digital divide

Broadband Adoption in Low-Income Communities

Title: Broadband Adoption in Low-Income Communities
Authors: Dharma Dailey, Amelia Bryne, Alison Powell, Joe Karaganis and Jaewon Chung
Pages: 103 pp.
Publisher: Social Science Research Council
Date (published): 01/03/2010
Date (accessed): 23/03/2010
Type of information: research report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
The social function of the Internet has changed dramatically in recent years. What was, until recently, a supplement to other channels of information and communication has become increasingly a basic requirement of social and economic inclusion. Educational systems, employers, and government agencies at all levels have shifted services online—and are pushing rapidly to do more. Price remains only one factor shaping the fragile equilibrium of home broadband adoption, and library and community organizations fill the gap by providing critical training and support services while under severe economic pressures. Commissioned by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to analyze the factors shaping low rates of adoption of home broadband services in low-income and other marginalized communities, this SSRC study is one of the only large-scale qualitative investigations of barriers to adoption in the US and complements FCC survey research on adoption designed to inform the 2010 National Broadband Plan. The study draws on some 170 interviews of non-adopters, community access providers, and other intermediaries conducted across the US in late 2009 and early 2010 and identifies a range of factors that make broadband services hard to acquire and even harder to maintain in such communities.

Developing a Methodology for Costing the Impact of Digital Exclusion

Title: Developing a Methodology for Costing the Impact of Digital Exclusion
Publisher: University of Oxford for the Oxford Internet Institute
Date (published): March 2010
Date (accessed): 23/03/2010
Type of information:
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
This site presents a Methodology for Costing the Impact of Digital Exclusion, developed for the National Audit Office (NAO) by the LSE Public Policy Group and the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) and opens it up for expert deliberation. Please go to the How you can help tab to participate in the deliberation and improve the methodology!

This online consultation was commissioned by the NAO to inform its understanding of the evidence base on the costs and benefits of digitial inclusion activities. Please do not quote or reference the research without the express permission of the NAO. The NAO has yet to decide when and how it will publish the results of this exercise.

BACKGROUND

Recent work by OII has shown that technological forms of exclusion are a reality for significant segments of the population, that different groups experience different types of exclusion, and that for some people they reinforce and deepen existing disadvantages, such as social and economic exclusion.

We were asked by the National Audit Office to develop a methodology for working out the benefits foregone to citizens, government and the economy through digital exclusion - and the costs of overcoming them. This methodology is presented here.

African Languages in a Digital Age. Challenges and opportunities for indigenous language computing

Title: African Languages in a Digital Age. Challenges and opportunities for indigenous language computing
Author: Don Osborn
Pages: 150 pp.
ISBN: 978-07969-2249-6
Publisher: HSCR Press
Date (published): 2010
Date (accessed): 23/02/2010
Type of information: academic publications
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
With increasing numbers of computers and diffusion of the internet around the world, localisation of the technology and the content it carries into the many languages people speak is becoming an ever more important area for discussion and action. Localisation, simply put, includes translation and cultural adaptation of user interfaces and software applications, as well as the creation and translation of internet content in diverse languages. It is essential in making information and communication technology more accessible to the populations of the poorer countries, increasing its relevance to their lives, needs, and aspirations, and ultimately in bridging the ‘digital divide’.

Localisation is a new and growing field of inquiry. This book identifies issues, concerns, priorities, and lines of research and is intended as a baseline study in defining localisation in Africa and how it is important for development and education in the long term.

Contents:

