Please RSVP Now to join over 5,000 international development practitioners and technology experts at the Global Digital Development Forum on May 5, 2021. You will experience these captivating sessions, network with your peers, and learn how to expand your digital development success. This event builds on the successful GDDF 2020 Forum.

Draft Agenda

The official finalized agenda is now available for viewing on the conference platform. Please log in using the credentials you created to RSVP for sessions, post in the discussion threads, and acclimate yourself with the TechChange platform

3:00 GMT: Platform Opens

  • Participants can log onto the TechChange platform and start to mingle. We’ll have ice breakers and social networking to get us started.
  • Social Hour Networking
    • Social Hour is a unique networking platform that allows attendees to sit at virtual “tables” to talk to one another. Within the space, you can talk to people, you can talk to people at your table, move tables to network with other attendees, and interact with some of the conference speakers!
  • GDDF Bingo
    • How closely will you be following the GDDF events and sessions? Compete with your fellow GDDF attendees by tracking various events and talking points that will likely arise during the Forum, and marking the occurrence on your BINGO sheet. The first participants to reach a verified BINGO will receive a virtual prize for their participation. (This is an asynchronous event that will occur throughout the Forum, but the topic will be introduced during this session block.)

4:00 GMT: South Asia Keynote Presentation

  • Welcoming Message: Manisha Aryal, Nick Martin, Wayan Vota, GDDF Conference Ambassadors  .
  • Digital Inclusion: Increasing Access in Shrinking Spaces: Osama Manzar, Founder and Director, Digital Empowerment Foundation; Manisha Aryal, Senior Advisor for Digital Development at Chemonics International
    • How are curbs on connectivity and online freedoms of expression, association and assembly affecting communities that are increasingly relying on the internet for their rights and livelihoods? What does the online space for civic activism look like in South Asia? And how can the digital development practitioners navigate the way forward?

4:30 GMT: Asia Lightning Talks

  • Power to the People: Radio Storytelling to Advance Privacy: Raahil Rai, , Rohan Vyavarkaar, Omidyar Network India
    • For three months starting December 2019, Omidyar Network India funded a radio show called Zindagi Mobile (“mobile life”), in which famous radio storyteller Neelesh Mishra weaved privacy into fictitious everyday stories of ordinary Indians. This included messages like verifying information before forwarding it, and not sharing your phone number without thinking. The show was translated into five regional languages and had at least 10 million listens over 10 episodes, of which nearly 40% were from rural areas. Multiple episodes reached the #1 position on radio in major cities. In December 2020, we funded a behavioral evaluation of the program and found that it had a significant impact on knowledge, attitudes, and practices towards data privacy. In this session, we will present findings from the evaluation, while also explaining behavioral science underpinnings of those results. We will also talk about how these findings can be generalized for other emerging markets.
  • Bangladesh COVID19 Rumour Map: From Insights to Impact: Mehran Khan, Ayesha Haque, Tahjib Shamsuddin, BRAC
    • Ever heard of a “rumor map?” USAID is partnering with BRAC to gather data about the perception and understanding of COVID-19 from 38 districts across Bangladesh. Health workers are trained to collect data in real time using a new application. The analysis is represented visually in the rumor map to provide key analysis on the intensity of rumors, demographic factors, and profiles of respondents that can be used to dispel misinformation. The insights are then turned into campaign messages and help build an online community platform for credible information cascade.
  • How to Create Digital Products For and With Girls, Alex Tyers-Chowdhury, Oky Product Manager, UNICEF
    • Digital products can bring information and education to previously excluded teenage users. But too often, they are designed for a generic audience, and are not deliberately designed for girl users. Learn how to deliberately create a digital product for and with girls. We’ll explore best practices through the lens of Oky, a period tracker app for girls, and share lessons learned on co-creation and how to tackle digital literacy and connectivity challenges.
  • ¿Cómo pueden los trabajadores de base beneficiarse de mejoras inovadoras en habilidades de technologia movil? Jessica Massie, Chief Learning Officer at Mosabi 
    • El propósito de nuestra sesión es sumergir a los participantes en los innovadores canales de aprendizaje móvil de Mosabi, ya que una nueva plataforma está lista para un rápido despliegue en asociación con las partes interesadas del sector en el desarrollo global, la inclusión financiera y la creación de capacidad para las poblaciones desatendidas. La plataforma innovadora de educación móvil de Mosabi ayuda a los ciudadanos desatendidos de mercados emergentes y a la gente con PYME a mejorar sus decisiones y comportamientos en sus actividades comerciales, con sus recursos digitales y con su dinero. Mosabi combina el “edtech” con el “fintech” para impulsar cambios de comportamiento a través del aprendizaje móvil y luego aprovecha el análisis de datos para impulsar la inclusión financiera. Los usuarios están capacitados para crear perfiles basados ​​en el conocimiento digital y financiero adquirido, con la posibilidad de desbloquear las oportunidades más adecuadas en un mercado de servicios financieros y ayuda a impulsar los resultados de impacto en los ingresos. Los asistentes se van con nuevas ideas sobre una mayor colaboración y el uso de ICT4D para superar las brechas de alfabetización y aritmética y ayudar a los africanos a construir una movilidad ascendente.
  • COVIDAction’s Vaccine Data Co-Lab Open Call: Kelly Church, Managing Associate at IMC Worldwide
    • This lightning talk provides viewers with a background of COVIDaction, the Data Challenge the creation of the Vaccine Data Co-Lab and subsequent Open Call which we’ve launched in partnership with FCDO, the COVAX GIS Working Group, NetHope and others.

5:00 GMT: Asia Breakout Sessions

  • Weponization of Surveillance in Southeast Asia: Atty. Jamael Jacob, Data Protection Officer, Ateneo de Manila University and Policy and Legal Advisor of the Foundation for Media Alternatives; Kirsten Han, Freelance Journalist; Damar Juniarto, Executive Director, SAFENet; Sutawan Chanprasert, Founder, DigitalReach
    • This discussion will explore the various privacy-intrusive measures used by Southeast Asian governments during the COVID-19 pandemic, including contact tracing applications, databases, and new policies. It will highlight the privacy implications of these initiatives and look at how activists and civil society organizations are responding to the threats posed by such activities. Participants will walk away from this session with a better understanding of the policies and measures of Southeast Asian governments, understand the human rights implications of new digital technologies, and come up with recommendations that will allow governments to implement programs aligned with human rights and data protection standards.
  • Putting Data in Indonesian Health Workers’ Pockets to Support COVID-19 Response: Dr. Trisa Wahjuni Putri, Secretary of the Human Resources for Health Development and Utilization Agency of the Ministry of Health of Indonesia; Dr. Mawari Edy, Head of the Program and Information Division, Human Resources for Health Development and Utilization Agency of the Ministry of Health of Indonesia; Timor Utama, Head of Data and Information Subdivision, Human Resources for Health Development and Utilization Agency of the Ministry of Health of Indonesia; Aditya Sasmita, Developer at Data and Information Subdivision, Human Resources for Health Development and Utilization Agency of the Ministry of Health of Indonesia; Taufiq Sitompul, ICT Advisor, HRH2030/Indonesia, Chemonics International; Leah McManus, Project Lead, HRH2030/Indonesia, Chemonics International
    • As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, data remains key to supporting health workers. Using the human resource information system (HRIS) and data analytics platform, the Indonesian Ministry of Health (MOH) rapidly developed dashboards for planning and monitoring emergency response and created a HRIS mobile app that supports vaccine distribution for health workers. To share this experience, panelists from the MOH and the USAID-funded HRH2030 Program will present on the approaches taken and lessons learned and share demo tools. To apply learnings, participants will interact with panelists through a real time case study on data use. Participants will learn how to leverage existing HRIS, engaging stakeholders at all levels to transform data into action.
  • Small and Medium Enterprises Power the FinTech Ecosystem in Pakistan: Adnan Ali, CEO at Avanza Premiere Payment Services (APPS); Soban Najam, Program Manager at PaySys Labs; Naveed Tejani, CEO at Unikrew; Yasir Suleman Memon, CEO at Retailistan; Kaiyan Yousaf, Competitiveness Enhancement Lead, USAID Pakistan Small and Medium Enterprise Activity
    • Innovative Fintechs in Pakistan are leveraging and strengthening the economy by providing payment solutions, gateways, and tools. Hear how four Pakistani trailblazers are enabling individuals and small merchants and businesses to make and receive payments digitally.
  • How Can Chatbots Improve Contraceptive Access and Uptake in Public Health Systems? Mokshada Jain, India Program Manager, Surgo Ventures, Dr. Amit Bhanot, Deputy Director, Cervical Cancer and SRH, CHAI India; Dr. Kamlesh Lalchandani, Project Director, Jhpiego India, Ben Bellows, Co-founder and Chief Business Officer, Nivi Inc; Nidhi Sen, Partner Success Lead, Nivi Inc. 
    • The moderators will open the session (10 minutes) by quizzing participants on the rationale for leveraging a chatbot solution within family planning (FP) health programs.Thereafter, in an open group discussion (20 minutes), the moderator will call on presenters one at a time, with space in between to use participant questions from the chat to ask presenters about key opportunities, challenges, and lessons in using chatbots in their FP programs.Ten minutes from the end, the moderator will ask presenters to conclude with a summary of key takeaways examining aspects such as feasibility, effectiveness, scalability, and more, that participants can refer to for testing, deploying, scaling, and assessing chatbot solutions within their own contexts
  • Southeast Asia Networking
    • Social Hour is a unique networking platform that allows attendees to sit at virtual “tables” to talk to one another. Within the space, you can talk to people at your table, move tables to network with other attendees, and interact with some of the conference speakers!

5:00 GMT: Lightning Talk Breakout Session

  • In-Service Teacher Training: Responding to COVID-19 using Blended Learning: Fayziddin Niyozov, Education Technical Expert, USAID Read with Me Tajikistan, Chemonics International Inc.
    • Learn how Tajikistan approaches in-service teachers’ training after COVID-19 forced a shift from traditional face-to-face training to using an online/offline platform as part of a blended learning approach. The “Bozomuzii Dastras” (accessible re-training) platform created a basis for a more effective and practical training experience for primary grade teachers and created an opportunity for a long-awaited reform to the in-service training system, which had not been updated in 30 years. The in-service system is largely lecture-based and does not prioritize practical training to apply new pedagogical knowledge and methodology, which the blended learning approach provides. This blended learning training approach has already been rolled out to primary teachers from 1,008 schools. Blended learning has enabled RWM to achieve its deliverables despite the COVID-19 pandemic preventing face-to-face trainings, enhanced the training experience for teachers, and facilitated real time feedback to help them learn both the theory as well as the practice of the modern pedagogy of reading.
  • Community Health Workers and Interoperability – an Experience from Uganda: Melissa Cederqvist Njihia, Health Systems Strengthening Health Officer, UNICEF Uganda 
    • Join me in an exciting Lightning Talk from Uganda where I will share UNICEF’s experience supporting community health workers and pregnant mothers through the use of interoperability. I’ll explain how interoperability solved a bottleneck that the Ministry of Health, District Local Government, and partners were facing in the use of a pregnancy mapping tool and CHW registry. I’ll then share some ideas from this work about how you and your team can support governments to make systems a part of a country’s health and other infrastructures. Welcome!
  • Using Audience Segmentation to Support Differentiated High-Touch Services: Matt Wallace, Managing Director, ONOW Myanmar; May Thinzar Aung, Director and Content Lead, ONOW Myanmar
    • Many of us want to turn to technology to more efficiently scale. Unfortunately, technology is often impersonal and too one-size-fits-all for our underserved target populations. We don’t need to abandon a unique touch! By carefully considering and designing your customer segments, technology can be leveraged to support a more effective (and efficient) high-touch effort, to ensure our audiences get support that is useful.
  • How We Aligned Donors’ Support for Developing Ethiopia’s National Digital Health Strategy: Teddy Berihun, Senior HIS Advisor, USAID
    • USAID and other Donors investing in Ethiopia aligned with the government of Ethiopia to form a common vision for how the digital health systems prioritized by the country should developed and matured into a structure that supports data exchange and breaks down silos in the long-term. Learn from the experience of Ethiopia on how a country owned and led effort can lead to alignment of technology goals with broader health system objectives, eliminate duplicative technology activities, create an environment for intentional planning, increase the maturity of the digital health tools, and increase transparent stakeholder communication. You will learn what it takes to put in place a proper digital health donors alignment and coordination mechanism under the leadership of Ministry of Health.
  • Mind the Gap: #eSkills4Girls Initiative: How to Promote Digital Skills for Young Women and Girls: Prenisha Naicker, Alexandra Militz, GIZ
    • The #eSkills4Girls initiative seeks to close the gender digital divide, creating better employment prospects in the digital world for women and girls by supporting them with the acquisition of relevant digital skills. How do we guarantee that women globally manage to enter the job market with much-needed ICT and future skills? This session will explore female inclusion in the digital space, the gaps that exist, and how German Development Cooperation aims to close those gaps through the #eSkills4girls initiative. Participants will hear from personal challenges and success stories experienced by young women in different countries. Participants will leave with a deeper knowledge on the gender digital divide and a desire to strengthen collaboration to create sustainable solutions to increasing employment prospects for women and girls in the digital world.
  • AI-driven Predictions to Improve Health System Efficiency in Africa: Erin Kim, Independent Consultant
    • New insights generated from AI-powered predictive analytics have the potential to improve health system efficiency by strengthening the resource allocation process. Learn about how AI-driven predictions can address factors associated with inefficiencies, as well as hear about a case study that highlights how AI technologies can be leveraged by countries/projects to save time and resources, maximize available data, and effectively make data-driven decisions. 
  • No Need for a School Building: How ICT-enabled Distance-learning Makes Education Possible for Syrian Children: Sevag Ohanian, MEL Manager at Chemonics
    • How is distance learning provided and received by children in different urban and rural communities (with both residents and internally displaced persons) in Syria? The presentation is based on a field research conducted with a sample of learners and caregivers and will focus on technology as a key enabling factor in self-study programs. ICT-based learning can be implemented in even the most challenging contexts — learning (and school) can go beyond a brick-and-mortar structure.

