ICT Working Group

May 20, 2014    "Innovative Mobile Technologies to Improve Women's and Children's Health"

This panel discussion highlighted three organizations selected to receive catalytic grants from the United Nations' Innovation Working Group (IWG) in support of the Every Woman, Every Child movement: Village Reach, JSI’s SC4CCM Project and Malaria No More. Panelists discussed experiences in scaling up their evidence-based mHealth interventions. Dr. Patricia Mechael, executive director of the mHealth Alliance, began by providing an overview of the grant competition and the process of assisting mobile health projects in moving beyond the pilot phase to achieve scale. Funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation through the mHealth Alliance, grants awarded support and encourage the scale-up of innovative mHealth projects that improve the lives of mothers and children. Technical leadership is provided to recipients from the World Health Organization. The first round of awards were administered in 2011, and collectively since then, the three rounds of IWG grantees aspire to reach nearly 31 million people spread across communities in 14 countries with life-saving messaging and services. Read More

April 4, 2014    "The Internet’s Transformative Potential in Africa"

“African governments can attract and set agendas, however it is up to the private sector utilizing its knowledge of economies that will truly drive and unlock the internet’s potential”— this statement by Armando Cabral, Director and Office Manager at  McKinsey and Company’s, Luanda Office, was the overarching theme covering the April 4th ICT working group. Joined by his colleague, Lohini Moodley, Principal in McKinsey’s Johannesburg office, the two served as guest speakers briefing members on Lions Go Digital — an extensive report exploring the role of the internet as a catalyst for economic growth in the Africa continent. Lohini set the stage by informing members that while today 1 in 6 Africans are online, in urban areas things are rapidly changing with “roughly 1 in 2 Africans online with 25% online daily and 21% spending more than 10 hours per week online.” With more than 200 million people on the continent between the ages of 15 and 25 - the cohort that uses technology the most, this demographic shift will create millions of new Internet users only increasing the current trends. Lohini referenced several innovative, entrepreneurial endeavors that are experimenting with new business models and using technology to address specific challenges such as Jumia, moWoza, iHub and Paga. Read More