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Vol. III No. 12

December 2005

The first monthly magazine on ICT4D

ICTs to fight against HIV/AIDS Hivos and Hivos partners Information for development

www.i4d.csdms.in

Reaching out through the Internet The NACP-III e-Consultation

Involving journalists into HIV issues

ISSN 0972 - 804X

MDG 6 (HIV/AIDS )

HIV/AIDS reporting workshop

April 2004 | www.i4donline.net

1

knowledge for change


Asia's first and only monthly print magazine on e-Government.

ov www.egov.csdms.in


Contents

Vol. III No. 12

Features

6

Unwind the red ribbon

Hivos and Hivos partners ICTs to fight against HIV/AIDS

Columns

18

HIV/AIDS reporting workshop

45

Books received

Involving journalists into HIV issues

STAR project The STAR has no limit Marius F Johannes

12

HIV/AIDS in India Struggles for rights, equity, power Shobha Raghuram

14

SAfAIDS

46

Bytes for All

49

What’s on

50

In Fact Assessing the pandemic

16

Youth awareness

19

ICT to combat HIV/AIDS

Rendezvous

Better intervening HIV/AIDS with ICT Aradhana Srivastava Elizabeth Noznesky

48

Learning without frontiers Lady Murrugarra

22

UNAIDS

23

The NACP-III e-Consultation

CSDMS@WSIS

Reverse the epidemic

Reaching out through the Internet Dr E. Mohamed Rafique Seema Kochhar

41 ICTD project newsletter

Gateway’s special 40 Development report Information Society - Next Steps?



i4donline.net

News Search ICT4D news by date in the sectors of governance, health, education, agriculture and so on. E-mail Subscribe to daily, weekly, monthly newsletters online or send request to info@i4donline.net

Story telling knowledge sharing e-Governance in Africa

Congratulations for bringing out i4d monthly magazine on ICTD containing excellent articles, which ar.e informative as well as educative providing very pragmatic guidelines for action. Jatin Hazarika Chairman, Assam Administrative Reforms Commission

ICTs in the fight against HIV and AIDS Sara Page

33

info@i4donline.net

29 News

Hivos

10

Mailbox

HIV/AIDS and MDG 6 Saswati Paik

8

December 2005

Research e-Learning projects from India. www.i4d.csdms.in/elearn.asp Learn more about FLOSS www.i4d.csdms.in/floss/introduction.asp www.csdms.org/floss-portal Print edition The past issues of the magazine are available online www.i4d.csdms.in/archive/archive.htm

While I said it passing in the hallways at WSIS, I want to again express my gratitude for all of the great (and fast) work you did on the telecentre networks issue of i4d. Sitting with it here in the calm of a Toronto winter, I like it even more than when I first saw it a few weeks back. Mark Surman Managing Director - telecentre.org International Development Research Centre msurman@idrc.ca

We hope to keep connected to the i4d community and contributing to i4d in future editions depending on the magazine’s needs and the thematic editorial calendar we noted on page 4. Ms Lisa Thurston Australia

I received the hard copy of i4d a few days ago and it was very exciting to see out article there. We would like to continue contributing to i4d in future. I think its a very important initiative for bringing ICT4D projects to the lime light. Farah Mahmood Peshawar, Pakistan

Send you feedback at info@i4donline.net www.i4donline.net/feedback.asp


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Acknowledgement We would like to acknowledge the support of HIVOS in producing HIV/ AIDS (MDG 6) and ICTs issue. This issue features articles on diverse initiatives happening globally for fighting against HIV/AIDS. Disclaimer: The authors are responsible for the choice and the presentation of the facts contained in these articles and the opinion expressed therein, which are not necessarily those of HIVOS and do not commit the organisation. The designations employed and the presentation of material throughout the publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of HIVOS concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning its frontiers or boundaries.

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i4d Editorial Calendar 2006 Month

Theme

January

ICT4D - The evolution process

February

ICT and Microfinance

March

ICT Policy, Gender and ICTs

April

e-Health

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×

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×

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×

December

×

The themes for the rest of the months will be announced soon

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i4d | December 2005


 Editorial Information for development

Initiate Caring Them (ICT!!)

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ADVISORY BOARD M P Narayanan, Chairman, i4d Amitabha Pande Indian Administrative Service Chin Saik Yoon Southbound Publications, Malaysia Ichiro Tambo OECD, France Karl Harmsen Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific, India Kenneth Keniston Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA Mohammed Yunus Grameen Bank, Bangladesh Nagy Hanna e-Leadership Academy, University of Maryland, USA Richard Fuchs IDRC, Canada S Ramani Research Director, H.P.Labs, India Walter Fust Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Switzerland Wijayananda Jayaweera UNESCO, France EDITORIAL BOARD Akhtar Badshah, Frederick Noronha EDITORIAL TEAM Editor Ravi Gupta Editorial Consultant Jayalakshmi Chittoor Sr Programme Officers Rumi Mallick, Saswati Paik Research Associate Manjushree Reddy Designers Bishwajeet Kumar Singh, Deepak Kumar Web Programmer Zia Salahuddin Group Directors Maneesh Prasad, Sanjay Kumar i4d G-4 Sector 39, NOIDA, UP, 201 301, India Phone +91 120 250 2180-87 Fax +91 120 250 0060 Email info@i4donline.net Web www.i4d.csdms.in Printed at Yashi Media Works Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi, India i4d is a monthly publication. It is intended for those interested and involved in the use of Information and CommnicationTechnologies for development of underserved communities. It is hoped that it will serve to foster a growing network by keeping the community up to date on many activities in this wide and exciting field. i4d does not necessarily subscribe to the views expressed in this publication. All views expressed in this magazine are those of the contributors. i4d is not responsible or accountable for any loss incurred directly or indirectly as a result of the information provided.

cc Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies, 2005

At the dawn of this year, we promised our readers to examine the scope of ICT in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It was a challenging job. Despite numerous discussions and reports on MDGs, there are very few to look specifically into the ICT way of reaching the goals of MDGs. We kept our promise by examining all the MDGs and connecting each with ICT. Thanks to our authors from all corners of the globe who have shared their experiences and views through i4d. It’s clear that all MDGs and their components are highly interrelated and any one MDG cannot be seen in isolation. To have a comprehensive approach, the concerted effort of organisations, right from the International level to the grass root level need to be channelised so that the marginalised sections’ lot is improved. Here comes the role of ‘Global Partnership’, as enunciated by UN, to achieve the highly interrelated MDGs. We chose MDG 6 as the last theme to cover, and, more specifically, we chose HIV/ AIDS to focus in this issue, which will reach our readers immediately after World AIDS Day. We know that HIV infection rates are decreasing in several countries, but global number of people living with HIV continues to rise. The UN Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS states that “HIV/AIDS constitutes a global emergency and one of the most formidable challenges to human life and dignity...” This statement is alarming enough. The connection between HIV/AIDS and poverty are well recognised, with the burden of disease being highest in the poorest and most disenfranchised sections of society. An aspect of the poor health status of the poor is the existence of undiagnosed and untreated sexually transmitted diseases amongst numerous people, which is now recognised as a very significant co-factor in the transmission of HIV. Poor households are often politically and socially marginalised. Social exclusion makes it difficult to reach these people through programmes aimed at changing sexual and other behaviours. Another alarming fact is the lack of awareness about HIV infection, resulting into blind myths and beliefs, creating numerous social problems, especially in the developing countries. In this issue we have discussed the need of awareness generation among the community. The cycle of HIV/AIDS and poverty can only be broken through effective prevention activities and social education. Where ‘communication’ is the main issue, the ICT community has a big role to play, to reach more people in need at a time, to ensure social education and awareness. On the eve of another year, we must promise to bring a ‘HAPPY’ new year to all, including those, who are still bound to live in the darker side of the society due to the hidden enemy inside their body. The society is responsible for their fate, so as you and me.

i4d is supported by: Ravi Gupta Ravi.Gupta@csdms.in

November 2005 | www.i4d.csdms.in

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HIV/AIDS and MDG 6

Unwind the red ribbon Red ribbon – the red alert

“... millions of young people know too little about HIV to protect themselves.”

An Indian girl, daughter of a traditional rural family, having low level of education got married to a person working in different state. Marriage got fixed by the local priest, the janampatri (the astrological assessments of life) of both bride and bridegroom were verified, matched and it was astrologically supposed to be a happy marriage. But, after few months, the girl felt ill, blood test discovered she is a victim of AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome), infected by her husband who was infected by the same. This is not a story of single girl, such girls are in thousands around us, in the rural areas of developing countries, HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) detection or detection of AIDS is still considered to be a ‘curse’. But is it? Neither any disease should be treated as a curse, nor the victims of it, the curse lies in our social system where knowledge sharing lacks, social traditions and blind customs overpower the scientific truth; so astrological assessments matter more in matrimonial alliances rather than medical tests! Therefore the symptoms and diseases like Thalassaemia, HIV/AIDS are carried on from one generation to another. The red ribbon, an international symbol of AIDS awareness, is a knot to all the nations now. AIDS was first reported in the United States in 1981 and has now become a major worldwide epidemic. Since 1981, more than 25 million people have died of AIDS. Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 and are killed by AIDS before they are 35.

Share knowledge to save others In The Millennium Development Goals Report 2005, the following lines are mentioned which are most important: “Because there is no cure for AIDS, prevention is essential. But millions of young people know too little about HIV to protect themselves”. In the same report, it has been mentioned that surveys in sub-Saharan Africa have revealed that only 21 per cent of young women and 30 per cent of young

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men know the basics about how to avoid infection and surveys of young women in South-Eastern Asia show even lower levels of knowledge. In this information age, when we talk about ‘knowledge sharing’, we ourselves sometimes create the ‘knowledge divide’. The people who know about the causes and effects of HIV/AIDS, ignore own social responsibility to enlighten the others. A person living with HIV, who is medically known as an HIV positive person, is one who has virus in his/her body. Such a person might appear to be perfectly normal and healthy and asymptomatic for many years. It must be revealed to all that an asymptomatic HIV infected person does not have AIDS. But when an HIV positive person’s T lymphocytes, s/he starts developing symptoms. Therefore, the most important aspect which needs to be emphasised and communicated more among the common people is that all persons with AIDS are infected with HIV, but not all persons with HIV infection have AIDS.

When statistics threats Around 95% of people with HIV/AIDS live in developing nations. The UNAIDS/WHO report has been launched in 19 cities worldwide on 21 st November 2005. According to new UNAIDS/WHO report, there is new evidence that adult HIV infection rates have decreased in certain countries and that changes in behaviour to prevent infection have played a key part in these declines. Kenya, Zimbabwe and some countries in the Caribbean region show declines in HIV prevalence over the past few years with overall adult infection rates decreasing in Kenya and there is evidence of drops in HIV rates among pregnant women in Zimbabwe. Despite decreases in the rate of infection in certain countries, the overall number of people living with HIV has continued to increase in all regions of the world except the Caribbean. Overall trends in HIV transmission are still increasing, there were an additional five million new infections in 2005. So, far i4d | December 2005


HIV/AIDS and MDG 6

Years

Adults and children living with HIV

Number of women living with HIV

Adults and children newly infected with HIV

Adult prevelence (%)

Adult and child death due to Aids

2005

8.3 million [5.4–12.0 million]

2.0 million [1.3–3.0 million]

1.1 million [600 000–2.5 million]

0.4 [0.3–0.6]

520000 [330 000– 780 000]

greater HIV prevention efforts are needed to slow the epidemic.

Aiding AIDS on each day The most threatening fact is that the people with AIDS are surviving longer and are contributing to a steady increase in the number of people living with AIDS. This trend will continue as long as the number of new diagnoses exceeds the number of people dying each year. Out of 6.5 million people in developing and transitional countries who need life-saving AIDS drugs, only 1 million are receiving them. World AIDS Day, celebrated since 1988, is important in reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done. For many years, World AIDS Day has been organised by UNAIDS, who have chosen the theme after consultation with other organisations. In 2005, UNAIDS handed over responsibility for World AIDS Day to an independent organisation known as The World AIDS Campaign (WAC). The WAC’s theme for their campaign is ‘Stop AIDS: Keep the Promise’. This theme is however not specific to World AIDS Day alone but to the work the WAC does throughout the year. It will also remain the focus until 2010. This change in the way that World AIDS Day is organised has caused some confusion among HIV and AIDS organisations. Whatever one decides to do for World AIDS Day however, the fact remains that one should follow its basic principles by raising awareness and understanding where s/he lives and by remembering the millions living with HIV or suffering because of AIDS. The new UNAIDS/WHO report recognises that access to HIV treatment has December 2005 | www.i4d.csdms.in

improved markedly over the past two years. More than one million people in low-and middle-income countries are now living longer and having better lives because they are on antiretroviral treatment and an estimated 250,000 to 350,000 deaths were averted this year because of expanded access to HIV treatment. The report notes that, without HIV prevention measures, about 35% of children born to HIVpositive women will contract the virus. While mother-to-child transmission has been virtually eliminated from industrialised countries and service coverage is improving in many other places, it still falls far short in most of sub-Saharan Africa. Despite the efforts made by the international and national organisations, governments, media and private initiatives, there are still numerous myths and blind believes regarding the HIV/AIDS which mostly affect the people having less education and social enlightenment. Levels of knowledge of safe sex and HIV remain low in many countries, even in countries with high and growing prevalence. In 24 sub-Saharan countries, two-thirds or more of young women lacked comprehensive knowledge of HIV transmission. Strong HIV surveillance with proper knowledge dissemination by right persons in the most suitable manner is the need of the hour. Let’s try to untie the red knot from the nations whichever we belong to and promise to coming generations to give them a knot-free world. Following the target of MDG 6, it is high time to join hands to ‘halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS’.  The complete article with references can be read at www.i4d.csdms.in Saswati Paik, saswati@csdms.in

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H IVOS

AND

H IVOS PARTNERS

ICTs to fight against HIV/AIDS Straight Talk www.straighttalk.or.ke Straight Talk is a unique platform for youth in Kenya with a nation-wide outreach and successful in providing Kenyan adolescents with a forum for open dialogue on sexuality and reproductive rights related to HIV AIDS, homosexuality, girls’ rights and more. Straight Talk started as one of the projects from the Kenya Association of Professional Counsellors (KAPC) in 1995 with the objective to equip young people with information and life skills so that they can protect themselves from high risk situations and remain in control of their own behaviour. The project intends to contribute to combating the spread of HIV/AIDS, reduce teenage pregnancies, promote safe and responsible sexual behaviours, discourage harmful traditional practices, eliminate sexual abuse and promote gender and human rights awareness around these topics. Young people are reached through old end new media: the Straight Talk newspaper, Straight Talk clubs, the Straight Talk radio programme and the Straight Talk interactive website. One of the unique features of Straight Talk is that young people control and direct the project. Through a participatory and interactive approach, young people identify

sexual and reproductive health challenges that they face and pinpoint the information that they need. Adolescence is a critical developmental period and Straight Talk experience shows that the majority of adolescents struggle to acquire accurate

8

information and the necessary life skills. Access to reproductive health information is a basic human right, yet many adolescents are denied access to appropriate facts.

MANASO The Malawi Network of AIDS Service Organisations (MANASO) is a national coordinating body for AIDS service organisations formed in 1996. Its prime objective is to contribute to the reduction of HIV and AIDS prevalence through coordination, training, mobilisation and allocation of resources to community based organisations in Malawi. There is an urgent

mushrooming of community based organisations also presents a need to integrate initiatives through networking to avoid duplication of efforts. MANASO focuses on the establishment of regional information resource centres, equipped with electronic databases to enhance information dissemination. Furthermore, MANASO undertakes training activities for staff of different organisations on strategic use of ICTs, and makes an effort to provide documentation, share lessons learned and best practices by AIDS service organisations.

Agua Buena http://www.aguabuena.org

need in most developing countries to fill in the information gap and to integrate the efforts by different players in the area of HIV/AIDS. The lack of adequate and up to date information is fuelling the spread of HIV/AIDS in Malawi. Organisations like MANASO play an important role in dissemination of information. MANASO aims to facilitate the sharing of information, ideas, experiences and resources in HIV/ AIDS related work among community based organisations, and to build the capacities of these organisations to improve their service delivery. MANASO’s activities are predicated on the fact that although there is a multiplicity of community based organisations working in the area of HIV/AIDS, they lack the adequate, correct and up to date information, capacity and resources to effectively implement their activities. The

The Agua Buena Human Rights Association was created in 1997, in response to the crisis surrounding the AIDS epidemic in Central America. Agua Buena initially supported people who live with HIV/AIDS in Costa Rica in their struggle in early 1997, to obtain AIDS medications. At the end of 1997, the Costa Rican Constitution Court ordered the government to provide anti-retroviral (ARV) therapy to all people with HIV/AIDS in Costa Rica. Within 3 years, more than 900 people received ARV therapy. Since then, Agua Buena has broadened its working area to the Central American region where they support and cooperate with various organisations, provide trainings and organise regional meetings. Agua Buena acts as a reference point to the struggle for access to treatment and publishes an electronic bulletin and background articles on the website: www.aguabuena.org At the same time, the organisation takes action against the high prices of the medication for people living with HIV/ AIDS, controlled by the billion dollar pharmaceutical industry, and helps to i4d | December 2005


investigate the possibility of the production of generic medications which would lower the costs of the ARV treatment considerably. Agua Buena also draws attention to those who have the power and resources to make changes and to encourage and, where necessary, pressure them to do so. Agua Buena aims to constitute strong advocacy groups for and by people, living with HIV/AIDS throughout the Central American region. It is unthinkable that they could do this work without the use of ICTs, as an important component of their work consists of creating, gathering and making available relevant information for the Central American region.

STAR programme STAR is a capacity building programme in Eastern and Southern Africa. It is facilitated by Hivos in collaboration with Dutch telecom provider KPN, and aims to increase the ability of civil society organisations to strategically use ICTs to reach their goals. More specifically this implies increase of knowledge on strategic use of ICTs, increase of knowledge on ICT applications for day to day work, increase of knowledge sharing amongst stakeholders, improvement of accessibility of services for target groups and improvement of communication between the organisation and their target group. Participants of the STAR programme are mainly Hivos partners working in the field of HIV/AIDS and micro-finance. Through the STAR programme, organisations will be more aware of the possibilities ICTs can offer and how to deploy them in a strategic way, which, at the end, will improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the organisation. In April 2005, the STAR programme started with a pilot project with two Hivos partner organisations, Straight Talk (Kenya) and Ombetja (Namibia) [more details about these are written in the article by Marius in this issue]. Both work in the field of HIV/ AIDS with a special focus on youth. The pilot consists of the implementation of an SMS-tool through which awareness on HIV/AIDS issues amongst adolescents is increased. Through the SMS-tool, the organisations can reach their target group to announce radio shows on HIV/AIDS, or the release of a new magazine and give information on the nearest HIV testing December 2005 | www.i4d.csdms.in

2005 NetAid Global Action Award The NetAid Global Action Awards established in 2004 to honor American high school students have taken outstanding actions to fight global poverty. Honorees mostly have organized and led projects that have tackled issues such as hunger, HIV/AIDS or access to education in developing countries, and have also raised awareness about these issues in their local communities. This year’s honorees are given $5,000 for their higher education or a cause of their choice. Amongst the five young honorees, high school senior Katie Reed (age 17) of Beaverton, Oregon was presented with her award by Thomas Lwebuga, the man whose own life story of growing up poor in rural Uganda inspired her to raise funds to provide Ugandan AIDS orphans, most of them girls, with the chance to go to school. Katie’s Sponsor-aStudent project will allow more than 150 children orphaned by AIDS to continue their education, and raised resources to build Matale’s first library. Katherine Holland of Amani Children’s Foundation honored Rob Stephens (age 18) of Winston-Salem, North Carolina for his work to support a home for AIDS orphans in Kenya, and create an educational dialogue on HIV/AIDS between American and Kenyan students. Rob Stephens organized events from charity basketball games to jewelry-making workshops to support homes for AIDS orphans in Kenya. He also led 20 students and teachers from his state on a study trip to Kenya, where they learned about the HIV/AIDS pandemic firsthand and visited the orphans. Full biographies of the 2005 NetAid Global Action Awards honorees are available at www.netaid.org.

centre. The SMS-pilot has already improved the interactivity among the organisations and their constituents.

