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 Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Agricultural workers in Ethiopia such as farmers and researchers came together in Addis Ababa to discuss a farmers market information system (FMIS). This system will include a text message information service for farmers in Ethiopia’s Oromia province.

Purpose of the workshops was to identify the needs of several actors in the agriculture field such as farmers, farmers unions, agricultural experts and traders and suppliers of cultivation products. The meeting also allowed the agriculture workers to classify their requirements on the features of the farmers market information system and. The system will be built by Ethiopian mobile technology company Apposit LLC with the support of Connect4Change consortium members IICD, Texttochange and ICCO and Dutch ICT company 1Zero.

The Farmers Market Information System will function as a database with a mobile component, giving its users all the information they seek, in different user interfaces, adjusted to their needs.

Field visits in local farmers market organizations, indicated that more than 50% of the farmers in the Oromia Region make use of mobile phones and value this use in their daily life. Through the FMIS, the farmers will be able to receive information on market prices for their products, the weather forecast, or availability of fertilisers with a simple text message. In addition to this, they will be provided with solar mobile chargers to facilitate them, as at the moment, every time they need to charge their phones, they are forced to visit the nearest village on a market day and pay an amount of money to have it charged.

Farmers market organizations and unions will use the Farmers Market Information System to aggregate data from individual farmers about what and how many products they grow. With these data, they will be able to analyze and monitor the production of agricultural goods in their area.

The Farmers Information System will also be used by traders and suppliers of cultivation products to retrieve information on which products are being cultivated and provide the farmers with the necessary market information or products such as fertilizers suitable to their crop.

In the first phase, the Farmers Market Information System will be used by 16500 farmers in the Oromia Region, with the possibility to upscale it to other provinces. The system will be developed by the Ethiopian mobile technology company Apposit LLC with the support of IICD and fellow Connect4change members, ICCO and Texttochange,  as well as with the support of 1Zero.

(Source: IICD)

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012 6:02:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Khon Kaen University (KKU), Thailand recently became the first university in Thailand and in Southeast Asia to roll out the Google App for Education to facilitate learning, with the collaboration of teachers and university staff. 200 buildings throughout 8.96 million square meters of the KKU area are now connected with wireless internet of 60 access points, allowing students to do online learning and information searching anywhere and anytime, said KKU President Associate Prof Dr Kittichai Triratanasirichai.

“Our mission is to be an international university and be a hub in the northeast for students from overseas. The university has been focusing on IT investment as a vital tool to support education for several years”, he added. With 2,000 subjects are available in the KKU Learning Management System (LMS), students can access to these electronic learning materials via the internet connection, both wired and wireless.

KKU wants to be an international university and ICT is an important tool to assist us achieve the goal. Studying at KKU, student learning will be facilitated by the ICT infrastructure along with the ICT knowledge that is a must and required skill for graduation students”, said Dr Tiratanasirichai. KKU is located 449 kilometres northeast of Bangkok, with 12,000 staff and hospitals which includes 2,000 teachers and 10,000 staff, and 43,000 students.

“All will be encouraged to use Google Apps in the next three months. Now, around 10,000 users are using Google Apps”, said KKU’s vice president of academic and IT, assistant Prof Denpong Soodphakdee.

He added that KUU’s e-learning system is enabled by the Mooddle system, a free Web-based learning managment system that allows educators to create effective online learning sites. Google Apps will be integrated into the university’s LMS. Apart from e-learning benefit, the students is able to arrange their learning plan such as planning their study time talbe, checking the subjects, and dates of examinations throughout the semester.

KKU cannot only save time, but it can also save the cost of service deployment to the staff. “The cost of IT investment is low but there is more efficiency in performing routine tasks and teaching services. In the future, KKU can provide partial distant-learning for graduation students”, said Soodphakdee.

(Source: FutureGov)

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012 5:55:12 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

More than 5,000 residents of the community of Chalhuanca in Aymara in the province of Apurimac, will benefit from access to Broadband Internet for free, under the Digital Chalhuanca project, promoted by the regional government and the mining Suyamarca, member of Hochschild Mining Group.

The provincial municipality of Aymara, the regional government of Apurimac and mining company opened in the previous day (Wednesday) Chalhuanca Digital, which will benefit communities of Suyamarca influence of the mining and surrounding communities as Cotaruse, Pampamarca, Iscahuaca, Promesa and Colca, also Pallancata, Santa Rosa and Ariso.

Hochschild Mining's president, Ignacio Bustamante, said that the project will require an investment of one million dollars, from what they have invested US$ 670,000 and 80 percent of the cost is borne by Minera Suyamarca and the rest will be assumed by local and regional authorities.

"It's a historic moment for Apurimac it is the first digital community in the country and this experience we will replicate in major districts of the region as Abancay, Andahuaylas and Cotabambas" he said.

He explained that the project has two stages and its implementation will take four years, the first step is the implementation of basic infrastructure to meet the needs of technology and communication technology which is required by the digital city.

In the second stage they will prioritize the needs of training in the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in education, employment and productive.

Meanwhile, the president of the Apurimac region, Elijah Segovia said that this project starts Apurimac digital inclusion in the framework of social inclusion promoted by the government, adding that help improve the educational level of the region, which is one of the main objectives of its management.

(Source: Andina)

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012 5:50:02 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Experts at eLearning Africa 2011 suggested that eLearning could bridge the alarming skills gap that exists between nurses trained in different disciplines. Some pointed to successful partnerships with NGOs in East Africa. Others discussed scale and replicability in African medical training.

The question of content and related issues including information access and development was a key theme of the session ‘What contribution can eLearning make towards confronting the skills challenge of Africa’s health sector?’

Mohamed Labib discussed HSO.info, a well-resourced website with expert free health sciences information. The vision is to make this relevant and available to all health workers. The importance of partnerships was noted here, both south-south and north-south. The example provided was the University Teaching Hospital in Zambia, partnering with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

The session included two presentations from the Tanzanian Training Centre for International Health (TTCIH). Angelo Nyamtema pointed out the severe shortage of healthcare workers in Tanzania and discussed the progress being made in developing an eLearning training programme, including their approach to pedagogical design and course structuring.

Diana Mukami discussed the African Medical and Research Foundation’s successful nurse upgrading programme via eLearning. Since its inception nearly six years ago, the programme – a classic public-private partnership – has enrolled 7000 nurses across 108 eCentres in Kenya and graduated over 2000 nurses. It comprises General Nursing, Reproductive Health, Community Health and Specialised Areas.

(Source: eLearning Africa)
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Tuesday, July 03, 2012 5:45:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has just published a research on ICT and poverty in Africa entitled ‘Pro-poor social and economic opportunities in the African ICT innovation ecosystem’. This research analyses how new income opportunities are created from the “mobile revolution”, what their impact is on the contribution of ICT to development, and it also develops forward-looking perspectives to enhance how ICT can be accompanied by inclusive innovation practices that effectively address rural and urban poverty in developing countries.

The research project included extensive field research in Iringa, Tanzania, which was chosen as the case study locale, as it typifies, in many respects, the rural social, cultural, economic and geographic landscape in Tanzania and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Full Text
(Source: Euroafrica)


Tuesday, July 03, 2012 5:37:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Bolivian Educational Organization EDUCATIC has been voted the organization with the most social impact at the National Innovation Talents awards 2012. EDUCATIC is supported by IICD and Edukans in the Connect4Change consortium.

EDUCATIC was praised for the impact their innovative projects have on the quality of education and the promotion of equal opportunities for young Bolivians. The National Innovation Talents awards 2012 (TIC Bolivia 2012) were presented in June in Cochabamba, Bolivia. 20 teams from 5 different areas of the country participated in the third edition of the competition, claiming awards for Best Economic Impact, Best Environmental Impact and Best Social Impact.

Catalyst for the decision of the jury was the work of EDUCATIC in promoting the proper use of technological resources, the generation of innovative teaching content with the use of ICT locally to improve student achievement, the encouragement of teachers to develop their own digital educational content, according to the needs of students, as well as the promotion of Bolivian culture.

EDUCATIC’s CEO, Keiko Ignacio, has a long experience with the implementation of Information and Communication Technologies in Education and collaborates closely with IICD since 2001. She is happy to receive the recognition for her organization’s years of hard work: “Together with a team of young people with the same convictions of service to development, we undertook a variety of projects that promote local and national growth for the benefit of Bolivian children”.

IICD collaborates with EDUCATIC and Edukans in the Connect4Change consortium project ‘ICT for education in Bolivia. In this project, teachers and students will be targeted in 80 schools throughout Bolivia to enhance education with the use of Information and Communication Technology such as computers.

(Source: IICD)
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Tuesday, July 03, 2012 5:31:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The ICT in Everyday Learning – Teacher Online Toolkit project is funded by the Australian Government under the Digital Strategy for Teachers and School Leaders and is a component of the Digital Education Revolution program. The project is led by Education Services Australia.

The project aims to change classroom practice by increasing teachers' capacity to incorporate technologies into teaching and learning as they implement the Australian Curriculum. It will assist teachers to access online professional learning with local support to analyse, plan and implement changes to their teaching approaches and to access quality online resources.

The Victorian Information Technology Teachers Association, the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers, the History Teachers' Association of Australia, Deakin University and Macquarie University are working with Education Services Australia to develop and deliver the professional learning resources.

The project resources will include examples of how teachers can incorporate technologies into the teaching of English, history, science and mathematics and examples of cross-curriculum perspectives and general capabilities. The resources will also include advice and strategies for using digital content, mobile devices, collaboration tools, game-based technologies and communication tools.

The professional learning resources will be trialled in a range of schools. The resources will be accessible to all teachers on completion of the project in 2012.

(Source: ESA – Australia)
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Tuesday, July 03, 2012 5:27:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Dream-wings is a free online learning portal run by Gyeonggi Women’s Development Center – GWDC. It offers e-learning services and over 300 courses in office work, healthcare, social welfare, IT, foreign languages and hobbies.

Stay-at-home mothers wishing to get a job and working mothers looking for better career opportunities never have enough time for self-development. They find a favorable option with Dream-wings which can be accessed anywhere and anytime”, says Dr Cho Jung-ah, head of GWDC.

Dream wings-supports women’s career development, including finding a job or starting a new business. It started off in 2004 as a local website built for women living in Gyeonggi Province. Based on the research conducted by Samsung SDS, GWDC created a master plan offering e-learning services to women who have experienced an extensive period of career breaks. A year later, GWDC opened the online Gyeonggi Women Career Development Center, Korea’s first-ever free e-learning service for women. It began to offer nation-wide services in 2011. This year, GWDC introduced a mobile version of the portal – Smart Dream-wings.

Focused primarily on IT education, Dream-wings has expanded the scope of its services into total career development support by adding diagnostic services (e.g. competency diagnosis and employability diagnosis) and support for job placement and business start-up. The initiative is fully funded by the government.

(Source: FutureGov)
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Tuesday, July 03, 2012 5:20:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 28, 2012

An intensive camp for budding female programmers and engineers hopes to increase the number of women in the tech world.

Women earn the majority of bachelor degrees in the U.S., but only 24% of females work in technical fields. "Girls and boys at 12 or 13 like math and science the same, but then something shifts. There’s a cultural perception that a coder or engineer looks like a white male", says Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code and former New York City Deputy Public Advocate.

So she founded Girls Who Code, a summer program with backing from Twitter, General Electric, Google, and eBay that wants to help close the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) gap by giving high school girls (ages 13 to 17) the opportunity to learn more about what engineering and technology careers have to offer--and by giving them the confidence to pursue their goals.

The New York City program, which kicks off this summer, will have 20 participants, representing all of the city’s boroughs and 12 different ethnicities. "We wanted to focus on girls who didn’t have a lot of access at home or schools that were passionate about technology", says Saujani.

The Girls Who Code participants will have a jam-packed summer schedule, with activities planned Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Every week will have a different theme (mobile apps, robotics, entrepreneurship, etc.) and speakers will come talk to the girls every day. Already, Girls Who Code has lecturers like General Electric CMO Beth Comstock, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, and Gilt Groupe founder Alexis Maybank lined up. Once or twice a week, the participants will take field trips to various tech startups and established companies, including Twitter, Google, Facebook, and General Assembly.

During the final two weeks, the girls will work on their final projects, which will ask them to solve problems using tools they’ve learned during the summer. One example: The girls might be asked identify a challenge in their neighborhood, and develop something--a video game, say, or a mobile app-- to address it. The girls will receive feedback and help from their mentors teachers, and at the end of the program, they’ll have the opportunity to showcase their ideas to a group of entrepreneurs and engineers.

(Source: Fastcoexist)
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Thursday, June 28, 2012 3:49:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 25, 2012

The GSMA launched the Mobile and Development Intelligence (MDI) project in conjunction with Omidyar Network the philanthropic investment firm established by eBay founder (Pierre Omidyar). Through an open access portal, MDI will offer data and analysis to support business decision-making and clarify the evidence of the socio-economic impact of the mobile industry in the developing world. MDI will provide any user with over 70 metrics and the ability to tabulate, graph, map and export the datasets with country-level dashboards available for more than 140 developing world countries. MDI will continually add new datasets throughout the project and users can add data and content to the portal.

"The GSMA believes that open access to high-quality data will improve business decision-making, increase total investment from both the commercial mobile industry and the development sector, and amplify economic, environmental and social impact," said Chris Locke, Managing Director, GSMA Development Fund. "The GSMA is uniquely positioned to aggregate and host data and analysis on behalf of our mobile operator members and the wider industry. This open data portal will provide for the first time a complete landscape of the organizations and mobile services that are influencing and changing lives in developing populations throughout the world".

A challenge facing mobile industry stakeholders in the developing world is the lack of publically available data and analysis to support their business decision making. MDI will fill this information gap and will aggregate and host publically available data from multiple sources such as the GSMA, the United Nations, the World Bank, the wider mobile industry and development organizations.

MDI hosts a landscape of more than 800 organization profiles; in addition, over 750 products and services have been summarized, with an initial focus on mobile money and mobile health. Users can see these organizations, products and services on a global map and search for particular types of organizations. This will allow stakeholders to identify each other, understand each other's offerings and objectives, and form collaborations and partnerships.

There are an estimated 6.6 billion mobile connections globally, with the developing world providing the majority of global connections growth. The industry is moving beyond basic voice to the use of mobile to deliver services in adjacent sectors such as agriculture, education, financial services and health. As the most widely adopted technology in history, mobile is uniquely positioned to drive economic, environmental and social benefit. MDI will help increase this momentum by providing a robust, data-rich, user-friendly and freely available portal that offers a new level of global visibility.

(Source: PR Newswire)
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Monday, June 25, 2012 4:47:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Banglalink, the second biggest mobile operator in Bangladesh has introduced “krishi jigyasha 7676” which will provide suggestions and answers to any queries related to agriculture, vegetable and fruit farming, poultry, livestock, fisheries etc. Banglalink is the pioneer in Bangladesh in launching such a service.

To use this service a Banglalink customer just needs to dial 7676, talk and get expert’s advice on the problem. At present, the service can address problems related to harvests, pesticides, agro diseases, information on seeds, fertilizers, poultry and livestock feed, fisheries techniques and much more.

Also, Banglalink brought “babsha jigyasha 7677”, a one stop solution for existing and potential sme owners in need of business related advice. Now it is possible to just dial 7677 and get useful advice on important issues relating to business, which not only saves valuable time and effort but also minimizes operational cost.

Babsha jigyasha 7677 gives information on the following:

  • Access to finance: information relating to the availability of finance for operating or starting a new business. This will include account opening information, SME loan, deposit, interest rates, etc. of different banks and micro finance institutions of different regions across the country. The customers can obtain specific information of banking and financial services of their favorable location as well.

  • Business documentation process: there are various types of formal documents which are necessary for conducting business. Through this service, existing and potential business owners will receive information on the processing of such documents including trade license, tin, tax certificate, etc. to facilitate the smooth operation of their business.

Bangladesh, being an agriculture intensive country, this service will make a difference too many earning their livelihood in these sectors. The service will give them easy access to valuable advice and solutions to problems.

(Source: Banglalink)
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Monday, June 25, 2012 4:45:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

U.S. Internet giant Google announced today the launch of a website designed to facilitate the preservation of endangered languages, entitled "Proposed Endangered Languages (www.endangeredlanguages.com/)".

"The documentation of more than 3,000 languages on the brink of extinction is an important step toward preserving cultural diversity, honoring the wisdom of our elders and empower young people", argued Google.

"Technology can support these efforts to help people create good quality recordings of their elders, often the last speakers of their language, to contact the disparate communities in social networks and facilitate the learning of languages", they said.

Google said that they pretend to transfer the management of the site "within months" to a university laboratory, the Institute of Language and Information Technology at the University of Eastern Michigan, and the Cultural Council of the native peoples, AFP reported.

Google said that this project received funding from its philanthropic arm, Google.org, and invited other organizations to join this effort.

