Author Archives: Maiko Nakagaki

CIPE Endorses Principles for Digital Development

principles-for-digital-development

CIPE recently endorsed the Principles for Digital Development, a living guideline to help international development practitioners incorporate best practices into tech-enabled programs. CIPE is joining leading development and democracy strengthening organizations, including the World Bank and NDI, to learn from each other how to implement more human-centered, inclusive, and collaborative projects using information and communications technologies (ICTs).

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Why is Data Important for Social Good?

social_goodData for social good: it sounds nice, right? But what do we really mean when we talk about data and social good? Join CIPE, Data2X, the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, +SocialGood, and TechSoup as we unpack why data is important for our common social good.

Our Twitter chat will focus on the obstacles and opportunities found in the sharing of data. We will pay attention to the need for gender data. We will share tools. We will explore examples of where data has made a direct, positive impact on communities. There has never been a greater emphasis on the sharing of data. Likewise, there has never been a need for greater coordination and collaboration.

Join us for this live Twitter chat on September 22, 2016 at 10 a.m. PDT/1 p.m. EDT as we examine what steps are needed to move the data for social good project forward.

Tune in by following the conversation at the hashtag #NPTechChat.

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CIPE 2016 Photo Competition Now Open

photo-comp-2016

The 2016 CIPE Photo Competition is now open! CIPE invites photo submissions from CIPE partner organizations from around the world to submit a photograph that captures the theme:

Leaders standing up for freedom and democracy exist in communities throughout the world

This competition seeks to highlight creative and inspiring visuals that demonstrate democratic leadership or individuals advocating for democratic values and reform, along with a caption that explains the impact this individual or organization has played in expanding freedom and democracy in their communities.

The deadline for submissions is September 30, 2016.

For more information on competition guidelines and to submit your photo, check out the official competition page.

Safety First: Secure Communications and Storage Tools for Reducing Risks

Secure messaging apps like Telegram have become an increasingly important part of NGO and civil society work in many countries.

Secure messaging apps like Telegram have become an increasingly important part of NGO and civil society work in many countries.

What makes CIPE’s programs stand out is the caliber of our partners. From developing the first ever local business agendas in Ukraine, sparking economic policy debates for the first time in Nepal, to leading the private sector cooperate with local governments and security forces to combat insecurity in Tijuana, Mexico, CIPE partners around the world are doing tremendous work to create a more sustainable democratic and economic communities.

During this process, however, many of them face risks while operating in challenging – and sometimes dangerous – environments. It may be because they exist in countries where civil society is facing a challenge; or it might because powerful companies are closely tied with the ruling political party. Whatever the reason, CIPE understands that all our partners take risks by challenging the status quo. To this end, CIPE has supported our partners to maneuver in difficult environments by equipping them with mobile or online tools that could lower their risks.

NOTE: As you explore the tools, please keep these points in your mind.

  • Despite the sophistication of the tools mentioned below, organizations should not rely solely on digital security for their safety, even if they are being careful. Many authoritarian governments are digitally savvy, so in some environments it is impossible to be 100% secure. Organizations should make sure they are following all the laws and regulations (even if they are burdensome), and that they are not communicating in ways that would put individuals at risk, even if they were compromised.
  • Carefully review and understand the privacy policies of any tools before using them.
  • Adopting new technology is like a behavior change – it takes time and effort, so be patient if your organization decides to adopt and use one of the tools for your organization.

The following are some suggested tools and strategies that CIPE has shared with our community. They are common threats and risks associated with using certain ICTs, as well as possible products and strategies to consider using to improve your organization’s security measures.

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Supporting a Technology-Enabled Advocacy Effort for Nigerian Women

panoply

One of the exciting initiatives I’m leading here at CIPE is to support our partners become better equipped with low-cost online or mobile tools that could improve their operations or programs. Our network of partners do tremendous work – whether that’s developing business and leadership skills in young Peruvians from across the country or igniting debates on economic policies in Nepal – often in challenging environments with limited budgets.

