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Vol. III No. 11

November 2005

The first monthly magazine on ICT4D

Mapping the Neighbourhood Innovation in schools Information for development

ISSN 0972 - 804X

Youth and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)

GKP Youth and ICT Awards 2005 Interviews with winners

Digital Learning 2005 Conference Report ICT and Education: Challenges and Practices

April 2004 |

knowledge for change


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



Vol. III No. 11

November 2005





Youth and ICT


Reflecting on the future Saswati Paik


Mapping the Neighbourhood Innovation in schools Rumi Mallick, Himanshu Kalra



GKP Youth and ICT Awards 2005



with Youth and ICT 10- Interviews Awards 2005 winners 42 18 44 Audrey Espinosa Codera Salah Uddin Ahmed Mark Okowa Wu Yung Raj Ridvan Singh Rana Gulzar Jean-Paul Bauer

45 46

Nileshni Sekar

Five years of TakingITGlobal A dynamic and global online community Dumisani Nyoni


Changing the world through broadcasting

Recognising young social entrepreneurs Sejuti Sarkar De


Young Asia Television , Sri Lanka

Books received

Bytes for All CSDMS@WSIS Workshops in Tunis

What’s on In Fact

First grassroots educational video festival in Bangladesh

Digital Learning 2005, 18 - 19 October, The Grand New Delhi ICT and Education: Challenges and Practices

Inspiring rural youth and children Shahjahan Siraj


WSIS youth caucus


Information Technology Institute for the Tribes of India (ITITI)

Assembling the assets Alberto Nardelli

35 ICTD project newsletter

Mainstreaming tribal communities with IT Ashok Jhunjhunwala, Ranjana Joshi

News Search ICT4D news by date in the sectors of governance, health, education, agriculture and so on.


GKP youth initiatives Promoting innovations

E-mail Subscribe to daily, weekly, monthly newsletters online or send request to


The Human Network PEACE and ICT research project

Research e-Learning projects from India.

Making peace online: A vision or an

Learn more about FLOSS

illusion? Dmitry Epsterin, Farah Mahmood, Lisa Thurston

Maureen O’Neil President, IDRC

Rating for all the sections of i4d magazine excellent and would like to see added more South international news on ICT4D to the i4d website. AHM Bazlur Rahman Chief Executive Officer, Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication

Could ICTs create jobs for the youth?



Congratulations on reaching the milestone of 25th issue! Your interesting publication will be shared with my colleagues at IDRC.

Print edition The past issues of the magazine are available online

You did a terrific job at the Digital Learning conference. It is good to know that you are planning to make this an annual event. Next time, please give more time to the poor old traditional media like radio and TV. Computers and IT are very interesting, but they are not really viable for most of our rural and deprived communities. Sajan Venniyoor Prasar Bharati

Congrats to the whole team for taking the pains for conducting the DL conference so smoothly. Although we have attended many conferences and seminars across the globe but the warmth of your team was unique and superb. Please include our name in your mailing list so that we are updated with your activities. We invite you to come at Jharkhand Organise such conference at Regional Level. G.V.S.R. Prasad Consultant Education, Rohini Science Club

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Acknowledgement “We would like to acknowledge the support of Global K n o w l e d g e Partnership secretariat in producing this issue of i4d. The running theme is Youth and ICTs and profiles GKP Youth and ICT Awards 2005: Recognising the Power of Social Entrepreneurship. This award is a collaborative efforts by GKP members including Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Centre of Science, Development and Media Studies (CSDMS), MITRA Technology Foundation (MITRA), TakingITGlobal (TIG), Thai Rural Net (TRN) and Young Asia Television (YATV). The award program will be presented by the Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP). Disclaimer: The authors are responsible for the choice and presentation of the facts contained in these articles and the opinion expressed therein, which are not necessarily those of GKP and do not commit the organisation. The designations employed and the presentation of the material throughout the publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of GKP concerning legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the frontiers or boundaries.”


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i4d Editorial Calendar 2005 Month

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

January February March

Special Theme Tsunami

MDG Intro/Poverty Reduction - MDG 1 Gender - MDG 3


Education - MDG 2


Health - MDG 4 & 5

WSIS Prepcom


ICT Policy


Human Rights

August September

Environment - MDG 7

Global Summit

Silver Issue of i4d

Media and ICT

Global Partnerships - MDG 8

Telecentre networks


Youth and ICT

WSIS Tunis




i4d | November 2005

 Editorial Information for development

Age considers, youth ventures

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

“Young men are fitter to invent than to judge, fitter for execution than for counsel, and fitter for new projects than for settled business” - Francis Bacon. Though there is a scope of debate on it, but it can not be denied that young people are always in the forefront of any revolution, whatever it is, wherever it is, however it is. Technology revolution, which is the driving force behind the global emergence and evolution of the information and knowledge-based society, has also come to the forefront, holding the hands of youth. World Youth Report 2005 has mentioned that “The terms cyber-participation and ecitizenship are indicative of a growing trend towards ICT-based social action and community development among young people. ICT and new media are becoming core components of youth activism and civic engagement.” But it must be kept in mind that there are still great disparities in the distribution and use of many forms of technology and the important concerns surrounding the global digital divide apply as much to youth as to any other age group.

EDITORIAL BOARD Akhtar Badshah, Frederick Noronha EDITORIAL TEAM Editor Ravi Gupta Editorial Consultant Jayalakshmi Chittoor Sr Programme Officers Rumi Mallick, Saswati Paik Sr. Research Associate Sejuti Sarkar De 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 Web 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.

Proper measures to improve Internet access and increase ICT literacy across the world may promote youth participation more into ICT activities and the effective use of technology will help to strengthen various forms of youth engagement. The World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis may show a way towards that goal. “The main objective of the summit is to give the poorer nation, the means to take advantage of the new information and communication technologies for their economic and social development” as stated by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan in his very recent speech. The expected outcome of the Summit will be to prepare a clear statement of political will and a concrete action plan for achieving the goals of the Information Society while taking in full consideration all the different interests at stake. The intention of WSIS to narrow the digital divide, to set up an open, non-exclusive information society, which will make people wealthier and more autonomous, might be successful if and only if we work together to find out a possible way out as per the nations’ characters and wealth. And in that venture, the youth should shoulder the main responsibilities. This issue of i4d is a youthful issue, full of ventures and achievements by the youth for the community with the help of ICT. This issue will reflect the extent of potential the youth possess, what they can do and what they deserve in return. We shall be waiting to receive more contributions from the youth from all corners of the globe for all corners of the society.

cc Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies, 2005

i4d is supported by:

November 2005 |

Ravi Gupta





Reflecting on the future We have never seen the single continent ‘Pangaea’, or the single ocean ‘Panthalasa’; we have never seen our predecessors who survived and evolved through time and have ultimately given birth to modern human being. But we have seen the models of the primitive features of the earth, lively dinosaur on the electronic media, we have seen the bones and skulls of our predecessors in the museum, we get charmed and thrilled to know where we have come from, how the life was, what life style our predecessors had. History has created a bridge between our forefathers and us, and this trend will continue in the same way in future as well. That day is not so far when a baby will be thrilled to know that his or her grandparents used to write by their own hands with some instruments called pen, pencil etc, people were writing letters on papers rather than writing ‘mails’ or ‘chatting on net’, there were artists who were drawing by real paintbrush, not by the electronic programme, the people read books (hard copies) in the library rather than on their PC, there were teacher-student interactions in the classrooms where both were visible offline!! This type of ‘generation gap’ may differ from place to place due to the varying extent of ‘digital divide’. But it’s evident that time and space will keep on creating some differences in terms of lifestyle, thinking process and mentality. And the best quality of a human being is that ‘he can alter his life by altering his attitude’ as stated by William James. Communication has been revolutionised, holding the hands of audio, visual and audio-visual media, cell phones, personal computers, internet etc and the young people are considered to be the best practitioners and adapters of all new technologies by means of their high level of efficiency and acceptability. The range of positive impacts of ICT exposure and training on young people is widespread. In addition, young people are generally very passionate about new technologies and quick


to learn new skills. Therefore, children and young people are a very appropriate target group for ICT initiatives. The expansion of ICT can be explained as both cause and effect of globalisation on all levels. No doubt it is a powerful instrument to create new avenues of communication between young people and can help to create a ‘global youth culture’. But there are spatial and temporal as pects which matter a lot in effective implementation of ICT for specific development purposes. Despite numerous promises that the information age holds, it must be kept in mind that ICTs alone can not satisfy many of the fundamental

challenges that young people confront every day. Adding a simple ‘e’ to all the development parameters of the society of every corner of the globe may not be so easy to solve the problems right from the grassroot level. Because this ‘e’ is highly technology oriented and needs some basic infrastructural facilities which is also beyond the reach of the majority. Therefore, simply installing a computer in a classroom may not be effective to enable an untrained student to reap the benefits of technology, e-Health might be in the reach of limited people rather than the mass, e-Agriculture might be confined to a few, keeping a majority untouched… but it’s a beginning! It’s remarkable that the youth has already shown their motivation towards the

development activities using ICT. ICT also has shown many ways to the youth to survive in a better way, with more facilities in terms of income, employment and innovations. Internet has squeezed the geographic distance in such a way that physical movement and communication have been replaced by electronic movement and communication that are speedier and accurate. But ICT initiatives for social development should not be isolated, keeping the older generation apart. Rather it is important that competent and knowledgeable adults integrate their skills and experiences with ICTs. While it can be argued that young people can teach themselves basic ICT skills, this does not negate the need for qualified staff to guide and support the learning process. Indeed, this support and guidance are critical to the long-term success of these initiatives. The youth of our society must not forget that first they were children to their parents. In the coming days, they will be the parents to their children, then parents to their parents, then children to their children – it is the normal cycle of life as described by Milton Greenblatt. Youth has the responsibility today to take care of traditional ethos, keeping pace with technology. Else emotion, passion and other humanistic feelings might soon be too mechanical, many of us may lose our natural intelligence because of the full dependency on the ‘artificial intelligence’, our memory will be a store of some keys and commands of ICT. Here an interesting quote must be mentioned: “Education makes machines which act like men and produces men who act like machines” (Erich Fromm). We really need to think about our future where the contemporary youth closely associated with ICT, the ‘machinery’ of the 21st century civilisation, will be the guiding citizens of this world. Are they prepared to face that challenge? Let’s see in this issue what the youth have to say.  Saswati Paik, i4d | November 2005




Innovation in schools The children of Almora district experienced new ICTs through an innovative off the curriculum education initiative. Within a span of two years there was phenomenal change in their awareness and perspectives.

Rumi Mallick Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies (CSDMS)

Himanshu Kalra Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies (CSDMS)

November 2005 |

“You talk of development and planning, my village does not have a pucca road, we walk two kms in summer to fetch drinking water, we have never seen our village on a map. You talk of making maps of big cities, how support to participate in and influence about a map of my village?’’ –when Suman decisions and engage in actions and activities Arya raised this question before 200 so as to contribute to building a better delegates comprising of senior government society. It is important and necessary to hear official and policy makers and international the voices of the youth, and reaffirm and experts in the National Spatial Database promote their role in the development of Infrastructure (NSDI) Conference, in Agra, democratic society in particular in public India, 2003, she definitely pointed at the life. government’s inadequacy in the delivery of It is essential that young people learn basic infrastructure in villages. However about participation and democracy while in what the 15-year-old student of school where they not only spend a Government Intercollege, Shitakhet, considerable proportion of their lives and Uttaranchal, Suman, also pointed out was undertake a formal education, it is also a that youngsters like her are also a part of the place where many of their views and community who are effected by the perspectives on life are developed and constraints and have to cope with the hardships that is a part of the everyday life in the remote hill areas where she belongs. She also highlighted the fact that there is a whole group of youngster like her who are concerned of the issues that their community faces and are keen to work towards improving their situation. Village school girls learn tracking the path to the village in Bhagtola, Hawalbagh, Almora Young people are citizens in the municipalities and regions in shaped. However school must also be a place the same way as other age groups and must where young people experience democracy therefore be given the opportunity to in action and where their participation in participate and contribute to their decision-making is supported, promoted community’s well being. The active and is seen as effective. participation of young people in decisions Education in schools should help the and actions at local level is essential if we are youth feel more connected to their to build more democratic and inclusive community, particularly to their school. societies. Participation and active citizenship Knowledge gained through education is about having the right, the space and the should foster in each individual a stronger opportunity and where necessary the sense of responsibility and increase


awareness in each individual of the world around her/him. Education should not only improve attitudes toward learning and improve basic academic skills but also encourage the development of better, more productive social skills so as to improve communication with peers and adults. Conceptualized as an alternative learning experience “Mapping the Neighbourhood” project had attempted to move from a ‘strategy-structure-systems’ approach to a ‘purpose-people-process’ approach through the use of ICT and community maps. The project initiated by the Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies (CSDMS) and supported by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, was implemented in schools of rural and urban schools of Almora and Nainital district of Uttaranchal, India. Through this programme, young minds are let to nurture their existing knowledge base and at the same time value-add on their intellectual prowess, by learning practically relevant technology tools. In the process, they develop essential skill sets to analyze conditions relating to environmental, ecological and social set up of their immediate surroundings. With an aim to create an enabling context for the youth to live, grow, learn, participate, decide, analyze and change, the programme empowered the youth of the mountain areas by exposing them to

Mapping for advocacy: Children share their findings with the local elected representative in village Chitai, Hawelbagh, Almora

Geo-ICT tools were used by school children to generate and analyse relevant information of their local areas that can be used for decision-making for development. 8

Youth website documenting local resources and issues of concern in local language

technology tools in this case Geo-ICT tools to generate and analyse relevant information of their local areas that can be used for decisionmaking for development. Through an active learning environment where learning is in harmony with the local environment as well as ever changing global realities, about 400 youth members from schools learnt to use ICT to their advantage to not only generate locally relevant information that was lacking in the area and use the same for promoting local awareness for conservation of resource and action for resolving local issues. In order to help these youngsters develop their understanding, they were encouraged to engage in extensive discussion with community members and leader, local development authorities and researchers. The discussions complemented with extensive field visits and field studies were a real eye opener for these young students. Field visits included study of local resources, areas of depletions and areas that are in need of conservation. Issues ranged from depletion of springs (the main water source), non-maintenance of water lines, deforestation and drying of mountain streams in rural area to lack of waste management and adequate dustbins, lack of parking areas, non-maintenance of roads depleting green areas in urban areas. A study and analysis of these issues developed in them a scientific insight of local issues and a logical mind frame to analyze these issues. Today environmental and local awareness developed in these children has induced a value system, which has not only developed a sense of responsibility within these youngsters but has also opened up a wide perspective horizon for them, incorporating the ideal qualities of conscious citizens. Today, the youth in this hill region of India are leading the way, although through small steps, to change attitudes and the improve situation. This is heralding a new era of participatory democracy with youth spearheading the process. i4d | November 2005




Recognising young social entrepreneurs Youth are creators and consumers of technologies ranging from mobile telephones to e-Mail, to instant messaging, radio and television. As both business and social entrepreneurs, youth are creatively using technology to address community needs. ICT could help lay the foundation for future universal participation and help by doing so to eradicate existing disparities particularly those between youth of developed countries and youth of developing countries. The Youth and ICT Awards recognised eight young social entrepreneurs from different regions of the world who have transformed social development opportunities into a sustainable social enterprise through innovative use of ICTs. The awards highlight successful young social entrepreneurs who can envision social enterprise through innovative use of ICTs. Social entrepreneurs are individuals who identify a social problem and apply the entrepreneurial spirit, business insight, leadership and non-profit principles to solve the problem. Eligible applicants for the award were the youth between the ages of 17 and 30 years old, from a developing country or a country in transition, who demonstrate social impact, innovation, sustainability and commitment and passion in their social enterprise while using ICTs as a means for achieving their enterprise’s social objective. The Youth and ICT Awards 2005 are presented by the Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP), in collaboration with Canadian International Development November 2005 |

Agency (CIDA), Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies, MITRA Technology Foundation (MITRA), TakingITGlobal (TIG), Thai Rural Net (TRN) and Young Asia Television (YATV).

