“Access to information literally saves lives”: free access to UpToDate in LMICs

This week, Yannis Valtis joined us for a short conversation about a new paper he and colleagues recently published in BMJ Global Health. Their study Read More

Facebook’s Free Basics Incubator

Facebook and its Internet.org initiative (now called ‘Free Basics’), have faced their fair share of criticism, but I’m guessing that neither is going away anytime soon. So, here’s something that may be of interest to folks working with and/or designing mobile tools for lower income populations or those with lower end phones. Praekelt Foundation is partnering with Facebook on an open source toolkit of technologies and strategies that will open the Free Basics platform to more organizations and/or tech developers to adapt existing services or create new ones for distribution through the web and the Free Basics platform. Praekelt Foundation will be running this incubator for Free Basics. It will provide 100 social change organizations with tools, service and support worth a total of $200,000

The 5 Most Effective Educational Technology Interventions in LMICs

There is enormous interest and investment in the potential of educational technology (edtech) to improve the quality of teaching and learning in low and lower-middle income countries. The primary aim of the DfID-funded Educational Technology Topic Guide is to contribute to what we know about the relationship between edtech and educational outcomes. Taking evidence from over 80 studies, the guide addresses the overarching question: What is the evidence that the use of edtech, by teachers or students, impacts teaching and learning practices, or learning outcomes? It also offers recommendations to support advisors to strengthen the design, implementation and evaluation of programmes that use edtech. Educational technology was defined as the use of digital or electronic technologies and materials to support teaching and learning.


Preliminary Insights into the Private Sector’s Response To Terrorist Use of the Internet and…

Outcome of Zurich Workshop available here. Since the late 1990s, and as global connectivity has increased and social networking sites have proliferated in multiple languages, certain groups have become more sophisticated in their use of the internet and ICT for terrorist purposes. Indeed, concerns regarding terrorist use of the internet has increased significantly over the past few years, due in large part to the adeptness of terrorist groups to use the internet and ICT to communicate, groom and recruit foreign fighters and supporters, spread propaganda about their objectives, share knowledge key to their operations, and finance their activities

ICT4D Academics Are Failing the Poor

See the article here: ICT4D Academics Are Failing the Poor

How Can We Create an Integrated ICTforAg Sensor Ecosystem?

We are on the cusp of a second green revolution. Through the application of connected technologies, we have the potential to increase agricultural productivity by 70% by 2050, helping us meet the 70% increase in agricultural demand projected in the same time frame. Yet this second green revolution is not assured, and previous posts in this series have explored various barriers to it becoming a reality. In this post, I will explore a final barrier: the need for a cohesive, coordinated and broad-reaching ecosystem for sensor applications for smallholder agriculture in the developing world – and lay out a path for how we can make this a reality.

ICCM 2016, Manila, Philippines: Video message from ICT4Peace Foundation

The International Conference of Crisis Mappers (ICCM) is the leading humanitarian technology event of the year, bringing together the most important humanitarian, human rights, development and media organizations with the world’s best technology companies, software developers and academics. As thus one of the few neutral spaces where such important conversations can take place, the annual ICCM conference brings together a wide range of diverse actors for important conversations that lead to concrete new projects and deliverables across a variety of diverse domains. As a community of practice, the ICCM thus helps facilitate new projects and catalyzes innovation in the area of humanitarian technology

Oxfam’s Responsible Data Policy – Do You Have One Too?

As a rights-based organization, Oxfam is committed to using data responsibly in order to uphold the rights of the individuals, groups, and organizations with whom we work. Using data responsibly is not just an issue of technical security and encryption but also of safeguarding the rights of people to be counted and heard; ensure their dignity, respect and privacy; enable them to make informed decisions; and not be put at risk, when providing data. Register now for MERL Tech to join the session Developing and Operationalizing Responsible Data Policies with the authors of this policy. Oxfam recognizes that people have rights with regards to the information related to them and that Oxfam has a responsibility to uphold those rights.

Protection Information Management Working Meeting: September 2016

The ICT4Peace Foundation has for many years worked with the UN and ICRC to strengthen the awareness and understanding of, need for as well as the meaningful implementation of standards, frameworks and technologies to protect the information of vulnerable communities in violent contexts, as well as refugees and internally displaced persons. In August 2012, Simone Eymann on behalf of the ICT4Peace Foundation participated in a one-day consultation, co-organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and InterAction, on “Protection in violent situations: standards for managing sensitive information“.

Apply Now for $312,000 in ICT4D Grants for Africa and Asia

Finding seed funding to launch ICT4D projects isn’t easy, and we’d like to help! Here’s three grant opportunities and one award program that can bring new resources to your programs. Be sure to sign up to get emails about new grant opportunities as we find them. $250,000 Data Innovations Grants The Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data has a new multi-million dollar funding initiative to support innovative collaborations for data production, dissemination linked to the Sustainable Development Goals.

