India's Technology Marketplace: Innovative ideas for development
In April 2019, CIFF and the Indian Institute of Technology hosted the second ever Technology Marketplace event in Delhi. Akanksha and Sudharsanam from our Evidence, Measurement and Evaluation team report back on the event, and share some key takeaways.
On the 10th of April 2019, CIFF hosted its 2nd Technology Market Place in Delhi, with one of India’s leading technology institutes – Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).
One of the main objectives of the event was to identify potential information, communications and technological solutions in line with the theme of the event, ‘Strengthening Community Participation to Improve Accountability and Responsiveness’. The IIT is a pioneer in building affordable technology-led solutions for the social sector. We collaborated with the Department of Design & Innovation and Humanities & Social Sciences, bringing together research and academic institutions, social and private sector organisations and people from the development sector at large to share their experiences and expertise with each other.
The guest of honour was Ms. Anu Meena, a woman from a remote village in
Rajasthan who has been recognised by Forbes '30 under 30' in Asia. She battled
her way to graduate from IIT and is now running a start-up, connecting agriculturists
with markets using technology. She has been recognised by the Ministry of Social
Justice and Empowerment for her outstanding work.
The day was full of exciting sessions including a panel discussion on ‘leveraging technology for community participation and accountability’, between various sector experts from the Department of Science and Technology, Microsoft, USAID, Social Cops, Jhpiego and IIT Delhi. This was followed by a presentation on ‘Artificial Intelligence’ initiatives in climate, child health and adolescent health sectors.
The highlight of the event was the 60 second elevator pitch presentations by participating organisations. These presentations stimulated conversations, provided insights on ways in which technology is being leveraged, and highlighted key areas of synergy across different sectors.
After the core sessions, the conference opened for everyone to hold discussions, which was a great opportunity for participants to interact more informally and see demonstrations of technology solutions. Interaction throughout the day was also ensured using an audience interaction phone application to share questions, feedback and opinions. The feedback from participants and grantees was overwhelming, providing CIFF with great feedback to work through and develop ahead of the next Market Place. Participants found this event very informative, intellectually stimulating, enriching and innovative. More importantly this provided a platform for networking, potential collaborations and cross-sector learning.
Grantees and other organisations have already started showing their interests for a third Market Place event. We want the enthusiasm generated from this event to continue among partners and are working towards building a community to interact more on similar platforms. Some useful collaborations have already been initiated for current and future programming, such as work on malnutrition diagnostics and vocational training.