ADB meet goes hi-tech

By Lawrence Agcaoili, The Philippine Star

Posted at May 01 2012 06:47 AM | Updated as of May 01 2012 02:47 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The four-day meet of the Board of Governors of multilateral lender Asian Development Bank (ADB) goes “high-tech” when it kicks off in Manila from May 2 to May 5.

Robert Dawson, the secretary of the 45th meeting of the ADB Board of Governors, said in an interview with The STAR that new technology would be used when top officials from lending agencies, member countries, multinational companies, and private companies meet tomorrow.

Dawson said ADB with the support of a consultant developer team developed an application (app) to be made available free of cost for iPad and iPhone users as well as those using Android devices.

He pointed out that the app would provide useful information such as schedule of activities, venue of seminars, hotels, and even maps.

“This free app gives you easy access to useful information such as the host city Manila, meeting venue, hotels, and the various events including the seminar program, as well as some information about future Annual Meetings. This app gives a flavor of ADB’s organization, its operations and Annual Meetings to participants and non-participants alike” he added.

The ADB official said about 500 iPad and iPhone owners and 150 Android users already downloaded the app and the number is expected to increase during the conference proper.

Through the app and even social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, Dawson said participants and non-participants could post their comments and ask questions.

“Apps users are not only limited to the over 4,000 participants to our Annual Meeting. Even non-participants will be able to post questions and comments to seminar panelists. For selected seminars, these questions will be conveyed live by seminar coordinators to the moderator to incorporate in the discussion,” he said.

According to him, the users of the app could participate virtually in the seminar through the live webast to have their questions and comments in the discussion.

“This is the first time for ADB that app users ask questions real time. This is different than the conventional way of writing questions in a piece of paper,” he said.

According to him, the app would also provide access to twitter feeds from the meeting through #ADBAM.

He explained that the main sessions would be tweeted live from the Twitter feed @ADB_Manila and events from the CSO Program would be tweeted live from the NGO and Civil Society’s feed @ADBandNGOs.

Furthermore, he said posts on the main sessions would appear on while posts on the CSO Program appear on

Dawson said Microsoft Corp. has partnered with ADB NGO Center to showcase a new technology to intensify the use of Internet in rural communities using what is called “super wi fi”.

Throughout the four-day conference, he revealed that Microsoft would be exhibiting in the NGO Civil Society Forum 3 lounge Super-wi white space technology.

“Super Wi-Fi technology may revolutionize access to the internet for remote and vulnerable rural communities providing more inclusive communications and access to information,” he said.