APC is holding a five-day ICT (information and communication technology) policy advocacy workshop in Nairobi starting July 19. The workshop intends to galvanise the growing interest there is in ICT policy into a network of policy advocates working in their home countries. It will be the first of two regional ICT policy advocacy workshops, the second being held in Dakar, Senegal later this year. "Through the workshop, we hope to kick start concerted policy actions at the national level," says APC executive director, Anriette Esterhuysen. "There’s a lot of interest and concern and a lot of expertise out there but not enough collaborative action. We want to do more than just build capacity."
“Learning and working on the computer makes me feel that I am no less than anyone else in the world.” “Everyone should learn how to use a computer, especially the poor.” This is how the children of 4th grade elementary in Abou Korkas, Menia governorate feel about their computer classes but hundreds of other children are being deprived of classes because of red tape and computer shortages. ArabDev, APC member in Cairo, sends us this report.
The second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)
the first-ever UN conference on information and communication has started. Delegates are meeting in Hammamet, Tunisia in the first ‘prepcom’ of phase two, and APC is amongst them. As input to the debate of the issues that were most contentious during the first stage of WSIS internet governance, financing for ICT initiatives in developing countries and "e-strategies" APC has commissioned discussion papers written by civil society experts in the areas. You can download the papers from this site.
In the first week of June, Rio de Janeiro saw a major gathering of gender and ICT advocates from all around the world. Over 40 activists, researchers, members of non-profits, donor agencies, and other institutions, many of whom have been working in gender and ICT for more than a decade, arrived in Brazil invited by the APC Women’s Networking Support Programme (APC WNSP) to discuss gender issues in the context of ICT policy processes and practice.
The aim of the Networking for Change and Empowerment Forum was to provide a much-needed space to build on the momentum created during the first phase of the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and prepare a strategic approach and plan for the second phase of WSIS and other ICT policy arena including the Beijing+10 process (the ten year review of the results of the 1995 United Nations conference on women), the World and Regional Social Forums (WSF), the World Trade Organisation and others.
Collected on the CRIS Campaign site, reports in English and Spanish cover the progress of the first ‘prepcom’ from a civil society perspective of the second phase of the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) held June 24-26. There are reports covering each day – from Day 1 to Day 4.
A three-day workshop on information and communication technology (ICT) policy in New Delhi in April brought together thirty participants from Indian non-governmental organisations, academics, government officials, representatives from an internet service provider association. APC was invited to be the principal trainer for the three-day workshop and participants and guests presented their experiences and case studies through the three days.
Finding the "GEM" in the haystack - how the women and men are being affected by Africa's ICT revolution
The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in collaboration with regional network, APC-Africa-Women, and the LINK Center, Wits University, Johannesburg, hosted a pan-African workshop to develop a multi-country action study in Africa to measure how people
especially women are making use of the ICT sector since the popularisation of cell-phones, telecentres and other communications innovations.
Conflicts Arise between the Government and Civil Society Organisations Regarding Proposed Privacy Protection Act
A current government proposal to protect Korean citizens’ personal information assigns the responsibility for ensuring privacy between two government departments – one taking care of information collected by the private sector, and the other, data held by the state. APC member Jinbonet reports that civil society organisations are calling for privacy to be protected by an independent body to deal with both the public and private sectors.
In March 2003 the Southern African NGO Network (SANGONeT) launched Thetha – the SANGONeT ICT Discussion Forum. The forums focus specifically on the ICT challenges facing the CSO sector, highlighting and promoting practical benefits, opportunities and lessons learned to date. Given the success and positive feedback received in response to previous Thetha forums, SANGONeT co-hosted its fourth provincial Thetha in the Northern Cape Province and the fifth forum in the Free State province.
ICT policy work at global level sparks local action and collaboration, as civil society-driven policy websites are set up in ten
Ten APC members have created national ICT policy portal websites in their own countries in a joint initiative. The portals which are all uniquely adapted to address each country’s particular situation all use free software that allows content-sharing in different languages and between multiple information databases hosted in different parts of the world.
Why did ten APC members from around the world decide it was time to set up ICT policy portals in their countries?
10 APC members have created national portal websites tracking communications and information related policy in a joint initiative. The portals have been set up in Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Italy, Mexico, the Philippines, South Africa, Spain, the UK and Uruguay.
