ICT for development
Dominican Republic guarantees women's equality in technology initiatives and policies across the country
The Dominican Republic is the first Latin American country to act on their commitments to involve women in the information society nationwide. This Caribbean island nation of ten million has promised to include a “gender perspective” in every information and communications technology initiative and policy developed by the government from now on. “This is great news for women’s equality in the Dominican Republic,” said APC’s Dafne Plou who trained government officials in November. “And it’s potentially a breakthrough for millions of other women in Latin America because the Dominican Republic is leading Latin American governments’ thinking around gender and technology as part of the regional eLAC2010 plan”. The tool the Dominicans have chosen to design and evaluate all the public policies is the APC gender evaluation methodology (GEM).
The Holy Family Communique from African Electronic Communicators came out of an APC Africa meeting held in early February 1997. A full report of the meeting is available on the IDRC website.
A new report that reveals how vulnerable the internet as we know it is, has just been published by two global civil society organisations. The annual report, called Global Information Society Watch (GISWatch), was released today by APC and Dutch funder Hivos. GISWatch 2009 is entitled “Access to online information and knowledge – advancing human rights and democracy”.
ICT Based Education: Creating Workforce for Building Digital Bangladesh
Syed Tamjid ur Rahman
Chief Executive Office
ChangeMaker: Society for Social and Economic Development
ICTs for democracy: Information and Communication Technologies for the Enhancement of Democracy - with a Focus on Empowerment
The democratisation process is often uneven and rocky as the power dynamic shifts between governments and their respective constituencies. In practically all cases, however, governments hostile to citizens’ civil and political rights have both the resources and the power to withhold these rights. It is therefore imperative that support be channeled to governments to deepen their awareness of citizens’ rights and the processes needed to ensure they have access to these rights. Equally important is support to civil society groups so that they can demand their civil and political as well as economic, social and cultural rights from their governments. There is ample evidence of the importance of “demand side” approaches for ensuring the longevity of a human rights culture. In the cases of young and emerging democracies, it is essential that institutions, processes and mechanisms be installed to support and underscore national efforts to strengthen democracies. This study by the APC and the Swedish International Development agency explores the potential information and communication technologies (ICTs) have for advancing democracy and empowerment, with a special focus on Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
1. Uganda: Milking a cow you don’t feed
2. Tanzania: A ‘pushy’ policy on broadband falls short
3. Rwanda: Upbeat, but policy gaps still niggle…
4. Kenya: Killing two birds with one stone
“With GEM I began to appreciate why sometimes the women that are part of our community resist the empowerment process. I used to be annoyed but now I understand that this is the product of years of conditioning and it will take some effort to reverse the trend. GEM helps you see the situation for what it is, so you can optimise your resources where you can make the maximum impact in creating change,” John Dada has been a GEM user since 2007 in rural Nigeria. GEM is an evaluation tool for determining whether ICTs are really improving or worsening women’s lives and for promoting positive change. GEM has been developed from the ground up, and has involved the collaboration of hundreds of community-based organisations and individuals since its first design in 2002.
In a new publication “Change at hand: Web 2.0 for development”, APC’s Anriette Esterhuysen explores the circular relationship between information and communication technologies for development and Web 2.0 for development, and the assumptions about the “quick fix” that ICTs were expected to provide.
Thetha – a Nguni word for debate – bring together a wide range of national, regional and international stakeholders on the expected ICT challenges and opportunities that the Southern African region will face in the next ten years are being organised by APC member SANGONeT. Pre-Thetha reports on Zimbabwe and Mozambique make useful contextual reading. Find out more about Thetha.