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Category Archives: Principles for Digital Development

May 19, 2017

Humanitarian Agencies to Donors: “Help Us Ensure the Best Data Protection for Beneficiaries”

By | Digital development, International development, Newsroom, Principles for Digital Development, Technology

Major International Aid Organizations and Tech Companies Join Forces to Provide Data Protection for The World’s Most Vulnerable

Hyderabad, India — Global aid agencies seeking to protect some of the most vulnerable people around the world from breaches of data privacy have called on donor agencies to help establish industry-wide standards.

Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL), NetHope and World Vision were among hundreds of organisations at the international Information and Communications Technology for Development (ICT4D) Conference¹ in India this week calling for better protection of data amid the WannaCry ransomware attack. The organizations highlighted the need to standardise approaches for protecting the privacy and security of data gathered by the humanitarian sector in an effort to provide more efficient support and measure impact.

During the conference, the group announced it would review existing frameworks, tools, and mechanisms relating to data security and privacy across the humanitarian sector. The aim of this work is to create a small suite of standardised frameworks to enable the industry to better protect people’s data.

“We are committed to ensuring that the data of the people we serve around the world is adequately protected,” said Karl Lowe, CIO and Vice President of IT at CRS. “We need our donors – governments, foundations, and other institutions so we can align required data protection standards for our humanitarian and development projects.”

Kate Wilson, CEO of DIAL added, “Collecting data on beneficiaries is an important part of shaping development programmes and tracking impact but we must come to terms with the inadequacies of the privacy and security systems that currently exist. Donors and implementing agencies should work together to develop and apply more effective privacy safeguards as called for as part of the Principles for Digital Development.”

“Establishing appropriate guidance for the humanitarian sector is of utmost importance,” said Lauren Woodman, CEO of NetHope. “Over the last year, NetHope has been working to identify best practices in information security and data protection, and we’re thrilled to see the sector coming together to address this important issue.”

Al Lutz, Chief Information Security Officer of World Vision2 said everyone—humanitarian agencies, donors, members of the private sector and governments—needed to aim for the highest level of safeguards possible.

“Our beneficiaries, especially the most vulnerable, deserve the very best data protection we can provide,” he said. “Being at risk of having your data misused simply because you happen to be living in a refugee camp, or because a drought leaves you reliant on food aid just adds insult to injury. Everyone involved with collecting, storing and using beneficiary data has a responsibility to shoot for the very best common standards that can be practically applied.”


Notes to Editors

¹ Information and Communication Technology For Development http://ict4dconference.org

² World Vision has this week won an award for IT security http://bit.ly/2rpQGbC


For CRS: Tom Price, +1-410-951-7450, tom.price@crs.org

For DIAL: Paul Quirk, +1-202-864-5148, pquirk@digitalimpactalliance.org

For NetHope: Nan Hall,  +1-206-604-5118, nan.hall@nethope.org

For World Vision: Jan Butter, +44 (0)7889400889, jan_butter@wvi.org


Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding.  For more information, visit www.crs.org or www.crsespanol.org and follow Catholic Relief Services on social media: Facebook, Twitter at @CatholicRelief, @CRSnews and @CRSnoticias, InstagramPinterest and YouTube.

The Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) aims to realize a more inclusive digital society in emerging markets, in which all women, men and children benefit from life-enhancing, mobile-based digital services. A partnership among USAID, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Swedish Government and the United Nations Foundation, DIAL’s efforts help accelerate the collective efforts of government, industry and development organizations to realize this vision. www.digitalimpactalliance.org

NetHope: NetHope empowers committed organizations to change the world through the power of technology. NetHope, a consortium of 50-plus global nonprofits, unites with technology companies and funding partners to design, fund, implement, adapt, and scale innovative approaches to solve development, humanitarian, and conservation challenges. Together, the NetHope community strives to transform the world, building a platform or hope for those who receive aid and those who deliver it. www.nethope.org

World Vision is a global Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. www.wvi.org



May 15, 2017

DIAL’s Plans at 2017 ICT4D Conference in Hyderabad, India

By | Blog, ICT4D, International development, Principles for Digital Development, Sustainable Development Goals, Tech innovations

From May 15-18, the ninth annual ICT4D Conference will be held in Hyderabad, India. This annual conference brings together more than 1,000 attendees from public, private and civil society organizations from across the humanitarian and international development community to discuss how they’ve used innovations in technology to increase the impact of their work.

