Wayan Vota: DevEx 40 Under 40 International Development Leader in Washington DC

Wow! I’ve been named a young international development leader by DevEx, the world’s largest community of aid & development professionals. Devex just published a first-of-its-kind list of the top 40 international development leaders in Washington, DC who are under 40 years of age. And I’m on it. I was selected based on my ballot box […]

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How Donors Can Expand National Health Information Systems

Vital Wave Consulting has asked my opinion a very simple, yet profound question:

What should the donor community do to expand national health information systems in the developing world?

Speaking as a technologist on a mission to change the way international development employs information and communication technology (ICT) to reach its aims of economic and social development, I am honored for the opportunity to present the key activities I believe donors need to engage in immediately to better implement national HIS.

mhealth
Move past mHealth (Img: DataDyne)

Recognize Problems Are Human, Not High-Tech

In Washington DC, I convene the Technology Salon a monthly conversation between international and technology professionals, and recently we tackled the barriers to effective deployment of national health information systems. After a hour of debate, we came to the conclusion that the key national HIS success technology is change management.

That is deploying a national health information system successfully does not necessarily require the high-end technology resources available to richer countries. The major hurtles to successful national health information systems are human, not high-tech.

Having a clear goal of improving data quality, and a solid change management approach to achieve is the critical success factor. And this can be accomplished in countries as varied in resources as Belize, India, and Sierra Leone, regardless of what technology or technical approach is used.

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A Whole New Technology Salon Experience

I am proud to announce that the Technology Salon is now officially sponsored by the United Nations Foundation’s Technology Partnership with the Vodafone Foundation. In April of 2008, I started the Technology Salon as a forum where technology and development professionals could share there opinions on emerging trends in information and communication technologies and international […]

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Designing a Micro Mobile Telco: April Technology Salon

Mobile phones are an amazing success story in the developing world, bringing transformative opportunities to many underserved communities. But they do not reach out to remote rural villages – where there is demand and purchasing power, albeit limited – and a scaleable micro mobile teclo solution could transform communications and development for the poorest of the poor.

rural micro mobile telco
Rural communications entrepreneurs exist

So what might be the business and technology models that would allow entrepreneurs to roll out mobile phone systems to these underserved communities? And could development organizations play a role?

Which technology would be best: GSM? WiFi? WiMax? What’s the business case: Handset sales? Subscriptions? Airtime Only? Could voice services be augmented with data? Even broadband? How might an entrepreneur serve 400 customers at $10 per month revenue or $48,000 per annum? And should aid organizations seed these businesses?

Join David Ferguson, for a lively discussion of possible micro mobile telco models and expect to hit the whiteboards with your ideas.

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