List of ICT4D organizations

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This is a list of organisations that claim to work in the field of information and communication technologies for development (ICT4Dev). The sections below show two separate classifications:

  • organisations founded specifically with the sole purpose of engaging in ICT4Dev activities (i.e. activities that benefit the poorest people in the world)
  • commercial companies with ICT4Dev activities, which may be seen as marketing or corporate social responsibility exercises.

Founded for ICT4Dev[edit]

UN ICT Task Force[edit]

In 2001 the United Nations Information and Communication Technologies Task Force was formed to address a variety of ICT4Dev topics. The Task Force held semi-annual meetings focusing on specific themes, including a Global Forum on Internet Governance (UN headquarters in New York, March 2004); a Global Forum on an Enabling Environment (Berlin, November 2004); and a Global Forum on Harnessing the Potential of ICTs in Education (Dublin, April 2005). The UN ICT Task Force's mandate ended on December 31, 2005. A new group, called the 'Global Alliance for ICT and Development', was created to continue much of the work of the UN ICTTF.

In November 2002, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan issued a call for Silicon Valley to create the computers and communications systems that would enable villages to leapfrog several generations of technology and enter the Information Age directly.[1] This would provide the technical basis for WSIS (World Summit on the Information Society) discussions.

World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)[edit]

This United Nations initiative held summits in Geneva in 2003 and Tunis in 2005. After Tunis a Plan of Action is being followed, with a ten-year deadline ending in 2015. This parallels the timeframe for the Millennium Development Goals.

Global Alliance for ICT and Development[edit]

In 2006, at the end of his tenure, outgoing UN Secretary General Kofi Annan launched the Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID).

It is described as a "multi-stakeholder forum" and a "cross-sectoral platform and forum that will bring together all stakeholders representing relevant constituencies". It includes a large number of persons from the fields of government, development cooperation, foreign policy, finance, the social sector (health, education), regulatory agencies, industry and workers' associations, producers and consumers of ICT, the media, non-governmental organisations, community social organisations, foundations, scientific, academic and ICT communities and "individuals providing advocacy and oversight on Information Society issues and implementing programs addressing the United Nations' MDGs Millennium Development Goals."

GAID is led by a steering committee, with Intel's Craig Barrett as its chairman.

It has a Strategy Council, a set of high-level advisors, and a "champions' network". The Global Alliance for ICT and Development held its first meeting on June 19 and June 20, 2006 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

GAID Global Forum 2010 was organized in partnership with the government of Abu Dhabi on December 5–6, 2010. The theme for 2010 forum was "ICT for MDGs: Moving from Advocacy to Action." It was attended by members from governments, private sector, civil society and international organizations. Archived videos from the forum are available on the GAID website www.un-gaid.org or GAID Global Forum 2010.

Asia Pacific Development Information Programme and International Open Source Network[edit]

The United Nations—through its various organisations such as the United Nations Development Programme's Asia Pacific Development Information Programme (APDIP) – has brought out a number of publications. Many are published with shareable content licenses. Specifically in the field of Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS), the International Open Source Network (IOSN) has been an active player.

UNDP-APDIP publishes two series of e-primers, namely the e-Primers for the Information Economy, Society and Polity and the e-Primers on Free/Open Source Software. The former series details the concepts, issues and trends surrounding the information economy, society and polity. It intends to raise awareness and help policy makers and planners understand the relevance of information and communications technology (ICT) for development, by explaining technical jargon in simple terms. The latter series serves as an introduction to various aspects and dimensions of FLOSS, with country case-studies. It aims to raise awareness on FLOSS issues and support capacity building efforts.

The International Development Research Centre (IDRC)[edit]

The IDRC is a Canadian governmental agency (crown corporation) that has a very broad programme which includes many small to mid-sized ICT4Dev projects.[2] The IDRC is also one of the major sponsors of the telecentre.org movement.

