Submit Your Session Ideas Now

The Global Digital Development Forum will feature thoughtful keynote presentations, exciting lightning talks, captivating breakout sessions, interactive workshops and enlightening solution demonstrations from your peers.

Please Submit Your Session Ideas Now for Consideration
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This forum will be a highly participatory, community-driven event so we are actively seeking practitioners from around the world with a wide range of ideas, experiences and backgrounds to lead each type of session. Special consideration will be given to sessions led by practitioners from low- and middle-income countries.

Submit your idea now. for consideration in our second round of session reviews. If selected, you will be asked to submit the final session title, summary and outline by April 5th. All session leads will receive dedicated training in online learning from TechChange to ensure an engaging virtual event.

Suggested Session Construction

We want GDDF 2021 sessions to be different from the usual ICT4D conference events. We discourage organizations from simply presenting projects they implemented. Please propose true conversation topics with lead discussants from different organizations. We want to foster lively debate on key questions with multiple viewpoints.

Here are several session topic ideas to guide your design direction:

  • What learnings from COVID-19 can we use to improve our HIV responses?
  • How could agritech solutions improve food security in the Sahel?
  • Who in South Asia is reducing digital gender divides and how?
  • Where can educational outcomes be improved with assistive technology?
  • When will we see constructive responses to disinformation campaigns?

Here is an example session description to show you want we’re looking for: an interesting session idea, a description of how you’ll engage participants in the learning, and who you’ll have from different organizations leading the discussion.

How can we improve malaria reduction in Nigeria using ICT4D?

The government of Nigeria seeks to reduce malaria cases through a campaign of indoor residential spraying and long-lasting insecticidal bed net distribution. How can we use technology to improve both?

This session will explore the use of geographic information systems and mobile data collection tools to target interventions, measure their progress, and evaluate success in Nigeria and Uganda. Participants will hear from Nigeria and Uganda project managers, then compare approaches as a group, and discuss tech uses and issues with GIS and M&E leads. They will leave with a checklist of when and how to design interventions with GIS and MDC, with a focus on remote project monitoring.

Lead discussants: Nigerian health system manager, Nigerian spray and bed net program manager, Ugandan bed net program lead, Ugandan GIS expert, Nigerian M&E manager – all from different organizations.

See past Technology Salon sessions for further inspiration on how to develop your session theme and recruit diverse discussants. Session ideas that focus on one solution or with discussants from one organization will not be accepted.

Suggested Session Topics

We seek a wide range of ideas and viewpoints across the international development and humanitarian relief sectors, within these broad topic categories.

  • Digital Health: COVID-19, HIV/AIDS, Mother & Child, Family Planning, Health Workforce, Supply Chain
  • EduTech: Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, Adult, Informal and Digital Literacy Skills
  • AgriTech: Smallholder Farming, Animal Husbandry, Aquaculture and their Value Chains
  • Digital Economy: Digital Financial Services, Digital Identity, Agency and Inclusion
  • eGovernment: Community Engagement, Elections, Activism and Human Rights
  • Humanitarian Response: Natural disasters and Conflict/post-conflict
  • Responsible Data: Collection, Analysis, Presentation, Risks and Protection
  • Information Integrity: Media, Disinformation, Social Accountability, Information Literacy
  • Safeguarding and Protection: Cybersecurity, Digital Safety Technologies, Policies, Guidelines and Training
  • Emerging Technology: Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, Remote Sensing, Digital Identification

We expect a COVID-19 Digital Response theme in many non-health sessions, featuring learning from 2020 activities as well as Ebola, HIV and other viral infection epidemics.

Each session should include underlying concepts like data privacy and security, constituent protection and safeguarding, inclusion, the role of gender and how to monitor, evaluate and learn from success.

Suggested Session Types

We want to curate multiple interactive online session formats that engage and inspire participants to take action. We encourage conversation ideas that utilize these broad session types:

  • Lightning Talks that showcase new ideas or focused learning on ICT4D successes and failures in short, fast-paced presentations
  • Breakout sessions featuring lively debates on key contested issues or interactive roundtable discussions that explore complex deployment challenges
  • Workshops and skill-building sessions with practical, hands-on exercises and approaches
  • Vendor demonstrations of new solutions and key innovations ready for rapid deployment

All session leads will receive dedicated training in online learning from TechChange to ensure they have the skills to lead an engaging virtual event. This online facilitation skill is getting more valuable every day, so submit your session idea now!

Session Ranking Criteria

We really do what to have interactive sessions that explore the deeper issues and challenges in digital development, and get past the usual death-by-Powerpoint presentations on specific projects.

We will look to 5 major criteria when we rank sessions for inclusion into the event, including:

1. Content Quality

  • Does the session have clear objectives / learnings?
  • Is the problem/solution clear and does it bring a new or innovative lens to the problem/solution?
  • Does the topic expand our engagement of French and Spanish audiences?
  • Does it have any learnings that are potentially applicable to a broad audience?
  • Does it provide insights that have potential to influence donor strategy, program design, or policy?

+ for breakout/workshop Ideas

  • What tools/checklists/processes, etc will be developed in the session?
  • Will the session give attendees useful new skills/tools/resources/processes they can apply immediately?
  • Are the skills applicable to a wide enough range of contexts to be useful?
  • Does the session design match the learning outcomes?

2. Content Relevance

  • Does the idea seem interesting and relevant to an ICT4D focused audience?
  • Does the session align to one of the conference’s stated themes?
  • Does it touch a few different themes and is that clear?
  • How does the session reinforce the Digital Principles?

+ for breakout/workshop Ideas

  • Will the breakout/workshop teach/share a usable skill with participants?
  • Is the session design well-suited to online delivery?
  • Will it be of interest to participants outside a particular geographic region, topical context?

3. Discussant Credibility

  • Do the presenter/lead(s) demonstrate credibility (e.g. experience or knowledge) in the subject matter?
  • If sharing a program or project, was/is the presenter directly involved with implementation?
  • Is the discussant a front-line worker?

4. Discussant Diversity

  • Is the presenter/lead a voice from the Global South?
  • Does the presenter/lead represent an under-represented demography (e.g. gender, age, sexuality, disability)?
  • Are the discussants as a group representative of diverse backgrounds (i.e. no “manels”)
  • Is the discussant an authentic representative of a particular region or group (e.g. as opposed to a proxy)?

5. Session Engagement

  • How does the session engage participants?
  • Is it exciting and interactive?

+ for breakout/workshop Ideas

  • What is the broadcast vs. interactive feel of the session design?
  • Does it engage participants with the facilitators?
  • How do participants engage with each other?
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