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 Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Empowering women and advancing their rights is not only the right thing to do but it can lead to progress on a range of issues, including the fight against poverty, hunger and violence, the head of the United Nations agency tasked with promoting women’s rights said today.

Promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment is not solely a plea for justice or for fulfilling human rights commitments. It is both of those things, but also so much more”, Michelle Bachelet said in her opening statement to the annual session of the Executive Board of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).

Where we fail to capitalize on the potential and talents of one half of the population, we also squander the potential to reduce poverty, hunger, disease, environmental degradation and violence”, she stated.

The evidence base for this is growing”, added Ms. Bachelet, the Executive Director of UN Women and former Chilean President.

She noted that in a recent report, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that closing the gender productivity gap arising from unequal access of women to productive resources would reduce the number of undernourished people by 12 to 17 per cent. That translates into 100 to 150 million fewer people living in hunger.

Countries, she added, are beginning to count the cost of domestic violence to health and in lost workplace productivity, which in the United States reaches $5.8 billion each year. “In today’s world, can we afford not to increase investment in eliminating gender discrimination when it has the potential to yield such high returns?

“UN Women’s good fortune is that it comes into being at a time when countries and businesses are asking this question, and rethinking their investment strategies,” she stated. “Our challenge now is to meet the rising demands and expectations.”

Ms. Bachelet has identified six priorities for the new agency, including ending violence against women, ensuring their full participation in conflict resolution and enhancing their economic empowerment.

(Source: UN News Centre)

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Tuesday, 28 June 2011 19:01:17 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 27 June 2011

"Computadoras for everybody" is an excellent governmental initiative which is at the disposal of Ecuadorians, though the Bank of the Ecuadorian Social Security Institute (BIESS), entity that provides facilities for those interested to acquire a computer.

Another alternative of the market is offered by the National Corporation of Telecommunications (CNT EP), which provides opportunities to acquire desktops, laptops and netbooks together with a package of Internet and finance it in installments up to 24 months.

A person with access to technologies, such as in this case of Internet, has a great chance of overcoming that start with a click. For this reason, the national Government is increasing their efforts so that citizens can have access to technology and they will be on par with this modern world.

The projects run by the Ministry of Telecommunications, which provide connectivity and equipment in remote locations and projects in schools with limited financial resources, are a great contribution to the national development.

These services are now a reality and it will continue to fight for disappears the technological illiteracy completely in the country. For this reason, the Ministry of Telecommunications continues to develop projects such as: Infocentros community, equipped with computers and the Internet; the National Plan of Connectivity that arrives at the national level with equipment for public schools of the country.

There is no better development knowledge, that the effective management of technologies, which will reduce digital illiteracy and induced to citizenship in the employment and improvement of the quality of their life.

(Source:Mintel - Ecuador)

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Monday, 27 June 2011 04:12:21 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 22 June 2011

The Ministry of Transport and Communications launched today the campaign of information and guidance to the public on the proper use of emergency telecommunications services, which at first time involves telephone operators, radio and television who have been committed to broadcast nationwide and for free, messages for the public to learn to communicate in case of earthquakes.

The campaign launch was attended by the Minister of Transport and Communications, Dr. Enrique Cornejo, the chief of INDECI, General Luis Palomino, the CEO of Telefonica del Peru, Javier Manzanares, Manager Regulatory of Nextel del Peru, Ernesto Montagne, Nachtigall Delgado Hogo President of the National Society of Radio and Television and Vice President of the association, Marcello Cuneo.

The goal of the campaign is to teach people the 3 basic steps to follow in an emergency: First, to communicate with family members the people should sent a text messages; Second, use the internet, if we have this service available and Third, if we found in the area of ​​emergency, dial 119 and leave a voice message.

The Minister of Transport said that telecommunications are crucial in all phases of emergency management. This is essential from the prevention and disaster management to the relief efforts.

In this regard, the Head of INDECI, General Luis Palomino said that the information campaign on telecommunications services in emergency cases is a significant advance in emergency preparation.

National and international experience shows that in cases of earthquakes, the public telecommunications networks, including fixed and mobile networks are not infallible and could present technical restrictions during the first hours or days of the emergency due to the interruption of power supply, falling poles, broken cables, antennas and congestion of calls.

(Source: INDECI)

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Tuesday, 21 June 2011 23:14:32 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Increasing women's access to quality midwifery has become a focus of global efforts to realize the right of every woman to the best possible health care during pregnancy and childbirth. A first step is assessing the situation.

The State of World's Midwifery 2011: Delivering Health, Saving Lives, supported by 30 partners, provides the first comprehensive analysis of midwifery services and issues in countries where the needs are greatest.

The report provides new information and data gathered from 58 countries in all regions of the world. Its analysis confirms that the world lacks some 350,000 skilled midwives -- 112,000 in the neediest 38 countries surveyed -- to fully meet the needs of women around the world. The report explores a range of issues related to building up this key health workforce.

This page includes access to the full report in three languages, as well as related resources, applications, bibliographical information, individual country profiles and stories of midwives.

(Source: UNFPA)

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Tuesday, 21 June 2011 19:58:24 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 20 June 2011

In the first half of next year, Telefonica del Peru (TdP) will culminate the installation of the optical fiber for the Fiber Optic Project “Andes”, through which will be connected to eight departments in the sierra and jungle of Peru, said today the executive chief of Telefonica del Peru, Javier Manzanares. "We have come to Cusco which marks the first milestone of the project, which has required an investment of 300 million new soles for lying of 400 kilometers", he said.

The project uses a network of 1,800 kilometers of optical fiber and is developed by the Colombian firm Internexa, part of the ISA. This initiative is part of TdP investment program for the period 2010 - 2013, amounting to US$ 1.500 billion.

"It's a major project and will benefit more than 2.4 million inhabitants of the highlands and jungle of Peru, giving them access to an Internet service with the same characteristics as in Lima", he explained.

He said that before the arrival of the optical fiber to Cusco, the voice, data and Internet services were very limited in speed because there was greater carrying capacity. "We're talking speeds ranging from 200 to 400 kilobits (Kb) per second and can now get up to four megabytes of speed", he said.

Manzanares announced that the next cities to connect the remainder of the year are Huancavelica, Abancay (Apurimac), Andahuaylas (Apurimac), Ayacucho, Carhuamayo (Junín), Huánuco and Tingo María (Huánuco) and Pucallpa (Ucayali). "For the first part of 2012 is expected to arrive with the service in Tocache Juanjuí, Bellavista and Tarapoto in San Martin and Amazonas Yurimaguas", he said.

He recalled that a World Bank study on the impact of broadband in the development of medium income countries such as Peru, found that for every ten points of penetration of broadband Internet, economy grows by about 1.38 percentage points extra.

(Source: Andina NewsPaper)

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Monday, 20 June 2011 22:05:03 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, 18 June 2011
• Diego Molano Vega Minister delivered 30 computers
• Leon XIII was the school benefited

The Minister of Information and Communications Technologies, Diego Molano Vega, the Deputy Minister, María Carolina Hoyos Turbay, and the Colonel of Police, Mario Guerrero Fonseca, submitted a computer room at the school Leon XIII Soacha, Cundinamarca.
"This is a contribution of the Ministry as a sponsor of the department of Cundinamarca", said Molano Vega, also he said that in addition to the jounger population (more than 3 000 children), the computers  will also benefit to 650 adults, which will reinforce the educational processes in this town south of Bogota.
"We are committed to education and the maintenance of security in this vulnerable area of Soacha" said Col. Guerrero, while announcing the commitment of the National Police to continue to support other regions in partnership with the ICT Ministry and "Computers for Education".
At this site, the National Police, built floors, ceilings and left the places in a better position to benefit the population.
Computers for Schools has delivered 1190 equipments in 55 educational sites in this town and about 24,000 in the department of Cundinamarca. The ICT Ministry Program works to expand access, to train teachers in appropriate technologies in the formal education system and, simultaneously, leads the environmental component of the Digital Living plan through the reuse of computers and electronic waste.

(Source: Mintic - Colombia)

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Saturday, 18 June 2011 04:34:45 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 17 June 2011

Hundreds of citizens from disadvantaged communities are now using video cameras to report on issues that affect them and their neighbors. With training from the Video Volunteers, local video producers are changing the dominant model of media in the country to make it more democratic and diverse.

Mukesh Rajak, from the eastern state of Jharkand makes an unlikely activist in India. Born poor and Dalit, Rajak faced a life of discrimination with little access to education and developmental resources. Yet despite not being born into the “right caste”, Rajak has improved the schools in his village with the aid of a video camera.

I had done a video on this school reporting that the teachers employed were taking bribes from students for teaching and conducting examinations,” explained Rajak proudly. “I showed it to the Block Education Officer. She saw this video and came to visit the village school. She demoted the headmaster of the school and now no teacher asks for bribes. Students are happy that they can now study for free”.

Rajak produced the video as a community correspondent for “India Unheard” a relatively new community news service. Launched in February 2010, India Unheard has community correspondents in every state in India reporting on issues ranging from poverty and human rights to local culture.

