Below the fold are my notes from the Democratizing Development: How Technology is Disrupting Traditional Development Models panel by SID/W at Chemonics on the 15th. Overall it was a very interesting panel with some path-breaking models (especially Kiva's peer-lending system; where anyone can provide microfinance loans through on the ground micro-finance loan institutions to people needing small loans with full feedback and transparency). The speaker from the World Bank was very pro open source, and was involved with linking the Bank to Development Seed to create their BuzzMonitor system to try and hammer into the rest of the Bank that they were not operating in a vacuum. He also seemed pro data-sharing; which would be very interesting, if unlikely, to see happen.
All of the speakers stumbled on the last-mile solution; their solutions never got beyond requiring someone with the time, training, and technology to access websites and do some semi-complex online tasks. With the buzz that MobileActive is getting, I think that there remains a goldmine of low-cost transactions and information sharing that just needs a little development and partnership work put into it to bridge the loan recipients directly back to sites like Kiva.org as a pipeline directly to potential funders.
Read on for my staccato notes.