On Thursday, visionaries from around the world met at the Information Technology University (ITU) to present technology-based inventive resolutions for poverty mitigation. The innovators attended the last session of the Lahore International Development Design Summit (IDDS). The summit, held from January 8 to 22, was fragment of the global initiative of the Innovations for Poverty Alleviation Laboratory (IPAL) and the International Development Innovation Network (IDIN) headed by D-Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It was sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development’s Global Development Lab.
Technology can Help in Alleviating Poverty: PITB Chairman Umar Saif
Talking at the closing session, ITU Vice Chancellor Dr Umar Saif said that:
“Pakistan had great potential to meet the contemporary development challenges by using information and communication technology (ICT). He appreciated the commitment of the participants who had traveled to Pakistan despite amid security concerns. He assured them that their expertise would be utilized to overcome various social problems in Pakistan.”
IPAL Director Mustafa Naseem informed that one of the teams had suggested a design to make the polio vaccination campaign more effective.
“Such real-world solutions is the need of the hour.”
Catherine Rakama, an innovator from Kenya, while talking to The Express Tribune, told that her team had planned a low-cost project for women connected with the embroidery industry in Gujranwala.
Rakama said the suggested solution would assist the women workers get entrance to market with a low-level technology.
“Our aim is to provide them access to the market so that they can earn a better living.”
30 innovators in six teams have worked for two weeks in the Punjab creating prototype solutions to tasks correlated to health, agriculture, disaster response and education. The teams worked on projects giving low-cost and concrete solutions to various social issues. Out of the 30 accomplices, 12 were Pakistanis. The others came from Central and South America, North America, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Australia.
The summit managers had worked with groups in and around Lahore and other parts of the province to detect challenges that could be addressed using information communications technology. The participants visited the communities regularly all over the summit to acquire about challenges and develop solution exemplars together with community members. One of the tasks was related to an SMS-based response system for parents.
Summits such as the International Development Design Summit are a practical strategy experiences that gather people from all spheres of life to co-create low-cost, real-world inventions.