India is also getting networked as never before. But that seems to be mainly for the middle classes. Some musings en route to Dhaka for the APC Asia ICT Policy Meet, to be held in mid-April 2006 at the Bangladeshi capital.
A quite strong analysis by Taimur Rahman to be found here takes on international non governmental organisations (NGOs) head on. He digs into the concept of 'civil society', a concept often employed by the NGO comunity. He also challenges the notion of social change used rhetorically by NGOs, often, he believes, without truly acting as forces of social change.
Women from the Center for New Words this weekend have said that's what they are all about: finding new solutions for old problems, making women's words matter, wedging open spaces for women's voices to be heard. The CNW launched WAM!, Women, Action and Media three years ago as part of this effort. Audio streams of the WAM!2006 keynote speakers can soon be heard at the CNW site and are well worth listening to, if you have the bandwidth. Though all three journalists are rooted in the (diverse) reality of US media, for me their comments served as an illustration of WHY the APC Source: APC WNSP website">Women's Networking Support Programme(and so many other gender media and Source: APC">ICT advocates) insists on governments respecting Section J of the Beijing Platform of Action and not leaving media and ICTs in the hands of a small group of powerful white men.
"There is great potential for using free software in women’s organisations,” said an enthusiastic Lenka Simerska insisting that this potential “is driven by needs and growing interest in training and networking.” Simerska – one of three trainers in the Women’s Information Technology Transfer (WITT) team – commented at the end of a three-day ‘IT for women’ workshop taking place in Prague, Czech Republic on February 23 – 25 2006.
Since 9 March 2006, an informal African ‘open access task force’ – made up of NGOs and small and medium sized ISPs – was initiated to lobby for the implementation of an open access model in internet infrastructure. The task force is currently mobilised to make the East African Submarine Cable System (EASSy) ‘easy’, affordable and open. APCNews staff writer Frederick Noronha has gathered statements from two civil society stakeholders in what is to become a determining project for Africans’ equitable access to the web.
Indigenous women want to be the protagonists of the ICT appropriation process that they are experiencing. They are looking for ways to participate in the decisions that affect them. The only not to be excluded and sidelined to the margins is to plunge head on into the debate. The debate was moderated by Nidia Bustillos from Bolivia, a member of APC’s Women’s Networking Support Programme in Latin American (WNSP).
The Forum brought together ordinary citizens to listen to speakers and issues that are the traditional domain of the five star hotels of elite cities. The remarkably tolerant and tangible nature of debate could have been a great learning opportunity for our noisy and irrelevant politicians.
A bunch of us WAM-ers learned how to create a 5 minute radio news piece in just 50 minutes this morning! Sonali Kolhhatkar, host and producer of Uprising, whisked us through the anatomy of a radio news feature and how you put one together.