Sudan's First SMS-Powered Voting Monitor Tracks "Violence," "Intimidation"

Title: Sudan's First SMS-Powered Voting Monitor Tracks "Violence," "Intimidation"
Author:Jenara Neremberg
Source:Fast Company
Date (published):10/12/2010
Date (accessed):11/12/2010
Type of information:article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
„While Sudanese vote about the fate of South Sudan's independence, one Sudan-born Texan supports the voting process from afar with a historic mobile-powered monitoring tool.
...
SVM is Sudan's first SMS-based voting monitor. The model is simple: People text a coded short message to SVM translating into either "violence," "intimidation," or any number of categories--and that information is then verified by SVM's team, published to their site and made public for the world to see in both English and Arabic. Based in the U.S., the group works with local civil society partners on the ground in Sudan who have certified observers able to verify whether the reports are true or not.”

No Victim Voiceless: Africa Uses Tech to Shine a Light on Genocide

Title: No Victim Voiceless: Africa Uses Tech to Shine a Light on Genocide
Author:Curt Hopkins
Source:ReadWriteWeb
Date (published):10/12/2010
Date (accessed):11/12/2010
Type of information:article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
„"Technology is the equalizer," Fareed Zein told Fast Company. Zein has built the Sudan Vote Monitor as a platform people can use to monitor and cover next month's independence vote in that northeastern African country.

To the south and east, another technological experiment has risen, that one to commemorate the fait accompli of the Rwandan genocide. The Genocide Archive of Rwanda, hosted by the Kigali Genocide Memorial, will document the 100 days and 800,000 lives lost in the brutality of 1994.”

The Philippines government has devised a new roadmap for its Community eCentres

Title: The Philippines government has devised a new roadmap for its Community eCentres
Author:Pia Rufino
Source:FutureGov
Date (published):18/11/2010
Date (accessed):03/12/2010
Type of information:article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
„The Philippines government has devised a new roadmap for its Community eCentres programme to help bridge the digital divide, focusing on infrastructure and capacity building.
...
A draft of the CeC Roadmap for 2011-2016 has been completed, focusing on CeC development and management, content development, capability building, technology solutions and advocacy and promotion.”

ICTs and development in Zambia: challenges and opportunities

Title: ICTs and development in Zambia: challenges and opportunities
Author:David Souter
Pages: 8 pp.
Publisher:Panos, london
Date (published): November 2010
Date (accessed):03/12/2010
Type of information:blog post/policy briefing
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
„Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are increasingly important in achieving development goals and promoting citizen participation. Zambia is one of a number of countries in the Southern African region that have sought to include ICTs in their national development plans. This policy brief summarises a review of the successes and failures of this approach in Zambia, and considers the next steps that are needed to meet the information and communication needs of the coming generation.”
via http://lindaraftree.wordpress.com

Open data in development – the missing debate?

Title: Open data in development – the missing debate?
Author: Tariq Khokhar
Source:aidinfo.org
Date (published):03/12/2010
Date (accessed):03/12/2010
Type of information:blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
„After reading an earlier post on the role of open data in development, Tobias Denskus calls for more critical debates around open aid data. His article is really worth reading first; he draws our attention to four issues in the current state of aid transparency:

Everybody in the aid sector seems to be on board with it. This suggests that the ideas of aid data and transparency are too broad, no longer innovative or don’t challenge the fundamentals of development. Where’s the debate around the small print?
Many international development decisions are political: better aid data leading to more convincing arguments is unlikely to change this.
Data and numbers can only have a limited effect on the fundamental issues of how development “thinks, reports or learns” and aid transparency favours the quantitative over the qualitative.
Most aid data is old data and its usefulness beyond research is limited. Complex bureaucracies might struggle to respond to outsiders engaging with their data and even if we have more current data, how much “real-time” influence is actually desirable?”

ICTs: Digital divide or digital bridge?

Title: ICTs: Digital divide or digital bridge?
Author:Aloyce Ndeleio
Source:www.thisday.co.tz
Publisher:
Date (published):30/11/2010
Date (accessed):02/12/2010
Type of information:article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
„ Fifteen years ago, the only option used to send an urgent two-paged document from Dar es Salaam to London was the fax. But, it was laborious, time consuming and sometimes difficult to send the documents, not to mention the costs.

Today, without worrying about time and costs, one sits behind a computer and send messages along with documents by electronic mail. On the other hand, in as much as it was difficult to engage yourself in debates and other discussions with people far away, nowadays, everything has changed for the better.

You can log on different websites and get a good picture of the current discussions and debates. The new information and communication technologies (ICTs) mean little less than a revolution when it comes to cost and convenience of communication for development organisations in most parts of this world.

This is a revolution that left a question that, revolution for how many? Nearly 90 per cent of all internet users are in industrialised countries according to the International Labour Organisation’s World Employment Report 2001.

