Potential Partnership with Orange

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Orange representatives have approached colleagues at BERA’s Private Sector division to explore possible collaboration. Orange also share with UNDP this presentation which seems to be a bit dated. At any rate, BERA has now approached me to support these efforts and provide substantive inputs to start a more formal dialogue with Orange.

Orange claims t have almost 250 million customers mostly in the African continent (this is more than Telefónica for example). They also support mobile money and mobile banking and have a rather large CSR programme.

Here is the first bunch of inputs I shared with BERA.

1. Orange CSR supported the following areas in 2012:

* on line child protection
* climate change
* participatory innovation in Africa
* and some policy work of human rights in regards to freedom of
expression and privacy within a network of Telecoms

2. In 2013 they have apparently been supporting

* Scientific research on the impact of digital on people lives via the “Digital Society Forum”
* participatory dialogues with stakeholder to identify priority areas for projects or priority areas

3. From the UNDP side, we can share

* The mobile technologies report – https://www.undpegov.org/mapping/2013
* The latest mapping of ICTD and egov projects in UNDP – https://www.undpegov.org/mapping/2013
* Draft case studies on mobiles
* ICTs and Participation: empowering people, enhancing democratic governance – https://www.undpegov.org/Insights/2013
*  our portal at http://undpegov.org where we have other related materials and blogs

4. Our work in this are is focused on two key areas: public service delivery targeting most vulnerable populations including women and youth; and participation of people and stakeholders in governance and decision-making processes (not to be confused with political participation as in elections). Needless to say, they are both related. Recent research suggests that when stakeholders are involved in decision-making processes related to pubic investment allocations, development outcomes are achieved in more effective fashion. This particular line of work align well with Orange’s human rights, participatory dialogues and participatory innovation

5. We are also doing research on mobile and ICT and their impact on the social fabric. What UNDP brings to the table here is the human development perspective and its excellent knowledge of the context in developing countries. Most state-of-the-art research is focused in developed countries and emerging economies but seems to ignore the rest of the countries. We can help close that gap.

6. In regards to innovation, we are trying to support social innovation efforts in the South by acknowledging that nowadays social innovators have indeed independently emerged in developing countries and need the support of development practitioners to enhance their work and foster a culture of local innovation. in this light, we are working with several partners and have launched the International Network of Social Innovators for Human Development (INSIHD). Please visit htttp://mobiles4hd.org for more information.

A follow-up call with Orange reps is scheduled for next year.

Cheers, Raúl

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