Alliance 2015 www.alliance2015.org

Over 40 million people worldwide live with HIV/AIDS. Within the past year, about 5 million people became infected and more then 3 million died. 2/3rd of people living with HIV/AIDS, live in sub-Saharan Africa, and the disease is spreading quickly in other developing countries. AIDS is a development crisis. HIV/AIDS is an important focus area of Alliance 2015, a European network of likeminded NGOs. In 2000, Hivos, together with CESVI (Italy), Concern (Ireland), Deutsche Welthungerhilfe (Germany), Ibis (Denmark) and People in Need (Czech Republic), founded “Alliance2015”, a partnership through which poverty can be fought more effectively by cooperating on various levels, working together in developing countries as well as on campaigns

to influence public and political opinion in Europe. A shared interest and vision is what motivates Alliance2015 members. Alliance2015 has endorsed MDG 6 and aims to achieve a HIV-free-generation by 2015. Alliance2015 emphasises international advocacy which reflects the priorities and challenges of the communities in the South as well as integrate the diverse capacities of the Alliance partners to develop a mutli-dimensional programme. The diverse expertise of the partners of Alliance2015 allows it to cover a wide range of activities. Through their diverse target groups, the partners are able to reach out to a large part of the population. Hivos gives special attention to marginalised people (e.g. sexual minorities and sex workers), Ibis to children; Concern to the poorest urban and rural women, men and children; Welthungerhilfe to teens and young adults, and CESVI to pregnant women and babies. The Alliance partners support over 150 AIDS programmes worldwide with a total amount of 15 million euros. The programmes include prevention, promoting the rights of people with HIV/AIDS, improving access to medicine, providing care, mitigating the impact of Aids and strengthening local organisations. Text: Hivos

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STAR p ROJECT

The STAR has no limit HIVOS and OYO have now teamed up on the STAR Project, which will use communication technology to connect with young people in a very different way.

Marius F Johannes Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO), Namibia marius@ombetja.org

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Namibia – ‘a melting pot’ High-quality development collaboration that takes advantage of the opportunities provided by technological development requires people who are both well informed and curious, along with a preparedness to allow new ideas to be explored, and honouring the differences in experience and spirit. Collectively, and consequentially this leads to the development of strategies for fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic on a global level, with a fast growing technology to face a fast growing disease.

Namibia - ‘a melting pot’ One in five people in Namibia is HIV positive or living with AIDS. The disease has a huge impact on life expectancy, infant mortality rates, and population growth and distribution. Of Namibia’s population of 1.9 million, just under a million are aged below 14. Life expectancy now stands at 43 years. The only way to stop the spread of HIV is through creating an awareness of the disease by clarifying the facts to start, then with prevention. In Namibia, prevention means challenging behavioural norms and persuading people to change. Technology is shrinking the world; transport and communications are closing distances, and this is having an effect locally as well as globally. Namibia is a melting pot of cultures, but culturo-sexual models are being eroded as young people are starting to get away from their cultural imbedded traditions, to find themselves as hybrids between old and new. Poverty, coupled with an extraordinary level of income inequality is encouraging prostitution, and children as young as 12 years of age are taking ‘sugardaddies’ who can provide them with material goods in exchange for sex. An increasing number of school-goers board in school hostels and this makes sexual activity between adolescents even easier than it otherwise might be. Condom use is low, ignorance is high and it is common for people

of all ages to have multiple sexual partners. All of these make health related development more challenging, and highlight a need for creative prevention programmes.

Unique initiatives of OYO Passion is the focus of young people in getting experiences is feeded with curiosity in everything that is new. To impassionate young people in experiencing passion in a way that combines heart and thought, Ombetja Yehinga has found a starting point in creativity. Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO), although young, is an organisation that is known for its innovative approach to awareness-raising. Originally established in the Kunene Region in Northern Namibia, its use of drama, dance and song to inspire discussion about HIV and AIDS amongst young people became immediately popular, and requests soon came in, that resulted in the expansion to two further regions of the country. OYO works with the group most at risk from infection, the young people between 10 and 24. It is vital, when designing HIV/AIDS educational initiatives, that people who ultimately will benefit express a need for the project, and that they are involved at every level. OYO’s methods encourage creativity, foster self-confidence and provide important health and life skills to the young people involved. Learners and community members are encouraged and guided to compose their own dramas and songs, which they perform to schools and communities across the country afterwards. The experience is fun, it’s interactive and it provides an environment where the participants and their peers can discuss the reality of HIV and AIDS in the country in which they are growing up and exploring their sexuality. At the end of 2000, a group of teachers approached OYO with a request. They wanted to find an interesting way to teach their pupils about HIV and AIDS, one that would engage them. A competition was launched in 2001, and learners were i4d | December 2005


asked to submit their thoughts about HIV in Namibia in the form of poems and songs. The response was so overwhelming that the groups decided to take it one step further. The teachers, groups and OYO worked together to turn the songs and poems that stood out into five short films, starring the writers. They are stories of compassion, understanding and they communicate both a warning and hope for the future. In facilitating the making of the films, OYO enabled the learners involved to connect with a wider audience in a way that required them to think creatively about what HIV and AIDS meant to them.

Twinkling hope with STAR HIVOS and OYO have now teamed up on the STAR Project, which will use communication technology to connect with young people in a very different way. SMS is a phenomenon the impact of which is yet to be understood; globally, billions of SMS messages are sent every month. Namibia’s mobile phone market is growing extremely fast. Almost 46 per cent of the Namibian population now have mobile phones and SMS is one of the most popular ways to communicate, particularly for young people because it is quick, easy and cheap. The STAR project is the result of collaboration between KPN (the largest telecommunications provider in the Netherlands) and HIVOS (the Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries which is named in Dutch as Humanistisch Instituut voor Ontwikkelingssamenwerking). It will facilitate the use of a large number of SMS messages, delivered in bulk to a specific target audience. OYO will then explore the concept of viral messaging to reach an even wider audience. Within the context of HIVOS STAR Project, the following needs within the technological development context are addressed immediately: • By using ICT, we can reach a larger number of individuals than is feasible through conventional methods; • The use of quality of electronic forums can facilitate networking, sharing of knowledge and best practices in a cost-effective manner; • SMS can be tailored to suit the target audience.

SMS – message for social security OYO’s experience in working with young people on health issues, particularly with the highly successful OYO magazine, puts the organisation in a unique position to construct relevant messages that are understood and passed on by its target audience. Integrating the tool into OYO’s other work will also help to strengthen those messages. This is particularly true, as OYO will be the first organisation in the country to make use of this modern, popular method of communication, enhancing both profile and reputation with its audience. OYO as a decision maker can use this technology to discover the aspects about which Namibian youth should be concerned, and to encourage them to think about the uncertain aspects of the future that mostly worry them. The organisation can then explore the ways that these challenges around sexuality and HIV/ AIDS might unfold. Because there is no single answer to such enquiries, the SMS tool could directly trigger mass development thinking by using prescribed indigenous knowledge systems. In December 2005 | www.i4d.csdms.in

UNICEF and the Indian Olympic Association to raise HIV/AIDS awareness In October 2005, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and UNICEF have entered into a partnership on HIV/AIDS awareness among young people. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Shri Suresh Kalmadi, President, Indian Olympic Association and Mr. Eimar Barr, Deputy Director - Operations, UNICEF – India at the Asian Workshop on HIV/AIDS prevention through sports. Ms. Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister of Delhi was chairperson at the signing and addressed the gathering. Recognising sports as an important means of improving the lives of children, the IOA-UNICEF collaboration will focus on promoting initiatives to enhance national awareness of the UNICEF Programme, using the opportunities provided through national games, associated functions and events. UNICEF and the IOA will collaborate with sports celebrities for endorsement, participation in special events, field visits and public service announcements with special focus on awareness generation amongst the youth on protecting themselves from HIV. Source: http://www.unicef.org/india/media_965.htm

short, the STAR Project explores what the future might look like in mass sensitising of African health issues and the likely challenges of living in it. Based on intuition and material created by the participants through an open process, the text messages must be crafted as analytical structures where health messages or information written as stories make potential futures seem vivid and compelling in taking development issues such as HIV/AIDS as norm, not by prescribing to the viewer, but by creating dialogue after being read. The messages should not provide a consensus view of the future, nor are they predictions; they may describe a context of Namibian HIV/AIDS development and how it may change, for potential viewer/reader of the text. Within the context of OYO, the vision for the implication and potential of the STAR Project is ‘dialogue’. The SMS-tool is intended to form a basis for strategic conversation as a method for considering potential implications and possible responses to different events. The messages must provide the reader with a common language and concepts for thinking and talking about current events, and a shared basis for exploring future uncertainties and making more successful decisions, by instigating behaviour change. It is especially a good instrument as it guarantees anonymity on a distinct level - concerning the sensitive topic of HIV, anonymity is one of the most important aims that have to be reached, if the fight against ignorance shall make steps in the future. HIVOS and OYO (STAR Project) partnership places a strong emphasis on the joint definition of a ‘problematique’ (HIV/AIDS), a shared perception of issues that need to be addressed via the SMS tool, and on the synthesis of ideas, rather than just extended and deeper analysis and testing of ICT. 

11


HIV/AIDS

IN I NDIA

Struggles for rights, equity, power Dominique D’Souza’s words, “I live in the hope of a world if not free of disease, free from fear and discrimination” remain the most powerful message even today.

The stigma syndrome in India country with his relentless campaigning for In a country where more than 400 million people are living in poverty, unable to access health care, decent work, acceptable quality of life standards and severe gender discrimination HIV/AIDS poses serious challenges for state, health providers, private aid organisations and civil society associations. When the first HIV/AIDS case was officially recorded in India in 1986, voluntary organisations, policy makers and those concerned in government were faced with a situation where millions of the poor had little access to free public health care. Mainstreaming HIV/AIDS connected issues in broader development debates and interventions, creating an enabling environment for people living with HIV/ AIDS became overnight dominant concerns. The stigma syndrome associated with HIV/ AIDS was reminiscent to many public health specialists of the decades during the 50s and the 60s when leprosy was socially considered an ‘unacceptable’ illness. Since then, the climate in the country has changed considerably, thanks mainly to the efforts of strong associations of people at the grassroots who have mobilised community organisations of affected people and launched a consistent attack on conservative and repressive responses to the illness by the publics and by medical organisations.

Hivos initiatives Shobha Raghuram Director of the India Regional Office of the Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries (Hivos) Bangalore, India s.raghuram@hivos-india.org

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Hivos was one of the first development organisations in India to support civil society organisations in 1992. South India AIDS Action Programme (SIAAP) in Chennai focused on grassroots participation for protection of human rights as well as HIV prevention. Positive People in Goa were inspired by the founder, the late Dominique D’Souza who moved thousands in the

the rights and the dignity of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHAs). His words, “I live in the hope of a world if not free of disease, free from fear and discrimination” remain the most powerful message even today. Lobby advocacy, counseling services, help lines, capacity building of fledging community organisations, development of training curricula, support for the struggle of sex workers to overcome their vulnerability, strengthening organisational capacities; these are the wide range of civil society interventions Hivos supports among its partner organisations. Studies in the country have shown that almost 70% of poor household incomes are spent on health. Persistent poverty therefore is a reality for the vulnerable - one ill health episode forces a poor household just above the poverty line to sink again. In such a context, access to HIV/AIDS treatment, remaining in the workforce, being a member of a supportive community, overcoming predominantly gender bias in social life are difficult challenges for affected people. However, HIV/AIDS cuts across caste, class and gender, making issues of redressal far more complex e.g., people living with impairments, people with alternative sexualities, and children are some of the constituencies which require distinct sets of policies and services. The common thread that unifies everyone is the persistent ‘vein’ of discrimination which is not only a major deterrent to progressive rights and access to treatment measures, but a major source of the erosion of subject-hood for those affected and for families and support groups. HIV prevalence (among the people of the age group 15-49) in 2003 was at 0.41.3%. Given demographically a very young population, these percentages represent a sizeable population of the affected in a i4d | December 2005


Freedom Foundation activities against HIV/AIDS Established in 1992, the Freedom Foundation was initially started to provide an effective treatment programme for alcoholics and drug-addicts. Freedom Foundation works in the fields of Alcoholism/Drug addiction and AIDS. In 1995, it took up the issue of AIDS when a link was noticed between addiction and AIDS. The organisation, also works in the community, educating villagers about AIDS and the spread of this disease. They also have corporate sessions to train those in business or industry on how best to deal with employees affected by AIDS. It has opened a rehabilitation centre for HIV positive people, the first of its kind in the country. In December 2000, a second deaddiction centre was opened in Hyderabad. Another two HIV/AIDS Care and Support facilities have been started, one at Hyderabad and another at Bellary, where the incidence of HIV is high. A Project to rehabilitate sex workers at Siruguppa, near Bellary, Karnataka State is running since June 2001. Source: http://www.thefreedomfoundation.org/index.html

country of a billion population. Altogether six organisations and a major coalition apart from two organisations with HIV/AIDS related work are supported by Hivos. However, all these organisations are extensively linked to community organisations, social movements, lobby groups, and national and international networks. Many of them are members of government review committees. Therefore, their social base is fairly wide and extensive, vertically connected to major institutions in the country as well as horizontally linked through shared work and common goals. They have been instrumental along with other organisations in: • forcing in public policy changes in the perception of HIV/AIDS • extensive training of sex-workers, sexual minorities, the physically challenged, and establishment of counseling centres • reform of local bodies, public medical hospitals, educational institutions and other service institutions for equity access for HIV positive people • collectivisation efforts at the field level communities of the affected so that critical mass build up can occur and sea changes can be brought about in the arena of rights and entitlements.

Challenges ahead The major challenges ahead for all organisations include the following: 1) Education - spread of accurate and clear information about the illness in all local languages. 2) Solidarity among all organisations in the country regarding issues of access, rights, subject-hood of the affected collectivisations and coping strategies. 3) Assisting people to decode the language of discrimination sufficiently enough that feelings of guilt, denial, anger and loss may be channeled into developing collective strategies of strength, faith, and constructive engagement. This will provide hope and possibilities for people who are not only affected but to everyone who is committed to seeing a world more equal structurally and more elevated by the gaze of respect and dignity for the other. 4) Broader social security issues and workplace policies for HIV/ AIDS.

Conclusion Ultimately the phenomenon of HIV/AIDS has forced a world to recognise that development goals are both material and non-material. December 2005 | www.i4d.csdms.in

The vulnerability of others must be seriously understood so that more strength across borders of community, language, culture may be further built. The strength of millions coping with this problem and the losses must be learnt and celebrated. Millions in Africa have witnessed the loss of close ones in their homes, their workplace, their villages, their towns, in their governments and in all institutions (both public and private). The story of missing generations has added to a record of global failures in development commitments and generation of interventions. The state has to take cognizance of these realities, learn from them and work with civil society organisations to stem the tide and overturn the discourse of discrimination, loss of livelihoods, and denials. Commitment is needed for both HIV/AIDS as a critical aspect of development policies and interventions as well as HIV/AIDS as an issue in itself which requires specialised dialogues of intervention and organisation of people and reform of institutions. The complete article with references can be read atwww.i4d.csdms.in

Mobile Games on HIV/AIDS Awareness ZMQ Software Systems, an eLearning, gaming and edutainment solutions company, based in Delhi, has launched 4 Mobile Games on HIV/AIDS Awareness on the World AIDS Day 2005. While the games premiere on December 1 on Reliance Infocomm’s R-World, other operators will be subsequently releasing the games by the end of this year. On International Labours Day, 1st May 2006, ZMQ will launch these games globally, converting the content and language compatible to regions of Africa, South East Asia, Central Asia and Latin America. For further information, contact at zmq@vsnl.com Source: http:// www.freedomhivaids.in/

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SAfAIDS

ICTs in the fight against HIV and AIDS ICT can play a pivotal role in ensuring timely and speedy diagnosis as well as in improving and securing the quality of health care in most medical disciplines.

Information and communication technologies can offer key opportunities for organisations, communities and people living with HIV and AIDS, to intensify their efforts in the mitigation of the epidemic. Exploratory research conducted in Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique revealed that people working in the field of HIV and AIDS are interested in the use of ICTs. Yet the high cost of equipment and maintenance as well as limited knowledge and skills for using ICTs were highlighted as barriers to effective use of ICTs. Participants suggested that the use of ICTs made assist to improve the flow of HIV and AIDS between communities in the southern African region, to promote advocacy and networking on a global level and provide support the health care systems. Recommendations from the research included the implementation of a process of vision building and awareness creation among AIDS Service Organisations (ASOs) on the potential use of costeffective ICTs. In addition, it was also recommended that smaller pilot projects need to be created, providing internet access to community radio programmes through the development of community access points.

HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa

Sara Page The Southern Africa HIV/AIDS Information Dissemination Service (SAfAIDS) Zimbabwe sara@safaids.org.zw

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The HIV and AIDS epidemic is the greatest development challenge facing the SubSaharan Africa today. UNAIDS (2005) estimates that currently 25.8 million people are living with HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa, as compared to 25.4 million in 2004. Although the region accounts for only 10% of the world’s population, it is home to two thirds (60%) of all people living with HIV. In 2004, seven of the ten countries in the

southern Africa region reported prevalence rates over 15% (Table 1). Over the past twenty years, the epidemic has eroded many of the development gains. Overall life expectancy has decreased and morbidity and mortality have increased. UNAIDS (2005) reports that approximately 2.7 million deaths of adults and children in sub-Saharan Africa were caused by AIDS. This accounts for 87% of all AIDS related deaths in the world. However, UNAIDS Global HIV/AIDS report (2005) shows that adult HIV infection rates have decreased in some countries. This has been attributed to behaviour change as reflected by increased use of condoms, delay of first sexual experience and fewer sexual partners; yet, it is important to note that the overall trends continue.

Exploring ICTs more to mitigate HIV/AIDS Recognising the potential of ICTs, SIDA (Swedish International Development Agency) and its affiliate SPIDER (Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions) commissioned research to explore the opportunities for using ICTs in mitigating HIV and AIDS in Southern Africa. Using a participatory approach, the study focused on three countries, Zambia, Botswana and Mozambique. It addresses two key questions: (i) how can ICTs contribute to the empowerment of people living with HIV/ AIDS and (ii) how can ICT improve ongoing and planned HIV/AIDS programmes in the region. In this research, a literature review was conducted to explore current and existing research on the use of ICTs within HIV and AIDS prevention, care and treatment programmes in southern Africa. Using a participatory approach, researchers explored i4d | December 2005


Table 1: HIV and AIDS prevalence among adults (15 - 49) by the end of 2003 in selected countries Country Angola Botswana Lesotho Malawi Mozambique Namibia South Africa Swaziland Zambia Zimbabwe

Adults

Adults with HIV

Women with HIV (%)

220 000 330 000 300 000 810 000 1 200 000 200 000 5 100 000 200 000 830 000 1 600 000

3.9 37.3 28.9 14.2 12.2 21.3 21.5 38.8 16.5 24.6

130 000 190 000 170 000 460 000 670 000 110 000 2 900 000 110 000 470 000 930 000

the perceptions and experiences of HIV and AIDS organisations in three countries (Zambia, Botswana, Mozambique) with regard to the use of ICTs in their work. Data were collected and analysed, using a variety of qualitative methods such as focus group discussions, informal interviews and participant observation. Recommendations for exploring and expanding the use of ICTs within HIV and AIDS were developed.

approach in countering HIV/AIDS; • Providing access to vital information which can support individuals to shield against the worst effects of the epidemic; • Rehabilitating health delivery systems through the application of ICT for distance counselling and logistic support; • Make use of existing traditional and modern ICT programmes, such as existing community based radio networks.

What’s revealed, what’s needed

Need of pilot projects

In the three countries, participants from the focus group discussions emphasised that ICTs could be instrumental in mitigating HIV and AIDS. In particular, participants emphasised the role of ICTs in documenting and sharing experiences, enhancing networking, improving HIV and AIDS knowledge management, and increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of HIV and AIDS programmes and health care services. Key barriers for using ICTs can be divided into two: 1) internal challenges such as the cost and expense of purchasing and maintaining ICT equipment and services as well as the lack of capacity to use ICTs among NGOs and ASOs, and 2) external barriers such as high illiteracy rate among clients and poor infrastructure in large regions of the country. To enhance the use ICTs within HIV and AIDS prevention, care and treatment programmes, participants emphasised that several basic conditions need to be put in place. These include: • Improved coverage of basic infrastructure for telecommunication, data communication and electricity supply; • Enhanced capacity of individuals and organisations to use, operate and maintain ICTs; • Improved capacity of target audiences and clients of NGOs, CBOs and ASOs to access and use ICTs; • Improved capacity of information producers to use ICTs to create and communicate accurate, relevant information on HIV and AIDS and other health issues. Participants also provided recommendations on ICTs interventions, which may strengthen the quality and coordination of HIV and AIDS prevention, care and treatment programmes. It was suggested that ICT programmes should focus on: • Developing a platform for vision building, planning, coordination, monitoring and evaluation amongst the HIV/AIDS stakeholders groups and support a coordinated multi-sectoral

Based upon the priorities defined in this research, pilot projects are proposed to explore the viability and impact of the recommended interventions. Pilot projects recommended include: • The establishment of Community Access Points (CAP) • Developing and implementing system for distance consult and improved logistic support for drug distribution are also required. • Support research on ‘expert’ systems • Facilitating the process of awareness and vision building on how ICT can be used in prevention and care is another necessity. Since the completion of the research, several projects and programmes have or will be started which focus on strengthening the use of ICTs and HIV/AIDS in the southern African region. The number of best practices in this field are limited and therefore, it was recommended to research and share experiences in an effort to strengthen knowledge around ICTs and HIV/AIDS.

December 2005 | www.i4d.csdms.in

ICT use by SAfAIDS The Southern Africa HIV/AIDS Information Dissemination Service (SAfAIDS) is a regional NGO based in Harare, Zimbabwe. Established in 1994, SAfAIDS uses information as a tool to enhance dialogue and catalyse social change within communities of practice in order to significantly scale-up the regional HIV/AIDS response. With support from local partners, SAfAIDS currently implements its programmes in Namibia, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Angola, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana and Tanzania. SAfAIDS core activities include capacity development; information production, collection and dissemination; networking and building partnerships, and promoting dialogue and debate on cutting-edge issues related to HIV and AIDS. In its future programmes, SAfAIDS will explore new and available technologies in an effort to increase its reach and impact.

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Y OUTH A WARENESS

Learning without frontiers The use of ICT complements other Information Education and Communications (IEC) campaigns designed to reach the youth.

Education has been described by Nelson Mandela as ‘the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’. Even distance education also can provide a set of strategies to overcome separation between educators and learners to improve living standards and reducing poverty. ICT can contribute a lot to achieving universal education worldwide, through delivery of education and training of teachers, and offering improved conditions for lifelong learning, encompassing people who are outside the formal education process, and improving professional skills. Young people have enough potential to play remarkable role in the entire process.

HIV/AIDS and ICT

Lady Murrugarra Head, Computer Center at Instituto de Medicina Tropical Alexander von Humboldt, Peru ladym@upch.edu.pe

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The use of ICT complements other Information Education and Communications (IEC) campaigns designed to reach the youth. Some of the technology resources are e-mail, CD-ROMs, listserves and the World Wide Web. That can link HIV/AIDS educators and activists around the world. It also holds great promise to reach youth, who typically embrace the use of the technology for entertainment, learning and communication when given access to these resources. Everyone should have the necessary skills to benefit fully from the Information Society. Therefore, capacity-building and ICT literacy are essential. According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), more than 20 years after the first diagnosis of AIDS in 1981, 20 million people passed away due to AIDS and nearly 38 million people (34.6-42.3 million) are living with the AIDS. The age of 70% of the growing number of people with AIDS fluctuates between 20 and 39 years which indicates that they were infected in the adolescence.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) observes the rapid progress in information and communications technologies (ICTs) as offering unprecedented opportunities to transform the exchange and delivery of health information, education and services all over the world. The role of teacher is essential in the societies which are changing quickly toward knowledge societies; the teacher is the main actor, the main agent of the evolution of education. Access for all young people, community technology programmes, libraries and schools have made a crucial difference in the early years of ICT’s evolution by offering tools and training to those who are low-income, disabled, rural, and other groups who otherwise didn’t have

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2003/20031202/w2.jpg

access to ICT tools and facilities. The specific objectives of using ICT as a tool for generating awareness about HIV/AIDS among the youth are (1) to promote campaign and education on AIDS, (2) to promote the use of the technology among young people, as interchange form, breaking with the existing prejudices around these methods; (3) to increase participation of youth and youth-led organisations in ITU’s regional and global activities; (4) to increase the possibilities of the young people to like agents of the development in the communities. i4d | December 2005


Table 1: The result of study on 24 women and 24 men: Questions

Number

Percentage

Use of Internet once to week Two to three times to week Using Internet for a year Using Internet in publics cabins Use of chat and email Listen Music and download programs Download educative material Information business Using internet when have problems in house Using internet by have friends

14/48 16/48 25/48 43/48 40/48 11/48 14/48 11/48 30/47 19/46

29,2% 33,3% 52.1% 89.6% 81.3% 22.9%, 29.2%, 22.9% 62.5% 39.6%

Youth in ICT world According to the study of Support of June 2002, 89% of the users of Internet in Lima – Perú use public cabins. Two cultural factors, language and education matter a lot in ICT application by young generation. Many of the young people mention that they do not know how to use the web page with information in AIDS. The use of education technology to make a difference is not just providing students with access to ICT, but also providing integrity properly in the classroom by using the appropriate application at different grades, training teachers into teaching traditional academics subjects. If technology programmes are not endowed with these characteristics, education technology can have even negative impact on education outcomes. The course Youth and ICT was worked in 2005 with 48 youth between 12-20 years age and the results were as follows: Centres (publics cabins or telecentres) for out of school boys and girls are providing ICT vocational training and entrepreneurship programmes, basic skills, information resources on knowledge and opportunities, communication skills.

Going ahead with youth power It has been felt that Internet and other ICT resources may play a contributing role in linking the youth, the future leaders and prompting new youth activism. Therefore the urgent needs of today are as follows: • Building human capacity at government sectors, private sectors, civil societies and within NGOs; • Promoting youth ICT entrepreneurship and training programmes, implementing innovative programmes designed to unleash the potential of young people; • Launching youth exchange programmes that will cut across geographical regions and will provide opportunities for knowledge sharing and research; • Offering scholarships given at all levels to youth that are promising and showing interest in ICT for development; • Equipping parents and teachers to encourage children’s appropriate use of technology and use ICT themselves to communicate with each other, government, doctors, etc; • Helping youth in the rural communities to participate in decision making, exchange ideas with their digital peers and improve the quality of life; December 2005 | www.i4d.csdms.in

• Participating in teaching activities to teach and sensitise the community about ICT and HIV/AIDS issues, enhancing research skills, helping the integration of HIV/AIDS education

into school curricula and helping to emphasize the role of the teacher as a facilitator; • Taking initiatives for greater participation of young people in the international coordination; • Use of telemedicine - on-line counseling for schools and communities.

ICT can help ICT has the potential for ‘leapfrogging’ in developing countries to accelerate the development of the young as well as of adult generations, to empower them to access and to use information, which was for long a barrier, to learn faster and eventually to stimulate local entrepreneurship for the benefit of their local communities. Hopefully, early linkages between the impact of investing in the livelihood development of young people through empowerment and education can be demonstrated, thus lowering the HIV/AIDS infection rate among young people through economic empowerment of the youth. In order to decrease their risk of HIV infection today, it is essential that youth receive education about HIV, obtain condoms and clean needles when needed, and have access to health and rehabilitative services.  The complete article with references can be read aw www.i4d.csdms.in

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HIV/AIDS R EPORTING W ORKSHOP

Involving journalists into HIV issues Reuters Foundation (www.foundation. reuters.com), the training, education and humanitarian trust owned by Reuters the global news and information group, brought 22 journalists from around the world to meet face-to-face with renowned health experts in a five-day workshop from November 7th to 11th, held in New York. The workshop examined reporting challenges and a range of global HIV/AIDS issues. This was the third workshop of its kind; previous ones were held in South Africa (2003) and Brazil last year. The journalists, who came mostly from developing countries in all the continents, write on development issues, health and HIV/AIDS. The distinguished speakers included Dr Seth Berkley, founder and CEO of the International Aids Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), Prof Jeffrey Sachs, the leading development economist and Director of the Millennium Project, Dr Wafaa El-Sadr, Director of the International Centre for AIDS Care and Treatment Programmes at Columbia University and Zackie Achmat, the HIV-positive campaigner from South Africa. The workshop provided time for participating journalists to interact with each other and exchange information about the rapidly spreading infection within their own regions. Many journalists made presentations on the HIV/AIDS scenario in their countries and made comparisons with the situation in other countries. Every interaction with a guest speaker boiled down to reporting exercises and a newsroom situation. Possible story ideas were discussed and reports were written every day. The participants also wrote an editorial on US watchdog, Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), which is currently debating allowing a home-testing kit that will allow people to test themselves for an HIV infection.

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A highlight of the workshop was a highpowered panel discussion on the theme ‘Combating HIV/AIDS – Does it take more than money?’ It featured Zackie Achmat; Laurie Garrett, a Pulitzer Prize winning medical writer; Paul De Lay, Director of Monitoring and Evaluation at UNAIDS; Raymond Gilmartin, former Merck Chairman and CEO and Dr Mark Dybul, the deputy head and Chief Medical Officer of the Office of the US Global AIDS Coordinator. Debate covered a wide range including the US government’s global policies of ABC (Abstinence, Be-faithful and use Condoms), the leadership crisis in tackling the HIV epidemic in many countries and the pricing of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs. The panel looked at ways of stemming the brain drain of doctors and nurses from Africa to Western countries. Provision of free ARVs to the poor was also discussed at length. India, Russia and China all came in for criticism over their response to the high rates of HIV infection in their regions. The failure of the World Health Organisation

(WHO) to meet its 3 by 5 pledge to provide free ARVs to three million people by the end of 2005 was also raised when Dr De Lay said they were only half-way there. A media panel of American medical writers and science journalists also discussed making HIV/AIDS news stories passionate. One suggestion that came out was to provide more coverage to people who have the courage to tell the world that they have HIV. The interactions with resource persons from different backgrounds also provided journalists with a number of story ideas on HIV/AIDS that they plan to pursue later. The workshop also provided the opportunity for journalists to look at HIV/ AIDS from a global perspective and its relationship with many other seemingly unlike issues like free trade, religion and international aid policies.  Rahul Kumar OneWorld South Asia, rahulkumarindia@yahoo.co.uk For further information, contact Belen Becerra, Reuters Foundation Belen.Becerra@reuters.com i4d | December 2005


ICT

TO COMBAT

HIV/AIDS

Better intervening HIV/ AIDS with ICT The key role of ICT in the prevention and mitigation efforts for HIV/ AIDS in India is generating awareness and providing practical information to people and in capacity building.

Aradhana Srivastava Research Assistant UN World Food Programme S_aradhana@yahoo.com

Elizabeth Noznesky Programme Officer, HIV/AIDS, UN World Food Programme elizabeth.noznesky@wfp.org

December 2005 | www.i4d.csdms.in

Threat on the doorstep In order to successfully contain the spread of HIV/AIDS, which has such profound socio-economic implications, it is vital that preventive interventions be more effectively targeted. This is all the more pertinent since no amount of local resources and aid money seems enough for the enormous task at hand, not just at the national level but at the regional level as well. Until recently, government officials and public health experts in India considered HIV/AIDS to be primarily a health problem that could be addressed best through medical intervention and behaviour change However, there is now widespread recognition that HIV/AIDS is a development problem that has profound implications not just for public health, but also for the economy and society. As a result, there is strong support at the very top of the current political leadership for greater interministerial and inter-sectoral collaboration in the fight against HIV/AIDS and the mainstreaming of HIV/AIDS into development programmes. There is also agreement that more expenditure is required to strike at the root causes of the spread of HIV/AIDS pandemic. These strategic priorities are reflected in the 3rd phase of the National AIDS Control Programme (NACPIII), which will be launched in early 2006. Under NACP-III, one of the main objectives is to prevent new infections by covering all high-risk groups with targeted interventions and scaling up interventions among the general population (especially women, youth, children and migrants). Another key objective is to strengthen care, support and treatment programmes for people affected by HIV/AIDS and link them to preventions activities. In India, HIV prevalence is low compared to sub-Saharan African countries

like South Africa (0.91% and 21.5%, respectively). However, this figure masks regional epidemics taking place in 6 states where HIV prevalence has surpassed the 1% threshold, indicating that the disease has spread from high-risk groups to the general population. It also does not reflect the very high levels of vulnerability to HIV infection that exist in many of Indian states and Union Territories. India is second only to South Africa in terms of the absolute number of HIV positive cases, estimated at 5.134 million infections as per the latest NACO estimates (NACO, 2004) as compared to 5.3 million in South Africa. The number of full-blown AIDS cases detected in India by 31st July 2005 as reported by NACO stood at 1,11,608 persons, of which 30% were women. The state-wise picture showed Tamil Nadu to have the largest number of AIDS cases at 52,036, followed by Maharashtra (13,747) and Andhra Pradesh (12,349). These numbers are expected to rise steadily over the coming years as the epidemic matures. One of the biggest challenges of controlling the spread of HIV/AIDS and mitigating its impact in India is to understand who HIV/AIDS affects and how. This process is hampered by the fact that HIV/AIDS is the most underreported disease in the sub-continent. This is largely the result of stigma, which deters people from getting tested (only about 5% know their sero-status), makes doctors disinclined to record AIDS diagnoses, and discourages HIV+ people from accessing care and support services. A weak public health system combined with the size and diversity of the country compounds this problem and results in underreporting and inadequate surveillance. Greater knowledge of who is HIV+ and who is vulnerable to HIV infection is required in order to achieve the

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Factor

Indicator

HIV/AIDS prevalence

Data from sentinel surveillance sites; no. of AIDS patients

Socio-economic conditions

Income level; Head Count Ratio of Poverty; Unemployment; Landlessness;

Social Inequality

% SC/ST population; Gender-ratio; level of urbanization; female literacy level; female child undernutrition; female-headed households

Health status and coverage / utilization of health services

Immunization; PHC-population ratio; health expenditures per capita; prevalence rates of STDs; presence of organizations working on HIV/ AIDS

Physical Environment

Proneness to droughts/natural disasters; low agricultural productivity

Mobility

Migration rates

Security environment Crime rates

Civil disturbance; domestic violence;

government’s objective of scaling-up of prevention programmes to cover all high-risk and vulnerable members within the general population.

ICT in HIV/AIDS prevention The key role of ICT in the prevention and mitigation efforts for HIV/AIDS in India is generating awareness and providing practical information to people to deal with such problems through the audio-visual and electronic media and also it is helping in capacity building of health functionaries towards counseling and treatment with regard to HIV/AIDS. UNDP has set up an e-portal and user groups to foster community connectivity and disseminate information on HIV and development issues for the Asia-Pacific region as a part of its regional HIV and Development Programme that provides online counseling and treatment guidance, databases on resources, published and other information from all concerned international organisations, agencies at various levels and NGOs, an online training programme for medical and paramedical staff. UNDP is also supporting an

ICT-based project that enables a consortium of Community Based Organisations and other concerned agencies in South Asia to monitor and evaluate current HIV programmes through online information sharing, assessment of programme performance at the regional and sub-regional levels. In India, UNDP is supporting a pilot project in Orissa and Chhattisgarh (states of origin of migrant labour) and Gujarat (one of the destination states) to reduce vulnerabilities of migrant workers and their families and communities through e-Kiosks which enable access to relevant information on livelihoods, mobility, facilitating remittances and contact with families. It also includes a training module for PRIs to be used by the southern states initially to strengthen capacities of the PRIs in programme management more effectively. SAATHII (Solidarity and Action Against The HIV Infection in India), an NGO, received funding from UNDP to set up an Electronic Resource Centre on HIV/AIDS that will include training modules, interactive e-Forums and e-Resources tailored to the needs of organisations working in this field all over India. It will also

Electronic Helpline on HIV/AIDS in Rajasthan The Manthan award winning project in 2005 under the category of e-Health, Electronic Helpline on HIV/AIDS in Rajasthan is running in Rajasthan (India) since 2000. Health and Social Development Research Centre (HSDRC) based in Jaipur, is the primary facilitator agency for this initiative. The project receives financial support from the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), Government of India. The local monitoring and support agency is Rajasthan State AIDS Control Organisation, Jaipur, Rajasthan. HSDRC is using the concept of the Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) for the Electronic Helpline on HIV/AIDS. The Helpline uses a computer equipped with a four channel voice card, linked to two telephone lines using customised software. This IVRS system operates round the clock. The objective of the project is to disseminate technically sound information on HIV/AIDS along with details of related health services, and to as many people as possible while maintaining the anonymity of the client. In its present form the software provides a client with the following options: (i) general information on what is HIV/AIDS, causal factors and prevention possibilities, (ii) symptoms, (iii) testing and treatment facilities and (iv) support to HIV positives. An additional option is for recording the personal queries and facility for hearing answer to recorded queries. Since its inception in March 2000, more than 0.2 million callers have used the service despite various operational problems from time to time. For further information contact Contact hsdrc@datainfosys.net

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i4d | December 2005


Adolescence education programme in India The Adolescence Education programme (AEP) is positioned by the Department of Education and the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) as a key intervention in preventing new HIV infections and reducing social vulnerability to the infection. The programme is implemented in all states across India through the Department of Education (DoE) in collaboration with the State AIDS Control Societies (SACS). The objective of the AEP is to provide 100 per cent quality coverage for all senior schools in the country so that students in Grades IX–XI have adequate and accurate knowledge about HIV in the context of life-skills. The AEP is conducted by the nodal teacher using a minimum of 16 hours /academic year. Evaluation and preliminary analysis of 2005 coverage has indicated that although planned nationwide, coverage for 2005-2006 is 86 per cent. A Teachers Awards/Recognition has been mooted to strengthen the quality of implementation of the programme. The objective is to give recognition/appreciation to teachers implementing the Adolescence Education Programme effectively. Three teachers will be identified in each of the four categories at the District, State and National level. Source: http://www.unicef.org/india/media_966.htm

include online databases and forums that cater to knowledge sharing and the dissemination of best practices. A needs assessment survey carried out by SAATHII pointed out that ICT has the largest potential for building the capacity of organisations that are difficult to reach through conventional means.

