ICTD 2009 Panelists
Opportunity and Challenges of the Mobile Web for Social Development
Ken Banks of Kiwanja.net devotes himself to the application of mobile technology for positive social and environmental change in the developing world, and has spent the last 15 years working on projects in Africa. Recently, his research resulted in the development of FrontlineSMS, a field communication system designed to empower grassroots non-profit organizations. In this panel, Ken will share his view on the importance of supporting NGOs and grassroots organizations, and providing them free and easy to use tools.
Gaetano Borriello holds the Noe Chair in the Department of Computer science & Engineering and is an adjunct professor in the Information School at the University of Washington, Seattle. He is an expert in mobile systems and ubiquitous computing and founded Intel Research Seattle, a premier research laboratory in that space. He has focused on the application of technology to problems in elder care, personal health management, and more recently, to public health in the developing world. While on a sabbatical leave at Google he is leading a project to develop mobile data collection tools for community health workers in East Africa, including Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania, working with several NGOs there. The objective is to develop open-source software that can be easily customized for the different contexts faced by these organizations and be simple enough that they can make these adaptations themselves. In this panel, Gaetano will stress the importance of relevant content for people, the importance of relying on available phone features currently deployed in the market, and the critical role of local entrepreneurs as providers of m-services.
Stéphane Boyer is W3C Staff since 1995 and has been involved since 2001 in most of W3C activities around the mobile platform (leading Device independence, Voice, and Multimodal Interaction groups). He has been a key participant in the development and launch of the W3C Mobile Web Initiative. Since 2006 he has been leading W3C's work on the Mobile Web for Social Development. Since its launch in January 2008, Stéphane has been also managing the EU FP7 project Digital World Forum focusing on the use of ICT to leverage economic development in Africa and Latin America. Finally, since August 2008, Stephane is part of the launching team of the World Wide Web foundation, leading the Web for Society program.
Jonathan Donner is a researcher in the Technology for Emerging Markets Group at Microsoft Research India in Bangalore. His primary research interests concern the economic and social implications of the spread of mobile telephony in the developing world. In this panel, Jonathan will stress the importance of deployment and access barriers, as well as the need to consider other channel of delivering services to the bottom of the pyramid.
David Edelstein is the Director of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Innovation at the Grameen Technology Center. In this role, he guides efforts to develop, test, strengthen and scale mobile applications that offer the potential to improve lives and livelihoods. David’s teams are exploring the potential of specific applications by working with networks of people in developing countries, such as Village Phone Operators, who own and provide access to mobile phones. Additional information is available at www.applab.org. In this panel, David will be able to report on the issues, challenges and potential of m-services he learnt from the different field experiments Grameen Foundation is running all over the World.
Jesse Moore of GSMA Development Funds is a Visiting Scholar at the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT and a London-based specialist in mobile communications and market-based international development. He currently works with the GSM Association, the global trade organization which represents over 700 mobile network operators in 200+ countries. Jesse works specifically with the Development Fund, which accelerates mobile services in base of the pyramid markets. In this panel, Jesse will stress the importance of the operator in the m-services ecosystem, the role it should play, and the importance of the business model.
Tracing the Genealogy of ICTD Research:
Premises, Predispositions, and Paradoxes of a Field in the Making
Mike Powell is currently director of the IKM Emergent Issues Programme. The Programme critically analyses current practices in the creation, handling and use of all forms of knowledge in the international development sector and explores new practices that may improve the effectiveness of the sector’s output. Mike trained as an historian and as a nurse before working in health, development and relief in Latin America, Africa and the North of England. For the last 15 years he has worked as an independent consultant, author and researcher on information management in development organisations and on the development of information societies in the North and South.
Kentaro Toyama is co-founder and assistant managing director of Microsoft Research India. Among other things, he leads the "Technology for Emerging Markets" group, which conducts multidisciplinary research to identify applications of computing and electronic technology for socio-economic development. In 2006, he co-founded the ICTD Conference. Prior to his work in India, Kentaro did research in computer vision, multimedia, and digital graphics in Redmond and taught mathematics at Ashesi University in Ghana. Kentaro graduated with a PhD in computer science from Yale and a bachelors degree in physics from Harvard.
Parminder Jeet Singh is the co-executive director of IT for Change (ITfC), an India-based NGO active in the information society and ICTD area. At ITfC, he coordinates the research and advocacy program, 'Information Society for the South', as well as a UNDP-funded field project on the use of ICTs by collectives of disadvantaged rural women. Parminder is a member of the Strategy Council of the UN-Global Alliance on ICTs and Development, and a Special Advisor to the Chair of the UN’s Internet Governance Forum. Before joining ITfC, Parminder worked in the Indian government for almost a decade, where he initiated some innovative e-governance projects.
