Combatting Poverty (and ICT fads)
I've been reading an excellent report from Eldis (an incredible clearinghouse of development information) about the implementation of ICT programs in developing countries. In part the report seeks to question some conventional wisdom about the necessity of trendy technologies. On the whole it is a great synopsis of practical research with a clearheaded focus on poverty elimination. I recommend the full text pdf, and here's a bit from the executive report:
This report reviews the evidence on how (or if) ICTs should be used in support of poverty reduction exercises. There is one characteristic that is common to most of the ICT-related poverty alleviation programs. It finds that the most effective ICTs used are typically basic ones‚ telephone and radio are most common, and when computers or the Internet are involved, they are for restricted, targeted uses. It finds several common characteristics of successful projects: * the focus is on poverty alleviation and not on ICT use * ICT components are kept as simple as practical * ICT practitioners are involved in the design of the ICT components * there is significant community involvement * there is a focus on training to ensure success and sustainability * there is consideration of a plan for success; how to replicate and scale project if it is successful
View the original page: Eldis - ICT for Development
French Police Fear That Blogs Have Helped Incite Rioting
"The banners and bullhorns of protest are being replaced in volatile French neighborhoods by cellphone messages and Skyblog."
Read it: French Police Fear That Blogs Have Helped Incite Rioting
(Found on:NYT > Technology.)
Study Says Software Makers Supply Tools to Censor Web
The misuse of good technology. Or perhaps just the use of bad technology.
Study Says Software Makers Supply Tools to Censor Web: "A new report raises questions about the use of filtering technologies by autocratic governments bent on controlling what their citizens see on the Web."
(Via NYT > Technology.)
A New Online Journal
As of April, there is a new journal devoted to researching the (primarily sociological) aspects of Technology's influence. It's free, how lovely: Human Technology: An interdisciplinary Journal on Humans in ICT Environments
The United Nations Report on Technology And Human Development
Here's a great PDF version of a slightly dated — but far-seeing — report from the UN on the uses of emerging technologies in human development. It's optimism is tempered with a good deal of experience — it is clear that there is no single, technological solution to the problems of extreme poverty and inequality. Rather, technology is presented as being a key aspect of contemporary international development scholarship and praxis. This perspective, combined with their appreciation of the multitude of ways that technology is manifest, makes it an extremely worthwhile read.
Human Development Reports: " Human Development Report 2001 Making new technologies work for human development
Technology networks are transforming the traditional map of development, expanding people's horizons and creating the potential to realize in a decade progress that required generations in the past."