Technology gives us the tools we need to reach those who are left behind without internet access—that’s what our CEO Avner Mizrahi will speak about at this year’s NetHope Anniversary Summit. If you’re attending we’d be happy to welcome you at our session—for the speaking time see below.

The talk is titled:

When the Internet Isn’t the Answer: How Organizations engage the 4.7 billion people who are offline

And here is the excerpt:

We use social media to communicate. We use e-learning tools to educate. We use online surveys to conduct research.

Yet, 35% of the world’s population still has no Internet access. They are completely offline. Another 25% are able to get online only sometimes, rarely.

That’s 4.7 billion people who are rarely or never online. 4.7 billion—that’s the majority of people on this planet. And online surveys and chat bots are not reaching them. Even Facebook is often not an option. We must do better. But how?

Most people have a cell phone or access to one. Whether a 20-year-old Nokia or a cheap smartphone, their phone allows them to send and receive phone calls and text messages. With a smartphone, they likely also have WhatsApp access, even if they don’t have access to the wider web.

In this session, we’ll talk about how NGOs, research universities, and businesses have leveraged technology to engage these hard-to-reach communities using SMS, Voice, and WhatsApp in innovative ways. We’ll dive into a number of case studies, including how

  • IOM (the International Organization for Migration) disseminated critical Covid-19 prevention information to tens of thousands of illiterate Rohingya refugees in camps in Bangladesh while the camps were locked down;
  • Unilever helped thousands of rural Indonesian moms build a habit of cooking healthy food for their kids;
  • A highly respected Connecticut university collected data from thousands of migrants in India about issues they faced in returning home at the height of the pandemic;
  • A small NGO successfully encouraged thousands of at-risk youth in Kenya to get tested for HIV;
  • the Cash Consortium for Iraq remotely taught financial literacy skills to thousands of cash transfer recipients who had no way to access the Internet.

We’ll discuss how these and other programs worked, how they used technology from afar to accomplish those results, and what learnings and takeaways they had.


What is the NetHope and the Summit?

NetHope, a consortium of nearly 60 leading global nonprofits, enables its members, and the nonprofit sector, to be more effective and efficient through the use of technology.

The NetHope Global Summit is the largest gathering of NetHope members and partners each year, offering a unique opportunity to learn, collaborate, and get inspired. Learn more about this year’s summit here.

As a leading communications platform for emerging and developing markets, we at engageSPARK are naturally excited to join the discussion.

When is the session?

The talk is broadcast live via the NetHope platform. Here are the times in common time zones:

  • San Francisco: Nov 14, 1pm
  • Bogota, New York: Nov 14, 4pm
  • Lagos/ London: Nov 14, 9pm
  • Paris: Nov 14, 10pm
  • Manila/ Singapore: Nov 15, 5am

Join our CEO on Monday, Nov 15, 9pm GMT!

(Check the agenda for updates and when the session is in your timezone.)