IndiaUnheard” is one of several citizen journalism projects in the country established by Video Volunteers, a U.S.-based international organization that trains people from disadvantaged communities to create their own locally relevant and locally produced media. In India, Video Volunteers operates an intensive training in all aspects of video production for aspiring correspondents for “IndiaUnheard” and others interested in video journalism.

Journalists from all walks of life

Through its training efforts in India, Video Volunteers has created “the largest, most diverse network” of community video producers anywhere in the world, according to Video Volunteers Communication Manager Siddarth Pillai.

Nearly 200 villagers and slum dwellers—former diamond polishers, rickshaw drivers and day laborers – are currently working as community producers”, Pillai said in an email interview.  Pillai explained that more than 50 percent of these producers are women, and also come from communities “most affected by human and civil rights violations”, namely Dalits, Muslims and Tribal people.

After training, some of the producers work for Video Volunteers’ Community Video Units. These locally owned and managed units are set up in areas that rarely receive coverage from the mainstream media. They produce community-specific news and documentaries.

(Source: AudienceScapes)

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Thursday, 16 June 2011 23:28:30 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 15 June 2011
Five United Nations agencies have banded together to call for urgently addressing gender-biased sex selection favouring boys, a common practice in many parts of South, East and Central Asia that they say fuels a culture of discrimination and violence.

“Sex selection in favour of boys is a symptom of pervasive social, cultural, political and economic injustices against women, and a manifest violation of women’s human rights”, says a statement issued by the agencies, which have reviewed the evidence behind the causes, consequences and lessons learned regarding “son preference”.

Often under intense pressure to produce a son, women seek to discover the sex of a foetus through ultrasound. The discovery of a female foetus can then lead to its abortion. Sex selection can also take place before a pregnancy is established, or after the birth of a girl, through child neglect or infanticide, they add. Over decades, the practice has caused a sex-ratio imbalance in many countries particularly in South Asia, East Asia and Central Asia – with ratios in some places as high as 130 boys for every 100 girls.

“There is huge pressure on women to produce sons… which not only directly affects women’s reproductive decisions, with implications for their health and survival, but also puts women in a position where they must perpetuate the lower status of girls through son preference”, they say.

“It is also women who have to bear the consequences of giving birth to an unwanted girl child. These consequences can include violence, abandonment, divorce or even death”, according to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The imbalance between the number of men and women owing to sex selection can in some areas lead to the trafficking of women for forced marriages from other regions or the sharing of brides among brothers, the agencies point out.

“Renewed and concerted efforts are needed by governments and civil society to address the deeply rooted gender discrimination which lies at the heart of sex selection”, the experts noted.

They propose concrete steps to tackle the problem, including the collection of more reliable data on the extent of the problem and the factors driving it; guidelines on the use of technology for health professionals; supportive measures for girls and women, such as incentives for families with only daughters; and other legal and awareness-raising actions.

(Source: UN News Centre)

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Wednesday, 15 June 2011 20:48:57 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Film Forum, talks, concerts, exhibitions and awareness-raising circuit are part of the activities organized to celebrate the two year period without barriers CANTV, which allows training and awareness servers and public servants on the proper treatment of persons with disabilities.

In the framework of “Cantv sin Barreras” from Monday 13 to Friday June 17th will be held at the headquarters of the telecommunications company a week dedicated to inclusion and disability awareness.

These activities begin in the auditorium with the authorities of CANTV and various papers as: Rights and duties of persons with disabilities, access to work, Prevention, Health Education, Sex and Disability, Accessibility, What's happening in Venezuela?, barriers, discrimination and indolence, among others.

Also there will be carried out the photographic exhibition "Our Interior Sense", which is the result of Blind Photography workshop made by public servants of the company.

These meetings promote the exchange of information, knowledge and experience to forge a new way to interact and understand the disability as a condition but not an impediment to development

With initiatives like this, CANTV is increasingly integrating their public servers and activities to raise awareness of the need for inclusion, awareness and potential of persons with disabilities.

(Source: CANTV)

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Wednesday, 15 June 2011 20:30:45 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 14 June 2011

MTPE rescues 10.084 children who had been working and punish to 168 companies

A few hours after the celebration of the World Day Against Child Labour, the Ministry of Labour and Women's led a social urban awareness intervention about the magnitude of this problem that affects the future of more than two million children and adolescents between 6 and 17 years old, according to the National Household Survey 2008 of the National Statistics Institute (INEI). The conference, which had the slogan "Men at Work, children studying" and "Women at Work, girls at school" was conducted in 150 corners of the country in partnership with the International Labour Organization (ILO), the National Steering Committee for the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labour (CPETI) and the Telefónica Foundation.

Thus,they distributed material about the problem of children labor and the need to eradicate it, and spread, through posters, the need for children to study. Characterization was also associated with child labor jobs such as cleaning cars and selling candy in the streets.

Participants included officials from the involved institutions, artists and persons discharged from the Program “Proniñothat Telefónica Foundation runs to insert into education to working children.

(Source: El Peruano NewsPaper)

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Tuesday, 14 June 2011 04:08:39 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 13 June 2011

The first ever World report on disability, produced jointly by WHO and the World Bank, suggests that more than a billion people in the world today experience disability.

People with disabilities have generally poorer health, lower education achievements, fewer economic opportunities and higher rates of poverty than people without disabilities. This is largely due to the lack of services available to them and the many obstacles they face in their everyday lives. The report provides the best available evidence about what works to overcome barriers to health care, rehabilitation, education, employment, and support services, and to create the environments which will enable people with disabilities to flourish. The report ends with a concrete set of recommended actions for governments and their partners.

This pioneering World report on disability will make a significant contribution to implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. At the intersection of public health, human rights and development, the report is set to become a "must have" resource for policy-makers, service providers, professionals, and advocates for people with disabilities and their families.

(Source: World Health Organization)

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Monday, 13 June 2011 17:43:02 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

With flexible hours and from the comfort of your home or office, the population can enjoy, in the second half of the year, the most varied courses in telecommunications, that CONATEL through CEDITEL offered for those interested in studying in the form of distance or semi personal learning, thanks to the virtual platform SAD (Distance Learning System), developed by the institution.

From July 5, the Centre for Telecommunications and Information Development, Ceditel, plans to offer courses about the Law of Social Responsibility in Radio, Television and Electronic Media, Education Development, Accounting for Social Organizations and Basic Tool Open Office.

Regarding telecommunications, the community can deepen their learning on Wireless Local Area Networks and Person, Technology and Basic Telecommunications Services and the Computer and Communications Security.

Also, the training offered by CEDITEL highlights the study Model of Community Media, to publicize the promotion and strengthening of People's Power through these media.

SAD, brings a new image, offering to users an educational portal, more intuitive, to only one-click information to facilitate all processes related to registration and classification of information content as well as the latest in news in the virtual world.

The online course offerings for the period of June to November 2011, is now available on the website For more information, enter to

(Source: Conatel – Venezuela)

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Monday, 13 June 2011 04:18:48 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, 11 June 2011

This Saturday June 11th there will be an expert panel for “Vive Digital TV” from ICT Ministry, which is transmitting every Saturday by the Institutional Channel. In this issue, parents can discuss with the invited experts, the risks faced by their children when surfing the Internet.

The Program "Vive Digital" expert panel is led by the Ministry on ICT, María Carolina Hoyos Turbay and this time with the participation of two experts on the protection of children's rights, Senator Gilma Jimenez, and Freddy Bautista, Head of the Dijin cybercrime.

During this half hour, they will discuss the attitude that parents should take to protected against activities that develop their children on the web. Also discuss the technological tools that exist to prevent children from entering malicious sites that could put on risk their personal security.

In terms of laws, experts will present the measures that have being advanced to prevent the vulnerability of the rights of children via the Internet. For her part the Minister Hoyos Turbay, will present the progress of "Healthy Internet", an initiative that guides parents and children on digital behaviors to be taken while browsing the Internet.

(Source: Mintic - Colombia)

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Saturday, 11 June 2011 22:58:19 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 08 June 2011

The new internet portal "Citizenship 2.0-transforming Latin America", was launched on Monday, May 30. Its aim is to encourage participation of citizens, especially young people, in the preparatory discussions of the XXI Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government, whose central theme will be "State Transformation and Development" which will be held in Asuncion, Paraguay, on 28 and October 29, 2011.
This project is an initiative of the General Iberoamerican Secretary, Enrique V. Iglesias, who aims to encourage citizen participation in the issues being discussed at the Summit
, as well as boosting the use of new information technologies and social networks. The portal is part of a plan of joint activities of the General Iberoamerican Secretariat and the Institute for Latin America at the University of Salamanca.

On Monday 30th also were launched two other priority activities within the project. The first is a Young Researchers Seminar about "Transforming the state and development." The second is an essay contest whose theme is "New strategies to strengthen the state and improve the conditions for development in Latin America." Both activities will have a specialized jury that will choose the best best paper. The award will be an invitation to attend the next Summit of Heads of State and Government.

