UN Global Alliance for ICT4D

Many young people who are interested in international development aspire to work with international aid and advocacy organizations. I did too! I got my shot to work in a United Nations office pretty early. This happened in a 2009 summer in NYC after a cold email to the Director of the organization.

The organization and its work were, for the lack of a better word, interesting. Housed under and in the United Nations Development Programme building, the organization was the only body inside the United Nations who had a focus on ICT for Development. Specifically, they were tasked with building multi-stakeholder partnerships by Kofi Annan.

Despite having very powerful people at its helm, it didn't have any real power or work. It's entire work turned out to be bringing powerful people for breakfasts and lunches to have discussions about technology to uplift their societies, and to read a bunch of research whitepapers and models on their findings. I was tasked with migrating their website to a stable content management system and making sure all the important documents leading up to these meetings were discoverable and secure. It wasn't anything great. I probably got more exhausted in the subway to and from work, than the work itself. I also got to poke holes in their collaborations with companies trying to build software that would eventually generate data and map case studies for successful ICT for Development implementations throughout the world.

A picture with some of my younger colleague friends at the office