Onno W. Purbo has dedicated the past twenty years of his life to educating Indonesians on open source, Internet telephony, low cost wireless Internet access, and information technology in general, with a view to aid the emergence of a knowledge-based society in Indonesia. He is a retired lecturer from the Institute of Technology Bandung (ITB) and a retired Indonesian civil servant. He is an Eisenhower fellow, Ashoka senior fellow and an IDRC's sabbatical award recipient. He is currently focusing on the Open Source Next Generation Network, 4G and WiMAX technology, so as to find simple and sustainable ways to deploy these within rural and village communities.
Special Invited Panel: Assistive Technology for Developing Countries
Lizbeth Goodman is Director of the SMARTlab Digital Media Institute and Magic Gamelab at UEL. She is also Director of Studies for the UEL practice-based PhDs: a cohort of 28 professional new media artists and engineers conducting collaborative research into the transdisciplinary fields of technology development and art, e-health, e-inclusion, haptics and 'artsci'. Her main field of speciality is the creation of learning games developed WITH, not only for, people with disabilities and other communities of 'non-standard gamers', including children and young people around the world. She is the lead evaluator for the Microsoft Community Affairs Clubtech educational technology and games project (which has reached 4 million disadvantaged young people to date) and is the Director of the Trust Project for children in hospital, using gaming and haptics to enhance the physical well being and learning of those with limited physical ability. Lizbeth founded the Trust Project in 2001 and has helped it to grow and find sponsorship (with BBC R&D, Singapore Gamelab, NYU, The Carl Sagan Trust and Children's Health Fund et al) in many cultures over the years. She is also founder and Director of the SafetyNET Project and global NGO- which provides skills training for women and children survivors of domestic abuse. Lizbeth is the author and editor of some 13 books including a range of titles on best practices in media and technology tool creation, the implementation of live and online theatre games, women and theatre, the arts, representation and creativity.
Dr. Hayat Khalil Heji is the Director of Al Noor Institute for Individuals with Visual Impairmentin Qatar. Dr. Heji herself visually impaired, studied in mainstream schools. She started her undergrad studies in Arabic Language at Qatar University She took notes in Braille from the cassettes that family and teachers had taped for her. After Graduating from Qatar University with top honors from 1998 to 2000 she worked as a teacher in the Al-Noor Institute for Individuals with Visual impairments. She then pursued her graduated studies in the USA. She graduated from Saint Joseph's University, Pennsylvania with a Master's Degree of Education in Elementary and Special Education 2003, and received her Doctorate Degree of Education in Educational Leadership also from Saint Joseph's in 2007. Dr. Heji has received numerous awards for her work .Dr. Hayat will give an overview of the status of AT for the visually impaired in the region.
Yasir Khan a clinical advisor for the e-Health program in Qatar. With a master's degree in software engineering, Dr. Khan is committed to combining the best technology with the best patient care. Dr Khan's interest is in advancing technology and access to people with special needs. He has a special interest in virtual reality which offers a helping hand in very innovative way. He will discuss that adaptation of new and promising innovations for disabled. Big companies should do more to encourage the parallel research pathway into the same modality for disabled. Some of these paradigms even have potential to minimize the disability and can enable one to function at par in society. Dr Khan also thinks that there is a particular need to reach out to the developing world as financial and other challenges have hindered development and availability of such solutions.
Raj Reddy is the Mozah Bint Nasser University Professor of Computer Science and Robotics in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. A winner of the Turing award, the highest honour in Computer Science, Prof. Reddy is widely considered among the pioneers of Artificial Intelligence and will be discussing the limitations of current approaches to Assistive Technologies in India. For an extended bio, see http://www.rr.cs.cmu.edu/rrlong.html.
Hamadoun Touré was elected Secretary-General at the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Antalya, Turkey, in November 2006 and took office on 1 January 2007. He served as Director BDT from 1998 until 2006. Born on 3 September 1953, Hamadoun Touré holds a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from the Technical Institute of Electronics and Telecommunications of Leningrad (LEIS, USSR) and Doctor of Philosophy Degree (PhD) from the University of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics of Moscow (MTUCI, Russia). Dr Touré is committed to make ITU an innovative, forward looking organization adapted to meeting the challenges created by the new ICT environment and to spearhead the Union towards implementing the resolutions of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). As Director BDT from 1999 until 2006, he played a significant role in the WSIS process by launching numerous projects based on partnership building with International Organizations, Governments, Civil Society and the Private Sector. He is married with four children and two granddaughters.
