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November 16, 2017

The first day of the 9th International Conference on Information & Communication Technologies for Development (ICTD) Pakistan 2017, which opened under the auspices of Information Technology University (ITU), the Punjab at Lahore today conducted four sessions participated by the experts from around the globe. This four day moot will conclude on 19th November. The ICTD is a research conference, which explores the role of information and communication technologies (ICT) in global development.

The first session on Co-Design for Accessibility, conducted by Mustafa Naseem (ATLAS), Suleman Shahid (LUMS), Khansa Maria (Georgetown) and Sohail Ahmed (GCU) said in a penal discussion that co-Design was a process that brings together designers and users to develop products, programs and systems in a participatory and collaborative manner. It was intended to bring together participants from a wide array of backgrounds to promote innovative thinking around issues being faced by blind users in their day to day lives, as well as challenges in the use of technology itself, they stated.

The Digital Financial Services session organized by Richard Anderson (UW), Lubna Razaq (ITU) and Jennifer Webster (UW) considered that the overcoming barriers to financial inclusion required partnerships between researchers and industry specialists to determine technological solutions. The session brought together members of the ICTD academic community with industry specialists of digital financial services to create opportunities for collaboration and knowledge sharing. It intends to develop a research agenda to address technology challenges for adoption to Digital Financial Services in Pakistan and elsewhere.

The third session on Community Wireless organized by: Senka Hadzic (UCT), Kashif Ali (Facebook), Kurtis Heimerl (UW), Shaddi Hasan (Facebook), David Johnson (CSIR Meraka), Amreesh Phokeer (Afrinic) and Melissa Densmore (UCT) opined that community wireless networks locally owned and operated networks, usually rely on alternative low-cost technologies. They provide connectivity to remote rural areas or reduce the cost of communications in areas covered by commercial operators. The discussion focused on several aspects of CNs: infrastructure, content and service provision, sustainable business models, and policy.

The fourth session discussed Securing Data in ICT Systems: Human-Centered and Technical Perspectives, which was conducted by Bilal Naqvi and Ahmed Seffah to focus on the role of security in successful development and deployment of working systems. The session covered the technical perspectives including treating digital personal data respectfully within ICTD and also the human centric/usability perspective of the security technologies. On the second day November 17, 2017, Intel; ICTD moot will include papers presentations followed by discussions.