Awardees Nominations for the award were received from all around the world. Initially, there were plans to recognize six awardees. But later the number of awardees were increased to maintain a gender balance and to increase the regional diversity. The list of winners of the Youth and ICT awards 2005 are as follows: • Wu Yang (China) • Raj Ridvan Singh (Malaysia) • Mark Okowa (Kenya) • Salah Uddin Ahmed (Bangladesh) • Jean-Paul Bauer (South Africa) • Audrey Codera (Philippines) • Rana Gulzar (Pakistan) • Nileshni Sekar (Fiji) Each of the six successful candidates will receive a number of important prizes that will not only allow them to network with other youth, but to also move their initiative further in their local community. The winners will receive: • A US$500 cash prize • Travel and accommodation to Tunisia for Phase 2 of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis, Tunisia • Access to an exclusive one-day capacity building workshop prior to WSIS • The opportunity to showcase their social enterprise on a panel at the WSIS to policy makers, private sector and civil society groups during WSIS • Media exposure through a profile in i4d Magazine and a feature on YATV. In terms of geographic spread, there are

awardees from East Asia, South Asia, SouthEast Asia, Africa and Oceania. Among the eight winners, there are two women – Audrey Codera from Philippines and Nileshni Sekar from Fiji. Most of the judges are also social entrepreneur themselves. Applications for the awards opened on July 22, 2005. Each of the winners has shown considerable effort and success in their respective field and has already curved a place of their own. They are using ICTs for diverse developmental causes like education, environmental conservation, youth empowerment, income generation, poverty alleviation, fighting HIV/AIDS, etc. A Panel discussion has been arranged on ‘Young Social Entrepreneurs and The Use Of ICTs’ on 17 November 2005 at Kairouan Room in the premise of WSIS event at Tunisia. In this panel, the winners will share stories about their enterprise and discuss the role of ICT in fostering innovation and collaboration. They will share challenges, insights and best practices as well as engage in a dialogue about social development opportunities. The opening remarks will be delivered by Akhtar Badshah, Senior Director, Community Affairs World Wide of Microsoft. Jennifer Correiro of TakingITGlobal and Rhul Nainwal of iVolunteer will moderate the event. The closing remark will be delivered by Sunit Shrestha, Director amd Cofounder of Thai Rural Net. Youth and ICT Awards provide an opportunity to attract dynamic young people and organisations/projects from diverse regions. There is plan to increase the geographical spread of the award in future. Sejuti Sarkar De, Source: youthawards/





“First give the youth their livelihood” Audrey Espinosa Codera Philippine Youth Employment Network (PYEN) Philippines

Audrey Codera is the Executive Director of Philippine Youth Employment Network (PYEN) and Country Coordinator of YESPhilippines. The Philippine Youth Employment Network (PYEN) is a nonstock, non-profit youth-led multi-stakeholder network of community-based youth groups supported by major development partners composed of international, national and local organisations, coming from the government, non-government and private sectors aimed at bringing employment and employability to the youth in the grassroots. Audrey has done Master’s in Political Economy – International Relations and Development from University of Asia and the Pacific. She has plan to continue her work in order to build the capacity of the youth in the grassroots in pursuing employment or entrepreneurship.

What are the key activities of YES Campaign and how are you associated with this organisation? The YES Campaign was launched in response to the enormous challenge of youth unemployment facing most countries and affecting millions of young people around the world. The YES Country Networks bring youth organisations together with governments, NGOs, the private sector, and academic and training institutions to develop programmes and policies to provide youth with


opportunities for creating livelihoods. The YES Campaign has successfully created a platform for young people to contribute to their countries and communities with a newfound hope, vision and purpose. We know that skilled and empowered youth will to become productive, citizens in a challenging and evolving globalised world. Aside form the Youth Employment Summit, which happens every two years, the YES Campaign assists its Youth Country Networks by providing online tools that are helpful for capacity-building. The strong relationship that YES has with its partners also assists its YCN in the advocacy of the importance of Youth Employment issues. The Philippine Youth Employment Network is the legal name of YESPhilippines. It is the Youth Country Network of the YES Campaign in the Philippines and I function as YESPhilippines Country Coordinator. Which focus of your organisational activities seem to be most interesting to you? The whole concept of the Communitybased Youth Entrepreneurship Programme (CYEP) is my main focus right now. Whereas there are still a lot to be done for the youth in terms of youth employment, I think the most important is to first give the youth its livelihood. Thus, CYEP was born. All other things that comes with it is a by product of the most important issue-poverty alleviation combined with security issues. My work in PYEN enables me to pursue the YES Campaign according to the needs of the youth in the Philippines. I form part of the consultative groups on youth employment issue. At the same time, I am very much in touch with youth in the grassroots thus enabling me to relate first hand what the youth are experiencing and what they need. Now, I don’t propose that I know them

thoroughly or that I know everything they need. By virtue of being in the same environment they are during the BEDC Training sessions we have and the follow up activities, they are able to tell me and the rest of the youth volunteers what they want to do with their lives, what motivates them to want to put up their small businesses and what their main obstacles are. I call it globalisation. You look at the problem form the global perspective, but solve it utilising the inherent resources and qualities the locality has. I get to have the global perspective of the issue, the possible solutions considering the information I am able to obtain locally and bring about the solution where it’s needed and share it with the international community. If that isn’t interesting, I don’t know what is. Can you share with the readers the main factors behind your recent success? I’d like to think of success as a matter of perspective – not because there are no standards to follow nor because those standards are incorrect. It’s a matter of perspective because you have to consider the impact of the project or programme on a larger scale and given a timeframe. PYEN has been conceived in 2002. It was registered in the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2003. We were able to build our partners - the government, private sector and other NGOs. We are even considered experts on youth employment issues. Through CYEP, we were able to gain more youth volunteers. In a span of a few years, this is quite successful. But then again, I don’t want to focus on just what we have done on a policy and youth volunteerism level. The main idea is to have young entrepreneurs in the grassroots. And I must say, although we have given the youth the necessary skills to start their business enterprises, very few have i4d | November 2005

done so not because of anything else, but because the prospect that the youth can be trusted with money and will not just incur debts is still considered new or worst, people don’t even consider it at all. We have a lot of eager young people wanting desperately to free themselves from poverty and help their families. Sadly, we also have MFIs unwilling to trust these young people despite government policy to support the youth. We, therefore, have to look for funding from other institutions. However, most international institutions fund conferences and not community-based projects – conferences that, although helpful in information dissemination, are not targeted at providing solutions to the problem. And I really believe it’s a matter of trust. The project, and any project run by young people for that matter, will only be successful once the international and national communitiespublic, private and civil society accepts the fact that the youth can be trusted. As a young member of this society, which activities do you think to be prioritised more for the development of the society? Solutions to problems vary depending on the urgency of the problem. Any activity or project that is not in line with solving the most urgent of problems is futile and, to be very blunt about it, will never work. Say you have people dying of hunger in African continent. You can’t teach them how to make business plans. The first thing you need to do is feed them. If you have people in Cambodia dying of landmines, again you can’t solve the problem by a project teaching them about HIV/AIDS. As much as I would like to say that projects on youth employment and entrepreneurship should be prioritised, that is just not what everyone in the world needs, which I think, again, if what most international organisations are having difficulty with. They’re trying to solve world problems by thinking of general solutions, which in the end does not nip the problem in the bud. This is also what’s so good about the YES Campaign. The overall theme is youth employment. Then we have the 6Es plus education as a framework. The individual projects and actions in each country are decided upon by the YCN in that country who knows the problem, its history and possible solutions while taking into account November 2005 |

the cultural differences. From this, the YCNs crafts the action plan or projects. So what activities should be given priority? I think the more appropriate question would be: what is the most urgent problem in your society and how do you intend to solve it? If you get the right answer to the first idea, the next one should be easier to handle.

is give more information to other young people about what we’re doing in PYEN through SMS messages, e-mails, e-Groups, etc. In a way this can be one factor to bridge the ‘digital divide’. But then again, by having e-Groups, cell phones and e-mails, these youth volunteers and institutions are actually experiencing the digital divide. Again, I must go to the root of the problem – provide the youth with ICT at their disposal, then you and I can bridge the digital divide.

What do you think about the prospect of ICT towards the development of youth and the prospect of youth in ICT way? ICT is boundless. That’s a fact. I think everyone knows that the younger generations know more about ICT than the older ones. ICT is a powerful tool if used for the development of the youth. New technologies always attract young people. Due to its borderless nature, ICT is a key to information dissemination among the youth. You have e-Groups, e-Newsletters, e-Volunteers and others other form of communications where young people who are willing to help others are accepted without judgment and prejudice. And as I mentioned, younger generations are attracted to any form of technology. They also have the capacity to learn how to use the most recent technology. So, again, if used for the right reasons, the youth can benefit greatly by utilising ICT in they endeavours.

In what way you would like to utilise your enthusiasm and activities further, after getting inspiration from this Youth Award? I’m crafting a proposal right now still utilising ICT as a major component of the project. I plan to submit it for GKP’s YSEI so I’m not sure if I should talk about it right now. It has something to do with funding for youth and it has already started with very little funds since I was only able to convince friends and family members of its sustainability. If there’s one very hard lesson I have learnt, it is very difficult to find international organisations willing to support grassroots projects. And due to the urgency of the situation, I have managed to get private individuals to invest and trust the youth. I hope that with or without grants, this project I’m working on will reach more people.

How can you help the young generation to get rid off the vicious cycle of ‘digital divide’ in the developing nations? I think the first thing we need to do is make the gadgets available to the youth. People fear what they do not know. And people can’t know what they cannot touch, hear, see, feel or think of. We can only do away with the digital divide if the youth have access to ICT. Without this, I have to say that I cannot help other young people. How would they know that I even exist? Give the youth a computer. Give them a phone. Give them Internet connection. I’m pretty sure anyone will be able to solve the problem of digital divide. If we had computers and Internet connection to use whenever we conduct our CYEP and if the trainees do not need to write their business plans by hand including financial reports, I’m pretty sure the trainings will go much faster and the youth would learn more. As it is, the only thing I can do right now

Can you please convey your message to our young generation to make our society a better one? First, try hard not to give the more mature generations of this world more reason not to trust us. Second, and more seriously, pursue your dreams. Make three-year plans. During the first year, work hard at achieving it. The second year, work hard at maintaining it and doing well in it. During the third year, finish what you can, discard those you haven’t started and make a new three-year plan. If you didn’t work on something you wanted to pursue within three years, it means you never wanted it in the first place. So make new ones. Third, stay out of drugs, anything that will unnecessarily harm you. Life is short, enjoy it. And fourth, every second is a second of happiness and fulfillment. So do what makes you happy (and I’m not talking about superficial happiness) and you’ll see. You’ll find yourself helping others. It’s human nature and you’ll feel a different kind of fulfillment doing just that.





