International Telecommunication Union   ITU
 
 
Site Map Contact us Print Version
 Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Fundação Portuguesa das Comunicações

 

24th April 2014

Girls in ICT Day, an initiative backed by ITU Member States in ITU Resolution 70, will be celebrated this year on April 24th. The main goal is to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies (ICTs).
Portugal is joining these celebrations again by carrying out two initiatives at Fundação Portuguesa das Comunicações | Museu das Comunicações:

- March and April - a school and university contest about ICT issues will take place at FPC | MC (What is the impact of the digital revolution for the professions in the future? Is it important to increase the number of women working in the ICT sector?)

- 24th April - a roundtable debate with the participation of women connected to the ICTs industry, the announcement of the school competition winners and the delivery of the prizes.

For more information see the following websites: Portuguese version of the site | ITU

(Source: FPC)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 10:17:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
- The device uses raised points to depict information from a computer
- Blind people can use the Incendilumen to control the computer
- It will allow blind people to open and close different windows

Argentinean students from the country’s National Technological University are developing a tablet-like computing interface for blind people.

They plan to develop a final prototype over the next two months and launch it in just over two years, as a joint venture with a technology firm based in Buenos Aires.

The device acts as an interface between the user and a computer, says Guido Muchiutti, one of the seven team members and the device’s inventor. He tells SciDev.Net that the product depicts information from the computer screen and allows the user to control the computer.

The prototype, named Incendilumen, which means ‘turn on the light’ in Latin, has a surface covered with 2,000 tiny rods that rise and fall to represent information such as graphics, buttons and windows.

“Our interface translates data so blind people can feel it by touching what appears on the screen, whether icons or words in the Braille system”, says Leonardo Hoet, a professor of from the same university and a member of the team.

Incendilumen was a finalist in the Argentinian technology and design contest Innovar 2012, and won funding from the country’s ministry of science to develop the product further. Leandro Sereno, president of the Association for People with Visual Disabilities in Argentina, who tested the prototype, is enthusiastic about the device.

“When it is ready it will be fabulous because, with it, blind people can feel what appears on the screen and interact with it”, he tells SciDev.Net. “For instance, we can use different windows, and icons to open them or close them, something currently impossible for us. It would be very useful for surfing the internet¨.

Ariel Lutenberg, a researcher in Buenos Aires University’s Faculty of Engineering, praises the device, but says that many challenges remain to ensure this Argentinian innovation succeeds.

“The problem is always going beyond the laboratory and getting a product to sell”, he says. “It means lowering costs, mass production and other complicated issues in countries like Argentina. Things are different in Silicon Valley or Israel, for instance”.

The Incendilumen team hopes to make the tablet as cheap as possible and available to both institutions and individuals.

See here a video by the Incendilumen team about the innovation (in Spanish): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRGSullF-i4

(Source: SciDev)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 10:05:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Its that time of year again, where we bring together girls from different high schools and women in the tech industry together for a day of intense fun and brainstorming around career opportunities for girls in technology!



AkiraChix, for the second time, will be hosting a Girls in ICT Day event on April 26th, 2014 at iHub between 9:00a.m and 5.00p.m. This event is geared towards exposing young ladies in high school and university to career opportunities available to them in the tech industry. They will get to interact with girls who have benefited from the mentorship program in the past, as well as women working in the tech industry locally.

We will continue to provide updates as we get closer to the day of the event.
If you have a sister/friend in high school who you think would benefit, sign them up on their eventbrite page: http://akirachixgirlsinict14.eventbrite.com

(Source: Akirachix)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 9:57:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


In a crucial step towards making online public services more inclusive, Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) of India has launched a set of tools to develop online content in local languages for the various e-government portals and services.

The localisation portal offers basic tools and services for making e-government applications available in the official language of each state apart from English. Tools are currently available to support 6 Indian languages, and will gradually be made available for the other 16 official languages in India.

Each project under India’s National e-Governance Plan has several online applications and portals, and the localisation portal provides standards, best practices and guidelines to support the agencies undertaking localisation of their applications.

Joint Secretary for e-government at DeitY, Rajendra Kumar, shared that the localisation tools have already been used for seven projects, including content for health, e-district, public distribution system, pension, education and agriculture.

(Source: FutureGov)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 9:28:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


Last week, World Pulse, a partner of Telecentre.org Foundation, launched the second of three phases of its Women Weave the Web Campaign. After Digital Access which was the main focus in Phase 1, Digital Literacy now takes center stage in Phase 2.

What tools would you like to have access to in order to feel more comfortable online? What challenges did you face when learning to use the web? These are but some of the questions that Phase 2 of the campaign hopes to find the answers to. It is all about the tools, resources, and training that women need to espouse the Internet and truly take advantage of its benefits.

How to Participate
To participate, simply write in your journal and share your experience on digital literacy. World Pulse will then analyze your recommendations and deliver them to key decision makers, including government officials and technology companies! For more details on participation, read How to Participate.

Resources, Resources, and more Resources!
Digital literacy starts with tools, trainings, and resources, so World Pulse and its partners, to include TCF, have joined forces to bring you some great ones! Check out the Campaign Resources section where you can learn and share information on digital tools!

In this phase of the campaign, TCF lends its support through the provision of its free training and certification on Google tools. Learn more about this here.

For more information about the campaign, check out the World Pulse website.

(Source: Telecentre.org)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 9:16:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


The European Competition 2.0 asks teachers and educators to share the creative and effective ways they are using online resources or applications in their teaching practice.

How to enter
To enter you need to make a short video showing your teaching practice that involves the internet or mobile app. The video must be a maximum of 2:30 minutes. Then you must register on the Ed2.0Work project website and submit your video. The deadline to enter is 12 September 2014 at 12.00noon. Visit the competition website for more information on how to apply.

Judging and prizes
The winners will be decided by an international panel of judges. The winners will be invited to present their ideas (all expenses paid) at the European Conference in the Applications of Enabling Technologies, 2014 20-21 November 2014, Glasgow, Scotland.

The judging team includes:
Russell Stannard
Shelly Sanchez Terrell
Sylvia Guinan

About Ed2.0Work
Ed2.0Work is a European Union funded education project that has two missions:
- To create a network that spans education and the world of work and is designed to improve the use of Web2.0 tools in both fields.
- To create a set of tools for the empirical evaluation of Web2.0 tools

The project will create a network between stakeholders in the education and work sectors that will examine how both should be using Web2.0 in the education and work environments.

Further details

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 10:57:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Ooredoo partners with ITU for development of local digital content

ITU has launched the fourth edition of its popular ‘Young Innovators’ competition, seeking out talented young thinkers and social technopreneurs across the globe, and encouraging them to showcase their innovative ideas at the upcoming ITU Telecom World 2014 in Doha in December this year.

The annual competition, which was launched in 2010, offers young people the chance to take part in workshops on entrepreneurial skills, opportunities to meet and network with leading ICT players, and to showcase their projects at the InnovationSpace, a dedicated show floor pavilion at ITU Telecom World.

The first challenge of the 2014 edition focuses on ‘Local Digital Content’. Open to 18-30 year-old start-up founders from across ITU’s 193 member states, the competition is looking for the most promising tech start-ups that are inspiring the creation, aggregation or digitization of dynamic local content, particularly in non-Latin scripts.

Entries can be submitted by start-ups that are involved in script content, resolving the technical challenges of digitizing non-Latin scripts through innovative technologies, or pinpointing fresh uses for older technologies, such as optical character recognition, voice recognition or translation software.

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Toure said, “I am delighted to announce the first challenge of the latest edition of the ITU Telecom World 2014 Young Innovators’ Competition. Last year’s competition brought us inspirational concepts and projects from innovative young people around the world, all of which had significant potential social impact and impressive business potential. I look forward to exploring the latest innovations at ITU Telecom World 2014 this December in Doha”.

The first stage of the contest has been launched in partnership with Ooredoo, which is supporting Qatar’s hosting of ITU Telecom World 2014. With strong experience in encouraging relevant local content and inspiring start-ups across the MENA region and Asia, Ooredoo will provide invaluable support for the contest.

Sheikh Saud Bin Nasser Al Thani, CEO, Ooredoo Qatar, said, “We’re excited to support this first challenge in the Young Innovators’ competition. We know that new digital content can inspire people and open new opportunities in their lives, and we believe strongly that each and every market deserves relevant content in their own languages that is tailored to their interests”.

About the Competition
Two start-ups will be selected as winners of this challenge by a Selection Committee of experts and invited to attend ITU Telecom World 2014.

At the event itself, selected Young Innovators will enjoy mentoring and workshops on entrepreneurial skills, opportunities to meet and network with leading ICT players, and the chance to showcase their projects at the InnovationSpace, a dedicated show floor pavilion.

Prize money of up to USD 10,000 in the form of seed funding will be awarded to implement and bring to scale winning start-ups. The competition will comprise a number of different challenges, the first of which focuses on local digital content.

The deadline for initial submissions is 30 May 2014, 24:00 GMT +2.
Visit https://ideas.itu.int/ for more information on the challenge and to apply or comment on submissions. You can also visit the Young Innovators’ Facebook page or contact us directly at young.innovators@itu.int.

ITU Telecom World 2014 will take place from 7-10 December 2014 in Doha, Qatar. For more information on how you can be a part of this key event, visit http://telecomworld.itu.int/

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 10:51:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Qatar Friendship Fund ((QFF)) Tunisia, Tunisiana (part of Ooredoo) and Microsoft have announced the launch of Intilaq, a USD18mn incubation programme, to enable young entrepreneurs in Tunisia to launch ICT-related start-ups.

Intilaq is the next stage in the evolution of the Startup Factory, Tunisia’s first end-to-end support programme for start-ups launched by Tunisiana in 2012. Now, with the support of the QFF and Microsoft, the initiative is being expanded to support a comprehensive incubation programme as well as a coaching and nationwide knowledge-sharing approach, with a particular focus on encouraging young people to pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions in the ICT sector.

Youth unemployment in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) averages around 27%, with Tunisia seeing unemployment rates of 40% for university graduates and 24% for non-graduates. Ooredoo and its companies across the world are taking a multi-faceted approach to this issue, working with respected national and international partners to support entrepreneurship, employment and education programmes.

The launch of Intilaq is the latest in a series of significant initiatives to enable young people to learn more about starting their own business and provide them with knowledge and financial resources to launch and manage a start-up.

Speaking at the launch event, Abdullah Nassir al-Homidi, Qatar’s ambassador in Tunisia and president of the QFF, said: “The Qatar Friendship Fund strives to give a significant boost to the youth, giving them support and accompanying them step by step into their projects. We hope to have a direct impact on those who will build Tunisia’s tomorrow and therefore enhance its economy in the long term”.

Kenneth Campbell, general manager of Tunisiana, said: “This initiative will have a significant impact as it will establish a unique economic platform for start-ups, enabling the development of the sector. Last year, Startup Factory was a resounding success that discovered significant untapped potential, and today we move into higher gear with larger ambitions”.

Mohamed Bridaa, general manager of Microsoft in Tunisia, said: “Intilaq is a first in Tunisia. It is a pioneering project that works to promote, develop and strengthen the capacity of Tunisian youth to propel innovation and creativity. In this sense, Microsoft will share its expertise notably in the field of information technology”.
Intilaq will also work as an incubator for international enterprises, adding a new dimension to incubation programmes for the region.

(source: Gulf Times)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 9:20:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
An ambitious project by Botswana’s Ministry of Labour through the National Internship, donor agencies and leading NGOs has seen the creation of a youth friendly portal to promote job creation in the country. According to the developers, “this is a platform with a job search function, youth mentoring and social and professional networking”, a source added.

Speaking during the stakeholders’ engagement session, the Botswana Innovation Hub CEO Allan Boshwaen said the youths in the country now have something to smile about. “A portal has been developed to support this program in partnership with Microsoft through the MIC initiative, with this portal we aim to aggregate all empowerment or employability initiatives or opportunities that are available for the youth and recent graduates, and provide them a one stop shop where they can access and explore opportunities that exist in the country”.

He added that a list of avenues to take the portal to the people was being explored. “After this stakeholder sensitisation session we plan to do a road show targeting the beneficiaries of this program being youth, recent graduates, SME or start-ups and other marginalized communities such as women, rural communities.

Stakeholders say the program will provide a full ecosystem to support workforce development across Botswana for job or talent research and professional skill enhancement.

“This is key to creating job opportunities and building businesses. This will help raise the countries competitiveness by developing world class workforce skills,’ noted one commentator.

“The world is becoming more and faster paced and Botswana should do more to keep up with this development”, commented Michael Murphy, Chargé d’Affairs US Embassy in Gaborone during the session.

Djam Bhakshandegi, the Director Public Affairs and Citizenship at Microsoft said her organisation was instrumental in facilitating the growth of ICT awareness on the continent. During an interview with Biztechafrica, she said ICT in Africa was growing exponentially especially among the youth, who she said were becoming more and more tech savvy.

“As Microsoft have invested a lot of time and expertise so that the greatest number of people in Africa have access to ICTs, and in this regard, millions of people have been impacted. In order to do this we are working with other companies so that those that don’t have access to technology will get it”, she assured.

(Source: Biztech Africa)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 9:16:52 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


The use of computers, mobile phones and other ICTs in community banking can assist microfinance institutions and credit officers in managing and recording loan payments, savings deposits and improving bookkeeping accuracy. But the potential of ICT solutions to improve the lives of rural women in Peru goes beyond giving them access to loans.

ICT-enabled solutions can assist microfinance institutions and community banks to set up skill training and adult education programmes that best address their need to train and advise their clients, not only to increase their chances of managing profitable businesses but also to improve their quality of life.

In Peru, the Connect4Change consortium led by IICD has developed together with PROMUC and Text to Change, an integral ICT-enabled solution that in 2013 serviced 21,000 women and aims to reach out to 160,000. Since most of the impoverished women benefitted by group-lending live in rural or semi-urban areas, they need training to learn the basics of financial services. The Connect4Change capacity development programme includes sessions about best practices in small business management, business plan development, insurances and over-indebtedness.

The ICT-supported community banking project uses mobile phones to send information about group meetings, financial products, credits, interest rates, late payments and loan payment reminders. Iin additions, they also receive information about best practices in managing funds and working capital to start off their own businesses.

Further details

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 9:09:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 



SK Telecom announced on April 17 that they have developed a smartphone-based digital image management service which will allow videos to be transmitted digitally to counselors, who will help people with visual disabilities through  telecommunication with  live video footage.

The image management service will be comprised of wearable cameras, smartphone applications, a video management system and client program that feeds video  to the consultant’s personal computer or mobile device.

The wearable camera, which can be conveniently hung around an ear to provide broadened range of vision, will act as eyes for people with visual disabilities by recording high-definition video which is transmitted to a smartphone and then to a personal computer or a mobile device of the counselor who receives the live images on the video management software through SK Telecom’s LTE network.

The camera is also designed to be accessible for people with visual disabilities, meaning it will start automatically when powered. With the technology counselors at their desk will be able to help people with visual disabilities to cross the street or alert them to  obstructions, bus arrivals and so on. Also, the high-resolution images will enable counselors to check expiration dates on a milk carton or receipts, or read mails for them.

The service is expected to create job opportunities as well since counselors will be able to work from their homes, including employment for persons with disabilities who are sighted. SK Telecom will test the service for two months  and provide the service during the latter half of this year.

SK Telecom  will also help the disabled by contributing Internet-of-things network lines to an emergency safety service, administered by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, to about 2,000 households with severely-disabled members. It offers various services such as rescuing and emergency medical treatments in critical situations using sensors and Internet-of-things infrastructure.

An official at SK Telecom said, “We expect to help those with various disabilities and create job opportunities using information and communications technology. We truly believe that the technology that we have can contribute in building a better world, and look to expand the services to do so”.

(Source: GAATES)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 8:57:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 01, 2014


The Vive Digital Plan Colombia was awarded at the Office of the United Nations in Vienna, as "one of the 15  Innovative Policy 2014" , in view of their impressive contributions to the disabled population for the Zero Project, an international initiative working for a world without barriers .

Vive Digital, program through which the Ministry of ICT is driving the transformation of the digital ecosystem in the country, was highlighted at an international summit on accessibility.

They stressed about the impact of ConVertic , the software that the Ministry put tfree of charge to more than 1.2 million people with visual and hearing disabilities enabling them to use the computer and surf the Internet . And in 2014 more than 800 centers provide technological tools that promote accessibility.

More than 400 experts in accessibility and disability worldwide extolled the work of MinTIC , for its programs for people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups.

Vive Digital Plan of the Ministry of Information and Communications Technologies was shortlisted as one of 68 innovative policies in Project Zero. Globally the company meets and models that improve the quality of daily life and the legal rights of people with disabilities.

The references provided by the Project Zero said: Respecting the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities , approval for disability rights , innovation in approach and legal instruments application implementation that delivered measurable and identifiable improvements and easily transferable to other countries.

Recognition also highlighted the achievements of Vive Digital Plan on access to the Internet, and noted that, in contrast to other countries in South America, Colombia makes major investments in information technology .

Similarly, the annual report of Zero Poject , highlighted the commitment and performance of Colombia at work for the rights of people with disabilities.

Under the slogan "No one can enjoy a human right if there is no access to it", the Project Zero has investigated 69 practices and policy solutions that have proven successful in overcoming barriers to access .

The Zero Project

The Zero Project was initiated by the Essl Foundation in 2010. Project Zero 's vision is to work for a world without barriers, in accordance with the principles and provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) . It does so by investigating Innovative Practices and innovative policies worldwide that help improve the lives of people with disabilities, as well as research in social indicators that measure the implementation of the UN CRPD and the current situation in all countries of the world.

(Source: MinTIC)

Tuesday, April 01, 2014 4:26:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Conference provided opinion-leaders and decision-makers worldwide with a sense of outstanding best-practices on accessibility – the Innovative Practices and Innovative Policies as selected by the Zero Project network of hundreds of experts – and their potential to make the world more accessible.

Let’s continue…
To jointly continue the good work, let us take this opportunity to encourage you to make use of the Zero Project Website where you can find a lot of additional information from the Conference on accessibility: All presentations are online and free to download. Also a lot of pictures from the Conference can be found here.

But there is a lot more on the website. All selected 54 Innovative Practices and 15 Innovative Policies 2014 on accessibility have been uploaded barrier-free to the website and can be fully searched by keywords, countries or tags. In addition to that, all shortlisted Practices that did not make it into the final selection have been researched by students team from Fachhochschule St. Pölten and are now online and fully searchable – another interesting set of more than 70 best-practices on accessibility worldwide!
And there is still more…

Find the full Zero Project Report 2014 and the Zero Project Worldmaps ready for download, as well as all 32 social indicators that measure the implementation of the UN CRPD in 130 countries. “Drill down” the data on the online map and find also all comments made by experts, and use Google Translate to translate it into your language. And you can download all the social indicators “raw data” as open source to start your own research. Please feel free to contribute to the research and include your own answers and spread the word to others that may want to fill in the questionnaires!

Watch here the Zero Project Video

(Source: Zero Project Website)

Tuesday, April 01, 2014 12:21:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Bharti Airtel, a leading telecommunications services provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, has reaffirmed its commitment to Chad by partnering with the Ministry of Secondary Education to train 6,000 youth in the country. The training will focus nurturing young talent to improve their information and communications technology (ICT) capabilities.

Airtel Chad, the leading telecommunications company in the country, plans to carry out training sessions for the youth, equipping them with better skills to handle new challenges as the build their businesses. The training, organized by the Airtel Centum Training Centre, will comprise several sessions, each consisting of theoretical and practical training on ICT.

Speaking at the ceremony, Airtel Chad Managing Director, Mr. Salia Gbane said: “Our aim as Airtel Africa in this project is to provide sustainable solutions that will develop the skills of the youth in Chad. We intend to promote socio-economic empowerment by enabling entrepreneurship opportunities through training 500 to 800 young entrepreneurs for a period of two years. We also aspire to certify up to 5,760 youth with the mastery in modern management skills which are critical to growth of Chad’s economy”.

The beneficiaries, empowered with fresh entrepreneurial potential, will have additional time to develop their skills in the field enabling them nurture small projects that will be supported by Airtel.

On his part, Minister of Secondary Education Mr. AhmatKhazali Acyl said: “We are extremely delighted by Airtel’s hearty gesture to partner with us. This project is likely to create significant socio-economic opportunities in employment by honing the skills of young entrepreneurs. Itis our responsibility as the government of Chad, joining hands with private sector partners like Airtel, to create concrete solutions that aim at eradicating poverty and improve the lives of the youth. This initiative is the start of new and great business models that will empower the youth and enable them play effective roles within the system”.

“We as Airtel Chad believe that building institutional capacities has a significant impact to the people and is the most effective and sustainable tool to contribute to the growth of the economy. We trust that this collaboration with the government will be the beginning of new abilities that create strategic opportunities”, added Mr. Abdelhamid Mahamat Senoussi, General Secretary, Airtel Chad.

The initiative of the ICT training program by Airtel Chad is part of its contribution to development of education in Chad and assisting in the growth of the economy by nurturing young entrepreneurs across the country.

(Source: Airtel Africa)

Tuesday, April 01, 2014 12:13:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


Get Online Week‘ has been launched in Egypt and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region for the first time to empower and encourage the use of technology, raise awareness on the benefits of ICT and to promote the role of e-skills in the daily lives of every day people.

‘Get Online Week’ is a European digital empowerment campaign launched in Egypt by the United Nations Development Program (Egypt), the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology through its ICT Trust Fund, Microsoft Egypt and Telecentre Europe and Telecentre Foundation.

The theme for the campaign in the region is employment, digital jobs, social innovation and entrepreneurship for youth. UNDP in Egypt, and other GOW partners, engaged young innovators, entrepreneurs, public institutions, civil society and the private sector in a variety of diverse online and offline activities during the entire week.

On the 21st of March to the 22nd of March, computer science students from nationwide universities participated in a mobile application development marathon. For two days, participants worked on developing and prototyping their own mobile applications that tackled one of the following issues: Women Empowerment, Child Protection and Environment.

Throughout the week, a series of webinars on topics related to innovation and entrepreneurship were live streamed online by different Egyptian innovators. The audiences were able to watch and engage with the presenters in real time.

Furthermore, on Wednesday the 26th of March, a round table discussion on youth entrepreneurship and innovation was held at the UNDP Country Office in Cairo. Participants included representatives from Ashoka, Cairo Sitters, Egyptian Streets, Eventtus, Flat6labs Se3eedy Geeks, Supermama, Tawseela and Yomken.

 To learn more about Get Online Week check out http://getonlineweek-mena.com/ and www.facebook.com/getonlineweekMENA

Further details

Tuesday, April 01, 2014 12:02:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
International Girls in ICT Day is an initiative backed by ITU Member States in ITU Plenipotentiary Resolution 70 (Guadalajara, 2010) to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies (ICTs). International Girls in ICT Day is celebrated on the 4th Thursday in April every year. This year, it will be celebrated on the 24th of April.

The Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure (MOICI) as the authority in charge of pushing the nation's overall ICT agenda has identified members of the public and private sector whose input would be highly beneficial in highlighting the strides our country has made thus far in promoting the girls and young women ICT agenda."As this initiative is under our purview, it is important we play our mandated role to spearhead an extensive campaign in empowering our girls and young women in the important role ICT stands to play in their lives. We want to engage them to embrace math and science, in order to be game changers in our sector. As natural managers, women involvement in all sectors of the economy is critical in its success", Said, Madam Nancy Niang, The Permanent Secretary of MOICI.

International Girls in ICT Day is an initiative backed by ITU Member States in ITU Plenipotentiary Resolution 70 (Guadalajara, 2010) to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies (ICTs). International Girls in ICT Day is celebrated on the 4th Thursday in April every year. This year, it will be celebrated on the 24th of April.

The Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure (MOICI) as the authority in charge of pushing the nation's overall ICT agenda has identified members of the public and private sector whose input would be highly beneficial in highlighting the strides our country has made thus far in promoting the girls and young women ICT agenda."As this initiative is under our purview, it is important we play our mandated role to spearhead an extensive campaign in empowering our girls and young women in the important role ICT stands to play in their lives. We want to engage them to embrace math and science, in order to be game changers in our sector. As natural managers, women involvement in all sectors of the economy is critical in its success", Said, Madam Nancy Niang, The Permanent Secretary of MOICI.

(Source: All Africa)

Tuesday, April 01, 2014 11:45:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson weekend flagged-off the Digital Girls Club at the Federal Government Girls College, Bwari FCT . This was in continuation of the plan to have the club in I2 federal government girl's schools across the six geopolitical zones, in the country.

The Minister said the project was in recognition of the power and transformative potential of ICTs for development as the Ministry focuses on ensuring that Nigeria leverages the power of ICTs to bridge the digital divide between women and their male counterparts. She described the project as one of the ICT interventions of the Ministry of Communications Technology that will empower Nigerian girls and encourage them to embrace careers in ICTs.

For her, "ICT has powerful transformative tools that foster development and advancement of economies, whether developing or advanced. It is a useful tool for bridging the digital divide in most economies. It also plays a crucial role in the socio-economic empowerment and development of communities and nations across the globe. She also described ICT as the bedrock of development, adding that "leveraging on this critical tool not only helps us create wealth and jobs, but it also enables development at all levels- health, agriculture, education, among others".

The minister said that president Goodluck Jonathan in a bid to empower women and girls in Nigeria, had created a gender empowerment scheme titled Girls and Women in Nigeria (G-WIN) and urged women to embrace ICT and bridge the digital divide.

She explained that the Digital Girls Clubs will teach the girls ICT skills and increase their knowledge of technology necessary for empowerment.

The clubs is being set up in twelve public schools that already have computer labs with internet access in the six geo-political zones of the country. Johnson noted that a curriculum to transform and positively impact on the girls has been developed to teach the girls relevant technology skills that will transform their lives.

A portal www.digitalgirls.org.ng has been created to act as a key tool to also stimulate and empower the girls to embrace and adopt ICTs.

According to the Minister, 1200 girls from the 12 pilot federal government schools will be impacted upon in the first instance and the Clubs will be set up across all the Federal Government colleges in all the states of the federation six months after the pilot test in the selected 12 schools.

The Clubs will be manned by professionals who will play a key role in stimulating the interest of the girls. Periodically mentors will be invited to give inspiring talks and participate in various ICT related activities that will interest the girls.

Current statistics in Nigeria reveals that Nigerian women make up 50 per cent of the population but hold less than 20 per cent of ICT jobs in the country. Also only about 33 per cent of women are online in Nigeria.

Further details

Tuesday, April 01, 2014 11:35:24 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 24, 2014


UNESCO is now seeking feedback from stakeholders on how it should design and implement a comprehensive study of Internet-related issues that will present options for future actions within its mandate. Comments are requested before 30 April, after which the draft concept paper and questions will be finalized, and the research will commence.

This wide-ranging Internet study arises from a resolution agreed by UNESCO’s 195 Member States during the Organization’s General Conference in November 2013.

By mandate of Resolution 52 of UNESCO’s 37th General Conference in 2013, the study is required to cover the fields of (i) Access to information and knowledge, (ii) Freedom of expression, (iii) Privacy, and (iv) Ethical dimensions of the information society, and also explore possible options for future actions. The results will inform the Organization’s reporting to the 38th General Conference in 2015.

The resolution requires that the study be done through an inclusive multi-stakeholder process which includes governments, private sector, civil society, international organizations and the technical community.

These consultations will be done through an online questionnaire, meetings with UNESCO Member States, and UNESCO participation in events such as the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance (NETmundial), WSIS High Level Review Events, the Internet Governance Forum, the Freedom Online Conference, and the Stockholm Internet Forum.

The draft concept paper for the study, proposed by UNESCO’s Secretariat, outlines how the fields can be conceptualized and presents related research questions. The guiding framework is the draft concept of “Internet Universality”. By summarizing core Internet principles relevant to UNESCO’s mandate and fields of competence, the notion of “Internet universality” highlights four R-O-A-M principles: (i) that the Internet should be Human Rights-based (ii) “Open”, (iii) “Accessible to All”, and (iv) nurtured by Multi-stakeholder Participation. As part of the consultation, feedback is also sought on this draft concept.

To send your written comments on the Draft Concept Paper and the Draft Concept of Internet Universality, please write to Internetstudy(at)unesco.org.

Further details

Monday, March 24, 2014 6:26:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


A total of 2,331 Better Ghana Agenda laptop computers have now been presented to teachers who completed the Rlg Information Communication Technology training under the Basic school Computerisation Project in the Central Region.

The Central Regional Minster, Dr Samuel Sarpong, who presented 1,400 laptop computers to a batch of beneficiary teachers in Cape Coast, underscored the important role of ICT in the current educational system.

He pointed out that computer literacy in the job market currently constituted an essential driving force that determined the chances of one getting employment and that it had become necessary for all stakeholders in the educational sector to work towards ensuring that classroom teachers became ICT inclined.

He said in this regard, government was working hard to promote ICT education, and has therefore decided to implement the policy on laptops distribution under the Better Ghana Agenda ICT project in which basic school teachers are trained and presented with computers.

The Central Regional Director of Education, Mr Joseph Dagor Kor, explained that the provision of the laptops was to serve as motivation for all teachers, and urged them to share their knowledge with their colleagues and students as society expected a lot from them.

He challenged teachers to use their ICT knowledge and laptops to equip themselves with 21st century skills instead of the archaic information they kept recopying from previous lesson notes, adding that lessons should be student centered to encourage the children to work on their own to enable them work everywhere in the world.

(Source: Biztech Africa)

Monday, March 24, 2014 6:16:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


The Ministry of Information Communication Technology (ICT), Postal and Courier Services is organising the e-TECH AFRICA 2014 EXPO conference and exhibition scheduled for 11 – 14 March 2014 in collaboration with its strategic partners.

The theme for this year is “Promoting Competitiveness and Sustainable Growth Through ICTs”.

The conference will run parallel to the exhibition. The event is expected to bring a wide range of ideas, opinions, perspectives, research findings and expertise to expand knowledge frontiers for sustainable growth and development through ICTs. The event is also expected to draw people from the ICT Industry, civil society, academia and government to a discussion platform for national development. The e-TECH Africa 2014 Conference and exhibitions will provide a platform for creating awareness about the opportunities, challenges and benefits derived from the adoption of ICTs in Africa as well as initiate practical measures needed to extend the ICT reach.

The exhibitions and conference will also explore the enabling role of ICTs in the development of African countries.

Objectives of the conference
The general objective of the e-TECH Africa Conference is to arouse the interest of the Zimbabwean population in the use of ICTs for a successful transformation of Africa from an agricultural society to a knowledge society. In line with the African Regional Action Plan on the Knowledge Economy (ARAPKE), the Conference is expected to:

a. Promote the right of all to have equal access to ICT value added services and to experience the advantages of using technological services
b. Develop, maintain and stimulate people’s curiosity, interest and enjoyment in ICTs
c. Promote the acquisition of appropriate technological skills, concepts, principles, methods and vocabulary
d. Leverage ICTs as a tool for socio- economic development especially in developing countries.
e. Attract more and new investments in the ICT sector
f. Bridge the digital divide.
g. Promote business linkages and partnerships.

The thrust of the conference is therefore to explore how ICTs can accelerate Africa’s developmental agenda and in the process transform Zimbabwe into a knowledge based society.

Conference Agenda
The conference will be characterised by key presentations followed by panel debates that will discuss how ICTs can be exploited to support sustainable economic development. Presentations and panel debates will focus on what can be done to sustain or speed up the developmental pace and close the ICT gap still exists particularly at national level and in Africa. It is therefore expected that key presentations will be made in and around the following areas:

• Building a Knowledge and Information Society
• Research and development in ICT’s
• ICT’s in Health and Agriculture
• ICT’s in Tourism and Entertainment
• Building a vibrant ICT industry
• The need for a well regulated ICT environment
• Bridging the digital divide
• The potential of ICT’s for sustainable growth
• Cyber Security & Cyber Ethics
• ICTs for Poverty Alleviation and Community Development
• Impact of e-Government on National Development
• E-learning for a developing economy
• Green Computing
• Cloud Computing

For more information please visit http://www.etechafrica.co.zw/ or email:  gchingonzo@ictministry.gov.zw or bmhonderwa@ictministry.gov.zw

(Source: TechZim)

Monday, March 24, 2014 5:55:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Nancy Sibo has been nominated Ms Geek 2014 for her mobile cow application project on Saturday, coinciding with International Women's Day. Ms Geek, which reards ICT projects by women, was organized for the first time in Rwanda.

Nancy Sibo, a student in the Agriculture Engineering faculty at the University of Rwanda Huye campus presented her application called Mobile Cow, an app that could be tied in the government's Gira Inka program to allow farmers monitor the oestrus cycles of cows.

She was chosen among 25 applications of women's initiatives from various higher learning institutes and universities in Rwanda. The second prize winner was Christine Bayizere, a student in Electronics and Electricity Engineering. Her project is a Wireless Black Box that to monitor vehicles and send alerts in case of an accident.

Josephine Tujyimbere came third with the Class Attendance Management System which uses fingerprint recognition to monitor students' progress. Chantal Mukundwa, a Computer Engineering & Information Technology student explained her proposed software, called the Nearby Item Locator System, which is both a web and a mobile application, that allows users to search for items they wish to buy, and receive a list of the nearest shops with those items in stock. She scooped the people's choice award from online voting.

The fifth was Eline Nyirangirimana, an ICT student who developed the Online Driving License Examination System that allows users to save time by taking their driving tests online. According to Akaliza Gara, a member of Girls in ICT, Ms Geek is an opportunity to celebrate the women in ICT and inspire other women to join the sector.

"There is nothing specifically male about ICT, it's something that both men and women can embrace and use to make the most of their career", she said.

Minister of Youth and ICT Jean Philbert Nsengimana indicated that the government through the Smart Rwanda program supports girls in ICT to contribute to the country towards its vision. He pointed out that while women have been economically, socially and politically empowered, the number of women in science and technology is still low. While 64% of the members of the chamber of deputies in Parliament are women, they only represent 16.5% in TVET.

Minister Nsengimana called on women to embrace science, mathematics, engineering and technology. "You are a generation that is going to transform this country and the continent", Nsengimana said.

Giovani Ntabgoba, the director of KLab in Kigali, promised the finalists a working place and mentorship to improve their projects in a suitable business orientation.

(Source: All Africa)

Monday, March 24, 2014 5:39:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The winners are iQube Labs, Health Central and Health IT. PHN also gave cash prizes to the three winning teams.

The landmark healthcare hackathon saw teams of tech entrepreneurs participate in the day long hackathon where PHN provided representative healthcare datasets that included facility level, household and programmatic data points for the leading causes of mortality, including malnutrition and malaria.

In addition, locations of primary healthcare centers and referral hospitals in all 36+1 states in the country were unveiled with state level human resource for health data and other socio-economic indicators.

Aliko Dangote, founding patron, PHN, meeting the winner of the healthcare hackathon, iQube Labs, said that “as part of the innovation pillar of the Alliance, we recently launched the Nigeria Health Innovation Marketplace (NHIM), an intervention aimed at providing a convergence platform for identifying and incubating innovative health products, technologies and approaches.

He said this is in a bid to provide market linkages to enable promising health innovations such as iQube Labs achieve scale and impact on the nation’s effort in meeting Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 4, 5 and 6’.

iQube Labs used PHN healthcare datasets to develop an innovative mobile health solution to address supply chain challenges for essential health commodities and incorporated GIS/crowd sourcing layers to potentially estimate alternative routes to support the distribution and management of drugs in crises prone states.

Health Central showcased an integrated predictive service delivery tool while Health IT provided access and info about health infrastructure and human resources for health mapping to empower patients.

Jim Ovia, co-chair of PHN, congratulated the winners, stating that the NHIM comprises 3 core elements: virtual health innovation portal, health innovation hub/incubator and health innovation challenges/hackathons.

During the landmark hackathon, Muntaqa Umar-sadiq, the CEO of the Private Sector Health Alliance, in his remarks, stated that “it is humbling to see an army of computer programmers and tech entrepreneurs develop mobile and ICT solutions that will empower the true heroines of the Saving One Million Lives Movement: the thousands of midwives, female community and village health workers, working in many rural areas across the country to save the lives of women, newborns and children”.

Umar-sadiq said that PHN has engaged different segments of its private sector members to co-develop and unveil innovative partnership projects to contribute to the Saving One Million Lives Movement.

The private sector members, according to him, are telecommunication members, financial institution members, pharma/FMCGs members, healthcare providers, amongst others.

Kelechi Ohiri, the technical lead of the Saving One Million Lives Initiative and special adviser to the minister of health, added that “with access to data and capital, we believe that the tech community can play an important role in creating the enabling environment to accelerate progress in saving at least one million lives by 2015.”

(Source: Business Day News)

Monday, March 24, 2014 5:27:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Nairobi County Government has partnered with Internet Service Provider Wananchi Group to provide free Internet to schools in the city.

The pilot programme which begins immediately will cost the ISP Sh125 million to connect 240 schools to the World Wide Web.

Nairobi County Executive in Charge of Education Christopher Khaemba said on Tuesday that the initiative was expected to encourage e-learning in schools in line with the free laptops programme by the national government.

“Because the majority of school-going children are in the slums, this will also help us to structure those informal schools so that they are properly registered; they are subject to quality assurance inspections and so on. So this partnership with Wananchi is going to impact us in so many ways”, he said.

He underscored the importance of the project saying that it will open up opportunities for children especially in slum areas.

He however stressed the importance of teachers to take full advantage of the programme. “For the schools, there is need to inculcate values in students. There needs to be particular focus on empowering teachers so that they can teach the children to make good decisions so they may be able to use the internet in a safe way”, he said.
He further indicated that the County Government will be embarking on a major project seeking to develop infrastructure in all public schools within Nairobi.

“We are embarking on a massive infrastructural development and we are inviting partners to bring in their resources so that they may benefit children from Nairobi and by extension the whole country”, he stated.

Wananchi non-executive board member Richard Bell indicated that the Internet programme is set to be expanded to benefit about 2,000 schools in the County once the pilot phase is completed.

“After we have connected those schools, then we will gather some data and then do a full rollout of the project where we will end up connecting in excess of 2,000 schools throughout Nairobi. Although the County Schools will take preference as we are rolling out, the intention is to connect all schools including private schools”, he said. “This is a massive increase to the schools connected to the Internet. Our role is to provide the fibre from the schools. This is global best practice; it is done like this all over the world. We are glad that Nairobi will be the first County to benefit from such a program”.

Further details

Monday, March 24, 2014 5:17:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Kenya’s private schools, in conjunction with technology companies Microsoft, Intel, Safaricom and Mitsumi, have partnered to take affordable gadgets and learning solutions to all private schools across the country.

In the collaboration, Intel East Africa will provide training programs and material, Safaricom Limited will provide the data plan, Equity Bank will be the finance partner and Mitsumi Computer Garage will offer devices.

According to Peter Ndoro, CEO Kenya Private Schools Alliance, schools laptops worth between sh30,000 and sh55,000 bundled with relevant content and e-learning materials will be offered to learners in private schools.

¨We intend to train at least three teachers in all private schools on the use of the gadgets and the e-curriculum by the end of the year… we already have 32 trainer of trainers but we intend to increase that number to 102 so that we can train all the targeted private schools teacher before end of the year¨, said Mr. Ndoro.
There are about 3400 private schools in Kenya.

The alliance aims to ensure all private schools have provisions for cheaper laptops and relevant digital curriculum for learners before end of this year.

In the agreement, every Intel device purchased will come pre-loaded with approved Intel Explore and Learn, a one-stop shop for digital education content.

Specifically tailored finance options will also be provided through loans from Kenya’s Equity Bank and M-Changa, a mobile money-based way to contribute towards the purchase of devices. Special data packages from Safaricom will also be provided, consisting of 5 gigabyte and 10 gigabyte bundles.

“Through this platform, learners can easily access a wide variety of content including text books, set books, revision books, interactive past exam papers, rich multimedia (audio, video and animations)”, said Alex Twinomugisha – Business Development Manager, Intel Corporate East Africa.

“Teachers need proper training and the curriculum needs tweaking to fit the new era of technology in classrooms”, said Twimomugisha. There are over 60 in-built science experiments pre-loaded in the gadgets to be distributed by Mitsuni Computer Garage.

The gadgets, which private schools are expected to buy through a financial plan with Equity bank ranges from the very basic to the advanced depending on learners’ needs.

Better still the laptops, especially those targeting junior learners come bundled with a classroom management system to monitor students’ activity. The laptops for the small children are break-proof to withstand rough handling. The gadgets will also be fitted a theft deterrent software meaning if they are stolen or smuggled out of school they can be remotely locked and rendered unusable.

(Source: Biztech Africa)

Monday, March 24, 2014 5:12:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 11, 2014
ITU celebrates the power of digital literacy to change women’s lives as it reaches target of ‘one million women trained worldwide’

Over one million disadvantaged women in 79 countries around the world are now benefiting from newly-acquired information and communication technology (ICT) skills thanks to a partnership between ITU, the UN specialized agency for ICTs, and Philippines-based NGO Telecentre.org Foundation.

The Women’s Digital Literacy Campaign, launched in 2011 with a target of training one million women around the world, leveraged the combined reach of Telecentre.org Foundation’s global network of 100,000 telecentres worldwide and ITU’s 193 Member States and 700 private sector members.

The campaign reached its goal earlier this month with a total of 1,014,096 women trained in basic computer skills, through the efforts of 153 participating organizations and 20,000 telecentres around the world.

Myrna Padilla spent 20 years living away from her children earning a living as a domestic worker in Hong Kong. Now, back home in the Philippines, she uses her digital literacy skills to run her own graphic design business employing 20 staff – and all her children are getting a college education...watch Myrna talk about the power of technology skills to change a family’s destiny

Obonyo ‘Molly’ Adhiambo couldn’t afford a college degree, and knew her options were limited – until a friend told her of a digital literacy training course being offered by youth-based organization Nairobits Trust…learn what Molly did with her new computer skills

Yulia Korneyeva was 23 when she first learned to use ICTs at a telecentre. But like many young people hit by the economic crisis, she recently found herself out of work – and realized she lacked the proficiency to apply for the positions she wanted. Her future changed when she saw an advertisement for a free course entitled “Advanced Digital Literacy”…find out how Youlia’s training changed her life

“The success of this joint campaign meshes perfectly with this year’s International Women’s Day theme of ‘equality for women is progress for all’, because training in today’s ICT systems is so often change that turns around the lives of unskilled and disadvantaged women and their families”, said ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré.
“Having the skills to use ICTs opens up new horizons and empowers women, both economically and culturally. In addition, offering digital skills to over one million women at grassroots level is helping reverse the paradigm whereby, in many countries, ICTs still most often benefit men more than women”.

Recent research by ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau estimates that there are 200 million fewer women online than men. Of the world’s 2.8 billion Internet users, 1.3 billion are women, compared with 1.5 billion men.

While the gap between male and female users is relatively small in OECD nations, it widens rapidly in poorer countries, where expensive, ‘high status’ ICTs like computers are often unaffordable for women at the bottom of the development pyramid. In the developing world overall, 16% fewer women than men are online, with even greater disparities in some regions; in sub-Saharan Africa, for example, ITU estimates that there are only half as many women connected as men.

A report issued last year by the Broadband Commission for Digital Development’s Working Group on Gender, led by UNDP Administrator Helen Clark, revealed that, around the world, women are coming online later and more slowly than men. It also showed that women are on average 21% less likely to own a mobile phone – representing a mobile gender gap of 300 million, equating to US$13 billion in potential missed revenues for the mobile sector.

“With technology now widely recognized as a critical enabler for socio-economic development, the Women’s Digital Literacy Campaign has been key in reinforcing ITU’s global efforts to promote the digital inclusion of women in line with Millennium Development Goal 3 on gender equality”, said Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, which initiated and led the Women’s Digital Literacy Campaign.

“Partnership is key in any undertaking, and what we have achieved so far under the Telecentre Women Digital Literacy Campaign is a testament to this. I, therefore, take this opportunity to thank ITU and all our partners in this campaign for accepting the challenge and for embracing this cause with so much fervour,” said Miguel Raimilla, Executive Director of Telecentre.org Foundation. “We may have already reached our target, but the work doesn’t stop here. There is still so much more to be done out there, and the programme will definitely continue to empower women worldwide through ICT, in the hopes of inspiring change and ultimately bringing about the much needed results”.

The campaign is just one element of ITU’s work in the field of gender empowerment through ICTs. Each year on the fourth Thursday in April, ITU and the global technology community celebrate ‘Girls in ICT Day’, an international awareness-raising initiative launched by ITU in 2010 to promote tech careers to a new generation of girls with an interest in science and maths.

Since its inception in 2010, the day has been gaining huge momentum around the world, with 2,700 events organized in 121 countries for an outreach of more than 70,000 girls and young women. Event organizers are gearing up for a big celebration on 24 April this year: stakeholders are encouraged to contact girlsinict@itu.int to let the ITU team know their plans.

ITU has also developed a range of digital literacy training materials designed to be used in school-based community centres and multi-purpose telecentres by women, indigenous peoples, and persons with disabilities. In addition to providing basic ICT literacy, the materials show trainees how ICTs can be used to support a range of economic activities such as handicrafts, agro-tourism and agriculture. Training materials can be accessed here. Information and toolkits on how to run a local ‘Girls in ICT Day’ are available on the ITU Girls in ICT Portal.

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 3:15:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


In the evolving knowledge societies of today, some people are overloaded with information, others are starved for information. Everywhere, people are yearning to freely express themselves, to actively participate in governance processes and cultural exchanges. Media and information literacy (MIL) provides all citizens with critical competencies to survive in the 21 Century.

Recognizing that to achieve MIL for all will require national policies, UNESCO has published Media and Informational Literacy Policy and Strategy Guidelines.
This comprehensive MIL Policy and Strategy Guidelines resource is the first of its kind to treat MIL as a composite concept, unifying information literacy and media literacy. These guidelines offer a harmonized approach, which in turn enables stakeholders to articulate more sustained national MIL policies strategies, describing both the process and content to be considered.

As Professor Ulla Carlsson, Director of the Nordic Information Centre of Media and Communication Research, notes in her Preface, “this publication is of vital importance toward improving efforts to promote MIL on national and regional levels”.

Without MIL policy and strategy, disparities are likely to increase between those who have and those who do not have access to information, enjoy or not freedom of expression, and are able or not to critically engage in modern governance and a connected world which are powered by information, media and technology.

The Guidelines is divided in two parts. Part 1, MIL Policy Brief, is designed for policy or decision makers and can serve as a summary of the publication. Part 2 is divided into several comprehensive chapters and covers the following topics:

- how to enlist MIL as development tool;
- conceptual frameworks for MIL policies and strategies; and
- model MIL policy and strategies that can be adapted by countries globally.

This new publication is part of a comprehensive MIL Toolkit being developed by UNESCO in cooperation with its partners. The full MIL Toolkit will include:

- MIL Curriculum for Teachers (already produced and available here);
- Global MIL Assessment Framework (already produced and available here);
- Guidelines for Broadcasters to promote MIL and User-Generated Content (already produced and available here);
- an online multimedia MIL teaching resources tool; and
- model online MIL and intercultural dialogue courses (one is already developed and available here).

Further Information

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 3:09:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, Telecentre.org Foundation (TCF) is happy to announce that, as of January 2014, over 1 million women from different parts of the world have been trained and acquired new ICT skills under its Telecentre Women Digital Literacy Campaign.

The campaign, which kicked off in 2011, is a joint undertaking of TCF and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN specialized agency for ICTs. With a total of 1,014,096 women trained, the original 1 million target was surpassed through the combined efforts of 153 participating organizations in 79 countries.

“Partnership is key in any undertaking, and what we have achieved so far under the Telecentre Women Digital Literacy Campaign is a testament to this. I, therefore, take this opportunity to thank ITU and all our partners in this campaign for accepting the challenge and for embracing this cause with so much fervor", says Miguel Raimilla, TCF’s Executive Director. “We may have already reached our target, but the work doesn’t stop here. There is still so much more to be done out there, and the program will definitely continue to empower women worldwide through ICT, in the hopes of inspiring change and ultimately bringing about the much needed results”, he added.

(Source: Telecentre.org)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 3:02:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Whether it's learning how to read and write or setting up your own farm, a Zambian computer tablet -- known as the ZEduPad -- is trying to open up the country's information highway.

The brain child of British tech entrepreneur Mark Bennett, the ZEduPad principally teaches users basic numeracy and literacy skills, aimed at primary school children. "It became clear that there was a huge need for this kind of technology", Bennett said, "particularly tablet technology, which has come a long way in Africa in recent years".

After arriving in Zambia 30 years ago under the British Aid Program, Bennett worked in the computer department at the country's national university for over a decade before deciding to go it alone.

We can really do something very major for the first time", he said. "We've invested about $5 million to date... It's totally all-encompassing and quite prescriptive so we are aiming at being able to get to an untrained teacher in a deep rural area in the African bush".

The ZEduPad is programmed in eight different languages native to Zambia with over 12,000 preloaded classes and lesson plans for untrained teachers in rural areas, according to Bennett.

Approved by the Zambian Ministry of Education, the educational tablet allows children to create a personal profile on its seven-inch screen to keep track of their progress as well as exposing them to e-mail and Wikipedia.

Bennett said the ZEduPad is set up to teach grades one to seven through interactive learning in every subject from math to PE, art and music. The technology comes at a time when Zambia's educational system is undergoing sweeping changes. Since 2001, the government has increased primary school enrollment rates by 90%. As a result, the World Bank has identified the landlocked southern African nation as having one of the most improved primary school education systems in the developing world.

Bennett added: "For years there was a problem with funding, education was not keeping up with population growth. Young people coming out of school and not being well suited or prepared to enter the job market.... We're trying to change that".

The ZEduPad gives children a grasp of vital technology skills in a landlocked country where broadband is scarce and only 18% of the nation's 14 million people have access to electricity, according to the World Bank.

In addition to following the national curriculum, the tablet also contains farming and health information designed for adults to help prevent the spread of killer diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria.

(Source: CNN)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 2:42:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, 8 March, UNESCO joins forces with international and regional partners to launch the annual Women Make the News (WMN) initiative. This year’s WMN theme is “Advancing Global Partnerships to Achieving Gender Equality in and through Media.” It is closely linked to the International Women’s Day global theme, “Equality for women is progress for all”.

Research has shown that, on average, only 24% of people questioned, seen, heard or read about in the media are women. Only one quarter of board members governing media organizations are women. The media, as champions of freedom of expression and with their function to promote diversity, should treat this imbalance as a threat to the free expression of half the world’s population. Getting more women in the news needs to be a consistent commitment to achieve evolutionary change.
We are calling on our media partners to commit to ensuring that 30% of all experts interviewed in the news are women as a step towards achieving gender equality in editorial content.

Half the world’s population implies fifty percent of the viewership, listenership and readership of the world’s media. Responding to them is a sure business and development model. It is sure progress for media development and indeed sure progress for all. 

Likewise, UNESCO is inviting editors-in-chief of newspapers, radio, television online and offline to join this initiative, and to entrust women journalists and reporters with editorial responsibility for the newsroom on International Women’s Day or during the WMN initiative.

The WMN 2014 theme this year is connected to the success of the groundbreaking Global Alliance on Media and Gender (GAMAG) which was launched during the first Global Forum on Media and Gender which took place in Bangkok, Thailand, from 2 to 4 of December 2013. Through GAMAG, constructive dialogue between media partners and civil society will be strengthened, and all stakeholders can collectively work to give momentum to women's access to expression and decision-making by promoting a gender-inclusive media and communication environment.

Gender equality in all levels of decision making in media and in content involves all and has many dimensions as described in the UNESCO Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media resource. The media civil society, governments, private sector and development organizations can contribute. GAMAG and the WMN 2014 initiative unite all stakeholders to take action. Click here to view WMN website and see more about how you can get involved. Commit to this initiative and help to spread the word.

(Source: UNESCO)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 1:27:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 10, 2014


- Women around the world are more economically excluded than men.
- Social norms affect women’s work by dictating the way they spend their time and undervaluing their potential.
- Legal discrimination is a remarkably common barrier to women’s work.

Women around the world still face huge, persistent gender gaps at work, according to a new report by the World Bank Group, which calls for bold, innovative measures to level the playing field and unleash women’s economic potential.

By virtually every global measure, women are more economically excluded than men, according to Gender at Work. Trends suggest women’s labor force participation worldwide has stagnated over the past 30 years, dropping from 57 to 55 percent globally, despite accumulating evidence that jobs benefit women, families, businesses, and communities.

"The reasons for this will differ from country to country, but we think that the persistence of norms—which means that women don't have as much choice over their livelihoods as men—as well as legal barriers to work are both playing important roles", said Jeni Klugman, World Bank Group Gender and Development Director.

A companion to the 2013 World Development Report on jobs, the report notes that since women face multiple constraints to jobs, starting early and extending throughout their lives, progressive, broad-based, and coordinated policy action is needed to close gender gaps. Common constraints include lack of mobility, time, and skills, exposure to violence, and the absence of basic legal rights.

Gender at Work also finds that legal discrimination is a remarkably common barrier to women’s work. Restrictive laws can hinder women’s ability to access institutions, own or use property, build credit, or get a job. In 15 countries, women still require their husbands’ consent to work.

To address these inequalities, the report recommends governments target actions that cover a woman’s life cycle—saying interventions that focus only on women of productive age start too late and end too early.

“The commitment must begin with fostering girls’ and boys’ skills and aspirations equally from their early years, so it stays with them long enough that they and future generations enjoy a more equitable and prosperous world”, Klugman said.

Gender at Work: 10 Global Facts:
 
• Women’s labor force participation has stagnated, in fact decreasing from 57 percent in 1990 to 55 percent in 2012.
• Women on average earn between 10 and 30 percent less than working men.
• Women are only half as likely as men to have full-time wage jobs for an employer.
• In only five of the 114 countries for which data are available have women reached or surpassed gender parity with men in such occupations as legislators, senior officials, and managers; namely, Colombia, Fiji, Jamaica, Lesotho, and the Philippines.
• Women spend at least twice as much time as men on unpaid domestic work such as caring and housework.
• A total of 128 countries have at least one sex-based legal differentiation, meaning women and men cannot function in the world of work in the same way; in 54 countries, women face five or more legal differences.
• Across developing countries, there is a nine percentage point gap between women and men in having an account at a formal financial institution.
• More than one in three women has experienced either physical or sexual violence by a partner or non-partner sexual violence.
• In 2010-12, 42 countries reported gender gaps in secondary school enrollment rates exceeding 10 percent.
• One in three girls in developing countries is married before reaching her 18th birthday.

(Source: World Bank)

Monday, March 10, 2014 6:12:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 05, 2014



This study aims to provide a greater awareness and contribute to a greater awareness of society about the possibilities offered by ICTs for persons with visual, hearing and mobility disabilities, to improve their welfare and employment opportunities.

It delves into the facilities and difficulties to access and use three types of specific technologies: the mobile phone, Internet (including social networking and e-government) and the computer.

The core of the study is based on the exploitation of EPDFVE Survey 2013, for persons with visual, hearing and mobility disabilities between 18 and 64 years old living in Spain, designed specifically to know, from experience and perception of disabled people themselves, how they can access and use the various technologies listed. Also, we want to know what aspects of ICT are more useful to enhance their daily life, what are the limitations that these groups have to take advantage of its benefits and what demands and proposals make us to improve their access and use thereof.

The analysis of data from the 2013 Survey EPDFVE allows to answer various questions raised with regard to people with disabilities and the role of ICT in their daily lives.

Here is available for download, in PDF, a summary of the report with main conclusions. The full report (188 pages) must be requested by sending an email to infofve@corp.vodafone.es

Further details




Wednesday, March 05, 2014 7:04:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

General Objectives

Analyze the social and labor situation and the profile of people with disabilities in nine Latin American countries in order to find out whether ITC training and teleworking are an alternative for their labor inclusion.

Specific Objectives

  1. Generate quantitative information on ITC training and working conditions of disabled people. Provide an estimation of the number of potential teleworkers with disabilities.

  2. Generate qualitative information through observation and refer to actual teleworking cases involving people with disabilities in order to identify the use of ITC applicable to this kind of activity and detect how legislation and norms are applied in each country focusing the labor inclusion of people with disabilities.

  3. Divulge concepts, advances and results related to this research, and propose recommendations in accordance with the analysis of the specific aims one and two in relation to the different players: people with disabilities, trainers, contracting parties, OSC and governments.

Methodology

Information and compilation

In order to find out whether in the Latin American countries included in this research exisist cultural, social, political and technological conditions to implement telework activities for the disabled, the research will look for responses to the questions detailed below.

The countries involved are in the following list:

  1. Argentina

  2. Brazil

  3. Chile

  4. Colombia

  5. El Salvador

  6. Mexico

  7. Peru

  8. Dominican Republic

  9. Uruguay

Two different approaches will be used in the research: a macro social or quantitative one and a micro social or qualitative.

The macro-social approach will allow us to provide support to the theoretical premises of a somewhat general nature to portray the quantitative aspects of the research related to the specific aim number one.

The micro-social approach, on the other hand, will highlight the relative nature of its conclusions, because the interpretation of experiences, opinions and their meanings is essential, as they only are meaningful within certain and limited situations, referring to specific cases which will allow us to evidence the qualitative aspects.

This division will facilitate information analysis and will also allow us to synchronize both perspectives. If we just consider only one of these approaches, this might lead us to a fragmented view, because both approaches constitute an indivisible reality.

Qualitative data compilation will be carried out through computer software to be determined by the team, having the Atlas TI features.

Further details

Wednesday, March 05, 2014 7:01:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 



Mobile phone applications unveiled this week aim to reduce the high number of young people who are not in schools in the Philippines by offering them new ways to engage in education.

The apps, which were presented this week at the Mobile World Congress (24-27 February) in Barcelona, Spain, include a portal to help those outside education find courses near them, an app to teach English to out-of-school teenagers through phone calls and another app to help teachers track the progress of students taking such courses.

In 2011, more than six million young people were outside the education system in the Philippines, according to the country’s National Statistics Office. The nation’s Department of Education aims to provide education to at least one million of them in 2014.

The government is confident it will meet this target partly through the use of mobile technology, Stephanie Velasco-Orlino, education programme manager at Filipino mobile operator Smart Communications, tells
SciDev.Net.

Mobile phones are widely used in the Philippines, with the population reported to send around two billion text messages a day, according to the
Philippines — Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts report published in June 2013 by telecommunications consultancy BuddeComm.

Overall, Asia’s mEducation market is projected to reach a value of US$6.8 billion by 2017, according to the GSMA, an association that represents mobile operators worldwide.

The three mobile applications unveiled this week are the result of a GSMA-facilitated partnership between the Philippines’ Department of Education and three telecommunications firms: Globe Telecom, Digital Mobile Philippines and Smart Communications.

“The mobile network operators in the country … are working to provide mobile education services to help the government to reach their goal faster”, says Velasco-Orlino.

Her company has just launched an online portal that allows young people who are not in school to find tailored training programmes.

Smart Communications also aims to build a database of its users so it can find out where these young people are located and tell them about courses that nearby education centres offer. This could help potential students find information on where to go to school, given a general lack of infrastructure and the destruction caused by typhoons.

The system is due to be available in the second quarter of 2014 both for smartphones with an internet connection and for older phones, through an interactive voice response (IVR) system.

(Source: SciDev.Net)

Wednesday, March 05, 2014 6:58:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 



Creating stronger connections between scientific research and teachers’ communities was the main objective of the EU project PATHWAY.

In collaboration with the UNESCO ASPnet schools of Croatia, Cyprus, Montenegro and Serbia and the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), schools and teachers played a leading role in expanding students' experiences and their understanding of science.

With the purpose of promoting scientific culture and a better understanding the role of science and technology in schools and among young people in the South-East European (SEE) region and Europe, an online survey of ASPnet Schools was undertaken by the UNESCO Venice Office. Fifty three schools from 4 countries (Croatia, Cyprus, Montenegro and Serbia) participated in the survey.

The response rate of all the schools (mainly from secondary and primary/elementary schools) was very high. The country that showed a major interest was Croatia with the highest number of filled forms. Half the schools chose one of the UNESCO ASPnet study topics for their school activities. The most popular topic among the schools was ‘Cultural Diversity, Peace and Human Rights’, although ‘Education for Sustainable Development and Cultural Heritage’ came immediately after.

The schools that responded to the survey also expressed interest in being part of the EU-Project PATHWAY and opening their schools to science and technology education. Bringing the students into close contact with science centers raise their interest and motivation to learn about science and be involved in scientific investigations. Hence, one of the ideas of PATHWAY was to connect schools with science centers and with scientific research in general, but also to focus on teachers' professional development in this field.

An objective of the project PATHWAY was to reinforce and strengthen networks and partnerships so they may play a significant role in promoting scientific culture in particular among young people. Students and teachers should be active in the process of creating and maintaining networks and partnerships.

The willingness of the UNESCO ASPnet Schools to collaborate offered a great potential for the further development and consolidation of the PATHWAY project.

(Source: UNESCO)


Wednesday, March 05, 2014 6:55:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 




Facebook introduced SocialEDU, a pilot initiative that will provide students in Rwanda with free access to a collaborative online education experience. With SocialEDU, students in Rwanda will receive free data plans for accessing free edX MOOCs from some of the world’s leading universities.

Internet.org is about working together to remove barriers to access and give billions of people the power to connect to the knowledge economy,” said Javier Olivan, Vice President of Growth and Analytics at Facebook. “SocialEDU represents this kind of collaboration at its best”.

He noted that “We worked with the Rwandan government, a telecom company, a device manufacturer and an educational content provider to develop a plan to provide students with free, high-quality, localized educational content and create a social learning experience that is accessible via handheld devices. The initiative builds on the success of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) by making it possible to access high-quality educational content affordably”.

Rwanda’s Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana said, “The Government of Rwanda is excited to partner with Facebook to open up a world full of content and interaction to Rwandan students. The social education experience will accelerate innovation and propel Rwanda into a knowledge-based economy”.

He added that “We are committed to doing our part to make sure SocialEDU has the greatest possible impact in Rwanda. This is fully aligned with the Government’s Broadband for All policy and the Smart Kigali Initiative, a public-private partnership that provides free wi-fi in Kigali’s most popular squares, buses, hotels, and public buildings”.

At its core, SocialEDU addresses five critical barriers to access by bringing together: Free content, Free data, Affordable smartphones, Localized, social educational experience and a government that supports innovation.

In this program, edX (edx.org) will work with Facebook to create a social educational experience by building a mobile app that is integrated with Facebook. Airtel will provide free education data for everyone in Rwanda who participates in the program for one year, while Nokia will pitch in with affordable smartphones that will improve the quality and ease of Internet access.

The Government will also expand its Smart Kigali program to provide free wi-fi in campuses throughout the country, enabling students to access high-quality multimedia educational content. Furthermore, the Government will work with edX to adapt course materials for local students. Airtel will lead operations for the phone trade-in program.

Normally these types of apps consume a great deal of bandwidth to work properly. To ensure the success of the app in Rwanda, Facebook is providing engineering support to guarantee that the app creates a social experience that is optimized for a low-bandwidth environment.

Facebook will work closely with Ericsson to test the app’s functionality at Ericsson’s facility, which simulates a 2G environment to provide developers with immediate feedback on the app’s performance in alternative environments. Later this year, Facebook, in partnership with Ericsson, will launch a unique testing facility that simulates alternative environments for developers to use when creating apps for similar markets.

Airtel Africa’s CEO Christian de Faria said, “We are honored to participate in this noble initiative. Education is one of the key engines for economic and social growth across the continent, with Rwanda amongst Africa’s most respected countries for its outstanding development record. We will do everything possible to support this ongoing reform using Airtel’s technological capability in the data and mobile commerce environment, to facilitate Rwanda’s rapid progress”.

Nokia’s Executive Vice President for Mobile Phones, Timo Toikkanen said, “Our affordable smartphones help people make the transition from simple mobility to more sophisticated experiences. Playing a role in helping students get access to these experiences, such as social education, through the SocialEDU initiative is truly an honor”.

Improving global access to high-quality education has been a key edX goal from day one,” said Anant Agarwal, president of edX. “Nearly half of our 2 million students come from developing countries, with 10 percent from Africa. In partnering with Facebook on this innovative pilot, we hope to learn how we can take this concept to the world”.

With SocialEDU, students in Rwanda will receive free data plans for accessing free edX MOOCs from some of the world’s leading universities, including Harvard, MIT, U.C. Berkeley, TU Delft, Australian National University and ETH Zurich.

This platform will allow students to ask questions, engage with other students, interact with teachers, and participate in group discussions.

Further details


Wednesday, March 05, 2014 6:50:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


Quality Services for the Autism Community (QSAC), a New York-based charity supporting children and adults with autism, has selected Sprint as the 2014 recipient of the Change Maker Award for its commitment to accessibility for people with disabilities. Dan Hesse, Sprint CEO, will accept the honor on behalf of the company at QSAC’s annual gala taking place on Tuesday, June 17, at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers (West 26 Street and West Side Highway) in New York.

Each year, QSAC’s Change Maker Award recognizes a company that has made a meaningful commitment to supporting the needs of children and adults with developmental disabilities. Sprint is being honored for delivering innovative accessible solutions that empower individuals with disabilities.

Sprint offers a variety of products and services, including unique, accessibility-themed ID packs for select Android devices that are designed to accommodate various accessibility needs. Sprint’s Accessible Education ID pack, among other services, assists individuals with autism who are working to improve their socialization and communication skills.

Sprint’s efforts to expand access to technology embodies our hope for more tools and resources to assist individuals with disabilities in achieving greater independence, empowering them to contribute more meaningfully to their communities,” said Gary Maffei, executive director of QSAC. “By recognizing Sprint, QSAC hopes to encourage others to actively support Sprint and similar efforts to expand access to technology for children and adults with autism”.

At Sprint, we recognize how making wireless technology more accessible can reduce, and perhaps eventually eliminate, the communication barriers faced by individuals with disabilities,” Hesse said. “We embrace this challenge and we are proud to receive the 2014 Change Maker Award”.

Past recipients of honors from QSAC have included Pfizer and PIMCO. Each year, QSAC’s gala brings together more than 500 people to increase autism awareness while raising funds to support QSAC’s programs and services for the autism community of New York and Long Island.

Additional details regarding the gala are available online at www.qsac.com/gala.

Sprint’s corporate responsibility program, Sprint Good WorksSM, is guided by the principle that doing the right thing is good business. More than a statement, it’s also a belief: Good does indeed workSM. That’s why Sprint is committed to anticipating the needs of customers and making award-winning services accessible to all. By empowering seniors and people with disabilities through accessible technology, Sprint is demonstrating how good technology works as a positive force in society.

For more information, watch the following video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zh813O1yYT0&feature=player_embedded

Further details


Wednesday, March 05, 2014 6:43:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 



Under the motto “No one can enjoy a human right to which one does not have access”, the international initiative Zero Project (www.zeroproject.org) mobilized its worldwide network of more than 1,000 disability experts in spring 2013 to map the state of the implementation of the CRPD and to find innovative practice and policy solutions on accessibility.

Download the full report

(Source: G3ICT)

Wednesday, March 05, 2014 6:39:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 26, 2014
UNPAN online training courses are available to anyone with Internet access and are provided free of charge. The courses are available in English, Russian and Spanish. Please login or register to view and access the courses available listed below:

Courses Available for Registered Users

Electronic and Mobile Government
- Principles of E-Government
- Infrastructure for E-Government Development
- Strategies and Methodologies for E-Government
- E-Government Interoperability (English and Russian)
- Open Government Data for Citizen Engagement (NEW!)

Institution and Human Resources Management
- Decentralized Governance
- Human Resources Managers Capacity Development
- Gestión Presupuestaria Basada en Resultados (Spanish)
- La Calidad en las Organizaciones Públicas (Spanish)
- Strategies for Strengthening Public Sector Human Resources Management for Africa's Development (Coming Soon...)

Knowledge Management in Government
- Knowledge Management in Government Organization
- Strategic Intelligence

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs
)
- Citizen Engagement and the Millennium Development Goals
- Results-Based Monitoring and Evaluation for MDG Implementation
- Play and Learn: MDG Progress Game

(Source: UNPAN)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 12:22:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The European Commission has selected DIGITALEUROPE and European Schoolnet to deliver the e-Skills for Jobs 2014 campaign. It aims to raise awareness of the need for citizens to improve their command of information and communication technology (ICT) skills for work. The campaign is a response to the growing demand for ICT-skilled professionals which is currently not met, despite high level of unemployment in Europe.

The campaign comes under the umbrella of the European Commission’s Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs, an EU-wide multi-stakeholder partnership helping to address a shortfall in the number of European citizens with ICT professional skills, and to exploit the employment creation potential of ICT.

The main focus of the campaign will be to raise awareness of the education, training, jobs, and other opportunities that are available to people with e-Skills – those who know how to effectively use digital technologies.

