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Inaugural forum advances mobile technology solutions for development

April 23, 2014

What are the leading mobile technology innovations in Asia, and how can development practitioners leverage them for greater impact?

Close to 100 industry leaders, local technology firms, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) implementing partners, academics and donors gathered to answer this question at the first-ever Mobile Solutions Forum in Bangkok earlier this year.

USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia (RDMA) hosted the forum. FHI 360’s Mobile Solutions Technical Assistance and Research (mSTAR) project and its partner for this forum, OpenRevolution, designed the agenda, coordinated logistics, and emceed the event. The mSTAR project, funded by USAID, seeks to advance mobile technology solutions through close coordination with stakeholders from the private and public sectors.

Dr. Michael Yates, director of USAID RDMA, and Priya Jaisinghani, director of USAID’s Mobile Solutions, provided opening remarks. Highlights included poster sessions, networking and an awards ceremony that announced the winners of a regional contest, overseen by mSTAR, to identify creative social development mobile applications in Southeast Asia.

Due to the success of the forum and the desire to continue the dialogue about mobile technology solutions beyond a single event, mSTAR is optimistic that the forum will be held on an annual basis.