In contrast, internet users in all of Africa and the Middle East together account for only one per cent of the global internet users, – the digital divide. Yet, the highest growth rates in internet users are found in Africa.”

The IDRC and “Open Development”: ICT4D by and for the New Middle Class

Title: The IDRC and “Open Development”: ICT4D by and for the New Middle Class
Author:Michael Gurstein
Source:Gurstein's Community Informatics blog
Publisher:
Date (published):01/12/2010
Date (accessed):02/12/2010
Type of information:blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
„I’m interested to note that the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) (or at least the Information and Communications Technology for Development—ICT4D—folks at the IDRC) have decided to hitch their wagon, and not incidentally their not inconsiderable resources to the “Open” movement and launch a campaign for an Open ICT4D meme.
The major document in this initiative defines “Openness” and “Open ICT4D” as follows:
…as a way of organizing social activities for development benefits that favour: a) universal over restricted access to communication tools and information; b) universal over restricted participation in informal and formal groups/institutions; and c) collaborative over centralized production of cultural, economic, or other content.
Certainly it is very hard to fault (or even disagree) with any of the above except that this definition and the following paper seem to not understand that lack of access in most developmental contexts isn’t simply a failure of reasonable people to understand that they should proceed in an “open” rather than a “closed/restrictive” fashion. The lack of access in many if not most cases serves the interests of some quite well including many who gain considerable advantage from lack of transparency, restrictions on use of government data, the use of security designations in inappropriate contexts. In these instances a lack of access is most frequently a function of a lack of power in a particular social and economic context and that articulating the good feelings attendant on an “openness” strategy are as unlikely to change those restrictions as were the thinking of good thoughts sufficient to stop the flow of oil from the BP Gulf catastrophe.
...
One of the significant difficulties of a “peer to peer” approach when linked organically to the “openness” standard is that those going into the peer relations have quite significant differences in power and prestige and access to resources. It is very difficult to conceive of a true “peer-to-peer” relationship as enabling or supporting “openness” when there are marked and systematic economic and social differences between the “peers” as for example, is pervasive within developing countries and particularly acute between developed countries and developing countries.”

How Mobile Phones Jump-Start Developing Economies

Title: How Mobile Phones Jump-Start Developing Economies
Author: Antonio Regalado
Source: Technology Review
Publisher: MIT
Date (published): 22/11/2010
Date (accessed): 24/11/2010
Type of information: article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
„As one of the fastest-spreading technologies in history, the mobile phone has been transformative for the billions of people in the developing world who never had a landline or an Internet connection. One of the most unexpected benefits is its ability to deliver banking services.
...
Worldwide, dozens of companies are introducing mobile wallets that store money in cell phones instead of bank accounts. Such schemes help the vast ranks of the "unbanked"—those huddled masses who yearn to easily send funds to distant family members, pay bills, or even take out small loans, but don't have access to financial services. "The mobile wallet can be transformational," ...”

Bandwidth price remains highest in Asia

Title: Bandwidth price remains highest in Asia
Author:Abu Saeed Khan
Publisher:LIRNEasia
Date (published):20/11/2010
Date (accessed):23/11/2010
Type of information:blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
„The bandwidth prices in Asia remain more than 300% expensive than the western hemisphere, said TeleGeography that has been constantly reporting this constant gap. But the Asian leaders seem unmoved about this fundamentally flawed and potentially dangerous trend across the continent. TeleGeography reports only the wholesale prices up to the gateway. Once the backhaul and licensing costs are taken into account, the Asian Internet bandwidth prices become far more expensive. Spectrum had been the only raw material of ICT until the 2G mobile became pervasive. Now the Internet bandwidth has been added as the second ingredient of ICT for development. Therefore, the cost of Internet bandwidth has to be reduced across Asia. Otherwise, discussing the digital divide and planning to bridge it shall remain as futile as chasing the mirage.”

Mobile Tech in Community Radio - Still Ad Hoc and One-Off: A State-of-Mobile Report

Title: Mobile Tech in Community Radio - Still Ad Hoc and One-Off: A State-of-Mobile Report
Author: Melissa Ulbricht
Publisher:MobilActive.org
Date (published):07/06/2010
Date (accessed):23/11/2010
Type of information:report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
„In 2008, Bruce Girard concluded in a MobileActive.org guest post that the addition of text messaging technology into the community radio toolkit was still in its infancy. SMS use at radio stations was informal, he wrote, and the few cases of more complex use of SMS messages accompanied political crisis or natural disaster and were largely donor financed.

Two years later, we delve once again into the state of SMS and mobile technology at community radio stations, by way of an informal survey. While advances have been made and creative projects have emerged, integration remains an ad-hoc and individual enterprise.

This report summarizes existing projects and success stories, highlighting the most popular uses of mobile technology. It concludes with a discussion of the challenges that community radio stations face in adopting SMS and mobile technology.”
via http://www.comminit.com/ and https://twitter.com/#!/ictdev

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