Focus On: Innovation

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

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By Catherine Cheney

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.


How this tech startup drew the attention of Gavi, Gates and Google

One of the partnerships to emerge at Davos will help Nexleaf Analytics scale its work. The organization has set itself apart not just by gathering data, but ensuring that data is actionable and useful.


Accelerating the path to zero hunger

The U.N. World Food Program and Singularity University are launching a Global Impact Challenge. Devex visited the WFP's innovation accelerator in Munich, Germany, to learn about this model to identify and support innovations to end hunger by 2030.


Can an app help with the UK fundraising drought?

As U.K. public trust in charitable organizations appears to be waning, a new smartphone app from Oxfam hopes to bring greater transparency and donor agency to the aid sector.


4 major trends digital health needs to embrace in 2017 and beyond

Digital health will only succeed if it can embrace four major trends affecting health care provision in developing countries, including the changing roles of patients and health workers, systems thinking, and integration, according to Marc Mitchell, president of D-tree International.


NASA chief scientist's message to the incoming administration

In an exit interview, Ellen Stofan spoke with Devex about the connections between the space industry and the development sector, the importance of observing our planet and exploring the solar system, and her hopes for NASA under the new administration.


Classroom inventions that help save lives

Students at Duke and University of California Berkeley have developed lifesaving medical inventions, including a pouch that looks like a ketchup packet but actually stores antiretrovirals without refrigeration and a way to convert smartphones to microscopes so health care workers can diagnose diseases without traveling to a clinic.


How to engage Silicon Valley in global development

How to direct the attention of tech leaders toward global problems that could benefit from their dollars and ideas? Devex spoke with a range of Silicon Valley liaisons to gather takeaways for organizations and agencies looking to more successfully engage with the West Coast.


Tanzania's new digital health road map has the government 'in the driver's seat'

The government of Tanzania recently announced a $74 million digital health road map for using data to transform health outcomes. Experts have heralded the road map as an example of a new way of doing digital health, which is country-owned and systemwide.


Malawi launches Africa's first humanitarian drone testing corridor

The launch builds on efforts by UNICEF and other global development organizations to explore the development and humanitarian impacts of unmanned aircraft systems.


DevExplains: Behavior-centered design for development

Knowledge isn’t always enough to change behavior, according to scientists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Devex caught up with the experts on the invisible forces behind behavior and understanding the settings to better reach key populations.


Examining the potential and limitations of the 'internet of things' for developing countries

A lot of the hype surrounding the internet of things is about technologies such as self-driving cars, but it also has the potential to help the world's poor. Experts discuss some of the opportunities and challenges of applying such interventions in developing countries.


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