Charles Watt has over 35 years experience in the ICT sector. He has held senior positions in the national economic development agency for Scotland and at The World Bank as well as in the private sector for companies such as British Telecom. More recently, he has completed projects on behalf of The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) which delivers sustainable economic development projects in 26 CIS and accession countries. He joined ICTQatar in November as Exec. Director Market Development where he has responsibility for growing the ICT supply sector, implementing advanced broadband services, increasing the use of ICT amongst enterprises and embedding knowledge management across government. At The World Bank he was involved in country projects including Russia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, India, Namibia, South Africa, Mexico and Saudi Arabia. He is also a co-author of various World Bank publications on such subjects as municipal networks, e-learning, e-government and e-business. He has a BSc in Physics and Computer Science from the University of Edinburgh and is a visiting Professor and speaker at various UK universities and international venues.
Michael Thatcher is the Regional Technology Officer, MEA for Microsoft Corporation. He is responsible for Microsoft.s Technology Policy initiatives and engagements with Government and Academic leaders across the Middle East and Africa. Through this bi-directional dialog, he ensures that the unique needs of these constituencies are reflected in Microsoft.s technology and development strategies. Michael is a bridge-builder with extensive international experience and has worked for over 20 years in the development, management and sales of information technology. He has represented Microsoft in various international policy and ICT standards setting forums as well as helped formulate corporate positions on technology policy matters. Prior to his current role Michael spent more than 6 years at the corporate headquarters in technical, marketing and policy strategy development roles. He is co-inventor for 2 patents and has 3 pending applications. Before joining Microsoft, Michael worked for 10 years in academic research (2 years of which were at sea), technically supporting oceanographic expeditions for organizations including Wood Hole Oceanographic Institution, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Sea-Bird Electronics and others where he developed, tested and operated oceanographic sampling systems and provided at sea computer, electronic and mechanical support for multiple scientific programs around the world.
ICTD Evaluation 20/20: Voices from Around the World
Akhtar Badshah is the senior director of Global Community Affairs at Microsoft Corporation, where he administers the company's global community investment and employee programs. Through monetary grants, software and curriculum donations, technology solutions, and employee volunteer hours, Microsoft supports programs and organizations that address the needs of communities worldwide. Among his responsibilities, Badshah manages the Microsoft Unlimited Potential Community Technology Skills Program (CTSP), a global initiative designed to help narrow the technology skills gap; aid global work-force development; and create social and economic opportunity by providing technology training through community technology centers. Badshah also oversees programs aimed at helping nonprofit organizations improve their effectiveness through increased technology capacity. This includes Microsoft's signature partnerships with organizations such as NPower, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, telecentre.org, TechSoup and NetHope. Prior to joining Microsoft, Badshah was the CEO and president of Digital Partners Foundation, a Seattle-area nonprofit organization whose mission is to utilize the digital economy to benefit the poor. At Digital Partners, he established the organization's core programs in India, Africa and Latin America. Badshah co-edited "Connected for Development - Information Kiosks for Sustainability," and authored "Our Urban Future: New Paradigms for Equity and Sustainability," as well as several articles in international journals on Information Communication Technology for Development, megacities and sustainability, housing, and urban development.
Rich Fuchs established North America's first system of rural telecentres and online services in 1988 in his role as CEO of the Enterprise Network Inc., a Crown Corporation in Newfoundland, Canada, where he also served as the Vice President of Rural Development. His company, Futureworks Inc. introduced telecentres and early rural ICT applications in Africa, Asia and the Americas. In 2000 Futureworks Inc. was awarded the Government of Canada's prestigious export excellence award for this work. In 2001 Rich was recruited to the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Ottawa, Canada. As IDRC's first Director of ICT for Development, Rich generated $70 million in new external financing and led the establishment of 3 major ICT4D, not-for-profit, start-ups including, the Institute for Connectivity in the Americas, Connectivity Africa and Telecentre.Org. Telecentre.org is a major global support network for Telecentre activists. It has received social investment from IDRC, Microsoft Community Affairs, and the Swiss Development Cooperation. Rich also led the successful re-invention of IDRC's knowledge management processes that realigned how the organization learns from its development projects and led to the establishment of IDRC's Annual Learning Forum. He was an Adjunct Professor of Sociology at Memorial University of Newfoundland for 17 years and also served as the Chair and Member of Canada's Network Centres of Excellence Awards Selection Committee from 1998-2001. In late 2006, Rich moved to Singapore where he serves as IDRC's Regional Director of Southeast and East Asia.