6:00 GMT: East Africa Keynote Presentation

  • Does Digital Development Really Empower People? Priya Jaisinghani Vora, CEO, Future State; Jean-Philbert Nsengimana, Managing Director, The Commons Project Foundation, Africa; Gyude Moore, Senior Policy Fellow, Center for Global Development
    • Is it possible to deliver the benefits of the digital era without the costs of surveillance to freedom, shared prosperity, and innovation in LMICs? This is a key question for our time. Jean-Philbert and Priya will review the global data governance landscape, assess prevailing paradigms in the LMIC context, and outline how to get the benefits of technology while minimizing the risks of surveillance and potential for abuse. Gyude will moderate the discussion, with input from participants, to challenge conventional wisdom that a “responsible data” movement alone will result in equitable outcomes.
  • Middle East Networking: Manisha Aryal, Senior Advisor for Digital Development at Chemonics International; Saeed Uri, Peace, Stability, and Transition Advisor, Chemonics 
    • A networking (and brainstorming) session to discuss emerging issues in digital development in the Arab world. We are keen to hear how innovators are leveraging the digital ecosystems to achieve development impact; what lessons we are learning about bridging the gender digital divide; and what networks we should be tapping into to reach digital development practitioners in the region? Do you think GDDF should have an Arabic Language Track to discuss emerging trends in ICT4D in 2022?

6:30 GMT: East Africa Lightning Talks

  • Facebook and Digital Development: In Focus and at Scale: Kojo Boakye, Director of Public Policy for Africa, Facebook
    • From laying 37,000 km of submarine internet cables around Africa, to helping health authorities send over 3 billion messages about reliable COVID-19 information through WhatsApp, Facebook has an important role to play in advancing safe and inclusive digital development. Last year, Facebook announced Project 17, Facebook’s partnerships-driven approach to accelerating progress on the UN SDGs. Tune into this keynote address to learn about Project 17 in action. The work of global development partners using Facebook tools to advance their work will be highlighted, as will opportunities for the audience to leverage and inform specific Facebook initiatives.
  • You’re Sitting On A Data Mine. Now What? Unlock Routine Data to Support Decision Making at Scale: Molly Hrudka, Senior Advisor, Operational Information Systems 
    • You developed your data collection tool and then piloted it, launched it, and scaled it. The data is piling up, but no one is using it. Sound familiar? In this session, we’ll show you why it’s not too late to improve data usability and equip you with tangible approaches to unlocking your data. We’ll talk about how we restructured our app and rebuilt our exports to improve data usability. We’ll share how we worked with teams on the ground to build performance management processes into daily activities. Finally, we’ll highlight our lessons learned bringing to life user-friendly data visualisation and analysis platforms and how, if these are embedded across teams, data-driven decision making becomes second nature. 
  • Improving Access of Rural Communities to Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Services through Real Time Monitoring: Moreblessing Munyaka, Planning and Monitoring Specialist ( UNICEF Zimbabwe), Lovemore Dhoba, Acting Deputy Director – Department of WASH Coordination- Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement ( Government of Zimbabwe), Nyasha Mutizwa, Communications Officer, Unicef Zimbabwe
    • Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) services are often hampered by a lack of data on which systems are functioning. This doesn’t need to be the normal case. Learn about the extraordinary success of Zimbabwe’s rural WASH information management system and its real time monitoring component that is embedded in national systems. Government of Zimbabwe and UNICEF Zimbabwe are enabling continuity of life-saving water and sanitation services to rural communities
  • Health Bots: Sent From the Future with Life-Saving Information: Sean Blaschke, Technology for Development  Business Analyst, UNICEF
    • I heard vaccines are made from alien DNA. Is this true?!? Where can I find trustworthy information? Join me in an exciting Lightning Talk where I will share UNICEF’s experience developing automated Chatbots to tackle COVID-19 misinformation, and, in partnership with governments, share reliable information on where communities can seek assistance. Key questions to be discussed include reaching the last mile, as well as the importance of data privacy and child-safeguarding.
  • Got Data, Now What? Utilizing Integrated Malaria Supply Chain Data in Zambia: Kaluba Mataka, Regional Director, Delivery, Zenysis Technologies: Japhet Chiwaula, Principal Biostatistician, Zambia National Malaria Elimination Centre
    • The decision-making ability that triangulated public health and logistics data affords malaria management teams in Zambia is powerful, but getting there involved addressing data obstacles and incorporating data use into normal workflows. In this lightning talk, we’ll discuss how Zambia’s National Malaria Elimination Centre transformed its data landscape and routinized data utilization to improve malaria management. Participants will walk away with a better understanding of the real-life challenges around data use and insights into how to push through them.

7:00 GMT: East Africa Breakout Sessions

  • Sustainability Successes and Challenges with Digital Health Data Platforms: Siobhan Green, Managing Associate at IMC Worldwide; Blessings Kamanga, DHIS2 Manager at Ministry of Health/Kuunika Data for Action Project; Taavi Erkkola,Senior Adviser at UNAIDS; Jo Kaybryn, Senior Leader at IOD PARC
    • You can imagine that designing and implementing a data analytics platform across multiple countries is going to be really complicated. The reality is that your imagined challenges are times 100! Join implementation experts to explore lessons learned with both the successes and challenges in deploying digital health data systems in and across countries, especially when it comes to sustainability and ownership. Share your reflections and advice, and turn our hindsight into your foresight.
  • The Gendered Impact of Intentional Internet Shutdowns: Felicia Anthonio, Campaigner, #KeepItOn Lead at Access Now; Sandra Aceng, Program Manager, Information Sharing and Networking at Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET); Deborah Brown, Sr. Researcher and Advocate, Digital Rights at Human Rights Watch; Zaituni Njovu, Executive Director at Zaina Foundation; Rohini Lakshané, Public Policy Lead, The Bachchao Project
    • Women, gender-diverse persons, and marginalised sections of society have been using the internet to overcome the obstacles posed by an imbalance of power and social restrictions. Internet shutdowns, a tool increasingly used by governments across the world, are depriving these populations of access to the ways in which the internet acts as a leveller. Our panelists represent researchers, advocacy, and policy groups exploring the impact of intentional internet shutdowns on women and gender-diverse persons in communities across Africa. They will speak from the perspectives of free and fair elections, cybersecurity, freedom of speech, and expression and digital rights, and discuss coping strategies these populations use when they are digitally disconnected.
  • Unlocking the Key to Successfully Digitizing an Agribusiness: Hamilton McNutt, Co-founder and Vice President, Strategic Impact Advisors (SIA); Joyce Lamunu, Director of Projects, MobiPay AgroSys Ltd; Marcos Moreno, Former Chief of Party, Chemonics
    • Organizations around the world are undergoing a rapid digital transformation, but, for many, it’s easier said than done. Join our panelists as they explore agribusiness digitization through the experiences of three organizations that collaborated on the USAID-funded Uganda Youth Leadership in Agriculture Activity to help Equator Seeds improve their decision making and management processes with a combination of WhatsApp, a cloud-based accounting and ERP software, a farmer profiling and payment software, and digital scales and weighing software. Along the way, they learned many lessons about the support structure needed to incorporate these tools. The Equator Seeds experience reminds us that digitizing core systems like inventory can improve the financial reporting of agribusinesses and deliver the formality required to engage new partners and seek new streams of revenue.
  • Zoomed In or Zoomed Out: Lessons Learned in Training 6,000 Skilled Birth Attendants: Dr. Tarun Singh, India Country Director, Maternity Foundation; Nana Sten Andersen, Midwife and Trainer, Maternity Foundation; Tara Talvacchia, Senior Business Development Manager, Maternity Foundation
    • How can you keep remote trainees engaged? How can you deal with connectivity issues, time constraints, and the ever-elusive quest to get feedback, all while training on-line? There are no silver bullets, but after training over 6,000 skilled birth attendants remotely in 9 countries, we did find some better ways to work, leveraging Zoom and custom applications. Join a lively discussion in which you will live the trainee experience and draw your own conclusions about what works and what does not with remote training.
  • Introducing the MD4D Handbook: Rachel Sibande, Senior Director, Country Outreach at the Digital Impact Alliance; Emmanuel Letouzé, Director, Data Pop Alliance
    • Mobile network operator (MNO) data refers to data generated from mobile network operators, such as call detail records, profile data, location data, usage data, and spend data.​ MNO data can be combined with other types of data, such as satellite data and traditional data, to produce valuable insights for development and humanitarian use cases. Explore a guiding resource for mobile data for development (MD4D) practitioners and walk through its uses and purpose. The MD4D handbook can be used by various decision makers and middle manager stakeholders in the data for development ecosystem.

