The UK Department for International Development’s Frontier Technologies Livestreaming team has won the 2017 UK Civil Service Innovation Award with work inspired and shaped by IDS.
The Civil Service Innovation Award recognises a team or individual that has sought new and better ways of doing things and taken sensible risks to improve outcomes and successfully address an issue or challenge.
The Frontier Technologies Livestreaming team, which is composed of the Department for International Development, IMC International and IDS staff members, won the award for their three-year programme designed to help the Department for International Development (DFID) apply frontier technologies to real challenges in development. It is enabling DFID to explore how 3D printing, internet of things, drones and other emerging technologies can impact development challenges like connectivity, health, humanitarian response and production.
Last year, DFID commissioned the IDS Digital and Technology research group to undertake a review of frontier technologies in five areas: Manufacturing and consumption; Connectivity; Transportation and Logistics; Fresh Water, Clean Energy and Air. The review and accompanying report formed a major element of a learning process that led to the establishment of the new Frontier Technologies Livestreaming programme, which is piloting a number of the technologies and recommendations of the report.
The Frontier Technologies Livestreaming central team is currently supporting field-based colleagues leading ten innovative pilots in six DFID priority countries. DFID staff, through the programme, are understanding and applying at pace a new breed of technologies to longstanding development challenges. This is playing a major role in changing the way DFID works with technology, and influencing the approaches of international partners from UNICEF to USAID.
Ben Ramalingam, Leader of the IDS Digital and Technology research and author of the report said: ‘We are delighted that our research has made a positive contribution to how DFID works with new and emerging technologies. This recognition of the Frontier Technologies Livestreaming programme is a real testament to the power of taking a cross-organisational collaborative approach to advancing development knowledge and practice.’