At SBC4D, we believe in digital transformation as an opportunity and a tool for social and economic development. For government, it is an opportunity to be more efficient, more transparent and accountable and more supportive to citizens, civil society, research and private sector.
For citizens, civil society and private sector, digital transformation is an opportunity to access and use more services and information to make appropriate decisions and to act more efficiently from combatting climate change, to developing businesses in all sectors, to accessing appropriate health services.
- Locally rooted: We believe that any intervention in a country, from conducting a country assessment to designing and deploying a specific ICT service to e.g. developing data management capacities is an opportunity to identify and support local champions that will not only help us understand the local context but will also support the country’s journey to self-reliance. Our objective is to reduce the need for international expertise and ensure that local champions can support their country and build their own career.
- Global: To date, we have worked in more than 70 countries around the world from North and Sub-Saharan Africa, to South and Southeast Asia, to South America, to Eastern Europe, Middle East and South Pacific. Our experience with this large diversity of contexts, cultures and practices is an asset for us in identifying specific challenges and most appropriate ways to address them. Moreover, our approach to grow local champions also allows us to be ready and efficient to conduct any new intervention in countries we have already worked in.
- Empowering People: Besides growing champions, our interventions always focus on providing tools and capacity to people, from governments to citizens, so that they can make their own informed decisions on what is best for them. We are not here to impose any development models, any technologies or any theory. But we are here to ensure that people have equal opportunities to grow economically and socially, independently of their gender, or their social class.
- Agile: With almost 20 years of experience, we know that interventions and projects that are planned for months or years in advance will encounter challenges, and will very likely have to adapt to emerging conditions. We value working hands-in-hands with our clients and funders to ensure that project plan, activities and timeline can adapt to moving contexts with the only aim put on output, outcomes and impact.
- Appropriate technology: A big part of our team, including the CEO who is a recognized Web pioneer, has a technology background and is fluent on most recent solutions from advanced smartphone phone applications, to AI, to mobile money and mobile payment, to drone to IoT. We are also specialized (and pioneers) in technologies for underprivileged populations, in particular illiterate people. So in a few words, technology is our core business. At the same time, we also know that technology is rarely more than 1% of the issue, and the latest more advanced technologies are not necessarily the most appropriate ones. Technology is not in any way a magic wand that fixes all problems, but only a tool that needs to be carefully used, customized, and well integrated, technically and economically, in the context to provide sustainable outcomes. Our expertise allows us to evaluate and identify the most appropriate options in any context that will pave the way to accessibility, usability, sustainability of digital tools leading to development impacts.
- Digital transformation: Digital transformation of public services or business services is one of our core expertise. In that area, we are able to conduct a wide range of interventions from feasibility studies, to strategy and policy design to country assessments (e.g. e-government framework), to specific service design, development and deployment, up to capacity building on technical and non-technical (legal, change management, leadership…).
- Open Data & data for development: Data skills and data ecosystem is our second main area of expertise. (see our page on data for development). In open data, we are pioneers since 2010 in supporting both governments and non-government actors in the provision and reuse of data. Our expertise spans from country assessments, to open data strategy, to open data and data sharing policy design, to capacity building on technical and non-technical skills and up to design, development and deployment of open data portals.
In a more general way, we believe that data is the most important tool (and skills) for the 21st century, and we work in all interventions whose aim is to promote and support the use of data for decision-making. This includes assessing national statistical systems, designing strategies, building capacity on data management, analysis and visualization (including storytelling) for different audiences (governments, media, private sector, civil society…) or supporting the development of use cases. Note that while we often work at national level, we also have a particular interest and expertise in looking at subnational levels, exploring how data flows upward and downward and how public and non-governmental actors can access and use data to characterize and resolve their communities pain points. Finally, we also have specific experience in legal dimensions related to the sector (access to information, data classification, interoperability framework, personal data protection), and are able to support government in the design and implementation of such legislation.
- Entrepreneurship: As mentioned in our values, we strongly believe in local champions. All countries have an incredible number of brilliant people that have a vision and the energy to address the most pressing challenges of their communities or their countries. These champions usually need only a sparkle or a drop of water to blossom. Providing them some tools, some skills, or more globally some opportunities lead to incredible results. Since the early days of the company, we strongly believe in interventions that support these local champions, and we have therefore developed a specific expertise to design, set up and make sustainable initiatives such as the setup of tech hubs or incubators on different topics (ICT, data innovation). We also have a specific expertise in innovation and have conducted a number of country innovation ecosystem assessments and strategies.
- Smart agriculture: While we have a general expertise in digital transformation (see our dedicated page to smart agriculture), and while we have worked in different sectors (health, education, governance), we have a specific expertise in agriculture and the use of technology and data in agriculture. We have conducted a wide variety of projects across the world, from sub-Saharan Africa, to the Middle East, to South Asia to South Pacific in that sector. This project includes the design, development and deployment of:
- digital extension services
- Government information systems such as market prices information systems or national farmer profiling systems
- Traceability platforms
- Business matching/Market access platforms
Our expertise also includes digital finance services addressing access to finance challenges, in particular for women and underprivileged groups, and agriculture insurance.
See our Publications page for specific projects outputs.
Where we work
SBC4D has an important network of contacts all over the developing world.
COUNTRIES WHERE WE WORK OR HAVE WORKED IN
- Burkina Faso
- Caribbean Islands
- Comoros Islands
- Côte d’Ivoire
- The Gambia
- Guinea (Conakry)
- Ivory Coast
- Sierra Leone
COUNTRIES WHERE WE ACTIVELY ENGAGE WITH DIFFERENT SECTORS (CIVIL SOCIETY, GOVERNMENT, OPERATORS, ETC.)
- South Africa
COUNTRIES WHERE WE ARE EXPANDING OUR NETWORK OF ACTIVITIES