Karen E. Fisher is an associate professor at the University of Washington Information School (iSchool). Dr. Fisher's teaching and research strives to answer a pertinent and persistent question of information services and information systems: "How are we making a difference in people's lives - to users, families, neighborhoods, and communities - especially in ways that speak to policy-makers?" Building on the understanding that, like an iceberg, only 20 percent of how people use systems is easily visible (and measurable) by the naked eye, Dr. Fisher advocates the use of a context-based, outcomes-centered approached for identifying the remaining 80 percent. As co-author of How Libraries and Librarians Help (2005), her recent work focused on community technology centers in Washington State, and the new Seattle Public Library building as "Place." In 2008 she and Senior Lecturer Mike Crandall began studying the benefits of free access to computers in public libraries - an unprecedented, nation-wide study supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Fisher is co-editor Theories of Information Behavior (2005) and was a Visiting Researcher at Microsoft Research in the Community Technologies Group (2006-07). Supporters of her work include the National Science Foundation, Microsoft Research, the United Way of America, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Winner of the 2005 and 2008 Jesse H. Shera Award for Distinguished Published Research from the American Library Association, Dr. Fisher has been recognized for her work by the American Society for Information Science & Technology SIG USE, and the Association for Library and Information Science Education. Dr. Fisher is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario (PhD & MLIS) and Memorial University of Newfoundland (BA), and held a postdoc at the University of Michigan.
Richard Heeks is a professor and Director of the Centre for Development Informatics at the University of Manchester, UK. His research interests are all within the ICT4D subdiscipline and include software sector strategy, e-government, mobiles and development, social outsourcing, and the global economics of computer gaming. Heeks received a PhD in Indian IT policy from the UK's Open University. He is one of the pre-eminent and highly-cited academics in the emerging sub-discipline of "ICT4D" - ICTs for Development, and has written six books, more than 30 refereed articles, and over 100 other papers and reports. He has accepted invitations to be associate editor for key journals in the field combined with editorial board membership for four further journals, including special responsibility for emerging markets and globalisation for Communications of the ACM. He has edited two journal special issues that have contributed to foundational theorisation of ICT4D. Richard has organised one international conference and four international conference tracks, and he is a regular invited speaker to international conferences including events such as the World Summit on the Information Society, and GK3. He is director for the first one-year Masters in ICTs for Development, and has acted as an external degree examiner in the ICT4D field at universities in Europe, Africa and Asia; and as a research assessor for bodies such as the US National Science Foundation, ESRC, Nuffield and Leverhulme. Complementing this have been more than twenty advisory activities on ICT4D for bodies such as the UK Dept. for International Development, GTZ and UNIDO. Richard is also ICT4D advisor for the Development Gateway and for the British Council, and convenes the UK Development Studies Association's specialist group on Information, Technology and Development.
Balaji Parthasarathy is ICICI Associate Professor at the International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore. His research and teaching interests broadly focuses on the relationship between technological innovation, economic globalization, and social change. Within this broad focus, his work follows two threads. One thread examines the impacts of public policy and firm strategies on the organization of production in the ICT (information and communications technology) industry. Another thread deals with "ICTs for Development," or ICTD. Here his interests lie in understanding how ICTs are being deployed in various domains of activity to transform social relationships, especially in economically underprivileged contexts. Balaji's ICTD research has examined issues pertaining to e-governance, ICT applications in agriculture and the political-economy of electronic waste. He served as the co-chair of the program committee at ICTD2007 in Bangalore. Balaji holds a bachelor's degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, and a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.
Teresa Peters is a partner at Kickstand Consulting working on a range of issues related to the use of information and communications technology to achieve social goals. She is also exploring new ground in the field as a research fellow with the Center for Information & Society at the University of Washington. Recently, Teresa was a Senior Program Officer with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where she worked on the Global Libraries program as a senior member of a 13-person team on a $328M initiative to bring effective, sustainable public access to ICT in developing-country libraries. Teresa is a lawyer with a background in technology, policy, and development, with experience working at the highest levels of international policy-making and in ground-level projects in developing countries and disadvantaged communities. She founded bridges.org in 1999, an award-winning nonprofit organization based in Africa that promoted the effective use of information communications technology and business processes for socio-economic development. Previously, Teresa was an official at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) based in Paris, where she led the efforts of the Committee on Information, Computers and Communications Policy in authentication, cryptography and security of information systems. Teresa has been an active voice in the global conversation on the digital divide and electronic commerce and has been involved in civil and human rights efforts in Latin America, Africa, Europe and North America. In 2003, the World Economic Forum named her a Global Leader of Tomorrow. A native of Ohio, Teresa holds a J.D. from Washington College of Law at American University and a B.A. in Anthropology from Ohio State University.