(Source: El Universal news paper)
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Monday, June 25, 2012 4:42:49 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 20, 2012

UCEP Bangladesh is a leading national NGO in Bangladesh which provides opportunities of second chance education to children. Starting in 1972 at the Dhaka University premises with only 60 students, it is now a hub of over 42 thousand working children striving to inculcate marketable skills and provide employment support service through general education and vocational training in close collaboration with industries and employers throughout Bangladesh.

The main objective of UCEP programs is to improve the socio-economic status of the urban poor and support industrial growth by generating skilled manpower. UCEP has global reputation for its unique model of human resource development.

UCEP provides a package service of Integrated General and Vocational Education (IGVE), Technical Education (TE) and Employment Support Services (ESS) along with various aspects of child rights, good governance and social life skills to the working children. UCEP operates 53 Integrated General & Vocational (IGV) Schools and 10 Technical Schools with an enrolment of over 42 thousand distressed working children with equal gender ratio.

In Integrated General and Vocational schools the children are provided education up to grade VIII with the abridged form of National Curriculum along with basics of technical education. After completion of skills training the children are provided employment support by the Employment Support Services (ESS) Component of UCEP.

In Industrial Electrical & Electronic Control Trade, the students are taught the system of Mobile Telecommunication such as area of mobile system, area of communication, power supply system of BTS, elements of power supply, use of auto-voltage regulator, block diagram of grounding system, etc.

UCEP is marching forward to achieve Vision – 2021, the time frame to make the country a Digital Bangladesh, which has been set by our Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

(Source: UCEP)

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012 3:12:46 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Backed by research and respected companies, a new platform aims to show the benefits of going online.

The site, called A Platform for Good (PfG), will launch in September with a mission to help shift the conversation away from the negative focus that so often appears in the media about youth online experience to a conversation that highlights the positive opportunities the internet has to offer. Through this approach, the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) aims to bridge the generational digital divide by increasing adult comfort with technology and understanding of the opportunities it offers.

By leveraging existing social media platforms that young people and their parents already use, A Platform for Good will have widespread appeal for a number of age groups, FOSI believes. PfG will provide the following:

  • Kids and teens will access incentive-based, interactive activities that teach them about online safety issues in a fun, engaging way. PfG will also foster participation and collaboration with youth.
  • Parents will receive conversation starters and tips via text and social networking sites to encourage families to discuss current events and turning recent news into learning experiences.
  • Teachers will find new instructional opportunities, including interesting videos and web-based activities to inspire their students.

 “A Platform for Good is an opportunity to provide people with a positive message about online safety education”, said Kim Sanchez, chair of FOSI’s board of directors and a director of privacy and online safety at Microsoft, in a statement.

According to FOSI, PfG is not looking to replace the many online safety programs already available in schools, but, rather, to add a new layer to the conversation by focusing on the research that focuses on teens and their online experiences and “promoting incredible stories of technology being used ‘for good’; and work to spur dialogue between parents, teacher, and youth about what it means to be a responsible digital citizen in our ever-connected world,” explained Nancy Gifford (special projects coordinator for the Family Online Safety Institute - FOSI).

(Source: eschool)
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Tuesday, June 19, 2012 5:18:49 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 15, 2012

The ICT Ministry announced that the Colombians may apply for forgivable loans to the ICETEX, for studies related to software development and applications. The budget is 36 billion Colombian pesos.

From now on, those interested in further studies related to software development and applications have the opportunity to do so in any education program in technical levels, technologist, professional and master's universities, technical and technological institutes accredited to the National Ministry of Education and without worrying about the cost, as the Ministry of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) made available to forgivable loans with a total budget of 36,000 Colombian million pesos (US$ 20.18 million approximately).

The call to access these credits of the strategy 'Talento Digital' is open from June 14 this year. Those interested can register through the site: www.icetex.gov.co.

Forgivable loans are for students who wish to start classes earlier this year in any program of technical education, technologist, professional and master's in careers related to information technology.

"We need applications made by Colombians for Colombians, providing services that encourage the use of ICT and in turn help to create jobs and reduce poverty", said ICT Minister Diego Molano Vega, at the opening of 'Talento Digital '.

'Talento Digital' is the strategy of the ICT Ministry, which seeks to encourage the training of specialized human capital in the use of information technology, strengthening of Government Online and the development of competitiveness, research, innovation and the international projection .

More information

(Source: MINTIC)

Friday, June 15, 2012 2:29:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, June 14, 2012

ICT Update magazine is preparing an issue that will focus on Women and ICTs and they would like to hear from anyone working on agricultural or rural development projects that emphasize the role and position of women in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, where ICTs (mobile phones, computers, GIS, email, Internet, radio, TV, etc) are used to improve employment opportunities or to encourage an interest in traditional agricultural practices.

 ICT Update magazine is looking for projects that focus on empowerment, female rural entrepreneurship or capacity building. If someone is involved in such a project then they have to get in touch with brief details on the technology they use, how women are involved, and how it contributes to rural development in ACP countries. They can then send an article outline and list of questions to cover in the article, or organize a time for a telephone interview.

For more information, send an email to: evert-jan@contactivity.com

(Source: iConnect)

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Thursday, June 14, 2012 3:18:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 13, 2012
After months of waiting, Thailand’s One Tablet Per Child (OTPC) project came to reality when Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra officialy kicked of the project on Thursday and handed the first tablet to representatives of first grade students.

“The government was proud that this policy finally began, as it was an urgent policy that the government announced to the Parliament,” said the PM during the official launch of the OTPC project at the Government House.

The PM added that teachers should assess how much the students have learned from using the tablet PCs. “Teachers should collect data on the students’ learning development when they have studied using the computers”. Apart from handing the tablets to students, the premier also gave the tablets to educational supervisors, and teachers to mark a start of the project.

Thai government plans to distribute tablets made in China to all first graders in this academic year—which began last month—and extend the distribution to seventh grade students next year.

“This scheme is not only about handing out tablet computers to children. We would like to increase knowledge beyond text booksfor our children. That is our goal,” Shinawatra said, adding that she believed the students could swiftly adjust to the technology. This scheme would benefit pupils in remote areas who lack access to educational and learning materials especially textbooks, she inserted.

The tablets contain all learning necessities for the students required by the Education Ministry, she added. Regarding the concern over inappropriate use of the device, the PM said: “Children would not be able to access improper online content, saying all inappropriate websites will be blocked,” she confirmed.

(Source: FutureGov)
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012 12:41:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Bolivian organisation APCOB has released a DVD about the Quechua ethnic group in Bolivia. This DVD is the ninth in a series dedicated to indigenous Bolivian cultures and aims to help students appreciate their cultural heritage.

This DVD and the eight others about indigenous cultures are used to encourage the mutual understanding between the different ethnic groups in Bolivia. The ultimate goal is to reach out to 45.000 students in 150 schools by incorporating the content of the DVDs in the curriculum. So far, the material has been well received by the teachers who have already been trained in how to use it.

This project is supported by IICD and Edukans through the Connect4Change consortium. Local partner Apoyo par el Campesino Indígena del Oriente Boliviano (APCOB) is a Bolivian non-governmental organisation that aims to integrate indigenous groups in the Bolivian society as well as to preserve their rights.

In order to enhance accessibility, the aim is to eventually place all the materials on the educational platform www.educando.edu.bo, where students and teachers have access to information about projects and materials generated by organisations active in the field of education. At this point of time, materials are uploaded by 3 organisations: CEPAC, Educatic and APCOB. Later on in the Connect4Change programme in Bolivia, other educational projects by Fe y Alegría, CEE and IRFA will also upload their materials.

(Source: IICD)
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012 11:56:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, June 11, 2012
African Leadership in ICT (ALICT) is an African Union Commission initiative, supported by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and implemented by GESCI (Founded by the UN ICT Task Force).

Policy incoherence and misalignment in the Education, ICT, Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) sectors, and a lack of effective leadership to address this issue, has been identified as one of the greatest obstacles to the development of knowledge societies in Africa. Socio-economic development depends on well developed and implementable Education, ICT and STI policies that compliment one another and advance each sector’s goals. The ALICT course will build the capacity of future African leaders to contribute effectively to the development of knowledge societies by imparting new leadership skills to them. These new leadership skills will provide participants with the attitudes, ideas, management tools, and strategies to act as change agents, assisting their ministries and organisations to develop coherent and well aligned polices in Education, ICT and STI.

Course Vision
Work with future African leaders in ministries and organisations to advance knowledge society development across Africa.

