By APCNews MONTEVIDEO, 26 July 2010
StrawberryNet wrote the Romanian report for APC’s Global Information Society Watch 2009, which focused on advancing democracy through access to online information. There they analysed how the country responded to its incorporation to the European Union and gave an overview of ICT policy. They pointed out that access to online information followed a top-down dissemination model, and that few grassroots ICT initiatives have attracted public attention and support. The report recommended that bottom-up initiatives be encouraged through funding, and skills transfer and networking supported in order to enable citizen participation in shaping and developing local content.
“We are now advocating for open e-government,” said Rozi Bako of StrawberryNet. The report concluded that technologies are far more advanced than information dissemination practices in the country, and that in order to develop a transparent, participatory society, government initiatives and a business community drive have to be backed up by increased civic involvement of opinion leaders, action groups and civil society organisations. As a result of the report, StrawberryNet has been invited to become a partner to the European Dialogue on Internet Governance.
In addition, StrawberryNet carried out research on ICT policy and environment – their traditional area of focus – taking the issues to events such as eLiberatica, the largest independent free and open source software conference in Romania.
The Romanian report was one of 48 country reports on the state of access to online information and knowledge to advance human rights and democracy in the Global Information Society Watch 2009 report published by APC and Hivos. The report unpacks the key issues impacting on access to online information and knowledge, including discussions on intellectual property rights, knowledge rights, open standards and access to educational materials and libraries. For the first time there is an innovate section that visually maps global rights as seen through the lens of Google searches, as well as a visual analysis of Twitter messages sent out during the recent Iranian political crisis.
Photo: Greendex – Activists advocate for “the real deal” in climate change policy during the 2009 UN Copenhagen conference using a site developed by StrawberryNet.