This research aims to identify the socio-cultural and structural factors that promote, demotivate, or prevent young women from engaging and furthering themselves in careers in tech and what young women want to be made available to them. Qualitative data was collected through a series of in depth interviews with stakeholders, comprised of Cambodian male and female tech leaders, civil society organizations and young women currently enrolled in tech studies, as well as focus group discussions with school age girls involved in the Technovation program. All described the importance of developing an interest for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at an early age.

This research identifies and maps actors that provide tech innovation support programs, services, and supplies to spur the creation and scale-up of technology-enabled solutions for both social innovation and private ventures. It analyzes the changes in the tech innovation landscape in Phnom Penh since 2013 including new entrants, significant factors that have contributed to the growth, funding mechanisms, popular modalities, and programs.

This study aims to capture the best practices, successes, challenges, lessons learned of the design and development of the Technology for Education Systems Transformation (TEST) project implemented by World Education Cambodia. The study also illustrates the significance of putting users at the core of project design, developing prototypes to test with iterative process, deploying the solution, and scaling it to reach more beneficiaries. In addition, the case study provides a comprehensive process of using human centered design method and recommendations for development practitioners who are interested to design ICT for education project in Cambodia.

We hope October was great for you and that you are ready for the new month! We are changing our format here a little bit based on your feedback, so please tell us what you think at the end of the newsletter. Last month, a new group of Young Innovators joined our team, and we are excited to work with them. Meymey and Boramey will be working with us for the next four months, so follow our pages to keep updated on their journey. We also visited some partners in Kampot, where our flood warning tool, Tepmachcha, was installed along the rivers in some of Cambodia’s most flood-prone areas. Stay tuned on all our media outlets for a new video about the project. We have also just launched a new activity designed for young Cambodians. It's called Youth Innovate Cambodia: a 3-month challenge program that aims to transform innovative ideas from Cambodian individuals into real activities and tech solutions. You can apply in Khmer or English! Is this what you're looking for? Check it out!

The start of this month also marks the beginning of  Technovation 2019! Registration is now open for the new season. If you want to be a mentor with, or a participant in the world largest tech entrepreneurship learning program, you can apply online. Click here for more info. Did you forget about Technovation? Catch up with the program and find out what happened during the World Pitch Event in Silicon Valley earlier in 2018, and read about the plan for Technovation 2019 in this recent blog post from our Tech Program Coordinator.

Back in August, we piloted our first ever User Research Course with trainees from our NGO and social enterprise partners. The course helps participants deal with one of the biggest challenges we see here in Cambodia – how do you better understand the users you serve? Over the Pacific Ocean in San Francisco, our Technovation ambassador Mrs. Omuoy Heang was awarded the prestigious Regional Ambassador of the Year during the Technovation Global World Pitch event. Technovation told us she got the award because she is an inspiring role model for girls in tech, has helped grow Technovation and expand it to new provinces, and because of Technovation Cambodia’s awesome social media work. Congratulations Omouy!

Last month, we moved our office from Toul Tompong to Phnom Penh Center, Block F, 4th Floor, Room #471. Find our new office on Google Maps! It was a big job, and we are still getting things ready for visitors. We promise it will be just as fun and inspirational to visit us at our new space! Stay tuned to this newsletter for updates on new programs. Don't forget that we are still looking for awesome applications for DI's Sustainable Innovation Programs Fund.

Happy July from Development Innovations! In June, we advertised two open calls for proposals: the ICT Project Scale Up and Sustainable Innovation Programs. If you have a successful ICT project looking to scale up to address social issues, or are running programs that support innovation culture, these might be right for you.

This May, we hosted the Technovation National Pitch event in Cambodia, which brought together more than 400 enthusiastic participants to see 14 all-girl teams pitch their business ideas. The teams all completed this year’s Technovation program, a technology entrepreneurship learning program for girls ages 10-18, and pitched with confidence and passion. Read more about the event here.

We are excited to announce that Development Innovations will continue to deliver services in Cambodia for another year with support from USAID Cambodia! During the extension period in 2018-2019, DI will work to build a pipeline of girls and women in technology and entrepreneurship, to support young professionals and business innovators in developing their ICT4D and soft skills, and to support the development of sustainable social innovations in ICT4D. As a part of this extension, we are proud to partner with SHE Investments for our final year. Stay tuned to our social media channels and newsletters to get updates on our new programming.

March went by very quickly for our team and we hope it was very productive for you. Last month, Technovation Cambodia successfully hosted a Mini Demo Session to help the all-girl teams get feedback on their tech business projects. We invited the Minister of Education, Youth, and Sport, the US Ambassador to Cambodia, and some other guest coaches from the Cambodian tech field to listen and give feedback about their pitches. We also kicked off a new initiative to encourage more girls to join technology programs in Cambodia. Check out our “virtual ambassador” #IAmRachana on Twitter and Facebook to follow her journey through Technovation this year.

Our young professional program, the Young Innovator Program, is now halfway through the on-the-job six-month program. Read more about what the Young Innovators have learned so far here.

February was super productive at DI. We visited ten different innovation hubs and amazing co-working spaces in Phnom Penh to learn about their services, and went on field visits to see how projects are progressing across the country. We are also conducting a series of design research projects to help better understand our users and some of their challenges.

Our team also ran a booth at the 4th Cambodian Science and Engineering Festival to showcase some of the amazing innovations our partners have tested and built over the past four years. If you missed it, you can still browse through our project list to see what we've been doing. DI’s five Young Innovators are also hard at work. They successfully completed their human-centered design course and came up with an innovative learning session prototype for university students who want to boost their skills in social entrepreneurship.

Based on your feedback, we update our funding page regularly. Don’t forget to check it out if you are looking for information on ICT4D funding opportunities, innovation competitions, and startup accelerators and incubator openings. Send us an update at leng_tri@dai.com if you want your funding opportunity to be listed.

In January, we celebrated National Mentoring Month by sharing an inspirational quote from one of our great mentors from Technovation Cambodia 2015.  See what she has to say here.

Early this year, we also started a new six month program for fresh graduates and have welcomed five “Young Innovators” to the team. In their first month at DI, they have received practical trainings in social media, basic video, human-centered design, user research & digital insights, and monitoring, evaluation and learning. Stay tuned to our social media pages for more information about their journey.

Development Innovations is a five year USAID-funded project designed to grow and support an information and communications technology for development (ICT4D) community in Cambodia. The project helps civil society organizations (CSOs), social enterprises and technology companies design and use information and communications technology (ICT) solutions to address Cambodia’s development challenges. Project tools include: tech coaching and advisory services, private sector partnerships, trainings, small grants, and an Innovation Lab, a hands-on tech support center for civil society organizations that want to use new technologies.