2022 Global Digital Development Forum Agenda

Join over 3,000 international development practitioners and technology experts at the Global Digital Development Forum on May 4-5, 2022. You will experience these captivating sessions, network with your peers, and learn how to expand your digital development success.

Registration is required to access the virtual platform and participate in #GDDF2022’s live sessions, join networking sessions, or watch pre-recorded sessions.

May 4 

3:50 GMT: Conference Opening Remarks 

4:00 GMT: Keynote

  • Digital Democracy: Insights from Sri Lanka’s #GotaGoHome Protests: Nalaka Gunawardene, Development Communications Specialist & Digital Media Analyst; Manisha Aryal, Global Lead for Digital Development, Chemonics International; Roel Raymond, Editor-in-Chief, Roar Media
    • We begin #GDDF2022 with a conversation with two Sri Lankan media professionals Nalaka Gunawardene and Roel Raymond on how Sri Lankans are using a range of digital tools to organize, document and amplify protests across multiple online platforms and offline sites. We will also focus on how vital issues of governance, reforms and accountability are being discussed amidst the agitation, and how the government is deploying some of the same digital tools to confuse citizens and discredit civic activism.

4:30 GMT: Lightning Talks

  • Emergency Comms in Disasters and Crises: Making Space for New Ideas: Lim May-Ann, Director of Fair Tech Institute, Access Partnership 
    • This talk will look into the characteristics of key physical and social infrastructure which governments and non-profits should look to when investing in such emergency comms, and provide some possible solutions to explore.
  • Accelerating the achievement of the SDGs through locally-produced virtual reality videos: Saraswati Ratnanggana, Associate Manager of Media & Content, Kopernik 
    • Virtual Reality (VR) video content from across the globe – produced by volunteers, young people, and students – have the potential to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs. In 2021, Kopernik launched VR for SDGs – an open online platform to help articulate challenges that need to be addressed to achieve the SDGs through VR videos. We believe VR videos have the power to provide an immersive experience in a way that conventional images or videos cannot. 
  • Equal Access to Information Society in Myanmar: Dr. Thant Thaw Kaung, Executive Director, Myanmar Book Aid and Preservation Foundation
    • This talk will discuss the Foundation’s project to transform libraries into community centres supporting people, especially women and youth, to use the internet and digital devices, many for the first time in their lives. 
  • Building a Sustainable Digital Economy in the New Normal: Ishtiaque Hussain, Head of Exploration and Strategy Development, a2i
    • Millions of rural youth, artisans and farmers in Bangladesh are unable to secure a fair price for their products. This is what inspired a2i, the flagship digital transformation program of the Government of Bangladesh and UNDP to establish ‘ekShop’. 
  • Sisters of Code: The First Female Coding Club in Cambodia: Natalja Rodionova, Founder & Managing Director, Sisters of Code
    • This lightning talk will share experience of creating and running the first female coding club in Cambodia, that challenges existing gender stereotypes, where girls feel unwelcomed in the tech world and helping to grow a new generation of digital creators. 

5:00 GMT: Breakouts

  • The wickedness of exclusion in digital development: Dr. Mamello Thinyane, Principal Research Fellow, United Nations University Institute in Macau; Lorenzo Dalvit, Professor, Rhodes University; Dr. Eleonore Fournier-Tombs, Senior Researcher, United Nation University Institute in Macau; Nyalleng Moorosi, Research Software Engineer, Google AI; Dr. Serge Stinckwich, Head of Research, United Nation University Institute in Macau; Rui Guo, Professor, Renmin University of China
    • Exclusion (lack of inclusion) in digital development is not only a wicked (complex) problem,  but it is also a wicked (unjust) phenomenon. This session will feature interactive panel  discussion on digital gender inclusion, inclusion and diversity in artificial intelligence,  disability and digital development, participatory approaches in digital development, and  complexity of digital inclusion. It will highlight the enduring challenges around inclusion and  transformative participation in digital development initiatives as well as present the lessons  and best practices where there have been successes. 
  • Mapping Digital Health Technologies in Countries for the COVID-19 Response: Benjamin Grubb, Technology for Development Manager, East Asia and Pacific Regional Office, UNICEF
    • The session will explore the digital health assessment being conducted by UNICEF, Digital Square (DSQ), and GIZ to understand the country ecosystems for responding to COVID. UNICEF (funding from WHO) initiated a country mapping of relevant Digital Health tools that can be leveraged to support countries’ response to COVID-19. The mapping is organized around priority areas to support countries in assessing program readiness to introduce vaccines, identify gaps & prioritize actions & identify opportunities for financial support.
  • Software that saves lives: building better neglect and abuse reporting tools: John Zoltner, Senior Advisor, Technology for Development and Innovation, Save the Children; Richard Ombono, Director of Programmes, Child Helpline International, Cameroon; Marion Ogeto, Kenyan Human Rights Lawyer/USAID Digital Youth Council; Nick Hurlburt, Director of Engineering, Tech Matters
    • We can’t protect children if we don’t know they’re in danger. Often, the only indication of that danger is through a report about suspected abuse submitted by a caring adult or friend. Reporting mechanisms have come a long way since volunteer-staffed call centers. Join this session to learn about the role of hotlines/helplines in child protection from digital harm, the challenges that reporting entails, and the technical solutions that radically improve reporting and response so counsellors can support survivors rather than managing phone lines.

6:00 GMT: Lightning Talks

  • Inclusive & efficient access to internet services for persons with disabilities: Mohammed Arifur Rahman, Chief Executive, Young Power in Social Action (YPSA)
    •  This session will discuss a pilot project by Humanity & Inclusion and YPSA that aims to initiate a new and crucial process in Bangladesh by producing a tested standard, toolkit as well as ensuring training on accessible web designing and use by the targeted beneficiaries, and so on. 
  • Leveraging the power of digital media to improve family health and nutrition: Indra Dhoj Kshetri, Senior Manager for Outreach and Risk Communication, Helen Keller International
    • This lightning talk will highlight the changing demographics of Nepal and the evolving media preferences which have impacted development programs, including in health and nutrition. Taking insights from the USAID supported Suaahara II Good Nutrition program in Nepal, this session will reflect on the program’s adaptation of communication approaches, diversification of channels and platforms including the utilization of mobile and social media. 
  • How can mobile and digital innovation strengthen disaster preparedness in the Philippines? Clara Aranda-Jan, Senior Insights Manager, GSMA; Zoe Hamilton, Senior Insights Manager, GSMA; Eugenie Humeau, Insights Analyst, GSMA
    • Climate-related hazards have been increasing in the past few years, with the most disastrous and long-term socio-economic effects in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The Philippines is one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries. This lightning talk will be an opportunity to present our research on the role of digital and mobile technologies in strengthening Early Warning Systems (EWS) for disaster preparedness in the Philippines. 
  • Diving into treasure trove of your text data with Natural Language Processing: Maria Dyshel, CEO, Tangible AI
    • Development organizations of all sizes collect text data in their operations, from case notes and personal stories to survey replies. This unstructured data captured directly from constituents often contains unique, valuable knowledge, that can’t be easily extracted without the help of technology.  In this lightning talk, you will learn how you can use Natural Language Processing to leverage your text data and translate it into insights. 
  • The Private Sector’s Responsibility in Ethical Artificial Intelligence: Lourdes Montenegro, Lead Digital Sector Transformation, World Benchmarking Alliance
    • WBA’s Digital Inclusion Benchmark assesses the contribution of 150 of the world’s most influential digital technology companies under four measurement areas; access, skills, use and innovation. Without ethical AI principles, digital companies are driving a future where people will have less agency, face potential job loss and experience inadvertent bias.

6:30 GMT: Lightning Talks & Breakouts / Workshops

  • How can you influence the Future of Elections? Emmy Chirchir, Science, Tech and Innovation Adviser, Africa, East Africa Research & Innovation Hub, FCDO; Daniel Odongo, Director Of Implementation, Ushahidi; Jim Ralley, Learning Lead, Frontier Tech Futures Programme / Brink; Anna Crawford, Senior Innovation Consultant, Frontier Tech Hub / IMC Worldwide 
    • A 55min-long voyage into the future of elections. Over the last few months people across the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and partner organisations have been exploring internet shutdowns, AI-powered citizen engagement platforms, disinformation on social media and a host of other factors that will have massive repercussions across the world over the coming decade. In this session, we will share the work produced by this group and use it as a catalyst for discussion and debate. 
  • How local capacity building initiatives in Mozambique have strengthened & elevated locally-led digital development: Gavin Krugel, CEO, Digital Frontiers; João Gaspar, President, Fintech Association of Mozambique; Sarah Corley, CEO, Alliance of Digital Finance Professionals; Esselina Macome, CEO, FSD Mozambique
    • During this panel discussion you will hear how the implementation of comprehensive capacity building programmes can help to foster a collaborative cross-sector environment for locally-led, inclusive digital ecosystems that bring about sustained systems level impact.
  • Digital Transformation Hubs: the Tanzania dLab Success Story: Mitch Blaser, Regional Director for Data, Innovation and Civic Tech, Millennium Challenge Corporation
    • The session will describe lessons learned and best practices about a local-driven solution that is building talent by training thousands of Tanzanians (especially women and youth) in data literacy, data visualization, coding, machine learning, including the first Master’s in Data Science program in East Africa, and is fostering innovative solutions and startups to use open data sets for the public good.
  • Retail CBDC and Africa – Desirable for Local Conditions? Bavani Naidoo, Financial Sector Expert, Partner at Genesis Analytics
    • This session will present a brief overview of global research in and experimentation with a retail CBDC. It will contrast the objectives for a retail CBDC in developed and developing markets, and detail how factors in Africa should shape how African central banks think about CBDC. This session will highlight the need for African-centric CBDC research and hypothesize some reasons why a CDBC may be appropriate in Africa.

