Politics Puts the Brakes on Development


There has been a recent surge in literature that is cynical of ICT4D projects. Spurred on by the randomized control trial results of ICT4D projects, such as those of the One Laptop Per Child initiative in Peru, more and more authors are concluding that ICT4D projects’ capacity to end poverty and promote transformative national or community development is often stifled by political hang-ups. Even annual ICT4D Fail Faires have occurred the past three years, where practitioners willingly explain how their project failed and what they learned.
Continue reading

Should the U.S. have an intelligence center for mass atrocities?


Social media plays a major role in raising awareness about mass atrocities. In the most visible example, Invisible Children’s Kony 2012 video has garnered more than 90 million YouTube views. But the utility of social media for preventing atrocities goes beyond advocacy—a utility that the U.S. government (USG) should explore and embrace. How can the USG best leverage these tools for its atrocity prevention efforts?
Continue reading

The Nigeria Security Tracker: How (not) to Design an ICT-Enabled Project


You’ve heard of the 90/10 rule, right? I hadn’t heard the concept, at least, until recently. The meaning, though, I learned the hard way—an ICT-enabled project should be 90 percent planning and only 10 percent digital tool. Not the other way around.

We initiated the Nigeria Security Tracker, an effort to catalog and map political violence based on a weekly survey of domestic and international press, at least two years ago. We wanted to answer the question “are things getting worse in Nigeria?”
Continue reading

Text to Change Interview with Marcus Wagenaar


Text to Change’s Chief Technology Officer, Marcus Wagenaar, sat down with me yesterday to discuss new projects on the horizon and innovations in the mHealth field.  Text to Change is an international NGO which uses …
Continue reading

Responsive Design for a Responsive Organization: 3 Reasons Why Your Organization Should Have a Mobile-First Online Identity


The TechChange course on Mobiles for International Development starts on June 18. Sign up now!

Have you ever been stuck on the mobile version of a website and were unable to go where …
Continue reading