During the coming months, workshops of Debate 2.0 will be held in four Latin American cities (Quito, Cordoba, Mexico and São Paulo), from which further discussions will also be presented to the Summit. They will complement the "Recommendation Document" prepared by the participants of the first Workshop Salamanca 2.0, held in the Latin American Institute at the University of Salamanca on 23 May 2011. To access:

(Source: SEGIB)

Wednesday, 08 June 2011 02:34:51 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 06 June 2011
New Broadband Commission report advocates catalytic mix of appropriate technologies, innovative financing, training and locally relevant content

Governments around the world need to rapidly formulate and implement national multi-sectoral broadband plans – or risk being seriously disadvantaged in today’s increasingly high-speed digital environment, according to a new report released today by the Broadband Commission for Digital Development at its third meeting, held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

The report, entitled Broadband: A Platform for Progress, argues: “To optimize the benefits to society, broadband should be coordinated on a countrywide basis, promoting facilities-based competition and with policies encouraging service providers to offer access on fair market terms...efforts should be coordinated across all sectors of industry, administration and the economy. Developing isolated projects or piecemeal, duplicated networks is not only inefficient, it delays provision of infrastructure that is becoming as crucial in the modern world as roads or electricity supplies.”

The report also makes a strong case for broadband as a driver of economic growth and new jobs, citing country case studies and reports by leading consultancies.

One study suggests that in China, for instance, every 10% increase in broadband penetration could contribute an extra 2.5% to GDP growth. Other data cited in the report suggest that, for low- and middle-income countries, a 10-percentage-point rise in broadband penetration could add up to a 1.4-percentage point rise in economic growth.

Concerning jobs, an analysis for the European Commission estimates that broadband could create more than two million jobs in Europe by 2015, while a study in Brazil reports that access to broadband has already added up to 1.4% to the employment growth rate.

Offering much more than faster access to web pages, broadband networks are a crucial element of the ‘Internet of Things’, by which ordinary inanimate objects communicate with one another using technologies like RFID, without the need for human intervention. Such networks are already revolutionizing inventory control and fleet management, and are set to play a growing role in key social sectors like healthcare, through e-health applications, education, through remote learning and teacher training, and environmental management through applications like smart grids, monitoring systems and smart buildings.

(Source and Full Story)

Monday, 06 June 2011 17:41:15 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Plan “Vive Digital” from the ICT Ministry seeks to promote ICT access, use and massive appropriation of ICTs, through policies and programs to achieve progressive and sustainable levels of development in all departments of Colombia.
In pursuance of this strategy, they established the Plan "Vive Digital Regional" an initiative that seeks to bring to the next level of maturity of digital territories and aligned with the new government policies of the Ministry of Information and Communications Technologies. Also, the new initiative is supported by an alliance with “Colciencias” and “Fidubogotá”, as the spokeswoman of the autonomous equity fund called National Funding for science, technology and innovation, Francisco José de Caldas.

This initiative aims to support plans for regional and municipal governments and their development plans and competitiveness through co-financing of projects promoting regional innovation and technological development through ICT. To achieve this, they promote synergies between the public sector, private sector and academia, as well as cooperation between regions and supporting the country's reconstruction following the rainy season in areas related to the objectives of the Ministry.

"Vive Digital Regional" articulates the development of Digital Ecosystem, in the 32 departments of Colombia and the Capital District through the support of government initiatives that require the use of ICT for effective development of their regions. It also provides the tools necessary to ensure that people take ownership of ICT and make use of its advantages in search of competitive development of their region.

(Source: MINTIC - Colombia)
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Monday, 06 June 2011 00:53:01 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 01 June 2011

How can the ‘mobile miracle’ be replicated to extend broadband access to all?

Broadband is today’s transformational technology. By revolutionizing access to content and changing the delivery paradigms for a whole host of public and private sector services, it is becoming essential basic infrastructure for every country’s future development. Yet for the moment, access to high-speed Internet is very much a rich-world privilege. To truly harness the power of information and communication technologies to create tomorrow’s Knowledge Societies and meet the Millennium Development Goals, new approaches to driving broadband roll-out across economic barriers are urgently needed. This report looks at what broadband can bring, the state of deployment around the world, and innovative models that can help bring high-speed connectivity to the world’s poorest communities.

The report comes from the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, led by ITU and UNESCO:

The full report and Executive Summary will be available for download from 12:00 CET on Monday 6 June at:

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations. Established in 1946, UNESCO works for world peace and international understanding through its key programme areas: education, natural and social sciences, culture, and communication and information.

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

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Wednesday, 01 June 2011 19:49:37 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 30 May 2011
On Friday, Antel and the Administration of State Health Services (ASSE) presented Siembra”, a Desktop Computer System based on Medical Care Network.

This is a strategic venture for care in the public health system, which will allow doctors to access medical records of patients of ASSE electronically from anywhere in the country.

With the support of ANTEL, which will provide 3G connectivity, ASSE will link more than 800 service point’s country wide through 1,500 laptops that contain digitized medical records of each patient. The pilot will begin in the department of Artigas, will continue in Rivera and it is expected that within a year the system is operating in the department of Durazno and in the rest of the country. ASSE is working with the OPP in developing of a strategic plan. ASSE general manager, Enrique Buchino, said in a second stage that they pretend to
include hospitals, therefore providing data in case of hospitalization or surgery.

(Source: ElAcontecer Newspaper)
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Monday, 30 May 2011 07:44:04 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, 28 May 2011
The Spanish version of the popular online encyclopedia, which celebrates ten years, is trying to convince teachers to encourage their use in schools.

"Imagine a world in which every human being can freely share the sum of all knowledge", is the motto of the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit organization behind Wikipedia, the largest online collaborative project. Tomorrow will be ten years since an anonymous net-surfer opened the Wikipedia in Spanish with a small table called "countries of the world", an article that has been revised today more than 600 times and is part of the over 759,000 in the encyclopedia in this language.

Four months after the birth of her Anglo counterpart, soul and brain of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, gave his approval to developers to put up versions in other languages. The Spanish company now occupies the sixth place in number of articles and fight not stops growing while improving existing content.
To encourage growth, the Wikimedia Foundation refers to the number of Spanish speakers who can contribute. This represents a double-edged sword. There are over 450 million Spanish speakers and English speakers only 50 million more. However, the English Wikipedia has nearly five times more articles (3.6 million) than the Spanish version.

"Increasing participation is one of the five priorities of our strategic plan" can be read recently at the blog of the Wikimedia Foundation. To encourage Castilian edition, they reached an agreement in July last year with “Educared” from Telefonica Foundation. The agreement seeks to extend between the idea that teachers have to teach their students to enter articles in the Wikipedia. Thus, the encyclopedia could continue to grow while quality becomes a standard reference source.

The limited growth of Wikipedia, in the number of items, is not found only in the version in Castilian. The thesis, "Wikipedia: a quantitative analysis” by the researcher Felipe Ortega from the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, shows that the number of users who created or expanded articles suffered a slowdown, which is interpreted as stability by their defenders. "The initial impetus for Wikipedia needed a global push, but now the encyclopedia includes almost everything. We must begin a stage of maturity, to improve existing items", says the director of education and knowledge network of the Foundation Telefonica, José de la Peña.

(Source: Publico News Paper)
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Saturday, 28 May 2011 22:57:47 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 26 May 2011

A Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education will be launched at a high level forum to be held at UNESCO Headquarters on Thursday 26 May.

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova will welcome participants to the event, followed by opening remarks from United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. The keynote speech for the Forum will be made by the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina.  

Prime Minister of Mali Cissé Mariam Kaïdama Sidibé, the Aga Khan, founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network Foundation, and representatives  of several corporate giants participating in the partnership including Nokia, Procter and Gamble, GEMS Education, Microsoft and the Packard Foundation, will also participate.  

Globally, some 39 million girls of lower secondary age are currently not enrolled in either primary or secondary education, while two thirds of the world’s 796 million illiterate adults are women. Only about one third of countries have achieved gender parity at secondary level.  

‘Better Life, Better Future’ will seek collaborative and innovative solutions to the most fundamental obstacles and challenges to education for women and adolescent girls. A number of projects are already underway in several countries.

(Source: UNESCO)
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Thursday, 26 May 2011 13:04:56 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 25 May 2011

To democratize the processes of access to information for citizens in the web portals of government agencies, the Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Society, through the Office of Electronic Government and Competitiveness, UNESCO and Research Center for Information Society IMAGINAR organized the workshop on "Usability of Government Web sites", on 17th, 18th and May 19th in Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca, respectively.

The workshop's objective was to incorporate and strengthen the criteria for usability of government websites to ensure citizens access to current information and timely; also, for facilitating the implementation process of public procedures in line with functionality and quality, to optimize time and resources, and benefit from the Information and Communication Technology.

Access to public information is a fundamental right of citizenship that can generate a culture of transparency and strengthens democracy. Therefore, the Government through the Ministry of Telecommunications, supports the use of ICT and considers the Electronic Government as a powerful tool to implement administrative reforms with numerous benefits such as efficiency and effectiveness, the transparency and democratic participation.

It is important to note that at the moment most of the public institutions have Web sites, through those they report its activities, its services and allow the completion of documents on line.

(Source: Mintel - Ecuador)

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Wednesday, 25 May 2011 13:30:37 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, 22 May 2011

- Two villages of "Wayuu" community will benefit. 
- In 2001 "La Guajira" registered 335 students for each computer, today the number is 22 and the target for the next four years is 12 children per computer.
- Around 6,000 computers were received by the department of La Guajira from this national program.

