APCNews – November 13 2008 - Year IX Issue 91

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APCNews - November 13 2008 - Year IX Issue 91

A report announced in the last APCNews questioning the enthusiasm of investors for mobile phones rather than computer-based internet access in rural Africa generated a real buzz. Is the falling-away of interest in telecentres valid? Or are telecentres in remote areas an idea that was before its time?  We won’t be able to find out from the evidence, concludes a new report from the BCO, because compared to other development fields most experience in ICT4D is recent and many initiatives –such as rural telecentres- have been experimental pilots. The BCO alliance, a network of ICT4D funders and NGOs including APC, believes that at this stage of play, impact assessment can’t be about “proving the case” for ICTs but about understanding how they can be most effectively deployed.
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Assessing the impact of information on development: New study from the BCO

LONDON (David Souter for Building Communications Opportunities Alliance) - Almost everyone agrees that information and communication technologies (ICTs) can make a substantial difference to the poor. However, the evidence base is still weak. A new study – carried out by key donor and non-governmental organisation (NGO) actors in the sector – summarised in this briefing looks at the reasons why the evidence base is not as strong as in other development sectors and makes recommendations for firming things up. More >> 

Download the briefing (16 pages): EnglishFrench, or Spanish
Download the full study (195 pages)

Feminist mix with a tech fix: Huge tech exchange in South African begins

MONTEVIDEO (LC for APCNews) - How can feminists use technology to their advantage? On November 10, the first-ever Feminist Tech eXchange (FTX) in Cape Town brought together more than 100 activists from around the globe to address this type of question. Organised by the APC women’s programme in the run up to the massive women’s movement forum AWID, the capacity-building and information-exchange event explored various technologies such as video, audio, social networking platforms and other emerging ICT tools. The event acted as an open space to network, share knowledge, and learn new skills and strategies for how to make technology work best for the women’s movement. More >>

Connecting gender, agriculture and the information society: GenARDIS kick-off workshop

MONTEVIDEO (AL for APCNews) - Seven women and thirteen men from Anglophone and Francophone Africa and the Caribbean met during the last days of September in Gorée Island, Senegal. They have many things in common, but one in particular is their ability to make innovative connections in gender, agriculture and information and communication technologies (ICTs). This ability has led them to be finalists of the Gender, Agricultural and Rural Development in the Information Society (GenARDIS) small grants fund. More >>

Internet is too competitive for women artisans

MONTEVIDEO (AL for APC) - Are there limits to how the internet can be used to improve the lives of women? A study by ArabDev in Egypt concluded that the internet is too competitive a marketplace to be a realistic showcase for women artisans but it can be used to generate new handicraft ideas that can be marketed locally. In the Philippines, WomensHub is using the internet to document and report incidences of violence with the intention of evaluating if the needs of survivors are properly being addressed. 
Putting ICTs to work for women artisans  
Violence against women documentation and reporting system from the Philippines

Accessibility? Training in South Africa and web standards in Croatia

MONTEVIDEO (AL for APC) - APC members have been preaching the importance of bundling capacity building with any technology project for a long time. Last year, Ungana-Afrika demonstrated the value of this approach with their work in rural South Africa with under-resourced paralegal advice offices just getting connected to the internet for the first time. And in Croatia, ZaMirNET has been working with the government to make their websites accessible to all. 
Making e-governments accessible in Croatia  
Connecting South African rural paralegal advice offices

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APCNews is produced by APC - a worldwide network supporting the use of internet and ICTs for social justice and sustainable development since 1990. Sister news services APCNoticias and APCNouvelles offer original coverage in Spanish and French.

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Association for Progressive Communications (APC) 2008

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