ICT, Financial Inclusion, and Growth: Evidence from African Countries

Title: ICT, Financial Inclusion, and Growth: Evidence from African Countries
Authors: Mihasonirina Andrianaivo and Kangni Kpodar
Pages: 45 pp.
Source: IMF
Date (published): April 2011
Date (accessed): 10/08/2011
Type of information: working paper
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
"This paper studies the impact of information and communication technologies (ICT), especially mobile phone rollout, on economic growth in a sample of African countries from 1988 to 2007. Further, we investigate whether financial inclusion is one of the channels through which mobile phone development influences economic growth. In estimating the impact of ICT on economic growth, we use a wide range of ICT indicators, including mobile and fixed telephone penetration rates and the cost of local calls. We address any endogeneity issues by using the System Generalized Method of Moment (GMM) estimator. Financial inclusion is captured by variables measuring access to financial services, such as the number of deposits or loans per head, compiled by Beck, Demirguc-Kunt, and Martinez Peria (2007) and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP, 2009). The results confirm that ICT, including mobile phone development, contribute significantly to economic growth in African countries. Part of the positive effect of mobile phone penetration on growth comes from greater financial inclusion. At the same time, the development of mobile phones consolidates the impact of financial inclusion on economic growth, especially in countries where mobile financial services take hold."

Pan-African training guide on Linux System Administration

Title: Pan-African training guide on Linux System Administration
Source: FOSSFA & GIZ
Date (published): July 2011
Date (accessed): 10/08/2011
Type of information: guide
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
"Training Guide on Linux System Administration, LPI Certification Level 1, Supporting African IT-enterprises to get Open Source skills and certification on level 1 of the Linux Professional Institute (LPI) Certification

INTRODUCTION BY FOSSFA AND GIZ
“How do I know that this IT company from Kampala will be able to maintain my IT server infrastructure?” asks a contract-giving government agency in Uganda. The answer lies in a trust-building certification, a crucial ingredient of any economic development agenda. Therefore, FOSSFA and GIZ are proud to present “ict@innovation: Training Guide on Linux System Administration - LPI Certification Level 1”. The guide is part of “Linux Certification in Africa - the ict@innovation Training of Trainers Programme”. It aims to help African small and medium IT-enterprises (SMEs) involved in Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) to improve the quality of their services offered as well as the level of trust of customers through certification of their FOSS skills.
The ict@innovation programme builds capacities in African small and medium ICT enterprises to make a business with Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). ict@innovation aims to encourage the growth of African ICT industries, through three main actions: spreading FOSS business models for enterprises, fostering FOSS certification and supporting innovative local FOSS applications for social and economic development. ict@innovation is a partnership of FOSSFA (Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Germany [until 2011: InWEnt, now part of GIZ].
We hope that the “ict@innovation: Training Guide on Linux System Administration - LPI Certification Level 1” together with the associated training-of-trainers scheme will contribute to remove a major barrier against adoption and deployment of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in sub-Saharan Africa: the lack of human resources with FOSS skills demonstrated by recognized certificates.
In order to support a wide range of capacity needs and training environments in Africa, the training material and the training-of-trainer programme builds on the Linux Professional Institute (LPI) Certification as a world-wide recognized distribution and vendor-neutral standard for evaluating the competency of Linux professionals with the possibility to hold low-cost paper-based examinations.
The “ict@innovation: Training Guide on Linux System Administration - LPI Certification Level 1” has been released under an open licence (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Germany License) allowing for free distribution, remixing and updating of the material. Our goal is thereby to empower local African training institutions to offer low-cost trainings. And we are looking forward to further building and updating of this Training Guide in the spirit of sharing and mutual capacity building."

African Cashew Initiative: Cooperation to Use ICT for the Benefit of Cashew Growers

Title: African Cashew Initiative: Cooperation to Use ICT for the Benefit of Cashew Growers
Source: ict4d Newsletter
Publisher: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Date (published): July 2011
Date (accessed): 10/08/2011
Type of information: short notice
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
"We recently published, in collaboration with our colleagues from the African Cashew Initiative, a short paper “Virtual Cooperatives: ICT for African Cashew Farmers” on a development partnership with SAP Research in Ghana.
The development partnership utilizes Information and Communication Technologies to provide the means to enhance the productivity of Cashew farmers, to strengthen farmer cooperatives, and to enable them to do collaborative business with the established economy in a transparent and sustainable way.
To learn more, you can download the paper here or visit the website of the African Cashew Initiative. Also, Deutsche Welle, the German international TV channel, has produced a short video about the pilot of the project in Brong Ahafo, Ghana."
via https://twitter.com/#!/ictdev