7:30 GMT: Breakouts & Workshops

  • Connectivity and Inclusion: Towards Digital Ecosystem Resilience in the Pacific: Araba Sapara-Grant, Digital Specialist, DAI; Dr. Amanda Watson, Australia National University; Hannes Astok, Senior Expert and Executive Director, Estonian e-Governance Academy; Seluvaia Kauvaka, Chief System Analyst, Digital Transformation Division, Office of the Prime Minister of Tonga; Anju Mangal, Head of Asia Pacific, Alliance for Affordable Internet, World Wide Web Foundation
    • On January 15th, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano erupted, severing Tonga’s only connection to the global internet. This event, which left Tongans without internet for five weeks, renewed global awareness of the vulnerabilities limiting digital infrastructure development in the Pacific Islands. While private sector investment and donor support are required to improve the redundancy and climate readiness of the Pacific’s ICT infrastructure, additional elements are needed to achieve a more resilient digital ecosystem in the region. In this session, participants will hear from regional experts across academia, civil society, and the private sector to explore the locally-led initiatives expanding access and inclusion across the region as well as promising opportunities for holistic digital development in this unique geography.
  • Agriculture technology and Climate change: Nixon Gecheo, Senior Program Officer Digital System and Solution for Agriculture; Assan Ng’ombe, Resilience Officer, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa; Somet Kipchilat, Senior Business Development, Microsoft; Ayodeji Balogun, CEO, AFEX; Kamal Yakub, Founder and CEO, Tro-Tro Tractor; Kiringai Kamau, Center for Agriculture and Nutrition, University of Nairobi 
    • Climate change is causing catastrophic impacts in numerous areas, from coastal cities pummeled by stronger storms to harvests blighted by increased incidence of pests, drought, flood and disease that reduced crop productivity that in turn threatens food security. This session will discuss existing and emerging technologies that seek to address climate change impact on the agriculture and food sector with the aim of finding solutions to increasing diffusion at scale, providing information that will help contextual the design and use of [ICT] technologies, development of market and business models that promote innovation and sustainability.
  • How to use Chat for Impact to change people’s lives: Indrani Vedula, Impact Partnerships Lead APAC, Turn.io; Carola Pareja, Impact Partnerships Lead LATAM, Turn.io; Khanya Mdlungu, Partnerships Lead EMEA, Turn.io; Lieze Langford, Global Partnerships Lead, Turn.io 
    • The Chat for Impact workshop will help social impact organizations wanting to use a private and secure chat service on WhatsApp to impact and improve the lives of their communities through meaningful conversations, supportive services and access to resources at scale. It will offer first-hand learning from the highly experienced teams behind some of the world’s most effective WhatsApp services, offering guidance and inspiration to workshop participants.
  • Behind the Screen’s with Africa’s Digital Economy Champions – Mohamed Malouche, Deloitte Tunisia; Ali Mnif, Chief Investment Officer, Digital Africa; Eva Sow Ebion, Co-Founder, I4Policy; Annie Njenga, Director of Mastercard Start Path for Sub-Saharan Africa; Amaha Bekele, Consulting Leader, Deloitte West Africa
    • What does it take for digital economies to thrive? Who creates the conditions for innovation to take root and scale? What processes, decisions, data, and tools go into creating the right environment for tech startups to launch, for products and services to meet unaddressed needs, for digital tools to spur inclusive growth? Join this session to hear perspectives in response to these questions from digital economy champions who have been laboring behind the user interfaces and screens to seed and sustain inclusive growth through digital transformation and innovation.

8:30 GMT: Lightning Talks

  • Ghana’s National Health Insurance Authority Creates Value from Data: Dr. Maxwell Antwi, Country Director, PharmAccess Foundation Ghana
    • This talk will showcase how technology and data are being leveraged to accelerate Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by Ghana’s National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA). It will present participants with lessons and inspiration, demonstrating how locally led innovations can deliver major impact for sustainable development. 
  • A profile of data skills and associated access to data or tech job opportunities in Africa: Jerusha Govender, Data Innovators
    • Data skills is a critical twenty first century skill, growing in demand with the proliferation of emerging technology. Advanced data skills are mostly learned in tertiary education across sectors and is an area of reskilling amongst trained professionals. In this lightning talk we share the findings of two data skills surveys (2020 and 2022) in through which we aimed to understand the profile of data skills amongst young professionals and access to data or tech related employment.
  • Log. On. Rise Up. Learning from Grassroots Global Women Digital Trainers: Kirthi Jayakumar, Facilitator, Speaker, and Lead Trainer, World Pulse, The Gender Security Project, India; Busayo Obisakin, Founder, Women’s Inspiration Center, Nigeria; Anum Shakeel, Tech Social Entrepreneur, 25 women to watch in Tech in Pakistan
    • This inspiring session will share top lessons from leaders of a global network of grassroots women digital empowerment trainers across 50 countries on how they are breaking down social and economic barriers to bring more women and girls voices online.  In addition to learning about their innovative methods, you’ll also hear recommendations on how local organizers, development institutions, NGOs, and technology companies can collaborate to strengthen a global ground force of women community trainers to speed up access to empowering digital spaces for women and girls.
  • Accelerating high speed connectivity in Sub-Saharan Africa: Fargani Tambeayuk, Head of Connectivity Policy, SSA, Meta
    • The presentation will highlight the divide between those who have access to rudimentary services via 2G and those who have access to the breadth of the internet via high-speed connectivity such as 4G. Additionally, the talk will focus on what needs to be done to catalyse a paradigm shift and transform SSA’s connectivity landscape in order to ensure that all Africans have widespread access to high-speed connectivity. 
  • CML, the game changer to close the rainfall data gap for farmers in Africa: Ralph Lang, Digital Development Advisor, Lima Links; Christian Chwala, Scientific Institute Germany
    • A lot of countries in Africa have few weather stations, but have good mobile network coverage. Commercial microwave links (CMLs) are radio connections used in mobile networks. Rain changes the CML signal between two mobile towers. And the mobile network becomes a network of virtual rain gauges. CML data for rainfall monitoring does close the data gap in rainfall measurements. It is a cost effective and thus sustainable solution. 

9:00 GMT: Breakouts & Workshops

  • Data4COVID19 Africa Challenge: Lessons Learned: Stefaan Verhulst, Co-Founder and Chief of Research and Development, The GovLab, New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering; Peter Addo, Head of DataLab, Agence Française de Développement; Dr. Chinwe Ochu, Acting Director Prevention, Programmes & Knowledge Management and Head of Research, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control; Natalia Adler, Co-Founder & CEO, Pebble Analytics; Tricia Govindasamy, Senior Data Product Manager – DataLab, Code for Africa
    • In a conversation with development experts, this panel will explore when, where, and how development practitioners might use new data-driven tools and technologies responsibly to produce public good. This discussion will be informed by collaborations between The GovLab and the French Development Agency, including its recent #Data4COVID19 Africa Challenge which supported Africa-based organizations as they used innovative data sources to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Funding for Locally-Led Digital Development Organizations: Wayan Vota, Digital for Development Lead, Deloitte; Arnaud Leclercq, Wehubit Programme Manager, Enabel; Ben White, Founder & CEO, VC4A; Siobhan Green, Digital & Data Governance & Transformation lead, DT Global; Sylvia Cadena, Head of Programs and Partnerships, APNIC Foundation; Wade Owojori Director, GSMA Innovation Fund, Mobile for Development
    • Who is funding locally-led digital development organizations? What are their objectives? How can organizations access their funding and support? What are their barriers and challenges? We’ll hear from innovative efforts that are creating new investments in digitally-powered solutions to development challenges. We’ll learn about their programs, who they’ve funded, and the results they are seeing in communities around the world. Join us to explore how you can find new resources for your digital development efforts.
  • Can Inclusive Finance Save the Planet? Perspectives from Practitioners: Dr. Megan Dwyer Baumann, Regional Research Lead for Latin America, Women’s World Banking; S S Bhat, Chief Executive Officer, Friends at Women’s World Banking; Elizabeth Gathai, Director of Enterprise Digitization, Equity Group Holdings Ltd.; Laura Mendez, Advisor to the CEO, Banco Azteca; Abiodun Olubitan, Group Head, Women Banking
    • What role does the financial inclusion community play in both helping low-income people around the world to adapt to climate realities and mitigating climate change? This interactive session will feature financial services providers from the Women’s World Banking Global Network who work with low-income women customers and have employed strategies to increase household resilience to climate impact or are directly working to mitigate climate change. 
  • How can you influence the Future of Money? Sebastian Mhatre, Senior Digital Development Adviser; Jamiel Sheikh, Founder, Central Bank Digital Currency Think Tank and Founder and CEO, Chainhaus; Jim Ralley, Learning Lead, Frontier Tech Futures Programme / Brink; Anna Crawford, Senior Innovation Consultant, Frontier Tech Hub / IMC Worldwide
    • A 55min-long voyage into the future of money. Over the last few months people across the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and partner organisations have been exploring fintech, cryptocurrencies, central bank digital currencies and a host of other factors that will have massive repercussions across the world over the coming decade. In this session, we will share the work produced by this group and use it as a catalyst for discussion and debate. 
  • Leveraging Collective Intelligence to Think and Work Politically: Santiago Villaveces-Izquierdo, Senior Advisor, Center for Politically Informed Programming, Chemonics International; Maria Ines Velasco Sodi, Director of Regional Coordination, USAID Violence Prevention and Reduction (PREVI) in Mexico, Chemonics International; Alexis Smart, Director of Business Development, Root Change
    • Internet and phone access has proliferated around the world, including in some of the most impoverished communities, providing an unprecedented opportunity to engage with a much broader set of communities. That engagement can take many shapes, from virtual political economy analyses to social network analyses, regular SMS surveys and artificial intelligence-enabled text mining. This workshop will explore employing digital tools mapping collective intelligence – from Ushahidi for election monitoring to SenseMaker for assessing community behaviors – to make data-driven programming decisions reflective of an ever-changing environment. 

10:00 GMT: Keynote

  • A Conversation with Doreen Bogdan-Martin on the ITU’s Critical Role in Connecting All the World’s People – Wherever They Live and Whatever Their Means: Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director, ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau; Manisha Aryal, Global Lead for Digital Development, Chemonics International
    • If it’s one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic and the world’s response to it has made clear, it’s that connecting people to the internet has never been more important. Yet as the world begins to slowly recover, the digital divide is not closing fast enough. Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), will discuss why the ITU is the most important important UN agency you’ve never heard of, it’s critical role in closing the digital divide, and how the development community can engage with Partner2Connect, a game changing new initiative from the ITU, to connect the billions of people who remain offline.