8:00 GMT EMEA Breakout Sessions

  • Are We Part of the Climate Crisis Problem, or Can We Be Part of the Solution? Peter Benjamin, Executive Director of HealthEnabled; Lauro Vives, Director of International Development at Gevity Inc
    • If the digital community does not consider the climate and ecological crisis central to our work, we will contribute to the greatest health challenge of this century. We could be doing more harm to health than benefit with our very solutions. Learn how digital health projects can be environmentally responsible, provide services to mitigate the climate crisis, and offer solutions to reduce the destructive impact of the whole healthcare industry. Learn how to be aware of this crucial issue that is relevant to all areas of digital development, not just health, and how to define guidelines for environment-friendly digital health. You’ll consider how this applies to your own projects and work and how you can become part of the solution, not the problem!
  • Connecting Small Merchants to the Digital Economy: The Role of E-commerce and Financial Service Providers: Raliat Sunmonu, Senior Director, Africa Program Management, Accion International; Massimiliano Spalazzi, CEO, Jumia Nigeria; Dr. Femi Oyenuga, Chief Digital Officer, Accion Microfinance Bank Nigeria (AMFB)
    • To enter the digital economy, small merchants need bank accounts, a way to sell their goods online, and the tools to accept and send digital payments. Jumia, the leading e-commerce player, and Accion Microfinance Bank, the largest microfinance organization in Nigeria, have teamed up to provide small merchants with the platform they need to be a part of an inclusive digital economy. This interactive panel session will explore the benefits of this partnership, the challenges faced, and lessons learned for global e-commerce of financial service providers looking to team up to help small business rebuild and relaunch their businesses in our increasingly digital world.  
  • How to Access USA Funding: A Practical Guide to Project Financing: Wayan Vota, Digital Health Director, IntraHealth International; Emily Whitfield Stupak, Business Development Manager, Making Cents International
  • Emerging tech-enabled companies face challenges when seeking to access funding from USA-based donors like USAID, CDC, the Gates Foundation, and other formal program donors. Learn how you can find grants and contracts for your EduTech, AgriTech, and HealthTech solutions to scale nationwide and expand internationally. We’ll walk through the formal RFP process, and explain the steps, assets, and preparations you need to win new business with major donors and their implementing partners.
  • Creating a Country Digital Transformation Roadmap…that Actually Works: Linnar Viik, Co-founder of Estonian e-Governance Academy and Programme Director of Smart Governance; Nata Goderdzishvili, Independent Expert, Georgia; Kimmo Rousku, General Secretary for Finnish Public Sector Digital Security Management Board (VAHTI), Finland; Merle Maigre, Senior Cyber Security Expert, e-Governance Academy, Estonia
    • Accelerated by COVID-19, governments from all over the world are implementing digital transformation roadmaps to achieve their digital goals. Countries ask: Where are we now? Where do we want to go? How do we get there? To help find answers, the e-Governance Academy has designed a model to assess national digital and cybersecurity capacities. We will discuss the universal Digital & Cyber Security Maturity Assessment as well as share observations, lessons learnt, and recommendations for implementing digital transformation roadmaps to other countries currently on the same journey. The discussion will draw examples from real-life stories of field implementation in resource-constrained environments.
  • Digitizing Health Systems: Connecting Primary Health Care & Data in National Health Policies: Gomezgani Jenda, Senior Health and Nutrition Officer, Save the Children; Caitlin Augustin, Senior Director, Product, DataKind; Humphreys Nsona, Program Manager & Head, IMCI Unit, Community Health Sciences unit of the Preventive Health Directorate, Ministry of Health, Malawi; Dr. Joseph Sitieni, Head of the Health Service Management, Ministry of Health, Kenya 
    • The past two decades have seen a rise in digital health systems and exponential adoption of digital health technology at the subnational level. The digital data collected by diverse iNGOs and private companies in communities and districts has the opportunity to be synthesized and contribute to national level health statistics and policy. Equipped with new tools and data, many countries in sub-Saharan Africa are undertaking the monumental task of digitizing their health systems from the community to the hospital level. However, to do this successfully and seamlessly, interoperable information systems based on fixed standards need to be adopted. This session is for government leaders and their partners who want to ensure that their digital health programs are consistent, interoperable, and feasible. The workshop will utilize case studies, competency building activities, and open dialogue to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to successfully digitize a community health system including data collection and usage, data for decision making, and the adoption of standards. 
  • Using Technology as a Tool to Respond to Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies: Caroline Masboungi, Child Protection Specialist, GBViE Innovations and Service Delivery, UNICEF; Abeera Akhtar, GBV Technology Products Manager, UNICEF; Kristry Crabtree, Senior Information Management and Technology Advisor, IRC; Dina Hanania, GBV in Emergencies Knowledge Management Specialist, CARE
    • COVID-19 and related containment measures have triggered a shadow pandemic of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) which threatens the safety and well-being of millions and girls and women. Digital solutions have now begun to pave the way to allow us to tackle gender-based violence but along with its advantages, they can also facilitate violence. In this session, we will talk through the move toward digital in gender-based violence programming and how to decide whether ICT interventions are the best way forward. We will share examples of products developed by our organizations and the learnings that have come out of this process around funding, sustainability, designing both with and for the user, and the role of the Digital Principles in the process.
  • Africa Networking
    • Social Hour is a unique networking platform that allows attendees to sit at virtual “tables” to talk to one another. Within the space, you can talk to people at your table, move tables to network with other attendees, and interact with some of the conference speakers! 

8:00 GMT Lightning Talk Breakout Session

  • From Small Nudges to Big Gains in Teacher Professional Development: Ayman Al Meshhadan, Education Manager, The Syria Education Programme, Chemonics International
    • Ayman explores how the UK aid-funded Syria Education Programme used online digital platforms to supercharge its behavior change communication campaign. The team harnessed social media channels to encourage teachers to share their ideas and platform their own educational innovations in front of their peers.
  • Adult Trainings in Times of Pandemic and Economic Meltdown: Alice Azar, Senior CSO Capacity Building Manager at Chemonics International on the USAID/Lebanon Community Support Program
    • As we all adapt to new ways of working during the COVID-19 pandemic, what can we do to continue building the capacity of partners from afar? How can we effectively engage people in training when facing not just the challenges of a pandemic, but also an economic crisis? Join me for a fast-paced lightning talk that draws on experience in Lebanon to highlight ways to make distance learning programs for adults effective in times of pandemic and economic meltdown. In this talk, I will discuss challenges to distance learning activities and examples of solutions I have found in running distance learning programs for municipalities and civil society organizations in Lebanon. 
  • Impact de le technologie dans l’amélioration de l’accès aux médicaments: Christian Kisimba, LMIS SPECIALIST à Chemonics GHSCTA/USAID
    • Cette session est une présentation interactive et une démonstration pratique d’InfoMED, un nouvel outil de visualisation de données développé par le projet GHSC-TA Francophone Task Order financé par l’USAID en soutien au ministère de la Santé de la République démocratique du Congo. Les participants pourront se familiariser avec InfoMED, un système d’information de gestion logistique complet, avec interopérabilité avec l’outil DHIS-2, et comment il capture les informations sur le VIH / SIDA, la tuberculose, le paludisme, la planification familiale et la gestion des produits de santé maternelle et infantile. La session montrera également comment les données logistiques capturées sont ensuite corrélées avec les données des patients à des fins de visualisation et utilisées par les responsables de la chaîne d’approvisionnement et les décideurs pour accéder aux données de gestion des produits à différents niveaux du système de santé afin de prendre les décisions appropriées. L’objectif des décisions est d’assurer la disponibilité permanente des médicaments partout au niveau des établissements de santé pour garantir la qualité des soins médicaux et sauver des vies.
  • Getting Lost in the Noise – The Pitfalls of Social Media Listening in COVID-19: Irene Scott, Global Project Director, Internews; Giovanni Molinares, Auxiliar De Proyecto En Procesos De Movilidad Humana, Caribe Afirmativo 
    • COVID-19 has brought with it a digital shift – more and more we are listening to communities’ thoughts, needs and concerns online. Social media data has provided a convenient answer to the challenge of how to connect with, and understand, the information needs of communities almost anywhere in the world.But, this digital shift can also feed a greater digital divide as vulnerable groups struggle to have their voice heard. During this Lighting Talk, Internews, with our partner, Caribe Afirmativo, will discuss how we have listened and responded to the information needs of LGBTQ+ migrant communities in Colombia using this method.
  • Perdido en el ruido: cómo la escucha de los “macrodatos” de las redes sociales de  oculta las voces pequeñas: Julie Langelier, Global Deputy Project Direcotor – Rooted in Trust, Internews Giovanni Molinares, Auxiliar De Proyecto En Procesos De Movilidad Humana, Caribe Afirmativo 
    • El COVID-19 trajo consigo un cambio digital: cada vez escuchamos más los pensamientos, necesidades e inquietudes de las comunidades en línea. Los datos de las redes sociales han proporcionado una respuesta conveniente al desafío de conectarse y comprender las necesidades de información de las comunidades en casi cualquier parte del mundo. Durante esta charla relámpago , Internews y su socio, Caribe Afirmativo, discutirán cómo han escuchado y respondido a las necesidades de información de las comunidades migrantes LGBTQ + en Colombia utilizando este método.

9:00 GMT West Africa Keynote Presentation

  • War Against Truth: How Disinformation Undermines Public Trust and Democracy Across Africa: Justin Arenstein, Founder and CEO, Code for Africa; Allan Cheboi; Investigations Manager, African Network of Centers for Investigative Reporting
    • Governments, clickbait profiteers, political ‘hactivists’ and foreign intelligence agencies are all exploiting cheap technologies to flood African societies with corrosive disinformation. Their influence operations subvert African elections, provoke xenophobia and violence, and destroy public trust in democratic processes and nation states. Code for Africa’s Justin Arenstein and African Network of Centers for Investigative Reporting’s Allan Cheboi, discuss the measures taken across the continent to identify, investigate, and combat the infodemic — from grassroots fact-checking initiatives to complex forensic investigative interventions.

9:30 GMT West Africa Lightning Talks

  • Sierra Leone’s National Innovation and Digital Strategy: Dr. David Moinina Sengeh, Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Sierra Leone Chief Innovation Officer, Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation  
    • Dr. David Moinina Sengeh is in charge of what he calls “a simple, clear vision” – to leverage science, technology and innovation to strengthen the ecosystem of entrepreneurship and innovation in Sierra Leone. How does he work with government, academia, and private sector stakeholders to deliver on its National Development Plan? And what are the challenges he is encountering as he implements Sierra Leone’s National Innovation and Digital Strategy?
  • Co-Creating Disability-Inclusive Digital Solutions in Ghana and Sri Lanka: Dr. Clara Aranda-Jan, Insights Manager at GSMA; Isuru Samaratunga, Senior Researcher at LIRNEasia; Mark Kamau, Executive Director at BRCK Foundation and Designing Futures; Sarika Warusavitarana, Sociologist and Solutions Mapping Lead at CitraLab; Yasas Thalagala, Strategic Engagement and Exploration Lead at CitraLab
    • In this lightning talk, the GSMA will present the research experiences of a project in Ghana and Sri Lanka for the co-creation of digital solutions with and for persons with disabilities. Insights and lessons will be shared on how to make co-creation processes inclusive of people with disabilities, with some notes on the adaptations due to the COVID-19 restrictions in these countries.
  • You want to use that data how? Four ways to be responsible with sensitive data: Kristy Crabtree, Senior Advisor, International Rescue Committee
    • In humanitarian settings, programmatic decisions should be informed by data. But what about data from programs that collect sensitive information? This includes information that when shared without authorized access is likely to cause harm, such as discrimination or stigma, for the individuals involved, or affect an organization’s capacity to carry out its activities. Because of these risks, many organizations avoid using sensitive data to inform organizational responses. How can we make sensitive data actionable without sacrificing confidentiality or client safety? This lightning talk will look at the risks of sharing sensitive data and identify opportunities to make sensitive data safe and actionable in a responsible way. The lightning talk will follow a character as they navigate making evidence-based decisions in their program while balancing the rights of the individual. Participants will leave with four steps they can take to adapt this model for their own programs.
  • Tracking Innovations in Health Product Distribution: Malyse Uwase, Senior Consultant, Salient Advisory
    • This Lightning Talk is designed for participants interested in health technology start-ups innovating in health product distribution in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda. It will provide a high-level overview of key findings and recommendations from our most recent research on this topic including insights from 60 companies. The video will briefly define the types of innovators in this space, highlight key market developments and challenges encountered by innovators, and share recommendations for global stakeholders interested in engaging and supporting innovators in this space.
  • Miade – Le réseau local de chez nous et pour nous: Victoire Tsamedi, Local Lead de Miade net
    • Miade Net est une méthodologie de démocratisation de la technologie qui permet aux communautés d’avoir accès au digital et renforce leur ‘agency’. Pour accomplir ça, on a créé un projet de mise en place de réseaux locaux à partir de mini-serveur Raspberry Pi, dans des communautés urbaines et rurales au Togo, en 2020, pendant la pandémie COVID19. Ces dispositifs permettent de promouvoir ou d’améliorer le travail collaboratif, la création des contenus locaux, et la démystification des nouvelles technologies en utilisant des applications open source et des dispositifs durables à faible coût. Source: GIZ & DFKI – Miadé Net (drlab.org)