Together, industry, education bodies and public authorities will deliver a large and diverse programme of events and activities throughout the year for people at all levels of education and skills. The campaign is coordinated by DIGITALEUROPE and European Schoolnet in conjunction with hundreds of national and pan-European partners including European Centre for Women and Technology, JA-YE, Telecentre Europe and many major IT industry partners.

e-Skills are essential for professionals working in small to medium size enterprises, for young people and the unemployed looking to enter the workforce. They are also vital for corporations who need a highly-skilled workforce. While Europe struggles with a prolonged economic downturn, e-Skills are more essential than ever to help get Europe’s economy back on its feet. People with strong e-Skills will play a central role in making Europe an innovative and competitive environment.

During the course of 2014, the e-Skills for jobs campaign will run in 30 EU countries*. It will inform students, unemployed people, ICT professionals and SMEs about the vast range of opportunities that ICT-related jobs present. One of the first key activities is Get Online Week, a pan-European event organised by Telecentre Europe on 24-30 March, to get new users online and improve their digital skills for working life. Two major events are also foreseen during the campaign linked to the Greek and Italian EU Presidencies.

(*Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK).

For up to date information please contact:
Jonathan Murray, Project Director, DIGITALEUROPE, jonathan.murray@digitaleurope.org
Tel: + 32 2 609 5328
Alexa Joyce, Project Director, European Schoolnet, alexa.joyce@eun.org
Tel: +32 2 790 7554

DIGITALEUROPE, is the voice of the European digital technology industry. Our membership includes large and small companies in the Information and Communications Technology and Consumer Electronics Industry sectors. DIGITALEUROPE membership is composed of 61 major multinational companies and 41 national associations from 29 European countries. In all, DIGITALEUROPE represents more than 10,000 companies all over Europe with more than 2 million employees.

European Schoolnet is the network of 30 European Ministries of Education, based in Brussels. As a not-for-profit organisation, we aim to bring innovation in teaching and learning to our key stakeholders: Ministries of Education, schools, teachers, researchers, and industry partners.

The Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs is a multi-stakeholder partnership, led by the European Commission to tackle the lack of ICT skills and the several hundred of thousands of unfilled ICT-related vacancies.  For more information see https://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/grand-coalition-digital-jobs-0 and follow the Twitter hashtag #gc_eu

Get Online Week was started by Telecentre Europes an annual Europe wide campaign to get new computer user online by helping them to get through the doors of their local ICT learning centres, enabling the staff to build people’s confidence to move on into more structured learning.

Further information

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 12:11:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Young people in Rwanda are urged to take part in different debates by following live on Youtube a bi-monthly YouthConnekt Hangout programme and share their views through social networks.

The youth discuss different topics that are aimed to find solutions to different problems they face in life. The last week’s debate was the expression of young people about the role of mobile application and how they can create the mobile application technologies to solve socio-economic problems.

YouthConnekt was initiated by the Ministry of Youth and ICT (MYICT) in 2012 as a platform to connect young Rwandans and increase their participation in the country’s socio-economic transformation. The initiative has since spun off a number of well-established programs such the YouthConnekt Dialogue and YouthConnekt Awards.

YouthConnekt Hangout brings together various partners including UNDP, ADMA, Tigo Rwanda, Zilencio Creativo, BSC Ltd and HeHe Ltd to create a platform for youth, government, development partners, private sector and civil society to connect youth to opportunities for their personal and socio-economic development.

The last Hangout gathered the youth from different sites mainly the students of University of Rwanda/Huye (UR Huye), those of INATEK in Ngoma District, and the kLab members, a group of young ICT innovators in Kigali and the Ministry of Youth and ICT headquarters. It was an occasion where the youth were interacting with the Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana.

Minister Nsengimana said that the YouthConnekt Hangout serves as an opportunity for young people to find solutions to the communities’ problems. “The Hangout brings opportunities to young people of Rwanda and beyond, the role of mobile technologies especially mobile application today,” said Minister Nsengimana.

Minister Nsengimana stressed that the role of mobile applications can be crucial in different sectors as Rwanda stays in a process of transformation, moving from agriculture based economy to ICT activities; adding that young people who started to create the applications will be rewarded in the competition to happen in the next YouthConnekt Hangout.

Miriam Muganga, a third year student at UR Huye in Computer sciences and systems, said that she tried to create an mobile application that can locate different hotels and restaurants in Huye District where tourists and visitors may find accommodation easily.

Muganga noted that any application needs a lot time doing research, and it is difficult when the students mix it with their studies.

“It is hard to find people who are more interested in the innovation, developing an application are very good when you are in a team“, said Muganga as a challenge to her.
The Hangout is an online debate happening live after two weeks, through the initiative young people across the country and abroad share their views, and are able to ask questions to the officials in order to find solutions against challenges that the country face in line with development goals.

YouthConnekt Hangout won the first prize at the UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa's innovation fair in the beginning of December last year in South Africa. The platform use Google hangout technology in combination with other social media channels and SMS to connect young people to role models, resources, skills, and entrepreneurship and employment opportunities.

Click here to watch the last hangout: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdbEZYMRkjQ

(Source: Biztech Africa)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 11:58:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


The fifty-eighth session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 10 to 21 March 2014.
Representatives of Member States, UN entities, and ECOSOC - accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from all regions of the world attend the session.

Themes

Priority theme:
Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls.
The draft agreed conclusions are now available.

Review theme:
Access and participation of women and girls to education, training, science and technology, including for the promotion of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work (agreed conclusions from the fifty-fifth session).

Emerging issue
:
Women’s access to productive resources

Organization of the session

In accordance with its multi-year programme of work (ECOSOC resolution 2009/15), the Commission's two-week session includes the following activities:
Organization of work

Further details

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 11:54:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU commits to empowering women over the air waves

World Radio Day 2014 brings attention to women's empowerment and encourages radio broadcasters to promote access to information, freedom of expression and gender equality over the airwaves.

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré said, “Radio is an effective means of reaching out to people everywhere. By providing information in a timely manner, it empowers people in every corner of the world, in particular women, to meet their goals of sustainable development. Innovations in radio technology, which are under constant development at ITU, will make this medium increasingly relevant”.

13 February marks the day UN Radio was founded in 1946. Today, UN Radio continues to reach millions of people around the world, with daily broadcasts in the six official languages of the United Nations plus Portuguese and Kiswahili. Through partner stations around the globe, via the Internet and through new media, UN Radio highlights the efforts, achievements and challenges of the United Nations in dealing with pressing global issues, such as, sustainable development, peace and security, human rights, humanitarian affairs, and women’s equality and empowerment.

In January 2013, the United Nations General Assembly formally endorsed UNESCO’s proclamation of World Radio Day following a request from the Academia Española de la Radio of Spain.

Radio is an effective medium to reach a wide audience and a very effective communication tool. Radio broadcasts by networks and community radio stations play a very important role in reaching out to people living in remote rural settlements around the world and is particularly indispensable in emergency communication and disaster relief.
“World Radio Day celebrates audio broadcasting and seeks to improve international cooperation among radio broadcasters while encouraging decision-makers to create and provide access to information through radio,” said Mr François Rancy, Director of ITU’s Radiocommunication Bureau. “The occasion draws attention to the unique value of radio, which is currently taking up new technological forms and devices such as digital and online broadcasting”.

The ITU body dealing with the broadcasting service, ITU-R Study Group 6, focuses on worldwide broadcasting roaming and accessibility to these services – which include vision, sound, multimedia and data services intended for delivery to the general public – and plays a leading role in the advances being made in these technologies.

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 11:33:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


Download PDF here

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have been proven to promote economic growth, but do we know that ICTs reduce poverty? This book provides new empirical evidence on access to and use of ICTs and their effect on poor households in four East African countries: Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. It addresses the questions: Do women benefit economically from using ICTs? Are the livelihoods of rural users boosted? Which ICTs are being used by low-income entrepreneurs?

ICT Pathways to Poverty Reduction presents a conceptual framework to analyze how the dynamics of poverty change over time and to shed light on whether ICT access benefits the poor as well as the not-so-poor. The chapters contain case studies on how various forms of ICTs affect different aspects of poverty based on research in East and Southern African countries at the household level or in small and medium enterprises.

Six of the chapters in this book are based on data from the PICTURE Africa study between 2007 and 2010. Two additional chapters detail country-specific studies based on findings from other research projects. Overall, the study concluded that ICTs make a difference to the livelihoods of the poor and contribute to reducing both financial and non-financial dimensions of poverty.

ICT Pathways to Poverty Reduction is essential reading for policymakers and researchers in international development, as well as staff of development agencies working on livelihoods for the poor.

(Source: IDRC)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 11:08:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 19, 2014


How do we make educational materials accessible to a girl from a poor family in Africa where over 50% of her female peers will never go to school? How can we get books into the hands of the poorest people on Earth?

The answer, at least in the immediate term, is mobile devices – and more precisely, mobile phones. Mobile devices are the most successful and ubiquitous information and communication technology in human history. They are plentiful in places where books and schools are scarce.

In less than a decade, mobile technology has spread to the furthest corners of the planet. Of the estimated 7 billion people on Earth, 6 billion now have access to a working mobile phone. Africa, which had a mobile penetration rate of just 5% in the 1990s, is now the second largest and fastest growing mobile phone market in the world, with a penetration rate of over 60% and climbing.

Mobile devices are transforming the way we communicate, live and learn. We must ensure that this digital revolution becomes a revolution in education, promoting inclusive and better learning everywhere.

From 17 to 21 February 2014, the UNESCO Mobile Learning Week will explore how mobile technologies can meet the needs of educators and help them improve their effectiveness. Under the theme of “Empowering teachers with technology”, MLW 2014 will consider the benefits as well as challenges associated with mobile learning—such as ensuring equity of devices, online safety, limited mobile-friendly content and the need for teacher training. “Technology can be a powerful education multiplier, but we must know how to use it… On its own, technology is not enough. Empowerment comes from skills and opportunities to use them. It comes from quality content that is inclusive, that draws on local languages and knowledge systems,” said UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova.

As mobile technology jumps from the margins of education to the mainstream, teachers will be key to the success of ICTs in teaching and learning. While not a panacea, mobile technology has a clear track record of improving educational efficiency. MLW 2014 will investigate how educators can best utilize mobile devices to achieve national and international learning objectives, including Education for All.

Despite impressive progress, the world is not on track to achieving the Millennium Development Goals by the 2015 deadline. To ensure universal primary education UNESCO estimates that 6.8 million teachers need to be hired worldwide by 2015: 1.7 million are needed to fill new posts and 5.1 million are needed to replace outgoing teachers. These shortages—both current and anticipated— impede a wide range of development efforts by preventing young people from gaining access to the high quality instruction needed to excel in knowledge-based societies. The shortage of trained and motivated teachers is most acute in parts of the world where more and better quality instruction is desperately needed. In light of the urgency of the global teacher crisis, UNESCO wants to better understand how mobile technology can help prepare new teachers and provide professional development to working teachers.

Compounding the challenges of teacher supply, are concerns about teacher quality. Many children who are in school fail to develop basic competencies. As the latest UNESCO Global Monitoring Report reveals, 250 million students worldwide cannot read, write or count, even after four years of school. Close to 775 million adults – 64% of whom are women – still lack reading and writing skills, with the lowest rates in Sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia.

Improving educational access and quality requires political leadership, planning and action. To this effect, MLW 2014 will host a policy forum, symposium, research track, 11 half-day workshops, and 80 breakout presentations on the most cutting-edge topics, such as Open Educational Resources; classroom apps for smartphones and basic phones alike, content for tablets and netbooks; mobile learning pedagogics; building mobile learning apps; social media and more.

Mobile technologies hold the key to turning today’s digital divide into digital dividends, bringing equitable and quality education for all.

Further details

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 10:48:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
UNESCO, in partnership with Athabasca University and in cooperation with the UNESCO-UNAOC University Network on Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue, launches online course on media and information literacy (MIL).

This entry-level online course will provide youth with basic media and information competencies to become critical citizens and agents of change. The course is designed to enable youth to:

 - Understand why media and other information providers are important to development and democratic societies;
 - Recognise a need for information and to locate, access, organise and carefully evaluate information and the content of media and other information providers;
 - Use and share information based on moral principles or accepted standards of social behaviour;
 - Interact with media and other information providers to freely express themselves, share their culture and learn about other cultures, promote gender equality, and participate in democratic and development activities.

The course is based on the MIL Curriculum and the Freedom of Expression (FOE) Toolkit published by UNESCO. A central theme throughout this 12-week course is how media and information literacy can enable youth to be actively involved in intercultural dialogue, advocating for equality between women/girls and men/boys, and freedom of expression.

The course will be offered through Athabasca University’s online e-Lab, using the learning management system, Moodle. Most sessions will be self-directed, with ongoing interaction with the course presenters in the online space. Athabasca is a Canadian university that holds a UNESCO Chair on open education resources. Athabasca University is an associate member of the UNESCO-UNAOC University Network on Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue.

Applicants should be youth (females and males between the ages 15-25). Participants who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate from Athabasca University.

In order to successfully complete this course participants will need regular access to a computer and Internet access to download documents, listen to podcasts and view online videos.

To apply, please click here. Application must be completed by 19 February 2014. There are no associated fees to participants who wish to do this course.

This MIL course is being launched in conjunction with UNESCO’s Women Make the News initiative organized around International Women’s Day, March 8. It is the second course to be offered by UNESCO-UNAOC University Network on Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue. The first targets teachers, policy makers and others professionals.

Further Information

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 10:40:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


Malawian mothers and guardians of young children who live in villages far from health facilities are heaving a sigh of relief, after the introduction of a hotline through which they can access medical advice. VillageReach, a non-profit NGO, is running a program called “Chipatala Cha Pa Foni“, which means Health Center by Phone.

Malawi has some of the highest mother and child mortality rates in the world. The maternal mortality ratio is at 675 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, while the under-five mortality rate is 112 deaths per 1,000 births.

The figures are largely attributed to limited availability of timely and reliable health information for women of childbearing age, and a lack of access to health care for villagers due to long distances.

VillageReach officials say the phone program, which is currently run in the districts of Balaka, Mulanje, Nkhota-kota and Ntcheu, aims to bridge this information gap. “This is a toll-free case management hotline, which means people can call free from any Airtel [mobile phone service provider] phone and can ask their questions concerning any health issues", explained Zachariah Jezman, the program manager. "And apart from that component, we have also a reminder and tips service. In addition to that we have protocol approved messages, which are either posted to clients who have personal phone or which can be retrieved by a client without a phone by using any Airtel phone”.

According to Jezman, two complementary services extend the health centers' reach by providing Malawians with access to accurate health information.

He said the clients are handled by hotline workers who are trained personnel in maternal, newborn, and children's health. The workers use a simple touch-screen device that records data electronically for monitoring and evaluation purposes. They are supervised by trained nurses for quality assurance.

Balaka Center hotline nurse supervisor Novice Gauti tells VOA the center receives between 25 and 30 calls each day from mothers and guardians who seek medical advice. Gauti said along with providing crucial help for people in remote villages, Chipatala Cha pa Foni has helped reduce queues in the health facilities.

“Now the queues at the hospitals are very small compared to the time when there was no Chipatala cha pa Foni, because the mothers were just rushing to the hospital with minor problems", she noted. " But now when they have minor problems or discomfort they can easily and comfortably call us from their home and seek medical advice or medical care”.

(Source: Voice of America)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 10:32:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
A social media site that links Puerto Rican scientists abroad with those at home could be helping to strengthen the science community in a territory that has experienced substantial brain drain, according to its developers.

The founders of CienciaPR (‘Science Puerto Rico’) say the island group has few high-quality scientific institutions and, like other Latin American countries, spends little on research — so brain drain is a problem.

Some 64 per cent of Puerto Rican students studying for PhDs live outside the archipelago, as do 44 per cent of the doctorate workforce, according to a paper reviewing the website’s progress, published last month (31 December) in PLOS Biology.

With so few scientists in Puerto Rico, it is hard to foster local science, say the authors. But CiencaPR may be compensating with a digital community that can help fill the gaps.

Launched in 2006, the network has almost 7,000 members in 48 countries, and includes people in more than 185 universities in the United States.

The authors of the paper say CienciaPR has brought benefits at a local level, enabling students and scientists who leave Puerto Rico to continue to contribute to the local scientific community through science communication, outreach initiatives, research and education.

For example, the platform “has been a resource for teachers [in Puerto Rico] who look to bring scientists to their classrooms or to contextualise their science lessons. It is helping to stimulate students’ interest in science careers”, says Giovanna Guerrero-Medina, CienciaPR’s executive director.

(Source: SciDevNet)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 12:28:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Wikigender, the UN Foundation, Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC), the EU-LAC Foundation, European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), ECLAC and PARIS21 would like to hear your views on where are the data gaps and engage in a discussion on pioneering initiatives that generate new data and new methodological approaches to address complex areas (e.g. unpaid care, time use, social norms).

The outcomes of the discussion and main findings will be synthesised in a final report and presented/distributed at a side event organised by the OECD Development Centre, Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) in March 2014, during the 58th session on UN the Commission on the Status of Women in New York.

Participate from 9am (GMT+1) on 27/01 until 5pm on 14/02!

Background

The objective of this online discussion is to focus on data gaps on gender equality, which can contribute to the 58th Commission for the Status of Women’s (CSW) review of the MDGs. Given the growing advocacy momentum for a stand-alone gender equality goal and targets in the post-2015 agenda, it is important to stocktake progress made since 2000 on improving the quality, coverage and approaches to data, which can assist in the elaboration of priorities for the statistical infrastructure for gender equality moving forward. Initiatives spearheaded at the international level (e.g. the UN Women/UNSD 52 minimum set of indicators, EDGE initiative, Data 2X), regional organisations (e.g. ECLAC, EU-LAC, EIGE), and national statistical offices point to the importance of coordinated action and knowledge-sharing for advancing the gender agenda at all levels: sub-national, national and international.

The Wikigender online discussion will look at where are the data gaps, map pioneering initiatives that generate new data (including use of big data), share knowledge on new methodological approaches to address complex areas (e.g. unpaid care, time use, social norms), progress on gender statistics since 2000, as well as national capacities to collect data. It aims to bring together leading institutes working on gender statistics to share and discuss their initiatives, results and proposals for improving gender statistics amongst a technical community of practice.

More information

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 11:59:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Helping children with learning disabilities such as dyslexia to acquire reading and spelling skills will not only open doors for them to engage with the community but also participate fully in it.

Dyslexia Association of Sarawak (DAS) vice-president Richard Sia said this when speaking during the certificate presentation ceremony for participants of the Empower Program organized by the US Department of State, which was held at the Sarawak State Library yesterday.

“With the ability to read and acquire information from resources out there, we hope that these children will gain access and be included in mainstream schools and communities, thus providing them with accessibility and inclusiveness through empowering them in reading.

“With this new knowledge and techniques, we hope to create and improve the support for dyslexic children and adults, and for children with other learning disabilities to acquire learning skills in reading, spelling and learning English”.

Last month, DAS and SK Laksamana Kuching in collaboration with state Education Department and Yayasan Sarawak conducted a reading camp for Primary 3 students, where children were immersed in English teaching and language.

The camp was a pilot project to empower children with learning disabilities through an intensive reading program over a seven-day period at Yayasan Sarawak in Kuching.
“All our children have shown a significant improvement in their pre-camp and post camp assessments for the English language”, shared Sia, adding that the children’s progress would continue to be monitored over the next six months.

During his speech, Yun praised the state library for its beauty and expressed the US Embassy’s willingness to continue to work together with the library to help it expand as well as provide other means of support such as exchanges and lectures.

“To me, having this mix is very, very important and I do believe, such a mix is a very important ingredient in how a nation succeeds. Again, this is very much full of hope as I come and see what you have done in Sarawak”, he said.

During his speech, His Excellency said the Embassy was very happy to have played a small part in enabling the Empower Program as well as the camp to take flight.

“We’re here to recognize what we one can do with a serious disability like dyslexia. Dyslexia is something that is not readily visible, not like many disabilities. When we recognize that, and when we have exchanges, mentors, tutors, who can really make sure that people with dyslexia can live full lives – more than that, lives with learning, I think that makes an enormous contribution. I am very happy to honour the Dyslexia association, what Richard Sia and his group have done. We are very happy to be a very small part of how we can highlight and assist in this effort”.

According to an event information handout, the Empower Program is a new series of two-way exchanges aimed at bolstering international disability rights by providing opportunities to disability advocates for professional development, internships, training, networking, and collaboration with their US peers.

The program is run by the Professional Exchanges Division of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in partnership with Mobility International USA (Miusa). The exchanges coincide with efforts to promote and ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by the administration.

(Source: Borneo Post)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 11:42:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Government on Friday introduced the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill in Rajya Sabha (RS), seeking to increase reservation for persons with disabilities in public sector jobs from existing 3% to 5% and reserve seat for them in higher educational institutions.

Persons with disabilities under the proposed legislation – which also seeks to broaden the ambit of disability from seven to 19 sub-categories — will, however, not get such relief soon as the members in Upper House insisted to send it to a standing committee of Parliament for detailed examination before putting it up for discussion and passing.
If the chairman Hamid Ansari agrees to send the Bill to the parliamentary panel, then it won’t be passed during the current session – the last one during the present government.

At present, the reservation for the disabled is only 3% in the ratio of 1% each for people with mobility, vision and hearing disabilities. The new Bill, if passed by the Parliament, will extend the quota by 2%, covering two new additional categories – mental disability and people with multiple disabilities.

The proposed legislation divides the broad categories into various sub-categories, seeking to include as many types of disabilities as possible. It includes, thalassemia and muscular dystrophy besides autism, blindness, cerebral palsy, chronic neurological conditions, mental disability and multiple disabilities.

The Bill, introduced by the Union minister for social justice and empowerment Mallikarjun Kharge, also provides for setting up National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, which will have statutory powers besides establishing a dedicated National Fund for Persons with Disabilities.

The proposed legislation is expected to bring more clarity in defining disability. Anyone suffering 40% disability or more will continue to be defined as a ‘person with disability’.

Besides making provisions to prevent persons with disabilities from harassment while getting disability certificates, the proposal legislation also provides for stringent punitive measures under which anyone violating the provisions could face from six months to five years of imprisonment and a fine from Rs 10,000 to five lakhs.

Demand to send the Bill to standing committee came from CPM members in the House. As soon as Kharge introduced the Bill, the party member Sitaram Yechury rose to his feet demanding that the bill should be referred to a Standing Committee. Deputy chairman P J Kurien, however, said that the chairman Hamid Ansari would take a call on this.

The government had in December last year decided to replace the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunity Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act of 1995 with the new Bill. It maintained that the proposed legislation is in consonance with the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which India had signed in 2007.

Various Disabled Rights Groups had, however, protested against the Bill in its current form, saying the provisions were not in tune with the norms of UN convention. The groups had identified 20 shortcomings and suggested amendments in the Bill.

Besides introduction of this much awaited Bill, the Upper House could not transact any other business for the third consecutive day on Friday. Member raised various issues including Telangana, corruption and plight of Tamil Nadu fishermen simultaneously as soon as the Rajya Sabha assembles. As the din continued, the House was adjourned for the day after two adjournments during the first half.

(Source: The Times of India)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 3:33:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |