November 2007

Bytes for All…

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Events and announcements

Call for ICT researchers
The University of Washington Centre for Internet Studies (CIS) is conducting a study of public access to ICT environments in 25 countries. The research will include an examination of physical infrastructures (libraries, telecentres, kiosks, etc.), public access policies, stakeholder analyses (especially within government), and the information needs of disadvantaged communities, among others. The expected time-frame for the engagement is November 2007 through August 2008.
Source: http://www.cis.washington.edu/projects/publicaccessICTlandscape/countryselection.html

Strategy planning workshop of the Feminist Network
A Strategy Planning Workshop of the Feminist Network on Gender, Development and Information Society Policies was held from October 5th to 7th, 2007 in Bangalore, India. The workshop was co-organised by IT for Change, the Association for Progressive Communications, the International Women's Tribune Centre, ISIS International, and Gloria Bonder, the General Coordinator of the Regional UNESCO Chair Women, Science and Technology in Latin America. The goal of the meeting was to-

(i) conduct a gender analysis of the policy ecology of the information society and the approaches of critical institutional players
(ii) evolve an action plan for research and advocacy, and
(iii) to develop the structure and processes that facilitate and strengthen the work of the network.
Source: www.ITforChange. net

Call for papers: Asia-Pacific journal on ICST

The Information, Communication and Space Technology Division of UNESCAP is preparing its annual Asia-Pacific Journal on Information, Communication and Space Technology, to be published by the end of 2007. The Journal aims to highlight emerging trends and issues related to Information, Communication and Space Technology (ICST) for development and contribute to the promotion of an inclusive, people-centered information society in Asia and the Pacific.

For this edition, the division is seeking contribution in the form of original papers, related to ICST – ICT strengthened by space technology for content and infrastructure – and showing evidenced ICST impacts on economic development in Asia and the Pacific.
Source: http://www.unescap. org/icstd/ main/journal- 2007-cfp. Asp

e-GovWorld 2007

eGovWorld 2007 will serve as an important milestone with a focus on six key Mission Mode Projects under National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) of India. It will also feature Mobile Government Practices from across the globe and a special session on Data Centres for enhancing e-Government readiness.  It will be held in New Delhi, India with the support of the e-Development Thematic Group of The World Bank, Danish Technological Institute, OneWorld SouthAsia, PricewaterhouseCoopers India and other partners.
Source: http://www.egovworld.org

Global CIO dialogue on the human factor in re-engineering government
A global CIO dialogue on the human factor in re-engineering government is being organised by the World Bank in partnership with George Mason University's School of Management, Development Gateway Foundation and several partners in various countries who will be participating via videoconferencing. The event brings together some 40 IT leaders from the Asia Pacific region to Washington D.C., and CIOs/e-Government leaders from other regions via the VC. It is part of a 2.5-day Global CIO Roundtable Conference (http://somweb. gmu.edu/globalci o2007/). The event examined the critical role of the government CIOs and e-Champions in the citizen-centric transformation of the public sector.
Source: http://go.worldbank .org/EM0S2AL7T0

Articles

Unwrapping ideas at latest 'unconference'
They call it an 'unconference', and it's a small but growing rage among techies wanting to share ideas in town. BarCamps are an international network of 'user generated conferences' that involve open, participatory workshop events. Some 200 people from diverse spheres took part in Mumbai's latest BarCamp, where content is provided by participants – often focusing on early-stage web applications, and related free software or open source technologies, social protocols, and open data formats. An 'unconference' is thus a collaborative discussion with no classroom rules. It is a participative session, where the speaker only leads the discussion. Participants can leave if bored or cut in when the 'speaker' is speaking to ask as many questions as they want.
Source: http://www.dnaindia .com/report. asp?newsid= 1128889

Mandate for public access to NIH funded research poised to become law
The U.S. Senate last night approved the FY2008 Labour, HHS, and Education Appropriations Bill (S.1710), including a provision that directs the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to strengthen its public access policy by requiring rather than requesting participation by researchers. The bill will now be reconciled with the House Appropriations Bill, which contains a similar provision, in another step towards the support for public access to publicly funded research, becoming a United States law.

The alliance for taxpayer access is a coalition of patient, academic, research, and publishing organisations that support open public access to the results of federally funded research. The alliance was formed in 2004 to urge that peer-reviewed articles stemming from taxpayer-funded research becoming fully accessible and available online at no extra cost to the American public.
Source: http://www.taxpayer access.org

Telecentres

Networking telecentres in East Africa

The East Africa Telecentre Leaders Forum (EATLF) discussions have started bearing fruits. In  February 2007, the Kenya Network of Telecentres (Kentel) was formed. It was the decision of the
second EATLF in October 2006, that participating countries form National Telecentre Networks. The Tanzania Telecentre Network is to be launched during a workshop on 25-27 October  2007.

The network aims to:
(i) To provide a platform for telecentres leaders to exchange ideas and knowledge on rural development. Discuss the role of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in accelerating development as enshrined in the national strategy for growth and reduction of poverty.
(ii) Explore different ICTs interfaces which are sustainable for telecentres.
(iii) It also discusses the role of telecentres in accelerating growth and development. It will look at the vision, mission, objectives and structure of telecentres. The role of the Tanzania Telecentre Association will also be discussed.

telecentre.org

Sustaining telecentres….join the discussion

Telecentre sustainability is a theme central to many current debates among telecentre practitioners, donors, support organisations, and governments. For the most part, telecentres remain dependent on donors or do not have the necessary resources to sustain their activities.
The online session of the 4th East Africa Telecentre Leaders Forum is discussing social enterprise and how to sustain telecentres. Loic Commoli, the Social Enterprise Director at NESsT (www.nesst.org) is leading the discussion. The discussion aims to:
(i) Clarify the role that social enterprise can play in telecentres and sustainability
(ii) Present examples of successful social enterprises
(iii) Generate ideas for telecentre products and services
(iv) Promote the field of social enterprise among regional
telecentres
(v) Use the outcomes of this discussion to inform the Fourth East Africa Telecentre  Leaders Forum on November 8th and 9th, 2007.  

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Bytes for All Discussion summary compiled by:
Farah Mahmood,
farah.mahmood@gmail.com, Pakistan

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