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, 715 individuals from 76 countries and 301 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.

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Thursday, May 19 • 08:00 - 08:30
Technology and Activism: New Crises and New Opportunities

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To deliver on the SDGs in the context of the rapidly shifting digital landscape, we must rethink the way we work, and how we measure success. Because the new goals cover so much ground, they will be financed largely through inter-government and commercial financial flows rather than aid, and implemented by institutions other than development organizations. We can help shape the success of the SDGs if we change how we use ICT to enable citizens and consumers to exert influence over the governments and companies whose budgets dwarf aid flows. We will only do that effectively, however, if we confront three challenges: (1) as transparency initiatives proliferate and technology enables the generation of more data than ever before, it is becoming more rational for citizens to ignore new data; (2) as more development work seek to be politically relevant and influential, the space for political engagement online or through ICTs is closing and (3) as donors want more concrete feedback about their returns on investment, we need them to embrace longer term success metrics and higher levels of risk.

avatar for Paul O'Brien

Paul O'Brien

Vice President for Policy and Campaigns, Oxfam America
Paul O’Brien is the Vice President for Policy and Campaigns at Oxfam America where he oversees research, policy, advocacy, and campaigning work to influence the US government and US corporations. Before joining Oxfam in 2007, he lived in Afghanistan for five years where he worked... Read More →

Thursday May 19, 2016 08:00 - 08:30 EAT
Jambo Conference Centre