innovation

Mapping the Unserved

As connectivity becomes increasingly valuable to everyone, access to communication is becoming as important as access to other kinds of basic infrastructure.  As a result there is an increased urgency to make affordable communication infrastructure accessible to ALL citizens.

Farming or scratching? An innovation dilemma.

A basketball referee almost gets lynched at a match in Brazil when his pea whistle breaks at a crucial point in a game. A real estate agent drops hot coffee over himself after the serviette wrapped around the cup by the barista slips off while he’s driving.

ICTs in Evaluation Practice

Over the past 4 years I’ve had the opportunity to look more closely at the role of ICTs in Monitoring and Evaluation practice (and the privilege of working with Michael Bamberger and Nancy MacPherson in this area).

M&E of Tech in humanitarian and development work: How can we do it better?

I used to write blog posts two or three times a week, but things have been a little quiet here for the past couple of years. That’s partly because I’ve been ‘doing actual work’ (as we like to say) trying to implement the theoretical ‘good practices’ that I like soapboxing about.

New idea? Or old idea done better?

Last week I received my yearly mailing of Ashoka’s inspiring ‘Leading Social Entrepreneurs’ publication. It’s always fascinating flicking through the work and lives of some quite extraordinary individuals helping make their part of the world a better place.

The case of We Care Solar and our failure to spot winners

“The first ever US$1 million UN-DESA Energy Grant has been awarded to We Care Solar, a non-profit organisation, to enhance and expand the use of its ‘Solar Suitcase’.

Global development R&D: Maintaining a balance

My first brush with technology-for-development, almost twenty years ago, wasn’t on the potential of the Internet, or how mobile phones were going to change, well, everything. To be honest, neither were really on the development radar in any meaningful way back then. It’s almost funny to imagine a time when that was the case.

How To Let GSM Serve The People That Other Networks Can’t Reach

Mobile telephony has transformed access to communication in emerging markets.  In 1994, there were more telephone lines in New York City than in the whole of Africa.  These days, about two thirds of the population in sub-Saharan Africa is covered by a mobile phone signal.  That’s an amazing and profound change yet there are still millions of people who don’t have access to mobile networks.

How to Think About Universal Access

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that any person in possession of a mobile phone must be in want of an Internet connection.  Please allow that mangling of Jane Austen to exist as a placeholder for the assumption that everyone having affordable access to communication infrastructure

Steve and TED’s Excellent Adventure

tedHave you ever found yourself at a party where you felt like if someone discovered who you really were, you would be ejected imm

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