Access to information

Progressive techies declare their rights - and responsibilities

MONTEVIDEO 2 August 2010 (Kah for APCNews)

At the United States Social Forum on June 24 fifty politically progressive technologists came together for the first US Progressive Techie Congress. The Congress emerged with a statement applauded by other socially-responsible networks like the APC as “a great set of principles”.

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Mobiles and internet improve the livelihoods of the poorest

MONTEVIDEO 23 July 2010 (GISW)

Fishermen from coastal villages in southern India can now access information on weather conditions and the market in their own language via mobile phone. This has not only improved the standard of living for their entire communities, but it has also saved the lives of a number of fishermen who would have died at sea. This article from Global Information Society Watch 2009 – Advancing human rights and democracy looks at concrete examples of how access to information through mobile phones and technology is adding to the wallets of the poor. Photo: “Carl Parkes”:

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Anonymous source denounces “Shameful Saga of the Internet Ban in Pakistan”

MONTEVIDEO 23 July 2010 (Kah for APCNews)

In a strongly worded blog post on, an anonymous blogger from Pakistan has named and shamed political actors and the courts as responsible for the recent “Facebook ban” which blocked over 10,000 websites in Pakistan. “We knew that it’s not blasphemous content which is depriving citizens from using the internet. We wanted to dig deeper to uncover the political motives of politicians that are taking a whole nation hostage for their own vested interests,” says the text. Essential reading for anyone following internet rights in South Asia.

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Visualising information: Are my rights the same as your rights?

MONTEVIDEO 12 July 2010 (Digital Methods Initiative for GISWatch)

In a unique study, researchers from the Netherlands asked, if you type the word “rights” into, do you see the same types of rights in the top ten search results as if you type “derechos” (rights in Spanish) into the Argentinian Google? The answer is no. The search results showed that the “rights of the over-indebted” is unique to Ivory Coast as was the “right to education in a native sign language” to Finland. The results –which have been turned into a unique rights-map— together with an analysis of tweets during the 2009 Iranian election crisis are published in Global Information Society Watch 2009 which highlights the use of online information for advancing democracy and human rights.

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Revolutionary blogfarm for Hungarian activists

BUDAPEST 12 July 2010 (Green Spider for APCNews)

APC member in Budapest, Green Spider, is challenging Facebook and YouTube by offering a home-grown Web 2.0 suite for Hungarian activists. “In the face of the overwhelming monoculture of corporate social networking tools, the service has taken off amongst grassroots activists, community organisers and charities in the Hungarian social and environmental movement,” says Green Spider.

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Training Workshop for Community Radio Station Mangers and Initiators: “Community Radio Installation, Broadcast and Operation”


Training Workshop for Community Radio Station Mangers and Initiators: “Community Radio Installation, Broadcast and Operation”
Date: 19-21 June 2010, Venue: Meeting IDB Bhaban, Dhaka

Organized by : Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC)
Supported by : Canadian International Development Agency

In this three day long training workshop different issues related

CHAKULA Issue #19: Innovating access – a special focus on CPRafrica


1. The need for competitive research for policy influence – e- interview with Alison Gillwald

2. Balancing convergence: using Constitutional rights as a framework for policy decisions – e-interview with Indra de Lanerolle

3. Levelling the playing field through benchmarking – e-interview with Christoph Stork


Knowledge Sharing for Development: Online networks and the dual dynamics of inclusion and exclusion

Charlotte Scarf, RMIT University,
Knowledge Sharing for Development: Online networks and the dual dynamics of inclusion and exclusion
05 July 2010

This dissertation explores the extent to which donor-funded online networks support greater inclusion and fuller participation by Southern stakeholders in aspects of the development project over which they previously had limited influence or control. The potential of new information and communication technologies (ICT) to facilitate a more inclusive model of support for international development is well recognised in the literature. However, many critics argue that most online networks that have been established by donor agencies or rely on their patronage, exclude local knowledge, experience, and ideas from the South. This research contributes practical insight to this debate through an empirical investigation of online networks that support knowledge sharing between individuals and organisations at three different stages of the ‘aid delivery chain’.
The research centres around three case studies of online networks hosted by three very different organisations. They are the United Nations Development Programme, a multilateral donor agency that has embraced online networking to enable frontline development workers to help shape its aid programs as an integral part of its core knowledge management strategy; the Association for Progressive Communications, an international network of predominantly Southern civil society organisations that hasembraced online networking as a means to influence public policy in the ICT arena; and the Open Knowledge Network, an ICT for development project that was operational from 2003-2007.

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