ICT for development
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.
Here are my predictions about the Future of the Internet in Pakistan in particular. What you thing about this in your part of the world.
The Information Management Resource Kit (IMARK) steering group announces the release of its newest e-learning module ‘Building Electronic Communities and Networks’. The module is designed to help users develop the strategic, interpersonal and technical skills required to establish and sustain electronic communities. It provides an overview of the benefits and opportunities offered by online communities for facilitating knowledge and information exchange.
So near, yet so far. Bangladesh is keenly looking forward to having an easier, more affordable and smoother ride into cyberspace, as APCNews staff writer Frederick Noronha finds out. In the eighth most populous country in the world (population 144 million), voices from civil society, the media and industry are increasingly surfacing, as this piece – filed from Dhaka in late April – demonstrates.
A brief report on the workshop I just attended in Switzerland, St. Gallen
Where the Government in Pakistan, Intellectual Property Organization, Federal Investigation Authorities and the Business Software Alliance BSA are initiating a crackdown on Software Piracy in Pakistan, there is hardly any awareness of piracy and its implications within society apart from members of the IT Industry. It is crucial to the basic Human Rights of the citizens of Pakistan that they first be provided Anti-Software Piracy Literacy and trainings on Free and Open Source Software as an alternative to pirated software. ICT Software Freedom is their basic human right in the Information Society!
Here’s an early initiative to flow out of the APC South Asia Consultation: BytesForAll has just launched a new mailing list, specifically focused on Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS, or FOSS). Details of the group are below. We invite all interested to join.