DAI Co-hosts Webinar on Mobile Technologies for Development

June 08, 2012

In partnership with the Bretton Woods Committee, DAI co-hosted a webinar yesterday on the use of mobile technologies in development, specifically within the World Bank’s work. DAI’s Senior Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Specialist Jessica Heinzelman was a featured presenter, alongside Ineke Buskens, Research Director, Gender Research into ICT for Empowerment, and Tim Kelly, a Lead ICT Policy Specialist at the World Bank.

The speakers agreed that there is a major opportunity to reach people through mobile technology since there are 5.3 billion users worldwide, 620 million of whom are in Africa, and mobile is roughly 20 percent cheaper than other communication services.

“With new technologies, you can enable two-way communication,” said Heinzelman. “It’s no longer about being a megaphone. You can reach new groups of people, and more people overall.”

But mobile technology does not come without risk: “You have to be careful about marginalizing people who might not have access. Lead with needs; understand what you are doing and why you are doing it. Always do assessments before you jump in,” Heinzelman emphasized.

In the past 10 years, DAI has been at the forefront of technological innovation in the development arena, integrating ICT and geospatial solutions into more than 50 projects. Whether based on mobile phone applications, geospatial maps, or crowdsourcing tools, technologies enable individuals, groups, and societies to organize, gain access, participate, empower, communicate, report, learn, and be accountable.

Watch the webinar below:

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