10:30 GMT: Lightning Talks

  • Innovative Approach of the SME Statistics Analysis based on Open Data: Valeriia Ionan, Deputy Minister for Eurointegration, Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine; Andii Remizov, Acting Director of the State Institution “Entrepreneurship and Export Promotion Office”; Tanya Miskova, USAID CEP Business Enabling Environment Team Lead, CEO of State Institution “Entrepreneurship and Export Promotion Office”
    • USAID Competitive Economy Ukraine (CEP), in cooperation with the Ministry of Digital transformation and the Entrepreneurship and Export Promotion Office, has supported the development of the first user-friendly open data Analytical Dashboard on the Diia. During the session the speakers will share the insights of the change to the perception of the analytics by SMEs, impact on their capacity to plan and strategize, and will describe the benefits of the new open data dashboard with the user-friendly displayed national level statistics.
  • Innovating for Digital Startups Across Africa: Eva Sow Ebion, Co-Founder, I4Policy
    • Starting with Tunisia in 2018, a wave of close to 20 African countries have developed or initiated ‘Startup Acts’ to enhance the enabling environment and provide a regulatory framework for startups. Interested in learning how this happened and what the impact has been for African digital ecosystems? Join this talk for a peak behind the curtain with Eva Sow Ebion, founder and Director of the Innovation 4 Policy Foundation, an organization that has supported at least 15 Startup Acts across the continent over the past two years.
  • Building Women’s Digital Financial Capabilities: Tools And Techniques: Jennifer Linares, Program Manager, Strategic Impact Advisors; Akorfa Ahiafor, Chief Executive Officer, Jireh Microfinance; Joshua Toatoba, Managing Director, Rujo Agritrade; Bryce Hartley,Digital Skills Specialist, GSMA; Sophie Romana, Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment Expert, Althaë Strategy
    • Participants in this lightning talk session will learn about cutting-edge, creative programs and initiatives to build women’s digital financial capabilities from various women’s economic empowerment and digital skills experts. The session leads will highlight and discuss innovative campaigns that have been successful in bolstering women’s digital financial capabilities, including Strategic Impact Advisors’ “Hey Sister! Show Me the Mobile Money!,” an IVR campaign designed to increase women’s ability to access and use digital financial services.
  • Decolonizing the Internet: Barriers faced in promoting local languages online: Shayna Robinson, Program Officer, Internet Society Foundation; Neema Iyer, Founder, Pollicy
    • This lightning talk will speak broadly on barriers that users and content creators face when using local languages online. Participants will walk away with a greater understanding of the role that language plays in promoting digital inclusion, and get a glimpse of a research project underway that aims to uncover the practical challenges that actors across the ecosystem face in using language as a tool to decolonize the Internet.
  • Teaching STEM Online: Capacity Building for Teachers in Senegal: Dr. Christelle Scharff, Professor, Pace University & mJangale; Babacar Diop, Co-Founder, mJangale
    • This session is for participants who want to learn how to scale STEM online education and better prepare teachers in constrained settings. It will present a program that trained 80 STEM middle/high school teachers to teach online in Senegal to build capacity and foster educational resilience. The program (STEM4SENEGAL) includes an online course to discuss practices, tools, mobile learning, and relevant scenarios for engaged online teaching with labs and projects in STEM. 

11:00 GMT: Breakouts

  • USAID Digital Development Advisors  – Perspectives from four USAID missions: Garth Willis, Foreign Service Officer, USAID; Anela Semic, Project Management Specialist of the Economic Development Office (EDO), USAID/Bosnia and Herzegovina; Chau Nguyen, Program Management Specialist, Governance and Economic Growth Office (OGEG), USAID Vietnam; Fadi Siam, Digital Development Advisor, USAID Middle East; Kyle McNally, Digital Development Advisor, USAID Rwanda
    • This session will focus on the work of USAID Digital Development Advisors (DDAs) in four USAID missions in: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Vietnam, Rwanda, and West Bank and Gaza. DDAs support the implementation of the USAID Digital Strategy through specific digital interventions, as well as advise the USAID Mission in digital approaches and best practices. After each of the four DDAs review their work at their USAID mission we will open the conversation for a discussion on how we can best expand the use of digital tools across USAID programming globally.
  • Farm to Fork with Agronavti App in Georgia: Katy Tchumburidze, Economic Growth Advisor, Chemonics; Tamta Mamulaidze, CEO, Agronavti LLC; Tornike Okrostsvaridze, Co-Founder, Biznetx LLC; Tamar Toria, Executive Director, Georgian Farmers’ Association
    • Farmers in Georgia were dealing with opaque pricing information when it came to agricultural products. Georgian Farmer’s Association (GFA) wanted to change this and with support from the Chemonics-implemented USAID/Zrda project, introduced a digital solution – Agronavti platform — to help farmers determine optimal times to sell their produce. This session will discuss why the farmers’ association introduced a digital solution to the traditional farming sector, how it is responding to emerging agtech needs of its members and how the platform is enabling accountability in the agricultural marketplace.
  • Impacts of digital harm on children’s mental health and wellbeing: Mattito Watson, Technical Advisor, USAID; Abir Aldhalimi, Senior Mental Health Advisor, USAID; Paul Bolton, Mental Health and Psychosocial Coordinator, USAID; Nicolas Kamanzi, Digital Youth Council, USAID; Solomon Adewole, Digital Youth Council, USAID; Mwansa Kanyanta, Digital Youth Council, USAID
    • The massive increase in time spent online as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown worldwide has brought existing concerns about screen time and online experiences even more sharply into focus. Research indicates that adverse experiences online are less related to the amount of time spent online and much more about “what children do online, the content they encounter, and their life environment and support networks in general”. In this session, USAID will explore how digital harm impacts the mental health of children and youth and their development. 
  • FP Goes Digital: Using technology to advance family planning programs in LMICs: Kaitlyn Patierno, Program Director, Population Reference Bureau; John Mark Bwanika, Chief Operations and Research Officer, The Medical Concierge Group/ Rocket Health Africa; Toshiko Kaneda, Technical Director of Demographic Research, Population Reference Bureau; Erin Kim, Digital Health Consultant
    • When you hear words like internet-of-things, AI, and big data, family planning and reproductive health programs may not be the first application for these tools that come to mind. However, opportunities to leverage digital health tools and emerging technologies to improve the efficiency and program effectiveness of family planning (FP) programs are expanding rapidly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Panelists will discuss these opportunities, as well as potential challenges, and share examples of innovative and emerging uses of digital health tools in FP programs.
  • Fair is Foul, Foul is Fair – What to do About Algorithmic Bias: Jonathan Friedman, Senior Technical Adviser Data Science, Palladium; Allison Fox, Senior Associate Data Science, Palladium; Jane Aduda, Lecturer in Statistics and Actuarial Sciences, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology; Kyriacos Koupparis, Head of Frontier Innovations, United Nations World Food Programme’s Innovation Accelerator; Rayid Ghani, Professor in Machine Learning and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University; Anubhuti Mishra, Senior Technical Advisor Data Science, Palladium
    • While extensive research has led to the development of fairness metrics and mitigation algorithms for detecting, quantifying, and reducing bias, there exists little guidance on how to define fairness goals on a project and how to select the correct algorithmic bias detection and mitigation tools for a given use case. This panel session with Q&A will bring together experts who research algorithmic bias with practitioners who use algorithms to address pressing social issues in order to shed light on how to consider what equity and fairness means in their domains, how to identify appropriate tools and metrics to quantify bias, and what options are available to mitigate bias. 
  • FinTech Startups – Founders Making Waves in West Africa: Francesca Cavalli, Manager, Deloitte; Mubarak Sumaila, CEO & Founder, BezoMoney; Sanmi Akinmusire, Co-founder & COO, ImaliPay; Solape Akinpelu, Founder, HerVest
    • Interested in how cryptocurrency can be used to promote digital inclusion? Or how digital solutions can be integrated with traditional banking to create value for underserved, unbanked populations? Or perhaps you are a development organization interested in partnering with social entrepreneurs to promote financial inclusion? Join this breakout session to hear from fintech entrepreneurs driving sustainable, home-grown change in the region using a range of digital solutions. 

12:00 GMT: Keynote

  • Launching the Local Digital Ecosystem: Sakar Pudasaini, Founder, Karkhana; Marc Alain Boucicault, Founder, Banj; Manisha Aryal, Global Lead for Digital Development, Chemonics International
    • Interested in supporting local digital ecosystems? Thinking about working with local innovators tinkering with solutions to some of the world’s most intractable problems? Perhaps even have some seed funding to put into the next generation of cool tools? If you’ve wanted to understand how tech entrepreneurs look at the enabling environment for entrepreneurship and innovation, and how they lay the foundation of a digital ecosystem brick by brick, join CEOs of two Tech Hubs, Karkhana in Kathmandu and Banj in Port-au-Prince – as they discuss how they are tweaking science curriculum, working with local schools, advocating for supportive regulatory framework, and reaching out to businesses, local companies and seed funds to develop pre-entrepreneurial skills, build and strengthen networks, and identify and nurture opportunities that spark change.

12:30 GMT: Lightning Talks

  • Reality over Hype: A Challenge to Reform Digital Health Investments in LMICs: Ayo Matthew Edinger, Senior Global Digital Health Consultant, Mott MacDonald
    • Despite a well-established community of experts and ecosystem, resource-limited countries continue to struggle with digital health transformation. This session will challenge us to question the status quo of our global digital health practices, so that we can better target investments and solution delivery. 
  • Space for the Sustainable Development Goals: Why space? Why now? And what next? David Taverner, Director, Caribou Space
    • Earth observation, satellite communications, and navigation systems, are being applied to society’s greatest, global challenges including climate change, disaster resilience, food security, and deforestation. Governments, NGOs, and the private sector require access to high quality information to make informed decisions to address these global issues, but there is a lack of data or it is incomplete, out-of-date, or expensive to collect. Conversely, satellite applications can offer these decision makers data that is quick to access, affordable, repeatable, and covers the globe. These advantages mean that satellite applications are often the best – if not the only – way of addressing these huge global issues. 
  • Banking in layers: How financial services are changing and what it means for inclusion: Peter Zetterli, Senior Financial Sector Specialist, CGAP
    • Thanks to technology, banking is increasingly being disassembled into its constituent parts and reassembled in ways that fundamentally reimagine financial services. This is catalyzing whole new categories of business models that are profoundly different from traditional approaches to banking. CGAP believes that these developments are bringing about a fundamental shift in the structure and workings of the financial sector that will over time have major implications for how financial services are produced and consumed. This session will explore these themes to shed light on how banking is evolving and what it is likely to mean for financial inclusion.
  • Strengthening Colombian Coffee Farmers with technology in conflict-affected regions: Catalina Escobar, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, MAKAIA
    • This lightning talk will show how MAKAIA worked with coffee farmers, community leaders, and the private sector to bring internet access, digital skills, training, and farm-specific technology to two (2) conflict-affected rural areas in Colombia (Mesetas and Briceño). The objective of the program is to to improve the quality of life for coffee farmers, their families and communities. This model is based on a holistic approach where technology serves as a driver and enabler of all the processes. 
  • Delivering Higher Education in COVID-19 Pandemic: Thomas Philip Songu, Director of ICT, Njala University
    • With the general closure of universities and schools in Sierra Leone due to the COVID-19 pandemic, digital learning has become a credible alternative to maintain students in educational, training, and research links. This paper provides evidence of distance learning modalities implemented during COVID-19 emergencies. 

