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Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL)

Advancing an inclusive digital society


Category Archives: Technology

September 18, 2017

DIAL Board Member Juliana Rotich Speaks on African Tech Revolution at Social Good Summit 2017

By | Blog, Digital development, Global development, Sustainable Development Goals, Tech innovations, Technology

Juliana Rotich at the Social Good SummitYesterday, Juliana Rotich, co-founder of BRCK and Ushahidi, and Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) board member, spoke at the Social Good Summit about Africa’s tech revolution and the potential for data to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The panel was moderated by Bob Collymore, CEO of Safaricom, and also featured Oscar Ekponimo, Founder and CEO of Chowberry.

The tech revolution in Africa is already having a profound effect on the continent. As Bob Collymore said “Africa isn’t a mobile-first country, it’s a mobile-only country,” and the opportunities to leverage data for social good are vast. Africa has embraced digital tools and services, and the innovation from entrepreneurs continues to encourage this momentum.

However, there are also challenges to further digital adoption. One point that was brought up is the need to scale solutions that work to reach more people. To accomplish this, public and private sector partners need to work together and do more to connect markets.

The panel also discussed the importance of an inclusive culture for technology – both in hiring more women in technology-driven careers and encouraging women to pursue training and education in tech careers. Juliana stated that at a foundational level, we need to ensure more women are trained and recruited for technology positions. It’s also critical that they are provided with mentorship and networking opportunities to be successful. Additionally, we should be encouraging women from all backgrounds to explore education opportunities in the tech field.

juliana at ungaIn a follow-up interview, Juliana stressed the importance of data for development to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“I’m excited about the frontier of data for development. With the mobile revolution, we’ve seen a lot more data being generated. The question now is – how can we use the insights to figure out what are the indicators that can be used for development purposes. When we look at the SDGs and what needs to happen, we know the goals cannot be realized if we don’t figure out how to use data and technology to accelerate the pace. Data for development offers us an opportunity to discover effective solutions that can be useful and have an impact on the quality of life for people from all facets of life – including the poorest.”

The Social Good Summit is a unique gathering of world leaders, global activists and influencers that come together to discuss innovations in media and technology to make the world a better place by 2030. This year, the program highlighted how the United Nations and other organizations are using technology to support the Global Goals. From crowdsourcing reporting on sexual assault to having the voice activated Alexa connect people to advocacy asks, the latest innovations are supporting the creation of a better world.

Bob, Juliana and Oscar joined other speakers, including:

  • Kathy Calvin, President & CEO of the United Nations Foundation
  • Bob Weir, Founding Member of the Grateful Dead and Dead & Company
  • Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Actor, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassador
  • Pete Cashmore, Founder & CEO of Mashable
  • Connie Britton, Actor, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassador
  • Carmen Perez, Executive Director of The Gathering for Justice and Co-Chair of the Women’s March on Washington
  • Whoopi Goldberg, Actress, Comedian & Activist
  • David  Miliband, President & CEO, International Rescue Committee
  • Henry Timms, Executive Director of 92Y, Founder of #GivingTuesday
  • Muzoon Al-Mellehan, Student and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador

The Social Good Summit highlighted the work of many UN agencies, including WFP, UNDP, UNOCHA, the UN Youth Envoy, UNICEF, WHO and UNHCR. These agencies and UNDP Social Good Summit meetups around the world discussed Global Goals progress, innovative solutions, and the next steps to 2030.

Follow the Digital Impact Alliance’s social media networks for continued updates during Global Goals Week:

Twitter: @DIAL_community

Instagram: @dial_community

Facebook: www.facebook.com/digitalimpactalliance



June 28, 2017

The Digital Impact Alliance Announces Partnership with World Bank Identification for Development (ID4D) Initiative

By | Digital development, Global development, Newsroom, Technology

Washington, D.C. – As part of its efforts to ensure a more inclusive digital society, today the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) announced a partnership with the World Bank to support its identification for development (ID4D) efforts. The World Bank’s ID4D Initiative aims to help countries roll out robust and inclusive identification systems with multi-sectoral approaches and 21st century solutions.

UN Women - ID4D

Photo: UN Women/Fatma Elzahraa Yassin. Used with permission.

“National identification systems are a core building block for effective and efficient digital services,” said Kate Wilson, CEO of DIAL. “Partnering with the World Bank’s ID4D team provides DIAL with an opportunity to help break down the barriers countries face to effective identification systems, including new approaches such as distributed hosting, authentication protocols and blockchain.”

There are an estimated 1.1 billion people around the world, largely in Asia and Africa, who do not have an officially recognized identification document, according to the World Bank. As countries roll-out different types of national-level identification mechanisms for national health systems, social safety nets and beyond, they are faced with a range of challenges including high costs and complex and unclear regulations. Even more challenging are the efforts to harmonize and align the country’s multiple existing or in-process identification programs.

To advance the understanding of new technologies, existing best practice technologies, and the legal and governance approaches that enable governments to build better in-country identification systems, the World Bank’s ID4D Initiative and DIAL will develop:

  • A key component in an operational guide that provides support to countries building ID systems, which will look at the benefits of new and existing technologies such as the incorporation of voice or iris into mobiles in delivering more effective identification systems; and
  • A case study, which highlights the role of unique identifiers in improving health service delivery. This will be part of a series of case studies which ID4D is pursuing to document individual countries’ experiences in implementing ID programs and thematic analysis of linkages between ID and effective service delivery.

“Having a formally recognized form of identity provides the poor and vulnerable with the opportunity to climb out of poverty,” said Vyjayanti Desai, Program Manager for Identification for Development (ID4D) at the World Bank. “This is critical for achieving a wide range of development outcomes: from opening a bank account and paving the way for broader financial inclusion to accessing education services, tracking childhood vaccinations, and empowering women. It can also strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of the state in providing critical digital services, such as digitized government to person (G2P) payments, and reduce unnecessary waste of resources through better targeting.”

DIAL’s work with the World Bank’s ID4D Initiative aims to ensure country projects leverage the most accurate, cost-effective, and novel technological solutions in the design of their identification systems. To learn more about ID4D, and the Principles on Identification, which were facilitated by the World Bank Group and the Center for Global Development, and endorsed by DIAL and others, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/en/programs/id4d


About DIAL

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 & 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.

About the World Bank’s ID4D Program

The World Bank Group launched the Identification for Development (ID4D) Initiative to close the global identification gap and make progress toward robust and inclusive identification systems. Recognizing the transformational potential of modern, 21st century identification systems, the initiative aims to bring global knowledge and expertise across multiple sectors and countries to tackle the fundamental challenge of approximately 1.1 billion people who are unable to prove their identity. A multidonor platform, with catalytic support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, focuses on support to developing countries, thought leadership, and global advocacy.

Press Contact
Paul Quirk, DIAL
Tel: +1-202-864-5148



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