1. Introduction

2. Background

3. Introducing ‘localisation ecology’

4. Linguistic context

5. Technical context 1: physical access

6. Technical context 2: internationalisation

7. African language text, encoding and fonts

8. Keyboards and input systems

9. Defining languages in ICT: tags and locales

10. Internet

11. Software localisation

12. Mobile technology and other specialised applications

13. Achieving sustainable localisation

14. Summary and recommendations

Transformative Impact of ICT: Change stories from rural India

Title: Transformative Impact of ICT: Change stories from rural India
Authors/Editors: Arundhathi, Suchit Nanda and Subbiah Arunachalam
Pages: 31 pp.
ISBN: 978-81-88355-16-7
Source: www.photonicyatra.com
Publisher: Jamsetji Tata National Virtual Academy (NVA) M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai
Date (published): 19/01/2010
Date (accessed): 29/01/2010
Type of information: report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
ICT is now recognized as a technological tool which can serve as a catalytic intervention in respect of transforming the lives and livelihoods of rural families. The economic and income divides between urban and rural areas can be overcome only by the technological upgradation of rural professions. The present publication provides examples of the transformational role of ICT in a wide range of rural professions. For example, artesenal fishermen going out into the ocean in a catamaran can now carry a cell phone with GPS data on the location of fish shoals and information on wave heights at different distances from the shore line. The Village Knowledge Centre or Gyan Chaupal (VKC) provides information on sanitary and phytosanitary measures and Codex Alimentarius standards of food safety, so that Salmonella and other infections can be avoided.
The present publication contains 12 case studies, which illustrate the transformational role of ICT in villages. I hope the men and women who have mastered the technologies and are applying them in day today life will serve as role models for other rural families. We should convert the small programme started by MSSRF in 1992 into a mass movement, bringing hope and cheer in the lives of the rural poor.

Reaching the Unreached: Community based Village Knowledge Centres & Village Resource Centres

Title: Reaching the Unreached: Community based Village Knowledge Centres & Village Resource Centres
Authors/Editors: Suchit Nanda and Subbiah Arunachalam
Pages: 59 pp.
ISBN: 978-81-88355-15-0
Source: www.photonicyatra.com
Publisher: Jamsetji Tata National Virtual Academy (NVA) M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai
Date (published): 19/01/2010
Date (accessed): 29/01/2010
Type of information: report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
The power of ICT in the field of information, communication and technology empowerment in rural areas is now widely recognized. Reaching the unreached and voicing the voiceless are now achievable objectives in development programmes. To assess whether Village Knowledge Centres (VKCs) and Village Resource Centres (VRCs) are really making a difference in the lives and livelihoods of the socially and economically handicapped sections of the rural population, it is essential that continuous monitoring and evaluation, as well as documentation are undertaken.
In this publication guidance is given on the procedure to be adopted for setting up VKCs and VRCs (Village Resource centres which have satellite connection and telecommunication facilities). It was the hope of scientists of MSSRF in the year 2000 that by 2007, all our villages will have Knowledge Centres. The Government of India included Knowledge Connectivity under its Bharat Nirman programme (i.e., New Deal for Rural India), and provided funds for establishing 100,000 common service centres to service rural India. Private sector companies like ITC started expanding its e-chaupal programme.

Measuring digital development for policy-making: Models, stages, characteristics and causes

Title: Measuring digital development for policy-making: Models, stages, characteristics and causes
Author Editor: Ismael Peña-López
Pages: 586 pp.
Publisher: Internet Interdisciplinary Institute, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
Date (published): 07/11/2009
Date (accessed): 17/12/2009
Type of information: PhD Thesis
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML and pdf)
Abstract:
With this work, our aim is to analyze how and why the different approaches to model and measure the Information Society have determined what is meant by the concept of access to Information and Communication Technologies and digital development. And, based on this first analysis, work on and propose a 360º digital framework that can serve policy-making while, at the same time, be able to state whether and why governments should seek to foster the development of the Information Society.

Thus, the goal of this research is to identify the relevant factors that promote digital development, to define and describe – on that basis – its different stages and to explain the causes why a particular country might therefore be classified as a digital leader or a laggard and, lastly, answer whether and why governments should foster the Information Society.

Background Paper for Identifying the Best Practice of ICT Implementations in Asia and the Pacific

Title: Background Paper for Identifying the Best Practice of ICT Implementations in Asia and the Pacific
Pages: 36 pp.
Publisher: UNESCAP
Date (published): 16/10/2009
Date (accessed): 10/12/2009
Type of information: research paper
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
This 36-page paper describes and assesses major and strategic information and communication technology (ICT) projects that have been undertaken in Asia and the Pacific with a view to expanding ICT access. It emerges from an October 19-20 2009 meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, organised by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)'s Information and Communications Technology and Disaster Risk Reduction Division (IDD). The "Sub-regional Workshop on Strengthening ICT Policies and Applications to Achieve MDGs and WSIS goals in South-East Asia and the Pacific" presented the findings of the in-depth research and analysis on the current status of ICT access in the region and examined policy options at the national level, taking into account new and emerging technologies.

