ICT for development
Tracey Naughton started off the session on community media at the Highway Africa conference with an old recording of the African National Congress’s underground radio station. As the speakers crackled with an Mkhonto weSizwe song, delegates sat in silence.
APC’s member in Nigeria, Fantsuam Foundation, has launched a vulnerable children’s service as part of its rural HIV/AIDS programme. This innovative project is meant to tackle prevention gaps head-on, with the help of multimedia.
If copyright doesn’t work in the less affluent world, try copyleft. This is no joke, and a wide network of corporates, campaigners and senior officials are to meet this month-end in the national capital to look at new paradigms of creating and sharing knowledge. Titled "Owning the Future: Ideas and their role in the digital age", this symposium in India is being jointly organized by prestigious institution of higher education IIT (Indian Institute of Techonology) Delhi and open source software corporation Red Hat, on August 24-25, 2006.
Dafne Plou, from APC Women’s Networking Support Programme, is blogging live from WALC 2006. WALC 2006 is a yearly workshop organised by APC member EsLaRed, that focuses on networking in Latin America and the Caribbean. After the technical sessions of the workshop which took place the 24th-29th of July in Quito, Ecuador, APC organised a Forum on Internet and Society. In this post, Dafne shares her impressions on the panel on e-government and citizen participation: “Convincing citizens of the efficiency of e-government is not easy,” she begins in her the blog.
With the objective of producing and disseminating relevant content on the Latin American reality from civil society’s perspective, Rits, in partnership with another eight South American organisations, launched the Social Mosaic information portal on July 5.
In a remote part of India, techies from across the globe plan to link up and share ideas to build solutions that could make a big difference to how the non-urban millions communicate.Wireless mesh networking is mesh networking implemented over a Wireless LAN. This type of Internet infrastructure is decentralized, relatively inexpensive, and very reliable and resilient, as each node need only transmit as far as the next node.
What kinds of phone connections do the poor use? How much do they spend on telecom services? Are they willing to spend more? How do they choose their phone connection? What do they use phones for? And, what difficulties do they face while doing so? Many questions here… but the hints of possible answers come up in a South Asian study that looks at telecom users in India and Sri Lanka who have monthly incomes of less than USD$ 100.
“The word wiki is a shorter form of wiki wiki (weekie, weekie) which is from native Hawaiian, in which it is commonly used as an adjective to denote something ‘quick’ or ‘fast’,” says Wikipedia, the world’s most important collaborative online encyclopaedia. Fast and quick, they are. But did you know they were free and open? While shedding light on the larger context of free and open source software (FOSS) developed tools, this second article on wikis looks at the concrete experience APC’s Strategic Uses and Capacity Building (SU&CB) programme made with wikis. It delves into the MediaWiki and the TikiWiki.
South Asia-based BytesForAll‘s newest member, Nalaka Gunawardene of Sri Lanka, who is a veteran journalist and observer of the “ICT4D” (information and communication technologies for development) field, was there at the launch of the Global Alliance for ICT and Development (UN-GAID) in mid June 2006 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He wonders whether the newly-formed UN-GAID will manage to connect disparate initiatives, enhancing or multiplying their impact? Or might it evolve into another self-serving bureaucracy, competing with everyone else for limited resources, media attention and people’s time?
APC staff started playing with wikis internally four years ago, and started using this online tool seriously about a year later. Collaborative work can normally be documented with the help of a drawing board or some tape recorder in the corner of a room. At the Association for Progressive Communications, people’s collective space is not a room. Instead they work from home, some in small offices, others in affiliated organisations, all over the world. But what is a wiki anyway? How does it differ from other online tools APC uses? How can it support the way we work at APC? This first out of two pieces looks at these questions by rooting the answers in APC’s global working dynamics.