Hi everyone, I know I have been conspicious by my absence from any discussions or comments. Apart from my chaotic schedule, I guess I am slightly overawed at being included in a group of people who have accomplished so much in the area of Handout: ICTs for Development (ICT4D), Multimedia Training Kit (part of APC's ICT policy training curriculum)">ICT4D. Yes, that's my excuse and I am sticking to it.
On a day where thundershowers were predicted in the city -- and some street protests -- the APC's regional consultation on APC">ICT policyin South Asia got underway on April 19, 2005 at the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka. The event is hosted by the Bangladesh Friendship Education Society (BSES) in a scenic part of the city, where you can come across some tall buildings with a whole lot of antennas on the roof.
A quite strong analysis by Taimur Rahman to be found here takes on international non governmental organisations (NGOs) head on. He digs into the concept of 'civil society', a concept often employed by the NGO comunity. He also challenges the notion of social change used rhetorically by NGOs, often, he believes, without truly acting as forces of social change.
Women from the Center for New Words this weekend have said that's what they are all about: finding new solutions for old problems, making women's words matter, wedging open spaces for women's voices to be heard. The CNW launched WAM!, Women, Action and Media three years ago as part of this effort. Audio streams of the WAM!2006 keynote speakers can soon be heard at the CNW site and are well worth listening to, if you have the bandwidth. Though all three journalists are rooted in the (diverse) reality of US media, for me their comments served as an illustration of WHY the APC Source: APC WNSP website">Women's Networking Support Programme(and so many other gender media and Source: APC">ICT advocates) insists on governments respecting Section J of the Beijing Platform of Action and not leaving media and ICTs in the hands of a small group of powerful white men.
The Forum brought together ordinary citizens to listen to speakers and issues that are the traditional domain of the five star hotels of elite cities. The remarkably tolerant and tangible nature of debate could have been a great learning opportunity for our noisy and irrelevant politicians.