Fraym CEO Testifies to Congress – Innovation in Development & Gender Equity Policy

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Fraym CEO, Ben Leo, testified at an open hearing entitled “Innovation in Development Policy: Maximizing Impact and Results” being held by the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Development, International Organizations, and Global Corporate Social Impact.

Ben, along with Ann Mei Chang, Former Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Director, U.S. Global Development Lab, United States Agency for International Development, and Alix Petersen Zwane, CEO of the Global Innovation Fund, discuss the U.S. government’s innovation capabilities in international development. In particular, they look at how USAID and other agencies are currently prioritizing innovation, measuring results, and having new practices adopted in the field. This includes the outcomes of the restructuring of USAID and the capabilities of the Global Development Lab in the new structure.



Question: “One of the SDG goals is to achieve gender equality by 2030, how can innovation play a role in supporting gender equality?”

Representative Houlahan

Answer: “We’ve done some very exciting work using a laser-focused approach to identify where there’s the greatest concentration of inequity, lack of opportunity for women and girls, whether it’s educational, or on the employment participation side, and then be able to develop very focused programs, initiatives, and policies to move the needle in an iterative way.”

– Fraym CEO & Co-Founder, Ben Leo

A recent article published by USAID builds on this line of questioning. In their post, ‘How can we address gender inequity in artificial intelligence?’, the agency champions gender equality in AI and recognizes Fraym as a company working to close the gaps and address disparities. As an example, they link to our analysis ‘Fighting for a future free of child marriage — how hyper-local data can help drive results’ which showcases work done as part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Child Marriage Learning Partners Consortium.

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