Computers for Schools” program from the ICT Ministry will present this Saturday, May 21st computers to three public educational centers in the capital of La Guajira, two located in villages, benefiting about 400 children from the Wayuu community.

Computers for Schools” have reached 100% of the municipalities of this area. However, not all sites located in 15 municipalities have full coverage. "We still have 52 seats for benefit and with the work made today; we started to reduce this gap. The goal we've set from the National Government is to reach 12 children per computer when we finish the next four years" said the Deputy Minister.

Guajira department was one of the most backward in terms of equipment per student, now in its campus-there are 22 children per computer, which means that it has reached over 80% of institutions in that department. This contrasts with the situation in 2001, when they started Computers for Schools, which registered 335 students for each computer.

Up to date, the ICT Ministry's program has benefited nearly 174,000 students with 5,990 computers delivered to 292 campus-La Guajira, which have supported the educational work of 3,726 teachers. "But more importantly we have also trained over 800 students in the incorporation of ICT, which makes it really add to the time to contribute to the quality of education in Colombia", noted the Program Director, Martha Castellanos.

(Source: Mintic - Colombia)

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Sunday, 22 May 2011 06:15:33 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, 21 May 2011

The National Government "committed to bridging the digital gap in Panama announced an ambitious program of literacy and digital inclusion through “Senacyt Infoplazas 220”, that from now they will provide free Internet service around countrywide for the benefit of all Panamanians. The announcement was made by the president, Ricardo Martinelli during an event organized in the framework of the celebration of World Telecommunication and Information Society.

Ruben Berrocal, National Secretary of Science, Technology and Innovation said "we have reformed the management model and created a grant Infoplazas, an associated incentive plan based on productivity rates, which will allow Infoplazas Senacyt provide free Internet throughout the country".

The National Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation in compliance with the National Strategic Plan for Science, Technology and Innovation (PENCYT 2010-2014) has opened 90 Infoplazas in the last two years. Berrocal added, "We are working to double the number of facilities in Panama for the year 2014".

The Infoplazas Senacyt are community centers for public access to information and knowledge through the use of information, training programs, and Internet access available to facilitate public access to new Information Technology and Communication (ICT ), particularly those with limited resources and are located in areas of difficult access, helping to bridge the digital gap and incorporating the knowledge society.
Eduardo Jaen, general manager of the National Authority for Government Innovation, said that "the country makes strides to close the digital gap with the announcement of this ambitious digital literacy program that includes free Internet access through the Infoplazas Senacyt National Network and the Internet For All. Starting today, all Panamanians will have access to a computer with Internet to process electronically with the government and businesses, raising the country's competitiveness".

The National Internet Network with more than 120 thousand registered users who use it regularly to access web pages, email and instant messaging services for free. Current access 655 sites in 22 cities are located in places of concentration of people such as schools and municipalities, libraries, community clubs, museums, health centers and hospitals. It was announced that there will be 1,000 National Internet access points by the end of 2011.

(Source: Presidence - Panama)

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Saturday, 21 May 2011 22:43:23 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 20 May 2011

ITU announces significant new landmarks in the fight against cyberthreats

ITU has cemented new global partnerships designed to make cyberspace a safer, more secure place to be for consumers, businesses, and – most crucially – children and youth.

A Memorandum of Understanding signed between ITU and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) at this year’s WSIS Forum event in Geneva will see the two organizations collaborate in assisting ITU and UN Member States mitigate the risks posed by cybercrime.

The MoU will enable the two bodies to work together to make available the necessary expertise and resources to establish legal measures and legislative frameworks at national level, for the benefit of all interested countries. It is the first time that two organizations within the UN system have formally agreed to cooperate at the global level on cybersecurity.

This new alliance with UNODC is a major milestone in implementing a coordinated global approach to an increasingly serious global problem. Together, our two agencies will generate powerful synergies that will help all interested countries fight the scourge of cyberthreats and cybercrime and create a safer online environment for all”, said ITU Secretary-General Dr. Hamadoun Touré.

In line with its long tradition of public-private partnership, ITU has also signed an MoU with Symantec, a leading provider of security, storage and systems management solutions. ITU will use Symantec’s security intelligence, in the form of its quarterly Internet Security Threat Reports, to increase understanding of and readiness for cybersecurity risks.

By distributing this report – which captures data from across Symantec’s Global Intelligence Network – to interested Member States, ITU aims to help better prepare governments in developing and developed nations alike to respond to the ever-growing risk from malware, cyber attackers and information thieves. This will facilitate awareness raising and knowledge transfer, complementing the work of ITU and strengthening its effectiveness as a global forum for governments and private sector to build confidence and security in the use of ICTs.

Commenting on the partnership, Enrique Salem, President and Chief Executive Officer of Symantec, said: “Over the past year and a half, the researchers that make up Symantec’s Global Intelligence Network have noted a dramatic increase in the number of cyberattacks, as well as the growing sophistication and impact of threats. The partnership between ITU and Symantec will facilitate an increased understanding of cybersecurity risks and how they can be reduced, increasing confidence in new and emerging technologies and facilitating the evolution of the digital world”.

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

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Friday, 20 May 2011 20:31:30 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 19 May 2011

Anar Foundation will expand its helpline to young people Quechua´s speaker who live at risk, thus they expected to be available to population of 1 million 270 thousand children, adolescents and youth, in most excluded areas of the country.

Under the slogan "Your voice will protect you", the foundation Anar expand its service line from Friday May 20th to all calls in Quechua to be made from landline or public telephone, conducted at national level, free of charge and confidential from Monday to Saturday (from 09:00 to 21:00).

Germán Guajardo, president of Telephone Anar said that the Quechua service arose from the need to expand the practice of counseling psychology with an inclusive approach that benefits the most excluded populations in the country, figures that come to 850 thousand children 420 thousand adolescents and young people, according to statistics from INEI (2007).
He noted that from July 1998 until April 2011, 342.478 calls were received nationwide.

The most recurrent problems reported by children and adolescents are physical violence, psychological and sexual problems; and difficulties with their parents as well as psychological problems.

These cases are treated with due confidentiality,
they receive support and guidance that they need to strengthen personal aspects of the victim by promoting a culture of peace and good deal with zero tolerance for violence.

Mr. Guajardo said that any request, advice or guidance needed by children and young people can also be performed via email, entering in the website, in the link: “Need help?”.

(Source: Andina News)

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Thursday, 19 May 2011 21:15:17 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

 The Minister Errazuriz said "it will be a real transformation, a connectivity revolution".

With a commitment to have all educational establishments connected to broadband in March 2012, the Minister of Transport and Telecommunications, Pedro Pablo Errazuriz, with his pair of Education, Joaquin Lavin, visited the School República of Paraguay in Recoleta, where they shared with students and where they have seen the areas with some technological advances.
The Minister Errazuriz stressed the objective of this initiative: "We want ev
eryone in Chile have these same tools and time to reach the knowledge revolution. This is a true transformation, a connectivity revolution". "I opened the bidding that will allow us to fulfill this presidential commitment. Reaching this year with high-quality broadband to 90% of students in the country and complete 100% by 2012", said Errazuriz.

Minister Lavin said that "for the Ministry of Education this is very important because it means that in March 2012 all schools in Chile will have broadband internet. And when we say all, is all, even some school of the rural or more remote areas with satellite connection”. The Education Minister noted the work that they have being done through links, asserting that "Chile is reaching a level of 10 children per computer. There are 3 and a half million students and 350 thousand computers in schools. In all, notebooks, netbook, and a standard of 10 children per computer for a computer is quite reasonable compared with other countries".

Currently, 5,600 schools have some connection to the Internet but without quality guaranteed, through this program will raise the standards of these schools, also the schools without connectivity, will be connected, and reaching a universe of more than 11,600 establishments.

For the implementation of this project will be used in 2011 about $ 7 billion and a similar public investment figure in 2012, through the Global Telecommunication Development. 
"Additionally, we will have for the first time the online system monitoring and control to ensure full compliance with the quality of broadband service contract, which will connect all schools. So we can ensure that resources invested by the State and the objectives of this initiative are effectively met", concluded the Minister Errazuriz.

(Source: Subtel - Chile)

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Thursday, 19 May 2011 13:59:14 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 17 May 2011

The American Community of Nations held on May 17th the seventh edition of the World Internet Day with over 300 activities and events in 23 countries. The event already has more than 800 developers worldwide who join all kinds of organizations with a common goal: to bring new technologies to the unconnected and develop the use of the Internet to the public.

The Seventh Internet Day Edition puts its focus on the debate about how the Internet and new technologies affect human rights. The Senate will host the main events of Awards and plenary discussion that will be attended by leading figures such as Eduard Punset, science writer, Rosa Conde, President of the Fundación Carolina, Jordi Sevilla, former government minister and the journalist Nacho Escolar, among others.

The debate will be broadcast live over the Internet. To guide the conversation, the speakers will leave the more than 300 contributions that users around the world are stuck in the wall of Rights, the wall that will remain open to encourage citizen participation and may enter the conversation by using the tag #Internet Day in Twitter.

