Digital and Technology for International Development

Digital and Technology for International Development


Gain the knowledge and skills to cut through the hype of digital development. Choose the right technologies and approaches to achieve positive social change.

In a rapidly changing technological environment, today’s international development professionals need a clear understanding of the role of digital tools and platforms to help them make informed choices to improve economic, environmental and social outcomes.

The course will provide the latest evidence and insight about what works, and why in digital development.

Course aim
To equip you with the conceptual and diagnostic tools needed to cut through the hype of digital development, access the latest evidence, and help communities and agencies identify pro-equity innovations that enhance inclusion, voice and participation.

Who should attend?
Development professionals in NGOS, governments, donor organisations, and independent consultants.

How you’ll learn
The course is tailored to your experience and needs. Prior to the course, you’ll be asked to complete a short survey detailing specific development challenges that you are dealing with in your work. During the course you and your facilitators will explore this challenge and identify suitable approaches to address it.

The course comprises the following sessions:

Day 1: Mapping the landscape of Digital development: where did we come from and where are we now?

Landscape and sector mapping of the field of ICT for development (ICT4D); key funders, agencies and other stakeholders. Mapping sectoral practice looking at the impact of digital on services, identity, mobile money and other ‘hot issues’ of concern to governments and development practitioners. Providing a critical overview of conceptual approaches to assessing and analysing digital development. This will provide a conceptual framework to understand digital technologies are altering and are altered by the ways in which politics, economy, state, private sector and civil society interact to create a development trajectory.

Day 2: Gender and technology

Exploring how intersectional power relations are reflected and reproduced in and through digital technologies in ways that affect women’s development. We do this in order to critically assess the contribution that use of digital technologies might play in addressing gender injustice in the context of international development.

Day 3: Citizenship technologies

Examining the positive and negative impacts of digital technologies on governance and citizenship. Topics include how digital technologies can contribute to democracy and citizenship, technology for transparency and accountability, and digital threats to democracy and freedom.

Day 4: Digital financial services

To what extent do mobile money and digital financial services contribute to financial inclusion and sustainable development? We will use practical examples from Asia and Africa and ask what the research evidence tells us and what recommendations arise for future fintech for development.

Day 5: Pro equity innovations: frontier technologies

The cutting edge of digital development; insights into current and emerging technologies and the conceptual tools to understand the threats and opportunities of these new tools. Exploring how we might we use these new technologies in ways that are adaptive, participatory and inclusive.

Learning outcomes
After completing the course, you’ll have:

An overview of applications of ICT4D

An overview of key stakeholders in the Digital Development landscape

Insights into global and regional data on access to and use of technologies.

Up to date insights on the latest technological developments including big data and frontier technologies.

To be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of:

Digital Landscapes: key actors, organisations and issues in digital development

Conceptual and analytical tools used to analyse digital development issues

Deep Dives: analysing use of digital technologies in key sectors of gender and citizenship

Identifying and assessing sources of data and evidence in digital development

Future Issues: opportunities and risks of ‘Frontier Technologies’

Course conveners
The course will be convened by the IDS Digital and Technology Cluster Co-Leads, Dr Becky Faith and Dr Tony Roberts.

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