Faculty/Staff Development Workshops

2014 Workshop

Building Resilience in Poor Communities through Innovation

A CRS Workshop for Villanova Faculty, Staff and Students (by invitation)

Falvey room 205
Friday, October 3, 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. (lunch provided)

  (1:30 – 2:45 p.m. one-on-one conversations by appointment, please)


Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is a leader in the INGO community in the use of technology for development.  In this special workshop, CRS’ Shaun Ferris, Director of Agricultural Livelihoods; Steve Helen, Director of ICT Architecture Design; and Marianna Hensley, India field staff (via Skype) will share some of the highlights from the agency’s ICT4D conference in Nairobi last March.

They will offer an exciting overview of how ICT cutting-edge innovations are being used overseas to creatively meet agricultural, market, financial, and health needs and build resilience in very poor communities.  The presenters will provide useful information on leading industry providers, public-private partnerships (PPP), and the ethical framework that governs agency decisions.  Time will be built in for faculty to share their innovative work in the classroom and field and for exchanging insight, information, and resources.


In March CRS brought together 400 Non-governmental staff, donors, educators, government representatives and technology providers from across the world to Nairobi to discuss how ICT driven innovation is building resilience of developing communities.

The conference sessions focused on ICT innovations (GIS, mobile technology, Cloud Computing and “Big Data”) in monitoring, mapping and coordinating, accessing information, providing service, and planning for:

·       Small holder farmers (from weather information to market information to training field agents)

·       Livelihoods, Commerce, and Financial Stability (for the unbanked: financial transactions via cell phone technology)

·       Health  (community health workers access immediate, reliable information to diagnose, treat, and educate – SMS medical information available in searchable text-based phone databases)

Industry Providers:

Finding new jobs: Jobs Souktel, iMerit
Mapping: ESRI, Poi mapper
Monitoring and Evaluation: Kimetrica, e-valuate, T-works
Weather alerts: Grameen, e-extension
Market information: Esoko, IFDC
Knowledge sharing: Iformbuilder, Frontlines, DW
Learning by Video: Digital Green
Analytics: Zoho, Salesforce reports
Financial services: MPESA

Workshop Schedule              
9:30 – 9:40 a.m.    
 -  Welcome, Introductions
9:40 – 11:10 a.m. -  
11:10 – 11:20 a.m. - Break
11:20 – 11:50 a.m. - Surfacing Issues: Small Groups
11:50 – 12:05 p.m. -  
12:05 – 12:20 p.m. - Pick up Lunch
12:20 – 1:00 p.m. -  
1:00 – 1:15 p.m. - Outcomes – Large Group
1:15 – 1:30 p.m. -  

Workshop Downloads

* 2013 workshop.pdf
Taking Overseas Poverty-related Immersion Experiences to the Next Level: A Conversation with Catholic Relief Services
* 2012_Workshop.pdf
After the Disaster: The Roles and Potential of NGOs, the Media, the Military, Governments and Universities
* 2011_Workshop.pdf
"On Teaching the Arab Spring"
* 2010_Workshop.pdf
"Haiti: Building Back Better"
* 2009_Workshop.pdf
"The Economic Crisis: Truth and Consequences"
* 2008_Workshop.pdf
Peace Building: Principles and Strategies - Integrating Peace Building into Courses and Research
* 2007_Workshop.pdf
The CRS Partnership