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 Friday, 12 October 2012

To mark the first ever International Day of the Girl Child, ITU members and partners are today joining forces to launch the Tech Needs Girls Prize, a new global technology competition designed to inspire more girls to embrace technology and invent the future.

Our future is being shaped by technology and, with over 95% of all jobs now having a digital component, the information and communication technology (ICT) sector is an exciting place to be. Yet, as a global shortage of ICT professionals looms and the uptake of girls and women into ICT-related study declines, research reveals that technology has an image problem. Put simply, too many talented young girls mistakenly consider an ICT career to be boring, geeky, uncreative or a career path that lacks the ‘world-changing’ component many aspire to.

Working in partnership with lead players in the ICT, education and media industries, ITU’s new annual Tech Needs Girls Prize aims to dramatically shift perceptions. The prize targets girls between the ages of 9 to 18 at the very time when they start forming opinions about their place in the world and their choice of career path. ITU and its partners will name and tailor a suite of competitions to different specialist areas, offering girls around the world a variety of options to get involved, gain confidence in their abilities, demonstrate their creativity, explore their ‘inner entrepreneur’ and learn first-hand how ICT can make a real difference.

“Empowering women and girls is a key part of ITU’s mandate of ‘connecting the world’. I am looking forward enormously to seeing the imaginative submissions that will come in from girls right around the world, and hope that this new prize will encourage many of them to consider a future in this most exciting of industries,” said Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, ITU Secretary-General.

The Tech Needs Girls Prize 2013 will be awarded as part of the annual Girls in ICT Day celebrations. ITU is working with leading players including Cisco, Intel Corporation and the G(irls)20 Summit to inspire girls to take the tech challenge. Geena Davis, ITU’s own Special Envoy for Girls and ICT, will also be lending her voice and the important work of her institute to ensure that girls are better equipped to be leaders and creators in the world of technology. Full details of the prize, partners and the competitions will be released over the coming weeks.

The prize forms part of ITU’s Tech Needs Girls campaign, launched at Girls in ICT Day this year, which is leveraging the convening power of ITU to bring players in the ICT, education and media industries together. This global call to action aims to transform the wide-ranging number of programmes and organizational initiatives into a force for movement on the urgent issue of ensuring girls and women play a much more substantive role in the ICT sector and are better empowered to harness technology to transform their lives and their futures.

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Friday, 12 October 2012 13:59:40 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Your Excellency Minister Kim Kum-law, Mr. Gil Hwan-Young, Dr. Kim Gwang-jo, Dr Eun Ju kim, Mr. Javad Mottaghi, distinguished delegates, Ladies and gentlemen.

It gives me great pleasure to join you today to deliver my keynote address at the Women with the Wave: High Level Forum on Digital Inclusion of Women and Girls in this beautiful city of Seoul.

Today I’m going to share with you stories of a few experiences that led me down new paths – paths that were not part of my original plan and the impact they have had on my life and my work toward improving gender equality for girls and women. I’ve appeared onscreen as everything from a pirate captain to the President of the United States, but the first role I ever played was a man.

As little girls back in the 1960s, my best friend and I played-acted brave characters from TV westerns in her backyard. Because I was taller, I would often play the father, and she’d be my son. And, because we were young, we never noticed that there were no female characters we wanted to pretend to be from movies or TV.

I’ve spent most of my adult life advocating for women and girls, and one a small way has been by seeking roles women may appreciate; roles where the female character is in charge of her own destiny.

About eight years ago, I launched the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and its programming arm, called “See Jane.”  I did so because I wanted the data on one very specific thing: how many female characters were there in children’s media? You see, when I started watching children’s  programs, videos, and kid’s movies with my then-two-year-old daughter, Alizeh.  I was stunned to see that that there seemed to be far more make characters than female characters in these entertainments aimed at the youngest of children. I checked with my associates and industry leaders –no one seemed to be aware of the serious gender imbalance we’re feeding kids through the images they see.

In fact, the most common response was, “No, no, that’s been fixed”. My Institute sponsored the largest research analyses ever done into the content of movies and chidlren’s television programs in the United States at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California, performed by Dr Stacey Smith.

The results were stunning – even though I knew in my heart what they would (303) likely be:  at the dawn of a new millennium – when  half of the global population is female – the message sent to children  is that women and girls do NOT take up half of the space in the world.

Currently, in U.S. family films, for every one female speaking character there are three male characters. In crowd and group scenes, only 17% of the characters are female. 17%! No one- least of all children – is seeing images of boys and girls sharing the sandbox equally. We’d like to assume today that the marginalization and invisibility of female characters, especially in entertainment made specifically for children, would be long gone - a relic of the past.

Unfortunately, the reality is that female marginalization remain deeply entrenched in today’s entertainment, and there has been no significant progress over the last twenty years our research covers. Well, I shouldn’t say no progress: the increase in female characters in family films over the last two decades is 0.7%. By my calculations, if we add female characters at that rate, we will achieve parity in 700 years.

The stark gender inequality in media aimed at children is of significant importance to our discussions on Women and Girls in ICTs, as TV and movies can wield enormous influence on  young children as they are developing a sense of their role in society as well as forming ideas about career choices. Our research shows that females are missing from critical occupational sectors including technology.

We recently completed a recent study on the careers of female characters in popular TV and Film and found that in family films males hold 83.8% of all STEM jobs. This calculates into a ratio of 5 male STEM characters to every one female STEM character. No female protagonists or co leads are shown with STEM careers. Looking across the categories of computer science and engineering, the ratio of males to females in these arenas is 14.25 to one! And in Television, there are 78.9% male and 21.1% female with STEM jobs. What message are boys getting about the worth and importance of girls, if media don’t show girls taking up space equal to their numbers?

Seeing women take their full role will enhance awareness of the benefits for the family and community of women’s empowerment, professional training, and non-traditional career choices.  We know when girls see characters engaging in unstereotyped activities, it can heighten their likelihood to pursue careers in the STEM fields. If boys see girl characters engaged in STEM fields, they will come to see it it as the norm and not the exception. So, what can we do to improve the status of girls and increase their participation in ICTs?

Well, we know what the Asia Broadcasting Union is doing: they are creating initiatives such as the Project on Gender Mainstreaming in Broadcasting which I have learned was implemented in a number of countries in the Asia Pacific  region, the latest one being in the Maldives as a joint ABU-ITU action. May I join with so many others in saluting you for this very important work.

I’m very pleased to be one of the champions of ITU’s recently launched ‘Tech Needs Girls’ campaign, a global initiative in the area of education that aims to encourage girls to play a much more substantive role in the technology sector, including by promoting women in ICT careers.

The time for change is now, and all of you in this room are powerful agents of change. I’d like to applaud Asian  broadcasters, filmmakers, Internet stakeholders, academics and others to take the lead to change the image of women and girls in ICTs. From Korea’s famous K-dramas to Bollywood musicals, we need the characters that will inspire tomorrow’s tech-centered professionals. 

There is a whole generation of young girls who will be influenced by the images they watch, whether in the movies, online videos, social network sites, video games and beyond.  If they can see it, they can be it! Korean entertainment launched the Korean Wave that has spread across the Asia Pacific region and beyond.  Which  makes Seoul  the perfect venue for launching this Gender Media Forum, Women with the Wave, and I am honored to be here on this auspicious occasion.

I’m convinced that the waves we create at this Forum, will improve both the status of women working in media and ICTs and foster a more just media portrayal of women and girls.

Thank you very much.

Thursday, 11 October 2012 23:44:01 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
High Level Forum on Digital Inclusion of Women and Girls
Seoul, Republic of Korea
10th-11th October 2012
We, the participants in the Women With the Wave Gender Media Forum, held in Seoul, Korea on the 10th and 11th October, 2012, make this affirmation of commitment to its goals and outcomes and to the empowering of women through media and ICTs.

In thanking the organizers of the Forum, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) and other partners, we note that women and girls make up 50 per cent of the world’s population and that equal rights and opportunity underpin healthy economies and societies.

Further, we recognize that the media has a crucial role to play in promoting women’s full participation in every aspect of life and society and, to this end, we invite the ITU and the ABU to endorse this statement with a view to seeking to assist in the practical implementation of its recommendations.

We also call on intergovernmental agencies, in particular ITU, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific (ESCAP), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and UN Women (UNW), professional associations of broadcasters, especially the ABU, regional training institutions, such as the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) and the Asian Media and Information Communication Centre (AMIC), commercial businesses and Foundations, relevant NGOs and tertiary education institutions, including University journalism and communication departments, to take note of this statement and to undertake, where applicable, to provide support for its recommendations.

We are committed to promoting a gender inclusive media and information and communication technology (ICT) environment, that empowers women and girls to fully participate and give access to expression and decision-making in and through the media and new technologies of communication by being able to:

 • work in the media and ICT fields across all levels and occupational groups on and off the screen;
 • have access to technological and digital platforms;
 • achieve a positive, non-stereotypical and balanced portrayal across all forms of media and technological platforms, including the recognition of women with ICT careers and girls who use ICTs for their empowerment.


