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.
In the agriculture sector, mobile solutions for farmers have failed for three main reasons: First, they're not designed with end-user input. Second, they fail to integrate advisory and financial services-providing only one or the other. Finally, they lack a range of access options-either excluding low-end device users or smartphone owners. A custom bids and offers platform, created by Souktel and Mercy Corps for Southern Africa, is the first solution that offers user-designed advisory and m-commerce services together, with full mobile money integration and multi-channel access (via USSD or app). This session will show how platform was developed from the end user perspective of small-scale farmers and agricultural product buyers. It will also demonstrate how organizations can launch and manage this platform to strengthen their own agriculture/livelihoods projects, and achieve progress toward SDGs #1 (No Poverty), #2 (Zero Hunger), and #8 (Decent Work) as a result.