RSVP now to join the next Technology Salon
View this email in your browser

Are Mobile Money Cash Grants
the Future of Development?


October 10th Washington DC Salon - RSVP Now

GiveDirectlyRecently Chris Blattman of Columbia University caused a stir when he released a study that showed that unconditional direct cash grants to poor Ugandans increased their employment hours by 17% and their earnings by nearly 50%, especially women.

Rather than "wasting" the grants on consumption items, Ugandans invested in new skilled trades like metalworking or tailoring. Other studies show that existing farmers or businesspeople have seen returns of 40 to 80% a year on cash grants.

With studies like this as a basis, Paul Niehaus of UC San Diego co-founded GiveDirectly to collect donations in the USA and give out $1,000 unconditional cash grants to Kenyans living in homes made out of mud, wood, and grass. His innovation: using mPesa mobile money to reach poor households, reducing transaction costs to just 2.6%.
  • Does Blattman's study and Niehaus' innovation point to a new paradigm in development?
  • Should we abandon the high overhead and huge expense required for capacity building or even conditional cash transfers?
  • And should we move from a high-touch, human-driven process to simply sending mobile money?
If this is true, what about global remittances?
  • Do those that send $540 billion a year, which is 2.5x greater than all Official Development Assistance, know more than we do about development?
  • Could this mean that mobile money remittances and unconditional cash transfers are the better way to send aid?
  • Is our future to be over-glorified mPesa agents?
Please RSVP now to join Chris Blattman, Paul Niehaus, and your peers in technology and development for the next Technology Salon on cash transfer efficacy, how technology can facilitate them, and if both are the future of development.

  Mobile Money Cash Transfers
  October Technology Salon DC
  Thursday, October 10th
  8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
  Washington, DC, 20009

We’ll have hot coffee and catered breakfast for a morning rush, but seating is limited. So RSVP ASAP to be confirmed for attendance: once we reach our 30-person capacity there will be a waiting list.

How Can We Improve Communication Channels in Crisis Situations?


October 2nd San Francisco Salon - RSVP Now

On October 2nd we will welcome Internews Humanitarian Communication Director Jacobo Quintanilla and Internews former Burma Country Director Alison Campbell for a deep discussion on crisis communications.

FlagsWe will debate current efforts in Burma, Syria (both inside and in ballooning refugee camps along the border) and South Sudan, three countries with very different circumstances, where disaster risk reduction is aided by improving local communications for and by their people.

Please RSVP now to join your peers in technology and development to find answers to questions like:
  • What roles do local media and user-centric communications play in preparing for and acting in disasters?
  • How can ICT4D help strengthen communication channels for local communities to prepare and manage their own resilience when facing crisis?
  • How do communications in crisis situations differ based on the specifics of the event?
  • What are the top tools - technology, platforms, services - used today in crisis situations? What’s still needed?
Please RSVP now to join the conversation. There will be no powerpoint presentations or remote participation, only an in-person, off-the-record intense debate of these questions by 30 industry experts sharing their experiences.
This event will fill up extremely quickly, so RSVP ASAP to be confirmed for attendance. While you wait for confirmation, please review our list of pre-discussion links and references relevant to this discussion and add to the list prior to the event.

About the Technology Salon

subscribeThe 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!

Copyright © 2013 Technology Salon, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences