Community Development through ICTs
globalization gains momentum, and boundaries, geographical or mental,
are becoming increasingly irrelevant, communities
face the challenge of maintaining their identity and
improving the condition of their members in a
changing world. Meanwhile, many functions
and responsibilities are being devolved to the local
level, as part of moves towards
decentralisation and delocalisation. In this context,
the power of ICTs can be fully exploited to promote
local development. For many
remote communities, ICTs are a means for communicating with the
outside world and getting in touch with news from outside,
but also for letting the world know about these communities
and their people.
ICT stories from the field
Viet Nam is one of the Pacific Asian countries with a significant internal
digital divide, as well as a wider development gap, compared to more
economically advanced countries. The complex ethnic mosaic of Viet Nam, as well
as large differences in income, has the potential for social fragmentation, with technological spin-offs. Disparities between rich and poor, between
rural and urban populations, as well as ethnic communities, are seen
in income, education, access to
resources, health status, job opportunities and quality of life.
It is against this background that eLangViet partners
have taken on the challenge of addressing social development
through the creation of
an online network offering easy-to-understand
know-how in health, education, agricultural production, crafts
and trade. Information and knowledge can be accessed by the poorest sections of
Vietnamese society through computers based in specially developed community telecentres.
Local grassroot communities are given IT training to awaken their curiosity and enhance their
creativity and skills. Project
participants are urged to take full advantage of the IT facilities on offer, while
making them aware of the value of the skills learned, to enable them to take their own
choices and decisions about their future personal and professional development. This approach
ensures a sustainable and fruitful outcome to the project activities.
initially in eight pilot villages with population of about 70,000 people, spread
across six provinces. This pilot stage will last for two years before the
network is rolled out across the provinces and nationwide, building on the
lessons learned. A further goal of the future deployment of the project on a
national level is to strengthen Viet Nam's domestic market, contribute to the
improvement of the general welfare and lead action for poverty
Grassroot communities in Vietnam
UNCTAD and UNDP under the Global Programme on Globalisation, Liberalisation and
Sustainable Human Development.
WSIS Stocktaking Database and
the website of the activity.
Wind-up Radios in Mozambique
Success Strategy: In
response to the worst floods in recent memory, from January
to April 2000, the Freeplay Foundation, a UK-based
non-profit organisation, rapidly coordinated donations and
worked with a United States supplier and local
Mozambicans to deploy and distribute supplies throughout the
communities affected by the floods. The wind-up,
environment-friendly radios relayed information to remote
villages that helped ensure their safety
For more information:
Matapihi - New Zealand
Matapihi is a window onto the online collections of many New Zealand
cultural organisations. Matapihi allows the public to search the digital
collections of different New Zealand organisations from a single portal. On its launch,
the service contained around 50,000 records. This number will increase as new
partner organisations contribute.
Matapihi presents featuers about New Zealand, made in New
Zealand, created by New Zealanders, and held in New Zealand collections. Geography, history, the natural environment,
people and events are featured. It contains photographs, drawings, paintings,
sculpture and some 3-D virtual museum objects, as well as a number of
sound files and textual items. Moving images will be added in the future.
also hosts features and highlights based on particular themes and
drawn from the collections of all Matapihi contributors. Sophisticated search
tools are available for targeted research.
An additional merit of the website is its bilingual resources,
available in English and
Maori. The project is an excellent example of the promotion of grassroot values and
awareness of their importance for further development in the emerging Information
Partners: New Zealand - National Digital Forum.
WSIS Stocktaking Database and
website of the activity.
Fantsuam – Nigeria
This project seeks to empower
women in rural areas of Nigeria to work their way out
of poverty, promoting the use of ICTs to support traditional governance in rural development, education,
rural-urban-rural and rural-rural connectivity, e-Commerce
and access to
ICTs, based on the manufacture of tropical solar-powered
computers in rural areas.
project’s overall goal is to alleviate poverty and mobilize
human potential through many different bottom-up
activities, including scholarships for ICT training
and business incubation services and internet and web-based
e-learning programmes for women and youths underpinned by
microfinance. A parallel campaign to raise awareness about
health issues and reproductive health, has been launched
local resources. A Mobile Rural Library and ICT Service (MRLIS)
works with 40 communities to give them access to
information from regional, national and international
sources. Intensive e-learning possibilities are offered to
local teachers, researchers and formal and informal
community leaders. An important back-up to the project is
the Nigeria’s first rural Cisco networking academy, Fantsuam
Local rural communities
Fantsuam Foundation, African Development Foundation, African
Caucus, World Summit of the Information Society, African Stakeholders Network of
the UN ICT Task Force,
AMARC Africa, APC, Economic Commission for Africa, Free and
Open Source Foundation for Africa, Global Knowledge, infoDev,
Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), Winrock
International, Kryss (interactive theatre for youth advocacy rights), Mountain
University of Jos, Youth Team Against AIDS and Sickle cell
Communications Prize for the Association for Progressive
Communications (People-Centered ICT Policy in Africa award
Public Domain Information Centers
Strategy: The Public Domain Information Centers Programme (united and extended
Public Legal Information Centers Programme and Public Business
Information Centers Programme) is aimed to create the network of
community centers for free public access to the different kind of
public domain information, e.g. legal, consumer, business,
ecological, educational, etc. across the Russia and CIS countries.
The website of the programme has till now connected more than 1350
telecenters throughout the CIS region and provides useful
information about ongoing and forthcoming initiatives related to the
dissemination of legal information concerning all aspects of life.
UNESCO IFAP National Committee of Russia, Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Russia,
Ministry of Culture and Mass Media of Russia, Special Communications Service,
Garant Co., Ltd,
Kodeks Co., Ltd,
Konsultant Plus Co., Ltd
For more information: see IFAP website and the
website of the activity
Multipurpose Community Telecenters (MCTs) in Uganda
Strategy: While it is still
too early to gauge the effectiveness of MCTs for rural
Ugandans, it is clear that
they can play a key role in narrowing the digital divide. To
be effective, they must be sponsored, implemented and
managed by multi-stakeholder consortia that engage
indigenous peoples at the community and/or village levels.
For example, Uganda’s first MCT, launched in March
1999 in a remote village 50 kilometers from the
capital city Kampala, was designed and funded by ITU, IDRC and
UNESCO, with other international and domestic partners. The Nakaseke MCT offered users one TV, a VCR, five computers, a
printer, two telephone lines, a scanner, fax machine and photocopier — the latter being the most popular among
users. During 1999, MCTs were also launched in Nabweru and Bunyoro, two other
remote villages in Uganda. As in other
telecentres in other LDCs, Ugandans use fax, e-mail and the
Internet to reduce transaction and transportation costs,
retrieve information about farming, education and health
techniques, and to stay in touch with family and friends
For more information:
the ITU website.
Background materials: see
the Wired in Uganda case study.
Winding Hope -
Project Radio Rwanda distributes radios that
are powered without electricity or batteries, to provide
vital education to children on practical issues
such as healthcare, safe water, farming methods
and many other important subjects.
Radios provide a lifeline to the isolated children of
Rwanda, thousands of whom have been orphaned by the
genocide, war and HIV and forced to take on the role of head of their family.
One of the more devastating
consequences of the war is a legacy of some 65,000
child-headed households, a situation compounded by many more
children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. It is estimated that over 400,000
children live alone without an adult, with older children
looking after three to five younger children. These families
are extremely vulnerable, living in abject poverty (two
thirds of the country lives below the poverty line) and traumatised by
the past and acts of violence. They have little chance of
accessing formal education or health services. The luckier
families make enough money to send one child (usually a boy)
to school. Without school and relatives, these children lack
care and traditional sources of upbringing and information.
to the local context, the Lifeline radio does not need batteries or electricity
(which are expensive and hardly available in rural areas) and can be taken into
the field while children work, allowing them to listen throughout the day. The
Lifeline radio uses state-of-the-art direct charge technology. Users wind a
crank handle to transfer energy to an alternator, which produces an alternating
current that is then rectified to direct
current to charge an internal rechargeable
battery. The transmission system has been designed to withstand harsh
conditions and the radio is robustly engineered to be
maintenance-free and ensure many years of reliable service.
In testing, the Lifeline radio underwent 500,000 input crank cycles without failure.
Similarly, the battery endured 10,000 usage cycles without failure.
A radio is donated to a household on the
condition that it is shared with neighbouring children. Useful programmes with educational value are essential to connect the children
to the outside world and improve their quality of life.
Children asked for information on HIV/AIDS, malaria, stomach
diseases, hygiene and nutrition. Heads of households also
wanted important information on how to take care of
younger siblings, as well as on farming and agricultural
assistance, the market price of crops, the weather, and
current events in Rwanda. Music was far down the list of
most heads of households.
The Lifeline radio can access the BBC, Voice of America (VOA),
Radio Rwanda, and Deutsche Welle providing a combination of
programmes in the local Kinyarwanda dialect, English and
Currently, over 2,000 radios have been donated and
distributed for the project. Thousands more are
needed to provide 65,000 households with a radio,
training and support along with support for radio
programming. Each radio provides at least ten children with
access to radio listening, providing up to 11,000 children
with information and education that can
dramatically improve their day-to-day lives. In surveys, the children
responded that being able to listen to the radio
helps to ease their sense of isolation. Daily newscasts
help ensure that they know that the violence is over and Rwanda
is now stable and they are safe in their homes.
War Child UK,
The Communication Initiative,
Radio for development,
Department for International Development (DFID),
Commission (EC), the
Initiative in collaboration with the Government of Canada,
and the Nature
Community Access to Broadband in Schools – Turkey
Turkish Ministry of Education has
developed this project to provide fast, robust and continuous internet access to
computer laboratories across 42,500 primary and secondary
schools and Ministerial institutions.
efforts are underway to adapt and use this
digital opportunity efficiently, which is often the only
access available in many rural
districts. Previously, rooms were not functional
after school-hours. Now, arrangements have
been introduced, including staff assignments and security
measures, to allow local communities to enjoy
broadband access. This will enable a broader range of people,
including those who cannot afford a PC, to access to
the Internet and help narrow the digital divide in
Schools, pupils, youth and rural community members in Turkey.
The Turkish Ministry of
Education and other partners.
Stocktaking Database and
Reflect - Uganda
This project seeks to establish a functional
communication system using community ICTs to
promote the freer flow of information and
satisfy the information needs of
marginalized members in the community.
Reflect groups are involved in programmes creating and
boosting ICT skills of community members. Broad use of the Internet
helps enhance practical,
as well as scientific, knowledge. Community members are
urged to increase their awareness levels of critical
health issues (such as HIV/SIDA, contraception, etc.) to
reduce harmful behaviour, as well as to enhance
their artistic skills. Music, Dance and Drama through
the Internet are expected to promote art and may even turn it into
professional and remunerated activity. Facilitators and
groups are free to use and adapt
participatory ICT tools as they see fit, as long as
their activities link to the core values of the
project now emphasizes networking and
marginalized community members, youths.
ActionAid, DFID, local NGO Literacy and Empowerment.
the project's website.
Broadband 100% Installation
Programme of Hyogo - Japan
The Hyogo broadband initiative offers perspectives
for the developing world with its best practices of a regional
development programme that has promoted partnership between local government and business
to build a broadband
access network in rural areas.
Hyogo prefecture is located in the
western part of Japan, an area of
disaster recovery after the huge earthquake of Hanshin-Awaji
in 1995. Despite Japan being a technologically advanced
country, there are still large underserved areas with regards to
broadband services. In these areas, dial-up using
fixed telephone lines remains the only way of connecting to
progress in broadband access technologies has been
made in both wired and wireless technologies in Hyogo.
Technologies such as ADSL and wireless LAN, which are
becoming progressively less expensive, make it easier to
extend the broadband access environment to rural areas. In 2004,
the ADSL service coverage rate for households in Hyogo
prefecture reached 97.7%, while the overall average for Japan was
77.1%. This success has been achieved thanks to
the local government programme entitled "Broadband
100% installation programme of Hyogo" and to cooperation with
business, in order to bring efficient technological services to
For the local community, this public-private
partnership has resulted in improvements in the quality of life in
the region and the development of varied local digital
content, including the expansion of administrative services over the
web. All city and town administrations in Hyogo
Prefecture (for 28 cities and 32 towns, as of 24 May
2005) have developed their own websites for better administrative
services, including the dissemination and exchange of
information among households, local industry and local
In the framework of the
partnership, an initiative has been undertaken to connect all
primary schools to the Internet. Thanks to the Harima
Smart School Project, the majority of local schools have
been already connected through volunteer organisations'
activity. The Hyogo New Media Council is a forum for
discussion among all the stakeholders in ICT development in
Hyogo Prefecture for cooperative solutions.
100% connectivity of primary schools could be
the active participation of people in the local
community, a working partnership among
stakeholders, as well as the strong leadership of local
government authorities. While promoting broadband
infrastructure , Hyogo Prefectural
Government has endeavoured to attain the wider goal of supporting
a multi-dimensional cultivation of local community, as well
as information-sharing among stakeholders, to create a new style of local community
participation, based on
Local Government, local NGOs, local business.
“Bridging the Digital Divide through Partnerships between
Local Government and Venture Business”,
New Breeze, April 2005, The ITU Association of Japan and the
Outlines of "Broadband 100% installation programme of Hyogo".
For more detailed
the Hyogo Prefectural
Government website in Japanese http://web.pref.hyogo.jp/ and
For translation of the pages in
Japanese: recommended to use
Altavista machine translation.
Satellite Connectivity Project - Latin America and the
E-Link Americas is a landmark project
that seeks to connect remote and underserved areas in the Americas using
low-cost high-speed Internet to develop tools for
social and economic development. Satellite and terrestrial
wireless technologies will be used to deliver affordable,
financially viable Internet access to municipalities,
universities, schools, hospitals, telecentres and other
community-based organisations in Latin America and the
Caribbean. Existing infrastructure will be leveraged using
wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) technology, to extend access to
businesses and homes.
Americas aggregates demand and creates regional
infrastructure to offer efficient Internet
services for social development. E-Link's services are
delivered using a broadband VSAT satellite Ku-band hub, low-cost digital remote terminals and local terrestrial wireless
links to provide uniform access to Internet
telecommunications resources. E-Link's services are based on high-speed
through VSAT terminals connected to a satellite
gateway in Canada using the Ku band. Access points can
be extended using Wi-Fi technology. When local organisations subscribe to E-Link's
high-speed Internet service, E-Link provides all the
necessary equipment, including small satellite dishes and
high-speed access devices.
E-Link services are managed by in-country partners
generating local employment. In order to provide low-cost
services throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, E-Link
Americas works with Local Service Partners in each country,
including Chile, Colombia,
Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Peru.
The key differentiators
that set E-Link apart from other service solutions are the concept of using open standards, such as DVB-RCS and
Wi-Fi, and the focus on purchasing locally manufactured
products and obtaining local support.
E-Link Americas supported by Canadian International
Development Agency (CIDA), the World Bank, the OAS, the
Institute for Connectivity in the Americas (ICA), and the
International Development Research Centre (IDRC).
Stocktaking Database and the
Te Ara -- The Encyclopaedia of New
Te Ara is one of the world's first
born-digital national encyclopaediae, and is a comprehensive guide
to New Zealand's peoples, natural environment, history,
culture, economy and institutions. This 9 year project was
planned throughout 2004 and went 'live' in
February 2005. While preserving and presenting cultural
heritage in line with future challenges, Te Ara demonstrates valuable cultural assets clearly and
informatively using state-of-the-art technology.
Ara offers many pathways to understanding New Zealand. In
Māori, Te Ara means 'the pathway'. Using interlinking text
and image trails, the Encyclopaedia takes you on a journey of
discovery of the People of New Zealand, the first big theme
developed through the Encyclopaedia.
Te Ara is highly innovative in its
layering of content for multiple audiences, its design
and information architecture and its use of multimedia content,
including audio, video and innovative maps. The entire
resource is available in both Māori and English.
Te Ara's first theme introduces New
Zealanders to one another and to the world, and explores the
origins of New Zealanders - the voyages, the stories of
settlement, and their rich and diverse heritages. There is
also a major section on the development of the New Zealanders
as a people.
Te Ara also provides full encyclopaedic coverage of New Zealand
through its inclusion of a
series of overviews which present 'New Zealand In Brief',
and a historical perspective through a digitized
encyclopaedia from the 1960s. Te Ara involves ordinary New
Zealanders in the preparation of their national encyclopaedia
by inviting and including public contributions on specific topics. The project is rapidly expanding
and gaining in popularity. When complete, beginning with the
theme of Peoples, it will present a comprehensive
guide to New Zealand - the country's peoples, natural
environment, history, culture, economy, institutions and
The Ministry of Culture and Heritage for Te Ara - The
Encyclopaedia of New Zealand.
Awards: Winner of the national contest Best
Digital Content and Applications - New Zealand 2005,
Category e-Culture Nominee for the WSIS-Award 2005, Category
WSIS-Award - New Zealand and
Terremoto El Salvador:
Information in Times of Emergency
earthquake of 13 January 2001 was devastating for El
Salvador. One month later, another powerful
earthquake shook the central region of the country and
caused even greater destruction. The final report of the
Committee of National Emergencies (COEN) stated that 25.6
per cent of the population were affected - more
than 1 million Salvadorians.
community was mobilized and multiple agencies raced to
help. As is often the case in emergencies, information
was erratic and unreliable, and coordination between
multiple agencies was difficult, resulting in some duplication of
efforts. Four days after the first earthquake, a group was
formed to initiate the SIGCO project. SIGCO was created in
response to the need for a tool for easy
registration and tracking of relief contributions of the
international community, diffusion of information and real-time tracking of the changing
needs of the affected populations. The Internet was used to
help achieve this, in the instant update and
exchange of information and worldwide diffusion. In three
days, with support from the Office for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP) local office, the SIGCO web
page went online with a database of the donors’
contributions and various status reports.
the second earthquake hit El Salvador a month after the
first one, the website received more than 5,000 visits, more
than any other site dedicated to the emergency. Terremoto El
Salvador has demonstrated that it is possible to create a
useful webpage for a large number of users with a small
working group at very low cost. It has also proved
that close relations with all stakeholders are essential for
effective information initiatives. The SIGCO project adopted the name of Terremoto El Salvador.
For more information:
Global e-Schools and
The Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative (GeSCI) was
established in recognition of the vital role that education
play in creating long-term, sustainable development and how
ICT for Education
(ICT4E) is a catalyst for improved education, community
empowerment and socio-economic growth. GeSCI works actively to help
achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals.
We believe that improving education is a cornerstone of
sustainable socio-economic development and a key mechanism
to enabling people to share in prosperity. Worldwide, there
an estimated 350 million school-aged children not attending
school and more than 800 million illiterate adults, so the
challenge is great and the stakes are high, says Stephen
Nolan, Executive Director of GeSCI.
Developing regions can derive major benefits from the
creation and implementation of rational, directed e-schools
strategies. However, it is crucial that, from the beginning,
these strategies are formulated using a complete and
sustainable approach, so resulting systems can be
deployed with maximum impact on education and community
GeSCI’s role is two-fold. Firstly, GeSCI concentrates on
facilitating and supporting ICT4E initiatives by working with
the local Ministries of Education and ICT in developing
countries. Specifically, GeSCI provides assistance
with planning of ICT4E initiatives, contributing knowledge and
experience in the drafting of national plans so that each
country can take ownership of a strategic and attainable
GeSCI also convenes global partners, so needs
can be successfully matched to resources, from
donors or other private sector entities who provide
expertise and technical, physical and financial support. GeSCI
initially focused its work on four priority countries:
Namibia, Ghana, Bolivia and
India (the state of Andhra Pradesh). Work is progressing in each partner
country with each working towards its own ICT4E strategy.
GeSCI is also working in Jordan with the
Jordanian Education Initiative on a codification, analytical
and problem-solving exercise and with SchoolNet
Africa’s One Million PCs campaign.
Children, youth, communities in developing countries.
UN ICT Task Force, the Governments of Sweden, Switzerland,
Canada and Ireland. (GeSCI)
WSIS Stocktaking Database
website of the activity.