Specifically, we declare support for the practical application across the region of the following agreed activities and outcomes of the Forum:

• implementation of the Broadcasting for All: Focus on Gender guidelines that include strategic and practical applications for use in media and ICT workplaces;
• encouragement for the determining of a framework for the broad provision of training and access to technological and digital media by women and girls;
• applying existing research, surveys and findings of the portrayal, stories, faces and voices of the female population across the region and formulating a broad strategy for the application of fair representations across organizations and platforms;
• championing media leaders who promote content and balanced images of girls and women;
• piloting UNESCO’s Gender Sensitive Indicators for Media (GSIM) as a practical tool to assess and encourage gender equality and women’s empowerment in media;
• collaborating with partners, such as the ITU, to promote women and girls in media and ICTs, including developing programming story lines with women in ICT careers and promoting the Women’s Digital Literacy Campaign;
• securing industry-wide commitments to take steps towards positive change to promote success stories on radio and television broadcasts;
• gaining specific attention and assistance, from the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) through its various specialized departments and its member organizations, to the needs of smaller media institutions (such as in island regions and remote areas), thus enabling out-reach to women and girls and their empowerment in marginalized societies;
• development and distribution of educational modules for use in secondary schools, tertiary education institutions and other scholastic agencies (and, where applicable, by distance learning modes and techniques) to introduce students to gender and media/ICT issues, and the role of media in society.

We recall the inspirational discourse of the two day ITU/ABU/KBS sponsored Women With the Wave Gender Forum and, in particular, the successful media and ICT case studies and models shared by speakers from throughout the region. The collegiality of fellow Forum participants, the professionalism of the videos and films they exhibited to the Forum, the commitment of keynote presenters and the atmosphere of optimism expressed by all present have reinforced our belief that affirmative action on the Forum recommendations is vital to ensuring the forward progress of the empowerment of women and girls through media and ICTs.

To this end, we call on all who can assist to recognize the digital wave now sweeping the world and to join us in supporting the preparation of women and girls for the opportunities and benefits which the knowledge society is now bringing to families worldwide and which will do so even more in the future.

Thursday, 11 October 2012 23:18:22 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, 11 October 2012
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) and the Korea Broadcasting System (KBS) are jointly organizing the Women With the WAVE: High Level Forum on Digital Inclusion of Women and Girls, which is held in Seoul, Republic of Korea on 10-11 October 2012. This is in line with WTDC Res. 55 (Doha, 2006): “Promoting gender equality towards an all-inclusive information society”, Plenipotentiary Resolution 70 (rev Guadalajara, 2010): “Gender mainstreaming in ITU and promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women through information and communication technologies”, and the 4th World Conference on Women Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and media have an enormous impact on virtually all aspects of our lives, while being recognized as a critical enabler for socio-economic and cultural development in all countries around the world. The rapid progress of ICT technologies and proliferation of media platforms creates new opportunities to attain higher levels of development through ICT and media. The ability of ICTs and media to reduce many traditional obstacles, especially those of time and distance, makes it possible to use their potential to achieve digital inclusion for millions of people all over the world. Under favorable conditions, these technologies can be powerful instruments, increasing productivity, generating socio-economic growth, job creation and employability, and improving the quality of life of all.

Regrettably, recent studies have shown that the benefits of the ICTs and broadcast media revolution are still unevenly distributed between developed and developing countries and within societies. ITU, ABU, KBS, Forum partners and supporters are committed to turn the existing digital divide into a digital opportunity for all. These organizations have joined forces to promote digital inclusion of already marginalized social groups who risk being left behind the digital wave sweeping the world, particularly of women and girls.

For further information regarding this event, contact Ms. Aurora A. Rubio (

(Source: ITU - Regional Office for Asia & Pacific)

Thursday, 11 October 2012 22:55:51 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 09 October 2012

The Vodafone Foundation Smart Accessibility Awards is a contest to promote the development of IT applications designed to improve the lives of those with disabilities and people that are older, to help them get more actively involved in society. 

In 2012 we celebrate the II Edition after the great results of last year competition. In 2011 over 60 apps were received and more than 100 people participated in the awards. Find more information about 2011 finalists and winners.

The programme is supported and co-organized by AGE Platform Europe, the European network of around 160 organizations of and for people aged 50+, and the European Disability Forum (EDF), the NGO that represents the interests of 80 million Europeans with disabilities.

Launched in Brussels, the competition will award the best smartphone application in four areas:

  Social participation: refers to applications which help users to become more involved in today's society and help them benefit from using new technologies, whatever their age and/or capacity.   The aim is to help everyone to access the web and social media through smartphones.

  Independent living: refers to applications which help users with everyday tasks such as washing or opening a door easily and safely so that they can live more independently

   Mobility: refers to applications which enable users to travel freely and safely whatever kind of transport system they would like to use. It also refers to the use of GPS and locations apps which can help guide people in unfamiliar places.

   Wellbeing: refers to applications which improve the users' health and overall feeling of wellbeing.

Entrants can compete for a share of the €200k prize fund from 30 May 2012 to 15 October 2012. Finalist will present their application to the jury in a final event that will take place in December in Brussels.

Here are six testimonials which can help to inspire you to create new ways of making technology accessible for all:

Further details

Tuesday, 09 October 2012 22:25:17 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 08 October 2012
The global campaign “TECH needs girls”, implemented in Republic of Macedonia on the initiative of the Deputy Minister for Information Society and Administration, Mrs. Marta Arsovska Tomovska, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Science, MASIT (Macedonian ICT Chamber of Commerce) and FINKI (faculty of Computer Science and Engineering), after only 5 months form its promotion, has already shown results.

The campaign started with a celebration of the “Girls in ICT day” in April this year. Hundreds girls - high school students were included in the activities, while the media helped in spreading the “TECH needs girls” message to thousands of other across the country. The good idea was immediately embraced from the largest ICT companies in Macedonia, such as T-home and T-mobile, Ericsson, Seavus, Semos, Ultra, Nextsense, Netcetera, Asseco SEE, which contributed in the campaign’s realization.

As part of the activities, in September 2012 free trainings for programming, designing, computer animation and network administration were awarded to girls – students of the generation from several elementary schools in Skopje.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Education and Science, obtained from enrollment terms for academic 2012 – 2013, from the total number of students enrolled on first year university studies on state and private ICT faculties in the Republic of Macedonia, 73, 4% are male, while 26, 6% are female. Compared to the 76, 1% male and 23, 9 % female from the last 2011 – 2012 academic year, it is an increase of 2, 7% for female students!

The results themselves clearly show that we succeeded in encouraging girls to enroll on ICT faculties. In a future perspective, that will enable gender representation balance, but what is most important is that the total number of ICT work force in the Republic of Macedonia will increase.

In the future, the “Girls in ICT” concept will surly represent a great stimulus for further creating and opening new possibilities, opportunities and horizons, accesses to fresh knowledge and of course, recognizing young talents and benevolent investing in their capacities.

By the end of October this year, management board of the “Girls in ICT” campaign will be established. Under the presidency of Deputy Minister Mrs. Marta Arsovska Tomovska, the board will be constituted from women CEOs, women professors and representatives from state institutions who will engage their experience, knowledge and personal will for further development of the campaign’s activity. The board will represent a focal point where all ideas, suggestions and recommendations will be analyzed and from there transformed in future productive steps.

(Source: Girls in ICT)

Monday, 08 October 2012 21:27:00 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

One of the most prominent themes of this week’s General Assembly has been using low-cost mobile technology to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5: drastically lowering child mortality while boosting maternal and reproductive health in developing nations.

Since there could be 50 billion mobile devices with broadband access by 2017, as Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg predicted at the recent Social Good Summit, it’s no wonder that mobile phones are being harnessed in areas that may be remote and resource-limited, but are no longer disconnected from global health solutions. Here’s a look of three nascent initiatives using mobile technology to create a global health impact:

1. Perhaps the most effective means of empowering women in developing nations to make informed health-care decisions is through basic, adaptable messaging. For the past year, USAID, Johnson & Johnson, and the mHealth alliance have developed the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA) to connect with over 20 million expectant and new mothers in 35 countries. Using simple mobile technology, MAMA offers vital health information on everything from swaddling to breast-feeding to immunizations.

MAMA has already been effective in South Africa, Indonesia and Bangladesh, where expectant and new mothers now have access (often for the first time) to a global sharing of timely, topical, culturally relevant health information.

2. Medic Mobile transcends the communication and geographic obstacles that all too often limit the efforts of health-care workers in developing nations. As CEO Josh Nesbit told the Social Good Summit audience, Medic Mobile started out by equipping 100 frontline community health workers in Malawi with mobile phones to facilitate essential services for pregnant women and newborn babies.

Nesbit saw the opportunity to offer critical care services in remote areas by harnessing a mobile phone infrastructure that already existed. Considering WHO’s assessment that half of all maternal deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa, and that there are more cell phones on the African continent than in the United States, Nesbit’s plan made perfect sense.

3. The next frontier in improving the health of mothers and children is digitizing food assistance. Enter the Better than Cash Alliance, which is helping some of the world’s most indigent populations by transitioning from cash payments to electronic aid, creating a “cash-lite” world.

Through mobile phones and text messages, the Better than Cash Alliance can deliver digital food vouchers, or “e-vouchers”, that enable people to buy food from local markets. According to WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin, “By 2015, WFP expects 30 percent of its assistance programs to be delivered in the form of cash and digital food”.

(Source: The Interdependent)

Monday, 08 October 2012 20:36:59 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Farmerline is a mobile and web-based system that furnishes farmers and investors with relevant agro industry content to improve productivity and increase income. Farmerline bridges the information gap between rural farmers and agro-industry sources in two ways:

  • The voice forum: This feature allows farmers to ask questions by calling a toll free helpline (short code). The extension officers are able to answer the questions via a web interface and answers sent to farmers as voice sms.

  • Automated SMS Alerts: The SMS will include advice on tackling pests or diseases, agricultural techniques, optimum times to plant crops, available subsidies, as well as weather forecasts, local fairs and crop prices.

Farmerline won the first and third position in the Mobile Web Ghana Competition and Apps4africa Climate Change Competition organized by the US Department of State respectively.

