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Please RSVP Now for USAID Digital Development Forum: The Next 10 Years

By Wayan Vota on January 10, 2018

USAID Digital Development Forum 2028

Twenty years ago, USAID’s groundbreaking Leland Initiative helped accelerate the internet revolution in African countries. It was followed by numerous other programs, like the Dot Com Alliance and Digital Freedom Initiative, to spread the use of information and communication technologies for social and economic development around the world.

In the past eight years, through the work of the USAID Global Development Lab and efforts such as the Better Than Cash Alliance and Digital Impact Alliance, the development community has accelerated digital development practices and helped redefine how the developing world connects, transacts, and grows.

Thanks to these initiatives and others, digital tools are now common in international development programs, and the specialized field of Digital Development is maturing into a formal component of global humanitarian efforts.

  • Data collection is growing in ubiquity across development programs.
  • Digital financial services are expanding in numerous countries.
  • Private sector technology companies are boosting our efforts with new business models, market expertise, and direct support.

The Future of Digital Development

Yet challenges remain. Policy and legal frameworks have not kept pace with innovation, market failures limit access, and overall, the development community has not yet adapted to the new challenges presented in this digital age. As a result:

  • More than 2 billion people in developing and emerging economies are priced out of internet access, and women are 14% less likely than men to own a phone.
  • Many communities are unable to fully access the benefits of the internet due to a lack of locally relevant content, or the digital skills to produce their own content.
  • Almost all of us lack control over our digital identities, or influence over the private sector companies tracking our online activities, regardless of nationality.
  • Fragmented, siloed ICT investments contribute to pilot-itis and data use challenges.

There is still much to learn and share about how we can meet our development objectives by fostering market-led innovation and integrating existing and emerging technologies into our programs.

Looking to the next 10 years of development, some remaining key questions include:

  • What tools and methodologies show the greatest promise?
  • Where is the evidence to support that potential, and how do we collect more?
  • How are organizations structuring themselves to capitalize on these opportunities?
  • Who is innovating at the cutting edge & what are they learning?
  • How can we more effectively work with the private sector, governments, and donors?
  • How are we already working in tandem to to shape a more inclusive digital economy?

USAID Digital Development Forum: The Next 10 Years

Please RSVP now for Digital Development: The Next 10 Years, which will bring together thought leaders, practitioners, and innovators from across the private sector and international development to discuss how organizations are succeeding in adapting to the global digital economy and adopting information and communication technologies as way to more effectively achieve their social and economic missions.

Hosted by USAID and mSTAR, Digital Development: The Next 10 Years will explore how to effectively catalyze organizational change, and incentivize new approaches, (smart) risk-taking, and adaptation needed to tackle the most intractable development challenges, on March 9th in Washington, DC.

We have an action-packed draft agenda, with a mix of keynotes, panels, lightning talks, and interactive sessions, and we are excited to offer you the opportunity to lead sessions and shape the event.

Apply Now to Present

We seek your help in ensuring the event is representative of the larger international development ecosystem. Please note your interest when you RSVP to:

  • Give short 5-minute lightning talks highlighting new digital development innovations
  • Convene breakout sessions or panel discussions on core Forum topics

Space at this event is limited to 300 experts. They will be setting the digital development agenda for the next decade. And so could you – if you RSVP now.

Digital Development: The Next 10 Years
FHI 360 Academy Hall
Washington, DC
March 9, 2018
8:30am to 5pm + evening reception
RSVP is required for attendance

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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of his employer, any of its entities, or any ICTWorks sponsor.
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One Comment to “Please RSVP Now for USAID Digital Development Forum: The Next 10 Years”

  1. Theo Mlaki says:

    Very pleased that this initiative is growing and gaining momentum. We need to encourage all Development Partners to think and adopt ICT4D in all areas of human development. In areas where progress has been recorded, like education, we need now to shout on Policy changes that encourage the adoption of these technologies. Our delay in this effort may render some of the innovations to be obsolete. Finally can we start putting time frames in many of our initiatives so that we work hard within those frames. I feel that we could achieve more especially on areas of ICT inclusion.