Internet connects us with Latin America. Latin America is also very present in this edition of Internet Day with activities aimed at using social networks as a meeting point among all Spanish-speaking countries.

Fundèu BBVA Foundation celebrates anniversary with an open debate on the use of Spanish in new media from work. This portal is the embryo of what will be the 'Manual of Style for new media' that BBVA Fundèu prepared with contributions from Internet users. The workshop will be led by Mario Tascon (@mtascon), and will be attended by Antonio Fraguas (@forges), the content director of Hypertext, Marilín Gonzalo (@ marilink) or the Mexican writer Cristina Rivera Garza (@criveragarza).

(Sources: and Ahciet)

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Tuesday, 17 May 2011 21:29:35 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, 15 May 2011

In northern Ghana, a “bottom-up” approach to improving the health and environment of rural villages is logging positive results. ICT interventions relying on mobile technology and e-learning play a big role in implementation.

A project in Ghana seeks to improve the lives of rural villagers by marrying information and communication technologies with the use of “change agents” – selected community members who receive special training. Operating out of their head office in Kumasi, near the middle of the country, the eCAP Ghana Foundation works in the northern villages of Niliyungdo and Nagbi. The project focuses on topics related to health, the environment, microfinance and education.

The transformation of one of the participating villages has been “remarkable”, according to Eva Kagiri, who works for eCAP’s international partner, the Swedish NGO MKFC. In an April interview with ICTWorks , Kagiri described how eCAP trained three young men to be change agents. They then taught village residents in Niliyungdo how to clean water using the “solar disinfection method”, and about waste disposal and environmental issues to avoid spread of diseases. To convey information to residents in an engaging manner, the young men used using role play, pictures and videos.

“We learned how to clean our water,” a female resident of Niliyungdo later told the eCAP team. “We also learned to keep our water covered. Some of us who did not believe what we were doing would make a difference now believe. We are no longer going to the hospital because of the sickness from the water“. Explaining their approach to implementation, Kay Obiri-Mainoo, the Project Coordinator of eCAP Ghana, says they try to establish a close bond with community members so that they feel comfortable opening up and talking about anything that might be bothering them. Obiri-Mainoo also emphasized that his organization believes in the “bottom-up approach,” where they target and train individuals and later scale up to the larger community.

The goal of the project is not only to encourage positive change in the lives of community members themselves. The project also prepares these communities to become agents of change and pass knowledge on to other communities within their district. One of the project’s biggest challenges, says Obiri-Mainoo, has been language barriers. Facilitators often do not speak the local dialect of the communities where they are working, thus forcing them to rely on an interpreter which sometimes complicates the flow of communication.

In addition to video, mobile phone technology is central to the project. In between visits to the village, team members stay in touch by communicating with community leaders, chiefs, teachers and opinion leaders through mobile phones. Typical mobile correspondences are done by either text message or voice calls. The project also uses mobile phones as a broadcast mechanism for sending out regular reminders. For example, text messages are sent to the community to remind them to disinfect their water using the solar method. Mobile phones invariably save project facilitators time and travel costs.  

(Source: AudienceScapes)

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Sunday, 15 May 2011 22:56:55 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 13 May 2011

People living in the poorest countries in the world are benefiting from a ‘mobile cellular miracle’ which has seen access to voice and simple data connectivity rise from an LDC average of 1.2% of the population to almost 30% in just ten years, according to figures released by ITU at the LDC IV conference this week.

This steep rise in phone connectivity far exceeds the targets set out in the LDC III Brussels Programme of Action, which called for average telephone density in LDCs to reach 5% by 2011.

The democratization and rapid spread of mobile cellular technology – which, in 2001, was still considered the province of people in wealthy countries – has transformed the ICT landscape in the world’s 48 UN-designated Least Developed Countries, bringing connectivity to almost 250 million people in LDCs.

ITU’s latest analysis of strategies to boost ICT penetration and leverage this to accelerate development in other economic and social sectors was also released at the conference, in the form of two new reports: ICTs and Telecommunications in Least Developed Countries and The Role of ICT in Advancing Growth in Least Developed Countries.

ITU figures confirm that while the number of fixed lines has barely risen in LDCs over the past decade, reflecting global trends, mobile access has mushroomed, with cumulative annual growth rates over the past five years of 42.6% in LDCs compared to just 7.1% in developed countries.

In 2009, only a tiny handful of LDCs – Myanmar, Kiribati, Eritrea and Ethiopia – still had mobile penetration below the LDC III target of 5% – and that number is expected to shrink further by mid-2010.

But still far too few Internet users in LDCs

The past decade has also seen significant progress in getting people in LDCs online, with 2.5% average Internet penetration by the end of 2010, compared to under 0.3% in 2001. But that is nothing like enough, according to ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré, and remains well below the Brussels III target of 10%.

People ask me if Internet penetration is really such a high priority for people who, on a daily basis, face a lack of safe drinking water, rising food prices, and a chronic shortage of healthcare,” said Dr Touré. “My answer is a resounding ‘yes’. Because the Internet – and especially broadband – is an extraordinary enabler which has potential to massively expand the effective delivery of vital services, such as healthcare and education. Nowhere is this more important than in countries where people are chronically deprived of these services”.

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

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Friday, 13 May 2011 20:58:27 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 11 May 2011
The purpose of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) is to help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide.

17th May marks the anniversary of the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention and the creation of the International Telecommunication Union.

This year, World Telecommunication and Information Society Day highlight the theme “Better life in rural communities with ICTs”, which was adopted by ITU Council in 2009 and follows up on the theme for 2010: “Better city, better life with ICTs”.

ICTs are increasingly in demand to meet the Millennium Development Goals. In the rural context, ICTs provide enhanced opportunities to generate income and combat poverty, hunger, ill health and illiteracy.

Half the world’s population resides in rural districts and far flung communities. This half — three billion people — represent the poorer, less educated, and more deprived cousins of our urban citizens. Indeed, latest figures indicate that as many as 70 per cent of the developing world’s 1.4 billion extremely poor people live in rural areas. They are also among the least connected to the benefits of ICTs. We cannot allow this situation to continue.

As the leading specialized agency of the United Nations for information and communication technologies (ICT), ITU looks towards its Members to raise awareness of the role of ICTs in creating fresh opportunities for a better life through long-term, sustainable development, not least among the most vulnerable sections of our society.

ICTs and related e-applications are key instruments in improving governance and rural services, such as providing community health care, safe drinking water and sanitation, education, food and shelter; improving maternal health and reducing child mortality; empowering women and the more vulnerable members of society; and ensuring environmental sustainability. As ICTs increasingly dictate lifestyles and behavior patterns and power the growth of trade and commerce, rural communities must not be allowed to fall behind cities in their quest for connectivity.

Source: ITU Events)

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Wednesday, 11 May 2011 21:01:37 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and the chat will help from now to prevent and address violence against women as part of the campaign “if they love you, they should love you well”, developed by the Ministry of Women and Social Development (Mimdes)of Peru. The Minister of Mimdes, Virginia Borra, today launched the preventive campaign against violence through electronic means, considering the large influence that those have among youth.

"Currently, in Peru there are over three million users of Facebook, of which the majority is composed by young and just 30 percent of cases of violence treated in emergency centers woman is young victims aged between 13 and 25 years old".

Borra explained that from now is available to enter the on the ministry's website and link to the “Chat 100” section, where you can anonymously seek help from a specialist.
"Here there will be no records of names, so this means you can go to calmly explain your situation to the professionals who attend from 08:00 to 22:00 hours", explained the minister.

Also, if you prefer contact through Facebook and Twitter can be added or follow “sitkiernktkieranbien” account to access communication and receive professional advice on the subject to exit or overcome any situation of violence.

You can also find news, prevention messages, pictures and videos on the subject, which aims to raise awareness about the need to combat violence against women. "Do not forget that the whole issue of violence starts with stressful situations, with small disagreements and minor conflicts unresolved, which may come to physical and verbal aggression and lawlessness".

Borra insisted that it is important that when you start a process of violence, this has to be reported immediately to avoid extreme cases, as many femicide and attempted killings that happen in the country.

(Source: Andina News)

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Wednesday, 11 May 2011 07:40:39 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 10 May 2011
Senior United Nations officials today stressed the need to promote the participation of women in decision-making, noting that democracy and gender equality are interlinked and mutually reinforcing.

“While women’s political participation improves democracy, the reverse is also true: democracy is an incubator for gender equality,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his remarks at a roundtable held at UN Headquarters on gender equality and democracy.

“It provides public space for discussion of human rights and women’s empowerment. It enables women’s groups to mobilize. It makes it easier for women to realize their political, civil, economic and social rights.”

He told participants at the event, which included representatives from various UN departments and entities, as well as the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, that one need look no further than the daily headlines to see the timeliness of today’s gathering.
“Women were among those who marched in Côte d’Ivoire to uphold the democratic will of the people – with several of them killed for making that stand,” said Mr. Ban. “In Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere, women have been among those in the vanguard demanding change, rights, dignity, and opportunity.”

Noting gender inequality in decision-making remains a great impediment to democracy, the Secretary-General said more must be done to address the gender gap in democratic participation.