(Source: e-agriculture)

Monday, 08 October 2012 20:29:35 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The mHealh Alliance and the Innovation Working Group (IWG) awarded IICD a grant for its mobile community health programme in Mali. In this programme, mothers who act as Community Workers use mobile phones to strengthen their malaria prevention work. For the programme, IICD partners with mobile provider Orange Mali and French NGO RAES.

The awarded programme trains 45 mothers in the use of mobile phones and the use of a special mobile application to collect data during visits to the communities around Bamako. The data that the mothers collect, help health specialists from nearby health centres to improve patient case management by conducting prevention, diagnosis and treatment in a more efficient and cost effective way. The grant enables IICD to further improve child and maternal health monitoring in Yirimadjo, a poor outskirt community of Bamako. The mothers who are health workers also come from this area, where malaria is the most urgent problem. Because of malaria, maternal and child mortality in the area is high.

IICD and its partners will expand the programme to 150 more Community Health Workers in Mali and 100 Community Health Workers in Senegal within two years time. This will be done in close collaboration with French NGO RAES. Telecom provider Orange offers technical support.

The grant that IICD's community health programme in Mali received was selected out of many applications, together with seven others. The grant is an initiative of the mHealth Alliance, a global project founded by the United Nations Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Vodafone Foundation, and the UN’s Innovation Working Group.

(Source: IICD)

Monday, 08 October 2012 20:20:45 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) is planning a joint collaboration with the country’s top telecommunication providers to launch free WiFi in public areas nationwide.

Free WiFi is now available in public service centres such as bus terminals, train stations, and airports, as well as regional cultural centres, libraries, athletics facilities, national public hospitals, welfare centres, and select tourist spots.

Signboards bearing the Free Public Wifi logo will be strategically located in the said areas so as to inform citizens and tourists alike of the service.

According to an official statement, the Wi-Fi networks were developed to prevent the overlap of wireless networks and allow convenient Internet access regardless of telecommunications service provider.

A full directory of the locations of public Wi-Fi spots can be found at the websites of the KCC and the National Information Society Agency.

(Source: FutureGov)

Monday, 08 October 2012 20:03:32 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Financial Inclusion Tracker Surveys (FITS) Project is a multiyear research initiative providing critical data, analysis and insights to stakeholders in the mobile money field in particular, and in financial inclusion generally. The FITS Project supports strategic planning, benchmarking, monitoring and impact assessment for mobile money and financial inclusion projects.

InterMedia is currently working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s (Financial Services for the Poor program to implement FITS in Pakistan, Tanzania and Uganda) identified by the Gates FSP team as markets where mobile money is poised to achieve scale and serve as models for other countries. FITS may be expanded to other countries, depending on local market developments.

The project was designed with substantial input from the financial inclusion stakeholder community. It is based on the assumption that people in developing countries require safe, convenient and affordable ways to manage their money, especially those people with little money who need to be able to manage it carefully but who are often excluded from the formal banking system.

Between the annual surveys, InterMedia will conduct SMS mini-surveys to retain contact with the panel households, monitor shorter-term trends and stay abreast of any new developments in mobile money use. The primary goal is to create general purpose datasets to provide windows on mobile money market developments from the user perspective.

(Source: AudienceScapes)
Full Report

Monday, 08 October 2012 19:57:30 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 28 September 2012
The WSYA selects and promotes best practice in e-Content. It demonstrates young people's potential to create outstanding digital contents and serves as a platform for people from all UN member states to work together in the efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Young creators of digital content can register their products themselves. An international young expert jury will then judge the products and select a winner in each of the six WSYA categories.

The reward for winners is to be recognized on a world stage, to be invited to the winners' events (with all related cost covered by organizers), to be able to connect with each other and discuss with renowned experts in the field of ICT for development. The Youth Award is not a cash award. Last years winner's events took place in Graz, Austria. In 2012, the event is going to take place in Montreal, Canada.

The WSYA is organized as a follow up activity of the World Summit on Information Society and its action plan towards the year 2015. The Youth Award is being organized by the World Summit Award Network for the fifth time after 2005, 2009, 2010, and 2011. It is promoted in all UN member states through the networks of the World Summit Award (WSA) the UN Global Alliance for ICT, other participating UN Organizations and Agencies such as UNESCO and UNIDO, governments and NGOs, youth organizations, and all those committed to making a real difference in the achievement of the MDGs.

The WSYA Team is based at the International Centre for New Media (ICNM), an independent non-profit organization in Salzburg, Austria.

(Source: WSYA)

Friday, 28 September 2012 11:07:11 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The book is an example of the development of the Plan “Vive Digital” as an initiative to promote equity and social development from the most remote and vulnerable public educational institutions in the country with the support of ICT.

This is a document that serves as a guide to teachers in ICT teaching of the schools which were benefited from Computadoras para educar (Computers for Schools), ICT Ministry program.

"We are convinced that technology contributes significantly in education", said ICT Ministry, Diego Molano Vega.

"We are more than technology. Computadoras para educar is sustainable social development for Colombia because the learning process supported from ICT, thanks to the guidelines of the Ministry of Education", said Director Martha Castellanos referring to the launch of this digital document, which includes a study by the University of the Andes and supports the results of the program since its existence and several articles on the use of ICT in education, written by experts and ministers of ICT and Education.

However, the focus of the publication is defined into the seven components of education mediated by ICTs, including the dimensions research, evaluative, communication, educational, technical and technological, attitudinal and disciplinary. The book also addresses the main challenges of the new age teachers, such as turning the student into the protagonist of his own educational process, making it more purpose and more focused on the skills that the accumulation of knowledge.

"This book is a real turning point between what is the use of computers in the classroom and the incorporation of digital tools to strengthen education", said the Deputy Minister of ICT María Carolina Hoyos Turbay.

The publication serves as a guide on the most important steps that the Government of Colombia has taken to meet targets on access to technology in the educational context, raised in Vive Digital Plans and Quality Education.

(Source: MINTIC – Colombia)

Friday, 28 September 2012 11:01:04 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
A project that provides online legal advice and digital trainings to Bolivian victims of domestic violence was praised in a recent publication of International Capacity Building Organization PSO.

The project, which was formerly supported by IICD in collaboration with local partner Casa de la Mujer (Woman’s House), was presented as an example of an inspiring innovative approach to capacity development that leads to the improvement of people’s lives.

The project consists of an online consulting service for women suffering from domestic violence, which provides them legal advice and the opportunity to interact online anonymously with professional counselors. In addition, these women are trained in the basic use of computers as well as the use of tools such as chat and Skype where they can speak to their peers or learn how to anonymously tell their story.

Given that most women do not have a computer of their own, Casa de La Mujer has created computer centres throughout Santa Cruz, which women can visit and use for free to send messages to lawyers and psychologists who volunteer in the project or to other victims, anonymously, if they prefer.

As a result, the women feel that they are not alone. By interacting with other women facing the same problems and by being introduced to basic ICT skills like blogging or using Skype, they are given a voice to communicate about domestic violence and inspire other women who suffer in other areas of the country. In addition to this, ICT has given them the opportunity to seek help maintaining their anonymity, something that is really important to victims of domestic violence and gender discrimination.

IICD’s officer Community Relations, Innovation & Capacity Development, Saskia Harmsen says that “We are pleased with the results seen from the training of 600 women in the use of ICT, and in the use of the on-line legal services and in legal rights issues”.

(Source: IICD)

Friday, 28 September 2012 10:55:48 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Two projects, one in Kenya and one in Burkina Faso, show that female farmers have better access to ICTs and are using them to improve their livelihoods. However, there is still a gender digital divide, and some profound problems are preventing women from benefiting from ICTs.

Margaret Wanjiku Mwangi has been a regular user of the Ng’arua Maarifa ICT Centre in the rural county of Laikipia in Kenya since it was inaugurated seven years ago. She has acquired computer skills free of charge and regularly borrows books and magazines to discover new ideas to improve yield productivity. For example, she learnt how to preserve various vegetable seeds for planting to enhance food security. It was also at this rural ICT Centre, an initiative of the Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN), that she came up with the idea of making a kitchen garden to grow vegetables in the dry season, and to make fruit juices at home to sell at special occasions and social gatherings.

Mwangi has also attended market access trainings at the ICT Centre, where she has learnt to use her mobile phone and the internet to check market prices. ‘Whenever my crops are ready,’ she says, ‘I use my mobile phone to check market prices in major towns so that I can learn about the current market situation. I share the information with neighbours, and we are no longer exploited by middle men’.

Bett Kipsang’, field officer at the Ng’arua Maarifa Centre says: “We have initiated training sessions targeting all the community members and specifically women. During these sessions, we introduce them to initiatives about online marketing skills, for example, where we train farmers to check market prices from a web-based portal using the internet and mobile phones”.

The portal is called Sokopepe, which loosely translated into Swahili means ‘online market’. It was developed by ALIN, for use by local farmers to access market information via the Short Message Service (SMS). The internet portal has been customized to receive SMS and give feedback on the prices of commodities as inquired by the farmers and buyers. The initiative enables farmers to upload their offers online and receive market information from different market centers in order to make informed decisions on where to sell their produce. This marketing system has helped rural women find prices and also discover the location of prospective buyers‘.

(Source: ICT Update)

Friday, 28 September 2012 10:49:38 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The objective of The GSMA mWomen Design Challenge: Redefining the User Experience is to meet the needs of resource-poor women by improving the smartphone user experience.

Designers, programmers and innovators of all kinds are invited to consider the user experience of resource-poor women to reimagine a smartphone’s core user interface to be more intuitive and accessible. The more a woman can use her phone, the more value she’ll be able to realize from the pre-installed apps, widgets, and other functionality that can enhance her and her family’s lives.

Today, most mobile users in developing markets rely on basic feature phones, which generally offer little beyond basic voice and SMS functionality. But smartphones will drive the next stage of the mobile revolution, offering access to more phone features, as well as being the primary tool for internet access for many in the developing world. As competition grows and the phones become more popular, manufacturers will realize economics of scale and will reduce prices, creating a cycle that will ultimately lead to affordable smartphones throughout the developing world.

More information
(Source: GSMA mWomen)

Friday, 28 September 2012 10:42:06 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Over the course of the past decade, the face of society has been transformed. In every aspect of daily life, technology has revolutionized the ways by which individuals communicate with the outside world.

In order to effectively contend with this evolving style, it is vital for educators to incorporate these changes into the classroom. One way of doing so is by the integration of mobile learning and, more specifically, remote teaching. This study attempted to measure the effectiveness of mobile learning and remote teaching in delivering classroom content within the university context, as opposed to traditional lecture-based delivery. Results indicated that mobile-based remote teaching is not only as effective as traditional instruction, but more so, in regard to student understanding of course content.

This study will explore the use of mobile technology in remote teaching, giving professors the ability to teach and instruct students via the mobile device while not in the traditional classroom setting. This study will utilize a quasi-experimental design between separate sections of no less than three classes. Three sections will be taught utilizing extensive remote teaching activities (i.e. sending students out of the classroom to experience different activities and blogging/podcasting about them remotely on their device, conducting “scavenger hunts” using mobile devices for instruction, using HeadsUp to facilitate group work while the professor is not physically present), while the other three sections will be taught identical course materials using traditional face-to-face methods. Measurement will consist of a pre-test/post-test design to compare student comprehension, retention of, and interest in course materials.

Full report
(Source: Abilene Christian University)

Friday, 28 September 2012 10:37:50 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
It is time of the examination of economic geography at school Virolai in Barcelona's Carmel district. Students in 4th grade of Secondary (ESO) catch a pen and a paper, open their laptops, look for information on the Internet and answer the questions ... might even they see some data in their notes. The exam grade will only depend on the information they find in these sources. This is more than just play definitions. With the data that they have and their prior knowledge must be enough to solve problems and answer questions that test their ability to analyze and reflect.

This is what the teachers consider; to adapt the tests to what is taught in classrooms every day, and especially at how it is taught. "In one hand, they tend increasingly to teach skills, teachers want the students to be able to do something with the stuff they learn, think and analyze, but in the opposite way we (teachers) mostly continue evaluating memory", said Coral regi, Director of Virolai School and professor of Biology. Regi raises another issue. The reality is this: people access to various sources of information, books, manuals, journals, internet, experts ... - to respond to the questions they face in their lives, at work ... Do not rely all the data stored in their brain. But the school does not allow it in testing. In this center, and in another thirty Spain, have decided to turn around the situation.

Virolai center of Barcelona is part of a program of DIM research group from Universat Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB), coordinated by Pere Marquis, who proposes something similar. Last academic year this group conducted a research in fifty schools and colleges where they could realize the evaluation during the exams. About 70% of teachers felt that the result for the students was positive. Students who were good they continue good and those who had difficulties improved with effort, but those who were dragging deficits or who were unwilling to work could not perform well. Therefore, this course has launched a second phase of research, which will continue the 2012-2013, in which they propose a new approach to the curriculum - called bimodal.

(Source: La Vanguardia – Spain)

Friday, 28 September 2012 10:32:05 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
In June this year, thirty-year old Limbikani Makani was nominated by the United States embassy in Harare to participate in the State Department’s Innovation Summit and Mentoring Partnership for Young African Leaders. The Washington summit brought together 65 inspirational young leaders from 42 African countries, and Makani was able to share his experiences and insights on how he has spent the last three years developing a platform to transform the ICT landscape in Zimbabwe. At the time, there was a dearth of information on ICT for the local context, and having identified a niche, he launched the TechZim website, which has arguably become one of Zimbabwe’s leading technology websites for product reviews and local IT news. With approximately 3,000 page views per day, TechZim is proving popular, and Makani says, "We have set our sights on building a culture of start-ups and innovation in Zimbabwe".

Whilst tech start-ups are now able to access news and information readily, TechZim has had another unprecedented impact by helping secondary school students who are learning the ropes of using ICT as a tool for academic research. Makani explains, "We decided to take on young people from secondary schools and colleges to teach them how to use the Internet and social media networks for their academic research". They host free informal training seminars during the school holidays where a few youths at a time learn about software, web designing and project management. For novices, there are sessions on basic computer skills – something so many privileged people take for granted these days. "We don’t award certificates because we aren’t a college", says Makani. "We are basically demystifying ICT and assisting students who would otherwise not be able to afford computer classes at all", he says.

Makani’s project has proved popular, so much so that the Department of Media Studies at WITS University in Johannesburg invited his input for a study into the revision of the regulatory framework of a new national media policy for Zimbabwe. "If tech start-ups are to succeed, the overall ICT climate has to be conducive to doing business", he argues. "For eCommerce to become a reality, we need to be investing in skills; in research and development and working towards Universal Internet Access".

(Source: eLearning Africa)

Friday, 28 September 2012 10:27:53 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 21 September 2012

During the SSOE Deployment Milestone Celebration on August 24, the Ministry of Education (MOE), in partnership with NCS, announced the completion of the transition phase that would empower over 500,000 students. The devices consisting of desktop computers, notebook computers, and tablet Pcs have been arranged for over 40,000 principals, teachers, and administrative staff who have been educated on the use of the new services and solutions under the programme.

”The Schools Standard ICT Operating Environment (SSOE) programme has enhanced the ICT infrastructure of schools in Singapore, to provide an environment for greater use of ICT in teaching and learning in schools”, said SSOE Programme Director Lim Teck Soon.

“With SSOE, schools can now look forward to faster speed, enhanced security and full on-site support for their computing needs to enhance teaching and learning. A strong focus on users’ needs and the close partnership between MOE and NCS had enabled the entire programme to be implemented successfully. We are confident that SSOE will redefine the pedagogical approach in the education system in Singapore and equip future generations of students to harness the full potential of ICT”, he added.

Launched in June 2010, the SSOE programme has arranged and managed desktops, network and ICT support for all MOE schools in Singapore, enabling both wired and wireless network to improve the school’s network performance and accessibility to education applications. Also, the programme has provided computing devices to all staff and school computing labs to facilitate effective and efficient use of the ICT infrastructure.

For the next phase of the SSOE programme, NCS will manage the operations and provide maintenance support and technology refresh of the desktops and infrastructure, as part of the eight-year contract with the MOE.

(Source: NCS)

Friday, 21 September 2012 13:57:18 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Under the National Education Blueprint 2013-2025 launched last week, Malaysia will equip 10,000 national schools nationwide with 4G Internet access and a virtual learning platform.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak unveiled the plan to embed ICT in teaching and learning for teachers, students, and parents through the expansion of 1BestariNet (Wi-Fi) programme to all schools.

Also, the government will increase the number of ICT devices until the ratio of student-to-device reaches 10:1. He added that the ratio can continue to be lowered further subjected to the availability of funds and impact assessment.

Between 1999 and 2010, Malaysian government has invested up to RM6 billion (US$ 1.97 billion) on the initiative ICT for education projects. Most of the funds went for additional computer labs especially to support the PPSMI scheme—the government’s education policy aimed at improving the proficiency in English among pupils at primary and secondary schools.

In the blueprint, the effective use of ICT is required to foster students to learn how to leverage ICT efficiently to scale up quality learning across the country. It will also further strengthen the foundation of ICT-enabled schools as well as introducing proven ICT solutions into the education system.

The government will also pilot a distance-learning and self-paced learning before scaling up nationwide.

Under shift 9 in the same blueprint, a system called School Examination Analysis System (SAPS)—an online system to monitor students’ progress, will be set up at some 500 trust schools as part of encouraging the partnership among parents, community and private sector to monitor learning performance of the students.

The government will also invest in ICT solutions for groups with specific needs such as rural schools, under-enrolled schools, and gifted students to enable cost-efficient access to high-quality teaching and learning resources.

(Source: FutureGov)

Friday, 21 September 2012 13:55:59 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
At Sengerema hospital, patients coming in for small treatments in the so called ‘outpatient’ department were often confronted with many difficulties. First of all, it was difficult to register as a returning patient because patient files were stored manually and it took quite some time, before a file was found. The digital system will also solve the problem of long tiring standing queues where patients were often pushing each other in order to get served first. With a new patient registration system in place, patients can wait to be called while sitting comfortably on a bench.

Moving to digital hospital management took some time. In the first phase, with the support of IICD, some key staff was trained and computers were already partially used in the administration office to for instance create schedules for nurses and computers were placed in an Internet café in the hospital. This allowed staff to already get familiar with computers. Then about 2 months before introducing the Hospital Management Information System (HMIS), 40 staff members were trained for 2 weeks in a basic ICT training that was focused on getting to know the system in simple way.

In addition to the reduced waiting time, another benefit for patients is that they now know better what they pay for. As there was not a general price list, pharmacists often worked with estimated prices. This meant that it differed what you had to pay depending on which pharmacist you would get. With the digital system, errors are virtually impossible. All products are priced in the system and patients now get digital receipts with the exact amounts.

For the hospital, the digital system also has financial benefits. Of course it costs money to implement, but it also raises money. The hospitals had to deal with patients not paying for their treatment and medicine, because of poor communication between the registering office, the lab, the pharmacy and the billing department or simply because of a hurry.  This lost the hospital a significant amount of money every day that could have been used for new hospital equipment or hiring specialists.