Course Objectives
- Equip existing and future African leaders with a commanding understanding of the key elements in the development of knowledge  societies.
- Build leaders’ capacities to be agents of change in their own ministries, organisations and regions for the development of knowledge societies.

For further information check: http://www.gesci.org/african-leadership-in-ict-alict.html

(Source: GESCI)

Monday, June 11, 2012 6:37:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The World Wide Web Foundation announced the publication of Accelerating Development Using the Web: Empowering Poor and Marginalized Populations. This publication is supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, the book is a compendium of articles by recognized experts describing the real and potential effects of the World Wide Web in all major aspects of economic and  social development.

The book fills a gap in the current store of knowledge by taking a broad view, offering detailed commentary from fourteen  experts who are deeply engaged in the field of ICTs for development, many with extensive experience in developing countries,  and each able to emphasize the key questions, challenges, and successes unique to their field.

The research unites themes of technological innovation, international development, economic growth, gender equality, linguistic and cultural diversity and community action, with special attention paid to the circumstances surrounding the poor and  vulnerable members of the Global Information Society.

Readers will be able to draw parallels across each field and see where similarities in the deployment of ICTs for development exist and where there are divergences.

Download the full text here

(Source: Web Foundation)

Monday, June 11, 2012 10:07:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 08, 2012
The Minister of Information and Communications Technologies, Diego Molano Vega, hold important meetings this week and participate in key events in Washington (United States) for the development of Colombian Plan "Vive Digital".

Molano Vega participate as a speaker at the meeting of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on strategies for using ICTs in poverty alleviation in the region.

Participants, who include, the ICT Minister of Colombia, the Deputy Minister of Communications of Peru, Raul Perez, Secretary General of the Caribbean Association of National Telecommunication Organizations (CANTO), Regenie Fraser, the Executive Director of Policy CISCO Technology Andres Maz, and the Americas director of Microsoft, Pedro Julio Uribe, exchange ideas on how policies in the region are having the desired effect of encouraging private sector investment to accelerate the penetration of broadband and Internet use in all sectors of society.

"An estimated 10 percent increase in market penetration of broadband services in Latin America would mean an increase in GDP of 3.2% and a productivity growth of 2.6%. There is ample evidence to support the fundamental role of broadband in the economic development of our nations", said Minister Molano Vega.

Likewise, ICT Minister will participate in the Government Leaders Forum Microsoft's event held since 1998 to analyze the role played by information technology in pursuit of prosperity, economic development and strengthening of democracies in countries.

The main focus this year will be the impact on the future of Latin America and the Caribbean, taking into account the role of women, international cooperation, the sustainability of cities, open government and education, all aimed at decreasing of poverty.

(Source: MINTIC)

Further details


Friday, June 08, 2012 11:35:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The GSMA mAgri team invites to a one hour webinar on Wednesday 27th June (at 14.00 UK time) sharing practical and actionable lessons which can be applied to the design and marketing of mobile information and advisory services for women smallholders.

The mAgri Programme identifies opportunities where mobile can have the most impact to mitigate these problems. They are uniquely placed to bring together mobile network operators, agricultural organisations, NGOs, ICT professionals and donors to act on these opportunities.

Half of all farmers in the developing world are women, and in some countries such as Rwanda women account for 70% of the agricultural workforce.

Women farmers are less productive than men but if they had equal access to resources, including quality and actionable information, women farmers could grow 30% more food.

With a focus on service design and marketing, this webinar will focus on how mobile operators, VAS providers and agricultural NGOs can provide women farmers more equal access to mobile information and advisory services. Armed with better access to information, women farmers can make more informed decisions, increase their resilience and ultimately improve productivity and incomes.  Subject matter experts in gender and agriculture will share their insight and draw on best practice from closely related programmes and initiatives (such as gender-responsive extension programmes and using ICTs to empower rural women).

Reserve your Webinar seat at:https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/213949574

(Source: GSMA)

Friday, June 08, 2012 9:34:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Video can be produced at low cost and has the potential to reach a very large audience. New technology, especially digital video equipment, is making video an increasingly popular way to inform, educate, and entertain.

The aim of this book is to educate those working in NGOs, government agencies, and other institutions about how they can use video for development. The book is divided into four sections.

1. Overview of the various uses for video in development (particularly agricultural and rural development)

2. Guidelines for using video for development, based on research and experience

3. Nine case studies to highlight a range of possibilities

4. Resources for further information, including a bibliography and list of relevant organizations

With a  clear objective, thorough research, and high level of organization, this book is an excellent resource for anyone who would like to better understand how video can help reach across barriers and accomplish development objectives.

The full book is available here.

(Source: Anancy and e-agriculture)

Wednesday, June 06, 2012 3:53:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Over 50 Africans and Latin Americans gathered in Bolivia and Uganda to share their experiences with using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for education and health. These Cross-Country Learning Events (CCLEs) took place from 21 to 26 May 2012 and were organized by IICD and its Connect4Change consortium partners.

In Bolivia, African and Latin American participants deliberated on the theme ‘Improving the quality and equity of Education through integrating ICT’ and in Uganda partners shared their experiences and lessons on ‘ICT in health’.

The meeting objectives of the CCLEs in Uganda and Bolivia were:

   - Active learning on what works and what does not in using ICTs to enhance the quality of health and education
   - Sharing of innovative ideas and peer advice, and identification of good practices
   - Linking and networking among individuals, projects and organisations working in this field
   - Building on participants’ experiences to inform C4C´s practice and programmes

 The cross-country learning event in Bolivia, hosted by CEPAC was officially opened on by CEPAC’s Managing Director Widen Abastoflor Sauma. In his opening speech, he emphasised that ‘the power to learn is within the human being’.  With these words in mind, participants actively commenced the workshops sessions aimed at sharing knowledge and experiences.

The programme also included project visits to schools that are successfully using ICT for improved learning. For many participants these visits led to new insights. Stephan Agbenyo from Ghana vitited a school in Yapacani that is generating and digitising its own content. On his blog, he writes that he is impressed about “the special involvement of parents in the projects and the integration of technology in the classroom.”

In Uganda, a similar programme was followed and participants from all over Africa shared their stories on how ICTs are used to improve health care delivery in Africa. Christopher Kulanga from the Nkhoma Hospital in Malawi said: “The interaction, the sharing is just amazing. There are stories that are so inspiring and motivating. They give me the driving force”.

(Source: IICD)

Further details

Wednesday, June 06, 2012 3:44:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, June 05, 2012

The constant challenge for a fruit producer company is to minimize the incidence of plagues and illnesses, attain competitive prices through the increase of unitary yield and production cost reduction, improve process and product quality and diminish environmental impact.

It is essential for this process to have a technological infrastructure which captures production data, stores and process them, and disclose strategic information for decision making.

Starting from these premises, the FruTIC project was born. Its objective is to increase the productive efficiency of the citric sector, favoring its competitiveness and the completion of market requirements through the implementation of the ICT System (Information and Communication technologies) that offers strategic information for the citric management based on a periodic environment and phenological monitoring of cultivation and its main plagues.

FruTIC is designed for those producers who want to improve its profitability and get access to quality certification standards.

An integrated producer to FruTIC is able, for example:

  • To know the state of budding and flowering in their varieties

  • To know the most favorable harvest date for its fruit

  • To know how much water needs to be restocked by watering

  • To receive instantaneous warnings of meteorological events

  • To be more certain about whether or not to control a plague in the farm

  • To know the evolution of plagues and illnesses related with citrus

  • To achieve a production protocol with International certifiable standards

FruTIC offers information to increase profitability of citrus companies, allowing a more efficient use of agrochemicals, a superior fruit quality and a better access to international certifications. FruTIC data is personalized according to the requirements of the producers adhered to the system.

FruTIC offers two types of services for citrus management, classified as public and private. They present information in different ways Public information: free access information through FruTIC website. Private information: personalized and easily reached service through the FruTIC website by means of a user name and password.

(Source: FruTIC)
Further details


Tuesday, June 05, 2012 10:26:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 31, 2012

Three hospitals in the towns of Saboba, Wiaga and Bawku in Northern Ghana, are setting up an upgraded health information system, customised to fit their specific needs. The system can help to increase the hospitals efficiency giving more insight into patients registrations, help to more easily keep track of pharmacy stock and more.

The system contains several components that will each help different areas of the hospital.

  • Clinical: Patients records and registrations, prescriptions, admissions and discharges, investigations (x-rays, laboratory, ultrasound scans etc.) and daily measurements.

