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Wayan Vota
Works at Development Gateway
Attended The George Washington University School of Business
Lives in Washington DC
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Wayan Vota

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Thanks for inviting me to present at Switchpoint. It was great fun putting this presentation on the coming Sensor+Mobiles Revolution in international development. And yes, I do have the coolest job in development at FHI 360.
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Trop cool frangin
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Wayan Vota originally shared:
We are still having Drones for Development on Wednesday morning, however you've said you can't make it in due to Snowmageddon 2014. So as a special surprise, we will broadcast this as a Google Hangout. Look for the URL in the morning.
Drones for Development
Wed, January 22, 2014, 8:30 AM EST

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What ICT for education activities are happening in Rwanda? Here is the master list of organizations, research papers, and blog posts. Bonus: its editable - so add yours today!

#edutech   #ict4e   #ict4edu   #rwanda   #educationtechnology  
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Wayan Vota was in a video call with 6 people. <a class='ot-hashtag' href=''>#hangoutsonair</a>Linda Raftree, Mbabazi Doodle, Lindsay Poirier, Charlie Beckett, Ethan Zuckerman, and Lina Srivastava
Poverty Porn - a Kurante Conversation
Wayan Vota and 6 others participated
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The Future of Communications as Aid

What does communications in humanitarian and crisis response look like in 5 years time? This was the question I posed to the panel session I moderated at the Aid and International Development Forum on the issue of social media in humanitarian response. 

While Imogen Wall +Mark Frohardt Jacob Kurtzer  +Kevin PQ Phelan gave good responses, I would like to take moderator's prerogative and respond with my own vision.

No more beneficiaries

First, in 2018 I expect us to look at the "beneficiary" moniker as not just passé but also a slightly derogatory term no longer allowed in the development discourse. Beneficiary implies passive acceptance of aid as something done to a people, not with them, regardless of the intentions. 

Better terms we could be using by then include customers, clients, co-creators, or my current favorite, constituents, to show the fundamental shift that is happening in international development, and globally in every industry and activity.

From us to them to them to them

Communications are changing rapidly. Where once those in positions of power held all the information closely and informed people in one-way streams of TV, radio, or print media, new social media technologies (pick one, or all of them) are changing the fundamental relationships between us and them - regardless of who is "us" or "them".

Currently, we have a more balanced flow, two-way communications instead of one-way information. People in the developing world are taking their opinions on development to everything from Twitter and Facebook to MXit and Whatsap to tell us what they think of development efforts - be they local, national, or international in origin. 

The days of silent, passive recipients of aid is over

In the future, probably event before 2018, communications in aid will be more from those in the middle of the crisis situation out to the world than any of us in development can imagine. 

What I can imagine is a future where those in a crisis tell us what they need and want - and don't - and are loud and forceful enough in their communications that they drive the development process, not us.

That is a bright, communicated future I am excited to embrace. And so should you. Its not like you have any other option.

More thoughts and session highlights on Twitter

Thanks to +Jacobo Quintanilla for inviting me to moderate.

  #commisad   #ict4d   #aidf   #internationaldevelopment   #humanitarian  
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i need a "communications aid" to understand this wayan :-)
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c'est merveilleux , qu'elles soient rassasiées de longs jours et qu'elles soient des instruments dans la main de yhwh.amen
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Admit it, you are tired of the status quo. You find much of the current efforts in philanthropy, aid, foreign assistance, public-private partnerships and all the other categories as hollow and self-serving (except, of course, the projects you're working on!). 

You know first hand the hypocrisy of capitalist titans donating pittances and claiming a clean conscience, believing that they know what is best for the poor in other places. And on a daily basis you see what the 1% wrought on those less fortunate - in this country and around the world.

You'd love to be shown a different way. A real change in the status quo of capitalism and philanthropy that can lead to a real, long-term reduction in poverty and increase in quality of life for everyone on this small blue ball we call home.

You are not alone. As +Peter Buffett showed us all in his New York Times OpEd and we discovered in Wayan Vota's Open Letter, there is a great desire to have a new operating system for philanthropy and a more holistic focus on equality in everything we do.

So please RSVP to join a unique Google Hangout with +Katherine Clements, +Carla Funk, +Ravi Karkara, +Jessica Neuwirth , Heather Peeler, and +Wayan Vota, moderated by +Lindsay Poirier that will dive deep into three related questions we are all wrestling with:

1. Who are the true philanthropists - those who love their fellow (wo)man so much they are willing to try something, anything, to find new was we can work together for a better tomorrow? How can we help them transform philanthropy into an edgy, risk-taking movement that pushes the boundary in changing lives for the better?

2. How can we change our systems so that businesses build, rather than destroy this planet and its people? Incentivize government to be a strong, positive force for equity between all people? And lead philanthropy into a new way of interacting with business, government, and those it aims to benefit?

3. What are the concrete actions we can take to connect cutting-edge philanthropists, in the most inclusive sense of that word, with the opportunities for growth and change that will increase the positive impacts we all wish to see in the world? 

