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NEW REPORT from APC monitors political will to make the information revolution reality for all

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY 23 May 2007 (APCNews)

A new watchdog report from APC and the Third World Institute monitoring promises made by governments and the United Nations to ensure that information technology is used to benefit millions of people, was launched in Geneva on May 22. Studies of the ICT policy situation in twenty-two countries from four regions are featured: Africa (Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda); Asia (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and the Philippines); Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru); and Eastern Europe (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania), with one report from a Western European country (Spain).

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UN World Summit on the Information Society: What’s going on in Geneva right now? (Part I)

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND 23 May 2007 (CIPP)

A cluster of World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) implementation meetings is taking place in Geneva from May 14 to 25. Part of the APC crew is there, ensuring that “the strong development orientation” promised by organising agencies goes beyond paper. Themes and action lines stemming from agreed-upon documents are being discussed. Read APC’s input to three action lines that took place as part of a meeting on May 16.

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From the Philippines, a digital arts contest with social dimension

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA 23 May 2007 (Frederick Noronha for APCNews)

WebSining is the Filipino name for a web-art contest, and this is what has been keeping the Manila-based Foundation for Media Alternatives busy of late. With its goal of encouraging artistic innovations in the intersection of art and technology, Websining this year introduced a new category: software art.

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New titles take a serious look at the ICT-for-development world and beyond

GOA, INDIA 23 May 2007 (Frederick Noronha for APCNews)

From ‘cyberprotests’ to debates about whether cyberspace can be controlled or censored. From studying the long history of the collaborative creation of knowledge to looking closely at the social impact of mobile communications. These themes are all the focus of new books that have been published in recent months.

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Taking training online: Computer and internet help in cyberspace

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA 22 May 2007 (Frederick Noronha for APCNews)

What happens when eight progressive information and communication technology organisations come together to share their expertise in computer and internet training in the so-called ‘developing world’? It results in ItrainOnline.

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Open technologies bring government transparency, development

BRASOV, ROMANIA 22 May 2007 (Mihály Bakó)

Technology put in the public information and communication domain (internet) can bring transparency to government behaviour, argues a high-profile forum that has just come to a close in Brasov, Romania. eLibretica, organised by the Romanian Open Source and Free Software Initiative and Agora Media and held at the end of May 2007 did not go unnoticed in the new European Union member country, reports Mihály Bakó of APC’s romanian member StrawberryNet Foundation [in Romanian].

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Australia: 33 hours of video slam

MONTREAL, CANADA 22 May 2007 (FD for APCNews (with files from Jessica Coates))

Ever heard of the Open Channel Video Slam? You say no? Here is the right answer. It boils down to 22 filmmakers locked up in a Melbourne bar for 33 hours to produce a ten minute film. The challenge? Use only Creative Commons material.

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Technology provides vulnerable children with a support line in Nigeria

KAFANCHAN, NIGERIA 22 May 2007 (Karen Higgs for APCNews)

In 2006 Fantsuam Foundation launched a vulnerable children’s service as part of its rural HIV/AIDS programme. This innovative project addresses the growing problem of orphans and vulnerable children in the rural communities where Fantsuam works. ICT is a central part and has proved an effective way of getting access to vulnerable children who are coping with poverty and hunger as well as life-threatening diseases.

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Bulgaria: Local and international freedom of expression networks turn up the heat

MONTREAL, CANADA 22 May 2007 (FD for APCNews)

Amendments to Bulgaria’s Access to Public Information Act were passed by the National Assembly at the first reading. Many of the proposed changes breach established international standards on the right to information and appear specifically designed to hinder access to public records.

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OURMedia, looking at media alternatives and beyond

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA 22 May 2007 (Frederick Noronha for APCNews)

OURMedia calls itself a "network and forum" and is made up of engaged academics and media practitioners, activists, artists and policy-makers who support the growth of what they term the "democratic potential of community, alternative and ‘citizens’ media".