Providing skilled ICT related jobs to youth Salah Uddin Ahmed (Sina) XayanIT Bangladesh

Salah Uddin Ahmed is the co-founder, Chief Software Engineer and Chief Operating Officer of XayanIT, an organisation which works with the youth interested in ICT careers. The mission of the organisation is to provide, quality, customised, cost effective ICT consultation, managed services, and web/software R&D that serve clients in Bangladesh and around the world and at the same time to create self-funding, fully sustainable and socially impactful ICT employment for the skilled Bangladeshi youth. What are the main focus of activities of your organisation? XayanIT works with skilled youth interested in Information and Communications Technologay (ICT) careers. It coordinates Human Resource Development (HRD) which uses relevant ICT training, certifications, internships, R&D projects and field work to develop students into skilled and employable individuals. It manages HRD by working closely with organisations that have a stake in education and analyses existing curricula and assesses curriculum needs. Businesses, NGOs, and universities are key partners in making the internships, field studies, R&D projects, and relevant training curricula possible. XayanIT’s business is built upon using these skilled youth as entry level employees for providing the company’s web/software


products and services. In its initial phases, XayanIT is focused on creating localised educational turnkey solutions for the education sector and web design and development for domestic and international clients. XayanIT’s business success leverages its strong connections with educational institutions, businesses, NGO, and individual mentor networks in Bangladesh, Australia, and the United States. How long and in what way you are associated with this organisation? Xayan IT was formed in January 2005 and I am the co-founder and Chief Operations Officer. In which key activities of your organisation you have played a major role so far? In 8 months of operations with no external funding, we have created part time employment for two managers and five students. Ten students and five IT professionals have expressed immediate interest in joining. We were awarded a scholarship to attend a prestigious social venture incubator and are poised to expand in the second 6 months of our existence. In which activities you would like to involve yourself more for the development of the society and youth? One of our future goal is to set up a centre of ICT for Development in the University of Dhaka. My association with the university will help me set up the centre but requires a huge budget. University of Dhaka has always played the major role on every social and political critical situations of Bangladesh. Top 1 percent of the whole youth population gets the chance to admit in this university and they played the roles before. So why don’t they again play the major role for the development of the

country and poverty reduction through ICT? Do you think that ‘digital divide’ is a major issue in the development of the youth in the developing nations? Digital divide is certainly one of the major issue in development of the youth in the developing nations like Bangladesh. But basic education and bare necessities of life are absent for more than 50 percent of the population who stay below poverty line earning less than a Dollar per day. Which factors have played remarkable role as the main inspirational factors behind your recent success? My close association with the Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering of the University of Dhaka and business mentorship from Peter Young and Jon Rodrigues have helped me achieve this success. What message you would like to convey to the youth as a winner of this youth award? Because of unemployment, poverty and lack of opportunities many youths fails to focus concentrating on their goals. My message to the youth is “hard work, punctuality, concentration and keeping focus always for the goal can bring you the success, no matter wherever you are and whatever the situation is.” Will this achievement help you in your future initiatives? If so, how? This achievement will help me for all my future initiatives and activities to help our country and youths to prosper socially and economically. e-Inclusion can be more accommodated with the help of partnerships and networking opportunities arranged by GKP in Tunis.  i4d | November 2005




Enhancing youth capacity at local level Mark Okowa Advocacy Behavior Change and Communication (ABC) Kenya

Mark Okowa is the founder and Programme Coordinator of Advocacy Behavior Change and Communication (ABC). ABC was formed in February 2002 to address the poverty situation, poor governance, environmental conservation and management, and the HIV/AIDS prevalence within the lake Victoria Region of western Kenya. One of the important goals of the organisation is to improve the Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) of vulnerable young people in the lake region by bringing about a lasting positive change in their attitudes and behavior and those of the communities in which they live. Being a youthful organisation, ABC programmes generally target young people. How much effective role can youths play in bringing about transformation in social development issues? I think the youth has an equally big role in the society because they stand to inherit that particular society in a matter of time. The youth have all it takes to design a better future for them and for the society because the most fundamental fact is that they stand to gain and loose everything in the long run. As young people, we really feel embarrassed and abused when after being taken to school to learn and acquire the necessary skills to enable us develop our societies, we find ourselves at the periphery of decision making and implementation of development issues which also affect us. The youth have what it takes to bring in the fresh and relevant technological November 2005 |

concepts of development necessary for the progress of our societies. How did the idea of forming a new organisation Advocacy Behavior-change and Communication (ABC) to work for the youth related issues come to your mind? This was basically motivated by the findings of a baseline survey we did to categorise the socio economic and developmental issues the youth wanted to be done for them to facilitate their well being within the Lake Victoria basin of western Kenya. We then decided to target the first three development and health issues as they were raised in the survey, from the first in priority coming down. Only along the line did we realise that there were some very key elements of development, which cut across the divide and those, which we could bring in as we move forward. Basically what we set up to address when we begun were: 1. HIV/AIDs prevalence among the youth and the best strategies, relevant to the local youth, which could be employed to curb the spread. 2. Poverty among the young people and their respective societies, how this could be positively addressed and what the roles of the youth were in changing the situation. 3. Governance then came third and how the youth could be empowered to get involved in leadership position and how at the local level the capacity of young people could be enhanced. These were the three main fundamental issues we set out to be addressed in the beginning. The concept of ICT was cutting across with the emergence of MDGs and in Africa NEPAD and APRM. How much response have you received from the youth towards the HIV/AIDS awareness program of ABC?

We have succeeded fairly since our phase one of the projects was targeting 500 youths to be directly reached through what we called Focused Group Discussions (FGDs), as potential peer educators. If they were to reach 10 people each the project was to reach effectively 5000 young people with HIV/ AIDS messages. Out of the target of 500 youths, we managed a total of 591 youths. The response was overwhelming with almost any youth who heard about the project intending to be involved. Though again the challenge was that there is a poor culture developed by some of the NGOs, which have operated in this region before where by, they paid hefty allowances to all their programme participants. So as a youth initiative and with not sufficient funds to dish out to the targeted persons, we faced a lot of demands most of which we could not meet. But later in the project life, the understanding was cultivated and the project was a big success. The phase two which is just commencing is targeting 1000 youths as potential peer educators and is moving towards policy advocacy and with emphasis on the livelihood of the people within the locality of the Lake Victoria basin. Sensitizing the community for environmental conservation is one of the important objectives of your organisation. How are you involving the youths in this programme? We hold clean up campaigns monthly within the city of Kisumu, where we demonstrate the best and proper waste disposal mechanism and how solid wastes can be sorted at the household level so that the recycling and dumping is made easier. We also organise tree-planting activities within the province once every year in conjunction with main stakeholders like the forestry department, ICRAF and others.


How are you using ICT in your programs? Networking with other like-minded organisations and youths globally has also been a main tool for our publicity and development. Though I must admit that it has been a challenge to make even the entire staff of ABC to embrace the ICT concept. Before the initiation the ICT project we are running now, even some of our staff could take as much as a week to check their e-mails, for example. But now that we have available Internet within the ICT centre, we see most of our staffs motivated to enhance their understanding and utilisation of the Internet. The availability of the documentation and pictures of the projects we do with the easy access for those who wish to is a mile stone in making information available and easily and safely accessible. What are you planning as the future initiatives of ABC? We wish to see ABC grow to set up satellite centers at least one in every district we work in. These centers could work as our contact areas in these districts and hence the capacity to reach more youths within our province. We also wish to see ABC effectively address the issues of unemployment to the youth, by enabling the youth to rediscover their self drives to initiate income generating activities besides the predominant fishing career. We would also love to see ABC network with as many international youth organisations and movements as possible with the aim of initiating exchange programmes, which can culminate into a big world youth conference in Kisumu-Kenya in the near future. How will the youth and ICT Award help in your future initiatives? This Award will first of all put me and ABC on the international plat form, and enable me to get important contacts of other youth organisations doing what we are involved in and even better work that we do. Possible partners who could support the expansion of ABC activities like creation of satellite centers are likely to be met by me when I attend this ceremony. Lastly and importantly, the cash award will go along way in making ABC organise at least something like self-evaluation forum which can make us share and evaluate our successes and short comings.





‘Global environment requires more action’ Wu Yang Wise Use China

The Household Wastewater Recycling Management Project includes an innovative design for a pipeline system that could potentially address the severe water shortage in Beijing, and ultimately, all of China. It originated in an essay competition sponsored by Bayer Corporation in partnership with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). The project’s author, 20-year old Wu Yang, is a student in Beijing Jiaotong University, with his major in Electrical Engineering. When he was a child, Wu Yang wanted to persuade people to protect environment by using philosophy, ethics and What are the major activities of your organisation? Promote wastewater recycling system citywide in Beijing through public environmental education and communication with construction companies. How long and in what way you are associated with this organisation? I founded ‘Wise Use’ one year ago and serve as the Executive Director. Which key activities of your organisation is/are most interesting to you? I like working with people, enlightening them, or straightening out differences between them. Do you think that ICT can be a right way of developing the youth power more? If so, why and in what way it can be a reality? Yes. First and for most, we get connected by using ICTs, that is why we outweigh our parents as they are relatively isolated. When we get connected, opportunities and

literature. But he is now resorting to politics, economics and science, since he has realised that the degradation of global environment requires more action than compassion. Recognised as a ‘Bayer China Youth Environmental Envoy’, Wu Yang received the opportunity to take part in a field trip to Germany, where he learned about modern industrial product development and manufacturing based on the concept of sustainable development. Coupled with his efforts in increasing public awareness about conserving water, his long term vision is to usher in a conservation-minded society in China. He is, therefore, focusing on the Internet as a business platform for environmental protection products and technologies; as an education center, where environmental education videos can be viewed; and as a medium to demonstrate and popularize his product design. challenges will come out, and we’ve got to face them and make use of them, thus make us more competitive. What are the main inspiring factors behind your recent success? Teamwork. Two heads are better than one and five heads are better than two. We learn from each other since we are different. And because of the differences, we collaborate. How much encouraged are you after winning this youth award? Being highlighted more, more responsibility. How will this award help you in your future initiatives? I got my idea reinforced and approved. I want to establish a first-class environmental protection corporation in China, which incorporates the producer of environmental products and the supplier of energy-saving solutions. We will usher in a whole new environmental protection industry in china and construct a new value of environmental business. i4d | November 2005




Providing non formal education in SE Asia Raj Ridvan Singh Leadership Character Development Institute (L-CDI), Malaysia

In Cambodia for example, 63 percent of children who do enroll in primary schools, drop out before reaching grade VII. With little chance to improve their circumstances, these children are more likely to fall victims to threats of HIV/AIDS, prostitution, child trafficking, What are the key activities of your organisation? The main activity of my organisation is to train youths who are not able to finish academic school education due to poverty – youths above the age of 16 years with premium on enrolling girls. Setting up and operating Non formal education centres and also training youths to continue the system as a sustainable programme. Programmess include life skills, job employment skills and personal development skills. How you are associated with this organization and what are your main responsibilities? I am one of the three founders of LCDI along with my father and younger brother. My main responsibilities are external affairs and training of the staff and volunteers. Thus I network with other organisations, donors and international volunteers through the ICT medium. I prepare reports, source for information, resources besides communicating information to those associated to LCDI. I represent LCDI at other International forums like at the International Youth Parliament – OXFAM, YouthActionNet – Int’l Youth Foundation, SEA youth Forum and many more. November 2005 |

domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse. With this awareness, Raj Ridvan Singh along with his father and younger brother founded Leadership Character Development Institute (LCDI) in 2000 for the less fortunate children of Cambodia. Raj Ridvan Singh was the youngest achiever in ASEAN Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer at the age of 17. But then he shifted his focus to social work. He has won the International Youth Action Network Award in June 2004. He has represented Malaysia in International Youth Parliament at Sydney in July 2004 and World Youth

Congress at Morocco in August 2003. He is also a member of International Steering Committee of International Youth Parliament and Chairman and Coordinator of South-East Asia Youth Forum. Today L-CDI is the nation’s largest provider of non-formal education and has received positive endorsements from both the Ministry of Education and the Nation’s King. In 2005, L-CDI has also transferred its activities to local Cambodian volunteers who are registered as Grassroots Development Institute in partnership with LCDI Malaysia.

In which key activities of your organisation you have played a special role so far? My special role is in communicating with youths and organisations on working together and sharing experiences and sourcing information for expansion into new countries like East Timor and Laos. I also conduct training programmes with my father on Science of Life to help youths know their potential and be able to develop the skills to achieve much more in life.

and have come up with a comprehensive programme for youth development called Science of Life. Now with this programme, I will teach it to youth organisations who wish to use our tested programme and also to youths in East Timor as we are extending our activates to East Timor and Laos.

In which activities you would like to involve yourself more for the development of the society and more specifically for the development of the youth? From the experiences of running LCDI activities in Cambodia for nearly six years and also monitoring local Cambodians who have continued the activities in Cambodia, the main thing that we have learnt is that one of the main factor that makes a programme sustainable and continuous or for a person to effectively come out of the clutches of poverty, is the leadership and character skills of the person or the leaders. Mere life skills or job employment skills do not suffice. We have been monitoring and evaluating our programmes and strategies

If you are given a task to utilise the youth power to develop the nations in an ICT way, which steps you would like to follow to achieve that goal? ICT for me means access to intelligent information and to resourceful people. Enthusiasm is a massive power that drive activities and all this are superbly achieved through ICT. Through an ever expanding networking and a newsletter that encourages and educates youths, I will be able to get youths and organisations to work together to serve the less fortunate and girls. There are thousands of youths all over the world who wish to contribute towards the betterment of humanity but have limited time or resources. Through the network and newsletter, they will be able to find ways through which this limited time and resources can be expressed with good


value. Youth possess great energy and enthusiasm. Tapping on this, will go a long way to help other youths who are not only less fortunate but also those who are disillusioned. What are the main inspirational factors behind your recent success? Human beings are fashioned for greatness but need to live by principles and exert effort to achieve their potential. Achievement is the biggest desire and ecstasy for human beings but material achievement does not give satisfaction or fulfillment. All humans have five areas in life namely - Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, Mental and Spiritual. Working on 5 areas of life and striving to achieve excellence in all the five areas have been both so fulfilling and also convincing that this path is far superior to



mere material achievement and acquisition. What is your message to the youth as a winner of this youth award? I don’t know why I have been blessed to be born in Malaysia besides being born to my parents and many opportunities that have come my way to suggest that I’m very fortunate or lucky. Millions it seems are not as fortunate as me in my context. Since I am very lucky, I want to share some of my luck with others who may not be as lucky as me. In sharing my luck with others, little did I know that, so much more luck kept coming my way? Human beings are fashioned for greatness, as we strive to develop five areas we also begin to live a very fulfilling life. How will this achievement help you in your future initiatives? This achievement is a very powerful

confirmation that striving to develop five areas of our life brings achievements beyond any material happiness. We not only achieve the material pleasures, but also receive lots of love and recognition from others. This achievement will help others have trust in Science of Life. Through these achievements, it will be much easier to convince poor people of the effectiveness of LCDI programmes because many poor people are skeptical about the value of investing on education and personal development. Trying to secure funding for projects and winning the confidence and trust of organisations or those in authority will be so much easier. As we are on the verge of extending activities to East Timor, this achievement will facilitate things.