ICT and targeting interventions ICT can play a pivotal role in the identification of vulnerability zones for focusing HIV/AIDS intervention programmes, but this hasn’t received much operational focus in the Indian context. The ICT with the help of GIS tools, can be used as an effective means of not only identifying vulnerable populations and regions, but also tracking and monitoring the vulnerability profiles of the target regions. ADB is providing technical assistance to an ICT-based HIV/AIDS preventive education project in the cross-border areas of the Greater Mekong Sub-Region (GMSR - comprising parts of Yunan province of China and the countries of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand), which is being implemented jointly by UNESCO and SEAMEO (South East Asian Ministers of Education Organisation). One of the components of this project is a GIS network for monitoring the interventions for vulnerable populations and direct targeted interventions for high risk groups and interstitial populations (population falling between those who have established permanent residency in a specific location/area and those that are migrant, and move from home to work constantly). The GIS database includes information on HIV/AIDS epidemiological incidence and surveillance data, distribution of known risk population, migration and transportation routes, economic risk factors, education indicators, ICT availability information, health indicators and organisational coverage. The best way to reduce the vulnerability to HIV would be to strike at the very roots of the causes that lead people to migrate out, leaving their families and dependants behind. This would include a direct action against poverty, low productivity, lack of livelihoods and social infrastructure in these regions. In the Indian context, there are several causal factors, which define the vulnerability of districts to HIV/AIDS, presented in the table below. This information can then be mapped to provide a similar GIS-based database for HIV/AIDS in India. December 2005 | www.i4d.csdms.in

HIV/AIDS prevalence data as an indicator presents many limitations if one wishes to carry out a district-level analysis. NACO estimates HIV burden based on anonymous blood sample testing from different sentinel surveillance centers. These centres include those attended by high-risk groups, such as STD clinics, sex worker intervention centers and drug de-addiction centers, and also ANC clinics to represent the general population. In 2004 there were a total of 659 sentinel surveillance centres in India, but they did not cover all the districts in the country, and hence the data is not available for all the districts. Moreover, these sites are not representative as they tend to be located in urban areas and areas where there is a known problem. The goal in the larger context of successfully contributing to the efforts towards arresting the growth of HIV/AIDS in India is to develop a comprehensive GIS-based tracking and monitoring system, on the lines of the ADB project. This would not only identify the hot spots with high-risk behaviour but also vulnerability hot spots. A monitoring system would basically strengthen planning and management of HIV programming. ICT-based HIV initiatives must be (a) cost-effective; (b) easily accessible; (c) user-friendly; (d) presented in the vernacular to reach out to the largest number of people; e) multi-disciplinary, and f) easily comprehensible in content. This seems to be a tall order, but it is necessary in order to realise the full potential of ICT, especially in a diverse and multi-cultural country like India.

Future opportunities Despite the challenges to be faced because of the infrastructural constraints in applying ICT as a tool, mainstreaming HIV/AIDS into other ICT projects can be a cost-effective solution to increasing the outreach of the medium. MSSRF is taking forward its initiative, ‘Mission 2007’, which aims to make every village a knowledge centre by 2007. This includes providing an internet kiosk in every village, which can also be utilised for accessing HIV/ AIDS related information as well. Such a facility can also be built into successful ICT initiatives such as ITC’s e-Chaupal project. This would be in keeping with NACP-III strategic priorities of mainstreaming HIV/AIDS into other development initiatives and building partners among government, civil society and private sector.

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UNAIDS

Reverse the epidemic The UN’s response to AIDS formally began in 1986, when the Global Programme on AIDS was established at the World Health Organisation (WHO). As the epidemic expanded and evolved, it became increasingly clear that an unprecedented effort extending beyond the health sector would be required to address the growing global crisis. Today, ten UN agencies sponsor the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. They include: UNCHR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNIDC, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank. Most of the Joint UN Programme’s work is at country level. The Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS, UNAIDS, is the main advocate for accelerated, comprehensive and coordinated global action on the epidemic. UNAIDS coordinates all AIDS-related activities undertaken by the UN system. Its mission is to lead, strengthen and support an expanded response to HIV and AIDS that includes preventing transmission of HIV, providing care to those already living with the virus, reducing the vulnerability of individuals and communities to HIV and alleviating the impact of the epidemic. UNAIDS Country Coordinators facilitate the work of UN Theme Groups on HIV and AIDS – the joint AIDS policy and strategy decision making body for Cosponsors and other UN system agencies at country level. There are UN Theme Groups in more than 130 countries. UNAIDS also provides strategic assistance and works with governments, civil society and other partners in support of more effective and efficient action. UNAIDS works for a stronger, sustained and more effective effort against AIDS. Priorities include scaling up proven prevention, treatment and

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Red Ribbon Express trains for AIDS awareness National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) has decided to run four Red Ribbon Express trains across the country to generate awareness on HIV/AIDS in India. NACO plans to hire a train from Indian railways, one of the world’s biggest networks that spans the entire country, to spread the anti-AIDS message. The ‘Red Ribbon Express’ will carry actors who will perform AIDS awareness plays; doctors to carry out HIV tests and volunteers who will cycle to villages every time the train stops. The campaign will focus on raising competencies against HIV/AIDS for all. A Communications Consortium, pooling-in resources and technical expertise from various partners exclusively for HIV/ AIDS communication, has also been planned by NACO. UNICEF will be the facilitator for the consortium. A wide variety of activities are planned through the consortium so that different partners speak in the same language and work towards the same goal of spreading HIV/AIDS

awareness throughout the country, according to a senior health department official. In the northern city of Chandigarh in October 2005, thousands of people including local politicians rang bells, honked horns and clanged food utensils to create an “alarm” about AIDS. But voluntary groups say much more needs to be done. The consortium would bring out communi-cation software with NACO’s technical support. It includes a television soap focusing on HIV/AIDSrelated issues. Four trains coming from four different corners of India will meet at the centre of India. These trains, carrying youth, will stop at all stations en route and complete the journey in six months. The young people aboard will go to all the villages surrounding the stations and educate people on HIV/AIDS through puppet shows, dramas, and skits.

impact-mitigation strategies in all affected countries and working with partners towards greater efficiency in the AIDS response. UNAIDS supports a more effective, comprehensive and coordinated global response to AIDS by providing: • leadership and advocacy for effective action on the epidemic; • strategic information and technical support to guide efforts against AIDS worldwide; • tracking, monitoring and evaluation of the epidemic and of responses to it; • civil society engagement and the development of strategic partnerships; • mobilisation of resources to support an effective response. UNAIDS supports the delivery of antire-

troviral treatment in low-income countries and has been fully committed to making universal access a reality since it was established in 1996. UNAIDS sponsored early projects that demonstrated conclusively that delivering treatment in poorer areas was feasible. Efforts by UNAIDS were critical to the timely establishment in December 2002 of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as a new financial mechanism to leverage resources for AIDS. UNAIDS is intensifying efforts to generate the resources needed to reverse the epidemic. The World Bank is one of the largest single providers of financial assistance for AIDS programmes in developing countries.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/ http://www.boston.com/

Source: http://www.unaids.org/ i4d | December 2005


T HE NACP-III E -C ONSULTATION

Reaching out through the Internet Solution Exchange is a knowledge sharing initiative that uses an e-mail platform to offer a free, impartial space for communities of development practitioners.

Dr. E. Mohamed Rafique Resource Person & Moderator emohamed.rafique@undp.org UNAIDS India Office

Seema Kochhar Research Associate, UNAIDS India Office, seema.kochhar@undp.org

December 2005 | www.i4d.csdms.in

“Every individual’s knowledge adds a new dimension and offers a fresh perspective on development challenges. Your contribution matters in ushering in ‘the change’.” ‘e’ aiding HIV/AIDS The National AIDS Control Organisation, NACO is charged with managing the Government of India’s response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic through a Nationwide AIDS Control Programme (NACP). The Programme’s overall objective is to reduce the spread of HIV infection and to strengthen the capacity of Central and State Governments, civil society and the private sector to respond to AIDS on a long-term basis. The first phase of NACP-I began in 1992. NACP-II began in 1999, and NACP-III is scheduled to begin in April 2006. NACO began organising the NACP-III preparation process in late 2004, setting up a planning team of specialists and creating working groups to address the various implementation and management issues. At about the same time, the United Nations Agencies represented in India, were introducing a new concept, ‘Solution Exchange’. Solution Exchange is a knowledge sharing initiative that uses an e-mail platform to offer a free, impartial space for communities of development practitioners to share their knowledge and experiences. Members represent a wide range of organisations and perspectives from government, NGOs, development partners, private sector, and academia and are organised into Communities of Practice, built around the framework of the Millennium Development Goals as they relate to national goals and targets. Through Solution Exchange, community members interact on an ongoing basis, building

familiarity and trust, gaining in knowledge that helps them contribute more effectively to development challenges. Each community has a dedicated team of professionals to moderate the discussions. Solution Exchange foresaw support for development practitioners concerned with AIDS in India. The service would be hosted by UNAIDS as the secretariat to the ‘UN Theme Group on HIV/AIDS’. Taking advantage of this opportunity to reach out through a UN-sponsored platform, NACO

requested UNAIDS to support civil society consultation through an e-Discussion on NACP III and UNAIDS offered Solution Exchange as a platform to seek the views of the general public to contribute their insights into the working groups. The NACP-III e-Consultation was launched on 19 July 2005 by Dr. S.Y. Quraishi, Director General of the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO). Members were asked to respond on preselected thirteen different topics, like prevention, focused interventions, communication/advocacy, human rights and mainstreaming/partnerships, etc.

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Rural India Achieving Millennium Development Goals and Grassroots Development The International Conference on ‘Rural India Achieving Millennium Development Goals and Grassroots Development’ was held in the campus of the well-known Dr. Marri Chenna Reddy HRD Institute, Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh, India) during 10-12 November 2005. The conference was inaugurated on 10th November 2005 by Shri N Raghuveera Reddy, Minister for Agricilture, Government of Andhra Pradesh, who also released the Souvenir. Prof. I. V. Murali Krishna, President of the Local Chapter of Bhoovigyan Vikas Foundation welcomed the gathering. The inaugural session was followed by two technical sessions on ‘MDGs and Targets: Vision and Action’ and ‘Grassroots Level Governance Credit: http://www.sahanav.org and Panchayati Raj Institutions’. The deliberations on the second day was mainly focused on the State of Andhra Pradesh with particular reference to the progress achieved on the MDGs. It consisted of four technical sessions on ‘Food Security and Hunger’, ‘Health Issues’, ‘Gender’, and ‘Creation of Adasha Villages’. This was preceded by a plenary lecture by Dr. S. Mahendra Dev, Director CESS, Hyderabad. The deliberations on the third day took place in four technical sessions and five Plenary Lecture Sessions. The Themes covered in the plenary lectures were various development issues relevant to ‘rural India’. The plenary session was chaired by Dr. M. V. Rajasekharan, Hon’ble Minister for State for Planning, Planning Commission, Government of India. The Valedictory Session was chaired by Hon’ble Shri Ponnala Lakshmaiah, Minister for Major Irrigation, Govt. of A.P, with Dr. K Rajagopal, Vice Chancellor, JNTU, as the Chief Guest. The Bhoovigyan Sammans were presented to 12 distinguished professionals in different disciplines, besides two posthumous awards. The complete report of the conference is available at http://www.sahanav.org/ruralindia/sessionsummary.htm

The AIDS Community moderator posted the individual contributions via email as they were received from members. Every week a summary of all the received contributions was prepared, sent to the NACP- III planning team and circulated through the eConsultation.

e-Consultation for solution Over the three months of the e-Consultation, eight hundred persons subscribed to the discussions, from all over India and abroad. Over three hundred constructive and valuable contributions were offered to the working groups, and the responses were well reflected in the corresponding draft reports. The e-Consultation also encouraged anonymous mails to ensure all voices were heard. The trust of the members in the process is evident - the e-Consultation received only eight anonymous postings. To make the process fully transparent, impartial and more participative, the minutes of the various working group meetings were also posted, and feedback received from the members were shared with the working groups for incorporation into the final reports. This was followed by posting of the working group draft reports. The finalised reports of the working groups were shared with the members of the NACP-III e-Consultation. Echoing the excitement and interest generated in this pioneering effort, the e-Consultation received substantial press coverage, with headlines reading ‘You can help make AIDS policy’ (Asian Age, New Delhi), ‘e-Consultation to help the Government of India design its national AIDS policy’ (i4donline.com), etc.

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Through this e-Consultation, the Indian Government has set an example for other countries, by seeking direct participation of the people at large in its efforts to design a National AIDS Control Programme. By capturing as wide a range of perspectives as possible, including those living with HIV/AIDS, the resulting programme will have a much better chance of meeting its goals and mitigating the spread of AIDS in India.

The way forward Quote of a member participating in the e-Consultation may focus the view of the members of Solution Exchange: “I am seeing the slew of mails, working groups working hard, consultations and I am asking myself if this is the same NACO which planned NACP II? I am aware that any amount of open consultation will still bring in criticism but the space given for discussion for preparation of NACP III is one of the best I have seen so far. Really appreciate this…” NACP-III is currently being finalised, and the inputs to the e-Consultation have been incorporated into the draft version. The Solution Exchange for the AIDS Community in India has moved on to knowledge-sharing activities and other efforts intended to help ensure that members work more effectively both individually and as a group. Thus, through this UN initiative, the power and passion of Communities of Practice is being channeled into a cost-effective way of attaining this MDG goal.  For more information about Solution Exchange visit www.solutionexchange-un.net.in i4d | December 2005


The largest Asian conference and exhibition on ICT and Education


April 2006, Bangkok, Thailand www.DLasia.csdms.in


Prospect

Sessions

Education and training are the foundation of global competitiveness. There is increasing evidence that education and skill levels of human resource are significant determinants of success or failure of human-resource led strategy of a knowledge society in a globalised world. Studies have also confirmed that the heart of Southeast Asian miracle has been their strategy of continually revising and rejuvenating training and education to upgrade the skills of their competitive workforce. However the Asian financial crisis also highlighted some of their potential shortcomings in the education system. There is a need to constantly upgrade the skills and adaptability of human resource to the changing demands of the new economy. There is a need for a faster and more imaginative educational expansion that can support an accelerated spread of new technologies in the education system. In recent years, several countries in East and Southeast Asia have responded to this need through national education strategies with a focus on integrating ICT in education at all levels. However counties are still in different stages of this integration, coping with challenges of infrastructure and implementation.

The conference will focus on the following board thematic sessionsPublic private partnership in ICT in education Technologies for education and training Education of informatics and communication technologies Online teaching and learning Distance education/learning e-learning in classrooms Instructional design and e-learning content Monitoring and evaluation of ICT in education Quality standards in e-content Future trends in e-learning

The conference Digital Learning Asia aims to take stock of the progress of the South and East Asian countries in utilizing Information and Communication Technologies to enhance the quality and reach of education with a focus on building a human capital that responds to the needs of a globalised world. The conference will provide a platform for policymakers, practitioners, industry leaders and academicians to share experience, knowledge and perspective on integrating technologies in all level of education as well as introducing technology education at all level. The conference will provide a forum for showcasing and learning from best practices, explore solutions to meet challenges and discuss issues and strategies for best utilizing the potential of ICT in education.

Keynote sessions Eminent experts from the education system and senior government officials from various part of Asia and outside will discuss debate the current policies and trends in ICT in education in their respective countries. This discussion will include the following broad themesNational ICT and Education strategies ICT in Education trends in Asian countries Best Practices in ICT in Education in Asia

Organisers

knowledge for change

We invite you to suggest other themes or sessions that you may like to take a lead on.

Exhibition Digital Learning Asia 2006 will have an exhibition of latest e-solutions, services, initiatives and case studies from across Asia and beyond. Professional service providers, IT vendors, consulting firms, government agencies and national/international development organisations involved in the ICT in Education domain are encouraged to participate in the exhibition.

Call for Papers Abstract submission: Abstract Acceptance: Full Paper Submission:

January 30 , 2006 February 10 , 2006 February 28, 2006

Important Contacts Registration: Papers: Sponsorship: Exhibition: General Information:

registration@DLasia.csdms.in papers@DLasia.csdms.in sponsorship@DLasia.csdms.in exhibition@DLasia.csdms.in info@DLasia.csdms.in

Digital Learning Asia 2006 Secretariat Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies (CSDMS) G-4, Sector 39, Noida (U.P.) 201 301, India Tel: +91-120-2502180 to 87; Fax: +91-120-2500060

Media partners

ov

www.DLasia.csdms.in


Vol. III No. 12

December 2005

Information for development w w w. i 4 d . c s d m s . i n

Agriculture

Education

Agriculture in decline in Maharashtra

‘Internet to Masses’ coming up in Indian state

Even though nearly 55 per cent of Maharashtra’s workforce is still dependent on agriculture for its livelihood, the sector is in a state of constant decline over the last two decades. Though Maharashtra accounts for 10 per cent of the country’s total agriculture output and 6 per cent in terms of food grains, the per hectare yield is very poor. During 1981 and 2001, percentage of people who depend on agriculture for their livelihood declined by a mere 4 per cent, from 59.1 per cent to 55 per cent. The low yield is attributed to inadequate irrigation. There were limitations to increasing land under irrigation, as the state had irrigation potential of only 30 per cent, of which 16 per cent had been already exploited.

Akshaya, the e-Learning and enterprise initiative of the Kerala State Government in India, will roll out ‘Internet to Masses,’ a new venture, in Malappuram district. The new venture aims to provide comprehensive training to an estimated one-lakh people on the Internet. Selected candidates will be given training through the Akshaya e-Kendras in the district. At present, 400 Akshaya e-Kendras in the district have broadband Internet connectivity. The Akshaya project was launched in Malappuram in November 2002. Malappuram has the largest concentration of non-residents in the State taking extensively use of Internet.

Source: http://www.business-standard.com

Community radio India notifies FDI in FM radio The Government of India notified 20% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in FM radio, weeks after inviting bids for the second phase of expansion. Till now, foreign investment was permitted in terrestrial broadcasting up to 20% under the portfolio investment schemes. Over 100 applications have been made to the government, seeking entry to the second phase of private FM radio service. Even as the government allowed FDI in the sector, it decided to continue the ban on news and current affairs. Source: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com

December 2005 | www.i4d.csdms.in

Source: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com

Teachers get recognition for using ICTs Innovative Teachers Leadership Award, the annual award constituted under Microsoft’s educational programme, Project Shiksha, has been given to 15 Indian teachers this year. The award seeks to honour schoolteachers, selected by eminent educationists, for using information technology innovatively in their teaching techniques. Source: http://www.financialexpress.com

Refurbished computers in use to teach English in India Donated second-hand computers are helping to bring English language skills to children in rural India through “Project Pygmalion”.