APCNews asked some of the site administrators who were still putting last minute touches to their portals which were launched collectively on June 8 2004 to comment briefly on ICT policy in their countries and their hopes for the portals.
Why did ten APC members from around the world decide it was time to set up ICT policy portals in their countries?
Ten APC members have created national portal websites tracking communications and information related policy in a joint initiative. The portals have been set up in Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Italy, Mexico, the Philippines, South Africa, Spain, the UK and Uruguay. APCNews asked some of the site administrators who were still putting last minute touches to their portals which were launched collectively on June 8 2004 to comment briefly on ICT policy in their countries and their hopes for the portals.
Three high school students announced at a press conference that fingerprinting Korean nationals on their seventeenth birthday in order to obtain their national ID cards is unconstitutional. This is the first time teenagers have filed a constitutional petition against the fingerprinting system, says APC member, Jinbonet.
The system which enforces fingerprinting was implemented with the revision of the Resident Registration Act over thirty year ago and civil and social organizations have repeatedly asserted the fingerprinting system exists only in South Korea and should be abolished.
On April 7, 2004, the South Korean police announced the commencement of a project to aid in the search for missing children involving the collection of DNA in a massive database. Samples of the DNA of children presently under government care and the parents of missing children will be collected. Civil organizations have warned the goverment must follow strict protocols to protect the public from possible abuse of such a system, says APC member, JinboNet.
A three-day meeting in Tunis last month sought to prepare the way for the next World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) to be held Nov. 16-18 next year. But interest in this development has built up over the past 30 years.
Conference-goers at a major multistakeholder event dedicated to discussing Kenya’s draft ICT policy were outraged to discover that the most recent government draft was ‘confidential’ and only being circulated to a select few. “Efforts to query the government representatives present did not bear fruit and incredulous delegates were advised to contact the relevant ministry and demand a copy as tax-paying citizens who have the right to access public policy documents,” informs APC’s Africa ICT Policy Monitor. Read the latest edition of Chakula, APC’s African ICT policy newsletter, just out!
In a letter to the Zambian ministry for communications and transport, APC has commended the Zambian government for its efforts in drafting a holistic national ICT policy and for disseminating the draft online to make it possible for the public to submit comments. “We value the broad definition of ICT adopted early in the document,” says APC, but “Some important policy concerns are mentioned as action points for implementation without a clear enough policy position that would give direction during implementation. Some are left out altogether.” Read the full letter as featured in this month’s “Chakula” – APC’s ICT policy newsletter for African civil society.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) – the body that’s responsible for managing the registration and distribution system of domain names (eg. www.apc.org) in the internet – held its first meeting of 2004. More than 600 people from different countries took part in 27 fora. In attendance was Carlos Afonso, planning director of APC’s Brazilian member organisation, RITS. His fascinating report is essential reading for anyone trying to understand internet governance issues and has been translated into English and Spanish by APC.
Foro Mundial sobre Gobernanza de Internet: No hay acuerdo acerca de qué no funciona y qué hay que reparar
Un foro mundial sobre gobernanza de internet, realizado por la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU) en marzo fue la plataforma más abierta e inclusiva que ha habido hasta el momento para tratar temas de gobernanza de internet, pero el tiempo fue demasiado escaso como para desglosar las diversas áreas de política y reglamentaciones que se agrupan bajo el título "gobernanza de internet". Hay una gran inquietud en cuanto a la responsabilidad y legitimidad de las actuales estructuras de gobernanza en internet, pero a la vez, el tono general es, como se dice en ingles, "si no esta del todo roto, para qué repararlo". Sin embargo, no hay acuerdo acerca de qué no anda bien, y por lo tanto, tampoco en cuanto a lo que hay de mejorar.
Global Forum on Internet Governance: Not everyone agrees on what is broken nor on what fixing might involve
A global forum on internet governance organised by the United Nations in March was the most open and inclusive platform for addressing internet governance issues to date but time was too short to disaggregate the various areas of policy and regulation that are loosely grouped under “internet governance”. There are fundamental concerns around the accountability and legitimacy of current internet governance structures, but at the same time the overall tone is “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. But not everyone agrees on what is broken, nor on what fixing might involve.