Venn Diagram Location of m4D and Apps4D in ICT4D

Recently, Ken Banks put forth an interesting question in his post “Mobile community: The holy grail of m4d?” He essentially asked “Who is the mobile community?” and hinted that there is a lack of clarity in the definition and therefore the need for a specific mobile community. Taking his hint, Nate Barthel suggested we think […]

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Introducing Archer Sophia Vota

Hanalei’s little sister has arrived! Please welcome Archer Sophia Vota, the newest edition to the Vota family. She came into this world this evening as her mom was laughing, and now she can’t stop crying. Yet her parents and her family are overjoyed by this new bundle of love. Archer…

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Apps4Dev: Smartphone Application Development as ICT4D

The rise of the smartphone has unleashed a wave of excitement and income generation across the software development community. Applications that can run on iPhones, Android phones and Blackberry’s, can be written quickly, and on the cheap, and have generated outsized returns for their creators. Even more impressive is that this application revolution is just […]

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How to Blog for Professional Success in International Development

“We need a website. Who wants to figure that out?” says my new boss in the very first staff meeting I attend on the very first day of my new job. “I will,” I answered, and so in 1995, I started blogging, before there was even a term for it. Blogging got me on 60 […]

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3 Surefire Steps to Securing a Kick-Ass ICT4D Job

The response to my recent offering to help you get an amazing ICT4D dream job in 2011 has been overwhelming – I can barely keep up with the individual requests for help. So to speed up the knowledge sharing, I present to you the 3 surefire steps to securing a kick-ass ICT4D job (or any […]

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Apple iPhone Boarding Pass: United Airlines Innovation


Swipe your phone, board the plane

It’s not often that you can use the words “innovation” and “United Airlines” in the same sentence, without a “lack of” first – but with the new iPhone boarding pass, you can, and you will!

Last week, I was headed to Inveneo’s offices in San Francisco for my bi-monthly check-in with the team. Before I ran out the door, I skipped one step that we’re all familiar with – the boarding pass printing.

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How to Get an Amazing ICT4D Dream Job in 2011

It’s damn hard to get a job in international development. And if you’re geeky and want to do ICT4D – use information and communication technologies for development, it’s even harder. Yet every year several hundred people graduate with international development degrees, many of them hoping to start a career in ICT4D. An equal number of […]

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On the Inequity of Wealth in South Africa


A sign of fear

I am no stranger to wealth inequality. I’ve lived it personally when I was growing up poor, and I see it daily in Washington DC. Often wealth inequality is about class as much as race, yet in South Africa I found race to be the defining characteristic.

Class divide in cars

In every country I’ve visited in Africa, black Africans are the most populous people driving cars. Now there are some white people behind the wheel – be they natives and expats, but by in large, the driving population ethnicity mimics the overall population.

But not in South Africa. I was shocked to see only whites driving in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Black Africans were in shared minibus taxis or walking. Now I did see one or two black Africans driving, but they were in the extreme minority.

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Flat Elise Snuck into South Africa’s Parliament!


Flat Elise is a sneaky one

“Quick, buy stamps!” That’s what Flat Elise told me as we were in line for a tour of South Africa’s Parliament building. As we turned left to grab stamps at the cute little post office in Parliament, the tour went right and disappeared down the hallway.

By the time we had our stamps, the tour was nowhere in sight. It was just Flat Elise and I, let loose in the legislative capital of the Republic. So we went exploring.

I’ve been to the US Capital Building before – it’s a surprisingly easy place to visit if you skip the annoying tour. In fact, you can walk right it – no need for a reason, as these are your elected representatives, right? You should be able to visit them at your leisure. Still, you have to go through a security check, as you do in South Africa.

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Car Parking Craziness in Cape Town


Beware the Parking Warden!

South Africa is an amazingly car-centric country, partly due to geography, with large distances between lightly populated areas, and partly as a legacy of apartheid, with physical distance as a means of enforcing segregation.

Car ownership is also highly concentrated, its mainly rich whites that drive, with Africans in share taxis or walking. Which is why the car parking craziness of South Africa took me by such surprise.

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