With the support of the Institute of Leadership and Institutional Development (ILID), this project uses computers as a tool to enhance the English-speaking skills of primary-school students in Standard 5 (Grade 5) and is being implemented in 19 schools (15 government-run) in villages in and around Mysore and Bangladore, India. Source: http://www.ilid.org

Microsoft puts British Library online About 100,000 books in the British Library are going to be scanned and put online by software giant Microsoft. The books, which are out of copyright, will be digitised from 2006 and put online as part of Microsoft’s book search service next year. A separate global digital library plan by Google is also under way. Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk

ICT books available for primary students Primary and lower secondary school students are now able to bridge the digital gap as they can purchase books on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the Malay language. The books, “Mudah Ke Arah Teknologi Maklumat dan Komunikasi” (Easy Guide towards ICT) level one to six (in English language) and level one to three (in Malay language) authored by Hj Kamsani Hj Ahmad, a senior lecturer of Institute Teknologi Brunei (ITB) were exhibited at the Brunei ICT Awards (BICTA) expo at the International Convention Centre in Berakas. Source: http://www.brudirect.com

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The i4d News

India among 30 countries at risk to meet liter literacy acy targets According to Unesco’s Education For All (EFA) global monitoring report 2006, of the 771 million adult illiterates in the world without basic literacy skills, South and West Asia together fare the worst, with the lowest adult literacy rate of 58.6%. The number of illiterate people in India is more than 5 million, according to the report. Nepal and Pakistan also have similarly high rates. The report puts India among the 30 countries unable to achieve adult literacy targets by 2015, due to the slow pace of progress. The other countries at risk of not achieving the goal are Pakistan and Nepal, several countries of Africa and Latin America. Source: http://www.financialexpress.com

e-Governance Chandigarh gets best eGoverned state award Chandigarh, the Indian state was adjudged the best e-Governed state at the Computer Society of India (CSI) and Nihilent eGovernance Awards for the year 2004. The award recognized the Department of Information Technology, Chandigarh eSampark project. e-Sampark aims to bring together all departments of the state under a single umbrella and give citizens a “multiservice-single-window” experience. Andhra Pradesh was awarded for Best Policy Framework and e-Readiness, and Gujarat for Best Citizen Facilitation. Source: http://www.indiainfoline.com

Vizag police to go hi-tech Come June 2006, the Police department in the districts in Vizag region in India would have e-Cop system. This will help in registering complaints online and monitoring their status through Internet. The system is already in vogue in Hyderabad. This would help in bringing greater transparency to the functioning of the police. Source:http://www.newindpress.com

India portal a gateway for Govt info, services The Minister for Communications and IT, Dayanidhi Maran, has launched the national portal of India, ‘www.india.gov.in’, which will act as a gateway for various Central and State Government online services, including applying for marriage certificates, downloading forms for

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passport, and also provide information relating to Government tenders, policies and schemes. The portal will play a key role in the ambitious National e-Governance programme, as it can serve as the frontend for the 28 mission mode projects being proposed. The portal, developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), provides a single interface to all Government sites providing comprehensive information in sections on citizens, businesses, overseas, Government, etc. Source:http://www.thehindubusinessline.com

CSCs to come up in one lakh Indian villages Communications and IT Minister of India, Dayanidhi Maran has announced that Common Service Centres (CSCs) will be set up in one-lakh villages in the country next year as part of the ambitious e-Governance project. The project envisaged providing information right at the local village level with the help of broadband connectivity through State servers, which in turn would be connected to the National Service centres (NSCs). The villagers could access to the services offered by the State and apply for land records, birth certificate, death certificate and community certificates and get them at their place itself through State servers. Source: http://news.webindia123.com

e-Commerce Amazon, Google work on pay-per-page e-Books In a race to become online repository of

the publishing world, Amazon.com and Google are both developing systems to allow consumers to purchase online access to any page, section or chapter of a book. The idea is to allow consumers to buy and download parts of individual books for their own use rather than trek to a store or receive them by mail. Microsoft also is investing in a book-scanning programme called MSN Book Search. Yahoo had earlier joined the group, which is working to digitise the contents of millions of books and put them on the Internet, with full text accessible to anyone, while respecting the rights of copyright holders. Source: http://www.asianage.com

e-Procurement creates record in Southern India Andhra Pradesh has created a record by processing contracts worth Rs 17,000 crore through the e-Procurement platform in the first half of the current financial year. Over seven government departments, 11 public sector units, two universities, 11 municipal corporations and 30 municipalities have been using the eProcurement platform for awarding contracts over and above Rs 1 lakh. Of the Rs 17,000-crore work contracts, the state irrigation department alone contributed Rs 15,000 crore in over 1,000 tender packages. Other government departments, including various corporations and local bodies, have invited over 5,000 bids with a total value of Rs 2,000 crore. Source: http://www.business-standard.com

Livelihood Free training at Microsoft Microsoft Corporation India Pvt Ltd has announced free training programs for the IT professional community, to help impart skills related to the upcoming SQL 2005 and Visual Studio 2005 offerings from Microsoft. The company will launch the next versions of its database server and developer tools offering worldwide in December, and these training programs provide a perfect opportunity for IT professionals to get a first hand look and deeper understanding of these offerings. Source: http://www.financialexpress.com i4d | December 2005


The i4d News Africa eyeing Indian IT professionals In an effort to bridge technical skill shortage in their country, South Africa is eyeing Indian IT professionals, engineers and teachers, besides training cooperation in the field of public administration. South Africa plans to recruit Indians from open market to address technical skills shortages in areas like education, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and health. The African country was also looking to rope in Indian public servants for training their South African counterparts as part of a capacity building programme. Source:http://www.newindpress.com

Zambian Youth Project bringing new livelihood The Zambian Chawama Youth Project started in the heart of Lusaka’s Chawama Township, brings life skills to local youth and women through ICTs. The Skills Training Centre has become ambitious in exploring new Information Communication Technologies (ICTs). Chawama Youth Project and Skills Training center has since its registration in 2001 trained over 300 people in different fields that include carpentry and joinery, tailoring and design, welding and metal fabrication, auto mechanics, house wiring and power electrical among others. It recently put in place an ICT center that would enable youths and other clients from the local community to access the Internet and other computer-based secretarial services easily. Source: http://www.iicd.org

Outsourcing to create more than 3 lakh new jobs in US by 2010 A Recent study commissioned by the IT Association of America (ITAA) has said that the incremental economic activity triggered by offshoring is likely to create over 3.37 lakh net new jobs in the US by 2010. The incremental economic activity that follows offshore IT outsourcing created over 2.57 lakh net new jobs in 2005. The study found that outsourcing of IT services added to the take-home pay of average US workers. Source:http://www.thehindubusinessline.com

December 2005 | www.i4d.csdms.in

US$100 laptop makes debut at WSIS The foldable lime green US$100 laptop prepared by MIT’s Nicholas Negroponte, the mind behind the non-profit One Laptop Per Child group, made its debut at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), which is looking at ways of narrowing the technology gap between rich and poor. Nicknamed the green machine, it can be used as a conventional computer, or an electronic book. A child can control it using a cursor at the back of the machine or a touch pad on the front. There has already been firm interest in the machines from governments, though no laptops have yet been manufactured. Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk

US law firms plan to outsource work to India United States law firms are looking at outsourcing electronic discovery to India. At present the job of electronic discovery is done by junior lawyers in the US. However, technology has made possible these searches to be outsourced to India. Source: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com

Open source Women to promote open source in Africa The third Women’s Electronic Network Training (WENT) Africa event hosted by APC-Africa-Women, will take place in Uganda in December. The focus for the event is the promotion of awareness and support for free and open source software (FOSS) in women’s organisations in Africa. The workshop’s primary objectives are to stimulate awareness and adoption of FOSS solutions among women’s organisations in the region, and to provide technical support to women’s organisations in the assessment, adoption and use of FOSS applications within women’s organisations. Source: http://www.tectonic.co.za

According to Sipa, there are around four million PCs in the market and 700,000 new units per year, and only 10 percent of these are sought to run open-source software.Sipa plans to work around 20 to 30 universities nationwide in Thailand. Source: http://www.linuxinsider.com

Technology PC penetration high among SMEs in Malaysia While the level of personal computer (PC) penetration among Malaysian households is still low, the penetration among businesses is high. PC penetration among businesses in Malaysia, particularly small and mediumsized enterprises (SME), is encouragingly high at 66 percent. This percentage is above Korea (61 percent) and Taiwan (58 percent) but still below Singapore at 82 percent and Hong Kong (70 percent). As for PC penetration among Malaysian households, it is currently at 17 percent from a base of five million households, whereas Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia have achieved over 50 percent penetration. Source: http://www.bernama.com.my

Telecommunication

Thai agency targets 10 percent of PCs for FOSS

Uniform call rates across India from January

Thailand’s Software Industry Promotion Agency (Sipa) has set a target of having open-source software on one in every 10 PCs in the next three years and is now working with universities to push this goal for the education and Small and Mediumsized Enterprises (SME) sectors.

The Government of India has announced that the ‘IndiaOne’ regime, which entails a single call rate across the country, would come into effect from January 2006. This would do away with the difference between local call charges and STD tariffs. Source:http://www.thehindubusinessline.com

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The i4d News

Internet phone calls on the rise According to Gartner, the market research group, a third of people in the United States and Europe will abandon phone lines in favour of wireless and broadband telephony come 2009. By 2009, 70% of voice connections around the world will be wireless. Broadband telephony is gaining ground among consumers, as people become more confident users of their high-speed net connections. It offers a cheap alternative to fixed-line voice calls. Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk

Now ombudsman to listen telecom grievance For more than 100 mn telecom subscribers, the Government of India is planning to set up an ombudsman for consumer grievances. Currently, there is no specialised body, which consumers can approach with their complaints except approaching courts, which is a long-drawn-out process. The draft new telecom policy proposes to set up the institution of Ombudsman for consumer grievances in the telecom sector. Source: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com

BSNL tender for GSM line to have Indian quota Telecom vendors bagging orders for Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL)’s 60-million GSM lines project, which is the world’s largest ever for GSM lines, may not be allowed to sub-contract to others. But they may be allowed to outsource from publicsector equipment manufacturers. Indian Telephone Industries can bag a contract for 15 million lines by just participating in the tender as it is the only Indian Public Sector Units in the business of manufacturing GSM equipment. A restriction on sub-contracting to foreign players is expected to affect giants like Nortel, Motorola and Lucent, which outsource a considerable chunk of their GSM equipment. Source: http://www.businessstandard.com

Health Website blending IT and medicine info A team of doctors has launched www.pgmed.com, a website designed

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specifically for practising doctors and medical students. The website aims at equipping medical students with comprehensive knowledge of all subjects that will be part of their curriculum and enabling practising doctors keep abreast of developments in the medical scenario. Source:http://www.newindpress.com

South Indian docs bring in new technique for LDP The doctors at the Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences (SVIMS) in the southern Indian state Andhra Pradesh, have come up with a cost effective technique to operate upon persons suffering from Lumbar Disc Prolapse (LDP) responsible for severe pain in the back and legs, resulting in inability to bend or walk. In the new technique developed by SVIMS neurosurgery team, the disc is removed using specially devised equipment. According to the doctors, apart from a very reduced cost of operation, the post-operative pain is less and the patient can be discharged in a day after the surgery. Source:http://www.newindpress.com

Japan broadening its wireless phone market New competition is coming to Japan’s mobile phone market, with the Japanese communications ministry announcing it would grant unused bandwidth to three new entrants, Softbank, eAccess and a start-up, IP Mobile . The new carriers will shake up the nation’s $70 billion cellular market, now divided among three big carriers — NTT DoCoMo and KDDI of Japan, and Vodafone of Britain. They have promised to help close the gaps, offering part of their bandwidth for wireless Internet access. Source: http://www.financialexpress.com

Google, Yahoo- the new faces in wireless market Google has launched Google Local for mobile, which essentially gives cell phone users access to satellite maps already available on Google Maps. And Yahoo plans to release soon a cell phone in partnership with SBC Communications Inc. Users of Google Local now can use their cell phones to search for businesses or services in a geographic location. The results are plotted in a map and as driving directions. The Yahoo mobile to be launched is expected to enable Yahoo to wirelessly link its Internet services, such as e-Mail, photos and music, with users’ Yahoo address books and accounts, etc. Source: http://www.cbronline.com

General Hong Kong company plans free PC program in India

Cellular service provider Spice plans to manufacture GSM handsets at its Baddi plant in Himachal Pradesh offering a handset for Rs 1,000 in the Indian market in the next 12 months. Spice currently sells 25,000 to 35,000 handsets a month under its own brand name. These mobiles are basic, no-frills models and imported from Taiwan.

After announcing a program last month to offer free PCs to lower income people in developing markets, Asiatotal.net, the Hong Kong-based company now plans to add India to its list of targeted countries. Last month, the company announced plans to ship 200,000 free PCs to Brazil over the coming months. The company does not provide the Internet access free, but only the device called the iT, and a minimum requirement is that the user have a telephone connection and an Internet account. In India, the company has yet to assess the market and negotiate with marketing companies to sponsor the program.

Source:http://www.thehindubusinessline.com

Source: http://www.infoworld.com

Wireless Spice to offer Rs1000handset in India

i4d | December 2005


Story telling for knowledge sharing

e-Governance in Africa Presenting a series of locally written articles with southern perspectives on the impact and the use of ICTs for Development. Following is the third series of articles focusing on ICT and Governance in 6 African countries.

In collaboration with:

www.iConnect-online.org is a knowledge sharing platform for Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in sustainable development. iConnect draws content from its partners, links resources and expertise and encourages collaboration. For the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD), the host of iConnect, this is a way to share experiences, lessons learned and ideas, and interact with communities and people with an interest in development and the applications of ICTs. These experiences can lead to a better understanding of the actual benefits of ICTs for Development (ICT4D). The core of iConnect will be a series of locally written articles on the impact and the use of ICTs for development. The articles have a strong focus on fact finding; objective information on ICT4D practices from a southern perspective: Southern content written by Southern people. i4d is the iConnect partner for Asia, disseminating the articles to their readers. For the full text of the articles, please visit www.iconnect-online.org.

Can ICT improve public service delivery in Burkina Faso? By Ramata Soré In Burkina Faso, a country with very low ICT penetration, some government services have been put online, but the lack of access by the majority of the population means that e-government must be balanced with traditional means of disseminating public information. “I applied for the job of health agent, and saw the results while searching on the civil service website before these results were broadcast on national radio,” said Marion, an aspiring civil servant, illustrating the two-tier strategy that is a necessity in Burkina Faso.

Overcoming obstacles Access to advanced ICTs in Burkina Faso is very low due to infrastructure limitations and a lack of training and financing for such tools. In less developed countries like Burkina, traditional media such as print, radio and TV are still indispensable for reaching the public and must be part of the government’s information and communication strategy. Otherwise, e-government will result in “two-tier” government, with a large part of the population left with less access to government information, not more. The perception that Burkina Faso is not totally ready for e-government extends even to DELGI, the informatics ministry responsible for the overall strategy. One official there said that Burkina is responding to outside pressure in instituting e-government: it was “an international imposition. We had to put information online because the Westerners did it and asked us to do the same.” To put the Burkina Faso online presence in context, a UNDP study of 190 countries showed that 169 of them had government websites. Of these, 17 were sophisticated enough to handle electronic payments, 32 of the sites

December 2005 | www.i4d.csdms.in

were simply a web presence with information about such things as government ministers, and 55 sites allowed people to download documents and interact with ministries by email. The Burkina Faso government’s online presence falls into this intermediate category. Although it is not very interactive and does not include facilities for applying for identity cards and paying taxes, for example, the sites are nevertheless helping to improve transparency and efficiency. The Ministry of Finance has published on its website various useful documents including forms and information about its operations. Mahama, a law student, says “It is easier to get an answer from a government official by email than to visit the office.” “E-government is in an embryonic state in this country,” says Augustin Coulibaly, a senior staffer at the Ministry of Finance.“Complex transactions like online payment and applying for identity papers require a high level of security, confidentiality, and verification of identity. At the minimum, the information online needs to be absolutely accurate and up to date, or the web site is worthless.” DELGI is responsible for putting in place a programme of modernisation of government services. It is installing a public service intranet/extranet and rolling out a national network to respond to the communication and information needs of a public administration that is undergoing a decentralization process and that therefore requires good information links between the capital and the regions. Eleven public institutions now have Internet access. The more this resource is used to deliver better quality public services, the more ICTs will be appreciated by the Burkinabè public.

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A tool for democracy ICTs can make it possible to carry out participatory consultation processes with citizens and business regarding administrative and political decisions. For this to happen, Burkinabès would have to undergo a change in mentality. Representative democracy needs ICTs in order to enable a fluid public discourse. “ICTs can enable elected officials to better fulfil their role as representatives of local constituencies by allowing them to monitor legislative processes from a distance,” says Professor Augustin Loada, executive secretary of the Centre pour la bonne gouvernance (CGD). In November 2005 there will be elections in Burkina Faso. Only four out of 136 political parties have websites. The information on these sites is similar: history of the party and an account of current activities. After the elections, parliamentary websites will be able to publish information about the winning candidates, including biographical and contact information. This objective information is

not to be confused with the political websites posted by individual candidates and elected officials, which are designed to sell his or her message to voters. ICTs are a tool for public participation. What’s new about ICTs is their interactive nature, which enables each citizen to publish his or her opinion instantaneously and throughout the world. ICTs are a goldmine of unexplored potential to improve the economic productivity and quality of life of Burkina Faso’s citizens. They can transform government into governance and change the relationship between government and citizen from one of master and servant to one of service provider and client. This process is still proceeding slowly in our country. The State still has problems of capacity, content, management and regulation to overcome before it can fully adopt ICT into its operations.  For further information contact iConnect coordinator, Sylvestre Ouedraogo, sylvestre.ouedraogo@univ-ouaga.bf

The government portal project: e-Governance in Ghana By John Yarney In Ghana today, anyone can sidestep the hindrances associated with bureaucracy and access government information such as the country’s budget statements via the Ghana government’s portal at www.ghana.gov.gh. This access is one of the benefits of the government portal project, according to Alphonse Koblavie, Deputy Director of Information of Ghana’s Information Services Department and leader of the team implementing the portal project. “The public can access government information anytime and anywhere provided they have net access,” he explains.

Government services go on-line The portal project has operated on a pilot basis since 2003, when Ghana’s Ministry of Information entered into an agreement with the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) to enhance the existing official National website at www.ghana.gov.gh, creating online delivery of government services to the people. The portal’s managers are now on the verge of executing the first phase of the actual portal project, which will include enhancing the content of the portal, adding more pages, and networking all the regional information offices of the Ghana’s Information Services Department. The project’s implementers defined two objectives for the pilot: first, to demonstrate how the government of Ghana could make effective use of web technologies to disseminate government information; and secondly, to examine the potential demand for government information and other e-government services among citizens and to consider how that demand could best be met at the local level. The project leaders would then advise government on appropriate strategies and actions to be taken to extend e-governance at the national and local levels. Currently, the portal provides briefs on all branches of government and links to institutions that have websites. It also has an archive of draft policies, reports, speeches and other official documents in addition to its news pages. And it displays general information on events, visiting, investing and studying in Ghana.

