Community media: a good practice handbook

Title: Community media: a good practice handbook
Editor: Buckley, Steve
Pages: 80 pp.
ISBN: 978-92-3-104210-2
Publisher: UNESCO
Date (published): 10/02/2012
Date (accessed): 14/02/2012
Type of information: handbook
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf - 7,5 MB!)
Abstract:
"This is a collection of case studies of good practice in community media. Its intention is to provide inspiration and support for those engaged in community media advocacy and to raise awareness and understanding of community media among policy makers and other stakeholders. The collection is focused on electronic media including radio, television, Internet and mobile. It is global in spread, with examples from 30 countries, but primarily drawn from developing countries. This has the additional consequence that radio is predominant in view of its extensive presence today in developing country media environments and its reach into rural as well as urban communities.

Community media are understood in this collection as independent, civil society based media that operate for social benefit and not for profit. They are present in all regions of the world as social movements and community-based organizations have sought a means to express their issues, concerns, cultures and languages. Community media set out to create an alternative both to national public broadcasters, which are often under government control, and to private commercial media. They provide communities with access to information and voice, facilitating community-level debate, information and knowledge sharing and input into public decision-making.

This collection endeavours to draw from a broad range of geopolitical contexts – different regions, cultures, languages and political systems – including urban and rural examples, small and large countries. The criteria of good practice include the adaptability, relevance and sustainability of the case example; whether it is community-owned and participatory; its uniqueness or innovative nature; as well as the evidential base and credibility of the source material.

The collection is organized in three sections. The first section addresses the enabling environment for community media, the second one looks at sustainability and the third one is concerned with social impact. Each case study has a summary of the good practice, a short description that provides further context, plus highlights of some of the key characteristics. References and links are provided for those who seek further information."

M-Government: Mobile Technologies for Responsive Governments and Connected Societies

Title: M-Government: Mobile Technologies for Responsive Governments and Connected Societies
Pages: 154 pp.
ISBN: OECD ISBN 978-92-64-11869-0 (print), OECD ISBN 978-92-64-11870-6 (PDF), ITU ISBN 92-61-13881-0 (print)
Publisher: OECD/International Telecommunication Union
Date (published): 31/10/2011
Date (accessed): 13/02/2012
Type of information: report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML/pdf)
Abstract:
„Mobile phones subscriptions have outnumbered Internet connections in both developed and developing countries, and mobile cellular is becoming the most rapidly adopted technology in history and the most popular and widespread personal technology in the world. Access to mobile networks is available to 90% of the world population, and to 80 % of the population living in rural areas, according to ITU World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators database; and among OECD countries mobile subscriptions grew at a compounded annual growth rate of 10 % over the previous two years according to the OECD Communications Outlook 2009.

Given this unparalleled advancement of mobile communication technologies, governments are turning to m-government to realize the value of mobile technologies for responsive governance and measurable improvements to social and economic development, service delivery, operational efficiencies and active citizen engagement. The interoperability of mobile applications, which support quick access to integrated data and location-based services, paves indeed the way for innovative public sector governance models - also called mobile governance or m-governance - based on the use of mobile technology in support of public services and information delivery.

The report highlights the critical potential of mobile technologies for improved public governance, as well as for economic and social progress towards the achievement of the internationally agreed development agenda defined in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The in-depth analysis of the prerequisites for m-government, its main benefits and challenges, the value-chain and the key stakeholders, and the checklist of concrete actions intend to sustain policy makers in monitoring and updating their knowledge on m-government, and to draw on its implications for public sector governance, public service delivery, and smarter and more open government.

Whether it is an electronic wallet card linked to a mobile phone in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, or the Philippines; voting, registration or election monitoring in Morocco, Kenya, Estonia and Ukraine; support for farmers with weather forecast information and market price alerts in Malaysia, Uganda, India and China; or co-ordination of real-time location data for emergency response in Turkey, the United States and France, mobile technologies are enhancing dynamic interactions between citizens and government, creating further opportunities for open and transparent government.

“M-Government: Mobile Technologies for Responsive Governments and Connected Societies” is a unique report as it is the result of the joint-work of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). Recognising the ubiquity of public good governance principles, and the existence of opportunities and challenges commonly shared by governments worldwide, the three organisations aim to offer a call for action to all member countries to be strategic in moving ahead in implementing m-visions that drive public sector change and strengthen its good governance.

Table of contents:

FOREWORD

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

CHAPTER 1: TOWARDS THE NEXT GENERATION OF PUBLIC SERVICES

CHAPTER 2: BENEFITS AND OUTCOMES OF M-GOVERNMENT

CHAPTER 3: UNDERSTANDING M-GOVERNMENT ADOPTION

CHAPTER 4: PREREQUISITES FOR AGILITY AND UBIQUITY

CHAPTER 5: TECHNOLOGY OPTIONS FOR MOBILE SOLUTIONS

CHAPTER 6: M-VISION AND A CALL FOR ACTION

ANNEX A: M-GOVERNMENT PROJECTS COMPENDIUM”

Avoiding the Digital Divide Hype in Using Mobile Phones for Development

Title: Avoiding the Digital Divide Hype in Using Mobile Phones for Development
Author: Lindsay Poirier
Source: ICTWorks
Publisher: Inveneo
Date (published): 27/12/2011
Date (accessed): 03/01/2012
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"To all of you digital divide warriors out there – nice work. With over 483 million mobile phone subscriptions in low-income countries - an estimated 44.9% penetration rate, few will deny the success of your efforts to expand mobile technology in the developing world.

Rapid mobile growth rates further exhibit success in dissemination, and stats such as, “There are more mobile phones than toilets in India,“ and “There are more mobile phones than light bulbs in Uganda,” make us smile and feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

While it’s true that, in most cases, these numbers exhibit stimulation in local economies, there are some fuzzy lines when it comes to determining what these numbers mean in terms of mobile phone access and development. The data shows that mobile technology is expanding, but does this necessarily mean that access to technology is coinciding with the expansion?
..."

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."

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