As far as radio waves go, South Asia could perhaps call itself the dark continent. This part of the planet has an almost-uniformly unenlightened policy when it comes to opening up its airwaves. Voices from Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Nepal….
Remember the old joke that the doctor’s operation was a success, but the patient died? Free/Libre and Open Source Software (or FOSS) is a great idea. But sometimes it just doesn’t work out right. This was the cautionary message emerging from an ‘open space’ at the APC Regional Consultation on ICT Policy in South Asia (April 19-21, 2006, Dhaka).
Should people who illegally copy software onto their computer (probably because it’s so outlandishly priced) be called ‘pirates’? Is it fair to liken people who attack ships at high seas to those who make copies of digital products, though it’s against the law? Or is illegal copying of software "infringement of illegal property and unethical, crimal and
Does civil society understand ICT policies at all? Take your pick….
APC is currently holding an ambitious programme in South Asia, and is drawing a wide range of participation. Here’s looking forward to more activity in the most populous region of the planet. Where ICTs, if effectively used, could make a big difference…
While a lot of the sharing of ideas from across a complex continent still largely depended on on the traditional ten-minute, LCD projector-based presentations there was some space with a difference too. "Open spaces" is a way of volunteered sharing of information and ideas. Whoever feel strongly about a subject, presents it to others who volunteer to tune in.
In the Himalayan country of Nepal, a large section of the population is deprived of the usage of computers because of the language barrier i.e. English which is the communicating language of the computers, One of the institutions there, an archive-and-library there was facing challenges in cataloging its books, and ran into hurdles with ‘sort’ and ‘find and replace’ requirements. It undertook a font stardisation project, whicih grew far beyond expected. An interesting story by Bal Krishna Bal.
Tadahisa Hamada of APC-member JCA-NET tells the story of an internet service provider that evolved from a technical support group for Japanese peace and social change organisations, to an advocacy hub. The non-profit is starting to itensify its fight against new wire-tap laws and electronic communication control by the Japanese state. Interview with a first-mover in the technology-for-social-justice realm in Japan.
In one of the first international labour communication meetings in South Africa, Capetown-based Workers World Media Productions and the International Federation of Workers Education Association (IFWEA) hosted over 50 trade unionists, labour activists and organisers from non-profit organisations between April 4 and 7, 2006. APC member LaborNet – who is getting ready for the major Labortech conference later this year – is in the field and reports for APCNews.
A business report filed in The Daily Star of Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Thursday April 20 reveals that "Top policy makers yesterday termed digital divide dangerous for the country, saying it is creating imbalance in the society." Quoting Bangladesh’s principal secretary of the prime minister it goes on saying: "Digital divide is already existing in Bangladesh and widening very fast. Majority of the people do not have access to computer and education…it is very dangerous." The article has gathered many more voices at the first Asia ICT policy meeting organised by APC in Dhaka.