Now, it’s not possible for a patient to walk out without paying anymore. The doctor orders a certain medicine from the pharmacy for a patient digitally and then the billing department gets the information about how much this medication costs. Only after the patient paid the amount for medication and doctor treatment, will the computer system allow patients to pick up their medicines.

The system is cost- and energy efficient by using Ncomputing hardware. The big advantage of this virtual desktop solution is that multiple computer screens and keyboards are able to run on one computer. This makes the system very energy efficient and does not require a lot of maintenance.

(Source: IICD)
Further details

Friday, 21 September 2012 13:51:17 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Zack Matere is not an average farmer. Having studied for a diploma in business administration at Eldoret Polytechnic in Kenya, he ventured into white collar jobs, which he quickly abandoned to concentrate on what many people on his age regarded as a poor man’s job: farming.

He started farming vegetables, and first encountered ICTs when a strange disease attacked his potatoes. Not even the agricultural officer could diagnose the cause. Zack’s farm is in Segereya village, near Eldoret, a long way from Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. He had learned a little about computers and the Internet at college, so Zack cycled 10 km from his home to the nearest internet café. He opened the Google search engine and typed ‘potato diseases.’

He found that ants had attacked his potatoes, and also found a cheap and environmentally friendly cure: spraying wood ash. Amazed by the results, Zack returned to the Internet café and, after a few clicks, he was able to find a buyer for his potatoes.

Zack invested in a 3G-enabled phone that he could use to look for information online from the comfort of his home. Zack is lucky, he is internet literate, but thousands of farmers in his area do not even know how to use cell phones. Zack has therefore become the bridge between these farmers and the internet. Zack pays 50 Kenyan shillings (0.50 euro) everyday to access the internet from his phone, an amount that is beyond the reach of his fellow farmers.

Zack has tried to bring these farmers the information that they so desperately need. The initial challenge was to identify the most effective and inexpensive platform to reach and interact with a community of 10,000 people within a radius of 50 km. He came up with the idea for the network of notice boards, an initiative he calls Leo Pamoja, in Swahili for ‘together today’.

More details
(Source: ICT Update)

Friday, 21 September 2012 12:04:59 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Malvar Community eCenter (CeC), a telecentre based in Batangas, Philippines, has been declared the winner of a contest organized by Foundation (TCF) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to support their joint Telecentre Women: Digital Literacy Campaign. The contest was open to all telecentres conducting digital literacy training for women from April 7, 2011 to September 1, 2012. A total of 221 organizations and telecentres from 65 countries participated in the contest, submitting verifiable reports of the digital literacy training for women they conducted during the contest period. TCF tallied and verified the reports, which showed that Malvar Community e-Center had trained the most women. ITU will now award the Malvar Community eCenter 15,000 Swiss Francs worth of ICT equipment for its telecentre.

Malvar CeC, was able to train a total of 528 women in basic digital literacy courses during the contest period. Of the total, a vast majority (316 or 60%) admitted that the training was their first introduction to the Internet. Trainees came from all walks of life–from students to public and private sector employees, to the unemployed, to retired senior citizens.

Upon hearing that they had won the contest, Malvar CeC Manager Linda Balbuena said, “Competing with the world’s telecentres is really daunting and quite intimidating. But we gave it our best shot and we won! We, at the Malvar Community eCenter are all thrilled and exhilarated! With the prize equipment, we think of how much easier it will be for us to reach more women in remote areas and teach them basic computer literacy. Thanks and more power to Foundation and ITU!”

Malvar Municipal Mayor, Carlito Reyes, who was instrumental in the establishment of the government-supported telecentre, also expressed his delight at the win, saying: “I am very happy and honored to learn that our Community eCenter won the contest of training the most women to become digitally literate. It is totally remarkable and amazing that we won in an international competition like this.”

The Telecentre Women: Digital Literacy Campaign target is to reach 1 million women.  To learn more and participate in the campaign, please visit


Wednesday, 19 September 2012 12:09:09 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 17 September 2012

The service - 'Business Women' - was introduced by Nokia West Africa, in partnership with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women (CBFW) and MTN. Cherie Blair, founder of CBFW, told journalists that women entrepreneurs are faced with significant barriers to scaling up their businesses, including access to affordable resources, marketing channels and training inputs.

According to Blair, the new information service aims to address this imbalance by providing essential entrepreneurship tips, delivered via SMS to mobile phones with the Nokia Life service.

Women entrepreneurs present at the launch of the service expressed optimism that the new information service would assist them in overcoming some of the social and economic barriers preventing women from reaching their economic potential.

Respondents agreed that computers and the internet allow women to build entrepreneurial success; however, mobile phones have the most potential because their portability and ease of use make them a particularly friendly tool to support women's business growth.

James Rutherford, the Vice President of Nokia West Africa, said the initiative was part of Nokia's "commitment towards connecting people to new opportunities, including making women a larger part of the next billion of people to be connected".

"Nokia Life is by far the world's largest mobile information service suite helping consumers in emerging markets learn, live and share information better", he said. "The foundation invests in women entrepreneurs to build and expand their businesses; and in doing so, benefit not only them but also their families and communities. We are delighted to partner with the foundation to provide Nigerian women with the best information available to help their businesses.

The service will be available for free, for the first six months, to Nokia Life users who are also currently subscribed to MTN Nigeria.

(Source: Daily Times)

Monday, 17 September 2012 16:57:43 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Atul Bharve, a farmer from Maharashtra's Marathwada district, says a mobile phone message saved him from crop losses this year. When monsoon was delayed, he sent an SMS to Nokia Life Tools - a text message-based information service-seeking advice on what to cultivate and was promptly advised to focus on fodder.

Kapil Mehta, a farmer from Sabakantha district in northern Gujarat, took up sorghum cultivation, which requires less water, this season in line with a voice message advisory from Iffco Kisan Sanchar, a joint venture between mobile carrier Bharti Airtel and fertiliser firm Iffco.

If India avoids a farming disaster of huge crop losses due to deficient monsoon rains this year, part of its credits go to specialized mobile-based advisory services such as Iffco Kisan Sanchar, Nokia Life Tools and Reuters Market Light, which are helping a millions of farmers across the country take the right decisions.

Finnish mobile handset maker Nokia says nearly 30 million customers subscribe to its Nokia Life Tools service and a sizeable chunk of this group are farmers.

Reuters Market Light, an initiative of news and information firm Thomson Reuters to provide personalized agricultural information through text messages in local languages to farmers for Rs 999 a year, boasts of one million unique subscribers.

These service providers are now working overtime to respond to a deluge in demand due to delayed monsoon. Experts believe mobile-based farmer advisory providers will play an increasingly larger role in coming years.

B V Natesh, director (emerging markets services) at Nokia Life Tools, says: "Since the Indian farmer now faces significant monsoon-related challenges, we've been providing our subscribers with best practices and tips on water and soil moisture conservation, alternate crop selection in low rainfall scenarios and five-day weather forecasts". Nokia Life provides personalized text messages on 270 commodities in 12 languages across 22 states in 12 languages and can be accessed by farmers on a daily basis.

According to the World Bank, mobile-based access to price information has improved average farmer incomes by up to 24%, adding that the most common usage of text messaging in the context of agriculture includes access to price information, crop disease and meteorological information.

(Source: The Economic Times)

Monday, 17 September 2012 16:52:37 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Futurecom is the largest and most qualified Telecommunications event in Latin America, with special focus in Brazil. 14 000 attendees from more than 40 countries participate at Futurecom Brazil. 

Futurecom struggles to be an environmentally responsible event by reducing the impacts to the environment, becoming an example to be followed in the management of environmental impacts. We encourage exhibitors, sponsors and partners to do their part.

It has a 20.000 sqm. exhibition area and an outstanding International Congress with more than 250 speakers and 3500+ delegates. Most of worldwide ICT companies participate at Futurecom, as well as all Brazilian Fixed and Mobile Carriers. Futurecom 14th edition will be held in the city of Rio de Janeiro, from October 8th to 12th, 2012!

Link Box:, Facebook, Twitter  #futurecom, Linkedin and Youtube

For more information see:

(Source: Innovationsky)

Monday, 17 September 2012 16:40:20 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The capital city of South Korea will be providing smartphones and free wireless Internet service at homeless shelters as part of the city government’s Social Networking Service, education program for 300 homeless people who are trying to reintegrate back into society.

Under the program, the Seoul Metropolitan Government and its partners will be providing second hand smartphones, donated by citizens to homeless residents, which they can use during hosted workshops on how they can interact with society through the social networking services. In addition, workshop attendees are also taught how they can make better use of mobile applications available in their smart phones.

After completing the workshops, each homeless resident will receive a new smartphone with a KRW 20,000 credit. From then on the users will be responsible for adding credit themselves. However, even if the credit runs out, the phone will still work wherever free Wi-Fi is available.

According to the Seoul Metropolitan Government, by using smartphones, homeless people can now search for jobs and employment related information, online, anytime, anywhere. Furthermore, they will be able to reconnect with their family and friends and interact with the rest of society through social networking services.

(Source: FutureGov)
Further details

Monday, 17 September 2012 16:32:01 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Remote, mountainous, and hard-to-reach areas like Uganda’s Kabale district suffer from inadequate access to information of all kinds. Because the region, located in the southwestern corner of Uganda, is predominantly agricultural, timely and relevant information for farmers in Kabale would significantly help improve their livelihoods.

