Event | Digitalising development — not digitising the status quo!

In this in-person event, IEEP and TMG Research gmbH will look at the options to leverage the potential of digital tools to build inclusive and sustainable agrifood systems.

Thursday 9 February 2023
10:00 - 11:30 CET
DG INTPA Infopoint, Rue de la Loi 43, 1000 Brussels

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 marginalised groups to build secure and resilient futures through digitalisation.

Two specific practical applications of digital innovation will be presented, from Kenya (ForestLink – GPS-enabled reporting and monitoring app) and from India (FarmPrecise – farm-specific weather-based advisories). Analysing early lessons from the design and application of these tools, the event will highlight critical elements that need to be in place to ensure that such tools can deliver on the transformative potential of “digitalisation for development”. Through their practical experiences with digital tools, they will reflect on the objectives of digitalisation, including accountability and sustainability. The session will propose alternative pathways for empowering women, smallholder farmers and other marginalised groups to build secure and resilient futures through digitalisation.  

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-organised by TMG Research gGmbH and IEEP. The event presented the potential as well as challenges of digitalisation as an accelerator for food security in the context of African-European cooperation.

Event programme

  • Presentation of digital innovation solutions from Kenya and India
  • Panel discussion on lessons and recommendations for development 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.

The detailed agenda with confirmed speakers and registration details will be shared shortly.

This event is part of a cooperation between IEEP and TMG Research gGmbH, a Berlin-based not-for-profit for inclusive socioeconomic change. It is organised in the context of the SEWOH Lab project, with financial support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).


 © Photo by FAO/Ami Vitale