IICD Digital Network & Spin-Off Initiatives

IICD Digital Network

IICD is all about connecting people and technology. We are keen to connect our past and present partners, donors, clients and supporters in a digital network to stimulate the exchange of ideas, sharing of experiences and the continuous creation of knowledge and evidence of what works and what doesn’t work in the field of ICT4D. It is a continuation of IICD’s work over the past 20 years: designing technical solutions to social problems with problem holders and local technology providers; piloting and learning from small scale implementations; and pivoting solutions until they can be up-scaled and embedded in organisations and societies.

IICD has always shared this learning across boundaries, be they geographical, technical or sectoral. The IICD digital network will continue to honor the principle of sharing and leveraging the knowledge and experience of the network for innovative and appropriate ICT4D solutions.

The common domain of IICD’s digital network:

  1. A vision that all people use ICTs to impact their future and that of their societies
  2. The belief that ICT is a medium of change and the importance of change management when working with ICTs, and
  3. The drive to deliver sustainable ICT-enabled solutions and services to solve social problems using local technology and business models

The IICD digital network includes members with different and complementary skills, knowledge and competences in the field of ICT4D. This allows members to tap into each other’s expertise and optimise business opportunities. The advantage of this digital network is the ability to collaborate on designing and connecting solutions/services to people and organisations wherever they are through the international location of members.

Social Business Ventures

Years ago, when the changes in international development aid became all too clear, IICD decided to pivot from a foundation to a social business to ensure sustainability of operations. Through co-investing and supporting local entities, IICD was closer to market and better placed to meet the needs of consumers, companies and (development) organisations using digital solutions in the countries where we worked.

Given our extended partner network, it was relatively easy to tap into the needs of the local markets and offer our technical services in partnership with our local implementers to varied clients. Soon enough, IICD’s work evolved into investing in, and supporting local ventures which worked on a mission similar to IICD: ICT for development and social change. In due time, this proved to be a sustainable concept for offering appropriate ICT-enabled solutions and providing local change management support.

IICD kick started several social businesses a few of which are now strong enough to continue as a spin-off of IICD in 2016. IICD has worked closely with all these ventures, either as a Joint Venture partner or as a strategic advisor and investor. Solutions and services were co-designed and marketed using the comparative advantages, networks and capacities of each. It is this synergy which laid the foundation of the ventures.

These ventures are social businesses because they generate their income from solutions and services that meet a need in the local market of consumers, companies and development agencies. They achieve their social goal by applying business processes and quality standards. They witness emerging needs in the market and know how to respond to them.

The social businesses presented below are reliable and experienced partners in creating and applying innovations in the ICT4D market, which was IICD’s core purpose and remains its legacy: innovation for social change!