Development is changing. One major reason why: technology is changing not just how we do business, but the model for development itself.
In developing countries and communities, digital technologies like the mobile phone are increasingly in the hands of people who stand to benefit from them the most. This can mean increased access to services, like market price information for rural farmers, financial services for the previously unbanked, and maternal health messaging for pregnant women who live beyond the reach of doctors or even health clinics.
While the potential is clear, the success of the thousands of projects that have sprung up using technology to close access gaps is less so. Pilots have failed to move into scalable and sustainable programs. Solutions too often reinvent the wheel rather than building on robust platforms, infrastructure, and shared services. Applications and services designed thousands of miles from their use environment failed to meet user needs. The creation of duplicative tools and systems has made data difficult to access and use for decision-making.