ICT4D: giving a voice to the voiceless

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Jennifer Poidatz (VP – CRS), Hon. Vincent Bagiire (PS – Min. of ICT), Niek De Goeij (Country Rep. – CRS), Jason Brantley (Dir. – John Deere) [Photo credit: Techjaja].

The 11th Information Communications Technology for Development (ICT4D) Conference has kicked off at the Commonwealth hotel in Munyonyo, Kampala and will run up to Friday May 3, 2019.

The ICT4D conference brings together hundreds of public, private and civil society organizations, eager to share practical insights on applying digital technology to development, humanitarian, and conservation challenges.

Vincent Bagiire, the Permanent Secretary of the ICT ministry, told press on Tuesday that over 900 attendees from close to 90 countries and over 400 organisations are taking part.

Bagiire called upon Ugandans to embrace nationwide digitisation emphasising the importance of technology and artificial intelligence.

This year’s event is co-hosted by the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance of Uganda in partnership with Catholic Relief Service (CRS).

Jennifer Poidatz, the Vice President at CRS, asked stakeholders to make technology easier and more accessible to “give a voice of the voiceless”.

Lauren Woodman, the CEO of NetHope, said going digital is not having a Facebook or Twitter account but instilling a discipline while digital is about empowering people to make decisions.

In his Hoover Institution Essay, A Rubicon, Dan Geer, the Chief Information Security Officer of In-Q-Tel and an epidemiologist by training, brings to the forefront the central issue of all security:

“We call that on which we most depend “critical infrastructure.” Because dependence is transitive, so is risk. That you may not yourself depend on something directly does not mean that you do not depend on it indirectly. We call the transitive reach of dependence “interdependence,” which is to say, correlated risk. Interdependence within society today is centered on the Internet beyond all other dependencies… Our concern is unacknowledged correlated risk.”

Interconnected, unacknowledged risk is where failures, data breaches, and loss of data quality occurs.

“But further complicating the issue, our beneficiaries are rarely in a position to even know what it is they depend on, or worry about their right to privacy.”

It is just too far removed from the day to day concerns of an individual worried about food security or access to healthcare.

This concerns all C-level executives, senior managers, program leaders, field officers, IT/data managers, and senior technical advisors from disciplines ranging from agriculture, health, education, conservation and disaster management to information and communications technology, data management, GIS/mapping, and financial services.

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