INTEGRA Managing Associate Eric White yesterday gave a presentation to a gathering of USAID infrastructure specialists from missions around the world about the importance of investing in ICT infrastructure. He specifically highlighted the importance of wireless voice and broadband connectivity in meeting the US Government’s goals under the new “Feed the Future” program.

Food Security, Mr. White explained, can come either through improving domestic agricultural output and distribution or through improved cross-border trade facilitation.  He highlighted ways that ICT infrastructure improves both.  After pointing out that agricultural development is the flip side of rural economic growth Mr. White explained how numerous studies, at both the macro and micro level, have found a 10-1 relationship between expanding ICT coverage and GDP growth.  A 10% increase in ICT penetration is generally associated with a 1% increase in GDP growth rates.

Mr. White then explained how it is possible to work with private sector firms to expand ICT access to rural people in developing countries.  He pointed out the remarkable willingness-to-pay of even the very poor when it comes to communication.  Even people living on only a few dollars a day are willing to pay up to 10% of their income for access to communication.  Given that relatively large willingness-to-pay and a relatively low cost of capital it is in fact possible to reach every developing country resident with wireless technology through the smart use of targeted subsidies and investment in emerging low-cost technologies.

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Two men with laptop, having a conversation outdoors with Kenyan scenery behind them.The Intel Corporationsponsored a two-day workshop in Nairobi, Kenya aimed at facilitating dialogue among managers of African Universal Service Funds (USFs).  Representatives from 10 African countries were present, as well as leaders of the Funds in Malaysia and India.

The workshop was very interactive.  It consisted of a series of panel discussions facilitated by Mr. David Townsend, a world expert in Universal Service, where managers of more advanced funds could discuss how they had tackled various issues in the past.  The discussion was lively and broad, and afterwards all participants acknowledged the usefulness of the exercise.

Mr. Baskir Kamara, of the Sierra Leone Universal Access Development Fund, said  “I now have more confidence to implement an effective USF.”

Eric White of INTEGRA made a presentation about GBI and its mandate of providing technical assistance to USFs.  Afterwards he was approached by a number of country representatives inquiring about how to establish USAID assistance programs.

Group photo of participants in the Intel conference

The workshop was the first in a series that Intel and USAID will hold over the next year.

We are seeking creative, web-savvy and highly motivated individuals to work as paid interns on a small team implementing USAID’s program on broadband connectivity, mobile for development (m4d) and ICT innovation. Internships are available during the academic year and can be begin as soon as possible. For more information, visit our employment page.

 

Integra is pleased to announce that Eric White has joined the firm as Managing Associate. Eric brings more than five years of experience in project management and international development consulting. He has served as Consultant for multilateral development organizations and various African governments, worked as a social entrepreneur in the ICT sector, and taught economics at Harvard University. He has led research teams whose work has been incorporated into national development policy, co-authored a forthcoming World Bank book on agricultural development and structural transformation, and managed a start-up mobile-based social enterprise in Mexico.

Integra is pleased to announce that USAID has awarded Integra the contract to implement the new Global Broadband and Innovations Program for USAID.

The purpose of the contract is to raise awareness withing USAID of the potential impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) solutions, to provide missions with technical assistance on implementing these ICT solutions, and to increase innovation of new ICT solutions for development. Please visit our Current Activities page for more information.

Integra is please to announce that Laurie Moy has joined the firm as the Communications Director. Laurie brings over 15 years of experience in international development and communications. She has served as the Executive Director of Pearls of Africa, a nonprofit organization serving children with disabilities and their families in Uganda, since 2001. She has also worked closely with a variety of civil society organizations around the world, helping them use media and communications to reach their project goals. She has worked closely with United Nations Volunteers and NetAid and is also regarded as an expert in online volunteering, network engagement, and development communications.

The US Agency for International Development has notified INTEGRA and CARANA Corporation that they have been approved for a Mentor-Protégé relationship. The agreement, effective August 10, 2010, runs for 3 years and is designed to provide training and technical assistance for new employees of INTEGRA to accelerate its capacity to grow and prosper.

The agreement provides supporting services for INTEGRA’s administrative, operations, business development, and case management capabilities. For the initial period of the agreement, INTEGRA will be co-located with CARANA at 4350 North Fairfax Drive in Arlington Virginia.

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