This year, the conference will focus on ways to harness the power of data to accelerate progress toward the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and increase the impact of ICT4D programs. One of the key means of achieving the SDGs, including all 17 targets and 169 indicators, is through the collection, analysis and effective utilization of data. For this year’s conference, DIAL has organized a track dedicated to data-driven adaptation and strategy. Throughout ICT4D, participants will explore actionable ways the international development community can use data to influence their decision making, programmatic strategies and more. Additional speaker themes include the impact of digital transformation on development; innovations in data visualization and analytics; enablers and barriers to open data sharing; and frontier solutions and their contribution to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.

Kate's Slide at ICT4DDIAL will participate in several sessions throughout ICT4D. To kick-off the conference on Monday, May 15, DIAL’s CEO Kate Wilson and Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary of the Industries & Commerce and Information Technology Departments for the Telangana government, will participate in a discussion around India’s eGovernment Transformation. Wilson and Ranjan will explore India’s application of digital technology in government and the lessons it provides to others across the public and private sectors in our collective efforts to advance ICT4D innovation to achieve the SDGs. Key questions will focus on what takeaways countries can learn from India’s experience in eGovernment transformation, what has worked well and what others should do differently based on the India and Telengana cases. Other discussion topics will focus on how the IT Ministry in Telengana sees their efforts tying to the SDGs and what additional support from other digital development actors is needed to support efforts to reach the SDGs.

Melissa Johns, Senior Director, Insights and Impact, and Wameek Noor, Director of Insights, will participate in a session that shares key learnings from practitioners who have played key roles in scaling digital solutions, especially past the four to five year mark of a service. Challenges to scaling deployments may be a funding cliff, a leadership change, an expansion to a new market or location, new competition, or the entry of government into program ownership. Deployments face common questions as they navigate transitions, with respect to their program strategy, business models, solution design, human capacity and regulatory policy.

Noor will also hold a user testing session around a new DIAL project that will create a resource to enable digital service providers to move beyond pilot projects and start-up phases to reach sustainable scale and achieve greater impact. DIAL can source best practices directly from organizations that are managing these transitions around the globe in diverse sectors and provide pragmatic how-to guidance that maturing projects can use for their own models.

Syed Raza, Senior Director, Data, will participate on a panel exploring the potential impacts and benefits of data sharing for private sector entities and the barriers to realizing them in the development context. The focus of the discussion will question the often unexamined premises in the current data sharing debate and explore the incentives, processes, resources and platforms needed to make increased private sector data sharing a reality.

Carolyn Florey, Director, Collective Impact, will hold two sessions on the Principles for Digital Development (PDD), showcasing the toolkit and hosting a workshop to discuss feedback. The Principles for Digital Development are “living” guidelines that can help development practitioners integrate established best practices into technology-enabled programs. They are written by and for international development donors, multilateral organizations, and implementing partners, and they are freely available for use by all. The Principles are intended to serve as guidance rather than edict, and to be updated and refined over time. In 2016, DIAL was asked to take over stewardship and operationalization of the PDDs.

Florey is also hosting a session on the Broadband Commission Working Group on Digital Health. The Working Group, co-chaired by the Novartis Foundation and Nokia, commissioned Vital Wave to conduct research and to interview digital health leaders from twenty countries to explore the role governments play in developing and implementing digital health. This session will share the results of the exploration and provide practical guidance on leadership, governance and intragovernmental cooperation to leaders in health and ICT who will to adopt a digital health strategy.

DIAL will also be co-hosting a session with World Vision International that will bring together practitioners have been working on issues of data protection, privacy and security to discuss existing and potential standards, policies, frameworks, approaches and tools. World Vision International will share an overview of its recent white paper on data protection, privacy and security. Participants will then discuss key resources, recommended approaches to existing standards and delineation of a collaborative effort to build a suite of resources that all organizations implementing ICT4D can benefit from.

For a full schedule, visit https://2017ict4dconference.sched.com/

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