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MDGs: what’s tech got to do with it?

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 This week, we’re blogging and tweeting from New York, trying to keep up with the blizzard of events, meetings and talks intended to spur global progress toward achieving the eight development goals agreed to by UN member nations in 2000. You’ll see coverage elsewhere on this blog, as well as on our newly-revamped @worldbank Twitter feed. And we’re only one of many voices online this week talking about the MDGs. The good folks at UN Foundation and Mashable have created the Digital Media Lounge, a gathering space for bloggers to cover all things MDG, as well as host voices from around the development universe.  

Watch live streaming video from mashable at


On Tuesday, I joined a panel discussion focused on how information/communication technologies can help us get from development goals to actual achievements. I talked about what we call the World Bank’s open agenda – opening up data, creating access to information, renovating our website, and ramping up our social media efforts so that we are more engaged and responsive to the people we serve.

It was great to meet the other panelists and bloggers – and I learned so much. Watch the video to get the full conversation, but here are a few snapshots:

“Technology can really speed up social and economic advancement in the developing world." - Wayan Vota, Senior Director, Inveneo

“There are tremendous opportunities with mobile technologies, text mining, news sources, citizen reporting, and being able to monitor the use of services.” - Robert Kirkpatrick, Director, UN Global Pulse

“We need to invest in the poorest communities if we are to achieve the MDGs.” - Erica Kochi, Innovation Unit, UNICEF 

“It's really important for people to participate in development and not just have development done to them.” - Linda Raftree, New Technology, PLAN West Africa Regional Office

The Digital Media Lounge goes all this week, and you'll find heaps of great videos on their site. Meanwhile, stay tuned to this blog for more information about the World Bank’s Open Forum, our own effort to open up the dialogue during our annual meetings October 7-8. 



Jim Rosenberg

Digital and Social Media Specialist

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