Announcing Ushahidi v2.1 (Tunis)

Title: Announcing Ushahidi v2.1 (Tunis)
Author Editor: Emmanuel Kala
Source: blog.ushahidi.com
Date (published): 09/08/2011
Date (accessed): 10/08/2011
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
Ushahidi, Inc. is a non-profit software company that develops free and open source software for information collection, visualization and interactive mapping.
Ushahidi (Swahili for "testimony" or "witness") created a website in the aftermath of Kenya's disputed 2007 presidential election (see 2007–2008 Kenyan crisis) that collected eyewitness reports of violence sent in by email and text-message and placed them on a Google map.[2]
The organization uses the concept of crowdsourcing for social activism and public accountability, serving as an initial model for what has been coined as 'activist mapping' - the combination of social activism, citizen journalism and geospatial information. Ushahidi offers products that enable local observers to submit reports using their mobile phones or the internet, while simultaneously creating a temporal and geospatial archive of events. See Wikipedia

"After months of hard work and the hard work of the community we are pleased to announce the release of version 2.1 (Tunis) of the Ushahidi platform
...
New Release Features:

Powerful Reports Filter
This is perhaps the most salient feature in this release and also one of the biggest asks that the community has been persistent about for quite sometime. The new faceted reports page allows a user to filter reports using one or a combination of the following parameters:
* Report Categories
* Date when reports were submitted
* Location radius e.g. x kilometers from a given point
* Channel via which the reports have been submitted (Web Form, SMS, Twitter or Email)
* Media contained in the reports e.g. photos, video or news source links
* Verification status (i.e. Verified and/or Unverified)
* Also bundled with the new reports page is an option to toggle between list view and map view..."

Proceedings of the ACORN-REDECOM Conference 2011

Title: Proceedings of the ACORN-REDECOM Conference 2011
Editors: Liliana Ruiz de Alonso [et al.]
Pages: 397 pp.
ISBN: 2177-3858
e-ISBN: 2177-1634
Publisher: Americas Information and Communication Research Network
Date (published): 18/06/2011
Date (accessed): 10/08/2011
Type of information:
Language: English, Portuguese, Spanish
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
Contents / Contenido / Sumário
ICT POLICY AND REGULATION (Sipan Salon)
Broadband Policies and Deployment (Session 1A – May 19th, 2011)
A deployment strategy for Internet exchange points as part of a national broadband plan (Daniel B. Cavalcanti) 1
El plan colombiano para integrar un ecosistema digital (Fernando Beltrán and Lina Gómez Torres) 7
Oportunidades y desafíos de la banda ancha móvil (Ernesto Flores Roux and Judith Mariscal Avilés) 17

Social Media and Social Participation (Session 2A – May 19th, 2011)
Hacia un índice de medición del desarrollo de los cibermedios (Elias Said-Hung and Carlos Arcila-Calderón) 39
Redes sociales virtuales. Más allá de la mediación tecnológica (Mónica García Gil and Arturo Uscátegui Maldonado) 49
Impacto de las TIC en los procesos de comunicación de las organizaciones sociales de base de Daniel Hernandez (Gabriela Perona Zevallos) 57

Impact of ICT on Rural Communities (Session 3A – May 19th, 2011)
Refarming frequencies in rural areas: A regulatory perspective (Enrico Calandro) 67
Descontinuidades e sombras: acessos, usos e fontes de informação numa comunidade rural e remota na sociedade da informação (Fausta Clarinda de Santana) 81

Impact of Technology and Other Industries: Health, Agriculture, and Tourism (Session 4A – May 19th, 2011)
Información para la agricultura y capital social. Uso de smartphones entre pequeños agricultores en la costa peruana (Roberto Bustamante Vento) 91
Adopción de Internet, empleo y pobreza en Uruguay (Fernando Borraz and Daniel Ferrés) 101

ICTs and Industry (Session 5A – May 20th, 2011)
Impacto de las TIC en el emprendimiento empresarial: Estimaciones econométricas a nivel de un panel de países (Jorge Vélez Ospina) 121
Governança, Commons e Direitos de Propriedade Intelectual: uma análise em termos de Social Choice (Alain Herscovici) 137

E-Governance and Regulation (Session 6A – May 20th, 2011)
Democracia, espacio público e internet (Marina Vieira Villela) 151
E-Governo, Participação e Transparência de Gestão (Othon Jambeiro, Rosane Sobreira and Lorena Macambira) 159
Modelo teórico para el abordaje de la regulación de internet y el ciberespacio (Nelson Díaz
Pardo and Luz Naranjo) 164

