Session 2C

Transforming international development through ICTs

May 23, 11.00–12.30, Riddarsalen, #session2c

This panel aims to explore how international development is being transformed by the application of new technologies to existing practices.

ICTs have transformed the context of international development. A significant part of the population in low- and middle-income countries today has access to phones. Access to internet is growing at the same rapid pace. The use of ICTs for development (ICT4D) has the potential to lead to efficiency gains in governance, agriculture, health care and humanitarian crisis management. In some noteworthy cases – such as crisis and election monitoring – it has created entirely new channels of interaction between the public and institutions. The improved ability of development organisations to collect, store and analyse vast amounts of data has led to new insights and more efficient action.

This panel will debate issues such as: What positive and negative effects will the wide-scale implementation of ICTs in international development bring? How can the use of ICTs in development reach its full potential, and what areas currently seem most worthwhile to focus on? To what extent is the ICT field a more generalisable development field than others – is there a basis for a more universal view of ‘what works’ or is the local context a decisive factor as well in this field?


bertrandBertrand de La Chapelle, Director of the Internet & Jurisdiction Project, Member of the Board of Directors at ICANN.

Bertrand de LA CHAPELLE is Director of the Internet & Jurisdiction Project ( at the International Diplomatic Academy in Paris. He is also a Director on the ICANN Board since 2010.

From 2006 to 2010, he was France’s Thematic Ambassador and Special Envoy for the Information Society, participating in all WSIS follow-up activities and Internet governance processes, including in particular the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), and was a Vice-Chair of ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC).

Between 2002 and 2005, he actively participated in the World Summit on the Information society (WSIS) to promote dialogue among civil society, private sector and governments, including as Director of the collaborative platform WSIS-online. An engineer, diplomat and civil society actor, he also has nine years of private sector experience, including as co-founder and President of Virtools, now a subsidiary of CAD company Dassault Systèmes.

Bertrand de La Chapelle is a graduate of Ecole Polytechnique (1978), Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (1983) and Ecole nationale d’Administration (1986).


marlonMarlon Parker, Founder RLabs

Marlon Parker is a Social Entrepreneur, investor and advocate of using Digital Media and Mobile Technology for Social Good. His passion for community development has influenced his work and led to being the founder of the Reconstructed Living Lab (RLabs) a global movement currently having activities in 19 countries worldwide. He is also the founder of startup JamiiX, recently acquired, that is currently the backbone to one of the largest mobile chat support networks in the world with more than 3 million people being reached since its inception.

Marlon also joined Africa’s biggest Mobile Social Network, Mxit where he heads up their social enterprise, Mxit Reach, currently impacting 16 Million people across Africa. His most recent initiative is co-founding the Kukua Fund an investment company seeking to invest in high growth social entrepreneurs in Africa.

robertkirkpatrickRobert Kirkpatrick, Director of the UN Global Pulse

Robert Kirkpatrick is Director of UN Global Pulse, an innovation initiative of the Secretary-General harnessing big data for a real-time understanding of human wellbeing. Robert’s activities in government, academia, UN agencies, NGOs and the private sector have focused on developing innovative solutions at the intersection of technology, policy and social change. Robert has spent the past 15 years creating technologies for business, public health, disaster relief, security coordination, citizen journalism, telemedicine, and crisis early warning. Robert advocates open data, open standards, open source software, and participatory development.

Robert co-founded and led software development for two pioneering private-sector humanitarian technology teams, first at Groove Networks, and later as Lead Architect for Microsoft Humanitarian Systems. In 2003, he lived and worked in Baghdad deploying collaboration technology to support reconstruction efforts. In 2005, he supported response and recovery efforts following Hurricane Katrina and created data collection tools to assist relief organizations following the Kashmir earthquake. In 2006 he developed tools for telemedicine and program coordination in Afghanistan. From 2007-2009 he served as CTO of the Silicon Valley nonprofit InSTEDD (Innovative Support to Emergencies Diseases and Disasters), created by Google in 2006, where he led development of technologies for disaster relief and early detection of disease outbreaks and established the first public health innovation lab in Cambodia.

JulianaRotich_IMG_8536Juliana Rotich, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Ushahidi

Juliana Rotich is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Ushahidi Inc, a non-profit tech company, born in Africa, which specializes in developing free and open source software for information collection, interactive mapping and data curation.  Ushahidi builds tools for democratizing information, increasing transparency and lowering the barriers for individuals to share their stories. Through, and accompanying mobile applications, Ushahidi is expanding its global footprint and making crowdsourcing tools available and useful, and catalyzing entrepreneurial initiatives like iHub in Kenya.

Juliana has worked in the telecommunications and data warehousing industry for over ten years.  She has a Computer Science degree from the University of Missouri, Kansas City. She is a Technologist, MIT Fellow, TED Senior Fellow and currently serves as Vice Chair of World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Data Driven Development.

usha-headerUsha Venkatachallam, Founder & CEO, Appropriate IT

Usha Venkatachallam is President & CEO of Appropriate IT (AI), a technology consulting company that harnesses the power and promise of the information age to advance agendas of social justice, equitable access, and inclusive international development. She is a technologist who believes that appropriate information & communication technologies (ICTs) has transformational power that make it an effective tool for social change.

Based in Washington DC, USA, Usha has more than a decade of experience as senior consultant in the non-profit technology sector, helping organizations creatively apply internet technologies to advance their mission. Her expertise is in international ICT technologies and in finding locally-appropriate and culture-specific solutions using existing and emerging technologies. She also specializes in providing capacity building and training for both end-users and trainers.

walkerLaura Walker Hudson, CEO, Social Impact Lab Foundation, the Makers of FrontlineSMS

Laura leads the Foundation behind the award-winning free desktop SMS management platform, FrontlineSMS, where she has worked since 2010 to lower barriers to using mobile and SMS all over the world.

Prior to this she worked for British Red Cross, working on humanitarian policy and learning, focussed on innovation, urbanisation, cash transfer programming and civil-military relations, as well as strategic planning. Laura also served for three years as Secretary of the NGO-Military Contact Group. She is a member of the Board of SpaceUnited, recently stepped down after three years as a Steering Group member for Enhancing Learning and Research in Humanitarian Action (ELRHA), and remains a member of the Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities (CDAC) reference group.

Laura is also a committed activist for the rights of the UK’s Gypsy and Traveller community, and holds an LL.B (Hons) in Law, French and German from the University of the West of England, Bristol, and an LL.M in International Development Law and Human Rights from Warwick University.