Welcome to our weekly #ICT4D News Roundup! We are passionate about the intersection of technology and social good. Each week we look for the best articles that focus on the ICT4D industry, the issues that impact the sectors we work across, and interesting content for social enterprises.
Highlighted articles this week:
- Are Silicon Valley investors the key to closing the $2.5 trillion funding gap needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030? – Devex
- Five tips nonprofits should consider when adopting new technology solutions to scale impact. – Stanford Social Innovation Review
- Learn four best practices for using data responsibly in the agriculture sector. – ICTworks
- Boston University’s School of Public Health partnered with Dimagi to give students hands-on experience building CommCare apps for organizations like Partners in Health and the Malawi Ministry of Health. Watch a video from their showcase. – Boston University School of Public Health
- Lack of family planning measures are made worse for those living in emergency situations. Read what is being done about it. – Huffington Post
HOW VENTURE CAPITAL CAN HELP FINANCE THE SDGS
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank Group recently hosted the Emerging Markets Venture Forum, which seeks to connect tech entrepreneurs with Silicon Valley investors. By pairing these startups with venture capitalists, the World Bank hopes to help close the $2.5 trillion funding gap needed to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
‘The way I see Silicon Valley, it remains to be cutting edge in developing new technologies, identifying new models and systems, that may not be initially geared towards developing markets but could have a role in developing markets,’ Nikunj Jinsi, global head of venture capital at the IFC, told Devex. ‘IFC has a role to play as an enabler to help develop ecosystems in markets that are not traditionally oriented towards that Silicon Valley mindset.’”
HOW TECH CAN MAXIMIZE SOCIAL IMPACT
Technology is changing how nonprofits operate — helping them scale and maximize impact in new ways. As more nonprofits look to strengthen their technical capacity, Kevin Barenblatm the co-founder and president of Fast Forward, an accelerator for tech nonprofits, covers five tips anyone working in the nonprofit space should know before taking on a new technology solution.
Innovative nonprofits are leveraging technology to reach new markets. They are leading the charge in social change and disrupting traditional approaches to healthcare, education, justice, and equity. Today, technology is cheaper and more accessible than ever, and it is time every nonprofit consider how it can amplify mission and impact.”
4 BEST PRACTICES FOR RESPONSIBLE DATA IN AGRICULTURE
The data revolution is set to transform the agriculture industry, allowing farmers to make data-driven decisions about crop yields, water usage, and more. While these technology advancements are improving practices for large agricultural companies, some experts are concerned it is also creating “imbalances in data access and use,” since smallholder and subsistence farmers often do not have the same resources to invest in the new solutions. The Responsible Data community has proposed four best practices to help mitigate some of the challenges that arise when introducing new technologies and data solutions, including how to spread the wealth of knowledge so that more people can benefit from the advancements.
In order to make these kinds of decisions in a responsible way, sharing the decision-making responsibility with people from the communities themselves seems to be the best way of ensuring no harm or negative unintended consequences. Co-design methods and collaboration early on in the data sharing process is also recommended as a way of getting solid buy-in from relevant communities.”
IN THE CLASSROOM: REAL APPS FOR REAL GLOBAL HEALTH
This year was the fifth annual Mobile Health Showcase, organized by James Wolff, associate professor of global health at Boston University’s School of Public Health. Students from Professor Wolff’s class, “Using Mobile Technology to Improve Health Outcomes,” presented the mobile health applications they built over the semester for clients such as Partners in Health and the Malawi Ministry of Health. Read the article and watch the video for more information on the CommCare applications the student built.
After each presentation, the students took questions about their products—from people who create these products professionally, at Dimagi and elsewhere. They went over everything from the nitty-gritty functions of the apps, to rates of smartphone ownership within a country or region or demographic, to the possibility of using an app for a dramatically different public health effort.’”
LACK OF FAMILY PLANNING CASTS A SHADOW OVER THE FUTURE FOR MILLIONS OF WOMEN AND GIRLS ON THE MOVE
Emergency situations should not dictate when or if someone chooses to have children, but, unfortunately, they often do. In countries affected by natural disasters, conflict, or other situations that might require displacement, contraceptives and family planning options can be nonexistent. In this article Flavia Bustreo, the World Health Organization Assistant Director-General for Family, Women’s and Children’s Health, discusses the recent Family Planning Summit, where policymakers, donors, and advocates from around the world came together to try and address this issue.
Contraceptives cost just a few cents, but their impact can be life changing. However, when women are denied access, for whatever reason, they face a much greater risk of unplanned and unsafe pregnancies. This is especially dangerous for adolescent girls – for whom death in childbirth is the leading cause of death globally – and for all women and girls in settings with limited access to maternal services and obstetric care.”
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