ICT policy

Digital Freedoms in International Law. Practical Steps to Protect Human Rights Online

Title: Digital Freedoms in International Law. Practical Steps to Protect Human Rights Online
Authors: Ian Brown and Douwe Korff
Pages: 54 pp.
Publisher: Global Network Initiative
Date (published): 14/05/2012
Date (accessed): 15/08/2012
Type of information: research report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
This report was commissioned by the Global Network Initiative (GNI) and was made possible by a grant from the Open Society Foundations. It is an academic work designed to pose questions and bring others into a dialogue. It attempts to tackle some of the most difficult questions around protecting rights to freedom of expression and privacy in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.

Power and Interests in Information and Communication Technologies and Development: Exogenous and Endogenous Discourses in Contention

Title: Power and Interests in Information and Communication Technologies and Development: Exogenous and Endogenous Discourses in Contention
Author: Robin Mansell
Pages: 28 pp.
ISSN: 0954-1748
Source: Journal of international development.
Publisher: Wiley Blackwell
Date (published): 14/03/2011
Date (accessed): 14/07/2011
Type of information: Article (Submitted version) (Pre-refereed)
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
"A 2009 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report claims that “information and communication technologies (ICTs) have proven to be a tremendous accelerator of economic and social progress” (UNCTAD, 2009: xi). The potential contribution of ICTs to development has come to prominence because these are regarded as General Purpose Technologies (GPTs) (Freeman and Louça, 2001; Helpman, 1998). As these technologies take hold throughout societies, they are accompanied by major structural, cultural, social and economic transformations. However, claims that the transformative potential of these technologies is necessarily consistent with human development aspirations are symptomatic of a Western-centric and universalist model of economic growth and development. In this paper I contrast the dominant model with those more consistent with Escobar’s (2002: 1) call for “another way of thinking, un paradigma otro”. I argue that, even when alternative models with respect to development are seen to influence policy and practice, the discourse concerning ICT interventions invariably is reminiscent of the dominant model."

Policies on Access to Information Technologies: The Case of e-Mexico

Title: Policies on Access to Information Technologies: The Case of e-Mexico
Authors: Judith Mariscal, J. Ramon Gil-Garcia, Armando Aldama-Nalda
Pages: 16 pp.
ISSN: 1544-7529
Source: Information Technologies & International Development; Volume 7, Number 2, Summer 2011, 1–16
Publisher: USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism
Date (published): 09/06/2011
Date (accessed): 14/07/2011
Type of information: peer-reviewed article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
"This article examines the ICT-for-development program implemented by the Mexican government during the early 2000s, the “National e-Mexico System.” It focuses on the connectivity component of the program, which created shared access to ICTs. Little is known about the beneaciaries’ perception of the Digital Community Centers (DCCs), or about the use they give to these tools. In order to obtain an assessment on the beneats to users of these centers, we conducted an exploratory survey in a sample of 23 DCCs. The results of our study indicate that this program has a positive, albeit limited, impact. Mostly, beneats reach young students by supporting their schoolwork and offering recreational activities. The fundamental weaknesses of the program reside in its limited scope, its lack of training, and the very low quality of broadband that is offered."

Opportunities and challenges for use of mobile phones for learning

Title: Opportunities and challenges for use of mobile phones for learning
Author: Bas Hoefman
Source: Educational Technology Debate
Publisher: infoDev and UNESCO
Date (published): 11/07/2011
Date (accessed): 12/07/2011
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"The Mobile landscape in Africa has rapidly evolved over the past decade with 380 Million mobile subscribers and 1 million added every week. This growth has been fueled in a large part by the liberalization effort resulting in the formation of independent regulatory bodies and increased competition in the market. This has enhanced numerous grassroots efforts to empower the poor and marginalized by providing access to knowledge through technology, more so a platform for communication. SMS and voice is being used in innovative ways to share knowledge and improve learning among students in Africa.
...
Technology role out for learning is still stalled by a number of factors in Africa including:

* Poor ICT policy implementation especially in the areas of Health and Education. These two areas are complimentary – will you educate an unhealthy nation?
* Most schools in Africa still do not accept mobile phone possession in classroom or even at school. Aspects of high teacher absenteeism and quality of teachers are still apparent.
* Limited mobile coverage especially in the rural areas which has also led to poor internet connectivity. Mobile operators are always seeking a win-win market situation– how then should we package these programs to make them interesting to the operators?
* Africa is characterized by too many ICT pilots of which most have not materialized to ongoing impact generating programs.
* Technology is powered by Electricity, which is a challenge to most of rural Africa."

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