November 2005


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Much work is being done in the field of ICT4D that is impacting the lives of the poor in many developing countries. However in many cases these practitioners work goes unnoticed due to lack of adequate media reporting and poor documentation of their efforts on the part of the NGOs. A reflective and analytical written record of these initiatives and their impact can constitute an important learning experience for all those involved in this important field as well as an eye opener for those who are willing to and still trying to comprehend the complexities of ICT4D. There is a need to bring these grassroots ICT4D stories to the forefront to make such initiatives a learning experience for all. Practitioners who document ICT4D work need to adopt the right focus and a professional approach to make their case studies more meaningful for the global audience.

Recognising the need to make documentation a focused and purposeful activity that helps to identify patterns in experiences, development of skills, instances of effective practices and dimensions of impact, Centre for Science Development and Media Studies (CSDMS) is organising a workshop on 'Capacity building for documentation of project experiences for ICT4D Practitioners' on November 19, 2005 in WSIS Tunis.

Organised as one of the Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP) cluster event, this workshop is planned for ICT4D field practitioners and media practitioners from developing countries to learn documentation and reporting skills from peers and the organisations experienced in development communications. The workshop with participation form PANOS, International Institute of Communication and Development (IICD), Media ICT Network for Development (MIND), Africa and CSDMS, will offer a unique platform for moderated/facilitated interactions and exchanges of views between ICT4D practitioners and journalists, with a strong capacity-raising element. The workshop is a thematic event under poverty reduction strategy of GKP.

GKP also works to support education at all levels and believes that 'enabling people to access lifelong learning for themselves and their families is the core of sustainable development'. While emphasising on the use of ICTs to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of programmes focusing directly on education, GKP focuses on technology enabled learning environment that can contribute to the development of the intellectual, creative and technological skills required for the digital age.

As a member of the GKP Education Cluster, CSDMS is also organizing a workshop titled 'Introducing Innovative Ways of ICT in Schools' to be conducted on the 17 November, 2005. Planned as an interactive session, this workshop will see participation from SchoolNet Africa, Omer Dengo Foundation and UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education among others.

The use of information technology in education has caused a fundamental shift in pedagogy, including the move from instruction-based teaching to interactive learning, and a progress in programme development towards student – and context-centric knowledge resources by connecting knowledge to real-life situations.

The adventures for learning call for creative and effective environments where learners can share meaningful knowledge and experiences in constructing new information and ideas. The exercise/process should foster collaboration that allows learners to apply newly acquired learning in the design of processes that leads to their knowledge enhancement and is not remote from real-life situations.

Seemingly, there is still a lack of adequate knowledge and capacity/skill sets among the practitioners with respect to introducing ICT or innovatively using ICT for education. 'Introducing Innovative Ways of ICT in Schools' workshop would discuss process of ICT integration and address themes like:  novel ways in which ICT can be used in school education, use of innovative ICTs to integrate school-book education to real life issues/problem, enriching school curriculum with ICTs, how teachers/schools can initiate micro-level exercises in local areas where students take community development initiatives using ICT. Through case studies of ICT in education in formal and non-formal education, and discussions on challenges faced and lessons learned, the workshop would address some of the pertinent issues of using ICT for education relating to awareness, capacity, innovation, etc

Designed to identify the key factors that determine successful and effective use of ICT for education, the workshop will focusing on both formal and non-formal education in schools. The interactive workshop would attempt to also identify policy interventions that are imperative for reaping the maximum benefits from ICTs in education. 

 The first i4d Advisory Board meeting, planned as a vision meeting for the i4d programme, would chalk out the future policy and strategy to increase the impact of i4d and excel in providing a knowledge sharing platform. The i4d Advisory Board Meeting, to be held on 16 November, 2005 at the WSIS

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