13:00 GMT: Keynote

  • Embracing Today’s Digital Age to Advance Inclusive Development: USAID Administrator Samantha Power; Temie Giwa-Tubosun, Founder & CEO, LifeBank
    • As we mark the two-year anniversary of the launch of USAID’s Digital Strategy, the Agency is at an inflection point. The rapid race to digitize services of public and private sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the growing dependency of development and humanitarian assistance programs on digital technology and exposed and, in some cases, exacerbated existing digital divides. At the same time, there has been a rise in digital authoritarianism, loss of personal freedoms, threats to national security, and disruption of economic growth models across the globe. While acknowledging these challenges and threats, Administrator Samantha Power will reflect on the growing importance of digital development in achieving USAID’s new vision for inclusive development. She will then be joined by Temie Giwa-Tubosun, Founder and CEO of LifeBank, for a fireside chat discussion on the critical role of locally-led organizations and technology startups in helping to upend existing business models to address difficult development challenges and empower marginalized and underserved communities.

13:30 GMT: Lightning Talks 

  • USAID Digital Strategy: How It’s Going & What’s to Come: Michelle Parker, USAID Digital Strategy Implementation Team Lead
    • USAID’s Digital Strategy implementation, now in its third year, is deep in the process of transforming the very fabric of the Agency. What has changed and what have we learned from the past two years of implementation? How has it impacted IPs’ work? More importantly, what comes next and how can partners become more involved? This session will reflect on the first two years of foundation building and highlight what is to come for the next three years. 
  • Digital Literacy: Key Considerations for Digital Development: Kanchana Sthanumurthy, Technology Program Specialist, USAID
    • This lightning talk will offer key lessons learned from digital literacy implementation at USAID. It will discuss USAID’S definition of digital literacy, the two-pronged digital literacy framework of capacity and safety, the DigComp framework that USAID refers to, and overall considerations during programming. 
  • 5 Things to Know When Developing an E-Gov Proposal for USAID: Laura Sigelmann, Digital Technology Program Specialist, USAID; Jaclyn Carlsen, Senior ICT Policy Advisor, Technology Division, USAID; Njemile Davis, Program Analyst, Technology Division, USAID
    • Does your company bid on e-government projects? If so, this session is for you. This lightning talk will reveal 5 of USAID’s lessons learned on e-government projects. We will present top findings from interviews of 21 USAID staff and reviews of reports from 39 projects.

14:00 GMT: Breakouts 

  • DECAthon: exploring USAID’s approach to digital ecosystems: Craig Jolley, PhD, Data Scientist, Bureau for Development, Democracy, and Innovation (DDI), USAID; Jordanka Tomkova, PhD, INNOVABRIDGE Foundation; Tahani Elmogrbi , Libya Expert and International Development Specialist, Culmen International, LLC; Reyn Anderson, Managing Director, Women in Digital Transformation
    • This session is for people who want to understand more about the connections and interdependencies of topics like digital democracy, information integrity, and the digital economy. Drawing on USAID’s experience with the Digital Ecosystem Country Assessment (DECA) initiative, we’ll explore how a holistic ecosystem lens can help us make sense of conflicting digital trends. 
  • Listening to Women in COVID-19: Kalkidan Lakew, Women Respond Project Manager, CARE; Aisha Rahamatali, Senior Advisor- Economic Justice and Rights, CARE; Emily Janoch, Senior Director Thought Leadership and Knowledge Management, CARE; Julio Nishikawa, Head of Women’s Economic Empowerment, Nutrition and Food Security Program, CARE Peru
    • This session is for participants who want to understand ways to put women’s needs and leadership at the center of a technology solution, and ensure technology is driving local and global action. It highlights how creatively applying digital technology and bringing together a variety of expertise improves humanitarian response, development programs, funding, and women’s leadership–especially in a fast moving crisis, showcasing the Women Respond project and learnings from CARE Peru’s She Feeds the World (SFtW) program adaptation to virtual approaches to continue engaging women groups. 
  • Supporting country-led digital health systems: Lessons in tool integration: Dr. Baz Semo, Managing Director of Global Health, Chemonics International; Parvez Asheque, Chief of Party, USAID Advancing Universal Health Coverage Project, Chemonics International; Ruphin Mulongo, Project Director, USAID End Malaria Project, Chemonics International; Angela Elong, Technical Director (Deputy), Global Health Supply Chain-Technical Assistance Francophone Task Order, Chemonics International; Christian Kisimba, Logistics Management Information System Specialist, USAID GHSC-TA Francophone Task Order, Chemonics International
    • Digital health systems help governments set measurable goals, improve service delivery, increase data-driven decision-making, and implement evidence-based policies. By supporting country-led digital health systems, donor-funded programs can strengthen system use capacity and performance, enhance local accountability mechanisms, and contribute to sustainable approaches for improving health outcomes. 
  • How can we successfully use chatbots to engage constituents at scale? Maria Dyshel, CEO, Tangible AI; Gayatri Jayal, Director of Consumer Innovations, Dimagi; Anish Raj Shrestha, Social and Behavior Change Specialist, Plan International Nepal; Emily McMahon, Senior Advisor, Ipas; Matt Wallace, Managing Director, ONOW Myanmar
    • As the pandemic severely limited the in-person engagement opportunities, development organizations turn to conversational assistants, or chatbots, to educate and engage their constituents on variety of topics, from health and economic literacy to human trafficking and sexual harassment. This session will explore the use of chatbots in development programs in Africa and Asia, with particular focus on bringing the bot to larger audiences after the pilot stage. 
  • Mobile-Social Learning: A new methodology for continuing professional development of health workers: Erica Troncoso, Technical Advisor, Frontier Solutions, Jhpiego; Dominique Guillaume, PhD Student, Global Women’s Health Fellow, Jhpiego; Dr Jatin Dhingra, Innovations Team Lead, Jhpiego India; Kwabena Larbi, Malaria Expert
    • Improving access to continuing professional development (CPD) for health care workers in low-and-middle- income countries (LMICs) is an ongoing challenge. Digital technology has gained momentum over the last decade which serves as a promising platform in supporting CPD for health care workers. Mobile-social learning is a new methodology powerful for supporting health providers to improve their clinical capacity, learning, and performance. 
  • How to Prioritize and Sustain Cybersecurity in International Development? –Elizabeth Villarroel, Specialist Leader, Deloitte; Stan Byers, Cybersecurity Team Lead, USAID; Heather Love, Global Data Protection and Privacy Director, Mercy Corps; Daniel Prieto, Global Public Sector, Google; Wayan Vota, Digital for Development Lead, Deloitte
    • Interested in cybersecurity and how to adopt it, cyber hygiene, and digital literacy in international development? Join us to discuss how to plan for comprehensive and sustainable cybersecurity programs, while balancing competing priorities and the promise of doing no harm. Explore the challenges in implementing digital security practices across LMICs and the opportunities in behavior change and understanding people, process, and technologies that can help establish essential online practices. Participants will leave more curious about cybersecurity activities and with actionable insights to understand cybersecurity in development.

15:00 GMT: Lightning Talks

  • Accelerating government digital transformation: The Building Block Approach with GovStack: Yolanda Martínez, Overall Lead GovStack Initiative at ITU; Nora Hauptmann, GovStack Advisor on global advocacy and sustainability at GIZ; Rachel Lawson, GovStack Senior Manager, Community Strategy at Digital Impact Alliance at the UN Foundation; Martha Mundas, GovStack Junior Advisor on global advocacy and sustainability at GIZ; Marcel Haessler, Senior Advisor, Egypt’s Ministry of Communication and Information Technology
    • This session is for everyone who cheers for the digital transformation of public services. This talk introduces the audience to the GovStack Initiative and the Building Block (BB) Approach. GovStack aims to empower governments to take ownership of their digital futures and fosters a locally led development of more effective and cost-efficient digital government services.
  • Can Satellite Internet Impact the Digital Divide? Gabriel Krieshok, Director, Technology and Digital Development, CARE
    • We hear about SpaceX and their Starlink Constellation, Facebook’s drone Internet program, and the recently sunset Google Loon project — but do any of these matter to Internet users of the last mile around the world? This lightning talk will first set the stage for recent activities/investments in this area around the world (some is hype, some is real), and what impact this will have on Internet markets and prices.
  • Measuring Forced Displacement during COVID-19 in Colombia: Catherine Barker, Project and Insights Manager, RIWI; Ingrid Hurtado, Information Management Officer of Humanitarian NGO Forum, IMMAP
    • This lighting talk will show how we used a novel technology to understand the magnitude of the otherwise invisible population affected by an irregular armed conflict in the COVID-19 context. Participants will learn how we were able to bridge the information gap when traditional touchpoints for displaced people were closed (e.g. civil facilities), and armed groups kept displacing people whose needs could neither be measured or met. 
  • How Sesame Street is leveraging technology to deliver educational media globally: Neha Bhatia, Program Manager, Humanitarian Programs, Sesame Workshop; Brenda Campos, Senior Director, Social Impact for Latin America, Sesame Workshop
    • Sesame Workshop is launching an all-new library of global educational content called Watch, Play, Learn: Early Learning Videos, designed to bring playful early learning to children everywhere. To expand the reach and impact of the WPL content, Sesame partnered with DAI to develop a Decision Roadmap that guides users through the decision-making process to identify contextually appropriate technology solutions. This lighting talk will introduce attendees to the Decision Roadmap tool, provide a example of how technology is used in Colombia to provide children with video content, and invite attendees to join Sesame Workshop and DAI in piloting the WPL content and Decision Roadmap.
  • Starting Your Partnership Journey with USAID: Matthew Johnson, Industry Liaison and Communications Director, Bureau for Management, Office of Acquisition and Assistance, USAID
    • Matthew Johnson is the Communications Director for the Management Bureau’s Office of Acquisition and Assistance and USAID’s Industry Liaison. The Industry Liaison serves as the front door to the agency for organizations looking to partner with USAID. In this lightning talk, you’ll hear about USAID’s efforts to engage new and local partners and a new website called WorkwithUSAID.org.