We will explore these questions and more in an open, interactive debate broadcast live on Google+.

After a short opening by each panelist, Lindsay will use questions you submit via Twitter using the #NewPhilanthropy hashtag quiz the panelists and drive the conversation forward towards collective action.

Please RSVP now to join us on August 20th.
New Philanthropy: A Kurante Conversation
Tue, August 20, 2013, 12:00 PM

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My open letter to +Peter Buffett on the need for more moon shots - from everyone in philanthropy, including his NoVo Foundation - to change the way business, government, and philanthropy work at making the world a better place.

Please comment on it directly or add your thoughts in the comments below. 

Update: With all the interest this conversation has generated, I'm organizing a Google Hangout On Air on August 20th to discuss these themes more. Please note your interest via this form to participate:
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This month's edition of Alliance magazine focuses on philanthropy and power. Great articles about different models of sharing/ devolving power with communities and applicants.
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USAID is the largest international donor, but what is the size of US government's total assistance compared to others? And what are the other countries in the top 6? Finally, what is their percentage of total DAC funding? And their funding percentage of GNI? Check this chart to find out:

#usaid   #internationaldevelopment   #donors   #DAC   #ODA  
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Great, but what we want is fair trade and access to markets.
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Join us - we are live here:

Imagery and stories used to frame issues of humanitarian development for advocacy and funding are often sensational and can be culturally disrespectful, representing those living in poverty as helpless victims in need, rather than as empowered and capable individuals. 

These "flies in the eyes" images, like the Angelina Jolie photograph from Chad, are sometimes referred to as "poverty porn."  Fundraisers would tell you that this is a necessary evil, given that aid and development programs need to raise funds, and this is the only thing that engages the public.   

 - But is the pitiful portrayal of "the poor" doing more long-term harm than good?
 - Does poverty porn propagate negative images and misinformation, serving to increase divides, marginalize “the poor” and reinforce stereotypes?
 - Can it create misconceptions about the capacity and agency of people in "developing" countries?
 - Do these images damage the reputation of entire continents, reducing investments in larger areas that might enable countries to move out of poverty? 

Photos like this are just a medium of expression. It is not about how we take photos of people, the photos and our actions are the reflection of how we perceive people who are not "us" and why we do development the way we do. So, are organizations misleading the public about their work and misrepresenting those they work with? What are the ethics involved?   

The issue is complex, and victimizing photos and television commercials are only a symptom of larger and wider forces at work in the development industry. Should we just throw our hands up and say "this is how things are?" or is there something that can be done to change these practices?  

Please RSVP to join a unique Google Hangout with +Ethan Zuckerman +Charlie Beckett +Linda Raftree Teddy Ruge and +Lina Srivastava,  moderated by +Lindsay Poirier , that will dig into two deep questions:
1. How can we move beyond meaningless, uninformed and potentially dangerous campaigns and slacktivism, apathy or even harm (aka 1 Million Shirts and Kony2012) in development communications?

2. How can we move towards processes that truly enable "the poor" to participate more easily and more equally in the development debate, and shape not only the imagery we use, but also the very processes we utilize?

We will explore both questions and more in an open, interactive debate broadcast live on Google+.

After a short opening by each panelist, Lindsay will use questions you submit via Twitter using the #PovertyPorn  hashtag quiz the panelists and drive the conversation forward towards collective action.

Please RSVP now to join us on June 18th.
Beyond Poverty Porn: A Kurante Conversation
Tue, June 18, 2013, 12:00 PM
Hangout on Air - Video link to watch will be shared at noon, use #povertyporn on Twitter to ask questions

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Sorry for the Google-interrupt. Here is the full video of today's discussion:
Poverty Porn - a Kurante Conversation
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Facebook losing users in Nigeria - what does it mean?
Why is Facebook losing active users in Nigeria?

Facebook, the social network giant, has lost more than 1 million (24%) Nigerian users between January and April 2013, according to data from social media monitoring firm, SocialBakers (

Facebook monthly active users (MAU) in Nigeria peaked at 6.5 million and by end of April they were down to 5.2 million but this does not mean that users have left Facebook altogether.

This means that over one million people have not logged into Facebook between January and April 2013. Nigeria is ranked 35 on the list of countries with most Facebook users.

Facebook , once the top social network in Nigeria, is now losing steam to mobile chat (messaging) and flirting platforms like 2go, Whatsapp, Badoo, Eskimi and other social networks like Twitter . 

What can be attributed to this trend?

With my knowledge and insight on the mobile landscape and ecosystem in Africa and especially Nigeria, I have identified the factors behind this trend which can be attributed mostly to social behaviours and platform influence.

The factors are as follows:

- Facebook is still the platform of choice to make new friends or meeting people for the first time due to its large user base but once the friendships have been cultivated and cemented, Facebook loses its novelty in taking these friendships or relationships to the next level of socialization which requires real-time interactions like Whatsapp, 2go, Twitter .

