From euphoria to pragmatism: The experience and the potentials of eHealth in Asia

Title: From euphoria to pragmatism: The experience and the potentials of eHealth in Asia
Author: Ranmalee Gamage
Source: LIRNEasia
Date (published): 22/09/2010
Date (accessed): 26/09/2010
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"The public lecture entitled, ‘From euphoria to pragmatism: The experience and the potentials of eHealth in Asia’ was held at The Sri Lanka Medical Association on 14 September 2010.

The lecture was on eHealth, which is being adapted widely, from primary to tertiary healthcare in many countries.. Especially, using more appropriate and relevant technologies, such as mobile technologies in tele-health and health informatics.

Dr. Angelo Ramos, a physician by training and an expert in public health education and promotion began with a presentation on From Euphoria to Pragmatism: The experience and potentials of eHealth in Asia. He pointed out that a vast expanse of research on eHealth has been conducted in developed countries. He emphasized the benefits of eHealth and how governments and other stakeholders can help to improve it."

Counting Internet Users and calculating divides

Title: Counting Internet Users and calculating divides
Author: Rohan Samarajiv
Source: LIRNEasia
Date (published): 22/09/2010
Date (accessed): 26/09/2010
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"The ITU dataset is the mother lode, mined by all. But sometimes, it is good to interrogate the quality of what the ITU produces. The most recent instance of ITU data being subject to sophisticated analysis without any attention being paid to the quality of the data is by noted ICT4D scholar, Richard Heeks.

In a previous essay, Heeks interrogated the numbers emanating from the ITU on “mobile subscriptions.” It is a pity the same was not done in the recent piece on Internet and broadband.

For example, the ITU reports that Afghanistan had 2,000 Internet subscriptions and 1,000,000 Internet users, indicating the use of a multiplier of 500. In other words, the Afghan administration is asking us to believe that each Internet connection is used by 500 people, in addition to asking us to accept nice round numbers on the subscriptions indicator.

This illustrates the biggest weakness of the ITU’s definition of an Internet User: each national administration is allowed to use a multiplier of its choice to derive the number of Internet users from the number of Internet subscribers, in the absence of demand-side surveys, the first-best way of obtaining the indicator. No low-income countries have reported demand-side survey results. Therefore, the Internet user numbers reported by the ITU are tainted by the use of arbitrary multipliers such as the 500 used by Afghanistan (this is the most outrageous multiplier we found; most are more reasonable). But the point is that it is wrong to permit national administrations which may have incentives to look good in terms of Internet connectivity to use multipliers without any rational basis. LIRNEasia is in the process of developing a practical solution to the problem of the multiplier that will be published shortly."

See:
Global ICT Statistics on Internet Usage, Mobile, Broadband: 1998-2009 by Richard Heeks

Global ICT Statistics on Internet Usage, Mobile, Broadband: 1998-2009

Title: Global ICT Statistics on Internet Usage, Mobile, Broadband: 1998-2009
Author: Richard Heeks
Source: ICTs for development blog
Date (published): 16/09/2010
Date (accessed): 26/09/2010
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"How are ICT diffusion rates changing over time in different parts of the world?
...
For Internet, it will be 2019 before the poorest countries reach the 50 users per 100 level that the richest countries were at in 2002; a digital lag of 17 years. For broadband, it will be 2020 before the poorest countries reach the 15 users per 100 level that the richest countries were at in 2005; a digital lag of 15 years (but with a wide margin for error, and calculated only on 2008-to-2009 growth rates). Put another way, there are no signs yet of the digital lag for Internet or broadband closing over time, and not much evidence for the idea that digital lag is shortening with each new ICT innovation."

11 concerns about ICTs and ‘social media for social good’

Title: 11 concerns about ICTs and ‘social media for social good’
Author: Linda Raftree
Source: Wait… What? blog
Date (published): 18/09/2010
Date (accessed): 26/09/2010
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"...on ways that ICTs (information and communication technologies) and poor or questionable use of ICTs and social media can hinder development.

It’s not really the fault of the technology. ICTs are tools, and the real issues lie behind the tools — they lie with people who create, market and use the tools. People cannot be separated from cultures and societies and power and money and politics. And those are the things that tend to hinder development, not really the ICTs themselves. However the combination of human tendencies and the possibilities ICTs and social media offer can can sometimes lead us down a shaky path to development or actually cause harm to the people that we are working with."

Mobile-Phone Farming

Title: Mobile-Phone Farming
Author: Devin Banerjee
Source: WSJ.com
Publisher: The Wall Street Journal, Asia
Date (published): 24/08/2010
Date (accessed): 06/09/2010
Type of information: article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
Which pesticide will protect my crops?

It's a question most farmers in insect-ridden rural India ask themselves or their neighbors. But it's also a question to which very few have the correct answer.

