Readings for class on 11/27: Social Media and Development

posted Nov 25, 2013, 4:32 PM by San Ng

Hi Class, Chalenge will be leading the discussion this week. Please read the attached reading for our discussions! Let me know if you have problems downloading it. 

Readings for Class on 10/30: ICTs and Cooperatives

posted Oct 28, 2013, 10:38 AM by San Ng

​Hi Class, 

For Wednesday's class, ​Asa and Rushita will be presenting on 
ICTs and Cooperatives - Introducing Transparency Within Cooperatives. Here are the readings for the upcoming ICTD seminar

A Program to Build Trust - Kenyan Cooperatives

Sustainability of Cooperatives - Amul Story

​Looking forward to yet another good presentation and discussion!

Readings for Class on 10/23: ICT in Education

posted Oct 23, 2013, 12:23 PM by San Ng

Hi everyone,In preparation for Zhen's and Peter's presentation on ICT in education this Wednesday, please take a look at the following links: (Peter's and Zhen's paper from this summer evaluating a program by Tata Trusts) (Video of several students presenting their work in the second year of the Tata Trusts program) (An article describing the current state of things at One Laptop Per Child)

At the very least, please skim the paper and the article. See you Wednesday.

Readings for Class on 10/6- Crowdsourcing for Policy Making

posted Oct 11, 2013, 1:30 PM by San Ng   [ updated Oct 11, 2013, 1:31 PM ]

Max will be leading the upcoming session on crowd-sourcing in the broader context of technology and policy making. These readings might be useful as a preparation for the session:

Class on 10/2- Transformational Mobile Banking

posted Sep 28, 2013, 11:24 AM by San Ng

Hi all, For this coming class, Isita Ghosh will be continuing our conversation on mobile banking. In her words: 

I will be speaking about transformational mobile banking as well next Wednesday, basically taking the conversation forward from where Saurabh left it. I intend to speak about two broad things: i) savings on the mobile platform and ii) taking the conversation of mobiles and money beyond mobile banking. I will be presenting my own research for the most part. 

I am including a bunch of readings here. Fortunately, the mobile banking space has a lot of non-academic traction, so I am also including a blog post for a quick overview!

1. Why M-Pesa should offer savings accounts?

2. The mobile phone as a link to formal financial services: findings from Uganda

3. An emerging platform:From money transfer system to mobile money ecosystem

Class on 9/25: Security Issues in Branchless Banking

posted Sep 24, 2013, 3:05 PM by San Ng

For our upcoming class, Saurabh Panjwani will be giving a talk on "Security issues in branchless banking". Please read the paper linked below and come prepared for some awesome discussions!

Even with the increasing variety and sophistication of financial tools in today's world, billions of people in developing countries remain without access to a basic bank account. Recent efforts under the hood of "branchless banking" are beginning to address this gap, by combining existing mobile phone infrastructures and human agent networks in novel ways to enable such people to access formal banking. But such efforts also face new technical challenges: they must provide basic security guarantees to users, while satisfying some of the unique constraints of the developing world, like the continuing usage of low-end phones and limited literacy of the target users.

In this talk, I will present some of my work on solving these challenges, specifically around the design of authentication solutions for branchless banking systems. Our solutions address two key security objectives -- authenticating users to the system and ensuring integrity of bank-originating messages -- and they are designed to work with low-end phones and usable by low-literate users. One of the solutions has been deployed by a leading financial service provider in India and others are planned for deployment


Please sign up for your presentation session!

posted Sep 24, 2013, 3:01 PM by San Ng

Hi everyone, Thanks for an exciting discussion of your topics of interest at our most recent class. We have created a spreadsheet for your presentations this semester. You can access and insert your session at:  We can't wait to hear more from you!

Class on 9/18- Presentation Discussion and Scheduling

posted Sep 24, 2013, 2:48 PM by San Ng

As you know, as part of the requirements of this seminar, each student is expected to lead and facilitate a discussion on a relevant topic of his/her own choosing. (You can read more about requirements at the About page). For this class, please come prepared to discuss your proposed topic. We are looking forward to it!

Dean's Lecture: Jon Whittle on 'Sprinting with the Community' (9/17)

posted Sep 24, 2013, 2:37 PM by San Ng   [ updated Sep 24, 2013, 5:10 PM ]

(Update: Jon's presentation is now available on video here on the iSchool website)

For those of you who missed Jon Whittle last week in class or who want to here more about Catalyst, you should try to attend the Dean's lecture next Tuesday on September 17th at 4-5.30pm. Announcement follows: 

Jon Whittle
Jon Whittle, Lancaster University
Dean's Lecture
Wednesday, September 4, 2013, 4:10 pm - 5:30 pm
210 South Hall

An approach for highly interdisciplinary, community-university research on digital technologies for social change

Catalyst is a £1.9M UK funded research project looking at how digital technologies either promote or act as a barrier to social change. Catalyst has developed a novel approach to such research which involves building partnerships of academics and non-academics (community organizations, charities, social enterprises etc.) to jointly imagine and develop digital technologies to address particular social agendas. Catalyst is run as a framework of projects — or sprints — in which teams form and very quickly work together on new ideas with long term sustainability in mind from the start. To date, Catalyst has involved around 70 community groups as well as academics from seven different disciplines (computing, psychology, sociology, management, health and medicine, art and design, linguistics). Projects to date have worked with charities for the homeless, adults on the autism spectrum, local sustainability initiatives, and the use of social media to connect communities.

In this talk, I will give an overview of the Catalyst project, describe its methods and approaches, and reflect on what has been learned about doing research with and for communities outside the university.

Class on 9/11- Meaningful Broadband

posted Sep 24, 2013, 2:23 PM by San Ng

Is there such a thing? And if so, when is it not meaningful? Our guest lecturers from the Digital Divide Institute, a broadband policy and deployment organization will share its work with us. To prepare for class, please read more about their framework of programming

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