  • Stock and Inventory Management: Pharmacies, stocks and dispensaries, procurements, external orders and receivables.

  • Human Resource: Managing staff, payroll, promotions and appraisals, recruitment and leave of absence.

  • Income and Expenditure: Invoicing and billing, sponsors and patients invoicing, refunds and deposit payments.

  • General Reports: Daily attendance, patient registrations, services and their fees, drugs bulletin, clinics, inpatient and outpatient listing as well as medical sponsors.

The system will also provide the Ghanaian Ministry of Health with data concerning mortality, morbidity, outpatients and inpatients, midwife returns, surgical returns and bed state statistics. Local partner CHAG will also have the opportunity to monitor and compare the data from these hospitals in real time.

This health information system will be up-scaled with the financial, technical and training support of IICD and Cordaid, working as members of the Connect4Change Consortium.
It will be customised based on an already available system, HAMS, created by Ghanaian organization Infotech.

HAMS is already being applied in more than 100 hospitals all over the country. The system provides a valuable source of medical, financial,administrative, human resources and insurance data. In addition, it is linked to DHIS2, the central public health monitoring system where information on all the hospitals in Ghana is accessible at all times.

(Source: IICD)
Further details


Thursday, May 31, 2012 4:13:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 30, 2012

More than half of India's population live in rural areas and off-the-map villages. Most are remote and too isolated to benefit from the country's impressive economic progress. Yet there's a growing desire among people in rural India to be part of its modernisation process.

"India is a country which has more than 600,000 villages and connecting these areas with internet broadband will have a paradigm shift", says Sachin Pilot, the minister of state for communications and information technology. Increasingly the government is looking at better ways to reach remote, rural India. And it is hoping that technology will provide a solution.

"It's time for our IT roots to go further inland and make sure that those areas which are tribal, rural and far-off geographically are brought to the ambit of the IT revolution", says Mr Pilot.

While the country boasts the world's second fastest-growing mobile market, it is lagging behind when it comes to internet connectivity. According to a new study by the British risk analysis firm, Maplecroft, India is at 'extreme risk' from a lack of 'digital inclusion.'

The country's IT revolution is sometimes thought to benefit only the better off. According to the study, a lack of digital inclusion could hamper the country's economic potential as well. But while India is trailing the BRIC nations of Brazil, Russia and China in the drive to get its population connected to digital technologies, the government says it has big plans.

By 2014, it wants to connect 160m Indians to hi-speed internet. Through a range of public services, it's hoping to bridge the digital divide and bring awareness to those who are missing out on India's IT revolution.

"The challenge before all of us is to create the demand among people to want these data-heavy intensive services," says Mr Pilot.

"We are trying to educate the people, make it a demand driven process where the villagers in far-off areas are expecting and wanting that connectivity. And then they will be able to pay some price for that."

(Source: BBC News)
Further details


Wednesday, May 30, 2012 5:46:16 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 24, 2012

A group of young graduates in Kenya have introduced a mobile-phone enabled technology which will help farmers in rural Africa to link up with crop researchers, meteorological departments and veterinary scientists to better their farm yields.

Calvins Okello, a science graduate from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and a colleague, Gordon Owiti, have developed the new technology that seeks to digitalize Africa’s agriculture and enable the government agencies to solve the crisis of poor food distribution.

The technology, known as M-SHAMBA, a Kiswahili word for Mobile Farming, seeks to empower farmers with the latest technology innovations from the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) and the weather updates from the Kenya Meteorological Department to increase predictability of farming.

This is a unique new technology that gives information to farmers. This information is stored in a chip in the phone memory and enables the farmer to receive information on the various aspects of farming”, Okello said during the Science and Technology Innovation (STI) conference underway in Nairobi. Farmers can receive the latest information on cattle rearing techniques and have a chance to bargain for the highest price for their produce by placing their produce in the online platform. “It helps the farmers to sell online, notifying the market about the farm produce. Farmers are able to connect with buyers from great distances but it is up to the farmer in Kisumu to decide whether they want to sell to a buyer in Mombasa despite the great transportation barriers”, Okello said.

The information is directly obtained from certified research, which is a more cost-effective way of allowing the researchers to see the outcomes of their work. To make the product more easily accessible to the farmers, the two innovators are currently investing in translating research papers into the more popularly spoken Kiswahili language. However, they say they are constrained by a lack of funding.

Okello said the software enables the farmers to manage their farm records by entering the date of planting into an automated database, from where they are able to receive short messages and reminders about when to plant, based on the meteorological data findings. Owiti said the new technology has been developed with the sole intention of enticing the youth and those in professional cadres that agriculture can be technological savvy and is “cool”.

(Source: Adeanet)
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Thursday, May 24, 2012 10:01:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The e-Navigator smartphone application and website can search more than 3,000 items in the Joint University Programmes Admissions System, the Information Portal for Accredited Post-secondary Programmes and the Qualifications Register.

The e-Navigator provides students with more information on the study opportunities in Hong Kong. It helps to compare different programmes and figure out which ones are most relevant to them.

All information is based on publicised data on official websites, and students can access the sites to view detailed information on individual programmes via hyperlinks. Hyperlinks to various official web pages are created for users who wish to find out more details of individual programmes.

Users can also enter their expected or actual Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination results to search for suitable courses.

The e-Navigator was jointly developed by Education Bureau and Hong Kong Association of Careers Masters and Guidance Masters (HKACMGM).

(Source: FutureGov)
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Thursday, May 24, 2012 9:55:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Solar panels have been installed in the remote area of Ilkerin in Kenya, where many people from the Maasai tribe live. The generator powers computers that will help to increase the quality of education.

Solar panels will provide power for computer labs that will serve the local community, students and out of school youth that are receiving vocational training. The computers that are used are energy efficient and save money because they are so called thin clients, a type of solution where a computer network of multiple users is powered by just one PC or server.

Up until now, the area of Ilkerin had no access to Kenya’s national power grid and the transport of fuel to support power generators was extremely difficult due to its location. For this reason, the installation of Solar Power Systems is extremely important for the area as it provides power efficiency to support projects such this, which will enhance computer literacy within the community of Ilkerin and especially of youth and primary school students. Being exposed to computers and internet ensures maasai children that they will be enabled to benefit from a similar learning environment as their peers in Nairobi. Developing context specific educational materials for the children will make their education also more relevant.  The project is the product of collaboration between IICD and Edukans in the Connect4Change consortium and local partner ILIDP.

Next step after the installation of the generators and the computer lab is that teachers and administrators are trained by a locally hired ICT officer. The courses will include training on how to apply ICT in vocational training and the building of entrepreneurial skills. In addition, local teachers will receive training in developing educational material digitally for primary school students.

(Source: IICD)
Further details

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 10:10:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Prime Minister Najib reveals his plans to make education smart.

The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Mohammad Najib Tun Razak, says that Malaysia is ‘extremely likely’ to adopt cheap tablet computers such as those developed in India.

He says that the US$ 50 price tag for the mobile internet devices makes adoption much easier.

Najib reveals that the objective is to equip every student with a tablet computer; however at this juncture the government expects 10 students to share one tablet.

The government will make smart education plans to significantly improve smart children’s performance in school. “It is very important to increase the children’s market value from cradle all the way to their employment”, he says.

(Source: FutureGov)
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Tuesday, May 22, 2012 9:46:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 21, 2012

Apurimac is the first region to provide free Internet service through pilot virtual centers which will be built and implemented with the support from mining companies operating in the area, announced its regional president, Elias Ruiz Segovia.

He said that through the project "Construction and implementation of pilot virtual centers to achieve contents in curriculum learning in primary and secondary- Apurimac" aims to provide a quality education.

The regional authority said Apurimac is entering to a new stage thanks to mining and stressed that rural children have the same opportunities as the city, they will receive a quality education.

Segovia said that mining companies operating in Apurimac pay the cost of Internet service, while the regional government will take care of maintenance. The proposal is embodied in an agreement to be signed soon.

"Apurimac will be the first region in the country that will have internet access throughout its jurisdiction, it means, from Chincheros until Cotabambas", he said.

He called on teachers to be trained, so that students receive quality education, since "the success of this project will be thanks to them".

He added that the initiative is a great tool that should serve to get out from the last places where Apurimac is found in regarding the quality of education.

The symbolic act of commissioning of the project took place on Thursday in the building of the regional government.

(Source: Andina News)
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Monday, May 21, 2012 5:33:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, May 19, 2012

Women in Gomboussougou, a village in the Centre-Sud Region of Burkina Faso, are now for the first time in their lives able to participate in debates and municipal meetings in their community. These meetings are also broadcasted by the community radio started by women’s association Pag La Yiri.

