Amplify the voices of vulnerable and marginalized groups through Community Radio in Bangladesh

Title: Amplify the voices of vulnerable and marginalized groups through Community Radio in Bangladesh
Source: Blog of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC)
Date (published): 28/11/2011
Date (accessed): 15/12/2011
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"Rural people of Bangladesh entered into an era of community broadcasting to amplify the voices of vulnerable and marginalized groups through 14 community radio stations around the country. Community Radio provides the local community access to information and through exchange of information, leads them towards empowerment. Empowerment is the process to link them to their rights, good governance and development process.

Community Radio stations are going to full transmission in Bangladesh.14 stations are pioneering to be on-air, aiming to ensure empowerment and right to information for the rural community. Community Radio Padma 89.20, Rajshahi district and Community Radio Nalta 89.20 of Satkhira district has started full transmission.

It can be mentioned that these Radio Stations will broadcast programs, mostly in local dialect within the people living around 17 kilometers of a Station. The Programs will cover social, economic, cultural and environmental issues.
...
Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) is promoting the advocacy with the government in relations to community radio with other organizations since its emergence in 2000 to open-up the Community Radio in Bangladesh to address critical social issues at community level, such as poverty, social exclusion, empowerment of marginalized rural groups and catalyze democratic process in decision making and ongoing development efforts.

As a result, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh acknowledged the importance of community radio and announced the Community Radio Installation, Broadcast & Operation Policy. Bangladesh is the 2nd country in South Asia in formulating policy for Community Radio."

Crisis Mapping and Cybersecurity – Part II: Risk Assessment

Title: Crisis Mapping and Cybersecurity – Part II: Risk Assessment
Author: Anahi Ayala Iacucci
Source: Diary of a Crisis Mapper blog
Date (published): 14/12/2011
Date (accessed): 15/12/2011
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"I have a background in human rights and humanitarian affairs, and in those fields you do something that I realized was not that common in the ICT world – or maybe it is just under reported – that is called risk assessment. How does a risk assessment look like?

There are several components to the matrix: there is the risk, the source (sometimes), the likelihood, the mitigation tool/measure and (sometimes) the independent variables. I truly believe that this matrix can help in understanding what are the things that we should focus our attention on and what are the things that we cannot change or we should just ignore. The very key factor in the use of this matrix though does not lie in the matrix, but in whom is filling it.

See also:Crisis Mapping and Cybersecurity – Part I: Key points"

The Role of Crowdsourcing for Better Governance in Fragile State Contexts

Title: The Role of Crowdsourcing for Better Governance in Fragile State Contexts
Authors: Maja Bott, Björn-Sören Gigler and Gregor Young
Pages: 45 pp.
Source: Open Development Technology Alliance
Publisher: The World Bank
Date (published): 13/12/2011
Date (accessed): 15/12/2011
Type of information: draft
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
"Presently ubiquitous, the term ‘crowdsourcing’ was first coined by Jeff Howe in a 2006 issue of Wired magazine. In reference to the global technology industry, Howe defined crowdsourcing as “the act of taking a job traditionally performed by a designated agent (usually an employee) and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call.” He states; “Technological advances in everything from product design software to digital video cameras are breaking down the cost barriers that once separated amateurs from professionals. Hobbyists, part-timers, and dabblers suddenly have a market for their efforts, as smart companies in industries as disparate as pharmaceuticals and television discover ways to tap the latent talent of the crowd. The labor isn’t always free, but it costs a lot less than paying traditional employees. It’s not outsourcing; it’s crowdsourcing.” Reliant on actionable information provided by the appropriate ‘crowd,’ which itself is indentified through a self-selecting mechanism; crowdsourcing is a collaborative exercise which enables a community to form and to produce something together. Expanding the concept to include not only data collection or product design, but cultivation of public consensus to address governance issues, strengthen communities, empower marginalized groups, and foster civic participation, is at the heart of the new crowdsourcing movement.

This paper, produced for the World Bank Group, is meant to serve as a primer on crowdsourcing as an informational resource for development, crisis response, and post-conflict recovery, with a specific focus on governance in fragile states. Inherent in the theoretical approach is that broader, unencumbered participation in governance is an objectively positive and democratic aim, and that governments’ accountability to its citizens can be increased and poor-performance corrected, through openness and empowerment of citizens. Whether for tracking flows of aid, reporting on poor government performance, or helping to organize grassroots movements, crowdsourcing has potential to change the reality of civic participation in many developing countries. The objective of this paper is to outline the theoretical justifications, key features and governance structures of crowdsourcing systems, and examine several cases in which crowdsourcing has been applied to complex issues in the developing world."