“Youth is not a problem, youth is a solution” Rana Gulzar AMAL Pakistan

Rana Gulzar is working as Project Manager with Amal. He is training peer educators, community/social activists and youth from public and social sectors on health education, human rights and health issues. He has the work experience in the 70 districts of Pakistan with approximately 1300 NGOs/ CBOs on capacity building and health education. He has received award from the Goi Peace Foundation Tokyo, Japan and The World Peace Prayer Society in 2003 and has also been selected for International Youth Parliament 2004 (IYP 2004). EDC (Health & Human Development Programs) USA has made a documentary on his life history and work, “How Can Youth Work to Stop AIDS around the World” in 2003. EDC showed this documentary to 2500 delegates in Youth Employment Summit 2003, India.


What are the main areas of your interest? Main areas of my interest are to work on youth issues particularly issues of high-risk youth/street children in Pakistan on Life skills based education, HIV prevention and role of ICT in problem solving. What are the main activities of the organisation you are associated with? YES! (Youth Empowerment Skills!) is a community based Life Skills, ICT and Adolescents Rights Awareness Programme. The Pakistani youth, specifically those belonging to the poorer strata of society, are vulnerable to sexual exploitation. These adolescents have little or no knowledge of matters related to reproductive health such as puberty, virginity, menstruation, masturbation and family planning, STIs and human rights. It is important that they are made aware of a variety of reproductive health and human rights issues. Quetta City, the heart of Balochistan, Pakistan, is the largest market of automobile spare parts and carpet weaving industry in the province. It is densely populated. Socioeconomic status of the people of the locality is generally very low. A lot of young people

of the city are employed as child labour or are involved in petty crimes. Most of these young people are illiterate Afghan refugees. Availability of cheap labour and the low rents attract legal and illegal businesses to this location. AMAL Human Development Network Balochistan is piloting a youth oriented project in the area of Quetta city. The target population for YES! is out of school male and female adolescents aged between 1017 years. The majority of labour force working in these shops, workshops and carpet weaving industry are these young children. Majority of them are paid Rs 5-10 (less than $ 1) per day for their apprenticeships and labour. Most of them are migrant children. They are also vulnerable to physical/sexual abuse. Under the YES! Project, AMAL provides a series of result oriented activities like child rights, ICT and legal aid, HIV/AIDS awareness and sensitisation, rights base training, life skills training, non-formal education/vocational training, assertiveness, self-protection, peer education, training of trainers, monthly social and cultural i4d | November 2005

activities, and development of community organisation. These interventions are designed on the basis of a situational analysis and needs assessment of the area. Which focus of your organizational activities seemto be most interesting and purposeful to you? AMAL Human Development Network is a non-profit organisation registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860 (registration No. RS\ICT\273), established in 1994. AMAL’s expertise lies in providing technical and capacity building support to NGOs/ CBOs, project management assistance and communication and material development. The mission of AMAL is to empower individuals, communities and youth organisations through provision of information and skills promoting gender/ rights based approach to the social sectors throughout Pakistan. Gender responsive AMAL’s interventions cover Community mobilisation support, development management trainings, project management, micro finance/enterprise development, reproductive health/HIV/ AIDS, primary education (including non formal education) and rights based approach to programming (RBAP). AMAL is a member of various bilateral and multilateral networks including UNAIDS, UNICEF, Youth Net Family Health International (FHI), CORIN, Population Association of Pakistan (PAP), Catholic Relief Services (CRS) NGOs network, Human Resource Development



(HRD), Pakistan Reproductive Health Network, National Trust for Population Welfare (NATPOW), Greenstar Social Marketing, Asia Pacific Network of Sex workers (APNSW). AMAL enjoys a network of over 1300 CBOs/NGOs throughout Pakistan. They offer AMAL sectoral and population specific expertise. In the area of HIV/AIDS, we work closely with our provincial partners in highrisk group programmes e.g truck driver, drug user, Commercial Sex worker (CSW), men who have sex with other men (MSM) and Youth. It has received registered work status from Government of Pakistan Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas and States and Frontier Regions Division (SAFFRON). AMAL director serves as NGO Board member Asia Pacific at UNAIDS Geneva (2002-2005). AMAL has been selected as NGO representative for Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) for Global Fund against TB, Malaria, and AIDS. AMAL has been nominated to present Government of Pakistan (draft) youth policy paper at Manchester “Have we got it right” sponsored by British Council in 2003. AMAL team includes pool of trainers on rights based programming approach, gender/diversity, reproductive health/HIV/ AIDS, project management, community development and sustainable human development, etc. This pool is trained by UNICEF and other international organisations. It retains key facilitators with over 50,000 combined training room hours


CSDMS was not able to secure an interview with Jean-Paul Bauer . We are presenting a brief profile and will carry an interview in the next issue of i4d.

Jean-Paul Bauer is technology administrator of, an organisation founded in 2000 by Teresa Peters, together with a group of Internet visionaries who now sit on its board of directors. Its directors and advisors are leaders in business, academia, and international organisations and they support us financially and play an active role in the work. The team brings together November 2005 |

practical multi-disciplinary skills, visionary perspectives on technology and business innovation, a commitment to social issues, and far-reaching international experience. originates from the technology community, it understands how to put technology to work to achieve our goals. It brings an entrepreneurial attitude to the social mission, and it is committed to working with governments and the private sector and partners with local groups working on issues like economic development, government efficiency and transparency, healthcare, education, environment, and human rights. It collaborates whenever

and maintains a database of specialists and professional consultants. It also provides expert, bilingual research and administrative support. What are the key factors behind your recent success? From my level of commitment I believe that youth participation philosophy should be followed at every stage.. I strongly believe that nothing is impossible in the world and youth can make everything possible. Which activities, do you think to be prioritized more for the development of the society, especially of the youth? Time has passed when leaders/elders talk about youth problems and solutions. It’s a time to talk with the youth directly and involve youth in decision making at all stages otherwise it will not work. So there is need to prioritise youth participation inall actions, planning and implementation, etc. What do you think about the prospect of ICT in the development of youth? ICT is key to success but still majority of youth population of third world have no access to ICT. Govts of third world particularly India and Pakistan spend money on ICT like initiatives instead of weapon of mass destruction. What is your message to our young generation to assure a better future? Youth should unite for positive change in the world because ”youth is not problem, youth is solution”.  possible and try to publish everything as open content so that others may improve and build on our efforts. It also brings experience with the highest levels of IT policy-making through involvement in the efforts of organisations like the World Economic Forum (WEF), New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), G8 Digital Opportunity Task Force (DOT Force), United Nations ICT Task Force, Glocal Forum, and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Yet its work on the ground keeps us in touch with the daily problems of people in developing countries and disadvantaged communities.





Alleviating poverty by self employment Nileshni Sekar Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises N Development (FRIEND) Fiji Islands

Nileshni Sekar is working as Art Project Supervisor in Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises N Development (FRIEND) in the island nation of Fiji. FRIEND is an NGO working towards poverty alleviation. It encourages people to use their talents, build on their skills and use existing resources to be able to earn a living. FRIEND programme includes Friend’s Save Scheme (a rural banking scheme) and Governance and Income Generation Program (IGPs). There is also a pilot project on restorative justice with the prison inmates. Nileshni teaches painting and card making to the deaf youths. The objective of the Friend¹s Fiji Style TM deaf handmade card project is to create employment for unemployed deaf community members and ultimately to create a sustainable micro enterprise for the deaf community. How are you involving the youth in the Income Generating Programme of your organisation? More than 20 deaf youths took part in the Governance program where they identified their challenges and made action on changing these. The project started with two girls being trained, the number has since then fluctuated between 8-10 youths being employed. There is very flexible timing and they are able to work in a conducive environment where they can communicate in sign language with each other. Currently, we have a group of eight


hearing impaired youths who have been trained and they make cards for orders and selling in the outlets - this is their livelihood. Outside of card making they are also able to participate in many training programmes organised by FRIEND eg Drama, first aid training, education on human rights, etc. These programmes are not only benefiting the eight people employed but also about forty other deaf youths. I also run a kool kids club on Saturdays teaching art to the school kids so they could have this talent to be able to earn a living if they need to. I have also conducted card making training sessions for prison inmates. What role are the youths playing in the Grassroots Opportunities Action and Leadership (GOAL) programme? Through the GOAL programme the youths identified their needs, one of which was unemployment. Their employment issue was solved by starting up the income generation program. The other challenge they had identified was that they had difficulty in communicating with general public, health authorities, police, etc. So they started to teach sign language themselves with the help of an interpreter in the beginning and then without any. Two days a week deaf youths teach sign language to general public. This programme also assisted them to access services such as obtaining driving licence from the LTA and engages them in training programmes, education on human rights, drama, etc. How much response have you received from the youth in your programmes? Response has been very positive. The deaf who are unemployed simply came to us to learn card making techniques and work to earn a living. They are now able to communicate with us on other challenges/ issues and we assist them to work.

How are you using ICT in your programmes? I had artistic inclination but I used to do paintings only. When I was encouraged by management to develop this into card making I searched card making on the internet and found the technique known as quilling. I further searched to learn this technique and taught them to deaf to make these cards. We advertise all Friend’s Fiji Style™ products over the internet on the FRIEND website ( We also network with other artists, material suppliers, distributors, and potential clients via email. What are you planning as the future initiatives of your organisation? We find that there are increasing number of youths who have left school and are unemployed. FRIEND is working on starting various income generation with youths. A small group will be taught drama skills to entertain tourists but also do education skits for the school youths. FRIEND is also setting up an art village for some of these artisans to work at. During my work at FRIEND I have also learnt other skills like glass painting and craft decorating mirrors etc and I will be teaching those skills to unemployed youths for their livelihood. FRIEND’s main aim is poverty alleviation through enterprise development and the organization is focused on this aim and continues to work on this. How will the Youth and ICT Award help in your future initiative? It is a boost for our work. This award will be an inspiration for the other youths to see what is possible and this will also be a good marketing tool for the cards and also other Income Generation Products. i4d | November 2005




A dynamic and global online community TakingITGlobal is today, the world’s most popular and, without a question, the most dynamic online community of young people making a difference.

Dumisani Nyoni TakingITGlobal Zimbabwe

November 2005 |

No generation has ever grown up in a world more connected, more complex, and more globalised than the current population of youth. No generation has ever grown up with the means, technologies and opportunities to satisfy curiosities and to learn about the most remote issues and cultures and the most foreign of contexts. More importantly, no generation has grown up with more possibilities to be involved in addressing challenges and to participate in processes that affect them more than today’s young people. Multiple factors are responsible for this.

The concerned and interested nature of today’s youth drives them to stand up and be counted. The leadership of inspiring innovators pulls together the pieces that bring an extraordinary vision to life. The Internet is the greatest driver of this youth movement. TakingITGlobal is the center of this vast, and fast growing revolution. Five years ago, two energetic, passionate, idealistic young Canadians had a dream of harnessing the power of the Internet to empower youth around the world to participate in creating a different world. Five years later, their idea has come alive and has given birth to hundreds of thousands of connections, projects, conversations, relationships and forever changed the role of young people in addressing local issues and shaping global affairs. TakingITGlobal is today, the world’s most popular and, without a question, the most dynamic online community of young people making a difference. The United Nations has also noticed it. Fortune 500 companies has

acknowledged this. The World Economic Forum also recognises it. And more importantly, a global network of the some of the worlds leading young thinkers, activists and leaders belong to this community. It is almost impossible to quantify the impact of TakingITGlobal over five years. Because you cannot measure inspiration and its various manifestations. Yet the stories of those involved with TakingITGlobal make it very clear that is has re-shaped their world beyond the wildest dreams and imaginations that Michael Furdyk and Jennifer Corriero held back in 2000 when they launched their project. TakingITGlobal serves an important role in today’s global community. It provides a platform for the youth to connect, to learn and to take action. It provides tools and information that thousands of people would otherwise not have access to. Through TakingITGlobal, young people are engaged in understanding the world they are a part of, and as members of a learning and acting community, they grow to better identify their roles in this complex and often confusing world. Young people have leapt into the waters of the ICT revolution and have fast become its most effective and important swimmers. More than ever before, youth are using technologies to create learning communities across the globe (; to establish platforms for advocacy and pushing for changes in government policies (; as well as to engage in a cross-cultural dialogue about matters most important to them ( TakingITGlobal shatters the stereotype that youth are drawn to ICTs for entertainment, shopping, and perhaps to plagiarise the odd assignment. The


community of young people at Taking IT Global has a very clear objective: to make a difference in their communities. Their ideas transform to action. ICTs provide the tools and the means to act. Through TakingITGlobal’s network, initiatives and partnerships, youth have launched community projects in over 150 countries ( which is an outstanding achievement. Events take place globally almost everyday that stop and reflect on important issues affecting our world. TakingITGlobal members are bound to be there ( At these events, youth are contributing to a global dialogue and thought process. They are actively participating in shaping the future of communities, nations and our planet. Some consider fives years of growth and existence to merely be worthy of applause, but not worthy of celebration. I beg to differ. Consider where TakingITGlobal has come from, what it has done, and the capacity with which this young organisation has efficiently, effectively and openly had an impact on our world. It has been started by young people with a big idea and little resources of any kind emerging as the bubble burst in the very realm that TakingITGlobal was about—the Internet; existing in a world that has fundamentally been re-shaped by the rise to prominence of terrorism, war, radicalism, nationalism, international conflict and tension. TakingITGlobal has achieved growth in a global economy that, to be kind, has been sluggish and most importantly, it has captured the imaginations of thousands of people whilst engaging and empowering many more. If you had told anyone that you were about to launch a successful initiative in the midst of such an environment, they would laugh you off as a dreamer. Obviously, the founders of TakingITGlobal are not the only ones dreaming. If the impact and achievement of what TakingITGlobal today has achieved, at five years old, is not worth celebrating, what is? The future holds greater challenges for our generation. As never before, there is a need for youth to be involved in making a difference in communities worldwide. TakingITGlobal’s role is more important today that it has ever been. A generation that has no sense of purpose is the greatest curse that mankind can ask for. TakingITGlobal offers doorways and spaces for youth to discover that individual and collective purpose. Without the financial support, and otherwise - of friends, members, foundations, corporations, philanthropists and insightful global citizens worldwide, initiatives like this cannot exist. TakingITGlobal, at once, provides an opportunity to both young members and generous people worldwide to contribute to make a better world. The results that have been achieved by the organisation and its network in five years tell this story with an undeniable power. It would be a very worthy investment for anyone with the means and resources to support and contribute to TakingITGlobal’s efforts. As globalisation continues to knock on doors, classrooms and neighborhoods worldwide, and as youth begin to wake up to the realisation that the world is theirs to hold and to mould, TakingITGlobal will continue to be a force that inspires, informs and involves millions around the world, in over 240 countries and territories, to create a more just and sustainable world.


