Like six blind men trying to understand what an elephant is all about, comprehending the Global Alliance for ICT and Development is still a challenge for most. But is it impatience, or is the GAID slow in taking off?
LaNeta is one of APC’s members that is firmly investing in providing information and communication technology training. One of its most recent successful experiences had women as the protagonists. LaNeta is providing a response to the “need for common spaces for women to participate, reflect, and raise awareness on ICT and gender issues,” as Olinca Marino, general coordinator of the Mexican organisation stated to APCNews.
A strawberry field is basically kind of a horizontally connected strawberry network,” says Mihály Bakó, when trying to explain how his environmental non-governmental organisation came up with its name: Strawberrynet. APCNews met with APC’s Transylvanian member in Sfantu Gheorghe, Romania, in early September 2006. Read the details about ICT policy, Romanian style.
When Strawberrynet started up in 1994, there were virtually no internet service providers in Romania. Since then, connectivity improved dramatically and big players started offering a full range of internet services. Strawberrynet concentrated on the non-governmental organisation (NGO) niche, providing solutions so that they could communicate effectively and with the lowest costs possible.
Jimmy "Jimbo" Wales, the founder of the impressive Web-based free-content multilingual encyclopedia Wikipedia project sees a growing role for Asian initiatives on this volunteer-edited product, that is now rated among the top 20 websites globally. Currently, Japanese is the only non-European language among the ‘big ten’ of the Wikipedia. But Farsi, Arabic, Korean, Thai, Chinese, Bahasa Indonesia, are among those with 10,000+ articles. In the 1000+ articles category are Urdu, Bangla, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu among others.
India is making noticeable progress in the field of ‘Open Access’, a growing global trend which could help it get out of the trap which blocks researchers from here reading what other Indians have published.Yet, a lot more still remains to be done, say experts working in the area. "Nearly a hundred journals have already taken the Open Access route," says Chennai (South India)-based Subbiah Arunachalam, an information scientist once called India’s and the developing world’s "great advocate for open access".
Community Education Computer Society has been working on a project for an ICT training course for ‘computer literate’ high-school mathematics teachers, in Gauteng, South Africa. APC member CECS is itself an ICT training organisation, established in 1985. A pilot workshop took place on May 13, 2006. "I learned about techniques in drawing question papers, techniques I never knew existed," said one participant teacher.
Unlike its parent-organisation, the New Delhi-based Sarai.net is young, full of ideas and peppy. Not that the institution it grew out of is not full of ideas; but it has an old-world air about it, while Sarai fits in with the trendy, cyber-generation in an unusual way. APCNews met with Ravikant from Sarai.net to discuss localisation issues.
An article on EASSy just came out on the Daily Nation online on August 31, signed James Mugendi. Here is the link:
Nodo TAU, APC’s member in Rosario, Argentina, adapts and applies Paolo Freire’s model of popular education to the work it does providing training for new information and communication technologies. The blackboard and chalk made room for a monitor and a mouse, but the underlying principle is the same: learners are their own vehicles for change.