Past Meetup

Technology and International Development

This Meetup is past

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International Development and Humanitarian Aid are huge sectors with complex requirements. It's reassuring that many development agencies are bold and creative when it comes to developing technologies to make their work more efficient and their impact greater. At this Meetup we'll be discussing some examples of successful technologies in the field, and we'll also be looking at technical, political and ethical challenges faced by the sector, and discuss possible solutions.

Speakers include:

Alan Jackson

Alan has worked at the intersection of IT and international development
for 15 years. His key interests are Agile methodologies, Participatory
approaches to international development and Consensus decision making. Alan is a member of Aptivate, a not-for-profit software cooperative that works exclusively in the humanitarian and development sector. They have worked with small and large charities, UN bodies and government departments.

Alan will discuss a rights-based approach to participatory software design. Software mediates relationships between people and represents power structures. Users must be included in the design process of software if they are ultimately to be empowered.

Kate Strivens

Kate is Program Officer at Start Network, an international humanitarian network of 24 leading NGOs working together to quickly fund relief for small to medium-sized crises. Start Network recently worked with Outlandish to create an alerts map, which is a key way that donors, supporters and members find out about current, past and anticipatory funding alerts. This map makes responding to crises far more quick and efficient.

Kate will discuss the need for this type of innovation and the challenges that they faced in realising the project. She will focus on key aspects of the project: the need for greater transparency, the professionalisation of the Start Network brand, and reducing transaction costs.

Chris Man

Chris is a co-founder of FieldWorks, a UK-based social enterprise that champions socially accountable NGOs in low-middle income countries. FieldWorks exists to facilitate mission-driven partnerships between local organisations and funders seeking to maximise impact through direct giving. Their aim is to reduce the burdens of developing strong partnerships with local NGOs, and in doing so increase the number of innovative actors addressing the SDGs.

Chris will be discussing the challenges of shifting power in international development from large multinational development organisations to smaller local NGOs.

Andrew Braye

Andrew is a GIS team lead with British Red Cross and a volunteer for Missing Maps. Andrew will talk about the technology behind Missing Maps, a project that is taking place in disaster zones across the globe, where places are literally 'missing' from any map and first responders lack the information to make valuable decisions regarding relief efforts. Missing Maps is an open, collaborative project which relies of hundreds on volunteers to meet the needs of people affected by disaster.

Jenny Casswell

Jenny is the Insights Manager of the Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation (M4H) programme at the GSMA. GSMA is an umbrella body representing the mobile communications industry and the M4H programme seeks to accelerate the delivery and impact of digital humanitarian assistance.

Jenny will present findings from the M4H research stream which seek to understand how mobile technology can play a greater role in supporting humanitarian assistance, through reducing barriers to access, improving coverage for displaced people, and working with humanitarian organisations and the mobile industry to develop and implement technologies that support people affected by crises.