Youth Social Enterprise Initiative Investing in visionary young leaders with innovative ideas

“Young people are at the forefront of transforming their societies using ICT tools, yet too often youth projects lack mainstream recognition, opportunities to participate in decision making, and a sense of peer community to learn from.” - Rinalia Abdul Rahim, Executive Director, Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP). The Global Knowledge Partnership, through its youthfocused members, is launching a new initiative aiming at catalysing young ICT-enabled social entrepreneurs. The Youth Social Enterprise Initiative (YSEI) is a first ever international fellowship programme that identifies and provides comprehensive support for young social entrepreneurs – passionate individuals with innovative solutions for social problems. Young people make up almost half of the developing world. If social entrepreneurship is to bring increased efficiency and innovation to the conventional development landscape, the most dynamic young people must actively embrace it. Therefore, YSEI looks to young people as innovative and competent citizens to lead lasting social change in the world. YSEI fellowships are designed to help young social entrepreneurs achieve their goals from the initial idea through to project implementation and impact creation. YSEI’s support ranges from providing fellows with a knowledge base on development issues and social entrepreneurship, access to key support networks for young social entrepreneurs, engaged/ onsite mentorship programs and seed grants up to US$15,000 per project. Young social entrepreneurs equipped with Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) represent a powerful force of systemic social change. YSEI intends to pay special attention to support young social technopreneurs – passionate individuals with innovative ICT-enabled solutions for social problems. As young technopreneurs from Silicon Valley are to the information revolution, we hope young social technopreneurs can create solutions to achieve broad sustainable development objectives in a wide range of areas such as poverty reduction, environmental protection, gender equality and human rights. Youth Social Enterprise Initiative’s (YSEI’s) vision is to catalyse a global movement of young social entrepreneurs who can bridge effective and scalable social innovations. Our community would foster innovation and the desire for change, such that young people find within themselves the potential to make change. YSEI invests in young social entrepreneurs because we believe they are the most powerful force of social change. i4d | November 2005



B ANGLADESH , 23-30 A UGUST , 2005

Inspiring rural youth and children The idea of the ‘Grassroots Video Festival’ came from the vision to involve and inspire the rural people particularly the grassroots youth leaders and children and to convey basic information which are not mentioned in the text book for ‘new leadership development’.

Black scenes Countrywide 459 blasts in 63 districts within 30 minutes at August 17, 2005 has made a black scene in history of Bangladesh. This terrorism mostly involve misguided grassroots youth who are innocent belivers and have no clear concept about the modern world, faith and life style. General finding is that this incidence is not the cause but the reselt. It happened because we could not educate and train the youth generation as universal minded as to encounter fanaticism, hateism and prejudices at last to ignorance. The grassroots reality is that majority of rural people don’t have minimum access to basic

Credit: Shahjahan Siraj/UnnayanNet

Shahjahan Siraj UnnayanNet Bangladesh

November 2005 |

life information; the youth and children grow up without knowing and live high risk of invisible conflict (sometime exposed) of HIV as well as other degradation of human values. In Bangladesh, the mainstream media events are mostly held in cities and are arranged aacoding to the city people like and demand, with commercial and entertainment approach. Here majority grassroots people are back of scenes, or, in some case represented as hero of disaster,

poverty and literacy. This steriotypic presentation also have been damely followed by the international media which together influences negatively and abstract the development process. Along with the negative aspects every society has positive cultural power and historical heritage which can advance and unite the whole nation unpresidently. Mostly media forget this sense while representing lives and stories of developing countries like Bangladesh. Power of culture and communal spirit can easily rise up by proper media presentation that can procede us despartely towards true freedom, peace, unity and happiness breaking through all the borders. The idea of the ‘Grassroots Video Festival’ came from the vision to involve and inspire the rural people particularly the grassroots youth leaders and children. The motivation of the festival is to convey basic information which are not mentioned in the text book for ‘new leadership development’. The theme of the festival was ‘Unite Us’ which comes from the patriotic slogan, ‘Unity Saving the People, Unity Saving the Nation’.

The festival With huge participation of the students and youth, Bangladesh 1st Grassroots Educational Video Festival –2005 (http:// was held at Muktagacha and Kushtia, from 23-30 August, 2005. The first phase of the festival was held from 23 – 25 August 2005 at three colleges of Muktagacha. In Khushtia, it was held at Doulotpur Shilpokola Academy, Zilla Porishod Auditorium and Police Line College. Here along with the


video show, ‘Youth leadership and development’ related workshop and cultural event were held. Twenty-two documentaries collected from different countries had been screened in the festival which were contributed by - TVE Asia Pacific, BCCP, Youth Channel, ULTRALAB, Drik, Pluralism, UNDP, SEHD, Out Of Focus, WITNESS, Steps Towards Development and UNICEF - Bangladesh. The festival covered the issues of MDGs, human rights, Tsunami, acid violence, child rights, HIV/AIDS, Youth leadership, trafficking, environment, gender equality, small arms issues, etc. The documentaries on HIV/AIDS, acid victim, and Tsunami were highly appreciated. During show, evaluation form, festival sticker and postcard on ‘Truth Taking Project’ were distributed to the audience. Request has come to include the documentaries on the social problems and issues particularly on drug abuse, gender equality, global culture, etc., in the next year. The documentaries of the festival 2005 would be screened in ‘Rights and Development Convension 2005’ at Chittagong in Bangladesh on 25-27 November. The festival proved that such kind of grassroots media event would surely advance the sustaining development and participatory process, and would help the unprivileged grassroots youth and children to meet with the today’s world. Specifically the vision of the festival was to make a small step to inform the grassroots youth who don’t have minimum access to basic information. Even they don’t know about Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and basic human rights; but whole world including Bangladesh are going with the millennium targets 2015 to make a povertyless ‘new world’. Is it possible without giving priority and equal opportunity to majority grassroots people’s

Credit: Shahjahan Siraj/UnnayanNet

participation in development process to achieve the goals? Five years for MDGs and 50 years for Universal Human Rights Declaration have already passed but still now more than 95 percent Bangladeshi don’t know MDGs and/or rights.

The experiences As festival coordinator, I am very impressed and moved to see the huge participation and cooperation of grassroots people. I understand that this festival is beyond the educational curriculum and provides


Credit: Shahjahan Siraj/UnnayanNet

the much needed ICT and development education to the grassroots youth. However, visual and multimedia presentations are effective for quick understanding and result. In the region, there is no such community media centre, or knowledge centre or tale centre. Children and youth are learning with struggle by their own initiatives. Privileged are wining in the competition. As a result, the digital divide, information and opportunity gap are becoming sharper, which are not favourable for the future leadership and development. I believe a small ‘Grassroots Media Centre’ can make bridge and open the gate for access to information and opportunities for local people. To arrange the festival 2005, I knocked many doors for a small grant but without result. At last with self-finance, Machizo’s volunteer contribution, and local partnership with SETU and Borno we organised the festival in two districts which have been made pillar to arrange the festival every year. Within limited time and resources, we organised the festival and it was highly appreciated by audience and local civil society. For the following years, any kind of contribution from similar minded organisation and individual would be highly appreciated. My commitment in the year 2006 will be to organise the festival more widely and go forward with highest spirit to establish an ideal community based youth media centre. In the way, UnnayanNet nowadays is making efforts and doing advocacy to establish an alternative, ‘Grassroots Youth Media Centre (UnnayanNet Info Centre)’ which will profoundly contribute to ‘new leadership, new development’ that will help to establish harmonious and peaceful information society, and to expand the ownership of modern technology and global information system to rural and disadvantaged people by solving the digital divide properly. (One InfoCenter in One Village – http:// ContentID=4494) As a part of the initiave and in order to get better results, in the early 2006 UnnayanNet will organise workshop ‘Introducing ICT and Global Information to Grassroots Youth for New Leadership Development’. It is planned to expand this festival in the whole Bangladesh through the partners and stockholders of UnnayanNet. i4d | November 2005

Vol. III No. 11

November 2005

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

Education African schools to be connected via ICT networks At least 600 000 schools in Africa will be connected to one another via a satellite network in a bid to help schools produce mathematics and science whiz kids. This is aimed at equipping all African primary and secondary schools with Information Communication Technology apparatus such as computers, radio and television sets, phones and fax machines, communication equipment, scanners, digital cameras, copiers and to connect them to the internet. People in rural areas within the proximity of these schools could also benefit if necessary capacity was created in business and entrepreneurial skills. 121269/1/1138

India’s first e-Literate district in Kerala In November 2002, the state government of Kerala put into place a project, piloted in Malappuram that aimed for one person in every family to be computer literate in that district. One year later, over 500 Akshaya centres, the basic computer labs, had been built throughout the district, and a village, Chemaravattom, was already fully computer literate, perhaps the first of its kind in the world. Today, with the help of the IT services company Tulip, the entire district of Malappuram is connected entirely wirelessly. Now there is plan to initiate the Akshaya IT project in other districts like Kasargod, Kannur, Kozhikkode, Thrissur, Ernakulam and Kollam, for 100 per cent computer literacy. . November 2005 |

Radio Instruction in Indian states The Indian state government of Chhattisgarh has expanded an EDCdeveloped interactive radio instruction initiative (IRI) to reach approximately one million children. The program “English is Fun” is part of a two-state (Chhattisgarh and Karnataka) radio initiative that involves 7 million children in more than 80,000 schools. The Chhattisgarh program builds upon the existing state English curriculum, which emphasizes listening and speaking skills. Students practice skills when they sing songs, play local games, or conduct chain exercises during the 30-minute broadcasts. article.php?article_id=133

IITs 3rd best tech schools in world According to the Times Higher Education Supplement, the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) have been declared the third best technology universities in the world for 2005. The research table shows technologists regard Imperial College London as the UK’s best university, ahead of Cambridge University and fifth in the world.

Microsoft to start computer literacy in Indian schools Going by its earlier commitments, Microsoft is going to take up experimental programme in extending computer literacy to schools that will enable teachers to use three dimensional teaching tools in Indian languages to handle classes and provide necessary clarifications to students. The pilot scheme of computers in

classrooms would cover six states and Microsoft would provide 5,000 computers, besides the necessary interactive software. fullstory.php?id=13958765

Agriculture Commodity Suchna Kendra consolidates farm market In an attempt to link the traders across the Indian state Maharashtra with each other, Comodity Suchna Kendra hub has been launched at the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC), Pune. With this 290 APMCs across Maharashtra got place in the digital map. The idea is to furnish national and future commodity prices alongside India’s first Composite Commodity Futures Index, Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX)COMDEX, on a real time basis to all the APMCs hooked to the Pune hub.

e-Governance Jharnet to connect 4500 government offices by June All the government offices in the Indian state Jharkhand will be linked through a statewide communication and information network ‘Jharnet’ by June next year. Jharnet will connect about 4500 state capital, district and block level government offices by the end of this financial year. It would function as an information super highway for the state government and would satisfy all the information needs of the state, besides allowing access to the other nodes which will work as the dissemination points of information. Source: news.php?action=fullnews&id=42149


The i4d News

Free regional language software tools The department of information technology, Government of India, will now provide free software tools and fonts in southern Indian language Telugu to the general public. The department has so far brought out this initiative in Tamil and Hindi. After Telugu, tools and fonts in Punjabi and Urdu will be launched.

Punjab tops Indian states in e-Governance According to the second Skoch report, Punjab’s Suwidha is the only rural citizen services delivery project in India covering every district of the state, making it the topmost state in e-Governance. While other projects like the Rajiv Gandhi Computer Literacy Programme in Assam, Rural e-Seva in West Godavari, Citizen Services Centre in Temi in Sikkim also scored 8.9 out of 10 in terms of citizen approval, the scale of Punjab’s Suwidha gave it the extra edge. There were 18 Suwidha centres - one each for every district in Punjab. Source: news.php?action=fullnews&id=37119

Indian varsity towards eGovernance The University of Madras in India has taken a step into the e-Governance with the Syndicate approving a total e-Solutions package that will cover all academic departments and administrative offices. The project will start with the examination system with e-Delivery of question papers to affiliated colleges and speedier evaluation and certificate delivery, then move across to distance education centres and finance. All university departments will be interconnected. 2005100817600700.htm

Technology Intel launches ‘Intel Digital Transformation Initiative for the Middle East’ Intel has announced the launch of the ‘Intel Digital Transformation Initiative for


the Middle East,’ a comprehensive, multiyear program that will expand Intel’s economic, educational and technologyrelated support throughout the region. Under this program, Intel will increase its investment in four key areas - local entrepreneurship, education, digital accessibility and specialized technical competencies, to help promote technology skills, knowledge transfer and jobs creation in the Middle East, Turkey and North Africa.

Microsoft offers PCs at Rs 399 Microsoft Corporation India has announced a partnership with the government of West Bengal and Intel Technologies for the state-wide rollout of Gyandeep, the people’s personal computer (PC) programme and Gyanbridhi, the student’s PC programme, aimed at accelerating the state’s information technology (IT) initiatives. Gyandeep, specially designed PC solution bundle for government employees would be made available at an EMI of Rs 399. Gyanbridhi would offer the student community (class IX-XII in higher education) both the hardware and software at an equated monthly installment (EMI) of Rs 499. storypage.php?&autono=204068

Internet access in trains picking up speed Rail companies across the world are keen to develop wireless broadband connections for their carriages, as it encourages business travelers to use the train rather than other forms of transport. If passengers are able to plug into their company networks, surf the net, and send and receive e-Mails, then they can utilise

what otherwise might be ‘dead’ traveling time.

