Kelvin Wong

Assistant Director - CIDCM, Africa Development Programming

Kelvin Wong is Director of the Telematics for Development Projects at the University of Maryland. He has over 15 years experience designing, implementing, and administrating complex, multi-disciplinary and cross-sectoral international development projects focused on Information Communication Technology (ICT) for development, telecommunications policy reform, democracy and governance, conflict management and mitigation, and educational and professional capacity building. He has collaborated with the UNDP, World Bank, IDRC, USAID, Ford Foundation, UNHCR, the Commission on Human Security, and the governments of Nigeria, Gambia, Rwanda, and Kenya as well as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the West African Telecommunications Regulatory Association (WATRA).
In the late 1990s and early 2000s with the Leland Initiative Dr. Wong worked with national stakeholders and contributed to the architecture of telecommunications policy reforms in Rwanda and Kenya which resulted in de-monopolization of ICT services. From 2001-2005 he led the National University of Rwanda-University of Maryland Partnership which focused on a cross-cutting effort of core university capacity enhancements at the Computer Center, the Department of Computer Science, the Center for Conflict Management, and the Faculty of Education. This Partnership designed and delivered more than 100 different distance education modules and innovated a tutor assisted distance education pedagogy. In 2006 and 2007 he directed several ICT education and professional development programs in sub-Saharan Africa and Afghanistan, including the NetTel@Africa Executive Development Program. From late 2007 to 2008 served as the President of the Digital Bridge Institute, Abuja, Nigeria, where he developed the institute's strategic plan, launched curricular reform conforming to Nigerian industry needs and relevance for the African telecommunications professional. At the Institute he initiated administrative reforms in procurement processes, designed the Institute's first unified budget, and led institutional planning for the Institute's expansion from Abuja to Lagos and Kano.
Dr. Wong's ICT research underpins his international development work and has helped clear political resistance to the introduction of competitive-market regimes in the telecommunications sectors, demonstrated rationales behind policy reforms in specific African contexts, and cleared the way for greater private sector expansion of cross-border high speed ICT infrastructure. His work in conflict analysis and mitigation has included analysis and program design of activities in Rwanda and the Karamoja Cluster as well as creation of an interactive wiki-based knowledge-management tool for ICT utilization in conflict and post-conflict areas. The tool assists utilization of modern ICT in support of six major development objectives -- agriculture, democracy & governance, economic growth, education, environment, and health in post conflict environments. He is co-editor with Ernest J. Wilson III of Negotiating the Net: The Politics of Internet Diffusion in Africa (Lynne Rienner, 2007) and with Russell Southwood and Brian M. King of Night is Falling in Fredonia: A Case-Study Based Scenario of Cross-Border Telecommunication Issues (Balancing Act, forthcoming). He is co-author with Ernest J. Wilson III of The Status of the Information Revolution in Africa (Telecommunications Policy, 2003).
Dr. Wong holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of British Columbia.
For the last 18 years Dr. Wong’s research has centered on International Development. Working on scholarly-policy implementation frontiers, he has examined issues ranging from how international development donors operationalize conflict dynamics to solutions to extend affordable high-quality broadband telecommunications services in the developing world. He was the lead author of Web and Mobile Applications for International Development (2013) and Methodology and Implementation Approaches to Counter Ebola Virus Disease with Health Systems and Mobile Payments Applications (2015). In 2015 he launched a research project on how USAID designs, implements, and manages innovation. This research includes establishing a database incorporating information on funding, sector, innovation approaches, and success or failure of innovation projects.
  • Kelvin Wong
2117C Chincoteague Hall
Center for International Development and Conflict Management
Phone: (301) 314-1285