- Facebook will continue to grow in registered users but the generation 'Z' ( and the earliest registered users seemed not to be too excited about using Facebook always.

- Facebook , with its huge digital assets and properties and the large business (advertising) content, is best experienced with smartphones. There are only 4 million smartphones out of the 100+ million phones in Nigeria. Facebook app is not efficient with data in a country where internet access and electricity has made browsing the web in a smartphone an expensive luxury.

- The majority of Facebook users, who are on feature phones are not having the same experience with that of smartphone users so they switch to other platforms where they can easily communicate with their friends singly or in group conversations and easily share photos and videos in real-time on feature phones with less keypad clicks practically for free. Facebook is simply too complex for these tasks.

- The likes of 2go, Whatsapp allows you to communicate with those you already have a relationship with, so most likely people are spending more time with those they know very well and they are not more than 10 meters away from their phone

- Whatsapp and 2go are known to perform well at low bandwidth connections and consume less data. 

- The likes of Whatsapp and 2go are serving as a cheaper replacement for SMS among the youth (65% of Nigerians are youths).

The Shift

The shift towards real-time platforms is not only happening in Nigeria but in other African countries like South Africa and also in Asia like in Japan and Korea (

 In Nigeria, Twitter is gaining from the drop in Facebook active users ( It is important to understand that emerging markets consume digital media in a different way to developed markets.

Also note that recently we’ve seen a lot of posts and news articles that analysts have predicted about the potential for chat apps to take over the role of SMS.

 In Nigeria, 2go has 13+ million users, whatsapp has an estimated 6 million users, Eskimi has more than 5 million users and Twitter has more than 3.5 million users.

In conclusion, Facebook has not delivered a simple, real-time and cost efficient experience to meet the needs of most of their users in Nigeria.

Tags:   #Nigeria   #facebook   #2go   #whatsapp   #Eskimi   #Twitter   #socialmedia   #Africa     #Messaging   #Chat   #SMS   #Mobile   #Social   #Network  
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empower people and organizations with ICT
  • Development Gateway
    Communications Manager, 2012 - present
  • Inveneo
    Senior Director, 2008 - 2012
  • World Bank
    Consultant, 2008 - 2012
  • Mercy Corps
    Director, 2004 - 2008
  • IESC Geekcorps
    Director, 2004 - 2008
  • A bunch of other jobs
    1995 - 2003
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Washington DC
Brixton, UK - Beijing, China - Moscow, Russia - Orlando, FL - Vero Beach, FL - Manaus, Brazil - El Paso, Texas - Brisbane, Australia - Bali, Indonesia
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Using ICT to make a better world
Wayan Vota is a technology expert focused on appropriate information and communication technologies (ICT) in international development. 

Wayan Vota is the Communications Manager at Development Gateway

Previously, he was a senior director at Inveneo, Inc, and advised the World Bank on best practices in the deployment and use of ICT devices for education. He has almost a decade of global experience in designing and implementing technology-based solutions. 

Wayan has addressed the Clinton Global Initiative, International Telecommunications Union, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, the World Summit on Information Society, and the Government of Queensland, Australia on sustainable deployment methodologies.  

He is a Technology Museum Laureate, Global Social Business Incubator Alumni, DevEx International Development Leader, and a board member of VSO International and advisor to Souktel.
  • The George Washington University School of Business
    MBA, 2012 - 2014
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Now that was great service. So better than a chain
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Great pizza and great prices. Perfect family-friendly finish to a beach day
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The fish and chips comes as a giant fish (almost whole) but the club sandwich... well not like a club I've ever seen.
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Great gym, pool, and weights. Child care too
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Pricey but if you are hungry on Saturday night, you don't have many other options near here that serve food w/o an hour plus wait
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Wow! Nosebleed expensive for a dive bar
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Right before New Year's, when my flexible spending account would expire, I went to the Eye Clinic of Vero to get the glasses I need but have been to vain to admit needing for several years now. First, their selection was amazing. Not a deep as a discount eye chain, but so much better. Instead of sorting through hundreds of crappy frames to find one good one, I had several great ones to agonize over as I went for my eye test. Next, as the other reviewer noted, great eye doctor - you know she loves her work and really wants you to see your best. Finally, the after-sale support was just above and beyond. I was in Vero on vacation (lived there before) and was leaving town before the specialty frames would be ready. I also have an odd ear/eye/nose triangulation that makes it hard for me to fit glasses to my face. The helpful staff fit me with the store version, then when the glasses were ready, usd that pair as a model to pre-fit my glasses, sending them to me already fit for my face. From a UPS box I was able to wear my glasses and they fit (and looked) perfect. Yeah, you could get exams or glasses cheaper from a discount chain, or online, and that's fine if you don't care how you look. But if you are willing to spend money on nice clothes, decent jewelry, or a good haircut, then you should be willing to invest in glasses.
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Quality: ExcellentAppeal: ExcellentService: Excellent
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