Promises & Challenges of International Development in the 

Digital Age Symposium

Monday, April 15, 8:30-5pm

Beren Conference Center, Slawson Hall

University of Kansas

The rapid evolution of digital technologies has ushered in new potential strategies for international development. This symposium with inter- national development organizations from our region will explore the multifaceted intersections of technology and development to address global poverty and marginality. The symposium will consist of short presentations and hands-on activities by and for iNGO staff, KU students, and faculty.  Attendees should bring their smartphones and/or laptops.  If you are a student interested in careers in international development, faculty who can contribute expertise, or a development professional seeking to share techniques and strategies with other professional, this symposium is meant for you! Pre-registration is required.



Dr. Martin Burt holds a PhD from Tulane University and is a world-renowned social entrepreneur who has developed anti-poverty and educational social innovations, including the financially self-sufficient agricultural school model and the Poverty Stoplight, a new poverty metric and coaching methodology currently being implemented by more than 800 organizations in 59 countries. He is the founder (1985) and CEO of Fundación Paraguaya, a social enterprise named Latin America’s most impactful and innovative development organization by the Inter-American Development Bank in 2018. He is also co-founder and/or board member of the Bertoni Nature Conservancy Foundation in Paraguay, Teach a Man to Fish in the UK, the Global Foodbanking Network, the Paraguayan-American Cultural Center, the World Economic Forum’s Expert Network, Thrive Lights, and Activate. He has received nearly 20 awards and honors from international organizations, the latest being “Leader for the Planet” by Charities Aid Foundation, the Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean, and Spain’s Diario El País. He has written several books about economics, development, and municipal politics, as well as poetry. He also holds various visiting professorships at U.S. and European universities. He has served as Chief of Staff to the President of Paraguay, was elected Mayor of the capital city of Paraguay, Asunción, and was appointed Vice Minister of Commerce.

Dr. Ben Wood earned his PhD in Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Illinois and is the Managing Director of Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning at Heifer International in Washington, D.C. He is a monitoring and evaluation expert, including the design and management of impact evaluations. He is an internationally recognized expert into research on improving the quality and reliability of evaluations for development decision-making. At Heifer International, he oversees an international team of nine M&E professionals. He has strong experience in designing and managing evaluations for Heifer International and development partners (USAID, IFAD, the Gates Foundation, and MCC) across a range of technical areas, including agriculture, disaster management, electrification, energy, and forestry. His publication record includes peer-reviewed papers in PLOS One, the Journal of Development Studies, Food Policy, and the Economics E-Journal.