RANET - Global
Success Strategy: RANET is an international collaboration to make weather,
climatic and related information more accessible to remote
and resource-poor populations. The programme combines
innovative technologies with appropriate applications and
partnerships at the community level in order to ensure that
the networks it creates serve all the community's
information needs. Community ownership and partnership is
the core principle of RANET's sustainability strategy.
RANET offers a range of activities
including training, pilot activities to
demonstrate various community technologies, and a network through partnership and platform
development. It aims to facilitate day-to-day resource
decisions and help people prepare for, guard against and
combat natural hazards.
RANET also works to build communication bridges between
scientific databases and remote communities to exchange environmental information. RANET is a
2-tier system. The first tier carries the information necessary
to improve meteorological services.
Examples include satellite imagery, ocean temperature
measurements, synoptic observations, and large-scale model
runs. These products are taken from public domain websites.
The second tier is designed to serve the communities and
local populations by distributing locally/nationally
produced information, such as forecasts, bulletins, and warnings. In several
cases, communities have asked for additional information such as crop prices,
which are then
also placed on the network. In all cases, RANET strives to
provide information in local languages and in a
The programme has
developed specific technology-based
platforms. For instance, in Africa, new and existing analogue
(FM/AM) radio stations have been integrated with new digital
radio satellite technologies. RANET's strategy seeks to ensure
that the programme builds
on existing capabilities and local knowledge, is community-owned and operated, and is locally relevant.
RANET also provides a web-hosting programme. In exchange for
the opportunity to develop web skills and an online presence,
national environmental services are asked to make operational products available
over RANET's digital radio
broadcast. The WorldSpace Foundation (renamed First Voice
International, or FVI) developed and manages the satellite
system through which RANET broadcasts multimedia (data)
content to all of Africa and most of Asia, and hopefully soon
in the Pacific.
International, regional, national, and local organisations
from the public, non-profit, and commercial sector,
including the Australian Government, the Australian
Bureau of Meteorology and the African Center of
Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD). Support
has been provided by the USAID Office of Foreign Disaster
Assistance, the NOAA Office of Global Programs, and FVI.
Communication Initiative website and
website of the activity.
Support Mine Action - Mozambique
This project aims to support and strengthen demining
action in Mozambique. CIDA provided equipment (e.g. computers, plotters, and
technical advisors) to the Database Unit of the Institute for National Demining
(IND) and the Accelerated Demining Program (ADO), and ensured the proper
installation of a global landmine information management system, which is used
worldwide to track the location of landmines in landmine-affected countries.
CIDA also supported the Geomatic component of the project.
Partners: Canadian International Development Agency - CIDA.
WSIS Stocktaking Database.
Conflict Prevention and Integration Program - Georgia
Success Strategy: The Conflict Prevention and Integration Program in Samtskhe-Javakheti, Georgia
is designed to reduce tension and prevent conflict through activities related to
language education, information flows and media development, legal assistance
and legal information and management of inter-ethnic relations. The programme
aims to strengthen public access to legal information and
policy-makers' decisions on minority legal issues by improving the professionalism
of journalism and the availability of Georgian news programmes in Samstkhe-Javakheti.
Canadian International Development Agency - CIDA.
WSIS Stocktaking Database.
Information Network (CARDIN)
Success Strategy: Over the
last century, more than 475 disasters were recorded in the
Central America and Caribbean region, making the Caribbean islands a
disaster-prone area. A publication by the
of Research of the Epidemiology of Disasters
concluded that the scale of the damage done by natural disasters has
tended to increase during the course of the last 25 years.
In the Caribbean, repeated disasters weaken key economic sectors, increasing the vulnerability of
the affected countries and forcing them to become increasingly
have been many initiatives to fight natural disasters - local, regional
and global- the
Disaster Information Network
seeks to combine these efforts and link Caribbean
disaster organizations, widening the scope of the collection of
CARDIN, established in 1999, provides a new and dynamic
approach to accessing and disseminating disaster-related
information to adequately prepare and
minimize the effect of disasters in the Caribbean.
This has been achieved through the collection, indexing and
dissemination of disaster information to produce a
comprehensive database encompassing the English,
French, Spanish and Dutch-speaking Caribbean. The Library of
University of the West Indies at Mona
(UWI) has been selected as the focal point for disaster
information in the Caribbean.
