List of ICT4D organizations

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

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]


In 2003 Aptivate was founded as a nonprofit company limited by guarantee in Cambridge, UK, to solve the problems aid workers experienced accessing the internet in low bandwidth environments. (Its name at the time of incorporation was AidWorld; this changed in 2005).

Over subsequent years, Aptivate's technical work has expanded to include building web sites, integrating mobile data gathering systems, producing systems for data visualization, and developing the open-source monitoring and evaluation platform Kashana.[1] Aptivate has also expanded its work to include training in various technical subjects, consultancy, and authoring of related works.[2] Aptivate provided the lead authors on the World Bank Guide to Digital Citizen Engagement, to be published in Autumn 2015.

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.[3] 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 the 2010 forum was "ICT for MDGs: Moving from Advocacy to Action." It was attended by members from governments, the private sector, civil society, and international organizations. Archived videos from the forum are available on the GAID website 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.[4] The IDRC is also one of the major sponsors of the movement.

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

OLPC XO-1 laptop.

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]

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.[5]

Computer Aid International[edit]

Founded in 1998 Computer Aid International is a not-for-profit organisation that facilitates the practical application of ICT4Dev solutions[buzzword] 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.


Founded in 2002, Dimagi Inc. is a software social enterprise that develops scalable, open source ICT solutions[buzzword] for low-resource settings. Dimagi has performed technical strategy, systems design, software development, and research for 100+ projects worldwide, and its core product suite supports 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.[buzzword] 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 led to 18 peer-reviewed publications about its primary mobile health platform, CommCare.[6]


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.[7][8][9][10][11][12] 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.[13][14][15][16] Inveneo also helped to set up a communication system for relief workers after Hurricane Katrina.[17] Jamais Cascio, a co-founder of WorldChanging, featured Inveneo in July 2005.[18]

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.

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

The Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions is a resource center for ICT for Development. A 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, 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 the 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 is a social enterprise specializing 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.

SOS Children's Villages

SOS children's villages have several ICT4D initiatives in her different programs; in Kenya, SOS implements a literacy program dubbed OSL(Open space literacy), in this, children are given an opportunity to interact with digital technologies and learn literacy through digital educational contents. [2], for more information, follow the following link


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.[19]

Open Function (OpenFn)[edit]

Open Function works with NGOs (such as UNICEF[20]) and governments to scale public health and humanitarian programs via data integration, interoperability, and automation.[21] Their integration-platform-as-a-service is used to connect such tools as DHIS2,[22] CommCare, and Open Data Kit.[23]

Engaged in ICT4Dev[edit]

Bangladesh Institute of ICT in Development (BIID)[edit]

BIID is a Bangladesh-based inclusive business initiative engaged in developing ICT enabled products and services to support private and public (Government and NGO) initiatives targeted for the BoP (Base of the Pyramid) segment in particular and citizens in general in providing them with access to ICTs and ICT enabled information and services. BIID envisions wide range of opportunities in the ICT4D sector in developing countries. .

However, there exists no impact assessment report that might claim its success in the areas it is involved, reflecting on the experiences of its target beneficiaries.[24]


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.[25][26]

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.[27][28] The company also makes a kind of ICT4Dev service with its "Unlimited Potential" program.[29]


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[buzzword] 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.[30][31]

The institute also runs the Entrepreneurial Programming and Research on Mobiles[32] and Africa Information Technology Initiative[33] which focus on ICT4Dev.

Unclassified ICT4Dev organizations[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Writer, Guest (June 26, 2015). "3 Systematic Reasons Why M&E Technology Projects Fail". ICTworks. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  2. ^ "Projects - Websites, Monitoring & Evaluation systems for NGOs | Aptivate".
  3. ^ Kofi Annan, Perspective: Kofi Annan's IT challenge to Silicon Valley,, November 5, 2002. Retrieved August 11, 2007.
  4. ^ The ICT4Dev programme area at the International Development Research Centre Archived November 23, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Microfinance without the MFI? Zidisha tests the boundaries of microlending methodology" Archived March 28, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, Financial Access Initiative, July 5, 2011
  6. ^ Chattfield, Allison; et al. (April 2014). "CommCare Evidence Base". Retrieved May 7, 2014.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ "Business Center: Inveneo Braves Goats, Killer Bees for IT". PC World. May 19, 2008. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  9. ^ Schwartz, Ephraim (July 19, 2005). "VoIP on a bike | InfoWorld | Column | 2005-07-19 | By Ephraim Schwartz". InfoWorld. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  10. ^ Maney, Kevin (January 4, 2008). "One Billion Laptops". Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  11. ^ Cyrus Farivar (September 12, 2005). "VOIP Phones Give Villagers a Buzz". Wired. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  12. ^ "Tech entrepreneurs see profit in connecting next billion Internet users". USA Today. May 30, 2006. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  13. ^ Relph, Terry (February 19, 2008). "Inveneo Computing Station Review Overview in Desktops Reviews at – Page 1". Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  14. ^ Walsh, Katherine (July 18, 2007). "AMD project brings Web access to third world". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ "AMD brings Linux to East Africans". Archived from the original on January 27, 2013.
  17. ^ " :: Inveneo lights up Bay St. Louis". Archived from the original on January 28, 2013. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  18. ^ "Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future: Inveneo". WorldChanging. February 22, 1999. Archived from the original on February 22, 2012. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  19. ^ "Technology and development: Geeks for good". Feast and famine blog. The Economist. June 27, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  20. ^ "OpenFn and Primero Language Pack, now available". Primero Support Hub. April 27, 2020. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  21. ^ "OpenFn". OpenFn. July 27, 2020. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  22. ^ "About DHIS2". DHIS2. April 27, 2020. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  23. ^ "OpenFn provides integration between ODK and Safesforce". March 2015. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  24. ^ "Bangladesh Institute of ICT in Development Official Website".
  25. ^ "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.
  26. ^ "Windows Vista Starter – Microsoft Windows". Microsoft. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  27. ^ [1] Archived March 3, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ "Microsoft Pushes Windows To Battle Linux In Africa – Slashdot". October 28, 2008. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  29. ^ "Corporate Citizenship at Microsoft: Helping People and Businesses". Microsoft. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  30. ^ Cf. Fizz and Mansur, MIT Tech Talk, June 4, 2008
  31. ^ "IMARA Project at MIT". Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  32. ^ "EPROM – Entrepreneurial Programming and Research On Mobiles". Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  33. ^ "MIT Accelerating Information Technology Innovation". Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  34. ^ "United Villages". United Villages. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  35. ^ Katherine Nightingale. "Rural Internet – not online but still connected". SciDev.Net. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  36. ^ "Orissa villages go Wi-Fi, have an e-postman – Tech News – IBNLive". Archived from the original on September 30, 2012. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  37. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 26, 2013. Retrieved October 5, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  38. ^ "Besipae".