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Citizen interest vs cost barriers According to the project’s implementers, the reaction of the Ghanaian citizenry towards the Ghanaian government portal has been favourable. On average, at least 15 enquires are directed daily to the government through the portal. Increasingly, the portal is also serving as a link between would-be foreign investors and Ghana’s Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC). Managers of the website say they receive a significant number of investment enquiries, and they suggest that foreign investors find the site credible because it originates from the national government. But despite these positive reactions, the bulk of the citizenry cannot access the service because of illiteracy or lack of connectivity to the Internet. Most Ghanaians receive information via the radio. A survey — the third round of the Afrobarometer survey conducted in Ghana by the Ghana Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) — confirmed this reality. The survey, which measures indicators such as governance, economic reform and quality of life, found out that 67 per cent of respondents received their information from radio, and 83 per cent of respondents said they trusted that source, and especially the national broadcaster. Newspapers and TV followed radio respectively. “A lot more people have access to radio than to other media. We did not even include the Internet [in the survey], but if we had it would have made a poor showing,” said Edem Selormey, Afrobarometer Team Member. Selormey notes that very few people have access to the Internet, whereas radios are inexpensive and people can listen to programmes in their local dialect, thanks to community radio and local language programming on most FM stations. Ghana’s portal project has made some arrangements to deliver its services to citizens who do not have Internet connectivity, but so far these plans do not reach far enough. However, all of the country’s ten regional information offices can use the portal to locate and provide information to disseminate by other traditional means in their jurisdictions. i4d | December 2005


Project challenges There are fundamental issues beyond combining traditional and new media to deliver government information and services to the citizenry. Of course, funding remains a key issue. According to the portal’s managers, the first phase has stalled because of the delay in receiving funds from partners. Human resource issues also remain critical to the project’s survival. According to managers, remuneration and motivation for staff of the project could be much better, and there remains the need to develop the technical competencies of the team. “You can bring

new ideas,” stresses project leader Koblavie, “but you still need a team to implement and sustain it.” Furthermore, equipment must be regularly updated to keep to the project afloat. Implementers reason that because of the 24-hour operation of the project, it is essential to replace equipment every one and a half years. Finally, gathering information from the relevant governmental institutions remains a significant challenge. However, the advances made to this point suggest that with support the project will continue to provide important benefits.  For further information contact iConnect coordinator John Yarney, john_yarney@yahoo.co.uk

The right choice for development: e-Governance in Mali By Almahady Moustapha Cissé the Presidency of the Republic, the Primature (Prime Minister’s Office) and the government’s General Secretariat – making a total of 30 entities to be connected. “If we complete this task, a large proportion of all government administrative work will be done online,” he noted. This huge project will be spread over three years, from 2005 to 2007. The Managing Director of AGETIC reveals that the project in fact began in 2004-05, using domestic financing. For the next three years, 2006-08, the European Union will provide funding in the amount of 6 billion CFA francs.

ICTs foster good governance

Mr Samassekou Adama, Mr. Gaoussou Drabo and Mr Haidara, Mali

Mali’s ambitious government ICT project seeks to use the new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) as a development and anti-poverty tool for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The main objective: to make ICTs an instrument of good governance. According to Gaoussou Drabo, the Minister for Communication and New Information Technologies, ICTs can serve as tools for opening up isolated areas of the country to the outside world, thus contributing to the fight against poverty and helping the democratic process to take root. This vision drives the government’s ICT project. The project has two components. The first is the modernisation of government and the establishment of a network encompassing all ministerial departments and public services, including their subordinate directorates at national and regional level. The second involves connecting the country’s 703 municipalities to the Internet. According to Moulaye Sidaly Haïdara, Managing Director of the Implementing Agency for Information and Communication Technologies (AGETIC), the first objective, creating a government network, is well under way: “To date [September 2005], we have connected 14 departments and central services…. By the end of the year, we expect to have completed the 16 remaining departments.” Mali has 27 ministerial departments and three central services – December 2005 | www.i4d.csdms.in

“In development circles, we are always talking about good governance, and this notion is included in the government’s Intranet project,” says Touré Aïssata Lady, an AGETIC official. By way of example, she points to the contribution made by ICTs in managing the locust invasion that afflicted Mali in 2004: “ICTs made it possible to localise the invasion of desert locusts thanks to the GPS system.” According to Ousmane Bamba, a lawyer and expert on ICTs, these technologies can facilitate the democratic process. “With ICTs, we can ensure fair elections through the use of an electoral database based on biometrics. The financial advantages will also be substantial”, says Bamba, citing a study showing that in Mali the

The Minister of Communication and ICT, Mali, Mr. Gaoussou Drabo

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Mr Haidara, Director of ICT Agency, Mali

state spends the colossal sum of 6 billion CFA francs per year on communication via telephone and fax. As Mamadou Iam Diallo, technical advisor to the Ministry for Communication and New Information Technologies, notes, “The lntranet allows the government to communicate both internally and with users.” Diallo contends that ICTs are the right strategic choice for development, since, as he argues, the main costs incurred will be those for the initial investment. His conclusion: information technology, and ICTs in general, are tools that can foster good governance and development.

Connecting municipalities The second major component of Mali’s ICT project involves connecting the country’s 703 municipalities to the Internet. Wiring

all local communities is a long-standing dream first voiced in 2000 by former President of the Republic Alpha Oumar Konaré. “This dream is now becoming a reality,” declares AGETIC head Haïdara with a smile. Connecting towns to the Internet will give users direct access to information on their civil status and to many other kinds of data that they can currently obtain only by going through a multitude of bureaucratic procedures. In view of the size of the country, the government has broken down the project schedule into phases. “Our connection to the Internet is a wind of modernity blowing through our town. I am sure that it will resolve our communication difficulties and make up for the shortage of information that we experience every day in managing municipal affairs,” said Souleymane Dougnon, the mayor of Commune VI of Bamako District, thanking the Ministry for Communication and New Information Technologies. His counterpart in Kati, Yoro Ouologuem, expressed the same feelings of satisfaction and gratitude. In his view, connecting municipalities to the Internet means the dawn of new era for local authorities. The initiative should be encouraged and extended to all communities in the country, he asserted. The availability of electricity and telephone service, but even more importantly the involvement of the local population, were the selection criteria used for the test phase of the “Internet in local communities” project. “Above all,” says Minister Drabo, “we are strengthening the decentralisation process while at the same time reducing the isolation of local communities and authorities by bringing citizens closer to government in order to establish practices of good governance.”  For futther information contact iConnect coordinator Filifing Diakite, filifing@journalist.com

Successes and challenges: e-Governance in Tanzania By Aloyce Menda Tanzania resembles most developing countries in being faced with a myriad of economic challenges and extensive rural poverty. However, unlike many African countries, Tanzania can boast of peace and tranquillity since attaining political independence from Britain four decades ago.

More than an internet site The proper application of modern information and communication technologies (ICT) in government operations (e-governance) can simplify and accelerate administrative objectives by enhancing good governance, human rights, democracy, peace and security. Egovernance facilitates more efficient and effective interaction. In so doing it promotes transparency and accountability as well as efficient and effective leadership across the government. Thus, e-governance can be a key to better government leadership and consequently a stimulant to rapid, successful and sustainable development – in political, social and economic realms. However, to achieve these goals, e-governance must be more than just a government website on the Internet. “Political, social, economic and technological aspects determine e-governance,” says Michiel Backus, in a research report

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published by the Dutch-based International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD).

The Kinondoni Municipal Council project Tanzanian e-governance is in its infancy. The central government website (www.tanzania.go.tz) was inaugurated in 2000 and since then some government branches and local government authorities have focused on e-governance initiatives. Currently, an elaborate egovernment strategy has been approved by cabinet and is awaiting implementation. The e-governance project was the brain child of the Tanzanian Commission of Science and Technology (COSTECH), intended as a follow-up to the recommendation of the 1998 national ICT round table on Governance facilitated by IICD. The project proposal followed a feasibility study of August 1998 conducted to investigate, identify and recommend possible areas for sustainable computerization in the local governments. The feasibility study identified data flow patterns and their reporting mechanisms within and across various government sectors. The COSTECH director of information, Mr. Theophilus Mlaki, approached the Kinondoni Municipal Council (KMC) i4d | December 2005


administration in 1998 to propose that it host the pilot e-government project. KMC is one of three municipal councils that forms Dar es Salaam City Council (DCC), the top authority of the de-facto capital of Tanzania. Mlaki and his team from COSTECH faced a challenge in illustrating to key KMC officials how ICT and the e-government project would improve the KMC performance in all departments. The main concerns of KMC were cost saving and improvement in tax revenue collection, so theCOSTECH team had to demonstrate how the e-governance project would boost good governance as well as revenue collection and service delivery without excessive costs and extra burden to tax payers. They succeeded and the pilot project took off in 1999 with financial and technical support from IICD and COSTECH. Thus the KMC became the first of the 126 local government authorities of Mainland Tanzania (municipalities and districts) to initiate an e-governance project.

elections supervision, basic infrastructure (roads, water supply, etc.) construction and maintenance, waste management, and the maintenance of security, law and order. However, the COSTECH feasibility study had earlier revealed that most of these tasks were manually processed and were largely ineffective and inefficient. Transparency was limited by a slow flow of information which impeded direct access to KMC public services. Moreover, due to lack of a computerized Management Information System (MIS), the KMC resources were poorly managed, which translated into poor public services. The KMC project thus established a pilot MIS for the top administration. Databases for various services and records, such as health, education, birth, marriage and death, are computerized to facilitate good governance and to accelerate public services and the compilation of various social services reports. The process of registering and issuing birth, marriage and death certificates is now ten times faster than before the project inauguration. The project has also enhanced the management and processing of matters pertaining to foreign trade and investment in Kinondoni district.

Creating transparency and efficiency

Discussion meeting

“At that time there were only two office computers at the headquarters,” says Mlaki as he explains the challenges encountered in presenting the e-Governance idea to the KMC leadership. Today there are more than 120 computers in use, most with Internet access, according to Joash Nyitambe, the IT consultant for KMC. As one of the three municipal councils of the major city of Tanzania, KMC has many political, economical, social and administrative responsibilities. These include social (education and health) services delivery, tax collection, business licensing, council

A vivid example of e-governance’s capacity to boost transparency in government operations at the local level and to minimize the loopholes for corruption can be found in the realms of business licensing and tax collection, which were extremely cumbersome before the e-governance project. Business licensing was contaminated with elements of corruption due to the slow manual processes – often a week or more - that lacked transparency. Today such elements are almost eliminated and businesspeople can process a license in one day. Furthermore, KMC administration has publicly stated that the project is boosting revenue collections in all sectors and has reduced to the minimum public complaints about victimisation, favouritism and corruption in taxation procedures. Today few IT experts can talk about e-governance in Tanzania without referring to the KMC. The project bears those characteristics which mark modern ICT as a new engine of development: efficient interactivity, permanent (24 hour) network availability, a global reach through the Internet, and reduced costs. The project embodies exactly what the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) specify: “People centred development”.  For futther information contact iConnect coordinator Harry Hare, harry@aitecafrica.com

Transforming local government: e-Governance in Uganda By Davis Weddi In response to the high costs and inefficient labour involved in running a government, some forward-looking Ugandans have developed the concept of e-governance to minimize the expenses involved in the local administration of the country’s districts. Participants in various sectors are striving to use Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to prompt changes in the standards and delivery of local government services and, more importantly, in the way citizens interact and participate in governance. Voluminous paperwork, long service delivery times December 2005 | www.i4d.csdms.in

and stifling bureaucracy may soon be a thing of the past, if new ICT plans are implemented across the country.

Local government transparency via District Net Uganda’s e-Government initiative, known formally as The District Administrative Network Project and more commonly as District Net, was designed for Uganda’s Ministry of Local Government. As current National Project Coordinator Engineer Stephen Dagada

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explains, “This project was born during a round-table conference in 2002, when we realised that there was a need for transparent governance in the Ministry of Local Government.” It immediately caught the imagination of central government and international donors who provided support for its pilot phase. Among the external funders were the International Institute of Communication for Development (IICD) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID), who have followed this project from its start. With external funding for one and a half years, District Net was initially implemented in 2002 in four districts - Mbarara, Lira, Mbale and Kayunga, representing the country’s west, north, east and central regions, respectively - with the hope that, if successful, it would be extended to the rest of the country. The project set out to remove obstacles to communication links among the district headquarters, central government agencies and other stakeholders working with districts, and to address problems of inadequate ICT basic skills among the district staff. The Local Government Ministry states that the District Net project was created “to improve performance in the Local Governments by establishing functional data/ information management and public communication systems for effective and efficiency service delivery in decentralised governance. Hence, this project was created under the slogan ‘ICT for Rural Development!’” According to Constantine Bitwayiki, who has worked on the project, “Districts were faced with challenges in funding routine administrative expenses. For interoffice communication, staff travelled to Kampala, the capital of Uganda, to deliver and collect routine documents. In addition, data and information for planning and other decision-making functions were often inaccurate or unavailable when needed.” International observers have followed Uganda’s e-Governance developments closely. Major media and news teams have streamed to Kayunga District to interview people about one of the most successful pilot projects, and the District Net project has even been nominated for the Stockholm Challenge Award. By the start of 2005, the project had entered into a mainstreaming phase, and has now acquired private sector partners in addition to government, IICD and DFID. Today, Ugandans are coming to realise that egovernance can bring individuals into close contact with decisionmakers and officials in the government.

Connecting constituents Soon after the District Net project’s 2002 kick-off, implementers began installing Local Area Networks (LAN), Wide Are Networks (WAN), e-mail and internet systems, as well as data and voice communication links between District headquarters, the pilot subcounties and the central government headquarters. Through the project, the Ministry of Local Government established computerized databanks and information dissemination systems, and initiated an extensive training programme for users in basic ICT skills. So far, the districts where the project was implemented have made savings in administrative expenses, “freeing these funds to be used to other pressing economic activities geared towards economic development initiatives,” says Bitwayiki. “In addition to improvement in communication channels, we are seeing that users are accessing useful information for planning purposes. In social terms, the communities in the districts covered by the project have been sensitized about the usefulness of utilizing ICTs” he adds.

The future of District Net Implementers of the pilot phase have learnt an important lesson: “Think big but begin small. Piloting is the way!” The pilot activities are now being replicated in other projects and programmes and implemented in other districts. In order for District Net to work, it must be supported by human capital and an enabling environment. “Change management is critical,” Bitwayiki stresses. Whether ICTs prove to be a sustainable solution for enhanced communication and information flow “depends on the willingness of the human capital to tackle the challenges in a sustainable manner.” Although the ICTs introduced are user-friendly, new technologies will inevitably require time for people to adapt to them. And, of course, the financial cost of implementation is daunting. While the local beneficiaries have tried to contribute, they have confronted difficulty because their tax base is still very small. But the costs of failure would be greater. Dagada, the current project leader, emphasizes that ICTs are essential. “The challenge is that ICTs may be expensive, but they are necessary. We need to find all means of mainstreaming the project to lower operating costs like transport and production of documents. Our ability to replace the traditional methods of operation and to beat the bureaucracy in local governments will extend the life of District Net.”  For further information contact iConnect coordinator Davis Joseph Weddi, dweddi@newvision.co.ug

Boosting local authorities: e-Governance in Zambia By Kabukabu Mambwe Countries around the world are striving to incorporate e-governance as a means of improving transparency and good governance in the public sector. Sadly, this trend has eluded the Zambian public sector, where the potential for e-governance is not being fully utilised.

Promoting efficiency and transparency In order to promote efficiency and transparent governance in the African public service, UNESCO and the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) conceived a three-year pilot

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project on “E-governance for African Municipalities,” which began in 2001 and involved selected municipalities from five African countries: Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Tanzania, and Zambia. Lusaka, Zambia’s capital, was the country’s representative in this project. The project’s promoters noted that African municipalities are often heavy bureaucratic structures with unclear procedures and processes for treating requests from city residents. Furthermore, these municipalities tend to function in isolation and fail to benefit from the experiences and best practices of other municipalities within i4d | December 2005


Woman in Zambia in eGovernance project

their country or region. The project aimed to ensure transparency and citizen participation in governance, and, while building on existing community facilities, also involved developing websites so that municipalities could share and exchange experiences. To meet these goals, the pilot emphasised two major components: developing a multimedia training package for municipal personnel; and developing pilot applications in the selected municipalities. The equipment and training necessary to achieve these goals also formed a critical element of the project.

improve productivity. For instance, internet connectivity has boosted the Council’s operations by improving communication among the workers, about 50% of whom are now using ICTs. The local network has also streamlined the operations of the Rates Department, as they are able to update their records on a regular basis. In the past, citizens had to walk to the LCC headquarters to access information; today, Beene says, the project has opened municipal services to the city’s population. In time, she says, the minutes for the full council meetings will be posted online, enabling members of the public to know what transpires in these meetings. Through the website people can come to know their councillors in the wards, to learn of development projects and to explore the Council’s delivery of services. However, the website has not yet been launched for full public access. The LCC is searching for financing alternatives to help establish an Information Centre to improve interaction with the public and to enlighten people on the benefits of e-governance, still very much in its infancy in Zambia. Although e-governance has opened a window on new opportunities for the LCC, its workers need training sessions both to improve their basic computer and ICT skills and to help educate the public on how to use ICT to interact with the LCC effectively.

The Lusaka City Council project The Lusaka project, involving the Lusaka City Council (LCC), is headquartered in the city’s civic center building. According to LCC IT Manager Judy Beene, also the LCC project supervisor, the project’s objective is to promote free flow of information and thus to open dialogue among municipalities and the local communities they serve. In addition, the project strives to improve access to information required for decision making, to communicate effectively with citizens and to establish a municipal information system using ICTs. “There has been a spirit of teamwork on the project from representatives of the departments within the City Council,” says Beene. The e-governance project has transformed the LCC into a knowledge hub and could be used as a tool for service delivery and revenue generation, as well as a teaching and learning centre for e-Commerce.” As the local government has a profound impact on the lives of citizens, the governance processes and structures that accompany it must be – and are becoming - participatory, transparent, and accountable. “These objectives are becoming a reality in Lusaka City Council through the newly-built website, which will open dialogue between the Council and the community it serves,” Beene says. The LCC can now use ICTs as a means of improving responsiveness and reliability in its services. As Beene explains, ICTs could improve economic opportunities, lower the cost of delivery of public and private goods, help streamline the bureaucracy, enhance the transparency in the institution’s administration, and December 2005 | www.i4d.csdms.in

Screen of eGovernance portal in Zambia

Project results John Kapenda, Acting Director for the Engineering Department, says Internet access has improved his work as he is able to conduct extensive professional research and to download relevant materials. In addition, he notes that the Engineering Department can use its site to provide updates of activities, such as posting maps showing which roads are closed for maintenance and where new road construction is taking place. Kapenda, who checks his e-mails three to four times in a week, notes that Internet access is available to all of the 530 workers in his department - provided one knows how to use it and is working at the Council headquarters. “There are noticeable changes,” says Chansa Makanta, the LCC Public Relations Manager. “We are able to speak to other countries and to discover what other municipals are doing about certain issues and learn from it.”  For further information contact iConnect coordinator Tovin Ngombe, tngombe@yahoo.co.uk

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D EVELOPMENT G ATEWAY ’ S S PECIAL R EPORT

Information Society Next Steps? In the lead-up to the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) Phase II in November 2005, the Development Gateway’s Special Report on “Information Society: The Next Steps,” lets the development community speak out providing an easily readable overview of how the information society landscape is changing in the developing world including a commentary on what lies ahead. Information and communication technologies (ICT) are transforming today’s approach to development. Access to these technologies is spreading rapidly and new applications that can catalyze development are being integrated in many fields from HIV/AIDS programs to microfinance and banking access for rural areas. Often, the most promising applications originate in the developing world. This year, the number of Internet users in developing countries is crossing the 500 million mark, surpassing industrial nations for the first time. By some estimates, more than 75% of the world’s population now lives within range of a mobile network. Yet, on a global scale, the promise of ICT’s impact is still to be realized, and is found today in pockets of success. Following on the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) of December 2003, WSIS-II will assess progress and prompt further global action to increase the integration of ICT in development work and broaden the benefits to all. In preparation, this Special Report gathers expert experience and input on effective policies, promising applications and innovative business models. This online Special Report will look at how the ICT landscape is changing in the developing world and what lies ahead. Experts from governments, NGOs and the private sector speak out about effective policies, promising applications and innovative business models. Included in this report are collections of documents, statistics, tools and surveys. The online report includes: • Interviews with experts on how to create an effective enabling environment for ICT for development and how to finance it; • Collections of documents, research and statistics on tools

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and applications that can benefit developing countries, found on the Development Gateway portal and other websites; and • A unique section devoted to the “voices” of those developing and using ICT from both the North and South, relating stories contributed through a recent Development Gateway survey of our members. Interviews with the following people, among others, are to be featured: • Charles Geiger, Executive Director, WSIS Executive Secretariat • Pierre Guislain, Manager of Global ICT Division, World Bank Group • Aimal Marjan, National ICT Advisor, Afghan Ministry of Communication • Sam Pitroda, Chairman of Indian Knowledge Commission • Danilo Piaggesi, Chief of IT for Development Division, InterAmerican Development Bank • M. S. Swaminathan, Founder, Swaminathan Research Foundation • Jimmy Wales, Co-Founder, Wikipedia Partners for this Special Report include: Center for Democracy and Technology, Grameen Technology Center, i4d Magazine, UNDESA, Winrock, World Bank and others. The Special Report is produced with the support of its sponsor, Intel Corporation. The Report is a quarterly feature of the Development Gateway’s global portal of development information, which includes 28 online communities of practice focused on critical development issues. This Special Report provides a forum for diverse perspectives on the Information Society and what’s ahead for ICT as a development tool. The focuses are mainly on e-Government, e-Learning, environment, HIV/AIDS, Food security, Foreign Direct Investment, Gender and Development, ICT for Development, Knowledge economy, microfinance, NGOs, Poverty, Trade and Development, urban development, water resources management, youth and development and on similar areas. The report was launched on October 24th which will continues through January 2006, and is going to be updated after WSIS in November. For more information on the Report please contact Nadia Afrin at nafrin@dgfoundation.org Read the Special Report October 24, 2005 - January 15, 2006 http://topics.developmentgateway.org/special/informationsociety i4d | December 2005


December 2005

ICTD Project Newsletter accountability, participation and better management. During the last few years, ICT interventions have been both directed at the Supreme Court and lower court levels in judicial and administrative areas. Most of the nations, all over the world, have taken steps towards the modernisation of the judicial administration system in order to improve the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of the management of judicial processes. The use of ‘eTools’ have already proved to be an effective mechanism to improve the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of the management of judicial processes and, at the same time, to provide support to good governance. Many areas of operation in the Judiciary are already computerised in the developing countries.