A mobile phone application developed by the project Life Long Learning for Farmers in Uganda (L3F Uganda) is helping Kabale farmers get the information they need. The project sends text messages with agricultural updates and information to about 1,000 farmers. This information, disseminated twice weekly by L3F Uganda, has helped farmers get valuable guidance on market access, fertilizer application, plant spacing, timely planting, local diseases, and other topics. The project is a partnership of Commonwealth of Learning, Makerere University’s Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo, and local community organizations, and was instituted as a pilot project in Bufundi, a sub-county of Kabale, in 2009 with the hope of extending it to all of Uganda.

The main aim of L3F Uganda is to help solve the many challenges farmers confront in the region. These include inadequate road networks, preventing farmers from getting to markets; a lack of credit and financial services; volatile market prices; and a lack of up-to-date information about seeds, weather patterns, appropriate fertilizers, pests, and other agricultural issues. Traditionally, the government’s agricultural extension service was the main source of information for farmers in Uganda, but the current ratio of extension workers to farmers in the country is 1:24,000, rendering the service largely ineffective. In Bufundi, the ratio is 1:46,000.

(Source: iconnect)                                                                                                                                                        

Further details

Monday, 17 September 2012 15:21:23 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Anna Maria Chávez Will Accept “Diversity Advocate” Award On Behalf of the Commission in New York City September 12.

The leaders of the Healthy MEdia Commission for Positive Images of Women and Girls expressed gratitude to the Walter Kaitz Foundation for the Foundation’s decision to bestow upon the Commission the Foundation’s Diversity Advocate Award.

“The Healthy MEdia Commission strives to promote representations of women in the media in the areas of healthy body images, active and diverse female characters, equal and healthy relationships, and increased roles of women and girls”, said Academy Award-winning actor Geena Davis, Founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and a co-chair of the Healthy MEdia Commission. “We’re proud to receive this award in recognition of our goals to ensure we’re creating a positive media environment for our children”.

The Healthy MEdia Commission is guided by its principal sponsors, Girl Scouts of the USA, The Creative Coalition, The National Association of Broadcasters, and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association. The Walter Kaitz Foundation is the cable industry’s national foundation dedicated to advocating for diversity.

“It’s especially gratifying that a prestigious organization such as the Kaitz Foundation, which is dedicated to enhancing and increasing diversity in media, would recognize the efforts of the Commission. We thank the Foundation for that recognition”, said Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Anna Maria Chávez, who will accept the Award on September 12 on behalf of the Commission. “We and the Healthy MEdia Commissioners also look forward later this fall to delivering a full set of recommendations on how to encourage the proliferation of healthy images of women and girls in all forms of media”.

The Kaitz Foundation on July 18 announced that the Healthy MEdia Commission would be recognized with its Diversity Advocate Award at the annual Awards Dinner of the Foundation, on Wednesday, September 12, in New York City. The award is presented annually to an individual or organization outside of the cable industry that has demonstrated unwavering commitment to diversity.

More details

(Source: Walter Kaitz Foundation)

Tuesday, 11 September 2012 10:11:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 03 September 2012

In line with Omantel’s vision Together, we innovate to build a totally connected society and as part of its endeavors to offer products and services that meet the needs of its wide range of customers, the Company announced yesterday the launch of a new Hayyak package for people with Disability to help them get in touch with their families and friends. 

Commenting on the new Hayyak package, Saleh bin Mahmood Al Maimani, Manager – Core Services at Omantel said “At Omantel, we focus on meeting the various needs of our valued customers. This new package is designed to meet the special needs of disabled to help them get in touch with friends and family through different communication means. The new package offers reduced rates of up to 25% on mobile broadband and a flat calling rate of 29 bzs day and night. This move comes as a part of the company commitment to provide something for everyone. 

To avail of this special package, applicants should visit their nearest Omantel retail outlet and present their Disability ID issued by the Ministry of Social Development. He added.  

Commenting on the service, Hamoud al Shabibi, Director of Special Care Department at the Ministry of Social Development said “We are delighted with Omantel initiative which reflects the attention and care given by the Company to this important people in our society”. 

“We are pleased that this initiative will further enable them to communicate more with friends and family through different means of communications be it through voice calls, video calls, SMS, MMS or even the mobile internet”. 

 (Source: SAMENA Daily News)

Monday, 03 September 2012 22:19:20 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 31 August 2012

Young Peruvians are participating in various radio and television spots and are active on online social networks, disseminating and raising awareness about the benefits of consuming organic products that are healthy, chemical free and nutritious and focusing on the ecological impact of agricultural practices. They also invite people to buy products at ‘Fruits of the Earth’ Ecological Fairs (EcoFairs) in the areas of Cusco, Áncash and Cajamarca. These fairs function as a point of sale where local organic farmers can sell their products.

The young Peruvian organic ambassadors are also present at the fairs to provide the public with even more information about organic farming and ecologically sound agricultural practices. They are equipped with laptops, digital cameras and recorders, as well as printers, mobile phones and routers for wireless internet to make sure that they collect and disseminate information wherever they go.

Maylie Carrasco is one of the young people who participates in the project. In a Peruvian news show, she explained about agro-ecological products and invited consumers to visit the EcoFair Fruits of the Earth (Frutos de la tierra):

The ambassadors all come from organic farmers families that are associated with the National Association of Ecological Producers in Peru. The underlying goal of this initiative is to improve the income and increase the access to the market for over 500 families of ecological producers by informing the public on the advantages of organic and ecologically sound agricultural products so that they buy products from the EcoFair. This project is supported by IICD and ICCO through the Connect4Change alliance.

(Source: IICD)

Friday, 31 August 2012 21:33:08 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN 2012 (OEB) focuses on fostering a bright and inclusive future for lifelong learning in which technology enables learners globally to improve themselves.

During conference sessions they will explore the effects of the multitude of changes in the fields of technology and education, as learners and learning experts are asked to respond to challenges in society today. One of the major consequences of these changes is a need to adapt educational content and practices and capture opportunities using available tools. This need takes centre stage at ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN. Technology asks us to innovate rapidly but how can we ensure quality, take advantage of possibilities and implement our ideas and plans sustainably?

Under the theme ‘Reaching beyond tomorrow’, OEB will explore these issues and inform you about the latest research and practices in both education and business. It is:

  • The largest international e-learning event for the corporate, education and public service sectors, with over 2000 delegates from 100 countries
  • A key networking event where high-level decision makers shaping the industry come together annually
  • The place where leading international e-learning manufacturers, suppliers and service providers present their latest products and services

Registration form here:

(Source: Online Educa)

Friday, 31 August 2012 21:22:00 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A new online community that launched on 22 August aims to help schools and districts as they move toward digital education and implement corresponding policy changes.

The U.S. Department of Education, the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University, and the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) partnered to create the online community of practice.

Epic-ed aims to empower digital transitions at all stages of development, including school leaders who are thinking about moving to ubiquitous computing environments, those who wish to implement ed-tech pilot projects, and those who are ready for full-scale implementation.

Epic-ed will provide K-12 educators, district leaders, and other community participants with a unique channel to get connected and develop strategies for navigating the digital transition,” said CoSN CEO Keith Krueger. “With increased peer-to-peer interaction and greater connectivity, epic-ed members will have an opportunity to learn from each other, share ideas, and ultimately implement effective plans to help ease the transition and maximize the benefits of technology-enabled learning environments”.

Though one-to-one computing has long been a goal of many districts, ed-tech leaders find they are now faced with a “one-to-many” situation, because many students today own and use more than one wireless mobile device.

“Bring your own device” initiatives—where students use their own devices on a school’s network, and the school often provides a “classroom set” of tools for students who don’t have their own device—also are growing in popularity. These initiatives cut down on tech support and take advantage of the large numbers of students who own high-tech devices and who already are using those devices, such as tablets, laptops, and smart phones, for educational purposes.

Epic-ed will focus on all stakeholders involved in ed-tech programs: school administrators, teachers, chief technology officers, instructional coaches, parents, students, and more.

(Source: eSchool News)

Friday, 31 August 2012 21:14:17 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women supports women entrepreneurs, providing them with a variety of resources and tools to overcome barriers they may encounter. In their published report Mobile Value Added Services: A Business Growth Opportunity for Women Entrepreneurs in partnership with the ExxonMobil Foundation, they demonstrated that business barriers in emerging markets can be addressed through the development of targeted mobile phone services. They launched this research at the Council on Foreign Relations earlier this year and are now following up on their findings, carrying out recommendations from the report with the mobile technology sector to deliver a service specifically tailored for women business owners in developing and emerging markets.

This week, in partnership with Nokia and MTN Nigeria, they are launching Business Women, a new mobile phone service for women looking to grow their small-scale enterprise in Nigeria. Designed with the experiences of Nigerian women entrepreneurs in mind, the service was developed by international and Nigerian entrepreneurship experts. It provides valuable, bite-size information on business management such as advice on working with traders, how to improve distribution channels, the steps required to register a business in Nigeria and how to tap into valuable business networks. Customers who opt into this service will receive four to five text messages with business tips per week and also have the option of taking a weekly multiple choice quiz to test what they have learned.

They will introduce Business Women in conjunction with a project that provides hands-on business skills training to over 2,000 women entrepreneurs in Nigeria in partnership with the Youth for Technology Foundation. They look forward to charting the progress of the women entrepreneurs who use Business Women and to following this launch with mobile services for women entrepreneurs in Indonesia and Egypt soon.

(Source: Huffpost Tech)

Friday, 31 August 2012 21:05:47 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The DVD is called "The Wold of the Baure" and will be included in schools in a greater programme to emphasize Bolivian indigenous cultures and preserve them. It is an interactive DVD that will feature encyclopedia type of information, but also many video and sound clips. The advantage of these educational DVDs over a website is that even schools without an Internet connection can use this material. Additionally, the DVDs can also be used by the Baure themselves to educate people about their history and customs.