The One Laptop per Child Project and 50x15[edit]

OLPC XO-1 laptop.
Main article: One Laptop per Child

OLPC is a high profile project initiated by Nicholas Negroponte. Several large companies are members of the organisation including MIT and chip manufacturer AMD. It had a wide open source community. The aim is to produce laptops cheaply enough to provide them to every school child in the world. Through its bold and controversial aim, the project has generated much exposure for ICT4Dev in general.

The 50x15-project is a similar worldwide project, offering low-cost computers from a variety of manufacturers.

Zidisha P2P Microfinance[edit]

Main article: Zidisha

Zidisha is an online peer-to-peer lending platform that allows individuals in developing countries to raise microfinance loans from individuals worldwide. Unlike earlier microfinancing websites such as Kiva, Zidisha does not work through local intermediary organizations. Instead, the individual borrowers themselves use the Zidisha website to create Facebook-style profiles and negotiate loans with individuals in the US and Europe. Zidisha lenders and borrowers dialogue with each other directly in the loan profile pages and Zidisha forum.[3]

Computer Aid International[edit]

Founded in 1998 Computer Aid International is a not-for-profit organisation that facilitates the practical application of ICT4Dev solutions to social development challenges. Computer Aid provides resources and project management inputs to projects in focal areas for ICT4Dev that include eLearning, eInclusion, eHealth and rural connectivity. Current initiatives include the promotion and training of the open learning platform Moodle in Africa universities; development of FLOSS software for blind and visually impaired users; telemedicine projects for rural hospitals; advocacy around eWaste and a wide variety of school initiatives. Computer Aid is perhaps most well known for having provided over 160,000 professionally refurbished PCs to educational institutions and not-for-profit development organisations in more than 100 different developing countries.

Dimagi[edit]

Main article: Dimagi

Founded in 2002, Dimagi Inc. is a software social enterprise that develops scalable, open source ICT solutions for low-resource settings. Dimagi has performed technical strategy, systems design, software development, and research for 100+ projects worldwide, and its core product suite support thousands of Frontline Workers in over 40 countries. Dimagi rapidly iterates and adapts its technologies to the local environment, creating appropriate, scalable, and sustainable solutions. Dimagi has a history of executing ICT4D projects as a technical lead, partnered with an in-country implementation lead. This model has been implemented for pilot-phase projects through enterprise-wide deployments with over 75 partners, including WHO, World Bank, USAID, CDC, World Vision, UNICEF, PATH, and the Rockefeller Foundation. Dimagi also has experience conducting research on ICT4D, which has lead to 18 peer-reviewed publications about its primary mobile health platform, CommCare.[4]

Inveneo[edit]

Main article: Inveneo
Graph of internet users per 100 inhabitants between 1997 and 2007 by International Telecommunication Union

Inveneo is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in San Francisco with focus on ICT4Dev mostly in Uganda.[5][6][7][8][9][10] The organization developed thin client called Inveneo Computing Station, which is similarly to Linutop 2 based on a reference design ION A603 mini PC by First International Computer and runs AMD Geode CPU.[11][12][13][14] Inveneo also helped to set up a communication system for relief workers after Hurricane Katrina.[15] Jamais Cascio, a co-founder of WorldChanging, featured Inveneo in July 2005.[16]

International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD)[edit]

The International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) is a non-profit foundation that specialises in ICT as a tool for development. It was founded in 1996 by the Dutch Ministry for Development Cooperation to help developing countries in their efforts to overcome the digital divide. IICD works in the sectors Education, Livelihoods, Health and Governance.

IICD works closely with public, private and not-for-profit partners in Africa and Latin America. It brings a wide variety of local stakeholders together – teachers, farmers, health workers, local government officials and civil servants – to help formulate and implement their own ICT-supported development policies and programmes. This includes market price information systems for farmers; ICT centres for rural economic development; telemedicine to bring specialist medical knowledge to isolated areas; ICT-enabled learning materials to improve the quality of teaching.

