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Experts explore how information technology can transform poor communities

Posted on 10/12/2010

Over 550 of the world's top academics will explore how ICTs can help poor people

Royal Holloway, University of London is hosting ‘ICTD2010’, one of the most important conferences to look at innovative ways in which Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can transform the lives of poor people and marginalised communities.

More than 550 of the world’s leading academics and practitioners in the field will gather from 13 – 16 December to explore how ICTs can contribute to development practices.

Professor Tim Unwin from the Department of Geography at Royal Holloway and the Conference Chair says: “The conference is a unique gathering that will result in the sharing of innovative practical solutions, and the dissemination of the latest research findings in the field”.

The conference consists of 19 papers, 36 posters, 21 submitted sessions, 20 partner sessions and 17 demos held over four days. 

The delegates will discuss how mobile phones can get vital health information to women in rural India; how GPS can help create maps of slum settlements; how low-cost computers in classrooms can be run without mainline electricity or batteries; and how participatory video can illustrate the perspectives of indigenous people on Climate Change.

Major debates will be around the importance of local languages and knowledge, open source vs. proprietary software, and the role of large technology companies in development efforts.

The two keynote speakers are: Sir Tim Berners-Lee (inventor of the World Wide Web and Director of the World Wide Web Foundation) who will speak on World Wide Web and Development; and Geoff Walsham (Emeritus Professor of Management Studies, Cambridge University) whose keynote is entitled Development Informatics in a Changing World.

Generous sponsorship has enabled more than 100 scholarships to be offered to participants who would not otherwise be able to attend, with 41% of these being offered to people from Africa, 30% from Asia and 12%, from South and Central America.

Sponsors are Carnegie Mellon University Qatar, Microsoft, SPIDER, IDRC/CRDI, the Islamic Development Bank, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, SurveyBe, Cisco and Intel. Partners include the World Bank, UNCTAD, FAO, UNESCO (UK National Commission and Communication and Information Sector), infoDev, NewMine, BCS, Education Impact, ASM, ICWE, campusM, ICT4D.at, IPID, Aptivate, IKM Emergent, Key Travel, and EuroAfrica-ICT.

For more information, please visit: http://www.ictd2010.org/



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