16:00 GMT: Keynote

  • Satellites, AI, and Tree Saplings: Sharpening the lenses of sustainable land use monitoring: Dow Martin, Senior Manager, Restoration Monitoring, Global Restoration Initiative, Forests Program, World Resources Institute; John Brandt, Data Science Associate, World Resources Institute; Dr. Bernadette Arakwiye, AFR100 Manager, World Resources Institute
    • Millions of farmers grow trees through agroforestry systems, which underpin the livelihoods of more than 900 million people globally. Agroforestry, and other forms of forest and landscape restoration, are expected to cover more than 300 million hectares of land yet have never been accurately monitored before. In this session, we will discuss how artificial intelligence is helping more projects and businesses plan and track such agroforestry interventions.

16:30 GMT: Lightning Talks

  • The CGIAR Climate Security Observatory: Policy-relevant evidence on the climate security nexus: Theresa Liebig, Scientist, Focus Climate Security, The Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT
    • Climate is linked to conflict, acting as a multiplier, and worsening the threat of crises and instability. Despite this being widely acknowledged in the science policy landscape, there is a lack of robust, localized, and policy-relevant evidence on how exactly climate security risks may emerge across different geographic contexts. The Climate Security Observatory (CSO) aims to fill this gap. The CSO is an online platform for stakeholders decision making, that allows access to a range of global climate and security related analysis. 
  • 3 Lessons for Driving the Digital Inclusion of Indigenous Peoples in the Amazon: Soledad Mills, CEO, Equitable Origin; Joaquín Wray, Program Manager, Equitable Origen; Joel Pliskin, Director of Programs, Inveneo
    • This lightning talk will showcase how an innovative, non-profit partnership is addressing barriers to inclusion and participation through facilitating access to affordable, reliable internet in Indigenous communities. Learn how an innovative partnership between an Indigenous rights organization and a social enterprise delivering technology solutions to underserved communities have collaborated to address the lack of internet access and digital literacy in some of the world’s most remote communities in the Amazon region. 
  • Lessons learned from humanitarians’ use of technologies in constrained environments: Patrick Vinck, Director of Research, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative
    • This lightning talk will present key lessons learned from a broad review of the use of technologies by humanitarians in environments that are constrained in terms of humanitarian access or where there are important physical, social or political obstacles to the deployment of digital technologies. It is informed by case studies conducted in 6 countries (Niger, DRC, Jordan, Iraq, South Sudan, Bangladesh). 
  • Digital Solutions for Family Planning Policy: Meryn Robinson, Technical Advisor, Palladium
    • WHO’s Digital Health Classifications spurred the use of digital health tools by identifying common use cases aligned with health system and delivery challenges – now digital health is part and parcel of any health service delivery program. However, absent from the Classifications is the recognition and identification of how digital solutions can facilitate the health policy life cycle. This lightening talk will share how digital solutions can transform the development and implementation of health policies, so they are more efficient, responsive, transparent and effective. 
  • Defining a New Cybersecurity Paradigm for Development: Stan Byers, Cybersecurity Team Lead, USAID
    • This lightning talk will demonstrate why USAID and its partners should consider organizational and institutional investments in cybersecurity. To date, most efforts to improve cybersecurity in the development field have focused on training and improving cyber hygiene for staff, partners, and beneficiaries. While these efforts remain crucial, broader changes are also needed to adapt to and mitigate the fast evolving cybersecurity threats facing the development field. This lightning talk will present ideas and suggestions for improving organizational cybersecurity readiness for USAID and its partners, including through greater collaboration and threat information sharing.

17:00 GMT: Breakouts & Workshops

  • How can geomapping increase smallholder access to finance & enable climate resilience? Olivia Morgan, Senior Associate, Natural Resource Facilities, Palladium; Elorm Allavi, Co-Founder and CEO, Syecomp; Manfred Borer, CEO, Koltiva AG; Bruce Cameron, Director, Project Finance, United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC); Devleena Bhattacharjee, Founder & CEO, Numer8
    • In this breakout session, you’ll hear from top geomapping application developers who will discuss their work with smallholder farmers (SHF), their barriers to scale and how we can sustainably scale geomappings’ use to close the SHF financing gap while climate-proofing our food system. 
  • Leveraging digital solutions to improve prevention and response to gender-based violence: Kelly Brooks, Project Management Unit Director, Chemonics International; Mark Williams, President, Transnational Development Associates; Cecilia Barraza, Deputy Chief of Party, USAID/Colombia’s Inclusive Justice Activity; Eduardo Barrientos, Sandoval Barrientos Founding Partner and Partner and Director of Innovation & Development Consulting
    • Technology plays a key role in preventing gender-based violence and improving access to justice. Panelists from Colombia, El Salvador, and Guatemala will discuss their experiences using technology to hold perpetrators of gender-based violence (GBV) accountable, with a deep dive into issues such as trust and responsiveness of government service providers, security considerations, functionality, and challenges with internet connectivity. The session will be in Spanish.
  • Evidence to Action: Tools for Climate Change and Water Programs: Kadeem Kahn, Research Manager, Data for Good at Meta; Brian Banks, WASH Analytics and Data Advisor, USAID; Kelsey Mulcahy, Public Policy Research Manager, Data for Good at Meta; Bogdan State, Head of Machine Learning, Vibrant Planet; Nicole Buttermore, Research Scientist, Demography & Survey Sciences at Meta
    • This session is for people who want to learn how to leverage specific data and tools from tech companies to inform strategic responses to climate change and water challenges. We will provide an overview of privacy-preserving data and tools available through Data for Good at Meta, including a global climate change opinion survey in 100+ countries and maps of climate-related conversation on Facebook. To keep us grounded and honest, global impact partners will speak to how they accessed and applied these resources to advance climate and water action. We will close with a discussion with participants of what other datasets would be useful—a unique chance to shape future data products from Data for Good at Meta.
  • Towards an empowered participation of women and girls in AI/ML initiatives: Shachee Doshi, Emerging Technologies Advisor, USAID’s Innovation, Technology, and Research Hub; Neema Iyer, Founder, Pollicy; Bo Percival, Director of Technology/Innovation, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT); Leila Toplic, Head of Emerging Technologies Initiative, NetHope
    • Evidence shows that women and girls are disproportionately affected by the risks and harms posed by AI and digital data collection. According to Gartner, 85% of all algorithms will deliver erroneous outcomes by 2022 because of bias in data and the teams creating them. This includes gender stereotyping and discriminatory biases. This session will explore practical examples of processes, policies, and practices that enable international development organizations to intentionally include and empower women and girls’ participation in the AI/ML programs.
  • Build Your Own Chatbot in 30 Minutes: Sam Riemer, Manager, Emerging Technologies, Deloitte; Kyle Burgess, Specialist Leader, Robotics and Intelligent Automation, Deloitte
    • Interested in building a chatbot for your organization? Join this session to hear from experienced leaders who’ve built and deployed chatbots servicing agencies all over the world. This workshop will expose you to the basics, capabilities, design and value of incorporating a chatbot to a given solution. 
  • Turbocharge your (Digital Development) LinkedIn Presence: Nick Martin, Founder & CEO, TechChange
    • Looking to shift careers or organizations? Trying to establish your professional brand? Looking for the best digital development content on the platform? Our very own Nick Martin will share his tried and true LinkedIn tips with the digital development community that helped him amass 130,000 followers and earned him one of 100 spots in Linkedin’s first ever Creator Accelerator Program. He’ll cover posting tips, hiring trends, newsletter, video, and audio event strategies and more. Come with questions!

18:00 GMT: Lightning Talks

  • 5G in Developing Countries and Emerging Markets: Opportunities and risks for SDGs and the Global South: Rami Amin, Project Lead, World Bank Group
    • Participants in this session will learn about what makes 5G technology so different from all the previous generations of mobile networks, understand the gap between industry hype vs current reality, and explore a few examples of applications around the SDGs, including manufacturing and Industry 4.0. 
  • Transforming Regional Programs and Services Through Digital Enablement: Daniel Murenzi, Principal Information Technology Officer, East African Community; Brooke Partridge, CEO, Vital Wave
    • This lightning talk will present a call to action to support holistic digital enablement approaches in countries and regions. This includes the use of shared digital platforms and resources, collaborative global governance, and workforce development across multiple programs and services. Experiences implementing shared digital platforms in the East African Community (EAC) to standardize services and make more efficient use of shared digital resources across the region, including those used for the COVID-19 response (e.g., the EACPass system), will be presented. 
  • Responsible data for refugees: Data privacy and security approaches of the Ukrainian refugees: Danu Marin, Information Systems for Child Protection Coordinator, D4I Moldova Project
    • The conflict in Ukraine has created an unprecedented humanitarian crisis that has pushed many families with children to migrate to neighbor countries exposing them to physical risks if data safeguarding measures are not taken into consideration. In this lightning session Danu Marin, Information Systems for Child Protection Coordinator of the USAID-funded D4I Moldova Project, will give an overview of the data privacy and security risks Ukraine refugees are facing in Moldova and present how the approaches developed previously be rapidly adapted in crisis settings.
  • More than a Map, USAID’s Geospatial Strategy: Julianna Campbell, Capacity Building Lead, USAID GeoCenter
    • Development work is inherently geographic.  The impact of development interventions and the effectiveness of humanitarian response are influenced by the local characteristics of a population and their surroundings.  Geospatial tools and methods have always been a part of shaping international development and their utility has rapidly increased in concert with the greater advances and influence of digital technology. In 2022, USAID will launch its first ever Geospatial Strategy. This session will introduce USAID’s vision for geospatial technology as an integral part of its work and the development of the countries it supports. 
  • Shifting the Power: How can we meaningfully co-create artificial intelligence solutions for development? Victoria Wang, Senior Analyst, Development Innovation at Global Affairs Canada
    • This session will introduce the AI Co-Creation Framework, a toolkit to guide development actors in co-creating inclusive emerging technology programs and products. The framework has been developed by the International Development Innovation Alliance Emerging Technologies Working Group.

