Frontier Technology Livestreaming wins the UK Civil Service Innovation Award

Monday 27 November 2017

Now in their 12th year, the UK Civil Service Awards recognise and celebrate inspirational individuals and innovative projects within the civil service and help spread best practice right across government.

We are delighted that Frontier Technology Livestreaming (FTL), which is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and implemented by IMC, was announced as the winner of the innovation award at a ceremony at Lancaster House in London on Thursday 23 November.

The Civil Service Award for Innovation ‘recognises a team that has sought new and better ways of doing things and taken sensible risks to improve outcomes and successfully address an issue or challenge.’ This can be through innovative approaches to policy-making and delivery; challenging the status quo; or new approaches leading to a step-up from business-as-usual. 

Within FTL, we are helping DFID to identify, fund and disseminate technologies to tackle development challenges.

In collaboration with 28 local partners including technology entrepreneurs, governments, academic institutions, NGOs and private companies, FTL is piloting 10 innovative projects in Ethiopia, Nepal, India, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.

Pilots range from trialling the viability of a 3D printing industry in Nepal to introducing a new payment and monitoring technology called eWATERpay to improve the reliability of water supply systems in rural Tanzania.

CSA photo
From left: Alex Chisholm, Permanent Secretary, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Lea Simpson, FTL Team Leader, and Magdalena Banasiak, Steven Hunt and Tamara Giltsoff from the UK Department for International Development.

FTL’s unique methodology is informed by best practices in private sector innovation but also attuned to the complexities and challenges of working in international development.

We test the viability of pilots through ‘sprints’, which can be defined as the smallest possible batches of work that generate learning. This allows us to understand quickly whether a pilot should persevere, be refined or discontinued. This approach enables maximum adaptability for pilots and generates a strong ‘livestream’ of shared learning. It also allows DFID to achieve value for money by focusing on initiatives that are likely to succeed and improve lives.

It’s great to work on Frontier Technology drones and pilot it to improve community infrastructure management in India. I’m excited about the application of technologies at the grassroots level to bring about a difference in poor people’s livelihoods. Being part of FTL is a great encouragement to think innovatively in my daily work.

Aloke Barnwal, Climate and Environment Adviser, DFID India

FTL is influencing not only DFID’s work but also that of international partners such as UNICEF and USAID.

Learn more about FTL on Medium.

Learn more about how IMC is innovating in development at

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