mean for ICT4D?

    What do you think is the single most important issue at the intersection fo technology and development? Recently, the twin issues of sustainability and scale have come to the forefront in many conversations, with both peaking in October in several forums:

    ict4d sustainability
    Is it only about money?
    • Sustainability: This month’s Educational Technology Debate is focusing on ICT4E sustainability and at an IADB meeting, virtually everything that USAID does was suggested to be unsustainable.
    • Scale: I was recently reminded that while there is an incredibly vibrant mobile phone industry, after 15 years of PDA and mobile phone pilots there are few, if any, sustained mobile technology development projects that are more than 5 years old, continued after funding ended, and scaled beyond pilots.

    But what do we mean by “sustainability” and “scale” in ICT4D?

    Now here’s the real issue. What might be our shared definition of both “sustainability” and “scale” with information and communication technology programs in international development?

  • Last week I had the privilege to participate in the Humanitarian Technology ChallengeTechnology Partnership with the Vodafone Foundation.

    Mark Summer talking up Inveneo
    Mark Summer of Inveneo

    Over two days, IEEE members were encouraged to develop and implement technological responses to three humanitarian challenges in developing countries:

    1. Reliable Electricity: Availability of power for electronic devices
    2. Data Connectivity of Rural District Health Offices: Capability of exchanging data among remote field offices and central health facilities
    3. Patient ID Tied to Health Records: Maintain consistent patient records, including when patients visit different clinics and when they relocate

    Working with them were representatives of 10 humanitarian organizations, and the brainstorming sessions where technology and development experts came together to devise solutions made the conference feel like a large-scale Technology Salon.