(Source: UN News Centre)

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Tuesday, 10 May 2011 07:26:51 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 05 May 2011

Based on the AudienceScapes nationally representative survey of Tanzania, conducted in July 2010.

The report focuses on how people of different social groups in Tanzania consume, share and assess information on key health issues including HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Maternal and Child Health. Specifically, the report helps development organizations to identify health information needs for Tanzania adults and ways to share such information with key demographic groups.

There is inequitable access to health information in Tanzania - with significant differences between rural and urban dwellers and among socioeconomic groups. As in most developing countries, the rural residents or those of lower socioeconomic status are disadvantaged in terms of access to communication tools and health information in general. This report provides insights into how development practitioners should craft their health campaigns.

Read Chapters

Chapter 1 The General Health Landscape: an overview of self-reported health status and level of access to health services, and variations by socioeconomic groups;

Chapter 2 Health Information Gathering and Sharing: general access to and use of health information, as seen through the prism of the rural-urban divide and the gender gap in Tanzania;

Chapter 3 HIV/AIDS Education: A Demand for Better Information, with a focus on vulnerable populations;

Chapter 4 Malaria Education: Tapping Into All Means of Outreach, exploring the rural-urban divide and the gender gap;

Chapter 5 Family Planning And Maternal And Child Health: The Need for a Holistic Approach, with a focus on reproductive-age women;

This report draws from a nationally representative survey of Tanzanian individuals, conducted in July 2010. The survey included modules on access to information sources generally as well as access to information about health-related issues, plus questions about trust in various information sources and use of word-of-mouth networks to stay informed about health issues. The survey was based on face-to-face interviews and covered all regions of the country.

Full Report

(Source: AudienceScapes)

Thursday, 05 May 2011 17:16:01 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The FAO-Dimitra Project, a participatory information and communication initiative whose goal is to improve the visibility of rural men and women, recently launched “Communicating Gender for Rural Development: Integrating Gender in Communication for Development.” This handbook is designed for all development practitioners (not only communication/ information specialists) and was born out of the observation that all too often, gender is overlooked in the design of communication initiatives for development in rural areas and that rural populations, women particularly, are rarely viewed as primary sources of information. This has an impact on the action of communication with consequences that vary from reduced efficiency to adverse results.

The publication reviews the concepts and approaches of gender and communication and the reasons for including gender in communication for development initiatives in rural areas; it also provides practical guidance on achieving this successfully.

Unlike conventional communication initiatives that often deliver top-down messages to a sometimes passive audience, communication for development initiatives are based on a dialogue process that aims to achieve sustainable changes within a community. They are implemented on the premise that change will take hold only if the community takes ownership. Therefore, this type of initiative promotes a participatory process that involves all the members of the target population from the start and empowers them to shape the project as it unfolds.

Rural populations face serious challenges in accessing information and means of communication: they are geographically isolated with very limited access to services and infrastructure, have low rates of literacy and no possibility to seek out information, and their knowledge and skills are for the most part undervalued and unsolicited. Rural women, particularly, are disadvantaged. Customary practices often prevent them from accessing education and participating in public life, farmers’ organizations, and decision-making authorities such as village councils.

(Source: FAO - Gender)

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Thursday, 05 May 2011 17:00:11 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 04 May 2011

The UN Programme on Youth (UNPY) is hosting a briefing session on Empowering Disadvantaged and Vulnerable Girls and Young Women, in the context of the International Year of Youth. Kicking off the session will be the presentation of a video followed by a panel discussion with young people, civil society and UN experts. The panel, which will be moderated by Ms Susana Vas Patto from the Permanent Mission of Portugal to the UN, will discuss the root causes of disadvantage and vulnerability in girls and young women and will explore mechanisms for improving their participation in society, through active leadership, education and access to basic services.

Please join us in discussing the importance of enhancing opportunities for girls and young women:

Ms. Susana Vaz Patto, Moderator, Permanent Mission of Portugal to the UN

Ms. Sylvia Wong, Technical Specialist on Adolescents/Youth, UNFPA

Mr. Jimmie Briggs, Executive Director, Man Up Campaign

Ms. Itzel Delgado, Teen Advisor, Girl Up Campaign

Video Presentation and Monologue Readings, V‐Girls, V‐Day

Investing in adolescent girls and young women is key to development and a priority of the UN system. Furthermore, ensuring the participation of girls and young women at all levels is central to the International Year of Youth. Girls and young women can face disadvantage and vulnerability for a multitude of reasons, including poverty, lack access to education and health care, violence and conflict. These factors serve to limit the chances of girls and young women to actively participate in society, exposing them to greater vulnerability and marginalization. Through education, awareness raising and enhanced participatory opportunities, young women’s role in society can be greatly improved. The promotion of education for girls and young women as well as the development of young women as leaders are some of the tools which ensure young women role and visibility in society is strengthened.

(Source: International Year of Youth - IYY)

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Wednesday, 04 May 2011 16:57:52 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU and the Telecom Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) have inaugurated a project to connect 25 schools in Akuressa, Southern Province of Sri Lanka. Under the “Connect a School, Connect a Community” initiative, ICT tools such as computers and printers as well as Internet connectivity will be provided.

Within the framework of a public-private-people’s partnership (4Ps) model, telecommunication operators, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and NGOs have joined the project as partners to assist in providing access to education through ICTs in the rural schools of Sri Lanka, ITU and the Telecom Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) have inaugurated a project to connect 25 schools in Akuressa, Southern Province of Sri Lanka. Under the “Connect a School, Connect a Community” initiative, ICT tools such as computers and printers as well as Internet connectivity will be provided.

Within the framework of a public-private-people’s partnership (4Ps) model, telecommunication operators, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and NGOs have joined the project as partners to assist in providing access to education through ICTs in the rural schools of Sri Lanka, some of which are located in remote communities. This project aims to transform these schools into connected community ICT centres. Their long-term sustainability would provide a vital link to marginalized and vulnerable groups including children, women, indigenous people, persons with disabilities and those living in rural, remote and underserved areas of Sri Lanka.

In addition, Intel plans to offer training for 62 teachers at 31 schools through the Intel Teach programme, which helps teachers to be more effective educators. The programme entails training teachers to integrate technology into their lessons and to promote problem solving, critical thinking and collaboration skills among their students.

Appreciating the partnership and assistance extended by ITU, TRCSL, Intel and ADB, which funded a project to promote ICT education in rural areas of the island, the Secretary in the Ministry for Education of Sri Lanka, Mr H.M. Gunasekara said, “This initiative provided our school system with much needed ICT equipment, know-how and teacher empowerment to reach our national ICT goals.”

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

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Wednesday, 04 May 2011 11:30:33 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
New recommendations calling for an unprecedented level of accountability to save the lives of more women and children in developing countries were agreed today by the United Nations Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health which met in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. These new approaches will help ensure that pledges are honoured and resources spent in the most effective way to save lives.

The ten recommendations include specific approaches to:

    * Help countries develop better ways of gathering important health data to improve understanding of health needs and where resources should be focused
    * Develop a coordinated system for tracking health spending on women and children
    * National and global oversight to establish a feedback mechanism that supports continuous improvement in delivery of health services for women and children

To better understand the current situation and impact of efforts, the Commission advised monitoring progress based on specific indicators, such as the number of women who have access to skilled care during childbirth and the number of children treated for pneumonia.

“All partners are mutually accountable for the promises they make and the health policies and programmes they design and implement,” said Jakaya Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania and co-chair of the Commission with Stephen Harper, Canadian Prime Minister. “Tracking resources and results of public health spending is critical for transparency, credibility and ensuring that much-needed funds are used to save the lives of women and children.”
The recommendations, which come after more than five months of in-depth discussions and work across a high-level group of global leaders, were delivered at the conclusion of the second and final meeting of the Commission. The goal is to improve transparency, ensure consistency in reporting and more effectively track resources spent on reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health.

(Source: ITU Newsroom)
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Wednesday, 04 May 2011 11:21:08 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, 30 April 2011
Community Technology Centers (CTCs) of the Office of the First Lady (DPD) developed various activities to mark the international day of the Girls in ICT, established by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to encourage participation of women in information technology and communication (ICT).

Throughout the day, in the Favidrio CTC community were conducted dialogues with girls and young women, where it was explained what is a computer, the benefits of information and communication technology and the risk that have the use of Internet.

Also, more than 500 children and adolescents conducted a guided tour of various areas of CTC, they manipulated the computers and explored on Internet topics of their interest. This action encouraged them to learn more about the wonderful world of technology.

At the meeting, the student and volunteer of Favidrio CTC, Ivel de los Santos, guided the "Women and Technology" discussion group, which served to explain that technology is present in everyday life and is used in various areas, including health, business, communication, education, among other daily activities.

"The technology is easy, fast and effective and makes women can work better in society and working life" said de los Santos who are students of St. Rita Parish School of San Cristobal.

(Source:Despacho Primera Dama - DPD)
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Saturday, 30 April 2011 11:38:19 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Greater efforts to support girls and young women to acquire skills in information and communications technologies (ICTs) could help address projected shortages of manpower in those professions, the United Nations telecommunications agency said today, marking the first “Girls in ICT Day.”

