Posts Tagged ‘USAID’
As part of this month’s Educational Technology Debate on mEducation initiatives, the Technology Salon will be looking at ways to apply mobile phones in education, and scale them across organizations with an mEducation Alliance.
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.
Global Development Alliances (GDA’s) are USAID’s innovative public-private alliance model to mobilize business and civil society to stimulate economic growth. Yet GDA’s and Private Sector Alliances (PSA’s) can be confusing and intimidating, especially when a proposal deadline is approaching too quickly. Successful alliances take commitment, so invest a morning of your time learning how to…
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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:
- 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?
With the explosion of mobile handsets and the faltering of the “$100 laptop” idea, the international development community is focusing on the mobile phone as an empowerment tool, while questioning investments in computers. Is this wise? Is there a data continuum that includes both? Or should development dollars really shift to one platform at a loss to the other?
The primary development platform?
Please join us for a spirited debate where Troy Etulain of USAID will push us to envision a future where development objectives are achieved on mobile phones, while Wayan Vota will back computers, desktops even, as the true tool of choice to accelerate development with technology.
Katherine Townsend of State will moderate the discussion with an eye to finding realistic recommendations for the development community.
Our gracious host is the UN Foundation and I’ll have coffee and donuts for a good morning sugar rush to wake everyone up.
Mobile Phones vs. Computers: a False ICT4D Choice?
February Technology Salon
Thursday, February 12th, 8:30-10am
UN Foundation Conference Room
1800 Mass Avenue, NW, Suite 400
Washington, D.C. 20036 (map)
Do note that seating is limited and the UN Foundation is in a secure building. So the first dozen (12) to RSVP will be confirmed attendance and then there will be a waitlist.
The Technology Salon returns to Washington DC this September 25th to explore an innovative initiative from USAID: ICT4D Challenges.
Akin to the contests that had Lindbergh cross the Atlantic and Rutan/Branson cross into space, ICT4D challenges (contests, makeovers, and competitions) will leverage user-driven innovation to create ICT-based solutions for major development challenges, with the incentive of cash prizes and possible inclusion in a USAID project. These challenges will spur innovation at the nexus of development and technology while forging new connections between the technology and development communities.
What better forum to explore where USAID is going with these challenges and help shape that path than the Technology Salon, our intimate and informal discussion of technology and development?