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).
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].
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In a world which is part of the ‘digital revolution’ era, restrictive copyright laws still act as a serious barrier to sharing and learning from each other, more so in countries of the global South where three quarters of the population live, says a study.
Did you say cell phones for development? “Yes, technology can do anything, really, but people have to drive it”
Considering the demographic overlap between those most affected by HIV/AIDS and cell phone users, it only makes sense that a major focus be put on how this low-cost technology can fight this deadly pandemic. APC-member Women’sNet recently engaged in a UNICEF-driven speed assessment of fifteen projects that apply cell phones towards development objectives in Africa, with a particular focus on HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care.
APCNews interviewed Nicholas P. Sullivan, author of ‘You Can Hear Me Now: How Microloans and Cell Phones are Connecting the World’s Poor to the Global Economy’, a book published in February 2007 by Jossey-Bass. Sullivan argues that ‘inclusive capitalism", combined with the ‘external combustion engine’ are better approaches to development than foreign aid. Do you agree?