The Baure are an indigenous group of the Bolivian Amazon, inhabiting Baures village and the nearby small communities. Their numbers have slowly dwindled and currently, there are only 50 people left who still speak the Baure language. Several Baure have already been interviewed about their local customs and their language for the DVD and videos, audio clips and images are already collected.

The DVD is part of a bigger programme to preserve indigenous cultures by using multimedia. This is supported by IICD and Edukans through the Connect4Change consortium and Bolivian indigenous group supporter APCOB.  For the Baure project, the Indigenous Center of Baures is also closely involved.

A detailed project description is available on the international transparency ‘Really Simple Reporting’ platform, created by software developer Akvo.

(Source: IICD)

Friday, 31 August 2012 20:58:28 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

With the socialization of public policies and experiences in telehealth and medicine in the ICT sector, the ICT Ministry participated in the Third International Telemedicine Conference where over 150 representatives of the health sector met to discuss technology and health.

The event, organized by the Center for Telemedicine in Colombia, with the participation of national and international experts in the field of telemedicine, telehealth and e-health held various  academic sessions such as workshops, lectures, courses and specialized tradeshow to showcase advances in telemedicine industry.

"With the development of telemedicine in Colombia we are saving lives, professionals in Health have increasingly tools to practice, making that all people receive timely medical care and quality, regardless of where they are, all this thanks to the opportunities offered by today's technology "said Johanna Pimiento, Manager of the Program e-Government, who participated in the first day of the Conference.
ICT Ministry and telehealth.

Since Act 1419 of 2010, which establishes guidelines for the development of telehealth in Colombia and its development; which aims to support the Social Security System in Health on principles of efficiency, universality, solidarity, integrity , unity and quality telehealth as public policy seeks to improve through technology, health conditions of the Colombian population, particularly the ones who are socially and economically vulnerable, finding themselves in places difficult to access and out of reach from the health institutions of medium and high complexity.

With the implementation of the Plan “Vive Digital” from the ICT Ministry, which seeks to promote the massive use of the Internet to make a leap to prosperity for all, through the program “Compartel” and its National Fiber Optic, connection will be provided to 780 IPS across the country and is currently in the process of shaping the Telehealth Committee, which will promote the conditions for telehealth develop effectively in the country.

(Source:MINTIC – Colombia)

Friday, 31 August 2012 20:50:11 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Afroes creates uniquely African mobile applications and tools for social development agencies and corporate enterprises keen to spread educational and branded messages across the continent.

Afroes was born to celebrate Africa’s rich heritage and instill messages of hope and possibility in young people. Afroes mission is to inspire the conversations and choices of young Africans through branded digital media and socially responsible campaigns rooted in the African content.

To ensure the widest possible reach among young people, including those at the bottom-of-the-pyramid, Afroes is leveraging the rapid growth of mobile in Africa, which represents an unprecedented opportunity to deliver branded and educational messages directly and repeatedly into the hands and pockets of potential customers and citizens across the continent and beyond.

(Source: Afroes)

Friday, 31 August 2012 20:35:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 20 August 2012

The World Bank Board of Directors approved last June the extension of the Rural Telecommunications Project with an additional credit of US$5 million, in order to expand access to telecommunications services among more than 200,000 rural inhabitants in the Caribbean coast and Rio San Juan Department in Nicaragua.

The Rural Telecommunications Project, implemented since 2007 through an initial financing of US$7 million, has already installed new broadband Internet access points in 101 municipalities, expanded mobile phone coverage to 37 rural communities, and installed almost 600 public phones in rural areas.

These US$5 million in additional financing will support Government efforts to reduce the cost of telecommunications services and expand opportunities for the inhabitants of the North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN) and South Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAS), Alto Wanki Territory and Rio San Juan Department in Nicaragua’s southeast. In these areas, poverty levels reach almost 55 percent and poverty is especially prevalent in indigenous and Afro-descendants living in small communities, away from national communication networks.

With the extension of this project, we will be able to increase regional access to telecommunications services by at least 40 percent, something that will have a positive effect on the local economy”, said Orlando Castillo, Executive President of the Nicaraguan Telecommunications and Posts Institute (TELCOR).

The Project will continue to expand the telecenter network to facilitate access to low cost mobile phone and Internet services in rural communities in the Caribbean coast and Rio San Juan, along with municipal governments, NGOs and the local private sector.

(Source: The World Bank)
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Monday, 20 August 2012 20:52:50 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Ministry of Education is offering college faculty training programs to develop their digital education capability, as well as, to improve the quality of digital education and the ability of promoting and managing e-learning courses of colleges in Taiwan. The training plan was undertaken by The Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, National Chung Cheng University. It is from October 3th 2011 and goes to November 4th 2012.

The series of training programs includes: Improvement of Digital Education, Capability of College Teachers, Teacher Assistants, Administration Assistants, and Development of Digital Materials and Management of E-learning Courses. Seminars are held to offer hands-on experiences.

Anyone who works for public and private colleges, including military and police schools, is welcome to attend the training programs.

(Source: Ministry of Education – Republic of China (Taiwan)
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Monday, 20 August 2012 20:30:21 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Tigo announced the launch of a pilot project, known as ‘Tigo Kilimo,’ which aims to provide farmers with relevant and timely agricultural information from their mobile phones.

Farmers can access this service via their mobile phones by simply dialing *148*14#, bringing them to the Tigo Kilimo menu. The menu screen will display a list of general information on daily weather forecast, comprehensive details on soil management, pest control methods on more than 20 common vegetable, fruit and grain crops, and information on livestock care and life-cycle, the press realize said.

‘Tigo Kilimo’ is an SMS-based application which presents small-scale farmers in Tanzania with an unprecedented opportunity to run their operations more productively. Through this platform, it said, farmers get real-time information on weather forecast and agricultural tips. Further, it enables them to increase their yield and help close the productivity gap with other parts of the world.

“Using mobile phone based agricultural solutions will create linkages and help farmers improve their farming practices”, said Yaya Ndjore, project manager for ‘Tigo Kilimo’ service at Tigo Tanzania.

“The impact of poor transport and communications infrastructures, mean that farmers in developing countries struggle to get access to vital agricultural information, as well as training and advice on topics such as pests and diseases, weather and proven farming practices. Through this service, Tigo will offer new, cost-effective and scalable solutions to address these challenges”, he said.

In the second phase of the project, Tigo will add more services, such as information on market price, as well as to set up an interactive helpline for farmers to call in for advice, the statement said.

(Source: IPP Media)

Monday, 20 August 2012 20:26:12 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), in collaboration with the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) commissioned 6 Country Case Studies (Malawi, Mauritius, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zimbabwe) in November 2011 on current and emerging youth policies and initiatives with a special focus on links to Agriculture. The announcement of these case studies was made during the Regional Dialogue in September 2011, where the theme of the conference was "Advocating for the active engagement of the youth in the Agricultural Value-chain".

This year, the FANRPAN Annual High Level Regional Food Security Policy Dialogue will be held from 3-7 September 2012 in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania with the theme "From Policy to Practice: Advocating for the Active Engagement of Youth in Agriculture Value Chains", whereby the 6 Country Case Studies conducted by youth representatives from each of these countries will be synthesized into a Regional Report, that will give a bird's eye view of the current situation, identify gaps and better target interventions. The final report will be presented at the Regional Dialogue in September 2012.

Prior to the FANRPAN 2012 Regional Dialogue, a Twitter campaign will be run by each of the 6 young consultants who conducted the Country Case Studies from 1st to 31st August 2012 to engage youths and others who are interested in the case-studies in discussions on Twitter.

In order to participate in the Twitter campaign, you need to know the following:

The Twitter campaign will run for 4 weeks and each week, the focus will be on a specific topic, and hence will have a specific Hashtag (#) described below:

Week 1 (1-7 Aug) - Topic: Youth Perceptions on Agriculture - #youthagperc

Week 2 (8-14 Aug) - Topic: National Policies as Key Drivers - #youthagpol

Week 3 (15-21 Aug) - Topic: Institutions and Mechanisms for Youth Engagement - #youthageng

Week 4 (22-31 Aug) - Topic: Opportunities for Youth in Agriculture - #youthagopp

(Source: YPARD)
Further details

Monday, 20 August 2012 20:22:04 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

To enhance and attain the health component of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Abia State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Broadbased Communications Limited to provide fibre optic network across the state.

The chief marketing officer of Broadbased Communications, Mr. Chidi Ibisi, said that the fibre optic network would put Abia on the telecommunications super highway and revolutionalise the healthcare delivery system in the state.

“Farmers in the rural areas would have access to new methods of farming as extension officers can talk to farmers in the rural areas at the same time through video conferencing”, he said, adding that the state governor can also use the network to make a broadcast.

The chief marketing officer explained that the benefits of Abia’s journey into the information superhighway would be felt everywhere across the state because hospitals, schools, government ministries, departments and agencies, banks would all be connected to the network.

“It is a super highway that can carry everybody, a next generation broadband network that can carry a lot of data”, he said, noting that telecommunications companies operating in Abia could log into the fibre optic network for efficient services.

Special adviser to the governor on NEPAD, Hon Longman Emeka Nwachukwu, who facilitated the fibre optic networking agreement with Broadbased Communications, told that Abia was well poised to utilize the full benefits of ICT to drive its development.

(Source: This Day News Paper)
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Monday, 20 August 2012 20:11:10 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 13 August 2012

ECDL Foundation Partners with AGE Platform Europe to Promote the Older People’s Digital Inclusion during the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations and Launches Updated ICT Training Program Adapted to Older People’s Needs.