10:00 GMT West Africa Breakout Sessions

  • African Approaches to Responsible Data in Monitoring and Evaluation: Talitha Hlaka, Communications Officer, Center for Learning on Evaluation and Results, Anglophone Africa (CLEAR-AA); Mark Iruru, Data Privacy Practitioner; Monet Durieux, Senior Technical Specialist, Evaluation for Development, Genesis Analytics; Dez Jason, Senior Manager, National Department of Social Development, South African National Government; Rachel Sibande, Program Director, Data for Development, Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL); Linda Raftree, Independent Consultant and Organiser of MERL Tech
    • This breakout session will center an African perspective on the topic of data protection, including practical, ethical, and legal aspects. We will discuss common challenges and emerging good practice in data management across the continent, with a focus on both organizational and government-level monitoring and evaluation (M&E). We will dig into digital M&E⏤both traditional approaches (surveys, focus groups, mobile data collection) and non-traditional approaches (use of administrative data, big data, and open data)⏤and explore these through case studies from African countries. Participants will leave this session with a better understanding of using data responsibly in the African context and a sense of where digital M&E is heading.
  • Tracking Hunger – How Mobile Technology and AI Monitor Food Security as it is Now: Kusum Hachhethu, Operations Manager and Food Security Analyst, WFP Hunger Monitoring Unit; Olatunji Sonoiki, Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping Officer, WFP; Elisa Omodei, Lead Data Scientist, WFP Hunger Monitoring Unit; Anna Ong, Communications Officer, WFP Research Assessment and Monitoring Division 
    • This breakout session will share how WFP leveraged its near real-time food security monitoring systems and artificial intelligence to respond at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic until present day, highlighting how the convergence of the two ensured the continuity of insights that inform response. Here, we pose the question: How do we collect data to inform response during a global standstill? We’ll be bringing a diverse range of perspectives from colleagues working across the globe, sharing case studies of the impact of these innovations, alongside reflections and lessons learned on near real-time food security monitoring – looking back over WFP’s rapid expansion during a global crisis and previous responses in war-torn countries, outbreaks, and/or disasters. Lastly, this presentation also looks ahead to explore the opportunities that near real-time monitoring and artificial intelligence can offer humanitarian response, preparedness, and early warning capacity.
  • One Goal, Different Recipes: How Regional Economic Communities Spur Data Sharing to Improve Health: Dr. Ahmed Bashir, Digital Health Coordinator at the Intergovernmental Authority on Development; Damola Olajide, West Africa Technical Lead, Regional Action Through Data (RAD); Dr. Patricia Odero, Regional Director – Africa at Duke Global Health Innovation Center
    • Regional Economic Communities recognise the role of harmonised policies in facilitating integrated data sharing among their member states in order to improve preparedness for pandemics and continuity of healthcare for populations. Following a study in the Horn of Africa and ECOWAS regions that highlighted a similar gap in policies on data governance and cross-border data sharing, through this keynote presentation we will share how the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) developed contextualised approaches to strengthen data governance and stewardship in their respective regions. Discussants will share their learnings through the multi-year policy development processes and how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted these initiatives. Participants will gain an appreciation of the challenges in facilitating data governance in complex landscapes and the role African regional organisations play in sustainable data policy change.
  • Leveraging a Market Systems Development Approach for Inclusive Digital Economies: Chris Lukolyo, UNCDF – Uganda; Mohammad Muaz Jalil, MSD Expert; Martha Olwenyi, M&E Consultant at Uganda Management Institute; François Coupienne, Global Digital Lead, UNCDF
    • Explore innovative approaches to stimulating market actors to build inclusive digital economies that economically empower the underserved communities (women, youth, refugees, MSMEs) with digital solutions that will improve their productivity and wellbeing. Get a clear path on how to test, pilot, implement and consolidate digital solutions aimed at reaching underserved communities with specific focus on agriculture, health and education in public and private sectors to create systemic change using sustainable innovative business models.
  • What is Happening with Chinese Private Capital in African Tech? Cornelia Tremann, China-Africa expert & consultant; Stephany Zoo, CMO at EXANTE; Wiza Jalakasi, VP of Global Developer Relations at Chipper Cash; Jill Lagos Shemin, ICT Advisor and Consultant
    • In Africa, the tech start-up investment narrative is driven by a US-centric venture capital and Silicon Valley narrative. This certainly plays a large role, but it is overshadowing other players, such as Chinese VC. Chinese capital investments have become visible over the past 5-10 years, especially in African tech and we can expect them to continue to grow, possibly exponentially as China’s own private capital look to Africa and build on the paths forged by others before them. Yet little is known about Chinese VC in African tech. In what sectors are the Chinese investing? Who are they, and what are their motivations and intentions? Why does it matter for Africa’s digital development and African entrepreneurs?
  • Faire évoluer les solutions de santé numérique grâce à des partenariats à Madagascar: Maud Juquoi, World Bank; Stephanie Ranaivo, Mathilde Hutchings, PIVOT), Dr Dany Bakoly Ranoaritiana, Ministry of Health
    • Session en français: The Ministry of Health, along with its partners and donors in Madagascar have taken a well coordinated approach in investing in a scaling digital health solution. This has allowed Madagascar to not only rapidly increase digitailization of community health services but also respond adapt to crisis situations, such as COVID-19 response and in the past the Bubonic plague. The importance of this tight coordination cannot be understated and should be widely appreciated and learned from as a model for how countries can coordinate investments, capabilities and resources to sustainably scale digital health systems. It is also uncommon for it take place organically without any global driving mechanism in place.
  • GIF Tournament
    • Are you the King of Memes? The Queen of Reaction GIFs? Put your internet culture to the test in this interactive, humorous GIF Tournament. Participants will be provided with a scenario, and they will be asked to provide a GIF that best represents their feelings in response. Vote on your favorites, and see which GIFs are selected as Best in Show.

10:00 GMT Lightning Talk Breakout Session

  • Can Robots Replace Teachers? How AI is Impacting the Education Sector: Kavita Kapoor, Director and Founding Member, Federation of Humanitarian Technologists
    • Learn how machine learning and AI is both helping teach through automated adaptive learning model while also encroaching on children’s and teachers human rights. Kavita in conjunction with the Women Leading in AI Education working group, will present research on how this sector has been evolving across the world. Some countries are focused on teaching ethical data skills. Other countries are focused on getting young people through university entrance exams. All this activity is creating cyber specialists adept at hacking and attacking or protecting vulnerable systems.
  • Formation a Distance Réimaginée sur l’Apprentissage Socio-émotionnel au Senegal: Joseph Sarr, USAID Passerelles Project Coordinator, FHI 360
    • Cette présentation parlera l’expérience du projet Passerelles de l’USAID Sénégal dans l‘adaptation d’une formation sur l’apprentissage socio-émotionnel (ASE) face à face vers la formation à distance en combinant la plateforme Moodle, Zoom et les SMS. Cet exposé décrira le processus que le projet a suivi pour adapter sa formation en face à face à une expérience en ligne qui comprend : le développement participatif de la note conceptuelle, le séquençage du contenu existant de la formation en face à face en tranches logiques et digestibles pour les utilisateurs ; le processus itératif de développement des story-board, du montage et du testing du contenu; et le lancement et la mise en œuvre de la formation et la collecte simultanée des feedbacks des participants à la formation pour de futures améliorations. Chaque étape du processus mentionné fera également référence aux principales recommandations des participants à la formation, aux échecs et à la voie à suivre.
  • Tableau de Bord, une Ressource Capitale Pour le Suivi de l’Education à Djibouti: Mouna Ismaël Abdou, MENFOP Djibouti, Inspectrice Générale de l’Enseignement Général
    • Cette présentation parlera de l’expérience du Ministère de l’Education Nationale (MENFOP) à Djibouti sur l’élaboration, la révision et l’utilisation d’un tableau de bord en ligne a l’aide du projet USAID DEGRA. Ce tableau de bord a pour but d’aider les conseillers pédagogiques et les acteurs du système éducatif a suivre la mise en œuvre du nouveau programme lecture en français au primaire afin qu’ils puissent identifier les difficultés des enseignants à travers Djibouti par rapport à la mise en œuvre du programme et d’utiliser ces données pour concevoir des formations de proximité et des formations présentielles qui répondent à ces difficultés.
  • How To Assess The Costs of AI-Powered Health Technology: Christina Meyer, Independent Research Consultant
    • With the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) technology, governments and organizations in sub-Saharan Africa are beginning to see the use of AI as a means of increasing the health system’s efficiency. However, the use of AI in the field is still relatively novel, and there have been limited efforts to quantify the costs and impact associated with AI on the health system. Learn about the standard cost categories for implementing AI and potential AI evaluation measures with material from a USAID-funded activity. See the expenses associated with AI health solutions in a costing exercise on an AI-powered predictive analytics intervention in Burkina Faso. Assess the investments that policymakers will need to make to better study the true cost-efficiency of AI health solutions.

