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.
From April 24 to 27, the Datamation Foundation and the APC WNSP are organising a gender-evaluation methodology (GEM) training. APCNews has met Cheekay Cinco, one of the co-organisers, in Dhaka. "At the end of using GEM, one of the main outputs is an evaluation plan that incorporates gender. So, it’s not just about answering questions, but about identifying different stages in an evaluation, and where you can involve gender in those stages." Read the full interview on the APC women’s programme website.
Community television bridges difference, taking grassroots stories and issues to a wide audience and ensuring that our diverse communities are visible and accessible.
Digital free-to-air television will do more. It will deliver niche programming, educational resources, local information and access to cultural heritage. For these services to emerge, a full digital channel must be made available for community use.
As my preparations are underway for reaching Dhaka for the APC ICT Policy Meeting, alot of FOSS activity is going around within Pakistan as well as around the globe. Its a very busy year for all of us FOSS Advocates, Journalists and Researchers. Its good to see APC’s involvement in the South Asian region and it would be great to contribute and co-ordinate APC activities in the region.