The paper is a desk study and literature review of ICT projects in Asia and the Pacific based on project reports, annual reports, research papers, and case studies, with a focus on materials published from 2004 through to July 2009. The specific emphasis is on ICT connectivity as a foundation of an inclusive information society.

Recognising the digital divide as a criterion to measure the level of a country's readiness to take advantages of ICT for socio-economic development, a core section of the document examines ICT penetration in this region, using data from 2003 and 2008; the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is applied in each category for the 5-year period.

See also:
Sub-regional Workshop on Strengthening ICT Policies and Applications to Achieve MDGs and WSIS Goals in South-East Asia and the Pacific, 19-20 October 2009, Bangkok
presentations, documents, programme

Gender differentials in ICT uptake: A critical literature review and research agenda

Title: “Him and Her” - Gender differentials in ICT uptake: A critical literature review and research agenda
Author Editor: Ruth Nsibirano
ISSN: 1814-0556
Source: International Journal of Education and Development using ICT, Vol. 5, No. 5 (2009)
Publisher: International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology
Date (published): 24/10/2009
Date (accessed): 07/12/2009
Type of information: peer-reviewed article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
Observed gender differences in the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) constitute a form of digital divide. Differences between male and female ICT users are of increasing interest world wide as the digital divide evolves. This gendered digital divide is more prominent in the developing world and Africa provides a very obvious illustration. The result is an inequitable distribution of benefits that come with the use of ICT. The objective of this paper is to review literature on the gendered digital divide. This paper draws on arguments advanced in feminist standpoint theory and gender symbolism to consider how gender symbolism contributes to a better understanding of differences in ICT use in University education. This includes how understandings and experiences of ICT, influence the decision to use / not use ICT.

First Experiences with OLPC in European Classrooms

Title: First Experiences with OLPC in European Classrooms
Authors: Martin Ebner, Johannes Dorfinger, Walther Neuper, Christian Safran
Pages: 9 pp.
Source: E-Learn - World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, & Higher Education ; 2009
Date (published): 03/10/2009
Date (accessed): 03/12/2009
Type of information: research paper
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
The use of laptops in educational settings is discussed by lots of e-Learning researchers for years now. Since 2002 the One Laptop Per Child project (OLPC-project) tries to bring digital devices to developing countries avoiding the increase of the digital gap. Austria has been one of the first countries in the European Union (EU) to start an OLPC-project on its own. The focus was on the use of digital devices in education at a very early stage. Accompanied by a solid research team, bringing teachers, e-learning experts as well as software developer together, a first attempt was established. This publication aims to carry out the description of the prework, the first real life setting and concludes with the experiences of the whole research group. Furthermore it summarizes a recommendation for a transfer of the project to developing countries.
Keyords: OLPC, XO, classroom, e-learning, digital literacy, digital device, children

Clearing m-health hurdles

Title: Clearing m-health hurdles
Author: Lezette Engelbrecht
Source: ITWeb
Publisher: ITWeb Limited
Date (published): 18/11/2009
Date (accessed): 23/11/2009
Type of information: article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
Language, cost and infrastructure challenges prevent mobile health technologies from being accessible to all.
The demand for ICT-assisted healthcare solutions like mobile health (m-health) is growing exponentially in developing countries due to the lack of suitably qualified doctors and specialists, says Yashik Singh, lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal's department of tele-health.

Singh adds, however, that there are limitations to what m-health can do. “Like with all technology there are drawbacks. The prerequisite of the use of m-health applications by patients themselves is that they will be required to understand basic health information, medication, nutrition, and treatment regime to manage their disease.

“M-health may contribute to the patient gaining this knowledge, but in the short-term patients with low health literacy will not benefit as much.”
(via http://twitter.com/ICT_Works)

Syndicate content