Before, it was unthinkable for women to be actively involved in their community and participate in municipal meetings, debates and exchange of ideas. However, now they can attend any of the meetings on the agenda that is interesting to them.

The meetings are facilitated by local citizen journalists that have received training in reporting skills. All the discussions are being recorded in order to be broadcasted by Pag La Yiri radio. This is a radio station by rural women organisation Pag la Yiri, that is supported by IICD. The broadcasts are in five local languages and French. Local primary and secondary school teachers are also contributing to this radio project.

The municipal meetings and debates follow after a women week that was held in February. Listeners were invited to talk about topics related to women empowerment and gender issues in rural areas and could call to the radio station to answer quiz questions. With the support of IICD and Dutch capacity building organisation PSO, Pag la Yiri will continue to produce targeted content for women, as well as integrating gender topics in existing programmes.

You can watch a video report about the project in Gomboussougou here:

(Source: IICD)
Further details

Saturday, May 19, 2012 4:50:12 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 17, 2012

To commemorate this day, May 17 INICTEL-UNI held the International Forum "Women and girls in ICT". The event aims to promote the use of Information and Communication Technologies - ICTs on women and girls as a tool to integrate a gender equality perspective.

The event promoted by INICTEL-UNI, share the goals of ITU to encourages governments and institutions inviting girls and university students to spend a day on the premises or arrange visit programs observation ("shadowing") with female mentors in order to gain a better understanding of the opportunities offered by ICT.

This year, the World Day of Telecommunications and Information Society is especially devoted to the theme of "Women and girls in ICT", adopted by the ITU Council in 2010.

The celebration aims to ensure that vulnerable female half of the world progress towards equality. Gender equality is one of the main goals of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of the United Nations.

The forum will bring all the sectors involved in the field to encourage the adoption of policies and strategies to promote ICT related to the female gender and achieve the integration. It will feature panelists from the following institutions: Ministry of Transport and Communications, Ministry of Education, Department of Lima Council Engineers Association of Peru, National Council for Science, Technology and Innovation - CONCYTEC, National University of San Marcos, the Regulator in Telecommunications - OSIPTEL, among other important entities.

(Source: INICTEL – Perú)
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Thursday, May 17, 2012 4:25:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The 2012 World Telecommunication and Information Society Award was presented to three eminent personalities: President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of Argentina, Huawei Chairman Sun Yafang, and Academy Award winning actor Geena Davis, founder of the Geena Davis Institute of Gender in Media. The ceremony took place in Geneva to mark the 147th anniversary of the establishment of ITU in 1865.

The theme for the 2012 World Telecommunication and Information Society Day focuses on ‘Women and girls in ICT’. It is aimed at extending digital opportunities by providing avenues of advancement to professional women at the highest echelons of decision-making, and by encouraging young women to seek new careers within the sector.

In a message on the occasion of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “On this World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, I call again for wide-ranging efforts to close both the digital divide and the gender gap.  All people must be able to make the best use of information and communications technology to help create the future we want”.

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré further reaffirmed that gender equality is a basic human right enshrined in the UN Charter, and one of the main objectives of the UN Millennium Development Goals.

We are focusing our efforts this year on women and girls, using the power of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to provide new digital opportunities to end discrimination, and to empower women and girls to participate fully in society” Dr Touré said. “Girls and young women with ICT skills will find jobs that offer creativity, innovation, and entirely new ways of working. And encouraging girls into the technology industry will create a positive feedback loop – in turn creating inspiring role models for the next generation”.

One such role model, is represented by H.E. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, President of Argentina who has spearheaded numerous digital initiatives such as the ‘Equal Connect Programme’ which aims to reduce the digital divide across Argentina’s educational system with a specific focus on developing quality digital content.

Ms Sun Yafang emphasized that positive role models and real gender equality are critical for the ICT industry. “The ICT market is full of uncertainties, requiring companies to be highly adaptive,” said Ms Sun. “In light of this, I have been promoting female manager development at Huawei. This programme gives preference to women in manager selection when all qualifications are equal. In this way, we can provide real development opportunities for our female employees.”

Ms Geena Davis, founder of the Geena Davis Institute of Gender in Media, has dedicated herself to advocating more positive representations of women and girls in the media and knows well the importance of reinforcing positive role models.

(Source: ITU Newsroom)
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012 10:26:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A group of primary schools in Kenya’s Pokot and Turkana tribes’ districts is improving its management and education quality by using computers and training teachers and administrators in the use of them. Ultimate goal is to significantly reduce the dropout rate of primary schools students.

In the first year, with the support of IICD and Edukans in the Connect4Change consortium and local partner NCCK Northrift, 4 schools will be targeted: 2 in West Pokot County and 2 in Turkana District. Both these areas are located in the Northern part of the Rift Valley Province. With the support of Edukans, community education facilitators train the School Management Committees on their roles and responsibilities in the management of their schools. These management committees are elected volunteers that have the mandate to approve or dismiss school’s decisions.

To this improved management training, IICD adds a digital component. An ICT officer was hired to support and train the schools and equipment was procured and distributed to the schools over the last few months. Coming June, staff will be trained in the use of basic ICT for  school administration (for instance the use of Excel) and will discuss what should be in the administration system. This will lead to a school administration system where teachers, headmasters and administrators can more easily store school results and monitor dropout rates. It is also easier for teachers and administrators to keep the enrollment lists up to date and to act swiftly if they see that someone is not attending class regularly. They can also see how not attending classes regularly has affected students’ grades.

Another advantage of a digitalised administration system is that it gets easier for School Management Committees in Pokot and Turkana districts to understand how money is spent and how this could be improved. In the future, an online component could also be added so financial and administrative data is also available (in a secure way) if the committee members or school staff are not at school and still would like to access the data. 

Also, the Pokot and Turkana are pastoralist people who are in a constant conflict over land and cattle. About a third of the the children in the IICD-supported schools in the region are orphan or miss at least one parent because of this conflict. There is a lot of distrust between the people, but schools indicate that they are interested in using computers to get closer. A proposed idea was for each school to build their own simple website to promote their school, which can also be used for Turkana and Pokot children to share their ideas and poetry. Though schools are quite far apart, at some point during the implementation phase, schools could also visit each other. Teachers and school management committees may be from different tribes, but their all have the same aim: improving education, and using ICT to do it.

(Source: IICD)
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Tuesday, May 15, 2012 9:44:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Information and Communications Technology Ministry yesterday inked a THB-1.02-billion (US$ 32.8 mil) tablet-computer supply contract with the Chinese manufacturer Shenzhen Scope for the purchase of 400,000 tablets for primary school students.

The first 2,000 devices will be delivered next week and the rest to be arrived within 60 days. The model is specifically produced for Thailand, according to ICT Minister Anudith Nakornthap.

Under the contract, Thailand will buy 400,000 devices at THB 2,400 (US$ 81) per unit and a contract for the remaining 530,000 units will be signed later with the same price after the first batch of Scope Tablets passes government quality control standards. The remaining units must be delivered within 90 days from May 10.

“The specs are higher than what was specified in the terms of reference. This model is being produced specifically for this project, not according to the general specs offered in the market,” he said and added that the ministry’s committee would thoroughly check the devices’ specification.

Thailand Post will deliver the devices, which will have software installed, to school nationwide in July.

The devices, Scope’s Scopad SP0712 model, come in four colours- red, blue, silver and gold and features a seven-inch touchscreen, a 1.2 GHz single core CPU, 1 GB RAM, a storage memory unit of 8GB, Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, and a GPS navigation system for monitoring and tracking purposes. The devices also come with two-year international standard warrantee.

The purchase is under One Tablet PC Per Child campaign promise, a series of populist policies promoted by the ruling government which pledged to provide the country’s 860,000 first graders with the tablet PC.

(Source: FutureGov)
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Tuesday, May 15, 2012 9:36:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The ExxonMobil Foundation and Cherie Blair Foundation for Women released new research demonstrating how mobile phones can help women entrepreneurs develop and grow their businesses. The analysis across three emerging countries -- Egypt, Nigeria and Indonesia -- concludes there are a number of mobile technology-based solutions which, if tailored and scaled commercially, could support the business needs of women entrepreneurs.

Based on the research findings, the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women will follow the study with a pilot program to provide women entrepreneurs with tailored mobile phone applications that will help them manage their businesses more effectively.