“With many countries now forecasting a shortage of skilled ICT professionals within the next ten years, it’s vital that we attract young women into technology if we are to sustain healthy growth rates for the industry overall,” said Hamadoun Touré, the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), in a statement announcing the launch of the Day.

“With excellent employment opportunities and very good remuneration, a career in technology represents an excellent choice for girls in every country worldwide,” Mr. Touré added.

The Girls in ICT Day will be observed on the fourth Thursday of April every year to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women through the use of ICTs. It results from a resolution adopted at ITU’s Plenipotentiary Conference in Guadalajara, Mexico, last year. 

Under the resolution, ITU pledged to incorporate a gender perspective in the implementation of all its programmes and plans, following which the Global Network of Women in ICT was established.

The network is designed to encourage girls and young women to choose technology careers by providing mentoring resources, high-profile role models and toolkits that help national authorities and organizations promote technology careers to women. It is supported by ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT), which, through its Gender Unit, is working on a range of strategies to use ICT to improve the livelihood of women worldwide.

(Source: UN News Center)

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Saturday, 30 April 2011 10:26:33 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 28 April 2011
On April 28th will be held International Girls in ICT Day in Colombia, which started as an initiative of the Global Network of Women ICT - WITNET of the ITU (International Telecommunication Union).

This celebration is held with the aim of fostering an inclusive environment for the empowerment of girls and women through personal development, academic and professional careers related to Information and Communication Technology.

The ICT Ministry joins to the celebration of International Women in Technology by the official launch of Squadron #BrigadaDigital#"GeekGirls" of Colombia. The launch will take place in the context of a virtual seminar with the participation of representatives of the Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications, the Ministry of Education, the International Telecommunication Union and the UN in Colombia. During the launch will feature testimonials of Colombian women who develop and use ICTs.

The event organized by the #"GeekGirls" will be an opportunity to reflect on the impact of ICT on gender and challenges to harness and enhance the opportunities and advantages that these technologies offer to improve the quality of life, educational processes, economic and social women.

The digital meeting will be held on Thursday April 28 from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm and will be seen through one of the collaborative spaces of the #BrigadaDigital:

Regarding to this event, Paolo Rosa, ITU Regional Officer for the Americas commented that on behalf of ITU Secretary General Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré and the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau Director Brahima Sanou, he is delighted to join Colombia’s first celebration of Girls in ICT Day.  ITU salutes Colombia as one of the first countries to celebrate Girls in ICT following the ITU call for action on this initiative.

Through Resolution 70, ITU seeks to promote and increase the interest of, and opportunities for, women and girls in ICT careers. This Resolution also established the new Global Network of Women in ICT Decision Makers (, which was launched by Serbia’s Minister of Telecommunications and Information Society, Ms Jasna Matić, with the support of the ITU Secretary General and UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet during the 55th session of the Conference on the Status of Women this February.
ITU believes that support for girls in ICT is especially timely, in light of the predicted shortage of skilled ICT professionals within the next ten years.  A career in technology promises excellent employment opportunities for girls and women around the globe.

(Source: Mintic - Colombia)
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Thursday, 28 April 2011 22:33:12 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 27 April 2011
The Dominican Republic will held in the school Fabio Mota the "World Day of Girls in ICT", taking the call from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) which launched the initiative to encourage greater participation of girls in the field of Information and Communication Technology  (ICT).

The information was given today by Amparo Arango Echeverri, Coordinator of the Technical Support Unit of the National Commission for Information Society and Knowledge (CNSIC). She said that to celebrate this day, the Dominican Telecommunications Institute (Indotel) through CNSIC and the Research Center for the female Action  (CIPAF), institution that is "implementing a project on Gender and ICT: Gender Equity and Equality E-Dominicana", are organizing a panel-meeting in the high school, Fabio Mota aimed to young students (especially women) in the third and fourth grade of high school.The event will take place on Thursday April 28th.

Indotel, CNSIC and CIPAF will held this meeting-panel to discuss integration of women into the technology. "This new Day of the Girls in ICT will provide a much needed boost to the participation of women in the ICT sector", said Dr. Hamadoun Touré, ITU General-Secretary. "At the time when many countries are planning a shortage of ICT professionals over the next ten years, it is essential to attract young women into technology to maintain healthy growth rates for industry as a whole. A career technology, which offers excellent employment opportunities and a good remuneration, represents an excellent choice for girls of any country in the world", said Touré.

(Source: Indotel)
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Wednesday, 27 April 2011 21:07:51 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Family planning and Maternal and Child Health (FP-MCH) are key components of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, given their central role in healthy and productive populations. Tanzania has made some progress in these areas in recent years - for example, mortality rates among infants and children under five have declined. However, Tanzania has lagged in maternal health, with the UN MDG Monitor declaring that the country’s goal of reducing the maternal mortality ratio and increasing access to reproductive health is “off track”.

The 2010 AudienceScapes survey of Tanzania included a module to measure people's access to information in general, and access to health information in particular, as well as access to health services. The data yield some helpful guidelines for public health professionals seeking to educate the Tanzanian public about FP-MCH:

  • Mass media, particularly radio, continues to play an important role in delivering FP-MCH information to vulnerable groups. Community word-of-mouth campaigns delivered by public health workers have the potential to be just as important, particularly among socioeconomically constrained populations with low levels of access to media outlets.
  • A large proportion of Tanzanians across the country said they have access to clinics and medical doctors. However, only between a quarter and a third of respondents listed medical doctors as sources of information about FP-MCH.
  • There is a clear demand for more information about FP-MCH. Over half of all respondents, including young women, said they would like more information about FP and 41 percent wanted further information on MCH.
  • Health professionals must be aware of not only what are the key information gathering tools for general target groups like young women and men, but they also need to be aware of the limited reach of some media platforms among disadvantaged sub-groups.
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Tuesday, 26 April 2011 21:29:31 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 25 April 2011
Telefónica España and the Association Community  of Telecentre Networks signed an agreement to publicize Ciberescuela, a project that disclose the use of new technologies among the groups at risk of digital exclusion - housewives, elderly, immigrants, etc. - through the provision of basic Internet courses in the Telecentre. The goal is that no one would be outside from the Information Society.

This is a self-study course to learn Internet "at your own rithm", with a virtual teacher. It is almost 3 hours in the given notions about browsers, search engines, email management, electronic banking or ethics and network security, using multiple examples and providing an opportunity for the student to continue practicing through links to other pages. The contents have been designed jointly by Telefonica Spain and Telefonica Foundation.

The courses require no prior knowledge of computers by students and are taught in the regions that are involved in the project and previously signed a specific agreement.

Telefónica España is committed to providing information about the project "Ciberescuela" and makes this course compatible with supports of Windows, Linux and Mac as well as to offer subtitled versions of the same in Galician, Euskera, Catalan and Valencian.

For its part, the Association Community Network of Telecentres, State association for the development and dissemination of new technologies comprised of 18 members of the autonomous communities, provinces and insular authorities and foundations; which represent about 8,000 telecentres and have 4 million users,  has to disseminate among its members, the contents and objectives of the project Ciberescuela, and present the initiative to the different local authorities, promoting the signing of agreements with these entities to implement the project.

(Source: Telefónica España)

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Monday, 25 April 2011 22:05:12 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The diferent public policies generated by the institutions of State should have a gender focus, to guarantee rights of vulnerable populations such as women, children and elderly, and more if they are in a disabilities position .

The vice Minister of Women, Ana Maria Mendieta, who was in charge the inauguration of the Second National Women and Disability Congress, reaffirmed that the State is obligated to provide better conditions for their development to people with disabilities, saying that a Women with disabilities suffer double discrimination, and a disabled girl from triple discrimination.

She commented that it must be differentiated policies aimed at men and women, and considered as paramount the coordination between the State and the Civil Society to promote better public policies.

In the event it was discussed issues such as decent employment and disability, job placement, importance of software for inclusion of persons with disabilities, job training, the importance of rehabilitation in the labor market, among other topics.

The event was held at the headquarters of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in San Isidro, and was attended by the President of the National Council for the Integration of Persons with Disabilities (CONADIS), the Director of the ILO for Andean Countries , Carmen Moreno, the representative of the National Labor Promotion Office for Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Labour, Felipe Celi Ato and the Permanent Representative of the Organization of American States in Peru, David Morris.

(Source:MIMDES - Peru)
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Monday, 25 April 2011 15:56:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, 23 April 2011

Only 23% of the UK’s tech workforce is female, but this figure might change in the future thanks to the arrival of Apps for Good to the Central Foundation Girls´ School (CFGS) in East London.

The Apps for Good course inaugurates its second location in the UK at the Central Foundation Girls’ School on 15th September, after launching its first CDI Community this March at the High Trees Community Development Trust, in Tulse Hill, South London.

Apps for Good is the new programme by CDI Europe where young people learn to create apps that change their world. It is focused around solving real life issues that matter to young people or the communities they live in. During the course, young people work together to find out what issues they want to tackle, and how best to solve them with mobile and web applications. Apps for Good encourages young people to use their creativity to develop the problem solving and design skills which are extremely valuable not only in the mobile app industry, but also in today’s complex information society.

