Inside DFAT and EU workshops on development in the digital age

Students in an IT class in Papua New Guinea. Photo by: Ness Kerton / DFAT / CC BY

Digital development was on the agenda this week in Canberra at a meeting of the EU-Australia leadership forum, a three year knowledge sharing project. Experts discussed recommendations for a forthcoming paper aimed at informing collaborative digital development projects targeting Pacific nations.

Digital technology is increasingly becoming an enabler of development, Stefano Manservisi, director-general of the European Commission’s Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development, said in remarks to the forum. It was a commentary supported by Tobias Feakin, Australia’s new ambassador for Cyber Affairs. But stakeholders can use a range of programming and policies to ensure that technology does not create barriers between rich and poor.

Co-chairs Claire Rogers, chief executive of World Vision Australia, and Chris Locke, founder of Caribou Digital, led a conversation among representatives of government, development, research and the private sector from both Australia and Europe. Attendees included AID:Tech, Dalberg Data Insights, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, European Investment Bank, LaTrobe University, Optus, GSMA and SmartSomeGood.

Devex sat down with the chairs of the workshop to discuss how to move forward on digital development in the Pacific. In addition to providing recommendations, the workshop was an opportunity to connect Australia’s aid program with potential program partners, for example for DFAT’s innovationXchange unit that provides support for innovation across the Australian aid program.

This article is for Devex Members

For full access to the content of the article sign in or join Devex.

About the author

  • %25257b6eb61a8f df39 4ae1 bb29 9056d33aa739%25257d

    Lisa Cornish

    Lisa Cornish is a Devex Reporter based in Canberra, where she focuses on the Australian aid community. Lisa formerly worked with News Corp Australia as a data journalist for the national network and was published throughout Australia in major metropolitan and regional newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph in Melbourne, Herald Sun in Melbourne, Courier-Mail in Brisbane, and online through news.com.au. Lisa additionally consults with Australian government providing data analytics, reporting and visualization services. Lisa was awarded the 2014 Journalist of the Year by the New South Wales Institute of Surveyors.