Creating a Roadmap for Aid in a Zambian Community

HumanitarianOpenStreet Maps (HOT) is one of 17 recipients of the NetHope 2017 Device Challenge. The collective impact of these projects is making a difference in communities across the globe.Most of us take for granted that Google Maps will accurately lead us in the right direction. But in many parts of the world, difficult terrain, remote … Continued

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Medair “melts hearts, inspires minds” as they dream of digital solutions

This is the third post in a four-part series focusing on NetHope members participating in the Dream, Design, and Deliver program, a social impact accelerator of The Center for the Digital Nonprofit.By Jean-Louis Ecochard, The Center for the Digital Nonprofit, NetHopeAs I write this, 23 reported emergencies have ignited in just the last two days. … Continued

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Faith into Action in the Digital Age

This is the second post in a four-part series focusing on NetHope members participating in the Dream, Design, and Deliver program, a social impact accelerator of The Center for the Digital Nonprofit. By Jim Daniell, The Center for the Digital Nonprofit, NetHopeCalled by deeply held faith, many NGOs use that foundation to help find solutions to … Continued

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Why Thinking Beyond International Women’s Day Is So Important

By Revi SterlingWhile America doesn’t celebrate International Women’s Day like we do Mother’s Day, or even Women’s History Month, one scan through Facebook reveals that the rest of the world does. Policemen giving female drivers flowers and men’s chorale groups singing to women just passing by give us encouragement that women are recognized (and recognizable) on this day. However, … Continued

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ICT Solutions Transforming Global Development

Information Communication Technologies (ICT) solutions have experienced incredible momentum since the initial Information and Communications Technology for Development (ICT4D) conference several years ago. It has transformed from a concept into real solutions being implemented by organizations across the development space.

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The Evolution of Remittances

As a father of four, I am very familiar with remittances.  When my first son went off to college, I gave him an envelope of cash.  My second child got a monthly check in the mail from Mom and Dad.  Never one to wait for the mail my third child opened a joint account with us so I could make deposits locally and he could make withdrawals at the local bank branch on campus.  With my fourth, we moved to the world of interoperable ATMs; deposits and withdrawals then happened on any street in any city and even abroad.  Now, we are in the digital age and any transfers can be done online with immediate effect. 

I have been thinking a lot about this evolution in my own family as I watch the leading role remittances are playing in the growth of mobile money systems around the world.  M-Pesa was created initially to serve the market for remittances in Kenya.  M-Pesa now is used by over 15 million Kenyans and in 2011 Safaricom reported that value of transactions processed through the M-PESA platform was equivalent to 20% of Kenya’s GDP.  In Central America, Tigo Money makes remittances easy and even advertises its service on bags of Frito Lays chips sold in small markets around Guatemala as witnessed by Hamilton McNutt, a member of NetHope’s Payment Innovations team who traveled to Guatemala in March.

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Tech for a Brighter Future: Youth with ICT Skills

This blog is part of a NetHub series that looks at technology trends that will help to shape a bright global future. Read more on the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting and NetHope here.

The Arab Spring taught us in 2011 that the youth bulge is a phenomenon that cannot be ignored. In the Middle East 60 percent of the population is under the age of 25, which sociologists and demographers believe introduces incredible promise for the region’s development but also the potential for a missed opportunity with great consequence. The youth bulge is not just a regional challenge; it is problem plaguing most developing countries where educated youth struggle to find employment.

Countries should prioritize giving opportunities to young people because a disaffected youth could equate to the loss of fresh thinkers, innovation and heightened security risks for an emerging economy’s future.

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Tech for a Brighter Future: Mobile Money

This blog is part of a NetHub series that looks at technology trends that will help to shape a bright global future. Read more on the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting and NetHope here.

In the developing world, billions of dollars in cash is exchanged every month between governments, companies and donor agencies for various reasons: salary, social welfare payments, cash-for-work programs, emergency relief and money transfers. The majority of these payments are given in physical cash, but advancements in technology and network capabilities have introduced safer, speedier, more reliable and transparent ways for exchanging those funds.

Replacing physical cash payments with electronic payments provides improvements for governments and communities alike. For instance, when the Government of Afghanistan started paying government employees and police officers through mobile phones via a grant from USAID, it immediately cut out so much graft that some employees actually thought they were getting at 30 percent raise. Mobile money also makes it easier to tax the transactions and root out ‘ghost’ payrolls.

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