Can digital really revolutionise health and education in the Global South?

May 30, 2019
Guest post from Elizabeth Stuart, executive director of the  Pathways for Prosperity Commission on Technology and Inclusive Development. One of many puzzles in development is that increasing spending on health and education doesn’t necessarily deliver expected results. To turn this on its head: Madagascar, Bangladesh and South Africa all have similar child mortality rates, but South Africa spends 19 times

Dr Pangloss and Mr Ludd: Stefan Dercon revisits Technology and Development

October 4, 2018
Stefan Dercon of the Blavatnik School of Government introduces two new reports. Am I alone? Was I the only one who could not believe it when the World Development Report 2016 said that 85 per cent of jobs in Ethiopia could disappear due to automation? Am I also the only one who sighs when a young entrepreneur claims the app

When does Tech → Innovation? Here’s what 178 projects tell us

March 20, 2018
Next up in Twaweza week, a realists’ guide to tech and development. I’m basically a grumpy old technophobe who can’t even manage Excel, and whose hackles rise whenever geewhizz geeks pop up and claim that the latest digital gizmo (blockchain, clicktivism or whatever) is going to usher us all into the promised land. I dislike the implicit individualism, the blind

20th Century policies may not be enough for 21st Century digital disruption

March 31, 2017
It’s often a good sign when you rock up at a conference and hardly know anyone there. That was my experience at a recent, rather grandiosely-named, ‘Digital Development Summit’, hosted by IDS, Nesta and the Web Foundation, which clearly got people’s attention – the places were fully booked within a day of going live. Participants were diverse: developing country ministers,

Where are the ‘Digital Dividends’ from the ICT Revolution? The new World Development Report

February 22, 2016
OK, book done, back from recuperative holiday, time to get back to daily blogging. Earlier this month I headed off for the London launch of the 2016 World Development Report, ‘Digital Dividends’. The World Bank’s annual flagship is always a big moment in wonkland, and there has been a lot of positive buzz around this one. Here’s how the Bank summarizes