11:00 GMT West Africa Breakout Sesions

  • L’impact de COVID-19 sur la Connectivité du Dernier Kilomètre: Travis Heneveld, Director of Connectivity Solutions, Geeks without Frontiers; Moctar Yedaly, Africa Program Director at the Global Forum for Cybersecurity Expertise; Betty Bonnardel-Azzarelli, CEO and Founder at Farmer Charlie; Geert Fore, Director of Data Capacity Trading at BICS
    • La pandémie COVID-19 a plus que jamais révélé comment la connectivité haut débit représente une opportunité évidente pour toutes les parties prenantes de la société, en donnant par exemple aux citoyens l’accès à de multiples opportunités, en permettant aux gouvernements de fournir des services indispensables, et en assurant que l’économie fonctionne au minima. Cette session s’appuiera sur les recommandations d’un rapport ITU/UIT publie en novembre dernier, et permettra aux intervenants de partager leurs expériences et leurs points de vue sur les défis ainsi que les opportunités à venir.
  • USAID’s Digital Strategy: What Does it Mean for You? Erica Bustinza, Digital Strategy Director, Digital Frontiers at DAI; Susannah Horton, Digital Strategy DECA Manager, Digital Frontiers at DAI; Moutushi Kabir, Director, Communications, Learning and Leadership Development at BRAC; Alex Tyers-Chowdhury, Technical Advisor, Banyan Global; Adam Fivenson, Director of Data, Development Technology, and Innovation at InterAction
    • USAID launched a Digital Strategy in April 2020 that presents a clear vision for USAID’s role in fostering open, inclusive, and secure digital ecosystems that promote greater shared prosperity and democracy worldwide. The first two years of the strategy implementation are intended to be foundational, with the Agency conducting research, listening to and learning from partners, and investing in innovation and testing new ideas. This is in an effort to understand what digital challenges implementing partners face and how USAID can best support them with tools, resources, and knowledge products to execute the strategy’s objectives.
  • The Robot Will See You (Sir): Building Gender-equitable AI in the Global South: Shachee Doshi, Emerging Technologies Advisor at USAID; Meredith ‘Beth’ Perry, Open Innovation Advisor at USAID; Sonja Kelly, Global lead for Women’s World Banking research; Alex Kessler, Research Manager at the Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI) at Accion International; Amy Paul, Technical Advisor, Innovation, Technology, and Research Hub, USAID
    • AI is not neutral. There are famous examples of artificial intelligence (AI) tools working less well or not at all for women, such as Amazon’s hiring algorithm systematically excluding women’s resumes, and Apple’s credit scoring algorithm systematically ranking women less creditworthy than men. In developing countries, even less is understood about unique challenges with AI-related inequities. USAID released a blog to crowdsource these issues to understand them better. In this hands-on workshopping session, we hope to engage with diverse voices from varying cultural, political, and sectoral contexts who have experience with AI to unpack these issues further, and to map an action agenda/identify willing partners to protect women’s rights from infringement by AI-based tools. Link to blog: https://medium.com/usaid-2030/how-can-we-address-gender-inequity-in-artificial-intelligence-41367b0e1f87
  • Assessing Governments’ Digital Maturity: How to Use the Harvard Kennedy School: David Eaves, Lecturer of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; Emily Middleton, Partner, Public Digital; Clément Uwajeneza, Digital Transformation Expert, Public Digital
    • This session is for those interested in assessing the digital maturity of government organizations. We will present the Harvard Kennedy School Maturity Model for Digital Services, which helps identify opportunities and gaps in the different building blocks of digital transformation. From delivery capability to skills and user-centered design, we will explore the observations from our analysis of the factors which make public sector digital services effective after launch. We will start with an overview of the framework, illustrated by examples from how Public Digital has applied it in partnership with governments, including in Madagascar. We will offer participants the chance to review the framework, ask questions, and provide feedback.
  • Femme en formation dans le foyer: la formation virtuelle des enquêtrices en RDC: Dr Pierre Akilimali, MD, MPH, PhD, Professeur associé à l’Ecole de Santé Publique de l’Université de Kinshasa et Investigateur Principal de PMA en RDC; Sarah Nehrling, Consultante en apprentissage organisationnel à Garabam Consulting
    • Cette session impliquera activement les participants en tant que résolveurs de problèmes dans notre défi de concevoir la première formation à distance pour nos agents de terrain en RDC. Nous partagerons d’abord le contexte et les contraintes auxquels nous avons été confrontés, puis nous leur demanderons de relever le défi comme s’il était le leur, en petits groupes. Nous partagerons ensuite notre solution fonctionnelle mais imparfaite avec les participants, en leur demandant d’ajouter leurs suggestions et améliorations au fur et à mesure. Enfin, nous partagerons les résultats de nos efforts et nos propres réflexions sur la conception de l’apprentissage virtuel dans des environnements difficiles.
  • Youth Digital Champions: Digitally-engaged Youth for Community Development: Anthony Bloome, Executive Director at Mobiles for Education Alliance; Michael McCabe, Agency Youth Coordinator at USAID; Rachel Surkin, Consortium Lead, USAID’s global Youth Excel program at IREXileged; Hafez Nino, Regional lead and senior capacity building adviser at IREX; Hamza Arsbi, Youth Excel Lead at TechTribe; Jeanne Bovine Ishemaryayo, CEO at CalmGeek
    • This breakout session is for donors, implementing organizations, practitioners and researchers that want to integrate their digital literacy, youth, and sector development programs together. The presenters and roundtable panelists will highlight and showcase what digital/data literacy skills youth are using to ‘succeed’ as community leaders. During this break-out, we will elaborate on what is meant by “”digitally-engaged”” youth, including featuring two youth in leadership roles at institutions that engage such youth in community development focused initiatives.
  • Apps for All? Why is AgTech (Still) Sexist? Oluwakemi Bamishaye, Digital Solutions Advisor, GIZ CARI; Elke Suemnick-Matthaei, Lead of the Digitalisation Portfolio for the GIZ Fund, Fund to Promote Innovation in Agriculture (i4Ag); Tiffany Tong, Co-founder and CEO, Aeloi Technologies; Tomilola Adejana, Chief Executive Officer, BANKLY; Hajia Salamatu Garba, Founder, WOFAN; Thiara Cavadas, Partner and Head of Research, Envisioning
    • If you are wondering why, despite decades of advocacy on gender equality and all the interventions in the sector, we are still miles away from truly implementing agricultural solutions by and for women, then you are in the right place. We will explore how technology reflects the values of its creators and why women have to be at the forefront of developing future technologies. Concretely, female AgriTech entrepreneurs in Nigeria and Nepal will share how being a woman has influenced the design and implementation of their digital solutions. We will also hear why and how AgriTech needs to be adapted to the realities of women end users, who are too often further marginalized as a result of biased tech solutions that do not consider women’s needs and social norms. You will leave this session with a deeper awareness and sensitivity toward our inherent biases and blindness, enabling you to better design and implement AgTech programming that fully empowers women.

11:00 GMT Latin America Lightning Talks

  • Uso de TICs para el desarrollo rural en poblaciones indígenas en Pobreza extrema: Jorge Coy, Representante Regional para América Latina
    • Aprendizajes y experiencias del uso de tecnologías móviles para el coaching y la investigación social en proyectos enfocados en la lucha contra la pobreza extrema en comunidades indígenas.
  • Servicios financieros digitales en zonas rurales de postconflicto: Asdrubal Negrete, USAID Chief of Party, Chemonics International
    • En áreas rurales de postconflicto en Colombia, las instituciones financieras tienen el reto de construir confianza con clientes que han excluidos por largo tiempo y hacerlo con servicios financieros digitales, requiere un cambio cultural grande. Esta corta presentación, compartirá retos y soluciones para servicios financieros digitales en áreas rurales del postconflicto en Colombia, antes y después de la pandemia del COVID-19 . La presentación mostrará ejemplos de entidades financieras aliadas al programa de Iniciativa de Finanzas Rurales (IFR) de USAID, sus ajustes internos y como ayudaron a sus clientes a tener confianza en servicios financieros digitales. Por ejemplo, IFR ayudó a Microempresas de Colombia (MdC), a diseñar y lanzar al mercado, el primer crédito completamente digital para clientes de una cooperativa de ahorro y crédito. Como logró MdC superar estos retos y ser exitoso con su producto digital?
  • Pivoting to Learn@Home Engaging Caregivers with Mobile Phones to Support Reading: Pradeep Kumar, India Programs and Partnerships Associate Director, Worldreader
    • A year of school closures has forced children to stay at home, compelling caregivers into the role of at-home teachers. How can caregivers be motivated to support their child’s learning outside of school? Join me for this Lightning Talk as I showcase the strategy from a rapid reading program response, Keep Children Reading. KCR leverages mobile phones and has reached over 1 million households during school closures to drive reading at home for children ages 3 to 12 using Woldreader’s BookSmart, WhatsApp, and key government and school partnerships. 

12:00 GMT Latin America Breakout Sessions

  • Unlocking Opportunities: Discussing Colombia’s Digital Ecosystem with USAID Craig Jolley, Data Scientist, Innovation, Technology, and Research Hub, Bureau for Development, Democracy, and Innovation, USAID; Nathalie Renaud,Co-Deputy Program Office Director, USAID/Colombia; Fernando Cuervo, CTO, Functional Cybersecurity International; German Otalora Castro, LATAM Director, Microsoft Airband Initiative, Microsoft
    • In early 2020, as part of USAID’s Digital Strategy, the first Digital Ecosystem Country Assessment (DECA) was piloted in Colombia to support USAID Missions to better understand, work with, and support host country digital ecosystems. The Colombia Mission is already applying 8 of the 12 DECA recommendations. Learn how the DECA is informing context-aware programming while focusing on digital solutions as an integrated approach rather than a standalone solution. Understand the importance of strategic partnerships and topics ranging from last-mile connectivity, digital security capacity building for CSOs, and digital entrepreneurship programs for women.
  • How to Use Digital Health Solutions to Transform Cancer Care at Scale: Professor Khin Thida Aung, Head of Pathology Department, University of Medicine-1, Yangon; Dr. Omolola Salako, Oncologist and Physician Innovator at Dept of Radiotherapy; Schwen Gwee, Vice President and Head of Global Digital Strategy, Bristol Myers Squibb; Dr Susan Henshall, CEO, City Cancer Challenge Foundation ; Herb Riband, Global Health and Healthcare Policy Advisor, Founder and Principal, InnAxx Consulting
    • Engage with multisectoral discussants from around the world and share key insights on the challenges and opportunities of scaling digital health solutions for cancer care in low-and middle-income countries. You’ll learn about innovative solutions that are enhancing the coverage, acceptance, and quality of health services, and the key considerations for scaling a digital health project, from how to assess the success of a pilot solution to the creation of an enabling policy framework to support mass deployment. 
  • Young, Brave, Digital: The Power of Networked Youth Leaders in Online Activism: Tsega Belachew, Technical Advisor, Youth Economic Opportunities at IREX; Khaled Hijab, Founder/Executive Director at Tech Tribes; Daniel Nwaeze, Global Coordinator, UNESCO-led MIL Alliance Youth Committee; Ephrem Woldeyesus, Youth Engagement Atlas Corps Fellow, YouthPower2: Learning and Evaluation; Fabiola Morales Ortíz, Training and Network Specialist at IREX
    • The COVID-19 pandemic catalyzed an unprecedented transformation to the way we work, collaborate with others, and mobilize groups for social impact, accelerating an ongoing shift to ‘online change-making’ (i.e., technology-enabled engagement, leadership, and activism). Drawing on IREX’s recent research initiative that analyzes the power of youth-led networks in addressing societal challenges, this session will delve into insights from the paper to guide participants in an engaging discussion about the opportunities and challenges for youth-led digital networks to advance social impact at scale.  A diverse panel of youth and practitioners from around the world will share their approaches for leveraging digital networks to lead in addressing social issues and engage the audience in the following learning questions:1) How are youth leaders leveraging digital networks to catalyze social change? 2) How might digital networks foster more inclusion so that youth, women, and other marginalized groups can be equal partners in development? 3) What are critical methods, skills, and tools needed for these approaches to be impactful in an increasingly digital world?
  • Fostering Inclusive and Ethical Practices in AI and Advanced Analytics: Alicia Phillips Mandaville, Vice President of Global Programs at IREX; Stefaan G. Verhulst, Co-Founder and Chief Research and Development Officer at The Gov Lab at NYU; Leila Toplic, Founder of the Emerging Technologies Initiative at NetHope; Gabriel Krieshok, Global Lead for Digital Transformation at Abt Associates; Neema Iyer, Founder of Pollicy
    • Development programs want to incorporate AI and advanced analytics tools to streamline processes and inform decisions, but, in this rapidly expanding space, many development organizations are not fully aware of the influence and assumptions these products are making. Engage with this panel of diverse experts across sectors to get a clearer understanding of the ethics and inclusion issues that exist with AI and advanced analytic tools and key considerations to keep in mind to improve awareness and practices.
  • Necesita un Descanso de la Minería de Oro? ¡Tome una clase en línea! Peter Doyle, Chief of Party, USAID Legal Gold Acivity, Chemonics International; Yohnn Chacon, CoFunder SilverIT, Project Management; Nathalia Cubillos, Sr. Associate, Project Management Unit – Latin America and Caribbean
    • Una nueva plataforma de capacitación digital apoya a los pequeños mineros artesanales de oro en Colombia. La minería de oro responsable es un desafío técnico y la minería de oro registrada legalmente lo es aún más. Ante esto, la capacitación se convierte en un componente esencial de cualquier ejercicio de formalización minera. Sin embargo, la formación tradicional es costosa, especialmente para los pequeños mineros de oro en regiones aisladas y con bajos niveles de educación formal. La Actividad Oro Legal respaldada por USAID, implementada por Chemonics International en Colombia, diseñó una plataforma de aprendizaje, accesible a través de OC y teléfonos inteligentes, para apoyar a los mineros en proceso de formalización. “Oro Legal Virtual” se compone de diez módulos que comprenden  conocimientos teóricos y prácticos del mundo de la minería, incluyendo las reglas y normas mineras, buenas prácticas de gestión del agua, etc. y se presenta en formato interactivo con cuestionarios y juegos para evaluar la adquisición y retención de conocimientos. Dos meses después del lanzamiento, 231 estudiantes se han registrado y la mayoría de ellos son pequeños mineros. 
  • So Many Digital Tools! How to Choose and Use Global Goods? Kate Wilson, CEO, DIAL; Lucy Harris, Co-Lead of the Digital Public Goods Alliance (DPGA); Garrett Mehl, Unit Head, Digital Health Technology, WHO; Steve Conrad, Engineering Lead at DIAL; Amanda BenDor, Deputy Director, Partnerships at PATH
    • Initiatives such as Digital Square, DIAL’s Catalog of Digital Solutions and the WHO Digital Clearinghouse, have emerged to support investments in tracking digital health and other sector solutions. Learn how each are working together to develop common definitions and standards for global goods, assess maturity and build support tools for countries, NGOs and governments to use when choosing and using digital solutions. Understand the target users for each of these tools and how to take the complexity out of digital solution choice at a sector level (e.g. health) and across sectors. Find how these solutions are defined, their maturity is assessed, and which global goods are recommended for countries to adapt and scale.
  • Red Recuperación: Usando tecnología para apoyar a la población venezolana: Matheus Felipe de Souza, Gerente de Proyecto en Needslist; Martha Fernández, Especialista en Vinculación Comunitaria; Sharon Granados, Asociada de Desarrollo en Scalabrini International Migration Network (SIMN); Cristian Castro, Director de Emprendimiento & Innovación en Diálogo Diverso
    • El desplazamiento masivo a raíz de la crisis venezolana ha hecho difícil identificar los recursos necesarios para la comunidad venezolana en América Latina. Needslist ha escalado sus operaciones a Perú, lanzando “Red Recuperación,” una plataforma digital diseñada para crear una respuesta más rápida y eficiente. Needslist va a desplegar su software para cerrar la brecha de conexión entre los recursos y las necesidades de las comunidades vulnerables, promoviendo la sostenibilidad a largo plazo. Esta es una herramienta que ayuda a las organizaciones locales a aprovechar la tecnología de vanguardia para satisfacer sus necesidades, tomar decisiones informadas y conectarse con el sector privado para apoyo.
  • ¿Igualdad de Género o Inclusión Económica? Alcanzando cambios en las normas sociales a escala: Diana Araújo, Gerente de Producto IgualdApp en Fundación Capital; Carolina de Miranda, Directora del departamento de Promoción Social y Medios de Vida en Fundación Capital; Elena Cubilla, Especialista en Educación – Paraguay en Fundación Capital
    • Las iniciativas de Fundación Capital involucran procesos de diseño, desarrollo e implementación en co-creación permanente con las personas usuarias. Además, nuestros proyectos se apoyan en soluciones digitales, que se convierten en tecnología valiosa, conforme podemos ajustarla con mayor precisión al propósito y la población para las que se crearon. Así los desarrollos tecnológicos se actualizan poniendo en práctica los aprendizajes de cada etapa. En este taller vamos a conversar sobre las etapas de desarrollo de IgualdApp, una solución digital  dirigida a población en situación de vulnerabilidad, que tiene como fin promover la igualdad de género entre hombres y mujeres a través de la reflexión y herramientas prácticas que aporten a la transformación de las normas sociales.
  • LAC Networking
    • Social Hour is a unique networking platform that allows attendees to sit at virtual “tables” to talk to one another. Within the space, you can talk to people at your table, move tables to network with other attendees, and interact with some of the conference speakers! 

