E stands for environment: ICT tools to empower activists struggling to protect environment around the world
A working group of APC members aims to bring environment higher on the ICT policy priorities of global civil society. Information and communication technologies are a powerful tool for civil society protecting environment. But more is needed to streamline ICT work of different groups and communities, and offer them access to the ICTs they need to secure environmental sustainability, a BlueLink/APC survey shows.
Supposedly the birthday should be a bright day, with pleasant weather, gifts, lots of flowers, hundreds of birthday wishes via SMS and emails, sumptuous ice cream cake, dinner party with friends etc. However, this wasn’t the case on my birthday this year.
Says Amnesty International: "Independent journalist Guillermo Fariñas has been staging a hunger strike since 31 January 2006 to obtain access to internet for all Cubans. Internet remains under governmental control, accessible only through official organizations or at hotels from where Cuban nationals are normally barred".
GRACE is a group of 14 research teams working in 12 African countries focusing on Gender Research in Africa into ICT’s for Empowerment, supported by a research grant from the International Development Research Centre of Canada. This research project was completed in be completed in 2008. Read the full update.
Latin America is undergoing a historic process of regional integration. In the meantime, what is going on with civil society? The joint working experiences between social movements from different Latin American countries are rich and have a long common history. The synergy is far from running dry: regional integration initiatives are on the rise and being consolidated. Rits.lac, a new project from Brazilian APC member, RITS, is following this exact tendency.
Performing research can be challenging, especially when researchers turn to their own communities. In the GRACE project, researchers will meet to share their findings and develop their writing skills in early June in Durban, South Africa. Organised in fourteen different teams, the researchers live and work in twelve African countries and all are tackling a fundamental question: How do women in Africa use information and communication technologies (ICTs) for empowerment?
The initiatives that have been adopted to improve e-government in Latin America primarily focus on improving online services and state administration. Citizens, however, remain unable to participate in the decision-making process because this dimension, which is at least as important if not more then the previous one, has been left aside.
As a starting point for reflecting on the issue, APC’s Valeria Betancourt affirms that ICT and e-government initiatives do not generate greater participation in and of themselves. If participation mechanisms are not developed, there is not a single technological advance that will be able to make up for the lack of political will to promote human and social development.
Some of Drupal’s features include multi-user editing, an advocacy component, flexibility and configurability, multi-lingual support, a strong and dedicated developer community, as well as a vibrant community of users.
Check this out! It’s a letter to the editors of the New York Review of Books, sent by Ahdaf Soueif, the aunt of incarcerated Alaa Abd El-Fatah.
She says: "During the last month Egyptian state security forces have arrested close to eight hundred citizens for (peacefully) demonstrating solidarity with Egyptian judges demanding the independence of the judiciary (see www .baheyya.blogspot.com). […] Among the young activists still in custody in Tora jail is my nephew, Alaa Abd El-Fatah. Because he is a prominent computer man and blogger he has become the centerpiece of the campaign to free all the detainees."
APC keeps growing. A new Latin American member, FUNREDES, has joined the network of groups that believe in the potential of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for social justice and sustainable development, in May 2006. The ‘Networks and Development Foundation’ FUNREDES is based in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and is dedicated to the “fair and just dissemination of ICTs through distance computer networks, electronic libraries and multimedia projects”.