The computer network and support
services of the UWI are used to reduce overheads. Other institutions involved have basic computer
services for day-to-day operations and communicate with UWI
via the Internet.
made linkages across a number of Caribbean countries and by
June 2000, it had collected over 9,000 records from sources. However, reliance on
members for the submission of records can be a problem, mainly due to the
limited staff capacity within member agencies. Furthermore,
communications in four languages has proved challenging.
CARDIN's activities include training for member institutes, managing
information, publishing manuals, and holding seminars for organisations such as schools, the police, and disaster
managements organisations. These seminars raise awareness of
the project and alert the public as to how to access
disaster information, prevent further
destruction of our environment and prepare for disaster-related emergencies.
India’s Village Knowledge Centres
Success Strategy: Designed by
the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF)
and funded by the Canadian International
Development Research Centre (IDRC), Village
Knowledge Centres are an important source of
information for rural villages throughout India. From
healthcare to farming and transport
information, these “information shops” are both
sustainable and empowering. For example, a cadre of women volunteers
between the ages of 21-27 run the shop in the village
of Embalam, and women are given preference at each of
the other sites in operation.
Village Knowledge Centres have improved
access to markets, healthcare information and helped
sensitize rural youth to computers. Access to
agricultural information has proved to be one
of the most popular uses of the Centres. In the village of Veerampattinam, the
staff download maps and daily weather forecasts from the United States
Navy website every day. The
staff then disseminates the information via
loudspeakers to village fishermen to help them
in their daily tasks. By offering practical, localized information
that is immediately useful to the community, these
information shops help keep villagers healthy and
The government of Pondicherry has established Centres
in four villages so far and intends to establish
“onramps” to the information superhighway in 50
more villages in the near future. Each shop is equipped with a multimedia Pentium
PC and a printer, linked to the MSSRF hub in
Villianur through a Local Area Network based on Very
High Frequency (VHF) radio. Despite the positive benefits the Centres have
had since being implemented in 1998, many barriers
illiteracy and linguistic hurdles must be overcome in
order to extend the project to new villages
throughout Pondicherry. Moreover, it is essential for project coordinators to educate local bureaucrats, who
seek to control information flows,
on the social and economic benefits of ICTs.
For more information:
Partnership Programme (IPPP) - Canada
Indigenous Peoples Partnership Program (IPPP), funded through the Americas
Branch of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), was
established to provide a dedicated instrument for Indigenous organizations (IOs)
in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) to form partnerships with Canadian
Aboriginal organizations. Partnerships are a key means of helping improve the well-being of Indigenous peoples (IPs) in the LAC region through projects that
enhance the capacity of local organizations and communities to become
self-sufficient. They have integral intrinsic value for the social, cultural, and
indigenous knowledge exchanges that take place and for the partnerships and friendships that are
Where possible, IPPP uses modern telecommunication technology to enhance the
programme's effectiveness and facilitate knowledge-sharing and dissemination
in order to popularise the indigenous heritage and allow indigenous peoples
to keep in touch with other communities and knowledge horizons,
including those open by ICTs.
Canadian International Development Agency - CIDA.
WSIS Stocktaking Database
the website of the activity
Creating an Innovative
to the way in which Thomas Cooke transformed the village in
the 1840s, Market Harborough in the United Kingdom is
undergoing another revolution. While Cooke used the
railroad network to launch his travel business, today’s
innovators in this remote village are using the Internet to
become active participants in the global Information
Society. One initiative created by the Market Harborough-based
Mass Mitec company uses a variety of ICTs to connect the
local community with the rest of the world. Using a
combination of Internet and radio, Mass Mitec
brings together experts from around the world to discuss
many issues relating to innovation and the Information
Society. The “Radio with Pictures Show,” which airs on
95.1FM, provides a forum for knowledge-sharing on subjects
ranging from sustainability to youth and the media and
gender. While local in nature, the initiative is global in
scope, as it is designed to cultivate the innovative
capacities of the local community by using ICTs to
promote international cross-cultural dialogue. For
instance, a recent broadcast brought together visitors from
the United States, Belize and the United Kingdom to discuss
the meaning and importance of innovation, and its influence on societies around the world.