Technologies for Transparency and Accountability: Implications for ICT Policy and Recommendations

Title: Technologies for Transparency and Accountability: Implications for ICT Policy and Recommendations
Authors: Renee Kuriyan, Savita Bailur, Björn-Sören Gigler and Kyung Ryul Park
Pages: 64 pp.
Source: Open Development Technology Alliance
Publisher: The World Bank
Date (published): 13/12/2011
Date (accessed): 15/12/2011
Type of information: draft
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
"In wake of the events of Arab Spring and increasingly over the last decade, there has been attention and expectations on the role that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) based technology platforms such as websites and wikis, social media, interactive geo‐mapping, and SMS and voice based reporting can play in increasing accountability, participation and transparency in public administration (R. Avila et al., 2010; Davis, 2004; Pina, Torres, & Royo, 2009). Public bureaucracies are under pressure to adapt and more openly improve the ways they interact with citizens through the adoption of web‐based technologies (Ibid.). Factors such as the gap between public expectation and perceived governmental performance, the role of mass media, political scandals, lack of transparency, and corruption contributed to a decline of public trust in government in the last two decades (Nye, 1997; Sirker & Cosi, 2007).

The field of technology for transparency, accountability and participation is an increasingly dynamic space for innovation. Whether it is using the power of crowds to monitor elections, or educating citizens about how the government spends money on public service, or monitoring local and national government budgets, ICTs are tools that have been used to shift how accountability and transparency are incorporated into public service delivery.

ICTs, particularly online and mobile technology tools, are changing the transparency and accountability field. Many of the initiatives including complaints mechanisms, public information/transparency campaigns, and public expenditure monitoring, are based on ICT platforms (R Avila, Feigenblatt, & Heacock, 2009). A number of websites function as portals where citizens can list their complaints related to their government’s performance and administration. As a result, citizens may have better access to information through technologies and can find new ways to participate (R Avila, et al., 2009). Citizen journalism and the concept of digital democracy are rapidly emerging and citizens are demanding their rights in public online forums. There are also initiatives that aim for transparency by publishing more information about the private sector that are in the public’s interest.

This report focuses on analyzing the conditions under which new technologies can enhance delivery of public services to the poor through improved accountability and transparency. It examines the linkages between the use of innovations in technology, increased accountability and the effects on the delivery of public services to poor communities. Specifically, the paper investigates the role that the combination of social media, geo‐mapping and various technology platforms can play in this process."

‘Informational Capabilities’- The Missing Link for the Impact of ICT on development

Title: ‘Informational Capabilities’- The Missing Link for the Impact of ICT on development
Author: Björn-Sören Gigler
Pages: 16 pp.
Source: Open Development Technology Alliance
Publisher: The World Bank
Date (published): 13/12/2011
Date (accessed): 15/12/2011
Type of information: report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
"Under what conditions can information and communications technologies (ICTs) enhance the well-being of poor communities? The paper designs an alternative evaluation framework (AEF) that applies Sen’s capability approach to the study of ICTs in order to place people’s well-being, rather than technology at the center of the study. The AEF develops an impact chain that examines the mechanisms by which access to, and meaningful use of, ICTs can enhance peoples “informational capabilities” and can lead to improvements in people’s human and social capabilities. This approach thus uses peoples’ human capabilities, rather than measures of access or usage, as its principal evaluative space. Based on empirical evidence from rural communities’ uses of ICTs in Bolivia, the study concludes that enhancing people’s informational capabilities is the most critical factor determining the impact of ICTs on their well-being. The findings indicate that improved informational capabilities, like literacy, do enhance the human capabilities of the poor and marginalized to make strategic life choices to achieve the lifestyle they value. Evaluating the impact of ICTs in terms of capabilities thus reveals that there is no direct relationship between improved access to, and use of, ICTs and enhanced well-being; ICTs lead to improvements in people’s lives only when informational capabilities are transformed into expanded human and social capabilities in the economic, political, social, organizational and cultural dimensions of their lives."

Qatar introduces ICT accessibility policy

Title: Qatar introduces ICT accessibility policy
Source: ictQATAR
Date (published): 29/11/2011
Date (accessed): 15/12/2011
Type of information: press release
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"ictQATAR Introduces National E-Accessibility Policy to make ICT more accessible for persons with disabilities.

The Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQATAR) took a major step towards ensuring all of Qatar experiences the full benefits of technology today with the introduction of the Qatar’s first eAccessibility Policy.

The policy aims to ensure people with disabilities in Qatar have equal access to the technologies that can enrich their lives, and covers a range of e-accessibility issues, including websites, telecommunications services, handsets, ATMs, government services, access to assistive technologies and digital content. The policy is effective immediately and ictQATAR will oversee the implementation of the policy across sectors and monitor progress.

“For many people with disabilities, information and communication technology can be a tremendously empowering and enabling tool, however, if these technologies are not fully accessible, they may actually become tools of exclusion or isolation. Qatar’s eAccessibility Policy, which was developed in consultation with numerous stakeholder groups, will make Qatar one of the most progressive countries in the region in terms of bringing the benefits of technology to people with disabilities. The policy balances the needs of the disabled community here with practical implementation requirements, thereby allowing organizations and relevant government bodies to enact the policy without undue burden,” said Dr. Hessa Al-Jaber, ictQATAR Secretary General.

The primary provisions of the eAccessibility Policy include:
* Requiring telecommunications service providers to provide accessible handsets, user interfaces, relay services, special rate plans, emergency services and accessible public payphones where appropriate.
* Requiring public sector organizations to develop websites and mobile content that can be accessed by persons with disabilities.
* Requiring all public sector organizations, including government owned banks, to implement service improvements that will ensure that public access terminals/kiosks and ATMs are available at strategic locations and usable by people with low vision blindness, deaf or hearing impairments, physical disabilities and reading problems.
* Requiring Qatar’s Assistive Technology Center (Mada) to establish a fund to improve access to assistive technologies (AT) and services, encouraging the wide spread procurement of ATs, spreading awareness of the available services and benefits of ATs and providing demonstrations, special training and evaluations.
* Calling to action all producers and distributors of digital media in Qatar to improve the accessibility of their content through accessible eBooks, online information and special captioning for video programming.

“The introduction of Qatar’s eAccessibility Policy is a major milestone for people with disabilities in Qatar. Mada is committed to working with ictQATAR and other organizations in Qatar to help in implementing this comprehensive policy. Mada will offer practical assistance to any company, ministry or organization that has a role to play in ensuring that the targets set in the plan are delivered. This is an exciting step forward for people with a disability in Qatar” said Maha Al Mansouri, Head of Training and Education at Mada. Mada was one of more than 30 organizations that provided input into the development of the policy, including government agencies, corporations and not-for-profit organizations serving people with disabilities.

Qatar’s eAccessibility Policy supports numerous national initiatives in Qatar, including the Qatar National Development Strategy 2011-216 and Qatar’s General Family Strategy. The policy also supports Qatar’s obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, of which Qatar is a signatory.The full e-accessibility policy is available at this link."

Open Data Kenya : Case Study of the Underlying Drivers, Principal Objectives and Evolution of one of the first Open Data Initiatives in Africa (Long Version)

Title: Open Data Kenya : Case Study of the Underlying Drivers, Principal Objectives and Evolution of one of the first Open Data Initiatives in Africa (Long Version)
Authors: Hanif Rahemtulla, Jeff Kaplan, Björn-Sören Gigler, Samantha Cluster, Johannes Kiess, Charles Brigham
Pages: 45 pp.
Source: Open Development Technology Alliance
Publisher: The World Bank
Date (published): 13/12/2011
Date (accessed): 15/12/2011
Type of information: Draft
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
"In July 2011, Kenya become one of the first African countries and 22nd internationally to launch an Open Data initiative, making over 160 government datasets freely available through a publicly accessible online portal. The initiative is expected to support greater public transparency and accountability, fundamentally changing the nature of citizen-government interaction. The release of public data online creates a platform supporting the development of third-party applications, enabling a vehicle for expanded public outreach and engagement leading to “a more responsive and citizen-focused government” (Madera, 2009).

This paper outlines underlying drivers, principal objectives and the evolution of the Kenya Open Data Initiative from inception to realisation. A comparative study of Kenya Open Data and related US and UK initiatives is included, highlighting implications for the applicability of a ‘default model’ in developing countries. This paper also provides preliminary insights into the platform’s access and usage patterns since the launch, as well as perceived present and future impact of this initiative in Kenya. Finally, it outlines the vision moving forward describing the principal barriers and supportive factors that must be addressed for the effective use of public sector information in Kenya.  Adopting a mixed-mode research design, the study draws upon surveys, observational data and interviews conducted with key actors."

