Technology Salon

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a discussion at the intersection of technology and development

Wayan Vota

Author Archive

  • 1st Toronto Tech Salon: How Can Technology Improve International Development?

    Toronto | By on May 1, 2014 | Comments Off on 1st Toronto Tech Salon: How Can Technology Improve International Development?

    May 21st Toronto Salon – RSVP Now We have all seen the pretty pictures of children playing with fancy new gadgets, and while the photos are uplifting, do they really signify progress? Does the introduction of new technology, specifically information and communication technologies like mobile phones, computers, and the Internet really accelerate the social and…

  • 8 Tips to Publish Open Data in Preparation for IATI

    Washington DC | By on December 3, 2013 | Comments Off on 8 Tips to Publish Open Data in Preparation for IATI

    Siobhan Green, the founder of Sonjara attended the Technology Salon exploring “How Can USAID Development Partners Implement IATI?” and was inspired to define 8 steps to publish Open Data to prepare for the day when we all will need to be compliant with the International Aid Transparency Initiative standards. Here is her list:

  • You Need a Social Media Strategy in International Development

    Washington DC | By on June 18, 2013 | Comments Off on You Need a Social Media Strategy in International Development

    In the next few years, another 2 billion people will be coming online; transforming the Internet from what once was an elite network of the world’s privileged to a democratizer of information and power. This wave of new users will mainly enter the Internet via mobile phones on social networks.

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  • Mobile Phones Are Gender Neutral

    London | By on May 6, 2013 | Comments Off on Mobile Phones Are Gender Neutral

    At the first Technology Salon in London, we had a very thoughtful discussion on the implications of gender in using mobile technologies to stimulate social and economic development.

  • Why Gender Matters in Mobile Technologies for Development

    London | By on April 23, 2013 | Comments Off on Why Gender Matters in Mobile Technologies for Development

    The very first Tech Salon to take place in London on Wednesday 20 March occurred just three days after the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) announced that connecting women to ICTs would become a focal point of the post-2015 development agenda.

  • Recently Priya Jaisinghani, Teressa Trusty, and I brought together a few folks to have an informal Technology Salon around the pertinent question of how can the development community get technology to scale?

  • 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…

  • 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.