For more information:
Mass Mitec's website.
The Treaty of Waitangi - New
Treaty of Waitangi is the founding document of New Zealand,
and part of the living history of the nation. This website,
launched in 2003, is not an attempt to change public
attitudes, nor to promote a particular view of the Treaty's
significance, but rather to provide information and
resources for a more informed understanding and greater public
knowledge of the Treaty.
The Treaty of Waitangi is the founding
document of New Zealand, signed in 1840 between the
British Crown and the Māori people (the indigenous people of
New Zealand). As such, the Treaty is not only New Zealand's
founding constitutional document, it is also part of the living
history of the nation. Over time, the Treaty of Waitangi has
had a profound impact on life, history and politics in New
Zealand, especially over the last thirty years.
Treaty of Waitangi Information Programme was established by
the State Services Commission in 2004. The first project was a website that presents an account of
the interweaving of events, groups and individuals
throughout New Zealand's history. The website also includes stories and case studies, animated maps,
personal quotes and anecdotes, biographies on key people and
a comprehensive section devoted to written, recorded and
electronic resources on the Treaty of Waitangi. Responses from New
Zealanders to the website have been very positive.
Historians have also called it 'one of the most
comprehensive resources on the Treaty of Waitangi'. Since
New Zealand is a multi-cultural country, the Treaty has also
been translated into several other languages, and is
available on the website in Samoan, Tongan, Niuean,
Tokelauan, Cook Island Māori, Korean and Chinese. Features
for vision-impaired users are also available, providing a
truly inclusive resource for all citizens.
The website hosts several
related initiatives and features, in particular:
An E-learning initiative:
An online seminar programme that is completely automated
and customised by the visitor. The online seminar offers
choices in topics, style of information, and frequency
of information, commencement date, and a quiz at the end
to test the user's knowledge on the subject.
Audio features: This is a
joint project with Radio New Zealand whereby historical
audio is researched and located in the archives and made
easily accessible to the website viewer. On the website
there will be over 100 pieces of audio related to the
historical timeline and to several themes. Each piece of
audio is connected via hyperlink to the relevant part of
the timeline, allowing readers of the timeline to easily
access audio that is relevant to that event. The audio
includes interviews and feature programmes as well as
radio news excerpts.
Community Discussions: This
project includes the design and facilitation of
community dialogue events, under the project leadership
of the Information Unit. A contractor has been engaged
to develop and produce the resources to support the
community dialogue events.
Road Show: Te Papa
Tongarewa, National Library and Archives New Zealand are
combining with the Treaty of Waitangi Information
Programme to develop a Treaty touring exhibition. This
will involve a large truck and mobile display touring
the country from the end of this year. The display will
include both 2D and 3D exhibition elements. Thus,
empowering citizens and providing a new generation of
public services, the initiative is being fostering
quality and efficiency of information exchange and
communication services in governmental and public
administrative processes, and strengthening
participation of citizens in the information society
the Treaty of
Waitangi Information Unit at State Services Commission for
The Treaty of Waitangi.
Awards: Winner of the
national contest Best Digital Content and Applications - New
Zealand 2005, Category e-Government Nominee for the WSIS-Award
2005, Category e-Government.
WSIS-Award - New Zealand and the Treaty of
Sharda – India
Sharda is an innovative approach to bring students to school by using ICTs for facilitating learning and increasing student's interest and motivation. The project is targeting urban poor children living in slums and LIG group community. By the end of 2006, under the project have been established 487 computer learning
centres in municipal primary schools in Delhi and a number of students are now learning through computers. The network is made possible by the work of 500 education volunteers and 2'500 PCs working under Linux OS.
The project aims to bridge the digital divide and build the confidence of the under-privileged communities by providing them with equal learning opportunities, in particular in math and languages.
Partners: The project is being
implemented by the Municipal departments of education in
Delhi, HCL Infosystems, Azim Prem Ji Foundation and Red Hat.
NICT website and an online questionnaire sent by Hajela
Mukesh in October 2006
SPU New Initiatives Programme
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