Dr. Chiara Facciolà Makes Waves at 12th ICT4D Conference in Accra, Ghana


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Dr. Chiara Facciolà recently returned from an exciting experience at the 12th ICT4D conference in Accra, Ghana. Supported by the GPI Future Leaders Capacity Sharing Fund, Dr. Facciolà immersed herself in cutting-edge discussions on digital development across a spectrum of topics, including digital health, agriculture, climate change adaptation, and humanitarian response.

The event, which took place from 18 to 21 March 2024, drew over 700 participants from around the world, offering an exceptional opportunity for global collaboration and knowledge sharing. Dr. Facciolà took the stage with Laurie Markle, Chief of Solutions at Parenting for Lifelong Health (PLH), to deliver two impactful presentations that sparked lively discussions and left attendees inspired.

Their first talk, "ParentText: Multiple crises, multiple solutions, one ecosystem: Replicating success at scale for parenting," wowed the crowd on the demonstration stage with its innovative approach to collaborative chatbot authoring. Utilisiing Google Docs and Sheets, the system was praised for its efficiency and scalability.

The duo's second presentation, "Will a chatbot ever work? Using evidence to inform the redesign of a digital parenting intervention," stirred thought-provoking conversations on chatbots for social impact. Attendees were eager to explore the impact of chatbots, challenges faced, and the future use of artificial intelligence.


Dr. Facciolà and Markle's joint efforts led to shared learnings and the potential for future collaborations. Dr. Facciolà also had the chance to meet Markle in person for the first time after working closely together for over a year. Joining them was Nguza Yikona, a Senior Software Engineer at PLH, who teamed up with Dr. Facciolà to develop a codebook for ParentText. This resource will be instrumental for research teams in South Africa, Malaysia, China, Mexico, and beyond.

Dr. Facciolà's participation at the conference highlighted the importance of innovative solutions in the digital age and paved the way for groundbreaking projects in the future.