Intel to make community PC for rural India Chip giant Intel is developing a low-cost, low-energy community PC aimed exclusively at India’s rural communities. The Intel-based community PC will function with a car battery as its power backup and will meet the rigours of rural conditions with special screens and filters that reduce dust, insect infiltration. The community PC is also being designed to handle heat conditions in excess of 38 degrees Celsius. full_story.php?content_id=79553

Good Tech working on PC-like mobiles Within the next five years, all laptop users would be converted into using smart phones that handle similar tasks that would make it a lot more convenient to access information anywhere, anytime. Good Technology Inc, a privately held US-based software provider for mobile applications, has embarked on this plan, which it has gained access in India through the acquisition of JP Mobile Inc. 11/stories/2005101102190400.htm

Software to create personal virtual library Greenstone, the self-paced training module on digitalisation and digital libraries, is a suite of software that helps one digitising documents and creating virtual libraries, be it for a library or for lay people. Developed by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the National Centre for Science Information (NCSI) at the Indian Institute of Science (IISC), the kit has different modules to teach librarians and lay people to digitise documents and create virtual libraries. To use this tool, a suitable Java Run-time Environment is necessary, which can be downloaded. 10/10/stories/2005101000230400.htm

i4d | November 2005

The i4d News HCL launches another sub-Rs 10,000 PC HCL Infosystems has launched an AMDpowered, Linux-based PC in the sub-Rs 10,000 PC categories. The new HCL Ezeebee Pride computer, priced at Rs 9,990 comes with a configuration of AMD x 86 1.6 GHz processor, 128 MB RAM, 40 GB Hard Disk Drive, 52X CD ROM, 15-inch colour monitor and Linux Operating System. In August this year, HCL had launched a Linux-based low cost PC dubbed ‘PC for India’. Some other companies like Xenitis has also launched a below Rs 10,000 PC.

Telecommunication Dutch telcos introduce phones for kids Two Dutch telcos- KPN and Scarlet, have introduced mobile phones specially made for young children. KPN is unveiling a kid phone - iKids, which remains working even when the phone isn’t activated. Parents can select three ‘safety zones’, areas where their children are allowed to play. If they wonder off to another area, parents receive an SMS message. They can also look up the child’s whereabouts on a virtual map. If one predefined number isn’t answered, the phone will try the next one.

After Yahoo, now Microsoft in online book-content search movement Microsoft is planning to join the online booksearch movement with a new service called MSN Book Search. The recently formed group called the Open Content Alliance to which microsoft plans to join, 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. MSN is joining forces with its archrival Yahoo, which announced its support of the project this month.

installing an additional 60 million GSM lines which is the largest-ever telecom expansion deal in the world and estimated to be worth over US$5 billion. The Public Sector Unit had earlier planned to issue two separate tenders, first for 40 million lines in October 2005, and the second one for an additional 20 million lines in mid-2007. The single tender will help negotiating lowest possible equipment and installation prices. storypage.php?hpFlag=Y&chklogin=N&autono= 202955&leftnm=lmnu9&leftindx=9&lselect=0 kid_phone/

Health Trade through Nokia mobiles Nokia and transaction automation software provider Financial Technologies India Ltd have announced a partnership to offer iWin, a trading application enabling users to see market rates and also enter/ modify/cancel orders while on the move. iWin allows investors to view ‘live streaming’ quotes and transact real time from their broking accounts. It ensures confidentiality by sending data over the Secure Socket Layer, a tunnel that enables secure data transfer over the Internet. 26/stories/2005102603460600.htm

BSNL to issue single tender for 60 mn GSM lines Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has decided to issue a single tender for November 2005 |

Tele medicine service for remote India A pilot project aiming at the difficult and remote areas of the Indian state Himachal Pradesh has been sanctioned by the Centre, for introducing tele-medicine service in the Shimla, Chamba and Kinnaur districts from next month. The people living in these districts would receive medical attention without visiting the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital in Shimla. The experts sitting in this hospital will be able to examine the patient through this service. The facility to consult other specialists in PGI Chandigarh will also be available through a telemedicine network already established between Shimla and Chandigarh based institutions. showdetails.asp?id=121571&cat=Health

Tele-radiology, a medical boon in Mali Tele-radiology, one aspect of tele-diagnosis, has come as a great medical help for Mali, the huge, landlocked, under-developed and poor country which has only about a dozen radiologists. The tele-radiology network dubbed IKON is operational to enable remote consultation of all radiological files requiring a specialist’s opinion. A software package suitable for tele-radiology, called “Open Yalim”, was developed specifically for the network.

Hospitals in Delhi get computer interlink The municipal corporation has decided to interlink its six hospitals in the Indian capital New Delhi through a computer network, promising to make admissions to these hospitals a lot easier. Called the Hospital Information System, the network will enable high-speed data transfer, even patients’ X-ray reports from one hospital to another. From now onwards, a patient has to register themselves with any of the six hospitals only once. After being issued an I-card, their medical records will be maintained by MCD throughout their lives. showmorestory.asp?category=National&slug= MCD+mulls+interlinking+of+hospitals&id=80401


The i4d News

Revenue-based Internet kiosks in Mahar Maharashtr ashtra a As part of Maharashtra’s employment guarantee scheme, 1,000 Internet kiosks in the current year are to be set up in the state, which would act as e-Governance, e-Commerce and knowledge hubs. The number will be scaled up to 4,000 in 2008-09 with an objective to generate employment for 10,000 rural youths. The proposed model is entrepreneurial and revenue-based, wherein rural users pay charges to the kiosk provider. The educated unemployed rural youth will establish the kiosk with a bank loan and a small subsidy from the government.

Wireless Broadband tariff to come down by half In a bid to meet the Government of India’s target of 30 lakh broadband users by the end of the year, State-owned telecom majors Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) are going on lowering of broadband tariffs. MTNL lowers the broadband tariff by 50 per cent to Rs 199 per month from Rs 399, where as BSNL is working on a similar idea. BSNL had recently reduced its broadband usage charges by at least 50 per cent from Rs 500 per month to Rs 250 per month for a 256-kbps connections. 28/stories/2005102802560100.htm

Philadelphia to become City of Wi-Fi Philadelphia is set to become America’s largest municipal wireless Internet hot spot, after city officials inked a deal for a vast broadband umbrella with Internet service provider Earthlink. The network to be up and running late next year, will offer wireless Internet service to low income customers for as little as 10 dollars. Regular rates will be around 20 dollars.

Google to offer free wireless service to San Francisco Google is working on a plan to offer a free wireless Internet service to the city of San


Francisco, in response to a program proposed by Mayor Gavin Newsom this year. Google has said that the service would be “open”, and has proposed wholesaling wireless bandwidth to third parties who the company thinks could have interest in selling premium services.

General India govt inaugurates computerisation of Judiciary Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated a Five-Year National Programme for Computerisation of Judiciary. The plan, aims at complete automation at the registry level, the digitisation of law libraries and court archives, and installation of video conferencing facilities in court complexes that in turn will ensure better court services and improved justice delivery system. 2005100617531500.htm

Aussies launch SMS Bible

www is growing According to a study, the web has grown more in 2005 than it did at the height of the dotcom boom. In the year to October the web grew by more than 17 million sites. This figure exceeds the growth of 16 million sites seen in 2000 when net fever reached its most intense pitch.

India to help Africa bridge digital divide India will assist the African Union in facilitating tele-education and telemedicine across the 53 member countries through the project, to be called the Pan African Network Project (PANP). The PANP will also put in place a communication network, including video conferencing facilities, providing connectivity to all heads of State Government in the African Union. 27/stories/2005102702990900.htm

Indian BPOs set global standards in HR practice According to Nasscom the cutting edge Human Resource practices followed by Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) firms in India were setting standards for even the developed nations. As the Nasscom President, Kiran Karnik says, every head of State visiting India wants to know about Indian IT processes. It is an open challenge to anyone who can prove that their working conditions are better than that of the BPO industry. 25/stories/2005102502181100.htm

India to help Africa bridge digital divide

The entire 31,173 verses of Bible can now be downloaded for free and sent by mobile phone as the Bible has been translated into text message-speak in Australia to allow its lessons to be disseminated more easily. The entire Bible would be more than 30,000 messages. It took six weeks to translate the Bible into text messages.

India will assist the African Union in facilitating tele-education and telemedicine across the 53 member countries through the project, to be called the Pan African Network Project (PANP). The PANP will also put in place a communication network, including video conferencing facilities, providing connectivity to all heads of State Government in the African Union. 4318750.stm 27/stories/2005102702990900.htm i4d | November 2005


Assembling the assets Alberto Nardelli Communication Coordinator for Youth Caucus, Italy

The Youth Caucus of the World Summit on the Information Society is a loose group of youth who are active leaders in all kinds of areas. The WSIS Youth Caucus isn’t an official organisation, but both TakingITGlobal and SchoolNetAfrica provide logistical and technical support. There is no official list of members, because the Youth Caucus is open to membership; there is no application process, therefore members are not listed. There are, however, various ways to ascertain the member base of the Youth Caucus, mainly the WSISYouth mailing list (hosted by TakingITGlobal), a central virtual ‘shouting board’ which allows important information to be communicated to caucus members. During the first phase of the World Summit on the Information Society, the Youth Caucus was on of the most successful stakeholders of the Summit. The Youth Caucus successfully lobbied for the inclusion

The WSIS Youth Caucus will continue to lobby for input on official ICT policies, and to bring awareness to the benefits that young people bring to ICTs. November 2005 |

of a youth-centric paragraph in the WSIS Declaration of Principles that states “…We recognise that young people are the future workforce and leading creators and earliest adopters of ICTs. They must therefore be empowered as learners, developers, contributors, entrepreneurs and decisionmakers. We must focus especially on young people who have not yet been able to benefit fully from the opportunities provided by ICTs.” These outstanding achievements were the result of the combined efforts of up to 70,000 young people from around the world mobilised through the national youth campaigns and the international youth caucus. Throughout Phase I, young people were present at the various WSIS preparatory committee, regional and thematic meetings to ensure that their perspectives on key policy issues were included. At the Summit in Geneva the Youth Caucus was present with numerous members from around the world. Youth participation around ICT issues was also mainstreamed within other major international events such as the World Summit on Sustainable Development and the Youth Employment Summit. The Youth Caucus had four major objectives in terms of the policy input to Phase I of the WSIS: • Recognition of Youth, • Centrality of Education, • Promoting Youth Employment, • Concrete Action Plan for Youth. The WSIS Youth Caucus remains committed to achieving its goals set out in Phase I. With a fresh co-ordination team, and new challenges ahead, the Caucus is motivated to making a real impact in Phase II. The WSIS Youth Caucus continues devolved engagement, using the National Campaign model developed in Phase I, will continue to lobby for input on official ICT policies, and to bring awareness to the benefits that young people bring to ICTs. The WSIS Youth Caucus also intends to rally around the Working Group on Internet

Governance, to ensure that young people have a strong input in this important process.

Key Policy Areas As the WSIS Tunis Phase heats up, the Policy Coordinator has set up, with a membership of 16 active YC members, an Issues Working Group (IWG) tasked to organise eConsultations as well as write policy papers and statements detailing the stand of the YC on relevant Phase II issues. The immediate activities planned for the last quarter of 2004 are as follows: • Holding an e-consultation on the evaluation of the ICT chapter of the World Programme of Action for Youth in 2000 and Beyond, using the UN Youth Unit’s Making Commitments Matter Toolkit. The output, in the form of a communiqué or paper, will be submitted to the UN Youth Unit for consideration in its global review of WPAY. • Following up the development of discussions on the WGIG and UNDP’s Financial Mechanism Task Force. • Researching, reading, summarising and analysing literature on IG and FM and link relevant issues that are important to and for young people. • Drafting and finalising YC policy papers/ statements/communiqués in consultation with the YC Advisory Committee and experts external to the YC. • Draft and write position papers on emerging Phase II issues. • Organising e-consultations regarding the final drafts of these YC policy papers. At the Summit itself the youth caucus will present a range of national level activities that occurred worldwide over the past year, two awards scheme that have recognised best youth-practices worldwide, and will run a vibrant youth pavilion with a range activities including workshops and a day around online security and a global video chat that will connect groups of youth in Tunis and around the world. 







Mainstreaming tribal communities with IT ITITI offers tribal youth an opportunity to join the mainstream by providing them a futuristic vision and rekindle in them a hope for a better and more confident future.