Research for the Mobile Value Added Services: A Business Growth Opportunity for Women Entrepreneurs report was conducted by the global management consultancy, Booz & Company. The report concluded that the extensive and ever-increasing penetration of mobile phones in developing and emerging markets presents a significant opportunity to women entrepreneurs who want to develop their micro businesses into flourishing small and growing enterprises. Mobile value added services are products offered through a mobile platform, such as text messaging and multimedia message services.

"We already know that when mobile technology is properly incorporated into daily use, it can address an ever-increasing range of needs", said Cherie Blair, founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women. "Yet many of these technologies are not designed with a woman entrepreneur in mind. This groundbreaking research and subsequent pilot program will identify the technology that is most effective for women entrepreneurs and will provide women with new opportunities to maximize the effectiveness and reach of their businesses".

"In recent years, we have seen mobile phones evolve from a convenience to an essential business tool, enabling entrepreneurs to address pressing business challenges, increase access to new markets and operate more efficiently", said Suzanne M. McCarron, president of the ExxonMobil Foundation. "Yet all too often, women entrepreneurs around the world lack access to the technology and resources needed to succeed. Expanding the effective uses of mobile technology can help women earn more income and lead to more prosperity for them, their families, their communities and their countries".

Full Report
(Source: Market Watch)


Tuesday, May 15, 2012 4:45:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 14, 2012

“e-Agriculture” includes 8 500 members from over 165 countries

A global online community on the use of information and communication technologies in agriculture (called "e-Agriculture") run by FAO has received a prestigious award from the organizing body of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), called the WSIS Project Prize 2012.

The e-Agriculture Community today has grown to more than 8 500 registered members from over 165 countries, including development practitioners, policymakers, representatives of farmer organizations, researchers, and information and communication specialists involved in agriculture and rural development.

The e-Agriculture Community is active on three levels. A web-based, multilingual (English, French, Spanish) platform (www.e-agriculture.org)  provides a neutral space for knowledge sharing and collaboration. The Community also participates in face-to-face events organized around the world, and through in-country interventions lead by Community members and their institutions.

Holding discussion forums online allows the Community to reach tens of thousands of individuals annually, a level of participation that could not be achieved otherwise.

Partnerships with international, regional and national institutions, is an integral part of the continuing success of the e-Agriculture Community.

The e-Agriculture Community also provides the basis for the international community to monitor development and validation of conceptual models and methodologies, and to package and disseminate them once tested.

The e-Agriculture Community continues to make active use of social media, including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The participation of young people in the sector, in addition to seasoned experts, is encouraged through collaboration with YPARD, including a blog series on the subject of "youth, ICT and agriculture".

(Source: e-agriculture)
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Monday, May 14, 2012 9:47:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Government of Brazil is organizing, with the support of the United Nations, the Sustainable Development Dialogues, a forum for civil society, to be held in Riocentro, between June 16 to 19, in the context of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development - Rio+20.

Ten topics will be debated, based on their relevance to the furthering of sustainable development. They are: (1) Sustainable development for fighting poverty; (2) Sustainable development as an answer to the economic and financial crises; (3) Unemployment, decent work and migrations; (4) The economics of sustainable development, including sustainable patterns of production and consumption; (5) Forests; (6) Food and nutrition security; (7) Sustainable energy for all; (8) Water; (9) Sustainable cities and innovation; (10) Oceans. The debates will be broadcast live through the UN website.

With the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Dialogues initiative is being launched through a digital platform in order to provide the wide public with a democratic space for discussion. The on-line debates on each of the ten themes of the Dialogues will be facilitated by researchers from renowned academic institutions around the world. The platform is available in four languages (Portuguese, English, French and Spanish), with an in-built tool that allows the translation of specific posts into 40 languages. It also includes a voting system through which a set of recommendations will be chosen for transmission to the participants of the Dialogues, in Rio.

This innovative bridge between civil society and Heads of State and Government is expected to contribute to the incorporation and engagement of stakeholders, based on the understanding that public participation is essential to the promotion of sustainable development as the paradigm for action.

For more information visit: http://www.rio20.gov.br/ or send an email to support@riodialogues.org

(Source: UNCSD)

Thursday, May 10, 2012 9:50:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 09, 2012

In about two months will be ready “Siembra”, an Internet portal that will allow to Colombian farmers to find all the information related to production chains, entrepreneurship programs and the status of their projects, among other benefits.

According to Juan Lucas Restrepo, Executive Director of Corpoica, entity that is developing the site, 'Siembra' will be a member of Agronet, the information system of the Ministry of Agriculture. "This portal will enable people to make a clear innovation management and competitive intelligence, especially from the agricultural context", the official said.

After registration, the person who enters to 'Siembra' can improve their knowledge of the business where he is, meet the existing demand and supply of goods and sectoral projects, and research findings.

'There you can learn about events and news. Additionally, it will create a space for video conferencing which can simultaneously connect up to 100 players. The idea is that you can also say, for which forums work ", said Restrepo.

This initiative is directly related to the proposed objective of Corpoica that is aimed at promoting research, development and innovation in agriculture. 'These three components should be the guiding framework for public sector investment", he explained.

In that sense, Corpoica prepares to gradually adjust their capabilities, structure and culture in order to guarantee the coherence of innovation policy for agriculture.

With the launch of 'Siembra' the first beneficiaries will be the 37members of formed groups, from which 34 have already made significant progress. These include cocoa, cotton, bananas, potatoes and beef.

(Source: La República de Colombia)
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Wednesday, May 09, 2012 12:20:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 07, 2012
TED, a nonprofit organization devoted to spreading big ideas through a series of conferences and a free video platform, has continued its expansion into education by launching a brand-new TED-Ed website with tools to help teachers use video in the classroom. The new platform allows educators to customize videos with follow-up questions and assignments, TED says—an initiative that could help power the “flipped learning” model.

This is the second phase of TED’s expansion into education, following the launch of a TED-Ed YouTube channel last month with several educational videos. (See “Free video lessons offered by leaders in innovation, thinking”.) With the new TED-Ed platform, “you can use, tweak, or completely redo any lesson featured on TED-Ed, or create lessons from scratch based on any video from YouTube,” the organization says.

In other words, the site allows users to take any useful educational video, not just TED’s, and easily create a customized lesson around the video. Users can distribute the lessons, publicly or privately, and track their impact on the world, a class, or an individual student, TED says.

Teachers also can browse TED content based on the subject they teach. Each video on the TED-Ed site is tagged to a curriculum subject and is accompanied by supplementary materials to help teachers and students use or understand the video lesson.

TED-Ed’s commitment to creating “lessons worth sharing” is an extension of TED’s mission of spreading great ideas, the organization says.

(Source: eschool News)
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Monday, May 07, 2012 10:21:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 04, 2012
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and True Internet will continue jointly offering free Wi-Fi service for residents of the capital under the Bangkok Wi-Fi project for another three years, through April 29, 2015.

True will launch a similar free-service model in other major provinces, in line with its plan to expand its Wi-Fi network to cover 60 provinces this year from the present 40.

The Bangkok service covers about 20,000 spots across the city. It is available in two options. The first offers maximum download/upload speeds of 2 megabits per second/512 kilobits per second and free usage of five hours per month. The other provides a download/upload connection speed of 256kb/s and 128kb/s respectively and unlimited usage.

The service can reach a total of 150,000 users per six months. Users need to register with the project to receive passwords to log in to the service. They have to register for a new password every six months.

Under the collaboration, True will also expand the Wi-Fi network by 1,000 spots per year with the focus on hospitals, public parks and schools.

Bangkok Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra and True Online chief commercial officer Charoen Limkangwanmongkol signed the memorandum of understanding to continue the project. True Internet is part of the True Online group. The governor said the BMA had approached all Internet providers to join this project, which is open for all to take part.

True is responsible for the cost of the network installation, equipment maintenance cost, and related cost of the project.The parties jointly initiated the Bangkok Wi-Fi project three years ago on an exclusive basis. At that time the service could serve a maximum of 100,000 users.

(Source: The Nation News Paper)
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Friday, May 04, 2012 9:38:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Social media, video games, blogs and wikis are playing increasingly important roles in classrooms across the country. Some worry that incorporating more social media and other technologies into education is leading to too much computer time, as well as to a generation of students deficient in the face-to-face social skills needed to survive in the workplace. Proponents say schools need to find ways to use these technologies to improve teaching and learning, or else risk losing the attention of digital natives.

A paper released earlier this week by the Brookings Institution addresses how social media, blogs and video games are improving education by increasing access to people and information in various forms, including Twitter feeds, blog posts, videos and books. These tools are also increasing people's ability to share information with networks and contribute their own thoughts.

