How do we ensure access to the internet is a human right enjoyed by everyone?
This is one of the critical questions asked by an annual publication that highlights the importance of people’s access to information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure – as well as where and how countries are getting it right or wrong, and what can be done about it.
Global Information Society Watch 2008, published in print and online by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), the Third World Institute (ITeM), and Dutch development organisation Hivos, collects the perspectives of ICT academics, analysts, activists and civil society organisations from across the globe in over 50 reports.
“[Access to infrastructure] is beginning to be considered of less importance by some development funders and practitioners, including civil society and communication and information activists,” argue the publishers in the book preface.
“One of the consequences of this is the development of a conventional wisdom that leaves the domain of infrastructure development to the market; to operators and investors that do not always see the broader social value of communications in society, to governments that lack capacity and often clear strategy, and to international institutions that tend to approach it in a limited and ‘technocratic’ way.”
GISWatch 2008 is also available in French.