ICT Innovations for Development: a new long-term online course

ICT Innovations for Development is a certified long-term online course, with renowned international lecturers, seed-funding opportunities and 20 scholarships – are you ready to put your educational growth at another level?

Estonia is a tiny country in Northern Europe with less than 1.5 million people living in the country. But this does not stop the Estonian government to develop and implement some of the world’s most advanced technological innovations at national scale. The E-Estonia project has linked health, education, personal ID, banking, police, cybersecurity, and even democracy, to create an amazing vision of the future.

UNICEF is a leading humanitarian and development agency working globally for the rights of every child, in more than 190 countries around the world. Their award-winning Innovation unit has radically changed the way UN organisations work. Focusing on youth-engagement, real-time information, access to information and product information—Innovation unit has build game-changing innovations such as: U-Report – a social messaging tool allowing anyone from any community, anywhere in the world to respond to polls, report issues, support child rights and work as positive agents of change on behalf of people in their country; RapidPro – an open-source communications platform that allows anyone to “visually build nationally scalable mobile applications from anywhere in the world”. A network of “Innovation Labs” – launched by UNICEF Country Offices – and problem solvers around the world bring together the private sector, academia, and the public sector to develop solutions for key social issues, and ensure we are always watching for new ideas from unexpected places.

Science for Change Kosovo Movement is a radical youth-led environmental movement, based in Kosovo, that empower young people and citizens to investigating air pollution in Kosovo. Capitalizing on the growing acceptance of crowdsourcing as a data collection methodology, the ready availability of low-cost internet-connected devices ranging from mobile phones to do-it-yourself sensors, and the growing accessibility of data collection, analysis, visualisation, and dissemination technologies to empower community members to drive action around issues impacting their neighbourhood – Science for Change Kosovo Movement has exposed alarming levels of air pollution in Kosovo’s capital city – Prishtina.

Kilimo Salama (“Safe Agriculture”) is an insurance designed for Kenyan farmers so they may insure their farm inputs against drought and excess rain. The project, which is a partnership between Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, UAP Insurance, and telecoms operator Safaricom, will offer farmers who plant on as little as one acre insurance policies to shield them from significant financial losses when drought or excess rain are expected to wreak havoc on their harvests. Following the drought that season, both weather stations showed that there was a payout and all farmers were compensated depending on the extent of the drought as measured at their weather station (a 30 percent and 80 percent payout, respectively). The pilot was the first of its kind in Kenya. Kilimo Salama features many elements—like the mobile phone registry and payment system and distribution through rural retailers—that are micro-insurance firsts.

IDEO is an international design and consulting firm that uses the design thinking methodology to design products, services, environments, and digital experiences. In 2009, the period when the social and digital innovation as well as ICT for Development where the reference point of majority of organisations and firms, IDEO designed and launched the HCD Toolkit – a first-of-its-kind book that laid out how and why human-centred design can impact the social sector and a step-by-step guide to get you solving problems like a designer.

Five examples, listed above, explain how ICT for Development and digital innovations can happen in different context and environments: in Estonia it took the form of national governance; in UNICEF it is distributed internationally, but, embedded strongly locally; in Kosovo it brings together young people and technology through a grassroots youth-led movement; in Kenya it secure farmers from climate changes through a broad partnerships with different actors; whereas, in IDEO it takes the form of methodological practice and design.

ICT for Development has contributed on making the international cooperation more ‘fluid’ (new concepts of “agile methodologies” are being used more and more by organisations) and ‘open’ (open-source technologies and creative commons are contributing on enabling people and organisations to freely access and circulate knowledge and products). Adding to this the upcoming technological and hardware innovations such as: drones, wearables, etc. – ICT for Development is opening up new horizons, not only for technological innovations, but also for new forms of communications, i.e. the Government of Malawi and UNICEF has started have started testing the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs or drones) to explore cost effective ways of reducing waiting times for HIV testing of infants.

To respond to the world’s ICT for Development trends and advancements, as well as to provide new opportunities for young professionals, particularly from Global South, at ONG2.0 we are ready to launch the second edition of the long-term online training courseInformation and Communications Technologies Innovation for Development”. The course will  bring together participants from across the world and aim to support the theoretical and practical development of participants in the field of Information and Communications Technologies for Development, as well as support their critical thinking towards existing initiatives, methods and tools; and enhance their ability to develop, adopt and re-appropriate various technologies and social innovation methodologies for local, national or international development.

The course and scholarships (hey, there will be a great number of scholarships!), are now available on our website. Don’t miss the chance and join us for a long and exciting journey in the ICT for Development world.

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