The Potential and Promise of ICT4D Partnerships

NetHope's ICT4D Webinar Series

View the webinar recording below that includes an extensive Q&A session. After viewing the webinar recording, please fill out our webinar evaluation form.

Resources featured in this webinar:

This is part one of three in an ongoing webinar series around ICT4D.

As the ICT4D sector has matured globally, new opportunities, and challenges for establishing solid partnership models in development have emerged.

The current economic climate forces iNGOs, local NGOs, governments, donors, multi-laterals, and private sector entities to work together better. This includes improving collaboration, reducing duplication of effort, aligning strategies and technical architecture to successfully scale ICT4D projects.

This webinar, part of an ongoing series around ICT4D, will discuss the difficulties and possibilities inherent in these new types of partnerships, and how they can support innovation. Expert representatives from the private and nonprofit sectors will introduce new partnership models around ICT4D innovation and implementation with governments, solution providers, and mobile network operators that can unlock viable options for scalable and sustainable solutions.

Discussion agenda:

Case Study - iNGO and software vendor: Why partner?

This case study examines why and how the iNGO, Catholic Relief Services is partnering with tech company, Dimagi in order to centrally manage and implement an institutional-wide ICT4D solution.

Exploring new partnership opportunities with mobile network operators

As partnerships between civil society, and the private sector are moving from philanthropy to creating shared value, new opportunities are arising. Hear directly from mobile network operator Orange on new collaborative models, and what makes an ICT4D partnership successful.

Q&A Panel Discussion Topics:

  • The most common pitfalls in building and maintaining ICT4D partnerships, and how to overcome them.
  • Create inclusive shared values in your partnerships, not just for the partners but also for the communities.
  • How can the ICT4D community better collaborate around research, innovation and implementation?
  • How to improve the facilitation of ICT4D partnerships through joint presentation of technical and people skills.
  • What are organizations doing to improve diplomacy and partnership skills? What works?



Sonja Ruetzel, ICT4D Conference Manager, Catholic Relief Services



Nathan Barthel, Manager, Global Knowledge & Information Management, Catholic Relief Services


Christina Jeffrey, Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships, Dimagi

Julia Nietsch, Senior Analyst, ICT4D Partnerships, Orange Group

Melissa Johns, Senior Director, Insights and Impact, Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL)

Speaker bios:

Nathan Barthel, Sr. Project Manager, Global Knowledge & Information Management, Catholic Relief Services

Nate Barthel is Sr. Project Manager for ICT4D Project Services, an internal ICT4D consultancy housed within GKIM. In this role he manages a global team dedicated to supporting CRS Programming in the appropriate and successful integration of technology to support our work. Since joining CRS in 2013 he has supporting technology integration in over 100 projects in every CRS region.

Christina Jeffrey, Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships, Dimagi

Christina is the Partnerships Director for both USA/North America and Latin America/Caribbean. She manages project implementations, business development and new market strategy for both regions. She is currently driving Dimagi’s National Institutes of Health Phase II Small Business Innovation Research project based at a Boston teaching hospital. The project aims to research and refine a COPD screening tool and place it within the primary care workflow to better identify and manage moderate to high risk cases of COPD.

In Latin America, Christina is working to expand Dimagi’s presence by fostering private partnerships and university-led efforts in both the health and agricultural sectors.

She has a diverse background in developing population health management programs, health program management consulting and strategic communications for healthcare. Before joining the Dimagi team, she working as a Senior Clinical Integration Consultant for Synthesis Health Systems. She holds a Master of Public Health from Northeastern University and an undergraduate degree in Statistics & Research Methods/Psychology from Rollins College.

Julia Nietsch, Senior Analyst, ICT4D Partnerships, Orange Group

Julia Nietsch works at Orange, a major international telecommunication company. In the Strategy Department she works on ICT4D and on building partnerships with international organisations and NGOs on e-agriculture, e-education, e-health. She used to work as in development co-operation for the UN Mission in Kosovo, for the French and German Foreign Ministries, and – on short missions – for different NGOs. She also spent 3 years in Brussels working as project manager for the EU Commission (DG MOVE).

Melissa Johns, Senior Director, Insights and Impact, Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL)

Melissa Johns is the Senior Director for Insights and Impact at Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL).  In this role, Melissa leads DIAL’s overall research program, knowledge dissemination and influence agenda.   Melissa comes to DIAL after twelve years at the World Bank, where she shaped some of its most impactful knowledge products and the follow-on operational work driving change on the ground.  She holds a Juris Doctorate from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy Studies from Duke University.

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