The Global Broadband and Innovations Alliance (GBI) is a new initiative focused on solving today’s most pressing global development challenges through the expansion of broadband and mobile connectivity. The alliance strives to harness the power of collaboration among NetHope’s NGO members, the private sector and foundation partners by deploying technology in the practical laboratory of the developing world.
GBI, through its partnership with NetHope, joins Inveneo in 2011 with a continuing goal of rebuilding connectivity infrastructure in Haiti. Through a dynamic public-private partnership with the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, Microsoft, Google, Inveneo and the EKTA Foundation, this alliance will expand NetHope’s Port-au-Prince network into a nationwide Wi-Fi network. Our combined efforts will significantly improve Haiti’s connectivity infrastructure as well as advance the country’s reconstruction following last year’s devastating earthquake. GBI will lead the monitoring and evaluating of the project’s demand-side guarantee model for a point-to-point wireless model. In addition, replication of this model will speed deployment of successful connectivity solutions globally. It is through the use of innovative new technology and business models that cost-efficient solution sets can reach the rural edge and contribute to closing the digital divide — while simultaneously being environmentally and economically sustainable.
The GBI program will lead the Innovations for Youth Capacity and Empowerment initiative — a rich coalition that focuses on the innovative deployment of games to expand outreach to youth and build capacity for life skills taught through “serious” gaming. Today’s youth population poses one of the most pressing demographic and economic development challenges for the future; in the Middle East alone more than 60 percent of the population is younger than 30. The younger generation’s ability to utilize technology as well as stay connected makes leveraging games and social media an essential ingredient in its education. NetHope hopes to be at the forefront of this movement through the application of its Solution Life Cycle methodology. A $1.45 million pilot project in Jordan will target this segment of the population, using new platforms in new ways. For countries with a strong technology-savvy populace, the pressure to invent scalable solutions that grow marketplaces is great. To be successful, the solutions must also consider the conditions and priorities of the emerging and developing economies. This project will demonstrate the benefits of innovative approaches to educating the youngest part of the world’s population in today’s connected society.
Through the GBI Alliance, NetHope and USAID will continue to encourage innovation and drive connectivity throughout a host of programs — from building the capacity of African governments to harnessing the power of Universal Service Funds and deploying new mobile platforms to combat trafficking in Russia. The GBI Alliance with USAID is committed to NetHope’s mission of enabling technology solutions to address today’s development challenges through connection, collaboration and innovation.