Digital innovations are touted as solutions to challenges of development in a wide range of areas, including agriculture, land governance, public administration, education, health and the environment. The use of digital technologies is expected to enhance efficiency of production, processing, and trade, resulting in higher incomes for farmers and more sustainable farming practices.
Yet, such discussions often fail to factor in structural constraints and governance failures that lock out the most vulnerable groups from tapping the benefits of digitalization. With a focus on food security as one such fundamental challenge, the event will propose alternative pathways for empowering women, smallholder farmers and other marginalized groups to build secure and resilient futures through digitalization.
Two specific practical applications of digital innovation will be presented: Haki Ardhi – The Rights Reporting Tool
– a GPS-enabled real time reporting and monitoring app being rolled out in two Kenyan counties to track violations of women's land rights; and FarmPrecise
– providing farm-specific weather-based advisories to small-scale farmers in India to strengthen resilience to climate change. Analyzing early lessons from the design and application of these tools, the event will highlight critical elements that need to be in place to deliver on the transformative potential of “digitalization for development”.
Drawing on these practical experiences, a panel discussion will further unpack lessons and recommendations for development cooperation at different levels, to explore the challenges and gaps in promoting climate-resilient food systems that strengthen societies and restore the agency of African populations in driving decision-making on Africa’s future.
The event builds on a December 2021 webinar that was co-organized by TMG and IEEP. The event presented the potential as well as challenges of digitalization as an accelerator for food security in the context of African-European cooperation.
Speakers from key stakeholder groups, including European institutions, regional think tanks, and civil society networks have been invited to discuss the realities of applying digital tools in “last-mile” settings and appropriate policy responses.
This event is part of a cooperation between IEEP and TMG Research. It is organized in the context of the SEWOH Lab project, with financial support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).