ICT4D Collective[edit]

The ICT4D Collective and Multidisciplinary Centre for ICT4D at Royal Holloway, University of London, was initiated in 2004 and is a group of people committed to undertaking the highest possible quality of research in the field of ICT4D, and making the results of this available freely to the global community. The Collective works primarily in the interests of poor people and marginalised communities, wherever they may be found. The Collective works in partnership to undertake research, teaching (undergraduate and postgraduate) and consultancy relating to the appropriate and sustainable use of ICT for development.

SPIDER (Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions)[edit]

The Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions SPIDER is a resource center for ICT for Development. Spider was established in 2004 and is primarily financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation (Sida), with complementary funding from Stockholm University. The center is administered by the Department of Computer and Systems Sciences (DSV) at Stockholm University.

NetHope[edit]

Main article: NetHope

NetHope, Inc., founded in 2001, is a consortium of 35 international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that specializes in improving IT connectivity among humanitarian organizations in developing countries and areas affected by disaster. The organization has partnerships with Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Intel, and Accenture. Its humanitarian development, emergency response, and conservation programs are in place in 180 countries worldwide.

Sarvodaya-Fusion[edit]

Sarvodaya-Fusion is a social enterprise specialising in ICT4D in Sri Lanka. The organisation collaborates with government, corporate partners and civil society organisations with the aim of the e-empowerment of rural communities. As a specialized branch of the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement, it has pioneered the use of rural telecentres to provide a sustainable education model in over one hundred locations across the island called Fusion Education. In 2007 Sarvodaya-Fusion introduced the first ever Mobile4Development application for agriculture through the SMS trading service FarmerNet. In 2011, it launched the SmartVillage project that integrated Android Smartphone technology and social networking as a tool for community development.

Sarvodaya-Fusion was featured in the UNCTAD 2012 Information Economy Report that detailed the organisation's partnership with mobile telecommunications provider Etisalat Lanka. The project introduced smart devices and locally relevant apps to rural communities in Sri Lanka.

TechChange[edit]

TechChange: The Institute of Technology and Social Change is a US-based social enterprise that delivers online certificate courses and workshops in topics related to ICT4D such as technology for emergency management, mobile phones for international development, mHealth, social media for social change, citizen journalism, participatory mapping social entrepreneurship, digital organizing, open government, intrapreneurship and more.[17]

Engaged in ICT4Dev[edit]

The Indigo Trust[edit]

The Indigo Trust is a UK-based grant-making foundation operating from London and is one of the organisations that makes up the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts. It funds technology-driven projects to bring about social change, largely in African countries. The Trust focuses mainly on innovation, transparency and citizen empowerment and has provided funding of approximately £750,000 to such initiatives over the last two years.

Microsoft[edit]

Microsoft started to offer special developing world Windows version dubbed "Starter edition" since Windows XP, which is cheaper than other editions, has limited application functions, network connectivity and is restricted to low-end hardware.[18][19]

Microsoft sees sub-Saharan Africa as one of the last great computing frontiers and wants to make Windows a fixture there. The company has established a presence in 13 countries and has donated Windows for thousands of school computers and funded programs for entrepreneurs and the youth and has used aggressive business tactics aimed at Linux, which is its biggest threat in the region.[20][21] The company also makes a kind of ICT4Dev service with its "Unlimited Potential" program.[22]

MIT[edit]

At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the IMARA organization (from Swahili word for "power") sponsors a variety of outreach programs which bridge the Global Digital Divide. Its aim is to find and implement long-term, sustainable solutions which will increase the availability of educational technology and resources to domestic and international communities. These projects are run under the aegis of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and staffed by MIT volunteers who give training, installed and donated computer setups in greater Boston, Massachusetts, Kenya, Indian reservations the American Southwest such as the Navajo Nation, the Middle East, and Fiji Islands. The CommuniTech project strives to empower underserved communities through sustainable technology and education.[23][24]

The institute also runs the Entrepreneurial Programming and Research on Mobiles[25] and Africa Information Technology Initiative[26] which focus on ICT4Dev.