13:00 GMT East Coast Keynote Presentation

  • Democracy in the Digital Age: Why We Need Digital Development Now More Than Ever: Chris Milligan, Counselor, USAID; Manisha Aryal, Senior Advisor for Digital Development, Chemonics International
    • While the global COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated what has been a historic global digital transition, it has also put in stark relief the gap between the digital revolution’s potential and our current reality. Nearly half the world’s population still does not have access to the Internet, which has left them acutely vulnerable to the multidimensional shock of the pandemic. But in working to close this digital divide, we risk introducing new vulnerabilities that can undo hard-won development gains and lead to human rights violations. These risks can also undermine democratic institutions and values, give rise to digital authoritarianism and repression, allow the spread of misinformation and disinformation, enable online extremism and lead to greater instability. As development and humanitarian assistance increasingly relies on digital technology, we must ensure that our programs not only help us achieve our development and humanitarian objectives but do so in a way that strengthens and supports digital democracy, inclusion, and human rights.

13:30 GMT East Coast Lightning Talks

  • The USAID Digital Strategy One Year On: Michelle Parker, Senior Policy Advisor, USAID
    • Launched at the beginning of 2020, during the deadliest pandemic in generations, the USAID Digital Strategy charts an Agency-wide approach to development in a rapidly evolving digital age and seeks to achieve and sustain open, secure, and inclusive digital ecosystems that contribute to broad-based, measurable development and humanitarian assistance outcomes. It signals USAID’s commitment to becoming a leader in technology for development, while supporting our partners to do the same. The first year of implementation has focused on building a solid foundation and the support structures necessary to succeed⏤we have assessed digital landscapes, tested innovative ideas, created resources to empower staff, and more⏤and this work is already reshaping thinking and investments at USAID. This lightning session will break down our first year of foundation-building and our plans for scale of the Digital Strategy, what we’ve learned about the digital ecosystem, and most importantly, what it means for our development partners and implementers.
  • Digital Inclusion for All: Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau
    • With 49 percent of the world’s population still lacking any form of online access, we need to have more innovative approaches to realize our dream of digital inclusion for all. Many of these unconnected people live in rural and remote areas, and in the world’s poorest nations. They are typically the most vulnerable members of society. The Global Digital Development Forum is the perfect platform to explore how we can cooperate and collaborate in our inclusion strategies, identify best practices that work, and finally give due priority to bringing everyone online in the shortest possible time.
  • Accelerated Change Together (ACT): Rapid digital transformation for impact: Sarah Angel-Johnson, Chief Information Officer, Save the Children
    • Interested in understanding how to integrate IT, T4D and other parts of your organization to maximize impact? Frustrated by how long it takes to align people, process, and technology to achieve an outcome? Want to learn how to prototype digital transformation to learn quickly and adjust? You’ll walk away from her lightning talk with: a framework for Accelerated Change Together (ACT) that you can apply at your organization, lessons from applying this framework at Save the Children, including creating measurable goals, integrated strategy and operating model, insight into leading edge human-centered design, agile  pods and prototyping to scale digital innovation and impact. This methodology can be applied to donor strategy, program design, and more… and together we can continue to learn how to rapidly transform for impact. “None of us is as strong as all of us!” (based on a Japanese proverb)
  • Together we can do great things – Partnering across sectors to take ICT4D products to scale: Steve DiPangrazio, Sr. Specialist, Global Partnerships and Innovation at Save the Children; Dee Jadeja, Livelihoods & Education Lead at Accenture Development Partnerships
    • Have you ever had a product go cold after developing and piloting it? Why do you think that happened? How had you factored scale and sustainability into the product design? What did you focus on learning during the pilot period? Were you able to allocate resources to keep it alive and explore growth opportunities? Did you have all of the buy-in and resources you needed to ultimately bring it to the market? Save the Children and Accenture collaborated to develop a VR product for youth employability, and that product is still benefiting youth around the world… but we had to rethink what it means to take an ICT4D product to scale. Join this talk to hear our tips for partnering with the private sector to do what it takes to build products that can live on past your grant-funded pilot!
  • AI, Bias, and Billions of Invisible People: Betsy Beaumon, Advisor/Consultant, former CEO Benetech
    • Across the global south people are being impacted by algorithms and it’s only the beginning of a global data revolution, full of promise and challenges.  The datasets used today are regularly skewed toward the global north, even when compiled through labor in the global south, and resulting algorithms have been shown to under-represent women, people with dark skin, people with disabilities, and others.  Learn how algorithms mis-treat, misunderstand, or just miss vast swaths of the global population.   Find out where some of the biggest data challenges lie, examples of mishandling by existing algorithms, and projects working on both the issues and solutions in critical sectors globally.

14:00 GMT East Coast Breakout Sessions

  • The Right Investments: Can Private Capital in Digital Tech Promote (Rather than Curb) Basic Rights?  Andrew Merluzzi, Science and Technology Policy Fellow at USAID; Emrys Schoemaker, Research Director at Caribou Digital; Marissa Dean, Chief Operating Officer at Caribou Digital; Andrew Gharaibeh Collingwood, Director at Expectation State
    • You’ve heard this before: “If you’re not paying for it, you’re the product.” In this session, we will unpack this idea and rethink the basic business models that open the door to rights abuses. You will walk away from the session with new thought partners, imagining a future in which the business of business isn’t just business—but also justice, protection, and equity. Specifically, we will identify crucial tensions between private sector investments in digital tech and the rights abuses that can follow, and brainstorm how to resolve these tensions.
  • Digital Accessibility: Going Beyond “Reasonable Accommodation: Karunya Samuel, COO, World In Sign; Jason Corning, CEO & Founder, Three Monkeys Communication; Kevin Steffy, Maryland Accessible Technologies Manager, Department of Disabilities; Adeline Aileo, Executive Director, World In Sign
    • This session shines a light on the current state of accessibility in digital spaces, including testimonies and best practices and easy solutions to ensure accessibility in ICT. It will feature a discussion led by professionals who are deaf and deafblind and are leading voices in communities of people with disabilities. They will share what problems face users with disabilities and what you can do to ensure inclusive and effective accessibility solutions in digital spaces. Panelists will discuss the ways in which existing and emerging technologies can be employed to increase online accessibility for people with disabilities. They will address the sensitive topic of the “better than nothing” notion of accessibility. Participants will leave the session with a better understanding of how to ensure their accessibility measures are truly inclusive and, above all, effective.
  • Cuidar nuestro bienestar en la era de la desinformación: una caja de herramientas prácticas: Tara Susman-Peña, Senior Technical Expert, IREX; Cecilia Vega, Psychosocial Trainer, IREX; Ilaria Tosello, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer and Gender and Inclusion Focal Point, IREX
    • Vivimos en una época en la cual nos abruma un mar de información, la confianza en la información y la confianza en otras personas es baja, el Covid-19 ha empujado a muchas personas a un mundo digital cada vez más aislado. “Infodemia” es una palabra común, las teorías de la conspiración corren desenfrenadas, y la manipulación en línea genera cada vez más estrés y violencia, especialmente para las poblaciones más marginalizadas. En este taller dinámico, con el objetivo de ayudarles a desarrollar más resiliencia ante estas amenazas, IREX  presentará un conjunto fundamental de herramientas: como mantener el autocuidado básico frente a la sobrecarga de información, el estrés y el agotamiento; cómo desviar las tácticas comunes de manipulación de la información; como manejar el discurso de odio y el acoso en línea;  y como realizar una desintoxicación digital. Combinamos las metodologías, basadas en la evidencia, de dos de los programas de vanguardia de IREX: Learn to Discern (Aprender a Discernir)  que desarrolla hábitos saludables de manejo de la información, y Acceso Seguro a la Libertad de Expresión (SAFE) que promueve la seguridad holística y la resiliencia.
  • AI Ethics: How to Optimize for Fairness and Mitigate the Risk of Bias  Leila Toplic, Head of Emerging Technologies Initiative, Innovation,Technology, and Research Hub; Amy Paul, Technical Advisor, USAID; Nora Lindstrom, Senior Lead for Digital Programming and Influencing, Plan International
    • In this session, you will have the opportunity to: (1) Understand the potential risks of designing and using AI in the nonprofit sector. (2) Practice applying ethical considerations related to the principle of Fairness in the context of a use case. (3) Get access to a toolkit for facilitating AI ethics conversations in your organizations and communities
  • Everywhere They Map, They Make a Difference: Rory Nealon, YouthMappers Activity Manager at USAID: Courtney Clark, Director of Everywhere She Maps, YouthMappers; Patricia Solís, PhD, Co-founder and Director of YouthMappers; Natalia da Silveira Arruda, Regional Ambassador, Everywhere She Maps, YouthMappers; Maliha Binte Mohiuddin, Regional Ambassador, Everywhere She Maps, YouthMappers; Laura Mugeha, Regional Ambassador, Everywhere She Maps, YouthMappers
    • Explicit or not, geospatial data is essential across the development industry in all of its sectors, at all phases of programming, and in all of its geographies. From understanding where a project’s beneficiaries are located, what services they have access to and how service delivery can be improved, to understanding local dynamics, all development stakeholders, at some level, need geospatial data. Whether it is stored in a project lead’s head, on a sheet of paper, an Excel table, a GIS file, or in the collective memory of a community, geospatial data is analyzed, turned into action, and eventually impact. In this session we will be discussing the YouthMappers program’s Everywhere She Maps campaign. Then three of the program’s student ambassadors will facilitate discussions on how the program can create and use geospatial data to impact women’s empowerment. Join us, as we would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!
  • ¿Cómo incorporar tecnologías digitales para una educación más resiliente e inclusiva? Bertrand Foulkes, Program Officer, International Youth Foundation; Andrea Padilla, Program Manager, International Youth Foundation; Cristina Talamantes, Coordinator of Upper Secondary Education in Baja California Sur, Secretariat of Public Education
    • Acompáñanos a explorar cómo la incorporación de tecnologías digitales disponibles (WhatsApp, Facebook, Zoom) puede ser el punto de partida para preparar el camino hacia sistemas educativos más resilientes e inclusivos en países en desarrollo. En esta interactiva sesión, compartiremos cómo a partir de un sondeo rápido en línea implementamos acciones inmediatas para disminuir la brecha de habilidades digitales de docentes del sistema público educativo en México frente a la crisis del COVID-19, para después desarrollar de forma colaborativa –y tomando como marco de trabajo los Principios para el Desarrollo Digital– estrategias adaptables y replicables que atiendan la cada vez más imperante necesidad de promover el aprendizaje socioemocional en las personas jóvenes, tanto en entornos físicos como digitales.
  • Portrait Gallery Networking 