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Taking a Srilankan disaster solution to another level, via Philippines

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA 22 May 2007 (Frederick Noronha for APCNews)

The Institute for Popular Democracy is one of the APC’s youngest members and it’s current concerns with shaping-up an open source disaster management software reflect only a tiny but emblematic part of what IPD does. Excerpts from an interview with APCNews.

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A little goes a longer way with ICT-based networking

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 21 May 2007 (Katherine Walraven for APCNews for APCNews)

In the former Ethiopian capital of Mekelle, the Mekelle Child Centered Forum (MCCF) reaches approximately 5,840 disadvantaged children, youth, and women living in the city. The winner of one of this year’s Harambee awards, MCCF will use its grant money to expand its reach of service towards its target of 20,000 individuals.

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Pakistan: Blog-o-Furious

PAKISTAN 16 May 2007 (Omer Alvie)

As the political situation in Pakistan gets progressively worse, a native writer highlights the views of Pakistani bloggers providing the most honest and accurate views on events there.

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The fight against HIV/AIDS armed with blogs, wikis and emails

MONTREAL, CANADA 14 May 2007 (FD for APCNews for APCNews)

Often, people working in prevention of HIV/Aids experience difficulties in gaining an overview of successes and failures of HIV/Aids programmes in the most affected countries. The key information about vulnerable segments of the population who are not yet enrolled in these programmes is generally absent. It is around these two reasons that Réseau Sida Afrique’s work revolves. APCNews asked some questions to Lydie Diaboungana of the secretariat of the network, located in Brazzaville, in the Congo. Chronicle of a tough fight with the help of ICTs.

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Ever heard of soil health? If not, networking is taking it to your front door

MONTREAL, CANADA 9 May 2007 (FD for APCNews for APCNews)

The Information Training & Outreach Centre for Africa (ITOCA) is a capacity building organisation for librarians, information specialists, scientists, researchers and students of sub-Saharan Africa. Better said, it assists them in mastering information and communication technology. APCNews talked to Gracian Chimwaza, executive director of ITOCA, about the organisation’s latest project aimed at groups working on ‘soil health’. The goal? Help them locate and access information cost-effectively.

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PROTEGE QV, the first central african member at APC

MONTREAL, CANADA 9 May 2007 (FD for APCNews)

PROTEGE QV is a group of people who are passionate about educating and promoting youth, women and leaders so that they can play their roles as citizens in full. The Yaoundé-based APC-member who brings the number of francophone members at APC to three, herewith catalyses innovative solutions, good practices to those who are in need, rural populations and women particularly.

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Metamorphosis, a think and do tank

MONTREAL, CANADA 9 May 2007 (FD for APCNews)

Metamorphosis is a think and do tank from Macedonia, gathering experts and activists devoted to the development of an information society, which we see as crucial element in bettering people’s lives. Most of the people currently involved rely on a background in the IT industry and the NGO sector, but in general, we favour an interdisciplinary approach and broad involvement of stakeholders. APCNews interviewed Bardhyl Jashari, director of this newest APC-member.

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Profile: Bangladesh Friendship Education Society becomes new APC member

MONTREAL, CANADA 9 May 2007 (FD for APCNews)

Bangladesh Friendship Education Society (BFES) is a non-government development organisation based in Bangladesh. It was established in 1993 and its mission is to promote educational projects in rural areas.

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Ugandan women network launches a book about ICT-based entrepreneuship

KAMPALA, UGANDA 8 May 2007 (Milton Aineruhanga)

Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) launches Women’s ICT-based Enterprises Handbook and a CD entitled "A Guide to Promote, Initiate and Improve Women’s ICT Based Enterprises in Uganda". The APC-member WOUGNET published the multilingual document in English and two local languages.

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APC POOL OF WRITERS: Two job announcements, one pool

BERLIN, GERMANY 4 May 2007 (APCNews)

APCNews and GenderIT.org are building a pool of writers to contribute on a freelance basis. We are interested in working with writers from all continents. APC is a virtual network and in general most of our research and interviews are done online. Read the details and send your application before May 15, 2007.

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