Why attend the ICT4D Conference?

The rapid growth in the numbers of attendees at the ICT4D Conference since its inception is testament not only to the fantastic learning and networking opportunities the event provides but also to the global focus on ICT4D. Yet ten sessions on from the first conference, many questions are still being asked about the extent and the type of impact ICT is having in alleviating the agricultural, humanitarian, health, educational, environmental and financial stresses and inequalities facing the most marginalised and low resourced communities and groups in our world.

With the internet being part of a nation’s critical infrastructure mix for many years, access to affordable and reliable ICT is deemed by many to be essential for continued socio-economic growth and development. However, digital inclusion rates still reveal sharp divides between Global North and South, urban and rural communities and notably by gender.

Much focus is now on looking for evidence, not of ICT itself which is near ubiquitous but, of development from ICT use.

These crucial points will underpin the themes of 10th ICT4D Conference taking place May 8-10, 2018 in Lusaka, Zambia: Innovate. Connect. Transform. Attend the leading ICT4D conference to meet your ICT4D community and debate solutions and answers to questions such as how and where ICT innovation helps sectors in aid and development achieve goals and accelerate their objectives.

As Nandini Harihareswara, Regional Technical Specialist for UNCDF, consortium partner and track lead on Digital Financial Inclusion explains, “In our track, we’ll be exploring the evolution of how ICT is being leveraged to advance digital financial inclusion in emerging markets around the world. We will go back to the basics to see how effective some of the more widely known ICT innovations have been in improving the lives of those traditionally underserved. And then we will examine new and emerging technologies and innovations and assess their potential impact on accelerating the rate of digital financial inclusion.”

Learning From Failure

Our panels of experts will help to establish just how far ICT is really working to build resilience in communities and bridge rural/urban and gender divides in the series of break out sessions and discussions across the major development disciplines .

Nandini notes, “at the ICT4D Conference you take away some great success stories as well as the shared lessons from stories of failure, on implementation at scale, interoperability and the interconnection challenges to help you save time and money and increase effectiveness in your own programs”.

Use this opportunity to explore with the experts how big data and deep analytics are shaping the next generation of development programs. Learn how monitoring and evaluation tools are helping aid and development agencies measure ICT use and discover how much substantive and enduring development is occurring across the most challenging and fragile sectors.

This annual gathering of the development community will bring together hundreds of development professionals – technical experts from myriad disciplines, representatives of governmental, non-governmental and private sector organizations, individuals from countries across the globe. Adam Slote, Director, Global Health from CRS and Health & Nutrition track lead in recognising the unique and important value in the 10th ICT4D conference observes, “being a multi-sectoral event, it allows participants to share experiences with, learn from and collaborate with their peers in other sectors, and it allows them to spend time with a diverse community of colleagues from the region who are working on the ground.”

You will get the chance to explore with innovators how communities and development professionals are responding to ICT4D by adopting, adapting, or completely reengineering to integrate ICT into demand-driven solutions to local and global challenges alike.

The accelerating agriculture track will explore developments with digital tools for real time monitoring of agriculture transformation projects and debate how and when the evolution to precision agriculture may occur. Shaun Ferris, Director Agriculture and Livelihoods at CRS notes too, ”Evidence based programming is advancing quickly, but working out what really works needs a community. That community is found at the ICT4D Conference.”

Leaders or Followers?

At this conference you will hear from our exciting line up of plenary speakers and take part in the “Big Goal/Data Discussions” on each of the conference tracks. Find out how the incumbents such as Big Tech, Big Finance, Big Donor and Big INGO, traditionally the drivers of ICT4D are responding to the challenge and how they are attracting and working with new players and paradigms in the shifting ICT4D space.

Plus! New in 2018 is a whole day dedicated to ICT4D Training. Not just specific technical training on key solutions such as digital data collection or data visualization tools, but also leadership training and the essential but often overlooked soft skills. Take full advantage of your time in Lusaka by attending these highly interactive and hands-on sessions to gain a complete round up on your ICT4D knowledge. Take away crucial insights that you can then share with colleagues to increase the impact of your work.

At the 10th ICT4D Conference you won’t just hear about the best funded, or the most tweeted applications. You will learn about the ICT4D innovations contributing to tangible structural and transformative change in projects and programs.

Add on visits to the exhibit hall demonstrations, birds of a feather sessions for niche topics of interest and the many other learning and networking events. You will find that attending the ICT4D Conference really is the most effective way to gather the facts, contacts and know-how you need to make decisions in your operations.

The Organizing Partners

The ICT4D Conference event, founded by Catholic Relief Services, is organized by a consortium that is led by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and includes: NetHope, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), DAI Global Health, the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL), the International Rescue Committee (IRC), the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-arid Tropics (ICRISAT), iMerit Technology Services, SOS Children’s  Villages, the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and World Vision International (WVI).