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How Can ICTs Improve Public Consultation Processes?

 New York City - July 7th - RSVP Now

Public consultations are a common method of gathering citizen input. They range from global processes like the post-2015 sustainable development goals (SDGs), to national processes such as constitution making, to local processes like participatory budgeting, and well beyond.

More and more, ICTs are being used in public consultation processes to facilitate the collection and processing of data, reduce costs of the exercise, and expand inclusion to a wider swath of the population. They can also help those who are managing consultation processes to present results back to participants and up to decision-makers. But often in the rush to use digital tools and platforms, those running consultation processes forget about key elements needed for a high quality consultation.
  • They may spend all their time on a platform and forget to budget for marketing the exercise so that there is widespread participation and input.
  • They may design ICT platforms or tools that empower the elite or males or a particular ethnic language group but that are not inclusive or representative of the wider population they are seeking to hear from.
  • They may also be unprepared for the ways that ICTs alter the process, or for the growing expectations of citizens that their voices be listened to and that decision-makers respond to their input.
Please RSVP now to join us on July 7th for a lively Technology Salon NYC conversation with the following thought leaders on the use of ICT in public consultations:
  • Tiago Peixoto, Team Lead, World Bank Digital Engagement Unit.
  • Michele Brandt, Director, Interpeace Constitution-Making for Peace Program.
  • Ravi Karkara, Co-Chair, Policy Strategy Group, World We Want Post-2015 Consultation.
During our Technology Salon NYC, we’ll discuss aspects of ICTs in public consultation, seeking answers to questions like:
  • What are the different phases of a well-designed consultation process and how are ICTs influencing these processes? What do we need to know before making decisions about where and when to integrate ICTs?
  • What are some ways that ICTs can make public consultation processes more inclusive and representative? How are ICTs being used together with more traditional, offline tools to facilitate greater participation and voice?
  • What are the challenges and realities with using ICTs in public consultation processes? What are the common pitfalls and how can we avoid them?
  • What determines the success of a consultation process? Is there any evidence that ICTs improve consultation processes? When, why and how?
  • What are the potential privacy, ethics and security issues that should be considered when using ICTs for public consultation?
Please RSVP now to join Technology Salon NYC for a lively discussion! We’ll have hot coffee and a light breakfast (thanks to Thoughtworks) but seating is limited,and once we reach capacity, there will be a waiting list.
New Technology in Emergency Response
July Technology Salon NYC
9:00-11:00 am
Tuesday, July 7th, 2015
New York, NY 10016
RSVP is Required for Attendance

Emerging Lessons on Using Technology in Emergency Response


London Salon - June 30th - RSVP Now

New technologies continue to open up more and more possibilities for handling humanitarian emergencies and improve response efforts. After the Nepal earthquake, the response community used drone surveillance to help with search and rescue. In West Africa, aid workers used crowdsourced maps to check villages for victims of Ebola.

Indeed the need for basic information means that something as simple as a mobile phone can play a vital role in supporting relief efforts and enable people more quickly to rebuild their lives.

Please RSVP now to join the next Technology Salon London to look at the role of technology in recent crises. We'll hear from lead discussants like Kyla Reid, Head of GSMA Disaster Response, and explore questions like:
  • How are new technologies changing the way organisations respond in a crisis?
  • What role do new technologies play in rebuilding communities afterwards?
  • What are the learnings from recent humanitarian emergencies in Nepal and West Africa?
We’ll have hot coffee and a light breakfast. Seating is limited, so be sure to RSVP quickly to be confirmed for attendance. Once we reach our 30-person capacity there will be a waiting list.
New Technology in Emergency Response
June Technology Salon London
9.00 – 11.00am,
Tuesday June 30th 2015
Central London, UK
RSVP is required for attendance

How Can We Improve Data for Development?

Washington DC - July 1st - RSVP Now

The word "data" conjures up images of numbers and spreadsheets, of elite data scientists conjuring secrets from arcane statistics known to only a few. Yet it shouldn't be this way. We are already awash in development data we use daily:
  • Contextual data we use for proposal and program design.
  • Operational data we rely on to improve implementation and delivery.
  • Outcome data we incorporate into evaluations and research.
We also already use myriad technologies to collect, analyze, and report on data, from  commonplace mobile data collection to more exotic mobile apps, sensors, and analytics that can give us unprecedented awareness of our constituents' actions.

Then why does data for development still seem like the denizen of specialists? At our next Technology Salon DC, we'll explore questions like these in an effort to democratize data decisions:
  • Who is sharing data that's valuable, in demand, and used wisely?
  • How can we convert data to actionable information or organizational knowledge?
  • What needs to change for us to consistently make data driven decisions?
  • How can we get data up to decision makers, and back down to frontline workers?
  • Where is the private sector on these issues, and what can the development sector learn from, and teach them?
Please RSVP now to join the next Technology Salon, where we'll go deep into the issues and opportunities to use data to improve decision making in development with these two thought leaders: We’ll have hot coffee and catered breakfast treats for a morning rush, but seating is limited, so please RSVP now to join in the discussion. Once we reach our 35-person capacity there will be a waiting list!
Data for Development
July Technology Salon DC
8.30 – 10.30am,
Wednesday, July 1st, 2015
Downtown Washington, DC
RSVP is required for attendance

About the Technology Salon

The Technology Salonâ„¢ is an intimate, informal, and in person, discussion between information and communication technology experts and international development professionals, with a focus on both:
  • technology's impact on donor-sponsored technical assistance delivery, and
  • private enterprise driven economic development, facilitated by technology.
Our meetings are lively conversations, not boring presentations. Attendance is capped at 30 people - and frank participation with ideas, opinions, and predictions is actively encouraged. 

It's also a great opportunity to meet others motivated to employ technology to solve vexing development problems. Join us today!
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