Dr. Ashok Jhunjhunwala Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Chennai

Ranjana Joshi Apeejay School New Delhi


Information Technology is fast emerging as the single largest avenue for both formal and self-employment. While this would mean opportunities for a number of us almost automatically, but for a committed effort to stem it, a significantly large segment would remain out of reckoning. This in particular includes the large but distributed tribal population of India. The digital divide is but a newer form of the divide that has always existed. All of us know that the tribes have remained an isolated segment of our society often lacking in educational or employment opportunities. The conception of Information Technology Institute for the Tribes of India (ITITI) aims at remedying this to some extent. Information Technology Institute for the Tribes of India, Dehradun (ITITI) is a charitable institution is a dream project aiming at providing tribal youth a futuristic vision and rekindle in them hopes for a better confident future. It was inaugurated on January 28, 2004 by the then Prime Minister of India, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The institute currently has students from Uttaranchal, the North-Eastern states and Ladakh. ITITI is unique in the sense that it not only provides the tribal children, among the most underprivileged in the society, education as per the CBSE syllabus, but uses Information Technology as a tool for education. Situated at Dehra Dun in Uttaranchal of India, ITITI offers tribal youth an opportunity to join the mainstream by providing them a futuristic vision and rekindle in them a hope for a better and more confident future. The Institute also sows the seeds of entrepreneurship in tribal youth so that they can contribute to the development of the tribal regions they belong to and the nation as a whole. Tribal children from Chushul

on our northern most frontier of Tawang and distant villages off Dimapur and Kohima and Gangtok and Kachar and Haflong - they all are here with distinct languages, cultural hues, dialects, but share one dream- Kuch Karke Dikhana Hai (We have to do something to show to the world). The students are being offered free of cost residential accommodation, formal education from classes VI-XII based on the scheme of studies of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), together with training in Information Technology. By offering quality education and supplementing it with a tailor made computers and Information Technology training, the Institute hopes to, at the end of the formal senior secondary level, to put students on the path of either IT entrepreneurship or the pursuit of higher academic excellence by way of enrolment in professional courses. The intervention is designed to motivate them to contribute constructively to the development of their tribal areas either directly or indirectly. The student population of ITITI belong to an exclusive group of the tribal society living on the fringes of mainstream society, vulnerable to a host of divisive and exploitative forces. Providing them an opportunity at normal mainstream education is in itself an empowering initiative. In addition, the Institute is providing world-class education at almost zero-cost of parents. Recognising that excellence costs, but in the long run mediocrity costs far more, the IT training affords opportunities to engage with forefront technologies that can empower students to not only overcome the initial handicaps but also compete with the rest of the world as an equal. i4d | November 2005

cultural institutions to nurture the educational influence; Cultural education centred around the best of tribal traditions and festivities, ensuring strengthening of their roots. The curricular focus is on integrating basic IT skills, entrepreneurship training, responsible attitudes to societal development and quest for academic and other forms of excellence. The comprehensive but flexible IT curriculum, with 5 levels, is integrated with the regular CBSE curriculum. The full programme involves six strands - basic operations, multimedia, web development, database management, programming and hardware and networking. Spanning over 7 years, students are encouraged to gain proficiency in their chosen area and at the same time, develop the basic competencies in all stands. While life-long learning skills are essential in all fields, it is all the more important in the field of IT, which keeps changing at a mindboggling pace. The full programme of the Institute emphasise this aspect and strives to get students tuned to ‘learning to learn’ very •

Credit: ITITI

Setting up the challenge and empowering students to live up to it is the goal of any progressive education system. To this end, the Institute caters to a variety of student aspirations, abilities, and preparation, making available appropriate content and means to satisfy there diverse needs. The Institute demands the best effort and performance from all students, whether they are gifted or less able, whether destined for college, or entrepreneurship. Students must be nurtured to possess a deep respect for intelligence, achievement, and learning, and the skills needed to use them; for setting goals; and for disciplined work. This respect must be accompanied by intolerance for the shoddy and second-rate masquerading as ‘good enough’. Underperformance is evil and students forfeit their chance for life at its fullest when they withhold their best effort in learning. The goal, thus, at the Institute, is to attain knowledge and skills that will enable students to create their own future and control their destinies. India has had in its traditional education system the right and proper mechanism for ensuring this. Integrating the best of a gurukula system (ancient system of learning when the students used to stay in the home of the teacher) of nurturing values and modern technologies, as a vehicle for empowerment is therefore an outstanding feature of this initiative. Socio-cultural education aimed at developing a healthy concern for their brethren in the tribal societies, a healthy attitude towards the world of work, building character and self-esteem is the central theme of this integration. Some of the features of this unique educational system are as follows: • A unique integration of IT and mainstream education; • A curricular continuum designed to overcome the debilitating influences of an examination-centric and conventional gradewise, age-wise classification of students; • A vocational orientation providing avenues for higher education and/or entrepreneurship; • The establishment and management of a goshala (cowshed) and farm by the students and teachers; • Participatory management of the hostel and school by the students and teachers; • Effective management of instructional and student time, a structured but flexible timetable providing adequate opportunity for the development of effective and independent study and work skills; • Development of an interface with leading scientific and November 2005 |

ITITI is a dream project aiming at providing tribal youth a futuristic vision and rekindle in them hopes for a better confident future. early in their educational career. Another unique feature of the programme is the ‘Earn while you Learn’ scheme, to instill a sense of productivity, independence and self-esteem which are essential trails of an entrepreneur. The Institute is just three years old and has already met with successes on many fronts. The first batch of students fared very well in the Class X Board examination and did their Institute proud by bringing a cent percent result. Sports, is another area in which students have shown promise and have been declared as the district champion in football. Besides they have endeared themselves to the people of Dehra Dun, who generally would not miss any opportunity to be with them either on routine school days or during celebrations. These are small steps towards realising a big dream. People who have inspired and saw that it takes off are already legend in their own fields. But they have taken time off to help these children of most deprived and isolated places, who had never seen a train or a computer before they came here. F.C.Kohli is the patron and Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala is the Chairman. Dr. Bharat Bhasker, dean and Head IT, IIM, Lucknow and Vidya M.S. of the famed are the founder members. Vidya has given ITITI its unique academic curriculum and guides overall academic activities. Presently Prof. G.S.Murthy, former dean of Nuclear Chemistry in Andhra University, who had also worked with Nanaji Deshmukh in Chitrakoot as Director, has volunteered to spend a year for the Institute. Dehra Dun’s social and educational stalwarts have owned it up enthusiastically. 



Promoting innovations In the global information society, young people are mainly the leading innovators in the use and spread of ICTs. But, young people can remain an untapped resource if their knowledge, vision, and experience are not integrated by decision-makers. The Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP), the world’s first broad-based multi-stakeholder partnership in ICTs for development, which operates at the global level, recognises that many young people around the world are at the forefront of building information and knowledge societies. It was June 1997. The development stakeholders from 144 countries came together for the first Global Knowledge Conference (GK97) in Canada, which was hosted by the World Bank and the Government of Canada, and supported by a large group of public and private organisations. This was the first conference of its kind in the world to address challenges of Information Age, faced by the developed countries and the international community. After five months of this conference, in New York, GKP emerged. Since then GKP is harnessing the Partnership’s knowledge and experiences on ICT4D programmes, focusing on gender, youth, media and communications, poverty reduction, governance, local content and indigenous knowledge, multistakeholder partnerships and financing ICT4D. The ‘Youth Creating Digital Opportunities’ (YCDO) Coalition, the core component of the GKP Youth Strategy, was launched at a reception held in conjunction with WSIS PrepCom2 in Geneva on 20 February 2003. Spearheaded by GKP, TakingITGlobal and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), the YCDO Coalition is comprised of organisations committed to realise the potential of young people as leaders in using Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) to achieve more sustainable development in their communities and around the world.


GKP and youth initiatives GKP youth strategy and activities include identifying with a collaborative youth strategy, supporting youth in advocacy (through youth focal point at GKP Secretariat, Youth Caucus and GKP Youth

Award at WSIS, recommendations to G8 DOT Force including youth issues), stimulating information exchange on youth projects in ICT4D and fostering collaborative opportunities. Many of the GKP members have youth projects (health, education, skills training, social change for marginalised youth, etc.). • e-Conference on Youth Building Knowledge Societies (YBKS): In January and February 2000, hundreds of young people came together in an online conference to explore how youth are using ICTs in the production, dissemination and use of knowledge for sustainable development. The eConference, titled Youth Building Knowledge Societies (YBKS) focused on the actual experiences of young people in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and Central and Eastern Europe. The eConference findings were shared and further refined by a youth advisory committee at the Global Knowledge II Conference in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia from 7-10 March. This final report, as presented at the Global Knowledge Action Summit, summarises the output of the e-Conference and highlights specific issues for consideration and action by the members of the Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP). In July 2000, the Digital Opportunities Taskforce (DOT Force) was established at the G-8 Summit in Kyushu-Okinawa to address the

widening digital divide. It initiated a yearlong process including formal plenary meetings, informal meetings, and public consultations, to develop recommendations on how the G8 could contribute to create digital opportunities for all. GKP served as one of the primary conduits for civil society perspectives into the DOT Force process. Based on the quality of the youth input to the GKP Action Summit, in March 2001 the GKP asked International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) to reconvene the Youth Advisory Council (YAC) to update the report ‘Youth: Building Knowledge Societies’ (YBKS) within the framework of the DOT Force priorities. • GKP Youth Award: The GKP Youth Award aims to reward and bring international recognition to the outstanding work of young people who have used information communication technologies (ICT) for the promotion of development around the world. • YSEI Fellowships: The Youth Social Enterprise Initiative (YSEI) fellowships are designed to help social entrepreneurs achieve their goals from the initial idea to project implementation and impact creation. YSEI is programme focused on providing support to young social entrepreneurs to develop innovative solutions to social problems YSEI will support fellows by providing mentorship and training programmes; networking; and seed grants up to US$15,000 per project. Keeping the focus on multi-stakeholder partnerships for knowledge sharing and increasing effectiveness of ICT for development initiatives, GKP has already shown the way to promote innovation in the use and appropriation of ICT for development initiatives and knowledge sharing. In its way, the power of youth might add a special momentum. Reference: i4d | November 2005




Making peace online: A vision or an illusion? This is a unique, youth-led research initiative supported by the Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research.

Dmitry Epstein,

‘Where there is a will…’ A quote addressed to American president Harry Truman states: “It is understanding that gives us ability to have peace. When we understand the other fellow’s viewpoint and he understands ours, than we can sit down and work our differences.” But what happens when significant portions of population are excluded from the communication process? What is the true role of grassroots communication and how it can contribute to sustainable peace? How does it fit what is labeled as ‘information revolution’? The Human Network PEACE and ICT Research Project is a unique, youth-led research initiative supported by the Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research. Led by 13 young researchers based in 10 different locations all over the globe, it explores the potential of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in peace-building processes. Particularly, it examines the role of the digital divide and policies and practices aimed to bridge it, as potential constraints to, or elements of, a constructive grassroots dialogue in conflict situations.

New ICTs in peace discourse Farah Mahmood

Lisa Thurston ‘The Human Network’

November 2005 |

The ‘PEACE and ICT’ research acknowledges that young people represent the major percentage of victims in conflict conditions and are also placed at the forefront of today’s information revolution. Hence, the conceptual framework of the research is based on two main theoretical foundations. The first is derived from the research done on the role of communication in peace building processes. It emphasises the role of new communication possibilities provided by modern ICTs. The second foundation is the study of the digital divide phenomenon with a particular focus on youth.

Peace scholarship has a record of intensive debate and analysis of definitions of peace and conflict. Building on a complex and holistic view of peace and conflict resolution as a cultural journey, based on inclusion and effective dialogue, this research enquires into the advantages and disadvantages of new communication technologies as tools for nurturing appropriate conditions for sustainable peace. Due to its global reach and relative lack of control, the Internet is used extensively as a propaganda tool and for the coordination of activities by radical groups. As such, the Internet and other new ICTs can sometimes be viewed as vehicles for extending conflict, hatred and even war. New communication technologies offer much greater potential for promoting tolerance and peace if they are developed, implemented and utilized according to appropriate ethics and values. A key factor in bringing about an environment conducive to a just peace, according to Rees (2003) is that there is inclusiveness in practically every aspect of life. By contrast, exclusion will likely lead to a breakdown in the process towards peace, because it lacks justice and the perception of fairness. In this research, we focus on an aspect of our life that continues to exclude a bulk of international society: ICTs.

Conflict of exclusion In an age when new technologies appear to be immensely helpful in a range of areas, this does not apply to everyone. In fact, it does not apply to the majority of the world’s population. Distribution of accessibility to the Internet within the nation is also an issue, with obvious disparities between the cultural and racial groupings. Traditionally being addressed as lack of access, the digital divide has broader implications. Inherent in the concept of ICTs being ‘inaccessible’ is that


even when modern devices and advanced technical infrastructure are present in a given location, misunderstanding, lack of knowledge, lack of expertise, and lack of tuition render these ICTs ‘effectively inaccessible’. This applies to a wide range of people in any given community, but particularly in developing, and lower socioeconomic demographic sections. One can clearly outline a correlation between the social development of a region or a country and its ability to adopt and effectively utilise communication technology. This leads us to question how these gaps can be better understood and how we might bridge them to provide an environment conducive to peace with justice.

The youth perspective On average youth are more IT-literate and are more open to adopt new technological innovations. The gap between youths and adults is wider in developing countries compared to develop or countries in transition. Feeling disenfranchised from socio-political processes and lacking a depth of political experience, young people tend to associate with grassroots activities and NGOs. In this aspect the new communication technologies play a significant role allowing enhanced participation. In Israel, for example, high-school students organized a nation-wide strike at the beginning of 2005 in protest of planned reforms in the education system. The activity was organised using SMS and the Internet, thus emphasizing once again the features of ICTs, which allow grassroots activism. In turn, this grassroots nature of activism leads towards the emergence of new patterns of leadership based on personal qualities and level of personal contribution, rather than on external social factors, although these cannot be neglected from the discussion.

a double standard towards digital divide. They agree on the importance of the issue and need for an adequate action to bridge the divide, but on a practical level the process is viewed solely as an economic capacity building track. This neglects the social and developmental aspects of digital inclusion and sustains quite a ‘naive’ idea of ICT’s potential for peace processes. Interestingly enough, the civil society organisations, which focus on peace, are utilizing information technology to initiate a first-hand interaction between the conflict parties. Most of these projects are youth-focused or youth-led. However, NGOs focused on bridging the digital divide, remain in a narrow instrumentalist view of technology, not identifying the broader repercussions of technology use. The picture emerging at this stage is of digital divide being a highly debatable matter. As an issue, it is being heavily politicised without regard to the multi-faceted nature of the challenge. Moreover, it is a phenomenon addressed mainly by civil society organisations. The latter present a unique and innovative approach to possibilities offered by the new medium. In the context of peace and dialogue, NGOs present a hands-on agenda of using the platform for grassroots activities. This potential is not reflected in official policies on social welfare and inclusion. The peace-building potential of digital inclusion in particular is usually neglected.

