We are pleased to announce the workshop on Mobile and Web Technologies in Social and Economic Development, which will take place on June 4-5 2011 in Dar es Salaam. The event will gather world-wide experts in ICTD, Web and mobile technology specialists, as well as service users (including NGO representatives and government agents) in order to understand the challenges associated with the use of mobile phones and Web technologies to deliver sustainable services for underprivileged populations in the developing world. What a mouthful. Put it simpler, we want to explore the future of mobile-phone services in developing countries. The potential of successful services has been demonstrated, but it has yet to be realized and we would like to find out how.
The fourth of asuccessfulseries, this workshop has a specific focus on data collection. The Foundation recently started a project on studying existing tools and practices in data gathering, with a view to determine how Web technology can best improve them. In particular how the many modalities supported by the Web can help design tools that will make collection more efficient and produce compiled data that is more reliable, less biased by the tools used, and therefore more likely to yield better results.
We hope that the workshop will attract experts and will see exciting presentations and fruitful discussions. However it is not just going to be about data collection. We also want to cover more of the Foundation’s themes, specifically mobile entrepreneurship and voice-based applications. So anybody with an interest in those themes or related ones is invited to submit statements of interest, paper abstracts or position papers. We have also developed a sponsorship program to be able to offer travel grants to NGOs or individuals that would not be able to attend otherwise. See the workshop page for details and contact information.