18:30 GMT: Breakouts & Workshops

  • How can we ensure user-centered design and equity in projects that use AI? Gabriel Krieshok, Director, Technology and Digital Development, CARE; Ehsan Zaffar, Chief Difference Engineer, The Difference Engine; Suja Thomas, Senior Research Manager, Data & Insights, New York Times; Gina Assaf, Founder and Managing Director of OBI Digital
    • Donors and implementers see many opportunities to leverage advanced analytics, machine learning, and algorithmic solutions to many longstanding challenges in our sector. But how can we as a digital development community guarantee that we are building products and services that are user-centered, equitable, and ethical? This session will provide a broad overview of areas where we are seeing AI investments — global health systems, mobile finance, geospatial data, and digital services using natural language processing. 
  • How Technology Can Mitigate the Effects of Conflict and Climate Change: Dr Ruth Citrin, Director, UK Conflict, Stability, Security and Research Practice, Chemonics International; Anjali Nayar, Award-winning journalist and filmmaker; Peter Beaumont, Director of Strategic Accounts, Satellite Applications Catapult
    • Technology can serve as a powerful conflict mitigation tool within environments vulnerable to climate change. Three experts with backgrounds in policy, technology, and stabilization will look at  the complex climate-conflict relationship in Liberia and Mozambique, and discuss how satellite technology and locally-sourced reporting tools are being used to address both challenges. 
  • #EndTFGBV: Combating Technology Facilitated Gender-Based Violence On and Offline: Lauren Guzowski, USAID Researcher, USAID, George Washington University; Michelle Ernest-Cohen, USAID Researcher, USAID, McGill University; Sandra Aceng, Policy Analyst,Writer,Wikimedian, & Gender and ICT Researcher, Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET); Castra Pierre, Women’s Right Advocate & DigitalYouth Council Member, USAID DigitalYouth Council
    • Technology-facilitated gender-based violence (TFGBV) is a relatively new form of GBV that has surfaced alongside the emergence of new technologies. This breakout session will cover the definition, forms, and prevalence of TFGBV today, and emphasize the gaps that persist in identifying, preventing, and mitigating incidences of digital violence. The session will highlight practical solutions to mitigate the issue, centering on a discussion with local practitioners on the best-practices to combating TFGBV, the policy changes needed to address online gender-based harm, and solutions to building awareness and affecting action to mitigate TFGBV. 
  • Reaching Youth Leaders in West Africa through Innovative Locally Led Approaches to Advance Health Policies: Ryan Ubuntu Olson, Technical Advisor, Health Policy Plus Project, Palladium; Dr. Ida Kagonge, Country Director of Health Policy Plus- Burkina Faso, Palladium; Allison Prell, Senior Director of Education, TechChange
    • Join a team of capacity development and learning experts as they explore the successes and opportunities for growth in a recent Youth Champions Policy Advocacy training which sensitized over 1,000 rising youth leaders throughout West Africa on the importance of policy advocacy.  
  • The ICT Practitioner’s Guide to Digital Principles-Focused Evaluation: Scott Neilitz, Manager, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning, DIAL; Zach Tilton, Evaluation Consultant, DIAL; Mark Mulobi, Associate, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning, DIAL
    • “What doesn’t get measured, doesn’t get managed.” To measure the use and impact of digital development best practices, the ICT4D space has been bombarded with a swath of Digital Principles monitoring and evaluation resources and other adjacent principles-driven tools from partner organizations. How do we differentiate all of them and how do we determine the one that fits our needs? This session will orient participants to the existing ecosystem of existing Digital Principles-related MEL tools and focus on the newest methodology championed by the Digital Impact Alliance, Digital Principles-Focused Evaluation.

19:00 GMT: First Day Closing Remarks

May 5

12:45 GMT: Second Day Opening Remarks

13:00 GMT: Web3 Keynote Presentation

  • Web3, Democracy, and the Future of Development: Tomicah Tillemann, Chief Policy Officer, Haun Ventures 
    • Dr. Tillemann, Chief Policy Officer of Haun Ventures and a former advisor to Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry, will explore how the emergence of decentralized systems could create powerful new models to transform existing economic development frameworks and unlock new tools for strengthening democracy. He will outline the evolution of digital innovation from web 1.0 and 2.0 to web3, and explore the historical trends that suggest coming shifts in technology could profoundly impact human development. 
  • Useful Tool or Hopeless Distraction? Web3, Crypto, and Responsible Digital Development: Paul Nelson, Senior Digital Finance Advisor, USAID; Robert Greenfield, CEO and co-Founder, Emerging Impact; Shailee Adinolfi, Director, Strategic Sales and Accounts, Consensys; Hilary Allen, Professor of Law, American University; Stephen Diehl, Software Engineer
    • “web3,” “decentralized finance,” and the cryptocurrency economy have elicited enormous interest, intrigue, and skepticism. The aspirations of the web3 community are deeply compelling for developing countries and emerging markets. During this session, we’ll discuss the implications, trade-offs, ethics, and opportunities with a diverse group that includes experts with backgrounds in entrepreneurship, international development, tech, and finance.  This session coincides with the March 2022 release by the White House of the Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets.

13:45 GMT: Lightning Talks

  • Web3 Playbook for Non-Profits: Daniel Coughlin, Director of Data Insights, Systems, and Architecture, International Rescue Committee
    • Public blockchain technology offers a new cost-efficient way to transact goods and services and democratically govern institutions. Organizations driven to empower their clients should be aligned with these aims and values and support the development of the industry, as well as work to understand how crypto assets may improve fundraising, payments, programming, and financing. This session is for managers and leaders in the non-profit, humanitarian, and civil sector and provides a summary of the latest developments in blockchain technology (Crypto, NFTs, DAOs, i.e. Web3).
  • Digital Rights in our AI-enabled future: ‘Gbenga Season, Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative; K’Kayode Akanni, Executive Director, KnowledgeHouseAfrica; Vanja Skoric, Program Director, European Centre for Not-for- Profit Law Stichting
    • This session is for people who want to learn and discuss about digital Rights and AI. Participants will leave the session with though grasps of intricacies involving Digital Rights and AI Technologies- enabled future. This lightning talk will show why we should protect and uphold Digital Rights. 
  • Can Emerging Technologies Lead a Revival of Conflict Early Warning/Early Action? Lessons from the Field: Branka Panic, NYU CIC Fellow and AI for Peace Founder 
    • The early warning/early action (EWEA) community has been working on analytics to help prevent conflict for decades. But the field has evolved significantly since its inception in the 1970s and 1980s. The systems have served, with variable success, to predict conflict trends, alert communities to risk, inform decision-makers, provide inputs to action strategies, and initiate a response to violent conflict. However, what is new in present systems is the need to address the increasingly complex and protracted nature of conflicts, in which factors—previously considered peripheral—have become core elements in conflict dynamics. 

14:00 GMT: Breakouts & Workshops

  • Using Machine Learning to Address Data Gaps: Perspectives from Climate Change, Agriculture, and Humanitarian Relief: Rob Baker ,Independent Consultant; Nana Amoako, Office of the President, Ghana; Rebecca Firth,Senior Director, Strategy & Programs, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team; David Guerena, Agronomist, QED.ai; Charlene Migwe-Kagume, Senior Consultant, Development Gateway; Dr. Catherine Lilian Nakalembe, Associate Research Professor, University of Maryland; Josh Woodward, Senior Digital Advisor, USAID Bureau for Resilience and Food Security
    • With changes in population, increasing desertification, and a changing climate, sub-Saharan Africa faces rising food insecurity. Having data to mitigate these challenges is crucial, but for much of the continent, data gaps remain. This session focuses on ways that machine learning can improve decision-making. Specifically, this session will focus on applications for machine learning from agriculture, climate change, and humanitarian perspectives. 
  • Making AI “Work” for Work: Or, What’s the Deal with Labor in an AI-Enabled World? Andrew Merluzzi, Science and Technology Policy Fellow, USAID; Shachee Doshi, Emerging Technologies Advisor, USAID 
    • As AI-enabled automation expands throughout the world, the nature of work is changing. How can development practitioners prepare for this changing landscape? What can we do now to respond to the long-term consequences of these trends? How can we adopt technologies that enable economic growth while also ensuring that no one is left behind? In this session, we’ll discuss and debate how development practitioners, governments, civil society, or researchers can promote readiness in the face of automation. 
  • Tackling the challenge of training frontline health workers virtually: Yuliya Rakhimova, Digital Health Specialist, Abt Associates; Wouter Vink, Director of Solutions Delivery, Dimagi; Victoria Neff, Assistant Director of EdTech Center, World Education; Sarah Romorini, Senior Associate, Digital Transformation Market Lead, Abt Associates; Nii Lante Heward-Mills, Viamo Country Manager in Liberia
    • Abt Associates, Dimagi, Viamo, and WorldEd will share their practical experiences and lessons learned from implementing a blended distance learning approach for trainings with frontline health workers and Ministry of Health officers in Tajikistan, Malawi, and Rwanda. This panel explores what it takes to use distance learning techniques with end-users who are accustomed to in-person trainings, have limited experience using digital tools, and/or have been challenging to reach virtually. The panel reflects a mix of implementers who are making change happen on the ground–virtually speaking, that is. 
  • Securing Equitable Access: Cybersecurity for Essential Services: Galia Nurko, Digital Specialist, DAI; Giorgi Iashvili, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of GSI Partners; Deborah Fairlamb, Market Development Component Lead, USAID Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure in Ukraine Program; Dr. Steven S. Burns, Chief of Energy and Infrastructure, Bureau for Europe and Eurasia, USAID; Ian Wallace, Senior Adviser, International Cyberspace Security Team, US State Department’s Bureau of Cyberspace & Digital Policy
    • The development community works to improve the standard of living for global populations by working with local stakeholders to improve the quality of healthcare and education, efficiency of food and water delivery, and efficacy of public institutions and markets. During this session, panelists will define critical infrastructure, and outlining simple, but impactful steps international development practitioners can take to strengthen the cybersecurity of people, businesses, or governments. 
  • Visualizing global COVID-19 vaccine acceptance: Health data from 100+ countries during the current pandemic: Daniel Antiporta, Research Scientist, Meta; Nick Martin, Founder and CEO, TechChange
    • This session is for people who want to build hands-on technical skills cleaning, wrangling and visualizing COVID-19 data, to help answer questions about health and social factors. Underpinning this session is a revolutionary new, free, publicly available dataset called the COVID-19 Trends and Impact Survey (CTIS), which gathers data from 100+ countries on COVID-19 symptoms, behaviors and social factors. 
  • Can a Crypto DAO Spur Climate Change Action? Dr. Hannah Forbes, Founder, The Funding Crowd; Wayan Vota, Digital for Development Lead, Deloitte 
    • How can we incentivize climate change actions at a personal, community, or country level? What about creating a Distributed Autonomous Organization (DAO) that is designed to spur climate change actions? Imagine citizen scientists evaluating impacts of verifiable climate actions (planting a tree, removing a gas-powered car from the road, etc.), those actions bundled and sold to corporations seeking carbon offsets, and then individuals sharing in those payments based on their climate mitigating actions. Could this be achieved with a DAO that used blockchain-based evaluations and cryptocurrencies? If so, what would it look like? Can we create this idea in 55 minutes or less? Join us to find out!

