Connecting Cambridge ICT expertise aims to reduce global poverty


This month Cambridge-based charity the Humanitarian Centre, in partnership with technology company ARM, is launching a year-long focus based on the use of ICTs for international development (ICT4D).

Cambridge is home to a wide range of innovators, many of whom use Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to tackle global poverty and inequality. In October 2010 Cambridge-based charity the Humanitarian Centre, in partnership with technology company ARM, is launching a year-long focus based on the use of ICTs for international development (ICT4D).

The goal of the year is to increase connectivity between Cambridge individuals and organisations working in this space, accelerating development of new ideas and ways of working with potential for impact on the lives of poor people.

Throughout the year of the project, the Centre will run activities such as events, training courses and an online directory. The aim of these activities is to support those in Cambridge using ICTs for international humanitarian projects and to connect Cambridge expertise to increase the positive social impact of ICTs globally. The 2011 edition of the Humanitarian Centre ‘Cambridge and International Development’ report will reflect the themes raised during the year.

The year will kick off with a high profile launch event on October 26th, at Churchill College, Cambridge. The keynote speaker will be David Edelstein, Director of Grameen Technology Center and the Vice President of Technology Programs at Grameen Foundation, alongside quick-fire presentations from Cambridge experts.

ICTs are now integrated into many humanitarian projects in the developing world. Examples of this include computer skills training to improve livelihoods in Zambia, radio education projects in Nepal, and participatory film-making in Uganda. The impressive fact is that these examples all involve contributions by Cambridge individuals and organisations. These are the kind of projects the Humanitarian Centre hopes to support and promote.

The year will be strengthened by the Humanitarian Centre working in partnership with ARM. ARM technology is used by billions of people every day. In fact almost everyone who uses a mobile phone, from the most basic device through to cutting-edge smartphones, is using ARM. Because of its low-power credentials, ARM technology is now being chosen to bring the benefits of technology to new audiences, helping to connect the next billion people.

Dominic Vergine, ARM’s Director of Sustainable Development says: “ARM is delighted to be partnering with the Humanitarian Centre for their year focussing on ICT for Development and is looking forward to the range of speakers and events that are being organised over the next 12 months.”

The Humanitarian Centre is a networking organisation which connects Cambridge for international relief and development. Centre manager Ian Steed, explains the choice of focus on ICT for development further, saying: “Cambridge has an array of individuals and organisations whose work touches directly or indirectly on ICT for development. Our aim is to facilitate collaborations between groups that would not otherwise connect in order to spark new ideas and ways of working that will have impact on the lives of poor people.”

The combination of ICT and international development is clearly an area that can draw an interesting audience; academics, businesses, consultants and those working for international development charities are all amongst those who will be attending the launch event of the project.


For more information about the ICT4D project, visit
For more information about the launch event on 26 October, visit


The Centre for Global Equality's aim is to identify and solve problems that tackle the root causes of poverty and inequality and to alleviate their enduring symptoms.

The Centre for Global Equality