The alpha

As an intern at the Development Gateway Foundation, I found that which alludes most interns — a career path that brings together a great number of personal interests and, if the whole is greater than the sum, just may benefit the world in kind. I am speaking of the fusion of how people use emerging technologies and the challenges of the developing countries. I am convinced that open source platforms and software can be used in such a way as to benefit everyone and I hope my knowledge can facilitate positive change.

I am an advisor. And this is the purpose of this blog and netcast. I’ll leave it to others to grind economic data and statistics. Admittedly, I can’t do this, but then I am not interested in doing this either. While I may provide economic indicators and derivatives from time to time, this is not my aim. I hope to reach the layperson who is interested in learning more about ICT for development, the development practitioner who knows little of technology and needs some guidance, and most importantly, those in low-income nations who may have stumbled upon this site while looking for new methods of knowledge sharing and capacity growth. Hopefully the tools found here, both technical and of ideas in nature, will prove useful. I humbly hope so.

Pictures speak volumes and video yells it. In that spirit, I will include as much video from around the world that pertains to ICT in developing countries. And so I also have a podcast. Unfortunately, there is precious little video on the net to accommodate a show. And, being a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University, SAIS, I am too busy to create one.

So I am asking you, dear reader and listener, to upload your video of development practices have anything to do with ICT to the Internet Archive and email me (ICTforDevelopment@gmail.com) the Title, Short Description/Summary, Link to the Multimedia File, and Running Time.

For example, if you discover an innovative way of using an existing piece of software, use your mobile phone and record a short video of your discovery. If you find a radio station broadcasting to local farmers, do an interview with one of the employees and let me know. The broadcaster may want to introduce you to a local farmer who uses a website to check grain prices in another continent thereby lowering transaction costs and increasing his profit. Talk to farmer. How does this information help his family? What doesn’t the website provide that would be useful? How has access to immediate information changed his livelihood? With accreditation, your video will be part of this site’s podcast, widening and deepening knowledge for all.

Oh yeah, and if you could let the good folks at the Development Gateway Foundation know about your video, then it will have an even greater impact. And who wouldn’t want that?

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