The Indian web and mobile markets by the numbers

Title: The Indian web and mobile markets by the numbers
Author: Katie Fehrenbacher
Source: GigaOM
Date (published): 14/12/2011
Date (accessed): 15/12/2011
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"Sometimes it’s just easier to get a high-level picture of a market if you look directly at the numbers. Google India Managing Director Rajan Anandan gave a fascinating talk to our Geeks on a Plane India group this week, giving us a snap shot of the data that is driving the consumers, entrepreneurs, trends and investors in the rapidly growing Indian web and mobile markets.

Anandan says: “We’re probably in 1996 in the U.S. in terms of the Internet market in India.” Here’s the stats from Anandan’s deck. India has:
..."

Realizing the Vision of Open Government Data : Opportunities, Challenges and Pitfalls (Long Version)

Title: Realizing the Vision of Open Government Data : Opportunities, Challenges and Pitfalls (Long Version)
Authors: Björn-Sören Gigler, Samantha Custer, Hanif Rahemtulla
Pages: 16 pp.
Publisher: The World Bank
Date (published): 13/12/2011
Date (accessed): 15/12/2011
Type of information: Draft
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
"Actively promoted by a broad spectrum of stakeholders, the Open Government Data movement is gaining considerable traction, illustrated by the rapid proliferation of initiatives worldwide. While the preponderance of early experiments emerged in advanced economies, developing countries are increasingly optimistic about proactively releasing public sector information to achieve a multitude of policy goals. However, to what extent is Open Government Data replicable in developing countries, and what factors must be addressed if it is to be a catalytic change agent rather than mere development fad? Structured in four sections, this paper provides a literature review of the Open Government Data movement to date, critically assessing its transferability to developing countries and identifying challenges and limitations that will determine its relative social impact. The first section examines the philosophy, drivers and history of Open Government Data. The second section analyzes the modes of public sector information release featured in developed countries, assessing the validity of underlying assumptions regarding supply and demand when applied to developing countries. The third and fourth sections illuminate factors contributing to the success or failure of public sector information initiatives, drawing upon the cumulative experience of e-government, ICT penetration, institutional reform as well as Open Government Data initiatives to inform future efforts."

Digital technology driving global social change (infographic)

Title: Digital technology driving global social change (infographic)
Source: TechJournal South
Date (published): 13/12/2011
Date (accessed): 14/12/2011
Type of information: article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML with infographic)
Abstract:
"Global events in 2011 demonstrated the impact that technology plays in driving social change movements. A new Walden University survey of 11 countries shows that most adults in countries around the world (89%, on average) agree that technology can turn a cause into a movement faster than anything else can. These views were particularly prevalent in Spain (93%), Canada(91%), Brazil (91%), Great Britain (91%) and China (91%).

The Social Change Impact Report: Global Survey was commissioned by Walden University and conducted online by Harris Interactive in September 2011. A continuation from the American survey released in the fall, the Global Survey includes the perspectives of more than 12,000 adults in Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Japan, Mexico, Spainand the United States and describes their perceptions on the importance of social change, the top issues in their country and the future of social change.

According to the global survey, in many countries, men are more likely than women to use mobile devices to text messages related to a positive social change issue, specifically in Mexico (23% vs. 16% of women), the United States (7% vs. 4%), France(7% vs. 1%), Japan (5% vs. 2%) and Germany (4% vs. 1%).

Young adults globally leverage social networking
The survey also reveals that when it comes to positive social change, young adults across the globe are leveraging social networking to get involved; an average of 29% of young adults[1] have used social networking sites in the past six months to engage in social change.

“Social technology has opened the door to global change, making information pass from person to person, regardless of location, at lightning speed. It’s never been easier to connect with others and take action.

.Individuals now have remarkable power,” said Andy Smith, author of The Dragonfly Effect. “But it’s those who harness digital technology and social media for pro-social ends who will create the greatest positive social change in the future.”

Additionally, social networking is more common than using blogs or texting to engage in social change among young adults in nearly all of the countries. Of the young adults who have used social networking in the past six months to engage in social change, the highest reported use is in Mexico (40%), India (39%) and Great Britain (37%). In China (50%) and Japan (12%), blogging is the top digital way of engaging in social change among young adults. Texting to engage in social change is particularly common in India (38% of 18–25-year-olds)…"

Syndicate content