infoDev is a consortium of public bilateral and multilateral development agencies, working in close cooperation with partners from civil society and the private sector, and assisted by an expert secretariat housed at the World Bank. Its mission is to help developing countries and their international partners use information communication technologies (ICT) broadly and effectively as tools of poverty reduction, sustainable economic growth, and empowerment of individuals and communities. Its work is rooted in the conviction that information and communication are indispensable elements of effective and responsive institutions (including governments), markets and societies.
The international development community is (once again) experiencing an explosion of interest in providing inexpensive computing devices (including laptops, mobile phones, and PDAs) to poor people, for use in a number of development areas -- and particularly in education. Despite the explosion of interest in and discussion about this topic, it is often difficult to separate the hope from the hype, to find consolidated information about who is doing what, and what some of the related issues, concerns and challenges are.
To help share knowledge, experience and perspective in a neutral, unbiased manner, infoDev, the multi-donor group housed at the World Bank that investigates a number of key ICT for development issues, is helping to coordinate the sharing of information and perspectives about this topic between four target groups: (1) international development organizations; (2) influential and innovative individuals from both the education and technology spheres ('thinkers and tinkerers'); (3) the private sector; and (4) ministries of education and IT.
More information about this work is available on the infoDev web site at infodev.org/devices.
Scope of Work
Under the general supervision of the Program Manager, the Consultant will assist the Task Manager for infoDev's Devices initiative in designing and implementing an outreach strategy, as well as a series of specific outreach activities, to support and animate an international community of practice around issues related to 'low cost ICT user devices', especially as they related to the education sector in developing countries.
In particular, the consultant will:
- Serve as a focal point for an international community of practice exploring issues related to the use of low cost ICT devices in the education sector in developing countries.
- Help articulate and implement an outreach strategy in support of this initiative.
- Coordinate with donor agency staff to identify, invite and coordinate with influential staff from Ministries of Education and Ministries of IT in developing countries to participate in this initiative.
- Advise on analytical work in support of this initiative.
- Coordinate short articles and blog postings on the topic, including arranging for postings by guest bloggers, animating blog comments, and liaising with relevant and influential blog/bloggers.
- Help identify and coordinate with authors for series of short essays on the topic, in support of this initiative.
- Update and expand infoDev’s popular “Quick guide to low-cost computing devices and initiatives for the developing world” and related briefing sheets.
- Participate in a ‘kick-off’ event, in partnership with UNESCO, in Geneva on 21/22 May, and help coordinate a culminating event in the fall of 2008 in Washington, DC in support of this initiative.
It is expected that these tasks would require approximately 60 days FTE ("full-time equivalent") of work in the period from May through November 2008.
- Strong knowledge of and interest in the topic, from the international development, education and technology perspectives.
- At least 10 years experience working on appropriate technology issues, preferably in developing country contexts, and/or education issues, preferably in developing country contexts.
- Demonstrated experience in working with target groups participating in this initiative.
- Substantial experience interacting with at least two of the target groups of this initiative (international development agencies; international IT sector; senior government officials; topic experts).
- Strong written and spoken English.
- Familiarity and facility with Web 2.0 tools and sensibilities.
Preferred qualifications include:
- Fluency in Brazilian Portuguese and/or Spanish (written and spoken) would be a plus.
How to apply
Please send a cover letter and CV, detailing relevant experience, interest and proposed
compensation, via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, with a copy to email@example.com. Please, include in the subject line “Devices STC + (your name)”.
Deadline for submission: 16 April 2008