By APCNews NEW DELHI, India, 29 June 2004
A three-day workshop on information and communication technology (ICT) policy in New Delhi in April brought together thirty participants from Indian non-governmental organisations, academics, government officials, representatives from an internet service provider association. APC was invited to be the principal trainer for the three-day workshop and participants and guests presented their experiences and case studies through the three days.
The workshop was coordinated by the India Chapter of Global Internet Policy Initiative (GIPI) with support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC, Canada) and Indev (British Council) and was the first of its kind in India. “Everyone was interested and eager to learn, share and most importantly, ready to engage in ICT policy,” lead trainer, Sonia Jorge of APC told APCNews. At the end of the workshop, participants discussed the creation of a new network of Indian activists to be involved in ICT policy processes and their plans to use their newly established national ICT policy website for future work and advocacy.
On the recommendation of APC, exercises and discussions were planned so that participants went through each step in the policy process in order to end the workshop with a draft version of a universal access policy to promote telecentres in India. ”The workshop was very interactive with lots of exercises and discussions and there was a lot of networking going on,” said Sonia. As a gender and ICT expert, she remarked that the level of gender-sensitivity of the participants was notable. “It was the most gender-aware and sensitive workshop I ever participated in – besides workshops that specifically focus on including women in ICT initiatives,” she said. “This was not because of the number of women present
which was fairly reduced but because of the experiences shared, the knowledge of the participants and the awareness by NGOs in India about the need to focus on women.”