Access to justice Legal marginalisation is prevalent in varied extent in the developed, developing and underdeveloped world. Democracy in itself is not a comprehensive guarantee to attain justice. Ignorance about the basic rights, human rights, fundamental rights, laws of the land, compounded by the problem of illiteracy, deprives the socially and economically marginalised people of justice. Lack of awareness about legislations and ‘jargonisation’ of law act as additional obstacles. With legal literacy being low in India, people with adequate knowledge of law exploit the legally illiterates. Imagine the day, when a poor, illiterate and voiceless person walks down to a friendly information kiosk in his/her village with his/her problems and walks out empowered with justice. For the first time in India, the State of Andhra Pradesh, is on its way to provide justice to the common man, by presenting the key legislations

in a simple manner, simplifying relevant judgments and certain procedural regulations, enlightening citizens on the existence of alternative remedies and making the same available to the general public through information kiosks. The ‘e-Justice’ initiative offer enormous potential for transformation, which might be of immense and lasting benefit to everyone, especially to the marginalised, deprived people.

‘e’ in Justice While globalisation, social trends and other factors present new demands on many traditional systems, technological and communicational advances offer opportunities to the policy makers to bring changes to systems, making them more accessible, transparent and effective. Following that trend, the judicial system is going to be ‘hi-tech’ and ‘e’ oriented to assure ‘good governance’ through more transparency,

Global trends and practices With World Bank and other support, the Iberoamerican countries’ supreme courts have launched a web based network ‘IUDICIS’ to facilitate communication and learning among judges, which is spearheaded by a group of countries including Spain, Costa Rica, Colombia, Argentina, Panama, Guatemala, The Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Brazil, and is facilitated by the Venezuela Supreme Tribunal of Justice. The eJustice project in Europe, which started in March 2004 and is scheduled to end in February 2006, supported by the EU’s IST Programme, has unveiled a demonstrator programme that offers a step forward in secure workflow processing. There are already plans in place to ensure that eJustice finds further expression in future projects in areas such as security, identity management, and ICT systems for judicial procedures.

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undertaken in order to mitigate the plight of detainees that had been languishing in prison due to delays in the hearing of their cases. Video Conferencing was used to expedite trials of pending cases. The new system of delivering justice has accelerated the case disposal rate, helped reduce jail overcrowding by releasing some detainees, and helped save on transportation costs.

e-Justice project in India

This e-Justice project has linked up with an existing Austrian initiative called eRecht. The development of Pambazuka News, a weekly electronic news and discussion forum for social justice, has made us remember once more that ICTs should not be left to those who want to make profits, but should be grasped as a powerful tool for social justice. Pambazuka News has been used as an advocacy tool in a number of forums, and also to adopt the protocol for the rights of women in Africa.

ICT interventions in India The President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has listed a 12-point agenda for the Indian judiciary to clear up pending cases, this agenda include capacity enhancement of existing courts through multiple sessions, more alternative courts like Lok Adalats and fast track courts and adopting e-Judiciary by putting laws and judgements on the Internet. The Union Communications and IT Minister of India has recently stated that the Centre has earmarked Rs 200 crore for modernisation and computerisation of the country’s judiciary. The concept of paperless courts will commence in the Madras High Court

from mid of 2006 when the court will start receiving cases through e-mail. ‘eFiling’ will start from June. Multiple Action Research Group (MARG), a Delhi based organisation, is working in the field of generating and disseminating legal awareness in India through its Legal Literacy Programme. As part of this programme the task is achieved in two ways: (1) by making legal manuals simplifying various laws that affect our daily lives and (2) by conducting legal literacy workshops with grass root workers. It has already produced audiovisual programmes and legal manuals to generate legal awareness among the community. National Informatics Centre (NIC) India, has developed Judgment Information System (JUDIS), which consists of complete text of all reported judgments of Supreme Court of India from 1950 to till date. Emails can be used for filing of the affidavits and replies to the courts. The courts can also serve the notices, intimate the date and time of hearings, and communicate the judgments through email/SMS saving time in communication thus increasing the productivity of the courts. Initiated by the Bihar government in partnership with NIC, a project was

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According to UNDP, there exists a crucial link between rule of law, poverty eradication, human rights and sustainable human development. In a democratic set up where continuous increase in population creates numerous problems and inequalities in various aspects, effort needs to be made to eliminate the obstacle called ‘legal jargon’ which distances a layman from understanding and utilising law as a tool for empowerment and redressal of problems. According to the Director, Rural Management Resource Group, CGG, Mr.V.K.Parigi, the vision of ‘e-Justice’ project is to create citizen centric approach for providing access to justice through ICT. The mission is to create awareness among the citizens residing in the rural and semi-urban areas about the legal provisions and the roles and responsibilities of the governmental functionaries, involved in the administration of statutes. The Centre for Good Governance (CGG), Hyderabad, which works closely with policy makers like ministers, officials, experts and other stakeholders, especially citizens, to promote Simple, Moral, Accountable, Responsive and Transparent (SMART) governance in Andhra Pradesh, is about to launch pilot initiatives in Shadnagar mandal in Mahbubnagar District of A.P. in December this year. Eight mandals each, from Mahbubnagar and Krishna Districts, will get the benefit directly from this project by March of 2006. Broadly, the objective of the ICTD


project, funded by UNDP, is to pilot initiatives in the areas of e-Government and e-Governance. These include new initiatives or replication of projects implemented successfully in one part of the country in another part. The project will help break the vicious cycle of disempowerment perpetuated at the cost of ignorance of law, complicated by inaccessibility to knowledge relating to law. The project is in consonance with the objectives of CGG which strives to be among the very best in the world in the area of practical reforms to foster growth-oriented and people-centered good governance. The goal of this project is to facilitate access to justice through legal awareness and greater interaction between the actors involved in the justice delivery system and the litigant or any person who has a legal query. It will also put together a framework which is interactive and user friendly using the available machinery and involving both governmental and non state actors. The objectives of this project are: • promoting legal awareness through an electronic interface by presenting the key legislations in a simple manner and by simplifying relevant judgments, certain procedural regulations and enlightening citizens on the existence of alternative remedies and making the same available to the general public through information kiosks, rural e-Seva centres etc.; • coordinating with other actors and to involve their participation so as to create a framework integrating the existing state and non-state actors in the administration of justice; • providing a feed back mechanism and elicit suggestions from people. CGG will develop a legal database, to establish links between different stakeholder groups for ensuring access to justice in all the Mandals covered, to establish legal aid clinics to spread awareness on legal matters touching the

common man, by way of camps and distribution of published matter on rights and how to fight for justice.The content is being developed through consultations and workshops with MARG being actively involved. The e-Justice project targets to generate awareness among rural citizens about the existence of various support agencies and groups namely Legal Aid Cells, the Legal Services Authority, social workers (counselors) and other activists. The target beneficiaries are citizens accessing Mandal Samakhyas, Mandal/ Taluk Legal Services Authorities, rural e-Seva centres, Civil Society Groups and the legally marginalised. The approach is to conceptualise relevant legislation, its administration and remediation of problems involved in a simple and citizen friendly manner, and communicate the same, using ICT. A Project Advisory Committee consisting of legal experts, members from the Bar Council, legal academicians, non govermental organisations and retired High Court judges has been set up to guide the functioning of the project management team of CGG and to assist the CGG project management team in conducting workshops, brainstorming sessions and capacity building programmes. This committee will monitor and evaluate the progress of the work, provide necessary inputs and will organise lectures for the legal policy and framework cell to guide them in the proper direction in simplification of laws. Pro Bono lawyers in both the districts have been identified to assist the CGG project management team in conducting brainstorming sessions, workshops and training sessions for the Mandal Samakhyas and the rural e-Seva kiosk operators. The Mandal Samakhyas are going to be involved as they have been instrumental in various developmental activities directly, involving people at the grass root level.

Pilot phase of e-Justice The time is not so far when people of

Shadnagar mandal in Mahbubnagar District in Andhra Pradesh will experience legal aids and services, provided by the kiosks, operating as a part of e-Justice project. The project will be piloted in two districts, Mahbubnagar and Krishna in Andhra Pradesh State (India). Mahbubnagar is one of the most backward districts of Andhra Pradesh with the biggest rural population in the State. With the lessons learned from the pilot project, the project will be rolled out in the remaining Districts of the State. As the project covers a major component of the cost of content development for the legal database, the incremental cost of replicating the model in the remaining Districts will be minimal.

Target stakeholders The primary stakeholders of the project include the rural and semi-urban community, self help groups, community based organisations and Mandal Samakhyas based in Mahbubnagar and Krishna districts chosen for piloting this initiative. The Legal Services Authorities and the Bar Council of Andhra Pradesh are also actively involved as the objectives of the project are in consonance with those of the statutes governing them and their functions. National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR), which is a premier institute of law in the country is also involved in the project from its inception. NALSAR will provide guidance to the project management team and act as a knowledge bank to provide the necessary legal information. NALSAR will also be associated with the capacity building and training programs conducted during the course of the project. Civil Society Organisations and NonGovernmental Organisations (NGOs) involved in legal service assistance will propagate the concept and generate awareness about the existence and usage of the e-Justice application. The Mandal

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Samakhya, which is identified as the primary delivery channel for the project is formed in all the 64 Mandals in Mahbubnagar District. In Krishna District the Mandals Samakhya is formed in 18 mandals out of the total 50 Mandals in the District. The Village Organisations and the Self Help Groups are also fairly active in both the District. The Mandal/ Taluk offices of the Legal Services Authority are also present in the District.

Expected outcome The project will enable access to legal information through a query based e-Interface available through kiosks or rural e-Seva centres. The information will be made available both in English and the local language (Telugu) giving a choice to the user. Once the legal information system is in place and made available through the Mandal/Taluk offices of the Legal Services Authority, kiosks operated by the Mandal Samakhyas and rural e-Seva centres, the public at large can approach them and obtain the required information. Special emphasis shall be made to focus on problems faced by women, children and other marginalised sections of the society. The information available to the citizens will make them aware of the various modes of redressal, whether through the courts or through Alternate Dispute Resolution mechanisms such as Lok Adalats.

The e-Justice portal (ejustice.org.in) which has already been launched provides lot of information related to human rights and issues frequently raised in the citizens’ life, especially in the rural areas of India. The website is in English and the regional language, Telugu. The portal provides links to various commissions such as the Human Rights Commissions, National Women’s Commission, Backward Classes Commission, Scheduled Caste/Tribe Commission etc, enabling a citizen to file a complaint directly to them for appropriate action. Thus the e-Justice portal provides an interface wherein the citizen is made aware of the legal information and also facilitates access to justice delivery mechanism for redressal of his problem in an effective manner. This portal will soon facilitate the citizen to file an online application to the Legal Services Authority seeking its involvement in guiding him/her through the proper mode of resolving the problem. Once the Legal Services Authority considers the person eligible for its services, then depending on the nature of the grievance, the Legal Services Authority will propose the options available, i.e., whether the dispute is entitled to be referred only to the Court System or to Lok Adalats, or both. The Legal Services Authority will direct the case to any of the advocates on its panel to represent the citizen in

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the appropriate forum. A mechanism will be put in place to ensure that the advocate is required to submit a report on proceedings of every hearing to the Legal Services Authority who shall in turn forward the same report to the web portal which can be accessed by the concerned citizen to know the status of his case. The outcomes of this project can be summarised as follows:- (i) creating general legal awareness among the citizens; (ii) identification of the legal problem faced by the citizen; (iii) creating awareness on the existence of various legislations, procedures, case laws etc, pertaining to the problem faced by the citizen; (iv) creating awareness on the availability of various redressal mechanisms; (v) providing links to the agencies which facilitate access to the justice delivery systems and (vi) monitoring the status of the case on a regular basis. If e-Filing, e-Courts, e-Tools and paperless courts signify the top-down approach for modernisation and computerisation of country’s judiciary, e-Justice envisages a bottom-up approach, wherein the justice disbursal facilitation is at the grassroot level.

References • http://www.codesria.org/Links/ conferences/el_publ/manji.pdf • http://www.britishpublishers.com/ ezine/ezine_270905_ejustice_to_tackle_ judicial_efficiency_and_european_ cooperation.htm • http://www.pogar.org/publications/ judiciary/wmalik/ • http://www.pogar.org/publications/ judiciary/wmalik/conclusion.html • www.judis.nic.in • http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/ 181_1571553,0008.htm NISG and i4d reserve the right to reprint articles produced for the ICTD section of the i4d magazine and website, with due credits to NISG and i4d. Please write to the editor for any request of reprints.


Books received Internet Governance Issues, Actors and Divides Published by: Diplo Foundation and Global Knowledge Partnership Authors: Jovan Kurbalija and Ed Gelbstein Pages : 144 ISBN 99932-53-13-8 The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), held in Geneva in December 2003, officially placed the question of Internet Governance of diplomatic agenda. The declaration of principles and action plan adopted at WSIS proposed a number of actions in the field of Internet Governance. Observing the complexity of the subject, that deals with a major symbol of the digital world, the ‘Internet Governance’ book tries to bring a simple but practical understanding of the background studies. Without analyzing the complexities of definitive statements on Internet Governance issues, the book aims to propose a practical framework for the analysis, discussion and resolution of the key problems in this field. The booklet provides an introduction to the Internet Governance debate. It covers more than 40 issues, which are divided into five baskets: 1. infrastructure and standardisation; 2. legal; 3. economic; 4. development; and 5. socio-cultural. The main issues in the field of Internet Governance are well illustrated.

Expanding access to HIV treatment through community-based organizations UNAIDS Best Practice collection A joint publication of Sidaction, UNAIDS and WHO ISBN 92 9 173421 7 The lack of HIV treatment in low- and middleincome countries remains a global public health emergency. The vast majority of people in need cannot obtain care and treatment in time to prolong their lives. Therefore, communitybased organizations have been compelled to do for treatment what they did for prevention. This Best Practice document describes a ground-breaking survey by Sidaction, a Paris-based treatment rights group which December 2005 | www.i4d.csdms.in

supports community responses to AIDS in low- and middle-income countries. For the first time, Sidaction has mapped treatment and care efforts by community-based organizations in Africa. The survey confirmed that community efforts to provide treatment represent an important opportunity to enroll more people in antiretroviral therapy. The document brings out the realisation that community efforts need support. Overall, this Best Practice publication provides strategic information on some of the needs, challenges and opportunities that are specific to community-based organizations in scaling up access to care and treatment. It demonstrates the current and potential value of their work and suggests ways forward to assess, support, and enlarge the scope and impact of that work. The publication is intended as a resource for civil society, people living with HIV, national pragram managers, policy makers and donors to support the concept of involving community based organisations in national plans for providing HIV care.

IConnect Collected 2005 Published by : IICD Pages: 60 This new publication gathers experiences in ICT for education, livelihoods and governance in six African countries through different articles written by different Journalists. The articles gathered in iConnect Collected were written by journalists in six African countries as part of the iConnect Series. The articles document ICT4D experiences in three sectors- education, livelihoods, and governance. In 2005, as part of an effort to get more ‘southern voices’ into the current global discourse on ICT for development, iConnect, the initiative of IICD formed a team of six coordinators in Africa who regularly commission articles by local journalists on the impact and the use of ICTs for development. The articles, written from a southern perspective, appear regularly on the iConnect website in English, French and Spanish. The articles published in this booklet were written by journalists in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. This publication aims to make the wealth of knowledge gained through iConnect available to a wider audience. Collectively the articles endeavour to demonstrate actual results experienced from a local perspective. These stories and reports will certainly contribute to the evidence base regarding the real benefits of ICT for Development (ICT4D) and the ways in which new technologies are changing the African communication landscape. 

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for All...Bytes for All... By All...Bytes for All... Bytes All...Bytes for All... Bytes All...Bytes for All... Bytes All...Bytes for All... Bytes All...Bytes for All... Bytes All...Bytes for All... Bytes

Bytes for All... Open Source The Open Invention Network (OIN) Three of the world’s biggest electronics companies - IBM, Sony and Philips - have joined forces with the two largest Linux software distributors to create a company for sharing Linux patents, royalty-free. http://www.ciol.com/content/news/2005/105111016.asp Get Bangla/Bengali OpenOffice.org 2.0 Ankur group is the official team for Bangla OpenOffice.org. Translation work has already started, and their goal is to have Bangla as a supported language. OpenOffice.org 2.0 is already out with most of the menu entries translated in Bangla. Future versions of OpenOffice.org will have more and more translated modules. http://www.ankurbangla.org/projects/ooo/ Open Source on (South African) Presidential agenda While the Internet debacle grabbed headlines at the World Summit onthe Information Society (WSIS) conference in Tunis, Tunisia, it was the digital divide that took centre stage in many of the delegates’ opening addresses. The way to bridge the divide, say many of the delegates including South African President Thabo Mbeki is through open source software. http://www.tectonic.co.za/view.php?id=714

Articles and Publications Replication Manual Released by Grameen Foundation USA This document is a guideline for replicating the Village Phone program in a new country. infoDev along with several other partners, supported this publication. The Study draws on Grameen’s experience in both Bangladesh and Uganda and establishes a template for creating sustainable initiatives that simultaneously bring telecommunications to the rural poor, create viable new businesses for micro-entrepreneurs, and expand the customer base of telecommunications companies. http://www.infodev.org/files/2868_file_VillagePhone ReplicationManual.pdf Blogging as a tool: innovative approaches to information access Blogs and RSS (Real Simple Syndication/Rich Site Summary) feeds and their applications in libraries are increasing exponentially. These applications range from current awareness type of settings in keeping up-to-date with new information, table of contents alerts of journal articles, feeds based on a research query in electronic databases, and news alerts from different subject areas. http://www.lisnews.com/article.pl?sid=05/11/01/ 078213&mode=thread&tid=29

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IJEDICT, Vol. 1, No. 3 IJEDICT is an e-Journal that provides free and open access to all of its content. IJEDICT aims to strengthen links between research and practice in ICT in education and development in hitherto less developed parts of the world, e.g., developing countries (especially small states), and rural and remote regions of developed countries. The emphasis is on providing a space for researchers, practitioners and theoreticians to jointly explore ideas using an eclectic mix of research methods and disciplines. It brings together research, action research and case studies in order to assist in the transfer of best practice, the development of policy and the creation of theory. Vol. 1, No. 3 (2005) of International Journal of Education and Development using ICT (IJEDICT) has now been published online. http://ijedict.dec.uwi.edu/viewissue.php?id=5 Rights Agenda Damaging eDevelopment It argues the communication/rights agenda is a strong force shaping e-Development debate and action, e.g. in WSIS. This may damage e development if it appears old and implausible, and because it excludes two key roles for ICTs in development: data processing, and IT sector enterprises. http://www.manchester.ac.uk/idpm/dig/briefings.htm New Special Report - Information Society: The Next Steps The Information Society has produced a tantalizing array of new information and communication technologies (ICT) that have transformed today’s approach to development. Following on the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) of December 2003, WSIS Phase II in November 2005 will assess progress and prompt further global action to capture the promise of ICT for all. This Special Report “Information Society: Next Steps” looks at how the ICT landscape is changing in the developing world and what lies ahead. Experts from governments, donors, NGOs and the private sector speak out about effective policies, promising applications and innovative business models. http://topics.developmentgateway.org/special/informationsociety ICT Policy Formulation and e-Strategy Development: A Comprehensive Guidebook The objective of this guidebook is to explain the nature of peoplefocused information and communications technology (ICT) policy formulation and strategy development. Using examples and practices drawn from the Asia-Pacific and around the world, it discusses the role of ICT policy-making in human development. http://www.apdip.net/news/policyguidebook The Journal of Community Informatics Vol. 2, No. 1 (2005) of The Journal of Community Informatics has now been published online at http://www.ci-journal.net/viewissue.php?id=8

i4d | December 2005


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Bytes for All... ICT4D The $100 laptop The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project (http://laptop.media. mit.edu/) rests upon a fundamental assumption that the creation and widespread distribution of a single type of computer will solve the problem of the digital divide in the developing world. By creating a laptop computer priced at $100 each (when sold in quantities of millions), the thinking goes, schoolchildren throughout the developing world will all be equipped with powerful tools for learning and exploration.

Events and Announcements CSDMS Workshops at WSIS 2005 The Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies (CSDMS) two workshops, which took place at the WSIS in Tunis, from November 14 to 19, 2005. 1. Introducing Innovative ways of ICT in Schools – 17 November 2005 at WSIS Tunis 2. Capacity Building of grassroots practitioners and NGOs for documenting ICT4D Projects – 19 November 2005 at WSIS Tunis Invitation to Mission 2007: The Power of Partnerships event OneWorld South Asia, a network of over 600 organizations working towards empowering local and marginalised communities using ICTs, organized the ‘Mission 2007: the Power of Partnerships’ event, which was held on November 15, 2005 during 1500 - 1530 HRS at the ITU Connect the World Launch Pad, WSIS II, Tunis. You can get a detailed agenda here: http://www.dgroups.org/groups/oneworld/OneWorldSA/docs/ Mission_2007_final.pdf CCDS-InfochangeIndia Research Fellowships The Centre for Communication and Development Studies (CCDS) invites applications for short-term fellowships from journalists, researchers and development workers/analysts interested in highlighting issues related to social justice and development in India. www.infochangeindia.org eBay and Omidyar Network Founder Launches $100 Million Microfinance Fund in Partnership with Tufts University MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass—Tufts University announced that Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay and co-founder of Omidyar Network with his wife, Pam – both graduates of Tufts – will invest $100 million in international microfinance initiatives through a unique partnership with their alma mater. http://www.tufts.edu/home/feature/ December 2005 | www.i4d.csdms.in

Nepal - Enterprise, Everest and Everything Else Workshops In the framework of the Forum de Solidarités Nord-Sud on December 1-3 in Marseille, France, the event Nepal – Enterprise, Everest and Everything Else organized Nepali micro entrepreneurs, microfinance and sustainable development experts, European craft business men, international funding agencies and the interested public in general is being organized. http://laghudyog.net/ConfrenceIndex.aspx Call from participants - World Information City Workshops From November 14th to 19th, an event called World Information City took place in Bangalore organized by Alternative Law Forum, Mahiti, Public Netbase, Sarai and Waag. The event raised questions about the impact of new technologies on our societies: on daily life, work, culture, and politics. We encounter the myth of moving into the information era on an everyday basis. How do we understand the politics of information in terms of ownership, control and access and link it to the transformation of the urban experience in India? http://world-information.org/wio/program/bangalore/events/ 1131375053 D.Net’s seminar at WSIS titled “Access to Information through ICT: Missing Dimension in Poverty Alleviation (Case Study Bangladesh)” The session on ‘Improving Access to Information through ICT: Missing Dimension in Poverty Alleviation (Case Study Bangladesh)’ was held on November 15, 2005 at WSIS. The session highlighted on the issues of access to information as a part of access to resources, which are important for addressing the misgivings of poverty. The session will cover the issues of local content, role of infomediary, use of ICTs other than computers, socio-economic sustainability of ICT-based information exchange system etc. Software for Development: Is Free/Open Source Software the Answer? UNDP Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme feature event at the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis 18 November 2005 Other APDIP Events at WSIS http://www.apdip.net/news/apdipatwsis Bytes for All: www.bytesforall.net Bytes For All Readers Discussion: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ bytesforall_readers Bytes for All RSS syndication: http://www.bytesforall.net/index_html/ RSS Bytes for All Readers Forum RSS syndication: http://rss.groups.yahoo.com/group/bytesforall_readers/rss Bytes for All Summary Archive: http://www.bytesforall.net/Summary/ Bytes for All discussion summary compiled by: Farah Mahmood, Bytes for All, Pakistan

47

for for for for for for for

All...By All...By All...By All...By All...By All...By All...By


 Rendezvous W ORKSHOPS R EPORT

CSDMS@WSIS As the development world converged around the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), national governments, multilateral organisations and the civil society focused on programmes that harnessed the potential of ICT for strengthening their development initiatives. The second World Summit on Information Society (WSIS), 2005 held in Tunisia showcased these initiatives and deliberated on strategies to support and sustain these initiatives. With an objective of reviewing processes of ICT integration in Education, ‘Innovative ICTs in Education’ workshop held on 17 November, 2005 at WSIS Tunis, brought together practitioners and multilateral organisations to discuss the various issues of capacity building, sustainability of initiatives and challenges of scaling up. Organised by the Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies (CSDMS), India, this workshop was a part of the Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP) Education cluster event. The workshop showcased case studies from Asia, Latin America and Caribbean and African initiatives. Four panelists discussed three models of ICT in schools. It included ICT enabled project-based curriculum education in Costa Rica presented by Andrea Anfossi of Omer Dengo Foundation; a case study of innovative ICT off-thecurriculum education in development block in a district in India presented by Rumi Mallick from CSDMS; ICT curriculum education in Africa elaborated by Shafika Issacs of SchoolNet Africa. Cédric Wachholz, ICT in Education Unit, UNESCO, Asia Pacific explained UNESCO’s engagement in funding and monitoring ICT integration and innovations in education. The workshop initiated with the case study from India. Rumi (CSDMS) explained how mobile ICTs have been used in off-thecurriculum exercise in Mapping the Neighbourhood project to build capacity and enhance the learning outcomes of students. Andrea (Omer Dengo Foundation) discussed the organisation’s country programme on Educational Informatics MEP-FOD for Elementary Schools, effective in Costa Rica. Andrea explained how using the computer as an educational resource, students have learnt through project, programming, interactive resolution of problems, learning by design and collaborative work. Shafika (SchoolNet Africa) elaborated on how SchoolNet has focused on the use of ICT in the integration of education content and curriculum keeping in mind the local capacities and languages, through various programmes. Cédric (UNESCO, Asia Pacific), while explaining the broad role of UNESCO in education, highlighted the pedagogytechnology integration process and emphasised the need for government policy and support from school administration. Although the scales of the projects discussed varied from each other, the challenges faced in sustaining the programmes had a common thread. Shafika pointed out that the biggest challenge faced was to upgrade a project from a successful pilot phase to a nation-wide programme with necessary government financial

48

support. All the panellists and the attendees agreed that a government policy for ICT in education is necessary for sustaining any initiative. Rumi pointed out that even when ICT education/training programmes are sustainable through government support, initiatives that focus on using ICT as tools to improve the quality of education are still not a government mandate. Andrea drew attention on the importance of peer-to-peer learning and teachers’ training for sustaining initiatives. Cedric reminded that although ICT infrastructure is a crucial factor, incentives to teachers in terms of rewards and recognition also go a long way in the success of a programme. The second workshop organised on 19 November, 2005, was on ‘Capacity building of grassroots practitioners and NGOs for documenting ICT4D projects’. The workshop aimed at identifying the challenges and issues of documenting ICT4D case studies by the practitioners and discussing methods of documentation. Jayalakshmi Chittoor, Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies (CSDMS), India and Saskia Harmsen, International Institute of Communication and Development (IICD), Netherlands were the panelists for the workshop. The interactive workshop saw participants from India, Pakistan, Ghana, Uganda, South Africa, Canada and Malaysia. The participants who represented practitioners from these countries discussed their documentation challenges. The issues ranged from inadequate connectivity and lack of basic infrastructure in the areas that limited outreach activities, lack of adequate training among the grassroot practitioners and inadequate knowledge on documentation methodologies and tools, inadequate local language tools for documentations and adequate funds for outreach activities. The practitioners pointed out that the lack of documentation tools limits their outreach and leaves their mandates unfulfilled. Saskia Harmsen, (IICD), Netherlands elaborated her experience with the IICD partners and grassroot practitioners. Giving examples from Media ICT Network for Development (MIND), Africa, she pointed out that there is a definite need of capacity building of the practitioners to share their stories. She highlighted the fact that documentation by journalists of case stories are often focused on only success stories and often misses out the element of lessons learnt from failures. Jayalakshmi Chittoor (CSDMS) elaborated various documentation and outreach tools available like Internet, discussion groups, blogs and others that will help in outreach. Practitioners can use these tools to discuss their problems and learn from peers. She also pointed out that where developing writing skills is difficult, video, camera, recorders and other media tools can be used to record and document field stories. The discussing concentrated on the choice of documentation tools for specific cases, mainly in areas that have constraints of infrastructure and connectivity.  i4d | December 2005


What’s on

Switzerland 25-29 January, 2006 World Economic Forum, Davos www.weforum.org

Africa 24-29 January, 2006 World Social Forum 2006, Mali http://www.forumsocialmundial.org.br/ index.php?cd_language=2

Australia 06-07 February, 2006 Open Road 2006 Conference: Challenges and Possibilities, Melbourne http://www.openroad.net.au/conferences/2006/

7-10 March 2006 11th National Conference on Volunteering Melbourne

30 January-02 February, 2006 Connecting Rural Communities Cochin http://www.cto.int/rural05/index.html

Map India 2006 30 January-01 February, 2006 New Delhi

www.waterforfood.org/livelihoods/conf.htm

http://www.idc.com.sg/CIO_Summit2006/ Default.asp

Italy

UAE

15-17 March, 2006 1st World Congress on Communication for Development Rome

26-29 March, 2006 Map Middle East 2006 Dubai http://www.mapmiddleeast.org/2006/index.htm

cmorry@comminit.com

Uganda Kenya

23-26 January, 2006 Enhancing Equitable Livelihood Benefits of Dams Using Decision Support, Nazareth

15-17 March, 2006 “Strengthening the Business Fabric with Dynamic ICT” IDC’s Asia/Pacific CIO Summit 2006 Bangkok

http://www.mapindia.org/

www.volunteering2006.com

Ethiopia

Thailand

23-25 February, 2006 IDLELO2: Achieving Millennium Development Goals through Community Software, Nairobi http://www.fossfa.net/idlelo2/

05-10 December, 2005 The third Women’s Electronic Network Training (WENT) Africa http://www.apcafricawomen.org/went2005

08-15 January, 2006 Africa Source II - Free and Open Source Software for Local Communities Kalangala

Germany

Nepal

09-11 February, 2006 Digital Inequality and New Spaces of Informal Education for Young People Bielefeld

26-27 January, 2006 CAN Info Tech 2005, Kathmandu

http://www.tacticaltech.org/africasource2

http://www.itconference.org.np/

United States

http://www.kib-bielefeld.de/tagung/engl

Qatar

Ghana

7-15 March, 2006 World Telecommunication Development Conference, Doha

14-18 March, 2006 Global Summit On HIV/AIDS, Traditional Medicine & Indigenous Knowledge Accra

India 12-15 December, 2005 Second International Conference on Technology, Knowledge and Society Hyderabad http://technology-conference.com/

http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/wtdc/index.html

Russia 19-21 January, 2006 7th Annual Global Development Conference “Institutions and Development: At the Nexus of Global Change” St.Petersburg http://www.gdnet.org

22-24 March, 2006 National Technology Conference (NTC) Seattle www.nten.org

25-26 May, 2006 ICTD 2006 Berkeley, California http://www.sims.berkeley.edu/events/ictd2006

Zambia 5 January, 2006 ICT Roundtable workshop: Health, Zambia Lusaka http://iicd.org/countries/zambia

Get your event listed here. www.i4d.csdms.in/events December 2005 | www.i4d.csdms.in

49


I N F ACT

Assessing the pandemic 38.0 million adults and 2.3 million children were living with HIV at the end of 2005. This is more than 50% higher than the figures projected by WHO in 1991 on the basis of the data then available. During 2005, some 4.9 million people became infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS. The year also saw 3.1 million deaths from AIDS - a high global total, despite antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, which reduced AIDSrelated deaths among those who received it. Deaths among those already infected will continue to increase for some years even if

poverty, exploitation and themselves becoming infected with HIV. In 2005, an estimated 700,000 children aged 14 or younger became infected with HIV. Over 90% of newly infected children are babies born to HIV-positive women, who acquire the virus at birth or through their mother’s breast milk. Almost nine-tenths of such transmissions occur in sub-Saharan Africa. Africa’s lead in mother-to-child transmission of HIV is firmer than ever despite the evidence that HIV ultimately impairs women’s fertility; once infected, a woman can be expected to bear 20% fewer children than she

World estimates of the HIV & AIDS epidemics at the end of 2005 Number of people living with HIV/AIDS in 2005

People newly infected with HIV in 2005

AIDS deaths in 2005

Estimate*

Range*

Total

40.3

36.7-45.3

Adults

38.0

34.5-42.6

Women

17.5

16.2-19.3

Children

2.3

2.1-2.8

Total

4.9

4.3-6.6

Adults

4.2

3.6-5.8

Children

0.70

0.63-0.82

Total

3.1

2.8-3.6

Adults

2.6

2.3-2.9

Children

0.57

0.51-0.67 * millions

prevention programmes manage to cut the number of new infections to zero. However, with the HIV-positive population still expanding the annual number of AIDS deaths can be expected to increase for many years, unless more effective provision of ARV medication begins to slow the death rate. Around half of the people who acquire HIV become infected before they turn 25 and typically die of the lifethreatening illnesses called AIDS before their 35th birthday. This age factor makes AIDS uniquely threatening to children. By the end of 2003, the epidemic had left behind 15 million AIDS orphans, defined as those having lost one or both parents to AIDS before reaching the age of 18. These orphans are vulnerable to People living with HIV- 40.3 mn (36.7-45.3 mn) New HIV Infections in 2005- 4.9 mn (4.3-6.6 mn) Deaths due to AIDS in 2005- 3.1 mn (2.8-3.6 mn) Source: UNAIDS/WHO AIDS epidemic update: December 2005

50

otherwise would. Drugs are available to minimise the dangers of mother-to-child HIV transmission, but these are still often not reaching the places where they are most needed. The overwhelming majority of people with HIV, some 95% of the global total, live in the developing world. The total number of people living with HIV continues to rise in high-income countries, largely due to widespread access to ARV treatment, which prolongs the lives of HIV+ people. This increases the pool of HIV+ people who are able to transmit the virus onwards. It is estimated that 1.2 million people are living with HIV in North America and 720,000 in Western and Central Europe. In the two regions, AIDS claimed approximately 30,000 lives in 2005, although the rate of AIDS-related deaths has been cut substantially through use of ARV medicines.  Sources • UNAIDS/WHO AIDS epidemic update, December 2005 • UNAIDS/WHO 2004 Report on the global AIDS epidemic

i4d | December 2005


2006

Connecting Rural Communities

E M E R G I N G T E C H N O LO G I E S A N D B E S T P R A C T I C E S O LU T I O N S T O R U R A L I C T AC C E S S LE MERIDIEN RESORT & CONVENTION CENTRE COCHIN, KERALA, INDIA • 30th JANUARY – 2nd FEBRUARY 2006 ORGANISED BY

HOSTED BY Department of Telecommunications, Government of India

MANAGED BY

A S S O C I AT E O R G A N I S E R

S P E A K E R S W I L L I N C LU D E Hon Shri Dayanidhi Maran, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, India Dr. Eun-Ju Kim, ITU Senior Advisor and Acting Head of the APAC regional office, ITU A. K. Sinha, Chairman and Managing Director, BSNL Dr. D.P.S. Seth, Member, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Phuthuma Nhleko, CEO, MTN Hamid Farooq, CEO, Warid Telcom, Pakistan Dr. J. S. Sarma, Secretary, Department of Communications, India Prof. M. S. Swaminathan, Chairman, M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) Tadashi Kondo, Country Director, Asian Development Bank Prof. Rekha Jain, Professor/Coordinator, Centre for Telecom Policy Studies, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai Bistamam Siru Abdul Rahman, Chairman, Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT) Ela Bhatt, Founder, SEWA Erik Aas, Managing Director, Grameen Phone Ltd. G Madhavan Nair, Chairman, India Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Mr. Amit Sharma, Cluster President, India, Thailand, Indonesia & Vietnam, Motorola * speakers to be confirmed S U P P O R T I N G O R G A N I S AT I O N S

M E D I A PA R T N E R S

SPONSORS

Visit our website www.cto.int/rural06 or call +44 (0) 207 930 5512 for more information CRC-210x270-Ad.indd 1

17/11/05 13:55:18


knowledge for change

www.DL.csdms.in


MDG 6 (HIV/AIDS) : December 2005 Issue