We Must Answer 6 Open ICT4Education Questions to Have Real Impact

With years of experience in attempting to effect large scale educational change, using technology, I’ve come up with six “game changing” topics (and I don’t use the phrase lightly) we need to address in order to really make a difference. I hope you’ll join me in debating them now and during the upcoming 2016 mEduction Alliance International Symposium, “From Innovation to Impact,” to be held from October 18-20 in Washington D.C. 1: Which business models hold the promise to achieve massive scale? Affordability is a huge driver of sustainability, and without viable business models to achieve scale it is reasonable to believe that mEducation programs will not make it beyond the pilot phase. What are examples of business models that hold the promise to address the dire need for education at massive scale

5 Tools for Secure Communications and Data Storage

Many local partner organizations that international development actors engage with face risks while operating in challenging – and sometimes dangerous – environments. Some civil societies now face push backs from their governments and confront a closing space to function in, while others operate in fragile states where violence hinders progress. My organization, Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) is no exception and we have partners in a range of countries in such circumstances – from Ukraine to Afghanistan – doing tremendous work to create a more sustainable democratic and economic communities. To support such organizations maneuver in difficult environments, the following are five mobile or online tools that could be used to strengthen the local organizations’ digital security. Be sure to suggest data security session ideas at MERL Tech 2016 and register now to participate on October 3-4, 2016 in Washington, DC.

The Future Is Now: How to Write About ICT4Edu Accurately in 2016

After a year of conferences and education trade shows, I am convinced that my fellow technologists and development experts are not fully realizing the radical change that innovation, by which I mean technology, and of that, just digital communications, is metamorphosing education. We MUST radically change the way we report on ICT4Edu to mirror this metamorphosis! In today’s world, technology is everywhere and enables everything – except education. For the most part, education is still shackled by the 19th century sausage machine that at its best takes in children and spits out adults trained to work in factories, obediently following orders and never thinking for themselves. Or as we know, in many parts of the world, not even doing that, but failing every child in every school – just look at all the iNGOs photos of poor children in dilapidated village schools.

4 Secrets to ICTforAg Social and Behavior Change Communication

Most ICTforAg projects have specific behavior change goals. For example, the goal may be for farmers to change their practices to improve soil quality. Or for farmers to adopt a new ICT technology to understand weather patterns. How do you ensure this new behavior change will be successfully adopted?

Congratulations to Bhutan! Now a Global ICTforAg Leader

With the recent publication of its e-RNR (renewable natural resources) masterplan, the tiny Himalayan country of Bhutan has joined an exclusive club of only a handful of countries globally, including Rwanda and Côte d’Ivoire, to have a concerted national strategy for how to use ICT in agriculture. While many countries have some mention of ICT for agriculture or e-agriculture in national level strategies, such as India, Bangladesh, and the Caribbean Community, they tend to be either a brief reference to agriculture in national ICT plans or a brief reference to ICT in national agriculture plans. Considering the diversity and complexity of the agriculture sector, as well as its sheer size (a third of the world’s workforce are in agriculture), you wouldn’t be wrong in wondering how a few paragraphs in a national ICT or agriculture plan would be sufficient. Given this, it shouldn’t be surprising that ICT for agriculture, despite some successes, generally has not had the same level of impact yet as ICT in other sectors, such as health or education, which have often—but certainly not always—been a bit more organized. There are a number of reasons for this, which I won’t get into here, but one reason may just be the lack of coherent national visions and inclusive action plans aimed specifically at ICT and agriculture that help to align all actors (from regulators to large agribusinesses and technology firms all the way down to smallholder farmers) on a common path

Why Yes, Pokemon Go Is Relevant to Digital Development!

The runaway success of mobile game Pokemon Go has many of us scratching our heads in disbelief: More people are swiping balls at monsters than using Twitter? They’re spending more time with imaginary creatures than with imaginary friends on Facebook? And all this happened in a single week!? For the ICT4D community, the game’s jump from zero to 20 million users (by some estimates) since its launch on July 6 prompts some further questions: Can we reach that kind of scale? And is this even relevant to our work, if most people we serve don’t have smartphones?

Please RSVP Now for MERL Tech 2016 and Submit Your Session Ideas

The use of technology for monitoring, evaluation research and learning (MERL) has become increasingly sophisticated and more openly accepted in the international development and humanitarian space. We find ourselves continually pushing forward and asking: What’s next? How can we advance our work? What is the role for new technologies in improving our practice?

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