Giving Compass’ Take:
• The Information & Communications Technology for Development Conference in Lusaka, Zambia illuminated three trends regarding human centered design, scaling solutions, and safeguarding data.
• How can technological advances both potentially help and harm populations in the developing world?
• Read about philanthropists’ involvement in examining the effectiveness of technology for development projects.
At the Information & Communications Technology for Development Conference in Lusaka, Zambia, this week, information and communications technology experts from all over the world are coming together to discuss, learn, and share ideas on how ICT is serving the development sector.
As development technology has raced forward, here’s a look at three major trends in ICT4D.
1. A lean approach to human-centered design
Digital development experts tend to struggle with the complexities of designing tools for people they are unfamiliar with. Designing for users — instead of with users — can lead to incorrect assumptions about technology access, usage, and cultural norms among the target population. Using human-centered design methodologies results in better customization, increased uptake, and stronger engagement of local stakeholders.
2. Scaling ICT solutions
Scale is a big topic of ICT4D conversations. It often focuses on questions such as: Can you successful apply an ICT solution to big populations? Is the technology ready? What are the economics of scale?
While many factors impact bringing a system to scale, let’s consider the logistics involved with large quantities of electronics — the unglamorous details of procurement, transport, warehousing, setup, servicing, decommissioning, and disposal. Most relief or development programs haven’t needed to consider technology logistics in great detail since the majority have not worked with tech in large volumes. We are not Best Buy.
3. Safeguarding and asking ourselves the hard questions
Recent events in data security have prompted a new level of introspection among development professionals. We must now ask ourselves two different — but fundamental — questions about the way we as an industry conduct our “business as usual.”
Read the full article about ICT trends by Chris Gegenheimer, Steve Hellen, Kristen Roggemann at Devex International Development
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