ICT FOR DEVELOPMENT AND CITIZENSHIP: ACCESS AND APPLICATIONS (Quechua Salon)
Telecom and Economics (Session 1B – May 19th, 2011)
Empirical Evidence on the Impact of Privatization of Fixed-Line Operators on Telecommunications Performance: Comparing OECD, Latin American, and African Countries (F. Gasmi, L. Recuero Virto, P. Noumba and A. Maingard) 181
Broadband Economic Impact in Brazil: A Simultaneous Equations Analysis (Hildebrando Rodrigues Macedo and Alexandre Ywata de Carvalho) 211
Investment, Dynamic Consistency and the Sectoral Regulator`s Objetive (Duarte Brito, Pedro Pereira and João Vareda) 229

Mobile Policies and Pricing (Session 2B – May 19th, 2011)
Mobile Number Portability in South Asia (Tahani Iqbal) 259 Mobile Termination Rate Debate in Africa (Christoph Stork) 267

The Future of Laws and Regulations (Session 3B – May 19th, 2011)
Telecommunications Law Indicators for Comparative Studies (TLICS) Model: A Hermeneutical Approach (Marcio Iorio Aranha) 283 Convergence and Regulation in Brazilian Telecommunications (Jose Rogerio Vargens) 295
Avaliação de portais de compras brasileiros centrada na perspectiva dos fornecedores (Heryck Leonardo Resende Paranhos and Adriane Maria Arantes de Carvalho) 309

Broadband Policies and Impact (Session 4B – May 19th, 2011)
Broadband tariffs in Latin America: Benchmarking and analysis (Hernán Galperin and Christian Ruzzier) 317
Redes de comunicación electrónicas, políticas públicas y bienestar (Omar Emilio Carrera Félix) 343

Policies for Access (Session 5B – May 20th, 2011)
El acceso universal a las telecomunicaciones y su vínculo con las políticas de banda ancha en América Latina (Roxana Barrantes Cáceres and Aileen Agüero García) 353
Políticas Públicas que Incentivan el Uso de las TICs: el caso de Culiacán, Sinaloa, México (Ana Elizabeth Ramírez Gómez and Ana Luz Ruelas Monjardin) 365

ICT in Education (Session 6B – May 20th, 2011)
¿Cómo debe ser un producto digital educativo? (Luis Alberto Lesmes Sáenz, Luz Dary Naranjo Colorado and Abdénago Yate Arévalo) 377
TIC e desenvolvimento na América Latina: uma análise sob a perspectiva da educação (Lucilene Cury and Luciana de Queiroz Telles Maffra) 385
Redes Multiexpresivas 2.0 en Educación: Estrategias de Análisis y Gestión en Educación Pública (Jose Cabrera Paz and Luisa Fernanda Acuña Beltrán) 391

The contextualization and implementation of a teacher competency framework for ICT4E in Guyana

Title: The contextualization and implementation of a teacher competency framework for ICT4E in Guyana
Author: Marcia Joy Thomas
Source: Educational Technology Debate
Date (published): 26/07/2011
Date (accessed): 10/08/2011
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"The Government of Guyana has recognized the huge potential of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to empower Guyanese to meet developmental challenges and strengthen the economy. The role of ICT in International Trade is making industries more competitive, in facilitating e-commerce, in the health and education sectors and in simply making a wide range of information and services available electronically is fully recognized.

The Government has therefore outlined various policies that are aimed at creating an environment that will foster technology use and encourage investment in ICT , with the Education sector being one of the most critical areas. This is because narrowing the digital gap is more than just providing physical access to computers and the Internet; people must understand how to put it to good use.
...
Policy makers within the Education sector recognized that – in order for the government to achieve its objectives – emphasis had to be placed on teacher professional development in the areas of ICT in education, and therefore looked at ways to contextualize and implement the process.

The National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD) is the Department within the Ministry of Education tasked with delivering all Continuous Professional Development programmes for in-service teachers. The ICT Unit within NCERD, which is staffed by three people, is responsible for all teacher training projects. The mandate of the Unit is to:

* Train all teachers to the Basic Computer literacy level by 2012.
* Manage all schools with computer laboratories (65 Primary, 80 Secondary).
* Implement SuccessMaker Software into the 50 schools which includes training of 2,000 teachers in its use.
* Train all secondary school teachers to deliver the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) Information Technology and Electronic Document Preparation and Management Syllabi (109 teachers).
* Research and develop modules for all aspects of ICT training within the Education sector.
* Identify, train and implement low cost technologies with the schools system example (Jolly Phonics, Television, DVD’s, White Boards, etc).
... the Ministry decided to adopt the UNESCO ICT Competence Framework for Teacher in November, 2009. The Ministry then entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Commonwealth Secretariat (ComSec) and Commonwealth of Learning (COL) to secure their help in applying the Framework in such a way that it would suit the needs of Guyana. Based on this, an ICT Professional Development Strategy for Teachers in Guyana was developed in March, 2010, within the UNESCO Framework presented..."