The Berkman Institute at MIT is also strongly engaged in communication towards bridging the digital divide.

Unclassified ICT4Dev organizations[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kofi Annan, Perspective: Kofi Annan's IT challenge to Silicon Valley, News.com, November 5, 2002. Retrieved August 11, 2007.
  2. ^ [http://www.idrc.ca/ict4d/ The ICT4Dev programme area at the International Development Research Centre[dead link]
  3. ^ "Microfinance without the MFI? Zidisha tests the boundaries of microlending methodology", Financial Access Initiative, July 5, 2011
  4. ^ Chattfield, Allison et al. (April 2014). "CommCare Evidence Base". Retrieved May 7, 2014. 
  5. ^ Villano, Matt (November 13, 2006). "Wireless Technology to Bind an African Village – New York Times". The New York Times (Africa;Uganda). Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Business Center: Inveneo Braves Goats, Killer Bees for IT". PC World. May 19, 2008. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  7. ^ Schwartz, Ephraim (July 19, 2005). "VoIP on a bike | InfoWorld | Column | 2005-07-19 | By Ephraim Schwartz". InfoWorld. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  8. ^ Maney, Kevin (January 4, 2008). "One Billion Laptops". Entrepreneur.com. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  9. ^ Cyrus Farivar (September 12, 2005). "VOIP Phones Give Villagers a Buzz". Wired. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Tech entrepreneurs see profit in connecting next billion Internet users". USA Today. May 30, 2006. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  11. ^ Relph, Terry (February 19, 2008). "Inveneo Computing Station Review Overview in Desktops Reviews at ZDNet.co.uk – Page 1". Reviews.zdnet.co.uk. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  12. ^ Walsh, Katherine (July 18, 2007). "AMD project brings Web access to third world". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  13. ^ Inveneo Communication Stations vs 2B1 Children's Machines (September 19, 2006). "Inveneo Communication Stations vs 2B1 Children's Machines". OLPC News. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  14. ^ "AMD brings Linux to East Africans". Archived from the original on 2013-01-27. 
  15. ^ Linux.com :: Inveneo lights up Bay St. Louis[dead link]
  16. ^ "Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future: Inveneo". WorldChanging. February 22, 1999. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Technology and development: Geeks for good". Feast and famine blog. The Economist. June 27, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Microsoft Windows XP Starter Edition Fact Sheet: An overview of the features and benefits of Microsoft Windows XP Starter Edition". Microsoft. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Windows Vista Starter – Microsoft Windows". Microsoft. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  20. ^ [1][dead link]
  21. ^ "Microsoft Pushes Windows To Battle Linux In Africa – Slashdot". Linux.slashdot.org. October 28, 2008. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  22. ^ "Corporate Citizenship at Microsoft: Helping People and Businesses". Microsoft. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  23. ^ Cf. Fizz and Mansur, MIT Tech Talk, June 4, 2008
  24. ^ "IMARA Project at MIT". Imara.csail.mit.edu. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  25. ^ "EPROM – Entrepreneurial Programming and Research On Mobiles". Eprom.mit.edu. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  26. ^ "MIT Accelerating Information Technology Innovation". Aiti.mit.edu. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  27. ^ "United Villages". United Villages. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  28. ^ Katherine Nightingale. "Rural Internet – not online but still connected". SciDev.Net. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  29. ^ "Orissa villages go Wi-Fi, have an e-postman – Tech News – IBNLive". Ibnlive.in.com. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  30. ^ http://www.gsmworld.com/our-work/development-fund/
  31. ^ http://www.ethnosproject.org/
  32. ^ http://www.springfields.asia/
  33. ^ http://besipae.org/index.php/en/

External links[edit]

United Nations System initiatives[edit]

Academic initiatives[edit]

Other international initiatives[edit]