Published on November 18, 2016 by University of Washington Computer Science & Engineering

Designing Technology for the “Other” 5 Billion


With the advent of $50 smartphones, we can finally design software applications to fight poverty, disease and illiteracy for the “other” 5 billion in the developing world. In this talk, I will share a series of systems we designed for the 120 million citizens in the province of Punjab in Pakistan. These systems have been used for targeting 13 million Dengue containment activities, monitoring 53,000 schools in Punjab, tracking 3,700 vaccinators and collecting feedback from 11 Million citizens. Each system highlights a unique set of challenges and opportunities for designing systems for the developing world. I will conclude by explaining the challenge of measuring socio-economic impact of projects in the developing world and present a new smartphone-based platform aimed at democratizing data collection, surveys and randomized controlled trails at a large scale.

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