15:00 GMT East Coast Breakout Sessions

  • What is Digital Literacy Anyway? Kanchana Sthanumurthy, Program Specialist, USAID; Erica Bustinza, Digital Strategy Director, DAI; Araba Sapara-Grant, Center for Digital Acceleration Digital Specialist, DAI; Komal Bazaz Smith, Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership Director, DAI; Katya Vogt, Global Lead for Information and Media Literacy IREX; Osama Manzar, Digital Empowerment Foundation
    • Under the Digital Strategy, USAID and DAI recently conducted a landscape assessment of digital literacy in USAID programming. Big news: there is a lack of understanding around digital literacy, what it is, what it is not, and how to think about implementation. This breakout session will lay out different types of digital literacy and discuss why this matters in shaping your program. Alongside digital experts across development sectors, this breakout session will discuss digital literacy best practices by sector, crowd-source strong programming examples, and discuss how programs often incorporate digital literacy without even knowing it! Come prepared to discuss your own definition of digital literacy as well your own digital programming. 
  • The Climate Emergency: Does e-Government Give us the Ropes to Climb out of the Crisis, or to Entangle Us? Michala Mackay, Chief Operations Officer and Director at Sierra Leone Department of Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI); Dr. Mundia Kabinga, Senior Research Fellow at Research ICT Africa, and Senior Lecturer at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Busines; Hannes Astok, Executive Director and Senior Expert, e-Governance Academy, Estonia; Anthony Waddell, Chief Innovation Officer at IBI
    • The response to COVID-19 is a dress rehearsal for the even more challenging climate crisis. In this session, panelists from Sierra Leone, Estonia, and South Africa will explore how effectively states organised to marshal digital technologies in the COVID response. What can we learn from this to help us better confront the impacts of global warming? States mobilized rapidly to confront COVID-19; an existential societal challenge that spilled across all sectors and geographies. Governments adapted, deploying new strategies and tools, reorganised resources, reallocated spending, and developed new partnerships. How we survive the climate emergency depends on this ability to learn, adapt, and change. The climate crisis is a slow building inevitability that will unfold in ways we can foresee, but also in surprising and unexpected events that could have devastating impacts. Such challenges could be extreme weather events, forced migrations, disease outbreaks, breakdown of ecosystems, and economic crisis. States with an effective capability to develop and use technology have a greater range of responses to understand and deal with challenges such as COVID-19, and the mitigation and adaptation required by the climate emergency. Many countries implement e-Government or Digital Government strategies to build their digital capabilities and guide their adoption of digital technologies.  These strategies, which vary from country to country, are being stress-tested in the COVID-19 response. The panel will discuss the merits and weaknesses of such strategies, and explore alternatives and improvements that can better prepare us for the coming challenges. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of the desirability and challenge in building state digital capability and harnessing its benefits. They will take away ideas about how to make progress in their home contexts.
  • Applying AI in Development Contexts: Lessons from the Field: Liz Grubin, Director of Professional Services, Vital Wave; Amy Paul, Emerging Technologies Advisor, USAID, Tala de los Santos, Program Advisor, Program and Innovations division, PATH; Kieran Sharpey-Schafer, Managing Partner at Palindrome Data; Ben Brockman, Director at IDinsight
    • Excited about AI technology but not sure whether it’s right for your project? Concerned about trusting external firms to take the best approach? Anxious about the potential risks of managing activities with new technology? Explore how to appropriately and equitably implement artificial intelligence and/or machine learning in the context of real examples of global development projects. Led by practitioners involved in the case examples, you will breakout into small groups to work through a series of decision aids designed to help non-technology experts navigate considerations that arise in a typical project cycle. The decision aids are available in “Managing Machine Learning Projects in International Development: A Practical Guide,” a resource from USAID in partnership with Vital Wave that aims to serve as field-ready guidance to assist activity managers in navigating the sometimes unique aspects of AI/ML projects.
  • Cómo los retadores digitales “digital challengers” están ayudando a los pequeños negocios a recuperarse del COVID-19 en Latinoamérica: Maria Camila Gomez, Vice President, Latin America Programs, Accion; Hernando Rubio, CEO, Movii, Colombia; Carolina Pastrana, CMO, Civico; Luis Fernando Martinez, Global Head of Payments Partnerships, Rappi;
    • Este panel explorará el papel que los “digital challengers” han desempeñado para ayudar a las MIPYMES a sobrevivir y prosperar durante la pandemia. Ya no son nuevas entidades en el espacio de los servicios financieros, los retadores digitales ahora están adquiriendo una participación de mercado significativa en el mundo de los servicios financieros. Estos retadores tienen la flexibilidad, la escalabilidad y el enfoque centrado en el cliente que se necesita para seguir sirviendo a las pequeñas empresas durante la pandemia, satisfaciendo las necesidades urgentes de los pequeños comercios. Por ejemplo, Movii, una billetera digital regulada (SEDPE) en Colombia, ayudó a  muchos microempresarios a obtener acceso a beneficios sociales de manera digital. Cívico, un ecosistema digital en Colombia y México destinado a los pequeños comercios, ha permitido que cientos de microempresarios en todo el país accedan al crédito para reconstruir sus tiendas, y Rappi, una plataforma de intermediación entre comercios y usuarios, ha jugado un papel clave en el aumento de las entregas a domicilio y el pago digital en la región.
  • Using Trauma Informed Youth Centered Health Design in Digital Health Programming: Rebecca Braun, Head of Programs, ETR; Stephanie Guinosso, PhD, MPH, Senior Research Associate at ETR; Gillian Silver, Research Dissemination Specialist, ETR; Takondwa Kaliwo, Programs Advisor, Girls Empowerment Network (GENET) Malawi
    • With the growing popularity and utilization of design thinking approaches to address sensitive health topics, funders and practitioners must recognize and respond to the traumatic stress of all those who participate in the design process. You will learn how a trauma-informed approach enhances design thinking for digital health programming, better understand the importance of incorporating trauma-informed principles into your digital health work, and gain skills and tools to apply the TIYCHD framework to all steps of the design process.This workshop is intended for those familiar with the human-and youth-centered design frameworks and/or who play a role in designing digital health programming.
  • Desafíos Digitales de la Inclusión Financiera Humanitaria: Ingrid Acuña Valarezo, Oficial Asociada de Medios de Vida en ACNUR; Ricardo García Tafur, Regional Microfinance Specialist-Operations Officer – IFC; Sandra Marcos, Gerente del Programa de Respuesta Humanitaria, Save the Children Perú; Maria Moreno-Sanchez, Consultora de Inclusión Financiera
    • El objetivo principal de esta actividad es informar a los tomadores de decisiones, técnicos y miembros de la sociedad civil y de la academia sobre la importancia de echar manos de la tecnología para resolver una fricción y crear un pilar global para favorecer la inclusión financiera y la cobertura humanitaria ante catástrofes naturales, sanitarias o humanitarias. Ciertamente, un sistema decentralizado como blockchain y el control biométrico podrían facilitar la verificación de la identidad y facilitar el acceso a servicios financieros a un segmento de la población que tanto lo necesita
  • Your Year in Emojis
    • If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is an emoji worth? Come find out in this networking workshop! In small groups, participants will have the opportunity to describe their year in emojis, and then explain the stories behind their selections. Meet your fellow GDDF participants, make new friends, and network across the globe in this interactive icebreaker.

16:00 GMT West Coast Keynote Presentation

  • The Hype Machine: Sinan AralDavid Austin Professor of Management and Professor, Information Technology and Marketing at MIT
    • How does social media affects our decision-making and shapes our world? Journey inside the biggest, most powerful social networks to tackle the critical question of just how much social media offers behavior-influencing levers to Russian hackers, brand marketers, and everyone who hopes to change the way we think and act. Learn how social media activity has consequences that affect everything from elections to business, dating, to health.

16:30 GMT West Coast Lightning Talks

  • Digital Trust Around the World: Dr. Bhaskar Chakravorti, Dean of Global Business, The Fletcher School, Tufts University
    • The pandemic has forced rapid digitalization all around the world: Schools have transformed to support online learning, many jobs have become entirely remote, and automation has accelerated in a wide array of industries. In addition, many countries have established digital systems for contact tracing, Covid-19 testing, government relief distribution, and vaccination rollouts (albeit with mixed results). This digital growth has demonstrated the tremendous capacity for technology to add value to our society, but it has also revealed how fragile these tools — and people’s trust in those tools — can be. How does the state of digital trust vary across the world and what does it mean for digital policymakers and tech innovators? We explore these questions in this talk.
  • The Imperative for Democratic Digital Development: Christie Lawrence, Director for Research and Analysis at the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI)
    • Digital and artificial intelligence-enabled technologies can revolutionize development, but they can also be used to export authoritarianism, further democratic backsliding, and undermine privacy and civil liberties. This lightning talk will articulate the imperative for digital development that comports with democratic values, as well as the need for a coalition of like-minded countries to coordinate their foreign assistance and development efforts. It will build on the Final Report of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI), which is a 15-member, independent federal commission established by the U.S. Congress and chaired by Dr. Eric Schmidt (former CEO of Google) and former Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work.
  • OpenHIE Framework: Jumpstarting Your Health Information Exchange Project: Jennifer Shivers, Health Informatics Consultant at Refenstrief Institute
    • Learn how OpenHIE resources can help data exchange project team members, MOH leaders, and others who implement architecture components and health data exchanges get started with architected and standards-based data exchange solutions. You’ll receive links to tools like the Academy, Architecture Specification, and OpenHIE Academy, and access to community forums that can help your team move further and faster.
  • How Satellite Imagery is Being Used in Development: Allison Bradshaw, GIS Consultant
    • New satellite imagery is producing amazing geographic information systems we can now use for development. Learn how we can map populations, critical infrastructure, even poverty levels from space, and use that information to monitor and improve education, health, and agriculture outcomes. There are endless opportunities to apply this data⏤much of which is free to use and can create real impact in your program activities.