What's the best fertilizer? How do you get rid of bugs? India's farmers long had only their neighbors to turn to. A mobile platform by Tata Consultancy Services is changing that, providing personalized advice through low-end handsets.

That was the inspiration behind mKRISHI, a platform developed by Tata Consultancy Services to provide personalized advice to Indian farmers on low-end mobile phones. TCS, an Asian Innovation Awards finalist, spent two years studying farming patterns in rural India and developing methods to connect farmers to agricultural experts, with the belief that technology could jump-start some of India's seemingly ancient agricultural practices.

"It appears that there is a last-mile gap between farmers and agricultural experts," said Arun Pande, the head of TCS Innovation Labs and the leader behind mKRISHI. "In the absence of correct information and advice which is specific to him, the farmer relies on what other farmers do—or on his traditional wisdom."

In 2007, Mr. Pande traveled through different parts of rural India to meet farmers and understand their business. After listening to their concerns—Will it rain enough in my village this season? Will my crop catch my neighbor's crop disease? Where can I take out a loan?—he saw the opportunity to grow that business by providing personalized responses to such questions.

UN reveals global disparity in broadband access

Title: UN reveals global disparity in broadband access
Author : Jonathan Fildes
Source: BBC News
Date (published): 02/09/2010
Date (accessed): 06/09/2010
Type of information: article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
The global disparity in fixed broadband access and cost has been revealed by UN figures.

The Central African Republic is the most expensive place to get a fixed broadband connection, costing nearly 40 times the average monthly income there.

Macao in China is the cheapest, costing 0.3% of the average monthly income.

Niger becomes the most expensive place to access communication technologies, when landlines and mobiles are also taken into account.

"Access to broadband in an affordable manner is our greatest challenge," Dr Hamadoun Toure, secretary general of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), told BBC News.

The statistics were highlighted ahead of the UN 2010 Millennium Development Goals Summit in New York on 19 September.

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Two sides of the same ICT coin - breaking the silence /breaking the laws

Title: Democratic Republic of the Congo: Two sides of the same ICT coin - breaking the silence /breaking the laws
Author: Mavic Cabrera-Balleza
Source: GenderIT.org
Date (published): 28/07/2010
Date (accessed): 04/08/2010
Type of information: article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
GenderIT.org writer Mavic Cabrera-Balleza speaks with Sylvie Niombo and Francoise Mukuku, ICTi activists from Congo-Brazzaville and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) respectively. They discuss various facets of the information and communication technologies and the context to which they apply in the DRC . The interviewees elaborate on how ICTs can be used to reduce incidence of violence against women and how it is also widely used in ways that aggravate the violence and violate privacy laws. They also explain why access to ICTs is critical to the DRC and how it can be used to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

Have Your Say with CGNet Swara - Tribal Citizen Media in India. A New Case Study

Title: Have Your Say with CGNet Swara - Tribal Citizen Media in India. A New Case Study
Author: PrabhasPokharel
Source: MobileActive.org
Date (published): 08/07/2010
Date (accessed): 04/08/2010
Type of information: case study
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"We have another new case study up where we report on an innovative audio-based citizen journalism project in Chhattisgarh, India. Tribal citizen journalists have been reporting news in their own languages through a new service called CGNet Swara. CGNet stands for Chhattisgarh Net. The service allows citizen journalists to call in and record news in one of four local languages. The news that has been produced has been picked up in India's mainstream media, and some reports have led to concrete action: in one case, teachers whose salaries hadn't been paid for months were paid after a news report elicited a calling campaign from listeners."

“information needs to be democratised”

Title: “information needs to be democratised”
Source: eGov
Date (published): 01/07/2010
Date (accessed): 04/08/2010
Type of information: interview
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
A key architect of India’s well-lauded telecommunication revolution, Sam Pitroda is currently entrusted with the role of Advisor to the Prime Minister on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations. In this role, he will be driving creation of an information infrastructure for delivery of services to citizens and will also be charting a roadmap for a “Decade of Innovation” to drive benefits of technology at the grassroot level. In his usual candid and transparent manner, Pitroda spoke to Ravi Gupta and Pravin Prashant at length on how an all-inclusive development is at the core of the innovation objectives and on the progresses that have been made thus far.

A Mobile Payment Trifecta in Kenya

Title: A Mobile Payment Trifecta in Kenya
Author: Erik Hersman
Source: WhiteAfrican (blog)
Date (published): 28/07/2010
Date (accessed): 03/08/2010
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
Kenya is quickly gaining a competitive advantage in the mobile payments space. Led by mobile operator giant Safaricom with their Mpesa product, the market locally sees huge value in mobile money transactions. Add to that a regulatory system that is relaxed enough for innovation to be encouraged, and you have a great space for interesting things to happen.

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