Ben Cole, Head of Community at CFGS, assures: “This is the perfect project and we are the perfect place to develop it. All the girls who applied for the course want to achieve something and they see this programme as a real opportunity for them. They see themselves as privileged kids because they are getting an education and Apps for Good has given them the chance to put their passion for technologies to the service of the community in a practical way by developing apps that will solve specific problems around them.”

More than 40 girls applied for a place on the Apps for Good course, but only 20 of them will be able to attend the course, where some of the former Apps for Good students will now be working as educators.

“It was really difficult to make the selection of students”, explains Cole, “because all of them showed a great interest, and in the end we tried to come up with a mix of skills, abilities and attitudes.”

The lessons will take place twice a week as part of the Central+ programme. Central+ is an activity project for after school hours developed by CFGS, which offers the girls the opportunity to follow different activities such as learning street dance, joining a cinema club or going horse riding, among others. “All we want is for the girls to enjoy the same opportunities as any other student in the UK”, explains Cole.

(Source:Central Digital Inclusion - CDI)

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Saturday, 23 April 2011 20:15:13 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Mobile and social networks have become a tool for defence the human right, which has allowed instantly, denounce violations and abuse of power by governments and help in case of natural disasters, experts said today.

"Thanks to the mobile technology, people can embarrass governments when they intend to do one thing diferent what they say", said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, in CTIA Wireless conference that ended in Orlando (Florida).

During the three-day event with the slogan "Get Goin la vida móvil, 2011" the main leaders discussed the needs of industry and sector social impact, allowing communications over natural disasters, by intensifying the democratic spirit
stifling governments and even triggering revolutions.

Roth also highlighted the performance of social networks as "Twitter" in the instant disclosure of "abuse that otherwise could be hidden or could take days before be known, while generating social change and political, as never before possible".

John Stanton, director of Trilogy International Partners, highlighted the important role of social networks on transmit messages during natural disasters in Haiti earthquake last year.

(Source: RPP Radio News)
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Saturday, 23 April 2011 16:02:46 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 20 April 2011
The First Lady of Dominican Republic (Dr. Margarita Cedeño de Fernández) presented the Community Technology Centre (CTC) “Villa Mella”, a world of knowledge where municipalities may acquire all the necessary information to be updated and develop income-generating projects that will enable a better quality of life of the population.

With this new center totaled 69 CTC delivered by the First Lady throughout the national territory for municipalities boost their dreams, improve their skills and be motivated to initiate new productive and educational activities.

As an innovation, this center includes a classroom called "tecnochic @ s", where teenagers from 12 to 17 years may be inserted into the world of technology in a responsible, efficient and competitive, promoting academic and professional development for the purposes of improve their living conditions.

The new center has a modern network of 30 computers connected to the Internet, through which residents of the area can access to quality educational programs, as well as books and encyclopedias. It also has a documentary and several virtual library, a reception, offices and an information area.

In addition, it offers digital literacy, access to databases, fax, educational programs on the network, sources of information about jobs, conference room and multipurpose room for meetings to help plan educational, cultural and actions that benefit community.
For the very young people, with ages ranging from three to five years, the CTC has a children's area known as Space of Hope, where children receive comprehensive education potentiates their full cognitive, motor, and socio-communicative, with the approval of the Ministry of Education.
Like all communities, “Villa Mella” has its community Frequency Modulation Radio, called CTC. It is a space for dialogue, integration and participation of all people, whose aim is to guide and address issues of local interest.

(Source: CNSIC)

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Wednesday, 20 April 2011 20:03:26 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 19 April 2011

International tender was won by Global Consortium Systems Chile SA which must deliver a platform of national coverage that will operate at, no cost to users, the five mobile companies in the country. Emergency alerts received on mobile handsets with compatible format will be similar to an SMS text message, targeted by geography, by location and type of emergency determined by ONEMI.

All Chile remember to Martina Maturana, the girl who ran to the square of the Robinson Crusoe Island in the morning of 27F, to alert their neighbors to the tsunami by ringing a bong. Thanks to this timely warning thousands of life could be saved. Beyond the heroic act of Martina, for the Government is a social duty that security people do not depend only of the luck. In this context, the Department of Telecommunications awarded today the international tender for the implementation of the massive warning system for cell phones that ONEMI will use massively to warn people how to act in cases of emergency.

Emergency alerts received on compatible mobile handsets will be similar to the format of an SMS text message, targeted by geography, by location and type of emergency determined by the ONEMI. One of the major strengths of this technological system, which sends messages of 93 characters, is that operates in RF channels that are not directly affected by congestion, giving greater security at the reception of messages.

"This is a very important step to meet one of the commitments of the President in emergency issues. That families may have a mechanism for timely information that will help save lives before a natural disaster", said the Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter.

Pedro Pablo Errazuriz, Minister of Transport and Telecommunications, said that this development is part of joint efforts made by the SUBTEL and ONEMI: "2010 was succeeded in establishing a new emergency communications system of the State that has multiple backups, and the task this year is to have a communication system operating automatic with the families which will be useful to inform people on time".

For his part, the sub secretary of Telecommunications, Jorge Atton, stated that "this system of massive messages to compatible phones, that will operate from December 2011, may be used in a second stage of gradually in television, as the Free digital TV reception will be deployed in the country, another reason to accelerate the adoption of digital TV law that sets a deadline for TV channels to carry digital coverage areas. In three years 85% of the country will have digital coverage and in five years 100%, after regulatory approval".

(Source: Subtel

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Tuesday, 19 April 2011 22:03:23 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 15 April 2011

ITU Activities in Disaster Prevention, Mitigation and Relief

Disasters disrupt national economies, severely weaken the poor and vulnerable and are recognized as major impediments to sustainable development and reduction of poverty especially in poor countries. The impact is even worse for those living in remote and isolated areas with no access to basic information and communication facilities that are essential to providing vital alerting information.

In order to mitigate the impact of disasters, timely dissemination of authoritative information before, during, and after disasters is critical. ITU’s activities in the field of radiocommunications make invaluable contribution to disaster management as they facilitate the prediction, detection, and alerting through the coordinated and effective use of the radio-frequency spectrum and the establishment of radio standards and guidelines concerning the usage of radiocommunication systems.

ITU’s telecommunication technical standards also play a strategic role in ensuring global interconnection and interoperability of telecommunications networks for monitoring and management at the onset and during emergency and disaster situations. A number of Recommendations have been developed for call priority schemes that ensure that relief workers can get communication lines when they need to, whether using traditional or next generation communications networks. Complementary to the need to provide call priority during emergencies is the ability to deliver warnings to users, and standards are fundamental to ensure that warnings are timely delivered uncorrupted from the source to the end users – no matter how they can be reached.

The development arm of the ITU considers emergency telecommunications an integral part of its development agenda. For this reason, a lot of effort is directed at mainstreaming disaster management in telecommunications/information and communication technology projects and activities as part of disaster preparedness. This includes infrastructure development, and the establishment of enabling policy, legal and regulatory frameworks. In the immediate aftermath of disasters, ITU deploys temporary telecommunications/ICT solutions to assist countries affected by disasters. This includes the provision of basic telecommunications and telemedicine applications via satellites. Reconstruction and rehabilitation of telecommunications/ICT networks is an important part of disaster management. After providing assistance for disaster relief and response, ITU undertakes assessment missions to affected countries aimed at determining the magnitude of damages to the network through the use of geographical information systems. On the basis of its findings, ITU and the host country embark on the resuscitation of the infrastructure while ensuring that disaster resilient features are integrated to reduce network vulnerability in the event of disasters striking in the future.

(Source: Emergency Telecoms - ITU)

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Friday, 15 April 2011 18:31:19 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 14 April 2011
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is organizing the “ITU Asia-Pacific Regional Forum on “Digital Inclusion for All” which will be held at Suntec Convention Centre (Room 303 - 305) in Singapore on 22-24 June 2011. The Forum is kindly hosted by Singapore’s InfoComm Development Authority and the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS), with the support of the Government of Australia through the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have the potential to enhance the quality of life for persons with disabilities, elderly persons and disadvantaged women, men and youth and support them to enjoy independent living and participate in and contribute to society. However, for ICT-enabled solutions, barriers such as accessibility, availability and affordability need to be addressed.

The Forum is organized and designed to contribute to global activities related to ensuring that people with special needs are targeted by efforts to bridge the digital divide in line with Programme 4 of the 2010 ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC) Hyderabad Action Plan, WTDC Res.58 (Hyderabad, 2010): “Access to ICTs for persons with disabilities (PwDs), including persons with age-related disabilities”, Res. 55 (Doha, 2006): “Promoting gender equality towards and all-inclusive information society”, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD). The focus will be on ICT accessibility and the use of telecommunication/ICTs for the social and economic development for all, including persons with disabilities, the ageing society, women and girls, and other disadvantaged people. The Forum is essentially targeted at senior officials from policy makers, regulators, industry and international organizations that are involved in ICT policies, regulations, operations, strategies and development activities promoting digital inclusion for all.

The Forum will be conducted in English only and will be paperless.

(Source: ITU - Regional Office for Asia-Pacific Region)
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Thursday, 14 April 2011 12:44:49 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |