The annual ICT4D Conferences have proven to be an invaluable opportunity for NGOs, private sector organizations, universities, governmental agencies and foundations to share their experience in using ICT to increase the impact of development programs and to learn from each other. In 2016, 750 individuals from 76 countries and 320 private sector and public sector and civil society explored the ways to harness the full power of digital solutions to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Our thanks to Accenture, Catholic Relief Services, Esri, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, iMerit Technology Services, Inmarsat, IS Solutions, Making All Voices Count, Mercy Corps, Microsoft, NetHope, Oxfam, Pandexio, Qualcom Wireless Reach, RTI International, SimbaNet and World Vision for making that possible.
The world has just made its biggest ever promise to itself. Our leaders have agreed to 17 Global Goals that would mean a better life for all of us. They would virtually end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change in the next 15 years. It’s one of the most incredible to-do lists ever written – but now we need to turn words into action. You, participants in this conference have the power to make sure our leaders keep these world-changing promises. In this session ONE will outline the challenge for the week. If we, from different sectors, organizations and walks of life come together we can put in place a system that allows people all over the world, in every community facing extreme poverty, to report and track progress against the SDGs. We can be sure that we leverage the potential of ICT to give those living in extreme poverty a voice and tools to hold also of us all accountable for delivering against the promises embodied in the 17 Global Goals.
As the conference unfolds this week, take the opportunity to work with your colleagues on the answering this challenge and come back and tell us at the end of the week what approaches you recommend and what commitments you can make. People living in extreme poverty have been waiting for their leaders to answer questions regarding access to modern energy, clean water, education, health services, decent work and the things needed to live safe and health lives and have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Let’s not make them wait any longer.