Oct 01 2008

Technology-Enabled Development Hourglass: Micro-Finance Case Study

by at 2:47 am

Slide 1: The ideas in this presentation will form the core of my first fellowship paper. So, if you understand micro-finance, or ICT4D, better than I do, do share your feedback with me. I’ll be grateful.

Slide 2: I see the development process as an hourglass. At the top of the ‘development hourglass’ are the more privileged societies and the challenge here is to build engagement in the development process. At the bottom of the ‘development hourglass’ are the less privileged societies and the challenge here is to enable access to the development process. The challenge in the middle of the ‘development hourglass’ is to connect the top with the bottom via an institutional infrastructure and enable flow, a role that has been traditionally performed by development aid agencies. Continue Reading »

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Sep 09 2008

Kentaro Toyama: Introduction to Information and Communication Technologies for Development

by at 7:45 pm

Kentaro Toyama, who leads the Technology for Emerging Markets research group at Microsoft Research India, writes a precise introduction to ICT for development as a guest editor for IEEE‘s Computer June 2008 edition (via James Utzschneider) —

On a planet with 1.2 billion Internet users, a far less fortunate 1.2 billion people survive on less than a dollar a day. The same technology that has transformed our lives—the lives of the wealthiest people on the planet—remains out of reach and irrelevant for the poorest. Continue Reading »

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Sep 09 2008

Register for Microsoft’s ICT for Development Conference in Washington DC

by at 6:21 pm

I believe that the most powerful application of social media is to help citizens self-organize themselves into virtual communities to work towards social change. In BRIC countries, where mobile penetration is much higher than PC penetration, such communities will need to be designed in an “access agnostic” manner, which means that the content/ community exists in the “cloud” and can be accessed by multiple mediums including websites, RSS feeds, voice portals and even text messages.

Microsoft's ICT for Development Conference

So, when I attend Microsoft’s ICT for Development Conference (see agenda) in Washington DC on September 22-23 2008, I’ll be interested to find out if development agency leaders, private sector practitioners, non-profits and activists share my enthusiasm for the use of social media for social change. Continue Reading »

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