17:00 GMT West Coast Breakout Sessions

  • Literacy and Learning Without Limits: The Tools You Need to Ensure Children with Disabilities are Included in Your Reading Programs: Dr. Homiyar Mobedji, World Vision Regional Representative for Benetech (India, South East Asia, Middle East, and Africa); Yvette Iyadede, Senior Manager at eKitabu Rwanda: Kristina Solum, Senior Literacy Specialist at School-to-School International ; Aimee Reeves, Senior Technical Manager, MERL at School-to-School International; Dr. Paul Frank, Executive Director of SIL LEAD, Inc; Joshua Josa, Inclusive Education Specialist at USAID’s Center for Education; Truc Nguyen, World Around You (WAY) Platform; Michelle Oetman, Project Director (Acting) for All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development
    • Are children with disabilities in your country or project being excluded from opportunities to learn to read, in and out of school, because there’s a severe shortage of books they can use or because you don’t have tools to assess these children? If so, this session will showcase open source resources like book creation software, online libraries, books, reading assessments and more, developed by winners of the All Children Reading Grand Challenge, for low-resource contexts. You’ll leave this session with an arsenal of solutions to improve the availability and creation of accessible books and conduct reading assessments for children with disabilities, as well as tools to change how you produce or procure books to ensure every child can use every book.  
  • Is Technology Failing Women? Revi Sterling, Director of the USAID WomenConnect Challenge, Digital Frontier project at DAI; Madhyama Subramanian, Head of Programs and Partnerships, Solidaridad North America Ritesh Datta, Gender and Technology Advisor at DAI; Katie Appel, International Development Consultant, Grace Githaiga, Convenor of the Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet)
    • This is an interactive roundtable discussion on some of the challenges to closing the gender digital divide, including digital literacy barriers. Practitioners will discuss issues such as the importance of women-centered design, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on their work, and the unique experiences of women, especially those with disabilities, indigeneity, of oppressed castes, with minority languages, and other marginalizing factors.
  • Can Virtual Capacity Building in Digital Health Be Fun? Ariel Frankel, Director of Public Health, TechChange; Merrick Schaefer, Senior Digital Health Advisor, USAID; Derrick Muneene, Digital Health Capacity Building and Collaboration Unit Head, World Health Organization
    • This workshop will be divided into two parts. First, we will discuss some of the challenges and benefits of different capacity building modalities, from in-person conferences to in-person training to fully virtual and hybrid events, which have become much more common as a result of COVID-19. We will explore this through the lens of our specific case study, supporting the capacity building needs of ministry officials in digital health. Second, we will open up the conversation to hear from you all. This interactive conversation will be facilitated over Miro to get your feedback on 1) how you think trainings can be made more fun and engaging, especially online, and 2) how these trainings can be scaled and made more accessible to a wider audience (thanks to virtual!) without becoming too general and losing specific relevance and usefulness to participants coming from different contexts. 
  • Partnership Models with AI Developers: Rachel Wells, Center of Excellence Senior Manager, DataKind; Rudradeb Mitra, Founder, Omdena; Lucien de Voux, Co-founder, Palindrome Data; Celina Lee, Co-founder and CEO, Zindi Africa
    • You want to incorporate an AI tool into your program or organization but you are unfamiliar with how best to approach the process. Several considerations, like resources available, timeline, and how far along in the development process you are, all need to be understood before reaching out to an AI developer. Engage with AI developers and hear how their work has efficiently fit into a program’s mission and what that process was like to inform your own “AI roadmap”.
  • Let’s Play! Principles of Digital Development SDGs Card Game: Claudine Lim, Principles for Digital Developmenet Manager, DIAL
    • Draw connections between the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Principles for Digital Development through a team-based card game activity. This activity has been used in the popular Digital Principles 101 workshop, and now you can experience it virtually!
  • Soluciones Digitales: promoviendo mercados pesqueros inclusivos y resilientes: Darwin Javier Castillo, Especialista de Negocios, GOAL; Ángel Josué Reyes Mejía, Coordinador de Emprendimiento & HUB UNITEC San Pedro Sula; José Manuel Borjas Valencia, Presidente de Cooperativa de Pescadores de Puerto Cortes
    • Esta sesión es para personas que quieren conocer como a través de plataformas digitales y aplicaciones, se está promoviendo la virtualización de la actividad pesquera vinculado a los pescadores indígenas artesanales con diferentes mercados a nivel nacional e internacional. Los participantes conoceran como se consideraron los principios del desarrollo digital,  considerando que el mercado actual ofrece aplicaciones virtuales con restricciones de dominio y de administración de datos limitando su adopción por parte de pescadores artesanal; ademas a través de esta sesión se discutirán este entre otros desafíos encontrados para la implementación de soluciones digitales. La plataforma RED- PESCAH a través de la APP desarrollada en cooperación con la Universidad Tecnológica Centroamericana (UNITEC) promueve que el mercado pesquero sea más inclusivo 
  • The Future of Work is Now: Enabling Youth to Leverage Virtual Work for Professional Goals Nina Oduro, Leadership, Youth, and Training Technical Advisor, IREX; Frida Mwangi, Founder and CEO, KaziRemote
    • Technological innovation has shifted how work is accessed and performed, as well as broadened the scope of the gig and digital economy, providing new pathways for tackling youth unemployment by enabling young people to obtain new online jobs. In this workshop, you will gain an understanding of how virtual work experience can be leveraged by youth to achieve long-term career and entrepreneurial goals. Participants will engage in an interactive exercise from IREX’s Skills for Virtual Gigs Initiative implemented in Kenya, which helps youth learn how to navigate online work opportunities in order to achieve their professional goals. By the end of this workshop, you will be able to (1) understand how youth can benefit from virtual gig opportunities; (2) use an exercise from the IREX Skills for Virtual Gigs Initiative workbook aimed at helping youth development implementers and donors to support youth with leverage opportunities in the digital economy; (3) understand how virtual gig experience can be pathways for youth to achieve their long-term professional goals. 
  • Digital Danger: Strategies, Innovations, and Tools to Protect Children from Digital Harm: Mattito Watson, Senior Technical Advisor, Children in Adversity, USAID; Julie Cordua, CEO & Founder, Thorn; John Zoltner, Senior Director of Technology for Development and Innovation, Save the Children
    • Digital Development practitioners are constantly working to connect the unconnected to provide access to information, education, entertainment, and other opportunities, but digital environments have the potential to do harm to users as well as to better protect them. Explore the forthcoming USAID strategy on Protecting Children from Digital Harm and understand innovative technologies from USAID implementing partners and stakeholders who are developing disruptive innovations to keep children safe online, including Thorn, Save the Children, and World Vision. Presenters will demonstrate concrete tools, such as a child-search platform that law enforcement officers have used in more than 62,000 human trafficking cases (Thorn), an anti-grooming chatbot designed to identify groomers before they put children in danger (Save the Children), and using AI technology to better identify violence in communities and effective interventions to prevent it. (World Vision/JHU)
  • ICT4D Pictionary 

18:00 GMT Pacific Breakout Sessions

  • The SDGs: A View from Silicon Valley: Rosita Najmi, Head of Global Social Innovation, Paypal; Anna Lerner, Facebook; Brigitte Hoyer Gosselink, Director, Product Impact, Google; Andrew Means, Senior Director, Global Impact Data Strategy, Salesforce; Holly Krambeck, Senior Transport Economist, World Bank; Samhir Vasdev, Manager, Social Impact Partnerships, Facebook
    • The SDGs provide a blueprint for the tech sector to align their social impact efforts. What incentives drive Silicon Valley to embrace the SDGs? What challenges confront these efforts, and how can these initiatives directly serve digital development professionals? Hear from social impact leads at Paypal, Google.org, Salesforce.org, and Facebook to learn about Silicon Valley’s role in supporting progress on the Global Goals. A discussant from the World Bank will keep us grounded in practical examples.
  • How to Use the Digital Principles Maturity Matrix for Program Design and Proposal Evaluation: Claudine Lim, Principles for Digital Developmenet Manager, DIAL; Chris Neu, COO, TechChange
    • The Digital Principles are touted as digital development best practices, but how can it be applied in your work? The Maturity Matrix is an interactive tool to better align proposal evaluation with the Digital Principles throughout all phases of the project lifecycle. This living, dynamic rubric of detailed statements ties to specific activities, helping donors and partners work together, better understand, and objectively assess use of the Principles in tech-enabled programs and projects.
  • What Are The World’s Largest Technology Companies Doing to Protect Children from Online Violence? John Zoltner, Senior Advisor, Technology for Development and Innovation, Save the Children; Sean Litton, Executive Director, Technology Coalition; Antigone Davis, Global Head of Safety, Facebook; Jacqueline Beauchere, Globnal Digital Safety Advocate, Microsoft
    • As technology advances, so do efforts to use technology to commit new types of crimes or to commit existing crimes at a far greater scale. One of the most harmful uses of technology is the production anddistribution of Child Sexual Abuse Materials (CSAM). The ubiquity of smartphones with high resolution cameras and the existence of organized groups of online predators have created an epidemic of onlinesexual exploitation and abuse of children, with a 15,000% rise in the number of CSAM files reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s CyberTipline between 2005 and 2020. The scale of that threat forces three of the world’s largest technology companies, Microsoft, Facebook andGoogle, to constantly innovate in order to stop the use of their platforms to discover, create or distribute CSAM on their platforms and to prevent other forms of violence against children. In this session, the global leads for child protection at each company will discuss the challenges they face from online predators and the cutting-edge technologies they are developing to stop online violence against children.
  • What’s Working in the Fight Against Mis- and Disinformation? Meghann Rhynard-Geil, Internews; Bosco Kasundu, Save the Children; Andre Heller, International Rescue Committee; Katya Vogt, IREX
    • COVID and anti-vaxx misinformation run rampant on social media, undermining the global effort to prevent the spread of the disease, while climate disinformation saps public support for action at a critical moment for the globe. Broadly speaking, mis- and disinformation weaken social cohesion, undermine democracy, and contribute to the acceleration of conflict around the globe. These challenges take their greatest toll on the poor and marginalized people with whom development and humanitarian NGOs work around the globe. In response, certain NGOs have developed strategies and tools to mitigate and build resilience to the harmful impacts of mis- and disinformation in the context of their work around the globe. Learn how mis- and disinformation impact the work of NGOs across sectors, as well as the people and institutions they support, and which strategies, methods and field-tested tools NGOs are using to counter mis- and disinformation as it relates to their work.
  • Distribuyendo la Manufactura con los Estándares Open Know-How y Open Know-Where: Emilio Velis, Director Ejecutivo Appropedia Foundation; Julieta Arancio, PhD. Universidad Nacional de Quilmes
    • Desde la fabricación de equipo humanitario hasta la transferencia de habilidades para hacer equipo de protección durante la pandemia del covid-19, un reto de la producción a escala es compartir documentación para la manufactura. Este taller explicará los conceptos detrás de Open Know-How y Open Know-Where, dos estándares para la portabilidad de datos para open hardware, desarrollados por Internet of Production. Por medio de metadatos simples, permiten compartir información para la rápida fabricación de dispositivos y el mapeo de capacidades productivas en una región. El taller, facilitado por dos miembros del equipo interorganizacional que está desarrollando estos estándares, explicará cómo estos estándares funcionan y están siendo utilizados para documentar información de dispositivos para aplicaciones humanitarias como para tecnologías de bajo costo para la reducción de la pobreza y la sostenibilidad ambiental.
  • Accesibilidad digital: información para todas las personas: Alexa Torres, Directora en El Rinconcito Inclusivo
    • El acceso a la información es un derecho que condiciona el ejercicio de otros derechos. Por lo tanto, en esta sesión se pretende generar conciencia acerca de la importancia de hacer contenidos digitales accesibles, que garanticen el acceso a la información para la mayor diversidad de personas. Además, se reflexionará sobre los alcances y beneficios de la accesibilidad digital y el diseño universal. Finalmente, se brindarán las herramientas para que las personas participantes puedan incorporar criterios de accesibilidad en sus redes sociales empresariales y personales. Dentro de estas herramientas se encuentran: creación de imágenes accesibles, texto alternativo y texto descriptivo, entre otras.
  • Portrait Gallery Networking

19:00 GMT Pacific Keynote Presentation

  • Leveraging AI and Data for Inclusion and Systems Change: Caitlin Kraft-Buchman, CEO and Founder, Women at the Table; Dr. Tara Cookson, Assistant Professor of Gender and Development, School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, University of British Columbia
    • We need to proactively design technology to ensure no one is left behind⏤to combat and correct the systemic biases lurking at the core of current data, artificial intelligence, and algorithmic decision-making processes. Feminist approaches to AI and technology provide useful pathways to not only mitigate, but also correct for historic inequities buried in data. Caitlin Kraft-Buchman and Tara Cookson will discuss how new technologies can be leveraged for systems change, offering concrete examples and calls to action on how practitioners and advocates can leverage tech design to foster gender equality and inclusion.

19:30 GMT Conference Closing

Don’t miss out on #GDDF2021. Because thousands of participants will join this unique online event from dozens of countries, we will have capacity limits to ensure a great conference. Please RSVP Now to be considered for participation and pay special attention to the Relevance section when you fill out the form to apply for admission.

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