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.
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.
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?
Applications are now being accepted until May 18 for technical training scholarships that will cover expenses for attending the first workshop of the TRICALCAR project. This community based wireless networks project is initiated by APC-members in South America. The workshop will be held in Huaral, Peru from July 16 to 21, 2007.
In 1993, Bangladesh was considered a no-go zone by foreign investors. Foreign direct investment in the country totalled USD 3 million that year. Today, it has multiplied to around USD 1 billion, three quarters of which feeds the telecommunications industry. How did foreign investment skyrocket in such a short period of time? The answer lies in the story of the GrameenBank, if we are to believe 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.
Documentary filmmakers take note: there are other ways in which you can choose to distribute your films. Rather than the all-rights-reserved approach of the copyright world, take a look on the creative side.
Grant McHerron always has a joke and formidable technical skils to share. Or so it seemed when APCNews ran into APC.au’s technical director in Sydney, Australia, during the APC’s Asia-Pacific members meeting, held in mid-April 2007.
On the sidelines of the OURMedia conference held in Sydney, Australia, in mid-April 2007, John D.H. Downing spoke to APCNews and explained where his critique of the media intersects with the possibilities opened up by information and communication technologies.
The South Korean parliament is discussing a dangerous revision of the "Protection of Communications Secrets Act". So what? It seems quite clear that the revision would legally enforce telecommunications companies and internet service providers (ISPs) to retain ‘communications data’. But do people agree with this? APC-member in South Korea, Jinbonet, thinks not. International civil society organisations think not. They endorsed a letter of protest that was sent to the South Korean parliament
To address the current information and communication technologies capacity crisis most development organisations are facing, APC-member Ungana-Afrika will be expanding and strengthening the network of development sector oriented ICT consultants, eRiders, across the southern African region.
“In a nutshell, Africa needs to be concerned about developing internet usage first, rather than dwelling on who governs the internet and how,” claimed the African non-governmental organisation CIPESA in a research paper published right before the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), which took place in Athens at the end of 2006. With eye kept on the upcoming IGF II in November, APCNews discussed this underrepresented approach to internet governance with Vincent Bagiire of CIPESA.
Up until recently, Prague-based Econnect, a civil society association facilitating communication through the internet, broadcasting news clips via its website. Most of the these were simple text articles, some had pictures. Now, Tomáš Tetiva of Econnect says they are changing their approach and going for ‘new media’.
South Africa-based APC member Community Education Computer Society (CECS) is working to build a free knowledge and ICT literacy portal as part of its wider goal to promote "ICT Literacy For All".
"Access to knowledge is both an issue of economic development and an issue of individual participation and human liberty" says an article by Jack M. Balkin. This buzzword makes reference to a world in which information and knowledge are increasingly becoming like products. Knowledge is worth money. Knowledge is worth power. Without much fanfare, a group of twenty-two Asians sat down in Bankok last March to tap into that power. They drew out a roadmap of actions in order for that knowledge to stay in the hands of the people. Idealistic? Maybe, but the actions are real and timely and might take you further than you think.
In releasing the list of successful applicants in one of its small grants initiatives, APC’s women programme in Africa injected some real-life into the Swahili word "harambee" in March 2007. DSI.ORG, a small non-profit located in the western Ugandan district of Kabarole, was one of six Harambee small grants winners. It’s recently created Diary Project, which assists boys from child-headed families affected by HIV/AIDS to cope with grief, stigma and discrimination, share experiences and knowledge, and work together.