2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

How Data Is Changing International Development

#sxsw #devdata


It is awesome that I am a white American male working for Ushahidi, a Kenyan tech firm, in Silicon Valley. That didn’t happen 3 years ago. I was also one of the first Presidential Innovation Fellows at The White House and then became the first Chief Data Officer of USAID. From these experiences I am seeing a new form of development - collaborative development. The Aid industry historically shares financial capital to build roads, or human capital to respond to a crisis, but now there is a new source of value. We can now share the rich value of information capital to the technologists that are blossoming in the developing world. There are robust innovation ecosystems emerging around the world. For instance, the iHub, a developer community in Nairobi, has over 10,000 members. We can catalyze the entrepreneurs in these developing areas that the Aid industry aims to help by sharing data, this raw material, with those innovators who know their problems better than anyone else.



Nathaniel Manning

Dir of Business Operations


Nathaniel’s work orbits around the theme of developing technology that makes the world a better place.

Nathaniel is the Director of Business and Strategy at Ushahidi, a technology company with origins in Kenya that builds open source tools for democratizing data. In addition to software for data collection and management, Ushahidi has also built the iHub, the nerve center of Kenya’s tech community, and the BRCK, a redesign of the modem for the developing world. Nathaniel helps lead the business team at BRCK.

He was previously a Presidential Innovation Fellow, and then the first Chief Data Coordinator at USAID. The role involved working to develop tools and strategies for liberating data to fuel entrepreneurship and innovation for international development.

Nathaniel has also been an advisor to Runa Tea, a USA-Ecuadorian social enterprise. Previously, Manning was a financial associate for the Clean Energy team at the Clinton Climate Initiative, living in Bangkok and Melbourne and working throughout Asia-Pacific.

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