Fidanka and Eoin McGrath, a family soon expecting their first child, spent two of the hottest August days in a quite unusual way – having a friendly talk with police officials. The family life was disturbed abruptly this summer, when the two were called in by the local unit of the Bulgarian secret service.
The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) has been roundly criticised in the past and this new study from APC concludes that the summit “is not the best starting point for new action.” So, what is the point of looking at how developing country delegations and civil society fared at the summit? Because, says the author “it is always important to learn from experience – particularly where it did not deliver up to expectations.”
‘Whose Summit? Whose Information Society?’ – An investigation of developing country and civil society experience in the World Su
Organised in two stages, and lasting four years, WSIS certainly consumed a great deal of time and resources – both financial and human. But was it worth it? What did WSIS actually achieve? What did developing countries and civil society organisations (CSOs) gain from it? And, perhaps more importantly, did these gains outweigh the costs associated with participation? These are just some of the questions addressed in the book, commissioned by APC and written by David Souter. Read this introductory article to the 128-page study.
APCNews interview with David Souter, author of ‘Whose Summit? Whose Information Society? Developing countries and civil society at the World Summit on the Information Society’.
Launched on September 11 by Arnold Pietersen of the South African organisation CECS, the “Free knowledge for ICT literacy portal” will act as a guide for people who are looking for “the best information available on and for ICT training”. Pietersen’s enthusiastic launch took place at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa, in front of a small but highly stimulated audience attending the 2007 edition of the Highway Africa conference.
APC member in Canada Web Networks announced that its "Tusaalanga" Inuktitut language online learning platform (developed using the open source Drupal system) has received the prestigious national literacy award. Inuktitut is an indigenous language spoken in Candada and other northern territories.
Highway Africa is where more than 600 African journalists gathered between September 10 and 12 in Grahamstown, South Africa. The conference was preceeded by the second Digital Citizen Indaba on blogging which was held at Rhodes University, same location, on September 10. Keep track of the debates on excellence in journalism, and issues such as community media and gender and media in Africa as APC blogs.
Balancing Act, one of Africa’s most important ICTD online media, has picked up on a feasiblity study carried out by APC member Alternatives for an internet backbone for the Democractic Republic of Congo that featured in APCNews earlier this month. "For all the difficulties in Eastern Congo, the DRC has seen a number of recent developments that will form the beginning of a backbone development plan for the country," writes Balancing Act. "Canadian NGO Alternatives launched its extremely detailed feasibility study for a backbone plan and the Government has begun to look at some of the issues that will need to be addressed if it is to be implemented."
Nearly 70% of households in Cameroon have a radio set. APC-Cameroon member PROTEGE QV intends to place information at the disposal of the urban and rural women, particularly by means of radio broadcasting programmes. With their latest project oriented towards small businesses run by women, representatives of PROTEGE QV carried out a field trip earlier this year to rural localities in western Cameroon to hand-over material to two radio stations and promote their Multimedia Resource Kit.
GEM speaks to people, said Sarah Earl, an evaluation specialist attending a workshop to improve what’s been coined as the Gender Evaluation Methodology. More than an evaluation theory, GEM "is a development theory," commented Earl who, along with over 40 ICT practitioners from around the world, took part in a training exchange in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, at the end of July 2007. Read the full account on APC WNSP.
DRC: Alternatives reveals the first independent study on an internet infrastructure that can serve the entire country
The NGO Alternatives revealed the first independent feasibility study on the implementation of a vast high-speed internet infrastructure the size of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Carried out by Congolese and international researchers, the study proposes, in particular, that the implementation of the internet network be carried out in partnership with the Congolese National Electricity Company (SNEL).
Within the perspective of making high-speed internet accessible to the Congolese people, the development of an internet backbone in the Congo seems to be a necessity that could give an immediate boost. On Tuesday 7 August 2007, the feasibility study for an open internet backbone in the DRC was officially revealed in Kinshasa. APCNews quizzed Alphonse Ntita, a specialist in ICTs and internet infrastructure issues, who is part of the team of researchers behind the study.
“Feasibility study for an open internet backbone in the Democratic Republic of Congo”, this is what the ripened fruit has been called for close to a year by a team of seasoned researchers. François Ménard is one of those who were hands on in this exhaustive study. He is a project manager with the Canadian firm Xit Télécom. APCNews interviewed him on the subject of deploying a high-speed internet in Congo.
Coura Fall is enterprising, dynamic, knows the media and has knocked around with all sorts of acronyms. One of these is ICT, used to refer to information and communication technology. Coura is preparing to give us an earful of these three letters in her new appointment as Africa ICT policy coordinator for the Association for Progressive Communications. Her first objective is to advocate for a broader access to ICTs, in particular to the internet. This, she says, will primarily be pursued by partnering with civil society, governments and the private sector for developing internet infrastructure in Africa.
Agreement between the Chilean government and the Microsoft Corporation: the Chilean digital strategy is in rough waters
Emails, text messages and the media spread the word: the Chilean government has signed one of the broadest known-agreements to date with the Microsoft Corporation, covering aspects of education, management of personal data, and support for local governments (municipalities) and the micro enterprise sector.
Through evaluations we can measure to what extent our work is contributing our bit, our grain of sand, in the struggle for a better world. The APC women’s programme took this premise to heart when it developed the Gender Evaluation Methodology (GEM). At the end of July women and men from around the world gathered in Kuala Lumpur to share their experiences with the use of GEM in particular and evaluations in general. One of the lessons learned was…
Information has become a powerful weapon that can be manipulated during times of conflict. This was seen again in central Africa between 1993 and 1994, as revealed by Sylvie Niombo of APC-Africa-Women in her analysis of the work, The media and conflicts in Central Africa, edited by Marie-Soleil Frère and published in 2007 by the Panos Institute of Paris.
Seven short-listed prize finalists in 2007 are currently under consideration by an international jury of experts. In September, APC will award the $4,000 USD prize to up to three of these outstanding initiatives.
Amader Gram (Our Villages) ICT4D Project is building knowledge society under a pilot scheme in twenty villages of Bagerhat and Khulna Districts in southwest Bangladesh by providing appropriate knowledge and ICT intervention that facilitates both skill transfer and employment creation. The Amader Gram ICT4D Project is offering fellowship for the year 2008. Interested students can send their request by 30 August 2007.
Training communities to set up wireless internet access points using empty tin cans, “taking back the tech!” to combat violence against women and keeping the focus of the world’s governments on the importance of affordable internet access. Read our new annual report for 2006.