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 • 10:45 - 11:30
Understanding Needs: Getting from Inspiration to Specification FILLING

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Many organizations come to a procurement process with a favorite platform in mind, either from prior experience or because they've heard compelling marketing or stories. Starting from the tool first means that you aren't being true to what really matters - your needs and those of your users.

SIMLab uses an agile methodology which prioritizes strong knowledge of the users and context plus a desired outcome, and uses that to get to a working prototype (whether you're building or modifying an existing tool) which can be tested by real users as early as possible. Getting feedback on the features and capabilities of the system while you're still developing the solution allows you to respond to needs as your idea meets reality.

This interactive session will go over best practices for getting your team from the inspiration and idea stage to a technical specification. We'll cover how to develop user personas, use them to map your systems, generate user stories, and then match these with technical specifications. These tools will help you truly understand what you need from a tech platform, allowing you to prioritize and build for your intended users from the very beginning. We'll share examples from our past work leading organizations through this process, such as developing a system for Mine Risk Education with the Danish Demining Group or for supporting the college application process with KIPP Delta Public Schools. Participants will leave the session with practical steps and activities to get themselves from an idea to a request for proposals or technical specification.


Valerie Oliphant

Projects Manager, Social Impact Lab (SIMLab)
Valerie is a Project Director at SIMLab, where she helps organizations and individuals use inclusive technologies to improve systems and services. She's passionate about advancing social equality with a commitment to reflective practice and continuous learning. Prior to joining SIMLab... Read More →

Thursday May 19, 2016 10:45 - 11:30 EAT
Giraffe 259