A Devex event in partnership with Esri

Leaving no one behind: Tackling inequalities through geospatial data

November 18, 2021 — 10 a.m. ET | 4 p.m. CET


About the Event

COVID-19 has deepened already existing inequalities, hitting the poorest and most vulnerable communities hardest. The pandemic has exposed the consequences of economic and social inequality and has jeopardized already fragile social safety nets that leave vulnerable communities to bear the brunt of the crisis. Addressing these growing inequalities will be key to not only achieving SDG 10 on reducing inequalities, but ensuring other goals are met and that no-one is left behind.

Geospatial technologies can be used to help identify gaps in progress on the goals and empower decision makers to course correct interventions to better target those most in need. However, despite an abundance of geospatial data, tools, and technologies readily available, access to reliable and consistent mapping data and analytics still remains out of reach for many low- and middle-income countries. For instance, a lack of connectivity or access to data and the associated technologies can make it difficult for organizations in rural and remote areas to share geospatial information, leading to a geospatial digital divide.

But initiatives such as the SDG Data Hub and the SDG Data Alliance aim to help bridge this gap by helping communities see patterns and trends around inequality, and offering a framework to create a reporting environment for the SDGs. This event, hosted by Devex in partnership with Esri, will showcase examples and best practices in leveraging geospatial tools and technologies to mitigate different forms of inequality, as well as discuss some of the complexities and nuances involved in closing the geospatial digital divide so that no one is left behind.


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10:00 a.m. ET

Opening Remarks by Catherine Cheney, Senior Reporter, Devex

10:05 a.m. ET

Fireside chat


• Charles Brigham, Lead Account Manager, Nonprofit and Global Organizations, Esri

• Catherine Cheney, Senior Reporter, Devex

10:15 a.m. ET

Panel Discussion


• Kate Brown, Executive Director, Global Island Partnership
• Amy Coughenour Betancourt, CEO, Cadasta
• Diana Wachira, Program Officer, Pamoja Trust.

• Catherine Cheney, Senior Reporter, Devex

10:55 a.m. ET

Closing Remarks by Catherine Cheney, Senior Reporter, Devex


Charles Brigham

Charles Brigham

Lead Account Manager for the Nonprofit and Global Organizations Team, Esri

Charles is a lead account manager for the Nonprofit and Global Organizations team at Esri, focusing on sustainable development and driving the SDG efforts. Prior to joining Esri, he worked as Knowledge and Technology Manager for the World Bank’s PNPM Mandiri Support Facility in Indonesia. Charles is a geographer with expertise in the areas of International Development, Census and Statistics, Geospatial Infrastructure, ICT Innovations, Imagery Analysis, and Humanitarian Affairs. Charles has worked for the United Nations, NASA, The Caribbean Community (CARICOM), as well as a number of countries in Central America, Africa and Asia.

Kate Brown

Kate Brown

Executive Director, Global Island Partnership

Kate Brown is the Executive Director of the Global Island Partnership, a platform that enables island leaders and their supporters to take action to build resilient and sustainable island communities. Kate is a passionate advocate for islands. She is a valued and trusted international partnership and collaboration leader, with a unique ability to connect dots for issues and people. Kate has extensive experience in all island regions globally, and brings an extensive network of island leaders, blue sky thinkers and people dedicated to supporting islands. Kate has experience working inside government, non-profits and intergovernmentally as well as a keen sense of the most important elements of the international policy setting space relevant to islands as well as what is needed for implementation to happen. A strategic thinker who is able to present clear ideas and set up the right conditions for collaboration to thrive. Kate is originally from New Zealand and lived for eight years in Apia, Samoa. Kate now resides in Washington DC with her family.

Amy Coughenour Betancourt

Amy Coughenour Betancourt

CEO, Cadasta

With over 28 years of experience, Amy is a results-oriented, mission-driven executive leader with a proven record of significantly growing organizations. Amy comes to Cadasta from the National Cooperative Business Association, CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) where she served as the Chief Operating Officer of International Programs from 2011 to 2018. In this role, she oversaw a team of over 800 staff and a near tripling of the portfolio in 20 countries across Africa, Latin America, and Asia working in resilience, food security, and rural development. Prior to her work at NCBA CLUSA, Amy worked as the Deputy Executive Director of the Pan American Development Foundation; the Deputy Director of the Americas Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; Washington Director of the Center for Occupational Research and Development; and as the Vice President for North America for the International Vocational Education and Training Association (IVETA). She currently serves on the board of Interaction, the premier alliance of International NGOs working in humanitarian assistance and development.

Diana Angela Wambui Wachira

Diana Wachira

Program Officer, Pamoja Trust

Diana is an urban and regional planner with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nairobi. As program officer at Pamoja Trust, she leads the Action Research Department which implements the research strategy of the organization. She is an STDM expert and has years of experience and expertise in the precedence setting and problem solving methodologies and models Pamoja Trust has developed over the years for inclusionary urban governance. Diana has engaged with socio-spatial research and STDM work in Kenya over the years and has also represented the organization in various local, regional and national forums on matters related to planning and GIS, land, environment and governance. She has also engaged with research and policy work around land and urban governance with a focus on women and land in urban informal settlements. Diana is an enthusiast of social planning and approaches that promote inclusive sustainable urban communities.

Catherine Cheney

Catherine Cheney

Senior Reporter, Devex

Catherine Cheney is a Senior Reporter for Devex. She covers the West Coast of the U.S., focusing on the role of technology, innovation, and philanthropy in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. And she frequently represents Devex as a speaker and moderator. Prior to joining Devex, Catherine earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Yale University, worked as a web producer for POLITICO and reporter for World Politics Review, and helped to launch NationSwell. Catherine has reported domestically and internationally for outlets including The Atlantic and the Washington Post. Catherine also works for the Solutions Journalism Network, a non profit that trains and connects reporters to cover responses to problems.