A graphic showing several lines connecting people-shaped icons.

Chemonics News

News: Blockchain as a Tool for Development Assistance

| 2 Minute Read

Directors Rob Henning and Nathan Williams will facilitate a discussion on using blockchain in international development at the D.C. Blockchain Summit.

From March 6 to 8, the Chamber of Digital Commerce and Georgetown University’s Center for Financial Markets and Policy will host the third annual D.C. Blockchain Summit, which Chemonics is proud to sponsor. The summit will bring together a diverse audience from the private sector, government, and media to discuss applications for blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

Blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, is based upon a distributed ledger system that is rapidly gaining prominence as a secure method of digital recordkeeping. With possible uses ranging from financial transactions to decentralized voting, many in the international development community are exploring its applications in development as well.

To explore this topic, Chemonics will host a roundtable during the summit, “RegTech in International Development,” on March 8 at 3:10 p.m. The roundtable will engage blockchain innovators from start-ups, government, and international development organizations to explore how blockchain-based regulatory technology (RegTech) can reduce the cost of delivering foreign assistance across the globe. Chemonics directors Rob Henning and Nathan Williams will facilitate the roundtable alongside Georgetown Associate Professor Jim Angel.

The roundtable will also feature a spotlight on Chemonics’ minimum viable product for a one-click biodata solution for the USAID Form 1420, also known as the biodata. USAID uses the biodata form to justify salaries for positions on USAID contracts, and the form contains information like candidates’ education and employment history. Using blockchain technology to create an immutable record of this information has the potential to increase efficiency in administering development projects and reduce the risk of fraud.

“Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize compliance within the USAID system,” explained Rob Henning, the initiative’s team leader. “Chemonics’ one-click biodata solution is an exciting pilot that seeks to demonstrate this potential by streamlining the tedious yet critical salary verification process for professionals working on USAID projects.”

Follow the conversation around the D.C. Blockchain Summit with #DCBlockchain.