Their work would be even more powerful if they had knowledge on latest technology tools that could make their work more efficient – and that’s where my initiative comes in. We assess the technological environment in which our partners operate, and try to understand in what areas they are looking to enhance their capacity. Based on this information, CIPE worked with our technical expertise partner, Panoply Digital, to support the growth of our partners by equipping them with useful technologies that would make their work more productive.

To this end, CIPE and Panoply Digital led a workshop in Lagos back in February.  We trained the Association of Nigerian Women Business Network (ANWBN), a collation of women’s business and professional associations in Nigeria. ANWBN is in midst of preparing to develop a national business agenda, a set of policy reform recommendations to address the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs, and they reached out to CIPE to learn tech tools that could add value during this process.

In this month’s Feature Service article, I explain the main takeaways from CIPE’s experience working with ANWBN to improve the coalition members’ ability to lead technology-enabled advocacy efforts for women entrepreneurs in Nigeria. This included:

  • ANWBN operates in a very challenging and frustrating technological environment, including low bandwidth, limited access to connectivity, and frequent power outages
  • All ANWBN members used mobile services and used tem as part of their business communication
  • Because advocacy is the main upcoming activity for ANWBN, the strategies focused on teaching ANWBN members with applicable tools that would feed into its national business agenda process, including data collection, research, and communications

To learn more about the specific tools that were taught, as well as the adoption rate of the tools that were introduced, read the latest Economic Reform Feature Service article.

Maiko Nakagaki is a Program Officer for Global Programs at CIPE.

How Selling Online Helps Small Businesses in the Developing World Break into Export Markets

From the report on page 14. It shows that in 2014, eBay was the primarily an export platform for the eBay-enabled SMEs in Chile, Colombia, South Africa, Indonesia, and Thailand

From the report on page 14. It shows that in 2014, eBay was the primarily an export platform for the eBay-enabled SMEs in Chile, Colombia, South Africa, Indonesia, and Thailand

Can e-commerce markets help create a more inclusive global economy where small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from developing countries can export their products overseas without facing major obstacles? According to a recent report published by eBay Public Policy Lab, Small Online Business Growth Report: Towards an Inclusive Global Economy, the answer is yes.

As the World Economic Forum notes, internet-based commerce sites have a positive impact for SMEs around the world because they open up new export opportunities, facilitate access to low-cost imported inputs, and e-commerce marketplaces make it easier to globally sell and source goods by reducing non-tariff barriers to trade, such as access to information.

The eBay report looked at its own data to examine if these arguments were true. The datasets of transactions from small online business (sellers with sales of more than USD $10,000 on eBay marketplace) from 2010 to 2014 in 18 countries, including emerging markets like Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, South Africa, India, Indonesia and Thailand.

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Using Mobile Technologies for Better Engagement with Stakeholders

it-toolkit

How can civil society organizations gather more data and information from its constituents for a better public private dialogue (PPD) process? Taking advantage of available free or low-cost mobile technologies is one answer.

Mobile technologies have transformed how people across the world communicate and access information. According to the GSMA, already 3.2 billion people around the world are online and out of them, 2.4 billion are accessing the internet via mobile.  And this number is expected to keep rising as mobiles and data services become more available and affordable in different parts of emerging markets. It’s obvious that, then, PPD conveners should leverage mobile tools to engage more with their stakeholders.

The International Training Centre of the International Labor Organisation (ITCILO) developed an interactive toolkit on mobile engagement for business member organizations (BMOs) and other civil society organizations to use to better interact with constituents. The online toolkit reviews:

  • Reasons for using mobile tools for engagement
  • Methods and strategies to use depending on delivering content, gathering feedback or providing support for an issue
  • Step-by-step demonstration on how to use 10 different mobile tools for engagement

Explore the toolkit and find new ways to improve your PPD process using mobile tools.

Maiko Nakagaki is a Program Officer for Global Programs at CIPE.