Tech for Development Conference to Serve Those Living in Extreme Poverty

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Editor’s note: We are honored to share this great news from our friends at Catholic Relief Services. To learn more about how you can be a part of CRS’ mission, visit CRS.org. Lisa M. Hendey

CRS staff uses ICT4D devices to register internally displaced, vulnerable households for a non-food item fair involving local vendors in the Pweto territory of the DRC. CRS DRC’s CAPABLE (Capacity Building for Leadership in Emergencies) project provides the tools needed for affected communities to develop long-term resilience in the Katanga Province's so-called Triangle of Death—a group of three territories that have faced rising insecurity due to prolonged conflict since the end of 2011.

CRS staff uses ICT4D devices to register internally displaced, vulnerable households for a non-food item fair involving local vendors in the Pweto territory of the DRC. CRS DRC’s CAPABLE (Capacity Building for Leadership in Emergencies) project provides the tools needed for affected communities to develop long-term resilience in the Katanga Province’s so-called Triangle of Death—a group of three territories that have faced rising insecurity due to prolonged conflict since the end of 2011.

Largest Ever Tech for Development Conference May 16-19 Nairobi

ICT4D Key Tool for Reaching UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

2016_ICT4D_RGBBALTIMORE, MD, April 27, 2016 – Hundreds of experts from the relief and development and technology worlds are gathering in Nairobi, Kenya on May 16-19 to focus on the latest ways to harness cutting-edge information technology to help the world’s poor at the eighth annual Information and Communications Technologies for Development (ICT4D) conference.

For the first time the conference has been organized by a consortium of organizations on the leading edge of ICT4D: Accenture, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Esri, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, iMerit Technology Services, Mercy Corps, NetHope, Oxfam, Pandexio and World Vision with support from Microsoft, RTI international, Qualcomm Wireless Reach and Making All Voices Count.

This group of organizing partners and sponsors believe information and communication technology (ICT) can be used to accelerate achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aimed at eliminating extreme poverty around the world.  The ICT4D Conference is intended to be a catalyst that will move the entire the relief and development community forward with strategic use of ICT to support the SDGs.

“The innovation and partnerships that ICT enables can make the sustainable development goals a reality,” said Carolyn Woo, President and Chief Executive Officer of CRS which started the conference in 2010. “At CRS we firmly believe that technologies are key to accelerating the end to poverty and inequality – an essential enabler of all nations’ ability to develop a strong, viable local economy and to offer a safe, inclusive, and healthy environment to all its citizens, now and for decades to come.”

“Today across the developing world, people from all walks of life – farmers, teachers, mothers – are using mobile devices to access weather data, market information, financial services, and medical advice,” said Carol Bothwell, CRS’ Director of Technology Innovation for Development. “Local governments, development organizations, and social enterprises are harnessing the power of real-time data, social media, and analytics to improve the quality and reach of the services they provide to those living in extreme poverty. We can improve the speed with which we achieve the sustainable development goals if we share these innovations and create more.”

The conference has grown from the 80 development professionals who met in Nairobi for one day in 2010, to an expected 700 plus professionals from 270 organizations and 75 countries who will meet for four days this year. Speakers include leadership from a wide range of international and local organizations – the World Health Organization, the International Telecommunications Union, the UN Conference on Trade and Development, the governments of Kenya, Sierra Leone, Indonesia and Bangladesh, CISCO, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, Equity Group Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations, ICRISAT, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Nairobi, and the University of Notre Dame – as well as the CEOs of a wide range of entrepreneurial businesses and social enterprises.

For a full list of speakers and conference agenda, go to ICT4Dconference.org

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About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children's fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Lisa's articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. Hendey lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Visit Lisa at www.LisaHendey.com for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.

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