Focus On: Innovation

India's smart villages at a glance

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By Catherine Cheney

Governments and their partners are focused on smart cities — but the majority of people in emerging economies live in villages. Devex takes a look at India's plan to make its villages smart too.

Lessons for building an eco-city from scratch

The experts behind Africa's first eco-city in Zenata, Morocco, share their advice on what to consider when building a sustainable urban development project. Job creation, environmental impact and design should guide the project from the beginning.

3 ways gender data could go 'big'

Credit card use, mobile phone calls, social media posts and satellite imagery are all being used to inform mainstream development efforts. But what about gender issues? Data2X presents the results of three pilots to harness the power of digital data for women and girls.

A tale of two cities

Faced with common challenges, cities are no longer just thinking about their own needs, and learning and knowledge doesn’t flow purely from the "global north" to the "global south." Take a trip with Devex through Barcelona to hear more from experts about how city-to-city knowledge sharing works in practice and is, in fact, a two-way street.

How mobile apps are making cities safer for women

Data on lighting and visibility could help cities redesign with an eye toward wider access.

Webinar: Building a career in smart cities

Developing smart cities is critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and creating safe, inclusive, resilient and sustainable spaces for urban communities. In this Devex webinar, we hear from Illac Diaz, the social entreprenuer behind the MyShelter Foundation and Liter of Light project, who is working to bring smart and sustainble solutions to urban communities.

4 smart innovations to make cities more resilient

Cities need to be resilient if they are to protect the world's growing urban population from disaster and damage. Engineers from the U.S.-based CTL Group explain how new technologies can help.

DevExplains: The 'internet of things'

In the global development community, smart grid technology is probably the most well-known use of the "internet of things." But energy is just one example — and IoT could be set to drastically increase efficiency in many other ways.

Mobile World Congress highlights importance of connectivity for meeting SDGs

This event has evolved from an industry event for telecom companies to a massive technology conference, as well as a priority event for individuals working at the intersection of emerging technology and global development.

Opinion: World's poorest nations stand to gain most from tech investment

ICTs have brought about many changes over the past two decades, transforming the lives of individuals and triggering a range of innovations, writes the U.N.'s Gyan Chandra Acharya in this guest column. But how have the world's poorest nations fared as the global community embraces new technologies?

Facebook, Google, NGOs: Collaborators on the connectivity challenge

As the drive to close the digital divide turns some of the world's biggest technology competitors into collaborators, what can the global development community contribute to the effort?

Collaboration, competition, connectivity: Q&A with Paul Garnett of Microsoft's Affordable Access Initiative

Microsoft's director of Affordable Access Initiative talks to Devex about the role of universal internet access in development and efforts to achieve it.

How to fill the gaps in the response to the digital divide

The benefits of connectivity are being recognized across the global development agenda, yet more than half of the world's population has never been online. Building on a new report out today, Devex asks what can be done to accelerate universal internet access.

X is now a step closer to delivering internet to the world via balloons

Step inside Project Loon, part of X, Google's moonshot factory. Yesterday, the team announced a shift in their model. And they provided more details on how their efforts represent one part of the ecosystem approach needed to connect the unconnected.

In delivery drones, scrappy can beat costly

Field tests of drones in the Amazon Rainforest hold important lessons for anyone considering use cases for unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, for humanitarian aid, development or environmental conservation.

4 lessons for a better extreme weather response

Governments rich and poor are struggling to respond to more frequent and stronger extreme weather events. What can their experiences teach one another about where to invest?

Australian aid program looking for innovative water solution

Calling all Doc Browns: Australia's aid program wants you to solve water shortage problems facing a world with climate change and a growing population. And the reward is $1.5 million.

Opinion: Embracing blockchain solutions to fight global poverty

In August 2016, the World Economic Forum released a report calling blockchain technology a "mega-trend" that will shape society in the next decade. But what is blockchain, what does it do, and what are the potential benefits? Jane Thomason, Abt Associates Australia CEO, offers a few examples of blockchain's potential to provide scalable solutions.

Tips and tricks for using World Bank's new data tool

A new data portal aims to make the World Bank's wealth of data both more accessible to newbies and more useful for longtime data crunchers. Devex spoke to a designer of the portal to find out how NGOs can best leverage TCdata360.

Gates, Mastercard launch new platform for smallholder farmers

Digital technology has long been touted as the key to helping smallholder farmers overcome barriers that have kept them trapped in poverty, but initial innovations did not always deliver on this promise. Building on past lessons, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Mastercard have launched 2Kuze, a pilot program that connects farmers in Kenya directly to buyers, who buy and then collect their product without the services of middlemen who can cut into a farmer's profit.

DfID's innovation chief names blockchain as next tech game-changer

Tamara Giltsoff, the new head of innovation at the U.K. Department for International Development, spoke with Devex about how blockchain could find transformative applications in humanitarian aid and development.

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