Collaborative Innovation for Open and Inclusive Development: Data, Maker Spaces, and Mobile Telephony



Access to Knowledge

Urban development


Urban Mobility

Created At : 2018-07-02 17:34:00
Event Date : 2017-11-22
Event Source :

The Access to Knowledge for Development Center hosted its seventh annual workshop on the 15th and 16 of October at Oriental Hall in AUC’s downtown Tahrir campus. The workshop, entitled “Collaborative Innovation for Open and Inclusive Development: Data, MakerSpaces, and Mobile Telephony”, featured several sessions that discussed data and development in the region, and introduced the center’s various research projects and partnerships. In attendance were members of the Open Data for Development Middle East and North Africa Node - which A2K4D is leading - as well as Ahmed Zahran, CEO of KarmSolar and Fady Ramzy of InsideOut. The first panel saw partners from Egypt, Palestine and Tunisia discussing ongoing projects and sharing their knowledge on the ways in which open data can be used as a driving force for development in the areas of gender, health and mobility. The second panel analyzed the potentialities data has in advancing research in the fields of transportation and urban mobility, education and renewable, and discussed the availability and importance of evidence-based planning in the region. Ending the first day of the workshop on a high note, A2K4D launched its SolarData Platform. Ahmed Zahran - who acted as an advisor to the platform - spoke to the potential of this technology to remove any entry barriers to the sector. The online platform acts as a data hub, mapping out actors along the solar value chain - from manufacturers, suppliers and installers to clients and supporting institutions - and providing these actors the opportunity to create ‘profiles’ within the platform. Developed by the team with InsideOut Today and sponsored by the International Development Research Center and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, the platform is now live and users can access the data freely online. The third panel of the workshop brought together researchers and makers from South Africa, Kenya, Canada and Egypt to share their experiences and knowledge on how makerspaces can help contribute to business generation and employment in a sustainable manner. During the final session, knowledge societies in the Global South were discussed, with various examples from A2K4D’s research on the digital economy being brought to the lime light. Work carried out by the center’s partner the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers was also presented and deliberated. The two-day workshop concluded with concluding remarks from Dr. Nagla Rizk, the center’s founding director. Leaving attendees with some food for thought, Rizk alluded to the digital divide and spoke about importance of bringing the voice of the developing world into global conversations surrounding knowledge and innovation.