Game Changer


Technology is transforming the way development agencies work


Game Changer Finance & Development, September 2016, Vol. 53, No. 3

Technology is transforming the way development agencies work

In health, education, energy, finance, agriculture, and other areas, technology is transforming international development. F&D asked a few leading development agencies to describe innovative technology projects they are funding in developing economies. These agencies are not just providing financing, they are also making use of local talent, transferring knowledge, and achieving durable change. Here are their stories.­

Leading change through social entrepreneurshipGlobal Affairs Canada Global Affairs Canada, which leads Canada’s international development and humanitarian assistance, aims to help those most in need, building more resilient communities and stimulating sustainable economies. We work in partnership with the private sector, civil society, and others to maximize the impact of our development investments.

One of our partners is Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT), a Canadian social enterprise working in international development. DOT’s youth-led movement of daring social entrepreneurs is transforming communities across Africa and the Middle East.

Through DOT’s digital livelihoods program, young people like Ajra Mohammed in Kenya are using their deep understanding of local needs to build social impact initiatives that create opportunities, shape local economies, and make technology locally relevant.

Mohammed was a recent university graduate struggling to find meaningful employment when she joined DOT. After participating in business and technology training and connecting with DOT’s network of young leaders, she began delivering entrepreneurship and digital skills training to peers in her community. Having gained insight into the needs of her own community, she has now launched a successful social enterprise—the first women-focused technology innovation hub in Kenya.

Mohammed has transformed the lives of hundreds of people who are now taking advantage of educational opportunities, starting businesses, and finding jobs because of the digital networks she has created.

DOT has supported more than 5,000 young people like Mohammed, who have in turn transformed the lives of nearly a million others through digital social impact initiatives.

DOT’s program is a powerful model for sustainable, technology-enabled, youth-led change. It recognizes that youth are natural adopters of technology who have powerful insight into...

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