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Reflections from the 2017 ICT4D Conference in Hyderabad

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June 21, 2017

Author: Jacqueline Edwards

Just about a month ago, members of our team gathered in Hyderabad, India for an action packed 4 days at the ICT4D conference. We chatted with partners, caught up with old friends, learned about new tools, and had honest discussions about what it takes to implement the Principles for Digital Development.

On the first day of the conference, we had the opportunity to present early stage work we are doing with our partner Living Goods on community-based outbreak surveillance in Uganda. It is always refreshing to present while a project is still in an early phase and gain insights and feedback from our fellow practitioners. This was followed up with a lively panel on what it actually means to be open source, and how we avoid the duplication of effort in ehealth and mhealth. 

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On Wednesday, Shreya, our Director of Special Projects, for Asia led an engaging demo of our newest toolkit to a packed house. In between meetings, calls, and coordinating our social media, Shreya also made it into the local news

On the final day, Ranju, our Regional Designer for Asia, reflected on 5 years of work in Nepal designing solutions alongside Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHVs) and how starting small, responding to user feedback, and forging local ownership can lead to long term impact. 

One of my favourite discussions of the week was internal. During the conference, Ranju represented Medic Mobile on a panel about women in technology. Prior to that, Ranju, Shreya, and I chatted about the various ways Medic Mobile supports women in technology and how that’s reflected in our product and team. Our work is driven by community health workers and nurses - who are primarily made up of networks of women - providing care to mothers and children. This keeps women and children at the center of everything we do. More than that, supporting women in technology goes beyond our users and is essential to the success of our team. While the ICT field can be dominated by men, we’ve been able to develop and maintain a diverse team. We’re also invested in supporting this team with flexible, family-friendly policies, which we have to continue to articulate and improve.

In the few minutes that we were chatting before her panel, Ranju made this slide. To me, it is a beautiful reminder of the dedicated women that we work to serve and the talented women that I’m so honoured to work alongside every day.

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