Impact of ICT and innovation on industrial productivity in Uruguay

Title: Impact of ICT and innovation on industrial productivity in Uruguay
Author: Griselda Charlo
Pages: 18 pp.
Source: DIRSI - Diálogo Regional sobre la Sociedad de la Información
Date (published): 01/08/2011
Date (accessed): 09/08/2011
Type of information: research report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
"The characteristics of Uruguayan economy determine that firm innovation behavior has specific features that are different from empirical evidence related to developed countries. The main objective of this paper is to analyze the effects of ICT and innovation on productivity in manufacturing firms in Uruguay. We are also interested in finding out if firm’s employees vary in quantity and quality in relation to the level of ICT investment and innovation. This study is organized as follows. Section 2 presents a brief literature review, and Section 3 describes the methodological and empirical approach. Section 4 shows the main features of innovation activities in Uruguay. Finally, Section 5 discusses econometric results and Section 6 concludes."

The Little Data Book on Information and Communication Technology 2011

Title: The Little Data Book on Information and Communication Technology 2011
Author Editor:
Pages: pp.
ISBN: 978-0-8213-8248-6
e-ISBN: 978-0-8213-8447-3
Publisher: World Bank
Date (published): 22/06/2011
Date (accessed): 09/08/2011
Type of information: book
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
"The impacts of information and communication technologies cross all sectors. Research shows that investment in information and communication technologies is associated with such economic benefits as higher productivity, lower costs, new economic opportunities, job creation, innovation, and increased trade and exports. Information and communication technologies also help provide better services in health and education and strengthen social cohesion.

The Little Data Book on Information and Communication Technology 2011 charts the progress of this revolution for 213 countries around the world. It provides comparable statistics on the sector for 2000 and 2009 across a range of indicators, enabling readers to readily compare countries.

This book includes indicators covering the economic and social context, the structure of the information and communication technology sector, sector efficiency and capacity, and sector performance related to access, usage, quality, affordability, trade, and applications. The Glossary contains definitions of the terms used in the tables."

Sri Lanka builds telecentres for farm people

Title: Sri Lanka builds telecentres for farm people
Author: Pia Rufino
Source: FutureGov
Date (published): 05/08/2011
Date (accessed): 09/08/2011
Type of information: article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"The Sri Lankan government will be establishing 35 new e-Kiosk Centres with internet and satellite communication facilities this year to boost IT proficiency of the estate people in the country...The move is part of a bigger digital inclusion programme by the Saumyamoorth Thondaman Memorial Foundation under an Act of Parliament aimed at establishing 450 Prajashakthi (Community strengthening) centres...A similar project is being rolled out in the country called Rural Telecentre Network, known as Nenasala, and a network of PC labs in schools, aimed at narrowing the digital divide in rural areas.

To date, 615 nenasala are already established in the country."

Online Security in the Middle East and North Africa: A Survey of Perceptions, Knowledge and Practice

Title: Online Security in the Middle East and North Africa: A Survey of Perceptions, Knowledge and Practice
Authors: Robert Faris, Hal Roberts, Rebekah Heacock, Ethan Zuckerman, Urs Gasser
Pages: 15 pp.
Source: Berkman Center, Harcard University
Date (published): 01/08/2011
Date (accessed): 09/08/2011
Type of information: report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
"Digital communication has become a more perilous activity, particularly for activists, political dissidents, and independent media. The recent surge in digital activism that has helped to shape the Arab spring has been met with stiff resistance by governments in the region intent on reducing the impact of digital organizing and independent media. No longer content with Internet filtering, many governments in the Middle East and around the world are using a variety of technological and offline strategies to go after online media and digital activists.

In this report we describe the results of a survey of 98 bloggers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) carried out in May 2011 in order to study bloggers’ perceptions of online risk and the actions they take to address digital communications security, including both Internet and cell phone use. The survey was implemented in the wake of the Arab spring and documents a proliferation of online security problems among the respondents. In the survey, we address the respondents’ perceptions of online risk, their knowledge of digital security practices, and their reported online security practices. The survey results indicate that there is much room for improving online security practices, even among this sample of respondents who are likely to have relatively high technical knowledge and experience."
via http://zunia.org/

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