As key stakeholders in the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations (EY2012) Coalition, ECDL Foundation and AGE Platform Europe will collaborate to connect the capacity of both organisations’ extensive networks in support of the Year’s aims around ICT skills development. The development of older Europeans’ ICT skills is considered crucial to their active ageing and continued participation in society, and to their ongoing contribution to the labor market. At any age, and particularly with an ageing population in Europe, European citizens need to be able to use the technology that can greatly improve their quality of life. ECDL Foundation is a committed supporter of EY2012 and will work towards using the potential of ICT to open up training and employment opportunities for older people, including those with disabilities.

In support of the objectives of the EY2012 and its collaboration with AGE Platform Europe, ECDL Foundation is launching a revised version of its accessible introductory ICT training programme, EqualSkills. This new version of the highly successful EqualSkills workbook seeks to meet the specific needs of older people. EqualSkills is a tutor-led, introductory ICT skills development programme that helps to remove the fear of computers for complete novices by using a simple, non-threatening approach to providing basic skills for using a computer, email, and the Internet. These essential ICT skills are key to individuals’ full participation in technology-dependent societies, and are an important factor in promoting lifelong learning. So far, almost 100,000 Europeans have already participated in the EqualSkills programme.

ECDL Foundation, as a leading advocate for the promotion of digital literacy in Europe, fully supports the aims of the European Commission’s European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012. ECDL Foundation and its network of national partners look forward to collaborating with AGE Platform Europe in the joint aim of enabling the digital inclusion of the elderly in Europe throughout 2012 and beyond.

(Source: Age Platform Europe)

Monday, 13 August 2012 22:03:36 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

This year's conference, which was held in Cotonou, Benin, from 23rd – 25th May, saw the launch of The eLearning Africa 2012 Report. The Report is based on a detailed survey of nearly five hundred education professionals across the Continent, and marks the first significant attempt to provide a snapshot of how ICT and better connectivity are believed to be changing the face of education in Africa.

These are some of the key findings of The eLearning Africa 2012 Survey, completed by 447 respondents. The eLearning Africa 2012 Report, which is the first of its kind, bringing together the views of eLearning professionals and a range of other stakeholders from across 41 African countries.

What role does the ICT-enhanced learning and training community play in contributing towards Africa's growth and development? This is the overarching question that frames The eLearning Africa 2012 Report. How do people define ICT-enhanced learning and training? What technologies are being used within the sector? In what contexts are they being used? What motivates people to use ICT and how do they make use of it? Each of these questions is explored through the Survey analysis.

The eLearning Africa Report aims to provide regular, yearly snapshots of the eLearning experience in Africa, with the aim of fostering richer, more nuanced conversations, healthier decision-making and more effective action-taking towards ensuring Education for All in Africa.

To download a free copy of the 2012 Report, please click here.

(Source: eLearning Africa)

Monday, 13 August 2012 21:56:50 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Deputy Minister for ICT, María Carolina Hoyos Turbay, delivered three mobile classrooms with 30 portables, on Thursday 9 August in the city of Valledupar. These equipments will benefit over 520 students of the National School Loperena, in Vicente Roig and Villalba area.

"It is proven that students, whom learn with technology, improve their performance and quality of education. Also, in classrooms where ICT is present, the dropout rates are reduced", said Hoyos Turbay.

The Ministry of Information and Communications Technologies, through Computers for Schools, will deliver this year more than 4,300 computer equipment in the department of Cesar, an amount that is added to the 12,500 computers that will be delivered at the end of 2014.

Additionally, more than 3,300 teachers across the department will be trained in proper use of ICT (a diploma), so that not only meets the purpose of access to technology, but also the proper use of the tools. "A team alone does not make a difference in an educational campus, but is used in different areas, like in the class of geography, English, Science or Spanish", said the Executive Director for Computers for Schools (Computadores para Educar), Martha Cunningham.

To date, over 215,000 children have benefited from computers in the department of Cesar. In the capital city of Valledupar, the Program has delivered up to date 2,448 computers and laptops to 123 schools, which have benefited 64,495 students, especially the most vulnerable segments of the population.

According to official statistics, Computers for Schools has benefited about 6.5 million children countrywide and even though it is present in all Colombian municipalities, including the most remote, there are still over 7,000 schools left for covering.

"Our goal is that by 2014 we will get all the official Schools", said ICT Deputy Minister, María Carolina Hoyos, who recalled that recently they acquired over 320,000 laptops of last generation to meet the needs nationwide by 2014, through an electronic auction.

(Source: MINTIC – Colombia)
Further details

Monday, 13 August 2012 21:52:49 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In September 2009, Typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy) hit the Philippines, causing the worst flooding in more than 40 years in Metro Manila.

Damages were estimated to be at $1.09 billion and about 747 fatalities were recorded.

Now, three years later, the torrential rains that has been pounding Metro Manila and its nearby provinces since yesterday is now dubbed as “Ondoy 2”, as the capital city now finds itself again submerged in chest-deep flood waters and many citizens stranded on the 2nd floor or the roof of their houses.

With the crisis far from over, a group of twitter users proactively created a Googledoc spread sheet to help first responders facilitate evacuation efforts.

The Googledoc “#rescuePH” allows users to report people who are in need of immediate evacuation or assistance.

The document includes the following information: Timestamp (which indicates the time when the entry was made), address of persons who need to be evacuated, status of the rescue alert, contact information and the exact twitter message. In addition, the spreadsheet also contains emergency hotlines of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council.

New entries are marked red, and users who input information are requested to update the status column to green when people are rescued. Up to date there are 250 entries.

This initiative stems from the concept of turning crowd sourced data into actionable information. Through this initiative, first responders would be able to streamline their efforts in order to help victims get needed aid as soon as possible.

(Source: FutureGov)

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Monday, 13 August 2012 21:49:00 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Peru has agreed with India to create a working group to define priority areas for applying innovation in information technologies to promote equity and social inclusion in the Peruvian territory.

The mission of technicians and experts from India in the matter will visit Peru in September, reported the Peruvian Foreign Ministry after his trip to New Delhi, India, on 13 July. The agreement was reached by both nations during the V Meeting of the Bilateral Political Consultation Mechanism between the Foreign Ministries of both countries held in India.

The foreign viceminister, José Beraún, and the Foreign Secretary of India, Madhusudan Ganapathi, chaired the meeting which resulted in the identification of specific projects for joint cooperation in science and technological innovation for social inclusion. Both diplomats signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Geology and Natural Resources and another one for the Establishment of a Centre of Excellence for Information Technology (CETI).

CETI will be implemented in INICTEL-UNI, considering the valuable experience that this institution has in the field of information and communication technology, as well as the work done to bring ICT to the people of lower incomes and to the people inside the country, referred Dr. K. J Srinivasa, charged on affaires issues of the Embassy of India, who visited Peru in 2010.

Notably, the CETI will implement 2 classrooms of 25 students each, the software required for the CETI and 3 coaches for a period of two years, as well as the donation of equipment (servers, personal computers, projectors, printers and scanners) by the Government of India.

(Source: INICTEL-Peru)
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Monday, 13 August 2012 21:43:40 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Ministry of Education announced the creation of postgraduate in Education and New Technologies to train teachers in the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), which will be delivered from the second half of the year. The initiative aims to help teachers in the use of netbooks delivered by Connect Equality Plan (conectar Igualdad - ICP).

The Federal Government has developed several measures to guarantee the right of quality education for all. One policy that contributes significantly to achieve this goal is the universal access to information and communication technologies (ICT), which finds in the Program Connect Equal the democratizing mechanism from which students and teachers of the Argentine public schools can get their own netbook, as well as teachers and students in teacher training schools.

In this way, arises the need to install a specific public policy of teacher professional development from the State, accompanying the process of democratization of access to technologies involving the Model 1 to 1. The Specialization Teaching of Higher level in Education and ICT, published in the Official Gazette by Resolution No. 856/2012, assumes the educational responsibility of providing a space for training and discussion with academic rigor in order to enrich the institutional practices from the inclusion and use of ICT in the daily work of teachers.

It starts from the premise that it is essential to balance the scope and limitations of ICT, in order to enforce their potential as tools for development of pedagogical approaches, without overstating the impact of technological variables on the teaching and learning.

Further details

Monday, 13 August 2012 21:40:31 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, 07 August 2012

Shea nut collecting women in southwestern Burkina Faso received a computer system in mid-June to help them manage, record, retrieve, and track information about the sale of Shea nuts. This will increase efficiency and eventually will help them to sell more Shea nuts.

'Before, we used a paper-based recording system and it caused many problems at the section levels', said Clementine Hien, the treasurer of Fadefso, the Federation of Women's Development and Emancipation Associations in Southwestern Burkina Faso. The Federation has over 20,000 members, of whom more than 10,000 engage in seasonal Shea nut collection.

'The sections are unable to know exactly how many members involved in Shea nut collection', added Mrs Hien, concluding that this shortcoming affect provisions for the next season.

With the support of IICD and ICCO, who teamed up with other partners to form the Connect for Change Consortium, Fadefso kicked off the piloting phase by installing its computer and accessories in its headquarters in Dano, about 340 km southwest of the capital Ouagadougou.

'With this computer, we will digitalize the list of all our members', said Olivier Some the Fadefso-Dano support agent. He added that the delay-causing handling of paper-based correspondence with clients and partners was to be replaced by emails. 

Shea (a nut that is used to create Shea Butter) collection is the most important income-generating activity for women in Southwestern Burkina Faso. Putting Information and Communication Technologies at the disposal of those hardworking women for managerial, information recording and tracking tasks is a way to increase their efficiency and their incomes.

(Source: IIDC)
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Tuesday, 07 August 2012 19:31:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |