There's a big event on May 4th and 5th happening online. It's the Global Digital Development Forum 2022.
Basically "Digital Development" is what people in NGOs and big international organisations call Tech for Good. Understand it as "Digital solutions for Economic or Human Development".
So solving important global challenges like poverty, climate change, water access etc
The UN created a list of 17 "Development" Goals you can check out here. It's not common to speak about those for us people in the tech industry, but it's at the core of the work of all organisations working on poverty reduction etc
So basically this big online event is going to be about exactly that. Leveraging technology to work on these 17 Development Goals. It's a free event and there's going to be lots of interesting discussions by people working on these topics. You can register here.
There will be 150+ sessions over two days which you can choose from. Here's a few hightlights of upcoming sessions:
USAID Digital Development Advisors - Perspectives from four USAID missions
This session will focus on the work of USAID Digital Development Advisors (DDAs) in four USAID missions in: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Vietnam, Rwanda, and West Bank and Gaza. DDAs support the implementation of the USAID Digital Strategy through specific digital interventions, as well as advise the USAID Mission in digital approaches and best practices. After each of the four DDAs review their work at their USAID mission we will open the conversation for a discussion on how we can best expand the use of digital tools across USAID programming globally.
Using Machine Learning to Address Data Gaps: Perspectives from Climate Change, Agriculture, and Humanitarian Relief
With changes in population, increasing desertification, and a changing climate, sub-Saharan Africa faces rising food insecurity. Having data to mitigate these challenges is crucial, but for much of the continent, data gaps remain. This session focuses on ways that machine learning can improve decision-making. Specifically, this session will focus on applications for machine learning from agriculture, climate change, and humanitarian perspectives. We will also discuss how this data can be cross-applicable to a spectrum of organizations working on agricultural inputs and outputs, climate change, changing population patterns, gaps in social services, and beyond. Time for a Q&A will be provided, and attendees will come away with a better sense of opportunities, barriers, and how machine learning data can be used in their own work.
#EndTFGBV: Combating Technology Facilitated Gender-Based Violence On and Offline
Technology-facilitated gender-based violence (TFGBV) is a relatively new form of GBV that has surfaced alongside the emergence of new technologies. In recent years, increased digitization and Internet adoption has exposed more women and girls to digital mediums of GBV, including gender-based violence that occurs online, and in off-line spaces and is enabled by technology. This breakout session will cover the definition, forms, and prevalence of TFGBV today, and emphasize the gaps that persist in identifying, preventing, and mitigating incidences of digital violence. The session will highlight practical solutions to mitigate the issue, centering on a discussion with local practitioners on the best-practices to combating TFGBV, the policy changes needed to address online gender-based harm, and solutions to building awareness and affecting action to mitigate TFGBV.
FinTech Startups: Five Founders Making Waves in Africa
Interested in how cryptocurrency can be used to promote digital inclusion? Or how digital solutions can be integrated with traditional banking to create value for underserved, unbanked populations? Or perhaps you are a development organization interested in partnering with social entrepreneurs to promote financial inclusion? Join this breakout session to hear from fintech entrepreneurs driving sustainable, home-grown change in the region using a range of digital solutions. Participants will walk away inspired, even more curious, and with some actionable insights into how to partner with and support tech change agents.
This year they are focusing on three key areas:
- Locally-led Development: What is locally-created tech? How can development harness local digital ecosystems? What does locally-led mean for the status quo in technology development? Where is local digital development successful? How can digital development foster greater diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility?
- Climate Change: How does digital development respond to this mega-threat? Where are we contributing to it? Who is measuring its impact? How can we help people mitigate or adapt? Who is on the leading edge? What is working? What are they learning & doing?
- Emerging Technologies: Can 5G increase last mile broadband Internet access? What are the opportunities and constraints of cryptocurrency’s use in low- and middle-income countries? Do the risks of AI outweigh its benefits? Will sensors and Internet-of-Things improve geospatial data accuracy? What measures should be taken to promote sustainable use of emerging tech so they are not yet another fad?
I'll definitely be participating in a number of sessions and I'll give you my thoughts on the ones I'll find interesting :)
Will you be checking it out?
I think these discussion spaces are amazing and great sources of inspiration. It's just too bad that they seem to be kind of disconnect from the rest of the tech industry.
The world of NGOs and international organisations working on technology seems disconnected from the world of tech people working on social or environmental impact. The events are separated, the vocabulary is different etc
So I'm happy to share this event with you because one of the goals here with Development Hackers is to connect these two worlds: Tech x Impact :)