Thursday, December 08, 2005

Experiencing Technical Difficulties: The Urgent Need to Rewire and Reboot the ICT-Development Machine

Written by Amy R. West and Audrey n. Selian, Consultants for ARTICLE 19, November 2005.

"This paper seeks to examine the dangers of assuming information and communication technologies [“ICTs”] bring development, critical information and participation to all sectors of society. If developing countries are the true litmus test for any serious evaluation of sustainable development policies and their real practice on the ground, the international community must look carefully at what is happening within countries rather than solely between Countries. This then should inform the international debate on development reform and realistic, meaningful action."

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

What Works: First Mile Solutions' DakNet Takes Rural Communities Online

October 2005 paper developed by WRI with USAID funding. The subtitle is "Affordable, asynchronous Internet access for rural areas." I'm starting to like those "asynchronous" approaches that help to reach the more rural areas where the population is dispersed over a wide geographical area and 24/7 Internet access isn't essential.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Community-based Networks and Innovative Technologies: New models to serve and empower the poor, published by UNDP, 2005.

Authors: Seán Ó Siochrú and Bruce Girard

From the Summary: "The technology-development landscape is continuously evolving not only in terms of market dynamics and technology opportunities but also in terms of permitting new approaches to meeting the development and communication needs of the poor and under-served communities.

This report and its accompanying case studies consider one of these evolving options to address the problem particularly at the level of last-mile or last-inch access: an innovative combination of community-driven enterprises and the new wave of wireless and related technologies that together may have the potential to extend networks and offer new services to poor communities and to empower them to develop solutions that are more focused on their development needs. While a lot of attention is being paid to wireless and related cost-effective technologies, the focus has been mainly on connectivity and perhaps not enough on how this might permit new approaches to development at the local level that could also be effective in empowering communities."

I dream of a report that does not use the words "empower", "empowerment" and "sustainable".