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 Connectivity, Electricity, and Education for Entrepreneurship (CE3) program in Uganda seeks to overcome two technology building blocks in the livelihoods sector: power and connectivity. Solar micro-grid power is provided to ICT labs as well as for productive uses such as small machinery and refrigeration. Internet connectivity is provided for market analysis and research to improve profitability. Computer-based entrepreneurship and ICT training is provided to help micro and small businesses make the best use of the ICT resources at their disposal.
The program is a joint enterprise by global corporations such as Accenture, Lenovo, and SunEdison, the University of Notre Dame, and local stakeholders such as BOSCO Uganda, schools, community centers, and business and government institutions.
The presentation will discuss the lessons from providing electricity, ICT services, and entrepreneurship training to small businesses; challenges in implementation and innovative solutions to those challenges; productive uses of CE3 energy; and the synergy between provision of energy and ICT4D. The presentation will focus especially on new efforts to use and evaluate the effectiveness of ICT connections between local businesses and international mentors.