Assistant Professor Devendra Potnis was recognized in the fall of 2012 by UT as a QUEST Scholar of the Week for his research focusing on the socioeconomic implications of IT for disadvantaged communities, small businesses, microfinance and electronic governance. His research has been published in IEEE Technology & Society and by the United Nations co-organized sixth International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance.
National and international publication of Potnis’ work brought it to the attention of the organizers of The World Bank’s ICT Solutions Day. As part of this day, practitioners, academics and government officers from the US, UK, Rwanda, Ghana, Nicaragua, Kazakhstan, and the Philippines were invited to co-create smarter solutions to development problems in Rwanda, Ghana, Nicaragua, Kazakhstan, and the Philippines.
The meeting took place on Feb. 28 at The World Bank Headquarters in Washington D.C. where Potnis shared findings from his research project on poor female cell phone users in rural India. The US delegation included Todd Park, Chief Technology Officer. During the 90-minute consultation session, Potnis and the team of advisors provided His Excellency Jean-Philbert Nsengimana, Minister of ICT and Youth, Rwanda, and a delegation of his ministry with valuable insights and possible ICT solutions for problems facing Rwanda.
As a result, H.E. Nsengimana invited Potnis and The World Bank ICT Solutions Team to come to Kigali, Rwanda in October 2013. to help the Rwandan government refine a “smart village” prototype on which they are working.