ICT for development

Of Hammers and Nails
Of Hammers and Nails 21 April 2006 APC

“When a hammer is all you have, everything begins to look like a nail… "When a hammer is all you have, everything begins to look like a nail…" and when ICT4D focuses too much on technology, ICTs begin to look like they will hit the nails of development issues on their heads. This was the premise of Mridul Chowdhury’s critique of common ICT4D assumptions and strategies. The presentation tackled the assumptions behind the three most common (and heavily funded) ICT4D st...

How could governments get it so wrong?
How could governments get it so wrong? 21 April 2006 APC

"Whatever is the state of localisation in India, the government is definitely responsible for framing the policies. We have dreams of software superpowerdom, yet basic tools are not in place. They have spent crores (tens of millions by Government of India organisations) CDAC and TDIL, and that too all in the name of undertaking work in Indic computing and benefitting the people," says Ravikant of New Delhi, who has been closely keeping track of Free Software localisation efforts in India. Cl...

Back in South Asia... with a bang
Back in South Asia... with a bang 20 April 2006 APC

APC is currently holding an ambitious programme in South Asia, and is drawing a wide range of participation. Here’s looking forward to more activity in the most populous region of the planet. Where ICTs, if effectively used, could make a big difference… APC seemed a fascinating idea when one first heard of it… maybe in the ‘eighties… from afar. In 1995, when email ...

Getting to Dhaka
Getting to Dhaka 18 April 2006 APC

India is also getting networked as never before. But that seems to be mainly for the middle classes. Some musings en route to Dhaka for the APC Asia ICT Policy Meet, to be held in mid-April 2006 at the Bangladeshi capital. It was very much of a touch-and-go kind of event. But late last night, the visa to Dhaka finally arrived in my hands, and I was largely to blame for the delays and misunderst...

New report from Sweden
New report from Sweden 10 April 2006 APC

A report from the workshop “Post-WSIS and Uganda’s Way Forward” (arranged by the Collegium for Development Studies at Uppsala University Sweden, I-Network Uganda, Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET), with support from the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) and Ministry of Works, Housing and Communications, Uganda) is now available as a pdf, 441kb. http://www.kus.uu.se/pdf/publications...

Internet infrastructure: APCNews meets ‘open access’ advocates in the EASSy run up
Internet infrastructure: APCNews meets ‘open access’ advocates in the EASSy run up 06 April 2006 FD, with files from FN

Since 9 March 2006, an informal African ‘open access task force’ – made up of NGOs and small and medium sized ISPs – was initiated to lobby for the implementation of an open access model in internet infrastructure. The task force is currently mobilised to make the East African Submarine Cable System (EASSy) ‘easy’, affordable and open. APCNews staff writer Frederick Noronha has ga...

A computer for Africa, will it work?
A computer for Africa, will it work? 24 March 2006 FN

APCNews interviewed Ochuko Onoberhie (34) in the Southern Kaduna state of Nigeria. The young man who studied engineering at the University of Benin is from the Fantsuam Foundation [1], an APC affiliated non-profit founded in 1996 in the city of Jos, Nigeria. From the outset, it was known that his group planed the development of a unique computer that could fight the heat, dust and take on the ...

aAqua, taking a harvest of IT solutions to the Indian farmer
aAqua, taking a harvest of IT solutions to the Indian farmer 24 March 2006 FN

Link some down-to-earth agricultural experts, add an interactive website, allow them to cut across the language divide. Mix all this together, and it serves as potent manure that promises the Indian farmer a rich yield of useful knowledge. Work by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-Bombay), a prestigious educational institution, and its many partners, has allowed IT-savvy knowledge-hungr...

Costly blindspot... FLOSS and ICT4D
Costly blindspot... FLOSS and ICT4D 22 March 2006 APC

In a vast country the size of India, the left hand doesn’t quite know what the right hand is doing in the ICT4D fi. Also, very little of India’s vast Free Software potential has actually been channelised into this field. Musings from Baramati… home to a recent, ambitious e-agriculture conference. In the second week of March it was Baramati. This dusty, small town is located ne...

Visiting cards in my pocket...
Visiting cards in my pocket... 22 March 2006 APC

Because of the unseasonal rains (which lashed central India after midnight, accompanied by lightning and power failures) most of the participants at Baramati VI [1] arrived late at the venue. At the dinner table, at starting time, there were just three other participants who had flown in from abroad, via Mumbai. Because of the unseasonal rains (which lashed central India after midnight, accomp...

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