15:00 GMT: Breakouts & Workshops

  • A coordinated solution to siloed systems: Derek Treatman, Senior Director of Technology Solutions, Vital Wave; Dr. Simukai Zizhou, Director of Health Informatics and Data Analytics, Ministry of Health and Child Care; Natschja (Nat) Ratanaprayu, Technical Officer, Department of Digital Health and Innovations, Public Digital Health Technology Unit, World Health Organization; Xenophon (Xen) Santas, Associate Director for Informatics and Information Resources, U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Center for Global Health
    • In this round table discussion, representatives from country governments, global donors, policy setting organizations, and implementing partners will discuss potential approaches to addressing persistent challenges to the effective use of digital systems for programs and services in LMICs. This includes a holistic approach to creating shared digital platforms, shared digital standards, coordinated funding, and country-level capacity to operate and sustain programs and supporting systems. Panelists will discuss pathways to achieving effective digital enablement, including specific examples of successes and challenges in establishing shared digital resources, platforms, and standards.
  • Preventing and Responding to Technology-facilitated Gender-based Violence: Mattito Watson, Technical Advisor, USAID; Chaitra Shenoy, Senior Gender-Based Violence Advisor & Team Lead, USAID; Cailin Crockett, Senior Advisor, Gender Policy Council, The White House; John Zoltner, Senior Advisor, Technology for Development and Innovation, Save the Children; Katherine Chon, Director of the Office on Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
    • Digital technologies provide opportunities for people of all sexual orientations, gender Identities and expressions (SOGIE) to access information, healthcare, education, job opportunities and other resources that would otherwise be unobtainable by them. Those opportunities, however, are less available to girls and women: in fact, there is a persistent 20% gap in cellphone ownership between women and men in low-to-middle income countries. When digital tools and resources are available, they often come at a higher cost to girls, women and anyone who operates outside traditional SOGIE roles because they suffer the majority of harassment, exploitation and abuse. Join us to hear how the US government and its partners, such as the Global Partnership for Action on Gender-based Online Harassment and Abuse, are approaching the gender digital divide and the use of technology to harass, exploit and abuse girls, women and anyone who does not conform to traditional gender norms.
  • Blockchain. Emergent or Divergent? Danilo de Sousa Nhantumbo; Chris Light, Senior Technologist; Juliana Neelbauer, Tech Attorney and Entrepreneur advisor; Michael Chobanian, President of the Ukraine Blockchain Association; Victor Mapunga, CEO and Founder, FlexID Technologies
    • Blockchain appears to be one of the most misunderstood technologies in the Development sector. While it is oft ignored and almost shunned, tremendous innovation happened during lockdown and continues to be made with it in emerging markets. This lively session will explore COVID-era strides being made in the areas of: 1.)Cryptocurrency. A primary income source during lockdown? A new innovative source of financing? 2.) CDBCs and Stablecoins. The future of money? 3.) Blockchain and FinTech. The future of payments? 
  • Cheap, Fast, AND Good – Positive Collaboration with Tech Vendors: Leslie Sage, Director of Data Science, DevResults; Claudine Lim, Manager, Principles for Digital Development, DIAL; Chris Gegenheimer, Technical Advisor for Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) and Digital Development, Chemonics International
    • As digital tools become integral to how projects deliver on outcomes, staff will need to procure an increasing number of vendor services for app and platform development and other software-as-service products. This workshop will touch on topics such as communication and collaboration, provide tools to avoid common pitfalls when developing tech-related scopes of work, and address how we can apply the principles for digital development to effectively navigate vendor-client relationships.
  • It’s a Match: Capacity strengthening and WHO’s digital health strategy: Jodi Lis, Senior Advisor, Health Workforce at IntraHealth International; Derrick Muneene, Unit Head, Digital Health Capacity Building and Collaboration at World Health Organization HQ, Geneva; Jai Ganesh Udayasankaran, Governing Committee, Asia eHealth Information Network (AeHIN); Lauren Wall, Partnership & Program Implementation Advisor, Digital Square at PATH; Steven Wanyee, Principal Investigator, Intellisoft; Dr. Chansaly PHOMMAVONG, Deputy Director of Planning and Cooperation Department and Deputy Director of HANSA project and Lao PDR COVID-19 Response Project; Prof. Mbayang NDIAYE, Medical Expert Consultant, Digital Health
    • This gameshow-style session will engage the audience and expert panel in a lively discussion around what are the capacity strengthening priorities to support WHO’s five year digital health strategy. Expert panelists and audience members will be asked questions regarding these priorities. When their answers are revealed, will there be a match? The matches or lack thereof will be the jumping off point for the panelists and audience members to debate the merits of their point of view. Topics will include, but are not limited to: Digital health competency frameworks; training of health professionals and allied workers; capacity building of public health leaders and policy makers; and existing and future digital health curricula and training programs. 
  • Introducing a toolkit for sustainable revenue streams and business models planning: Ian Gray, Founder, Gray Dot Catalyst; Heath Arensen, Director of Open Source Programs, DIAL
    • Does your project struggle with financial sustainability? 97% of respondents in a survey of digital public goods reported financial sustainability as their number one challenge.* In response, the Principles for Digital Development, in partnership with the Digital Impact Alliance and Fondation Botnar, has released the Business Model Sustainability Toolkit. Focusing on the principle of Build for Sustainability — a key consideration to ensure the long-term success of a digital solution — this Toolkit is an interactive step-by-step guide to help digital development projects plan for long term financial sustainability and resilience.

16:00 GMT: Keynote

  • Making WhatsApp Work for Social Impact: Ben Supple, Head of Civic Engagement, Meta Business Messaging Group; Jessica Kirkwood, Associate Vice President of Supporter Engagement, CARE USA
    • With over 2 billion users, WhatsApp has emerged as the tool of choice to build community, improve service delivery, build skills remotely, and democratize access to information. Join this keynote to hear directly from WhatsApp on how the platform can be used to advance social impact around the world, with inspiring examples from key organizations in the sector. You’ll also be introduced to a new pricing model designed specifically for eligible nonprofits and civic actors – ensuring more equitable and universal access to this invaluable tool.

16:30 GMT: Conference Closing Remarks

Don’t miss out May 4-5, 2022 on 150+ captivating talks and sessions, peer networking opportunities, and digital development technology demos. Register for free here.

GDDF 2022 Side Sessions

Interested in more things digital development? This year, GDDF is extending its reach, inviting our colleagues from around the world to continue the conversation beyond the GDDF schedule. Register for GDDF to RSVP for these sessions. 

May 5:

  • 7:00 GMT Expert discussion: How can open-source drive the growth of local digital innovations in Uganda? Marcel Heyne – Founder and Managing Director of URIDU; Peter Batalli, founder and executive director of CTEN; Richard Zulu, Team Lead, Outbox Uganda; Barbara Birungi or Leticia Nakitende, Women in Technology Uganda (WiTU); Aidah Bukubuza, Digital Literacy Initiative; Allan Mbabani, OpenStreetMap Uganda; Moderator: Deborah Aanyu Oduman, Open Source Community Africa, Kampala Chapter; MC: Charlène Cabot, Response Innovation Lab Uganda, hosted by Save the Children
    • Digital innovations developed out of open source models can be disruptive in low- and middle-income countries as they leverage collaboration, make adaptation to different contexts possible and split costs among stakeholders. The session will also kick-off the Open Source for Equality (OSEQ.org) – which aims to bring together development organizations, social entrepreneurs, software developers, and content creators to support local ecosystems where open software thrives and contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • 10:30 GMT Design anywhere, manufacture here – exploring local manufacturing platforms: Barbara Schack and Ronald Tumuhairwe, Internet of Production;
    Juakali Smart, Kenya; James Ochuka, Founder Makerko, Nepal; Ram Chandra Thapa, Founder Virtual Factory Network, by MoTIV, Uganda; Bertram Ford, Co-founder and Factory Lead Kijenzi, Kenya; John Gershenson, Co-Founder and CEO; Anna Sera Lowe – UK, Founder Manufacturing Change; Ben Oldfrey – UK, research fellow at the Global Disability Innovation Hub