The idea is that the data collected by video games and social media sites can be provided, sometimes in real time, to teachers who can then use it to better understand their students and tailor instruction to meet individual needs.

Companies like Knewton, Junyo and the Learn Lab in Pittsburgh and are all creating such systems that are being used by many schools across the nation.

(Source: Huffington Post)
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Friday, May 04, 2012 3:00:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 02, 2012

The Institute on Disability and Public Policy (IDPP) is partnering with the Career Center at American University (AU) to provide virtual access to a host of career center services, including select professional development workshops and virtual advising for students in the Master’s of International Affairs in Comparative and International Disability Policy (CIDP) program.

The Master of Arts in Comparative and International Disability Policy (CIDP) degree, offered by the School of International Service at American University, is the centerpiece program of the Institute on Disability and Public Policy (IDPP). The IDPP is led by the Center for Research on Collaboratories and Technology Enhanced Learning Communities (COTELCO), a joint research center at American University and Syracuse University.

  • Students can take courses from anywhere in the world, because courses are offered entirely online, and can be experienced in real time or accessed on demand

  • Anyone around the world can apply for the CIDP Master’s program

  • Faculty teach from geographically dispersed locations around the world

  • Accelerated one year or extended part time flexibility available

  • Courses incorporate Universal Design for Learning principles, and are accessible to blind, deaf, and mobility impaired students

  • IDPP's cyberinfrastructure consists of an innovative combination of virtual tools to make the program as accessible as possible

A CIDP Master’s degree empowers graduates to become global disability policy leaders. Courses teach the necessary skills for persons with disabilities to impact and influence the public policies that directly affect the disability community

The Nippon Foundation offers full fellowships for select CIDP students, with preference given to students from the ASEAN region who are blind or visually impaired; deaf or hard of hearing; and/or mobility impaired.

(Source: IPPD)
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Wednesday, May 02, 2012 10:42:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 30, 2012

The Institute of Systems Science of the National University of Singapore- (NUS-ISS) and IBM have announced collaboration, supported by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (iDA) and the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), to create the Enterprise Social Business Centre of Excellence. This Centre will catalyze the transformation of Singapore’s workforce and ensure that Singapore is future-ready and able to leverage social media platforms to improve productivity, connect for innovation and create communities for competitive advantage.

Enterprise Social Business embeds “social” in all of its processes, connecting people to people, people to information, and data to insight. It is a company that engages its employees and clients in a two-way dialogue with social tools, transparent in sharing its expertise beyond its four walls, and is nimble in its use of insight for rapid change and action.

“This partnership allows us to tap on IBM’s technology and global expertise to deliver Enterprise Social Business know-how to businesses and organizations in Singapore”, says Dr Christopher Chia, Chairman of the Management Board, and Institute of Systems Science. “NUS-ISS will work closely with IDA and WDA to align the Enterprise Social Business training curriculum to the National Infocomm Competency Framework (NICF) and develop holistic continuing education and training pathways through various modular and qualifications programmes to widen and deepen the capabilities of industry professionals.”

According to NUS officials, Enterprise Social Business has the potential to unlock the intellectual capital within organizations, connecting experts and expertise, and paving the way for unprecedented innovation. By applying social technologies to business processes, it can radically improve the way organizations operate, for example, by linking skills to the right opportunities where and when they are needed. Enterprise Social Business can reveal the untapped power of data generated by these connections. By interconnecting key data created and applying analytics to gain insights, NUS will be able to make more intelligent business decisions.

The Enterprise Social Business Centre of Excellence will focus on three pillars: training, pilot and practice and research and development. Executive seminars conducted by this Centre will commence in May 2012. These seminars will help executives develop a business culture that fosters open collaboration and sharing among partners, clients, citizens and employees. The Centre aims to help businesses transform their relationships with their constituents by engaging new technologies and platforms that powerfully and connect them in trusted and experiential ways.

(Source: FutureGov)

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Monday, April 30, 2012 3:19:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, April 28, 2012

Global leaders from the US, Europe, Africa and Asia joined together today to debate and define a roadmap that will help break down barriers and overturn outmoded attitudes in a bid get more girls into technology-related studies and careers.

A high-level dialogue held at New York’s Institute of International Education and hosted by the International Telecommunication Union, the UN-specialized agency for information and communication technology, identified misguided school-age career counselling, the popular media’s ‘geek’ image of the technology field, a dearth of inspirational female role models, and a lack of supportive frameworks in the home and workplace as factors that, together, tend to dissuade talented girls from pursuing a tech career.

Inspired by the tremendous dedication of NGOs, universities, government agencies, industry and others around the world in organizing Girls in ICT Day events today, participants sketched our a basic blueprint for more successful approaches to attracting school-age girls to the fast-evolving technology field, and agreed to work together to change attitudes and boost female tech enrolment rates.

In his welcoming remarks to an invited audience of over 200 gender, education and technology experts, ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré said: “Over the coming decade, there are expected to be two million more ICT jobs than there are professionals to fill them. This is an extraordinary opportunity for girls and young women – in a world where there are over 70 million unemployed young people”.

ITU’s Dr Touré closed the event with a call for partners to collaborate with ITU on a three-year ‘Tech Needs Girls’ campaign focused around four ‘Es’: empowerment, equality, education and employment. “This is a tremendous opportunity for us all, working together as partners, to make a real difference”, he said.

‘Girls in ICT Day’ is a new annual event on the UN calendar, and is celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday in April. It was established through a formal Resolution at ITU’s four-yearly Plenipotentiary Conference in 2010.

(Source: ITU Newsroom)
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Saturday, April 28, 2012 4:36:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 27, 2012

"We and Technology", It is the special event that the National Institute for Research and Training in Telecommunications of the National Engineering University, INICTEL-UNI, held this April 26 as part of the celebrations for the International Telecommunications Day.

60 girls in public educational institutions of San Martin de Porres and Independencia (districts of Lima) will participate in workshops on electronics, robotics and CANSat (Bases to build a small satellite). Also, they visited the UNI-INICTEL facilities, laboratories and attend videoconferences with professional women in the ICT field residing abroad.

The attendees could talk to engineers in telecommunications and experience the site of women in this sector. Through this event they want to promote in Peru the use of Information and Communication Technologies - ICTs on women and girls, as a tool to integrate a gender equality perspective.

This year's theme "Women and girls in ICT" has been chosen by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), United Nations agency, to celebrate the "World Day of Telecommunications and Information Society" . Moreover, in this way promotes the 2010 designation of the ITU, in which every fourth Thursday of April an event takes place before the central celebrations of May 17.

(Source: INICTEL - Peru)
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Friday, April 27, 2012 3:52:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 26, 2012

This report was developed by the e-governance and Access to Information team in the Democratic Governance Group at UNDP’s Bureau for Development Policy, New York.

In this document various advantages of mobile technologies are mentioned, how they are creating new channels of communication between people and government and offering access to public information and basic services to people that previously had little to no access.

Mobiles can reach remote areas more effectively than other ICTs such as the Internet or fixed phone lines and sometimes mobile devices are simply the only option available.

"Mobile technologies are starting to have an indelible impact on human development, enhancing democratic governance and other development areas such as health, education, agriculture, employment, crisis prevention and the environment".

For people in rural areas mobile technologies can help them reduce the information gaps and give them access to market information from remote locations increasing trade and reducing travel costs.

"They are also being used to educate and keep citizens and vulnerable stakeholders abreast of environmental and energy-related issues, including weather patterns, climate change and responsible environmental stewardship".

Full Report
(Source: e-agriculture)

Thursday, April 26, 2012 3:55:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 25, 2012

This report was developed by the e-governance and Access to Information team in the Democratic Governance Group at UNDP’s Bureau for Development Policy, New York.

In this document various advantages of mobile technologies are mentioned, how they are creating new channels of communication between people and government and offering access to public information and basic services to people that previously had little to no access.

Mobiles can reach remote areas more effectively than other ICTs such as the Internet or fixed phone lines and sometimes mobile devices are simply the only option available.

"Mobile technologies are starting to have an indelible impact on human development, enhancing democratic governance and other development areas such as health, education, agriculture, employment, crisis prevention and the environment".

For people in rural areas mobile technologies can help them reduce the information gaps and give them access to market information from remote locations increasing trade and reducing travel costs.

"They are also being used to educate and keep citizens and vulnerable stakeholders abreast of environmental and energy-related issues, including weather patterns, climate change and responsible environmental stewardship".

(Source: e-agriculture)
Full Report


Wednesday, April 25, 2012 8:51:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |