Tech For Dev: Digital Strategies for Development 2014 Highlights

Regina Layug-RoseroData and Research, Events1 Comment


The Probe Media Foundation, Inc. is a media partner for the Digital Strategies for Development Summit! It’s an exciting two days with 450 delegates at the Asian Institute of Management, with very interesting discussions on 5 tracks with over 50 speakers.

Day 1

Our team was live-tweeting for Day 1.

Well actually, everyone was live-tweeting! #dsds2014

A special address was given by Bart W. Édes, Director, Poverty Reduction, Social Development, and Governance Division, and Chair, Social Development and Poverty Community of Practice, Asian Development Bank. He gave an overview of how ICT is being used in quite a variety of sectors in development.

The Keynote Speech was delivered by Dr. Marc Smith, Chief Social Scientist, Connected Action Consulting Group.

The morning featured a panel discussion entitled “Technology 4 Good”

There was a second panel discussion on e-Governance

In the afternoon, delegates split up to attend different breakout sessions. The streams were Youth, Education & Employment; Governance; Disaster Management & Climate Change; Health and Social Innovation & Enterprises.

Editorial Coordinator Dante Gagelonia covered the Youth, Education and Employment breakout session.

Project Coordinator Regina Layug Rosero was at the Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change breakout session.

Training and Linkages Coordinator Hanna Jaber was at the Governance session.

Panel discussion on youth, education and employment. Or should that be unemployment?


A “picture” of day 1’s Tweets:

View the full picture here.

Day 2

Day 2 of #DSDS2014 was shorter but no less action-packed.

After a welcome note and summary of Day 1 by Sreenivas Narayanan, Managing Director of ASSIST, we heard the keynote speech of Monchito Ibrahim, Deputy Executive Director, Information and Communications Technology Office, Department of Science and Technology.

Ibrahim talked about how DOST’s programs can shape Philippine economy and development over the next decade.

One of those programs is the Next Wave Cities program.

Ibrahim also talked about technopreneurship program SeedPH.

There was also Rural Impact Sourcing.

Up next: Special Guest Speaker Daniel Ben-Horin, Chief Instigator and Founder, TechSoup Global.

Speaking about local solutions was Ramon Reinoso Isberto, Public Affairs Head, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) and Smart Communications.

Isberto’s talk focused on innovations in disaster communications, in technologies and organizations. He talked about the Batingaw as innovative technology. Acetylene tanks, originally distributed in 2004-2007, were set up as bells and used as early warning devices. There was a need for a communications system that would work in the boondocks. The batingaw was used by a community in Zambales, indigenous peoples who were at risk for flashfloods in uplands. They established a protocol: the number of rings indicated the severity of floods. It was simple, very analog, non-digital at all, but it worked.

“We’re a communications company, this is still communications.” – Mon Isberto

“At the end of the day, that’s what you need.” – Mon Isberto

Isberto also talked about Infoboard, a Web-based SMS service system, used in Albay, Southern Leyte. In Albay, Typhoon Yolanda left zero casualties. The LGU used the Infoboard messages in very specific ways: warnings were sent, people were told to watch out for storm surges and advised to evacuate. It was used in an organized way by the provincial govt of southern Leyte. The Albay model works–and it was handled by a permanent, professional organization. This is the APSEMO: Albay Provincial Safety and Emergency Management Office. Founded in 1994, they have their own plantilla and budget, and a clear continuing mission. And it works for Albay.

“The tech is not the problem. The problem is how to get people to use them, long-term.” – Mon Isberto

We have so much experience in disasters: typhoons, earthquake, volcanoes, you name it, we have it. We should be number 1 in preparing for it.

“Innovation is great, tech is great, but a large part is getting people ready to adapt, to use them.” – Mon Isberto

Mon Isberto on digital tech + disaster prep. Starstruck. Please be my mentor. T-T #DSDS2014 — Angel Ramos (@angelsezz) October 3, 2014

Coming in from Hong Kong was Edmon Chung, CEO of DotAsia and Secretariat of Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum. He spoke about the bewildering but no less important need for guidelines on domain name ownership, and regulation for registration by commercial entities versus non-profits.

After a brief coffee break, the program continued with a panel discussion on health, moderated by the lively Emma Brathwaite, HIV and Adolescent Specialist, UNICEF. The panelists were:

    • Zimmbodilion Mosende, Adviser for Monitoring, Evaluation, and Strategic Information UNAIDS Philippines
    • Prof. Reena Estuar, Ateneo de Manila University
    • Dr. Portia Fernandez-Marcelo, Director, UP National Telehealth Centre
    • Noel Morales, Sales Lead for Healthcare and Life Sciences, Hewlett-Packard Philippines


Special guest speaker Celina Agaton talked about crisis mapping.

The last panel discussion of the summit was titled “Connecting the Dots,” moderated by Sreenivas Narayanan, Managing Director, ASSIST. The panelists were:

    • Daniel Ben-Horin, Chief Instigator and Founder, TechSoup Global
  • Rico L. Gonzalez, CFA, Managing Director, xchange
  • Peggy Duvette, Director of Social Impact, NetSuite
  • Terri Jayme-Mora, Country Manager, Ashoka Philippines

After all the inspiring and thought-provoking discussions, the challenge of reflections and closing remarks fell to Juan Miguel Luz, Dean, AIM Stephen Zuellig Graduate School of Development.

A “picture” of #DSDS2014 Day 2:

The conference was organised by ASSIST, an international organisation that focuses on capacity-building of different organisations across Asia and Africa; in collaboration with AIM in Makati, the League of Government Associations, the Philippines’ Department of Interior Local Government, Civika and AsianNGO.

For more information on the summit and to get in touch with the organisers, visit their website at


One Comment on ““Tech For Dev: Digital Strategies for Development 2014 Highlights”

  1. Pingback: 8 Things We Cared About in 2014 | Mulat Pinoy-Kabataan News Network

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