    • The COVID pandemic has revealed how fragile and inefficient the global manufacturing paradigm and long supply chains are in emergency situations. What if we could manufacture PPE, medical devices, or anything, locally anywhere? Given current and emerging technology, what would production look like if we reconfigured it from scratch? At the Internet of Production Alliance, we believe the answer lies in sustainable, globally networked, local manufacturing. Join us for a conversation with innovators and researchers who are flipping the globalised manufacturing paradigm: they are building local or regional platforms that link designers, buyers and manufacturers.
  • 11:30 GMT Strategies for Addressing Mis and Dis-information in Eastern and Central Europe: Elizabeth Villarroel – Deloitte; Tomas Krissak – Gerulata Technologies; Maria Makowska – TechSoup; Anna Sienicka – TechSoup; Dana Goldsmith – Deloitte
    • With the Russian invasion and war in Ukraine, already existing propaganda and disinformation campaigns have been accelerated throughout Eastern and Central Europe. Together with cyberattacks and other digital incursions, this makes everyone more vulnerable — especially civil society organizations and frontline activists working in the areas of human rights, democracy, free media, and helping refugees. Join us for a conversation with Deloitte and TechSoup Global Network partners and trainers on supporting civil society organizations in Ukraine, Poland, Slovakia and beyond. Learn from those on the front lines how you can help build trust and civil society literacy for authentic information in your programs at a time when spotting disinformation and stopping it is critical for democracy.
  • 11:30 GMT Farmer co-design of climate change solutions: Ciniro Costa, Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT; Katie Nelson, International Rice Research Institute; Lini Wollenberg, Gund Institute, University of Vermont and Clim-Eat
    • We explore how well digital solutions are enabling farmer co-design of solutions for climate change mitigation. We look at the types of options and state-of-the-art innovations. We consider farmer-to-farmer exchange, information hubs accessible to farmers, and farmer-advisor linkages and consider trade-offs with non-digital options. We assess what more can be done digitally and how to sustain efforts through effective business models for co-design resources. Our objectives are to share learning, identify solutions and identify an agenda for innovations needed.
  • 11:30 GMT Addressing Data Governance for Locally-Led Health Supply Chains: Tesfaye Seifu, GHSC-PSM Country Director, Ethiopia, Chemonics International; Jean Baptiste Byiringiro, Chief Digital Officer, Ministry of Health, Rwanda; Violet Ketani, Global Standards Technical Specialist, GHSC-PSM, Chemonics International
    • Join us for a session focused on the challenges and best practices surrounding data governance for locally-led health supply chains. Panelists will explore the myriad of data stakeholders in local supply chains, who owns what data and the challenges to attaining good data. The session will also shed light on master data and data harmonization efforts in various countries. Participants will leave the session with an understanding of the complicated web of data management and ownership and the role that data plays in building locally-led supply chains.
  • 12:00 GMT Digital Health for the Real World – Voices from the Frontlines: Ayo Edinger, Senior Global Digital Health Consultant, Mott MacDonald, UK; Steven Wanyee, IntelliSOFT Consulting, Kenya; Simon Ndira, Cooper/Smith Country Director, Malawi; Dr Florida Muro, Head of Community Health Department, Tanzania; Donovan Schult, IT Manager, MPAMOT South Africa; Dr Nicholas Crisp, Deputy Director, National Health Insurance, South Africa
    • We know digital health tools can make a valuable contribution to improving health and wellbeing for all. Recent acceleration in the uptake of digital health solutions is encouraging – but we need to reflect on the lessons of the past to maximise this opportunity. In this panel discussion with key experts from the global south, we will be unpacking experiences from evaluating digital health solutions across Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia; as well as pivoting resources in the wake of the Covid19 pandemic to design and implement South Africa’s Covid Vaccination Reimbursement Programme.
  • 17:00 GMT If it ain’t broke don’t fix it? How a war in our own neighborhood illuminated cracks in the global humanitarian response. Shelley Taylor, CEO trellyz; Corey Marshall, Head of Partnerships, trellyz; Dina Volynets, DEMAC Liaison Officer for Ukraine; Alvar Sanchez from the The Diocesan Delegation of Migration; Rakesh Bharania, Humanitarian Impact Data Salesforce.org
    • This session is for: Funders, technologists, humanitarian organizations, and more importantly, anyone involved in responding to a humanitarian crisis, especially the Russian war on Ukraine. The international humanitarian system is structured around conflicts and responses in the Global South – convoys of goods in protected corridors, centralized distribution locations, established providers, contractors and processes. But what happens when we have a war in our own backyard? In this session we’ll give examples of technology in the dead app cemetary, current initiatives destined to repeat the same pattern, and introduce a process that can prevent unnecessary havoc and create better outcomes.
  • 17:00 GMT From Donbas to Kyiv, to students around the world. One Ukrainian’s story of language teaching and displacement: Aline Sara, CEO and Co-Founder of NaTakallam; Yaroslavna Mykhovych, Ukrainian Language Partner, NaTakallam
    • Only 1% of the more than 80 million persons displaced by war are formally resettled, given a work permit, and a chance to restart their lives. Those that are lucky enough to be resettled, continue to face barriers to employment. Fortunately, the digital economy has unlocked new ways to earn a livelihood and rekindle connections lost to displacement. NaTakallam (“we speak” in Arabic), a social enterprise founded in response to the Syrian refugee crisis, leverages the digital economy to offer high-quality, curated language services delivered by refugees and individuals affected by conflict. n this session, we’ll meet Yaroslavna (“Yara”), a school teacher forcibly displaced from her hometown of Donbas during the 2014 war. This event is part of a series of Refugee Voices from NaTakallam, bringing the perspectives of refugees and what’s behind the headlines directly into conversations.
  • 17:00 GMT Community-driven digital public goods: learnings from a decade of partnerships
    •  This session will serve as a reflection on the open-source movement and the potential to deliver impact within the social sector. DataKind and project partners will share experiences and lessons learned from the ongoing creation and stewardship of four digital public goods. They will offer a commentary on how open-source tool development can drive new impact and potential pathways for engagement.This session is facilitated by DataKind (datakind.org), sharing work created in partnership with the organizations Medic, Riders for Health, New America Future of Land and Housing and the American Museum of Natural History.

May 6:

  • 12:00 GMT How could Data help Social Justice? Moving beyond Data Governance in Africa and Latin America: Louis Fendji (PhD), Data Justice Researcher and Innovative Technologies Policy Director, AfroLeadership; Eliana Quiroz, Research Director, Internet Bolivia Foundation; Isaac Amuku, Research Specialist, Women of Uganda Network; Moderator: Peace Oliver Amuge, Executive Director, Women of Uganda Network
    • This moderated session intends to share perspectives on the interaction of data and social justice by policymakers, developers, companies, and the impacted communities. This session will explore the data justice research conducted to provide a clear understanding of the relationship between compliance matter of privacy and social justice in terms of access to, visibility and representation in data used in the development of AI/ML systems, participation of the citizens in the decision making and management of databases, such as from Uganda, Cameroon, and Bolivia. This panel session proposes a nuanced and interactive discussion on this topic with the lead discussants and participants.
  • 12:00 GMT The Digital Public Goods Charter – Is Collective Action the future of DPGs? DIAL – Kay McGowan, Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy; USAID – Sabeen Dhanani, Deputy Director for Technology; GIZ – Bjoern Ritcher, Head of Digital Transformation Cluster of Global and Sector Programs; Ushahidi – Angela Oduor Lungati, Executive Director; Siddharth Shetty, Fellow, iSPIRT
    • This session is for global development actors who design, implement, use, or benefit from Digital Public Goods/Infrastructure (DPG/DPIs). Over the past decade, private and public actors have invested in DPG/DPIs and ground implementations aimed at improving service delivery for citizens and fueling innovation economies.Panelists will describe the needs that formed this vision and share the aspirations of the Charter process. Participants will leave this discussion with a clear understanding of the Charter for Digital Public Goods and will be invited to provide feedback throughout the session, which will be used to shape the Charter Vision and Framework in global support for DPGs.
  • 12:00 GMT Using Digital Platforms for Continuous In-Service Training for Frontline Health Workers: Naina Ahuja, UNICEF HQ; Harriet Blest, UNICEF East Asia and Pacific; Sarah Mullane, Johnson & Johnson
    • Challenges that prevent regular training for frontline health workers (FHWs) include the high cost of manual training processes; disruption of service delivery; the lack of resources, such as infrastructure and human power; and the necessity of updating training materials with the newest clinical protocols and guidelines. This session will begin with a lively discussion led by Johnson & Johnson on the dearth of evidence-based practices and classification challenges for health worker digital learning platforms. The session will then transition to explore how UNICEF is building this evidence base with country deployments in the East Asia and Pacific Region.
  • 13:00 GMT Digital Transformation in African SIDS – An empowering force for people and planet: Asmina Said Ahmed, Girls&Tech (Comoros); Fahmi Thabbit, KuuzaComores (Comoros); Zeferino Saugene, Digital health advisor, Saudigitus, (Guinea Bissau); Milton Cabral, Cabo Verde Digital (Cape Verde); Fabrizio Andreuzzi, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP, Comoros country office; Riad Meddeb, Director ai UNDP Global Centre on Technology, Innovation and Sustainable Development and Senior Principal Advisor for SIDS; Dr. Jose Levy, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP, Guinea Bissau country office; Laura Hildebrandt: UNDP Digital Transformation Specialist, SIDS; Louisiane Kouassi, Digital transformation specialist, UNDP, Comoros country office
    • The session is focused on highlighting the role of Digital Transformation as an accelerator of development in Small Island Development States (SIDS), such as Comoros, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde and other SIDS on the African continent. The roundtable session will gather digital leaders and local innovators from African SIDS countries with representatives from United Nations Development Programme to explore lessons in relation to Digital Transformation and how this agenda can be developed in an inclusive and sustainable way to support the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and SAMOA Pathway in SIDS.
  • 13:00 GMT Confronting Ethical Challenges while Serving Informal Workers with Pro-Poor Technologies: Tiago Borges Coelho, Founder, UX IT, Mozambique; Carolina Medina, Chief Innovation Officer, Fundación Capital, Colombia; Xan Paxton, Head of Data Insights, Data Elevates, USA; Sarah McRae, Com-Hector Product Manager, Fundación Capital, Paris; Moderator: Jesus Melendez Vicente, Senior Technical Advisor, Data and Digital Development at IREX
    • More than one billion people across Africa still use feature phones with no internet access, and services built on legacy systems provide life-changing opportunities to the most vulnerable, while generating data points that contain valuable insights into the dynamics of informal economies. This session will deploy an interactive workshop format to engage participants in a debate on real-world ethical challenges encountered while implementing an informal labor marketplace supporting 60,000+ gig workers in Mozambique through mobile legacy systems (USSD and SMS). We will discuss the risks of using algorithms to influence this underground economic activity and of communicating relevant data insights directly to workers. Session participants will contribute to the real-world use of analytics and ML to target economic opportunities to vulnerable populations.
  • 13:00 GMT Linking DHIS2 Models to Improve Contraception Continuation among Adolescents in Nigeria: Beatrice Syomiti – A360 Monitoring Advisor, PSI; Salome Chika-Igbokwe – A360 Senior Learning Advisor, SFH; Isaiah Nyabuto – DHIS2 Specialist, PSI; Faith Mbogo – Digital Program Manager, PSI
    • Contraception continuation among adolescents remains a challenge for the global Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH) community of practice. Adolescents have limited access to family planning (FP) services compared to older women. We will demonstrate our approach to FP continuation using digital applications by showing how linking DHIS2 tracker data models improved the follow-up and support for adolescents’ method continuation in line with their fertility preferences in Nigeria.
  • 13:00 GMT How can digital development better support digital rights in MENA? Sacha Robehmed – Digital Rights & Design Researcher (Freelance, currently CIVICUS & GIZ); Raya Sharbain – The Tor Project, Jordan Open Source Association
    • This networking session is for digital development professionals to connect and strategize with digital rights activists in the Middle East region. Humanitarian and development organizations in MENA rely on digital tools for sharing information; supporting remote education; providing training in digital skills for work; to distribute cash assistance; and for other aspects of the work. Yet often, their efforts are siloed from the digital rights struggles and advocacy efforts of digital rights organizations in the region. Bridging this gap, digital development implementers might find new thought partners and support, while digital rights activists might find new allies and advocates. Through smaller breakout groups, people working in digital development and digital rights in the region will identify shared goals and opportunities for working together to create a healthier digital environment in the region.

This year’s GDDF is brought to you by TechChange, USAID, Chemonics, Deloitte, CARE, DAI,  Palladium, and Digital Impact Alliance.