A note on process During the course of our research, the research team has been able to bring the concept of ‘digital inclusion for peace’ into the lime light, not only raising awareness but also motivating youth to think about the critical question of ‘how?’ A wide range of ideas both from young people as well as policy experts point towards “ICT for dialogue”, an idea, which is already practiced through personal blogs, websites, and online groups where the discussions get no official recognition. The PEACE and ICT research is an effort towards promoting these still small but significant processes towards building peace. Research into online human interaction is subject to scrutiny due to its highly subjective and non-quantifiable nature, yet it provides invaluable benefits to communication – both in its efficiency and productivity. Given this ‘prima facie’ evidence of the potential of Internet-mediated communication, further study of online communication for peace building is required.

Looking ahead Shifting from the more general civil activism of youth via new ICTs to peace-building processes we find further support for the patterns of leadership mentioned above in our preliminary findings. In a series of discussion groups conducted in Peshawar, Pakistan, university students showed an awareness and concern regarding the digital divide, after the issues were explained. However, the idea of utilizing ICTs to create a dialogue towards peace remained an alien concept to the discussion participants. This observation hints there is a lack of realisation of the full potential of ICTs; beyond being a cheaper communication and knowledge source. The idea of ICT for peace being an alien concept seems to cross cultures. The Israeli case shows that the policy makers tend to hold


During the research, the PEACE and ICT team has grown, including new researchers of diverse academic background. The team is looking forward to join the next phase of Toda Institute’s grants focusing on global governance, human development and regional conflicts. Since the preliminary findings hint at relationships between issues as poverty and peace as in Nigerian findings, the next phase combines themes of culture, environment, gender and social equality, sustainable development, and technology diffusion with views and perceptions of the younger generation. Viewing new ICTs as an essential communication platform for current era, the project will enquire into the broader role of ICT in developmental processes such as education, industry, social services while seeking to identify the applications of ICT to inter-regional conflict resolution.  The complete article with references can be read at i4d | November 2005


Changing the world through broadcasting Initiated in 1995, Young Asia Television (YA*TV), based in Sri Lanka, is a pioneering venture to actively involve young people in discussing issues related to sustainable development, the environment, human rights and peaceful coexistence. While engaging the youth audience through its programming, it sensitises and provides training to its young production staff in using television to raise awareness on topics of social interest. It makes use of an international network of country offices and broadcast professionals from whom the YA*TV obtains a range of programming material. It, in turn, distributes and broadcasts its own programmes through regional and international networks.

marriages to education, employment and healthcare. ‘Nature Calls’ programme takes a closer look at environmental issues around Asia, highlighting efforts made at conserving and actively making a change in the environment. ‘YA Tribe’ is a place where one can witness dance forms from every corner of Asia. ‘Young Outlook’ is a series dedicated to young people of the world who are working to make a difference within their communities. ‘Ya Café’ is the magazine

programme of YA*TV that takes a look at the lighter side of youth in Asia.

Commitments of YA*TV

Broad perspective for broad motto

Young Asia Television started making a serious commitment to ethnic reconciliation in Sri Lanka back in 1997. This commitment has included the production of several programme series, which for the last eight years have promoted the reconciliation of all ethnic communities in Sri Lanka and highlighted the dividends of a negotiated peaceful settlement to the island’s ethnic conflict. The vision and mandate of YA*TV incorporates concepts of culture and multiculturalism, identity and diversity, tradition and modernity. YA*TV works with partner organisations in developing media interventions that are of specific concern to the development activities. YA*TV is committed to local, regional and international representation and relevance in its programming. It creates a youthful and lively forum to showcase the ideas and aspirations of Asian youth, representing the future leaders of a region, rich in human potential. In the programme series ‘Space to Let’, issues covered range from the sex industry, abortion and arranged

YA*TV initially consisted of solely regional programming in the English language, the need for local language programming was soon identified. Over the years, much has been produced and broadcast for specifically Sri Lankan audiences. These programme series have ranged from local language versions of its international programming to those dealing with specifically Sri Lanka centric issues. The ‘Mihisara’ programme series (presented in the Sinhala language) focuses on areas of environmental concern from a Sri Lankan perspective. ‘Sivuseta’ is a Sinhala language magazine programme that explores art and culture around the world. Its features include music, dance, arts, culture, customs and lifestyles ranging from the traditional to the contemporary. Back in 1997, Young Asia Television started making a serious commitment to ethnic reconciliation in Sri Lanka. Initially the commitment of YA*TV to ‘Peacecasting’ took the form of two weekly television programmes, which have been acknowledged as being both groundbreaking

November 2005 |

and influential. ‘Sathi’ (meaning awareness) and ‘Vilippu’ (meaning awakening) look at the need for peace and initiatives taken to achieve peace and reconciliation. In February 2003, with the aid of the Swiss Development Corporation, the programme ‘No War Zone’ was launched. YA*TV with the partnership of UNDP, UNICEF and the Sri Lankan government saw the need to create public awareness about the issue of landmines to make the people understand the need to adapt safe behaviour patterns. The series ‘Your safety, Mine Action, Our Future’ series consisted of thirteen short documentaries and six public service announcements, aimed to explain the different aspects of humanitarian mine action activities that the public should be aware of. Drawing attention to the issue of HIV/AIDS is one of the highest priorities of Young Asia Television. Through stories of people living with HIV/AIDS to the community initiatives to combat the epidemic, YA*TV has made it clear that AIDS is neither a western problem nor one that limited to certain sections of society. ‘Right Now’ series, launched on Human Rights Day (10th December) in 2002, produced by the Institute of Human Rights and YA*TV with financial support from the Governance and Institutional Strengthening Project (CIDA) is another innovative initiative aimed at educating the general public on issues of human rights and their violations. Young Asia Television has been described as ‘bold experiment as public service broadcasting’. It has already specialised in reinventing the usefulness of the power of television to inform, educate and advocate social change with regard to issues that are critical to the realisation of human rights and sustainable development for all.  Reference:


Books received Gender and the Digital Economy Perspectives from the Developing World Editors: Cecilia Ng/ Saswati Mitter Price: Rs 540/ Pages: 262 This book comprises selected articles from different issues of the international journal Gender, Technology and Development based at the Gender and Development Field of Study, The Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand. At a time when all the discussions on ICT today gets concentrated on outsourcing and the loss of service sector jobs from the developed world, this book instead, focuses on the positive aspects of the digital economy as they relate to women in the developing world. Gender and the Digital Economy narrates with case studies from different countries like Argentina, Morocco, India, Malaysia and Philippines on how economic empowerment through the medium of ICTs can change the position of women within their families and the workplace even in the face of an uneven development process. The book explores the gender related facets of the emergent information society along with questioning about the implications of the digital economy on women’s work and lives. It will certainly be a helpful book for the academics, researchers of ICTs and women studies, international communication, and technology and development studies. 

Digital Reach Published by: ITU-Tudor Rose Pages: 250 Price: US$125 As the second phase of the World Summit on Information Society aims at implementation of the action plan and building partnership to achieve the goal of connecting people to the benefits of information and communication technologies, Digital Reach, the official commemorative volume for the summit, is a real try to make it a summit of solutions. The book is jointly produced in preparation for the Tunis summit by International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the lead UN


Agency organizing the summit and Tudor Rose, the UK-based publisher. The book published in November, has been timed to cover all the key thematic areas for the summit and will debate how these issues will be met in the times to come. Digital Reach is a helpful volume for sharing respective resources to engage the official governmental, internatonal, institutional and professional interests in displaying the extent and variety of their efforts to reduce the digital divide. As access to information and knowledge are the prerequisites to achieve the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) and to resolve the conflicts as well, there is every scope that the book is to bring in the digital revolution before the summit meets and to bridge the digital divide hastening the peace-making process over Tunis.

Proceedings Conflux 2005 and Digital Learning 2005 Published by: Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies Pages: 85 Proceedings- Conflux 2005 and Digital Learning 2005, has wrapped up all the information of the three day long e-Government conference jointly organised by Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies (CSDMS) and the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi and the two day long e-Learning conference ‘ICT and Education– Challenges and Practices’, held parallel in Delhi in October 2005. The two conferences designed to create platforms to bring experts from different countries, key government representatives, industry and academia are put on record through this Proceeding which briefs about the conference themes, about all the sessions, speakers and about the abstract of the papers too. A valuable guide for the conference attendees and the e-Governance and ICT practioners, Proceedings also carries information on the organisers, co-organisers, institutional and supporting partners, etc. of the two international events. At a time when e-Government has become a key tool for enhancing the public sector efficiency and effectiveness for the governments globally and digital learning becoming more relevant in bridging the digital divide, the Proceedings of the two conferences has come up as a valuable record storing the things starting from the information, the platform to the informer as well. i4d | November 2005

November 2005

ICTD Project Newsletter into a refined methodology called “Outcome Mapping” which is a process that combines monitoring, evaluation, learning and dynamic modifications to achieve the best impact.

What is Monitoring and Evaluation?

Impact Assessment of ICT for Development Projects Way back in 1992, when the world of ICT was still very nascent, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), had initiated a research study to answer a fundamental question of the link between information and development, particularly to build upon the various experiential perspectives from case studies of projects implemented, and develop a common methodology for the diverse and widespread projects that they support. Most supporting or donor agency perspectives for assessment of ICT for Development projects pertain to problems of sustainability, measuring the extent of empowerment to communities, linkage between ICT goals and development goals and accountability of institutions. Questions pertain to whether it can be

demonstrated that the use of ICTs for Development is an essential resource for social and economic development of developing countries The potential value of the use of ICTs is still not very selfevident. Expressions like “ICT is a critical resource and plays a fundamental role in development”, are axiomatic expressions. However neither data nor empirical evidence to support the above statement are possible unless one reviews the intricate issues in greater detail. Though several simple quantitative performance evaluation tools and methodologies exist to numerically measure a few indicators, many of the techniques do not go further than the statistics. Impact or ‘outcomes’ as they are often referred to, differ from ‘outputs’. This research has since evolved

Monitoring is a systematic collection of data to provide management, donors and other stakeholders with an indication of project progress. Evaluation is a systematic and objective assessment of on ongoing or completed project, including its design, implementation, and results. Evaluation leads to more informed decisions, allowing those involved in the project to learn from experience and to be accountable to donors and stakeholders. Both Monitoring and Evaluation should be used to demonstrate accountability and to understand the dynamics of the program. The differences in the objectives, methodology and purposes of Monitoring and Evaluation are shown in the table below. It is important to keep in mind that Monitoring does not replace Evaluation.

There can be five types of assessment indicators: 1. Performance indicators, relating inputs to outputs 2. Effectiveness indicators, relating outputs to usage 3. Cost-effectiveness indicates relating inputs to usage 4. Cost-benefit indicators, relating inputs to outcomes 5. Impact indicators, relating usage to outcomes and domain characteristics. After the assessment data is gathered, analysed, and the relationships between inputs, outputs, benefits/outcomes has


Differences between Outcome Monitoring and Outcome Evaluation Outcome Monitoring

Outcome Evaluation


To track changes from baseline conditions to desired outcomes.

To validate what results were achieved and how and why they were or were not achieved.


Focuses on the outputs of projects.

Compares planned with intended outcomes achievement. Focuses on how and why outputs and strategies contributed to achievement of outcomes. Focuses on questions of relevance, effectiveness, sustainability and change.


Tracks and assesses performance (progress towards outcomes) through analysis and comparison of indicators over time.

Evaluates achievement of outcomes by comparing indicators before and after the intervention. Relies on monitoring data to information from external sources.


Continuous and systematic by Task Managers, Project Managers and key partners.

Time-bound, periodic, in-depth. External evaluators and partners.


Alerts managers to problems in performance, provides options for corrective actions and helps demonstrate accountability.

Provides managers with strategy and policy options, provides basis for learning and demonstrates accountability.

Source: Adapted from UNDP Handbook on Monitoring and Evaluating for Results

been determined, a strategy must be developed for communicating the findings to the target audience(s). This is a critical part of an effective monitoring and evaluation strategy. Both quantitative and qualitative measures are possible. In ICT4D projects, often case studies and feedback reporting by beneficiaries/end-users of the project supplement quantitative analysis by the project implementers.

• Internal evaluation with the use of an external consultant, which is

Evaluation can be done in four ways: • Internal or self-evaluation, which means the same people implementing a project are responsible for evaluation • External evaluation, meaning that the evaluation is conducted by an individual or group outside the implementing organisation


undertaken by the team implementing the project with the

assistance of a professional evaluator. Such assistance can either apply to a specific component of a evaluation or to the entire evaluation process • Independent evaluation, which is undertaken by individuals or groups who are not only outside the implementing organization, but also completely independent from it, in terms of control, remuneration capacity, political pressure, or other factors that could affect objectivity Evaluations must be conducted using participatory techniques to be effective. In complex development projects with multiple stakeholder participation, and both technology and development objectives, the process must involve all stakeholders in feedback evaluations. Depending on the focus and objectives of the project the perspective and mix of methodologies will vary. There are two interesting manuals that will assist project implementers to conceptualise Quality of and design an M&E strategy and plan. If an external consultant has to be hired, then the terms of reference must be clearly defined.

e-Governance Assessment Framework The need for a rational assessment framework for e-Governance projects is important due to the following reasons: • Significant investments of resources into e-Governance projects • Need to move away from subjective assessments and value judgments • The (Indian) National Action Plan on e-Governance (NeGP) has an ambitious plan ahead, and several new initiatives will be kicked off in the coming years, with potential for replication and up-scaling of successful experiments. There is therefore a critical need to assess all the implemented projects

• Chanelizing ongoing efforts in the right direction as several projects at different stages of implementation need a common framework to best utilize available resources • Facilitating funding agencies to take a rational view, especially in view of huge private investments flowing in the government sector. Based on this, an e-Government Assessment Framework has been developed to assess various e-Government projects.

• replicability The methodology so developed has been designed to serve many objectives spelt out in the document. It also recommends that independent external agents, who are specifically hired for this purpose, and who are experienced to do the task, carry out the assessments. The criteria and examples of agencies who can be engaged are also identified in the report. The categories of projects that have been outlined fall in four categories: • Government to Citizen Urban Environment (G2C-U) • Government to Citizen in Rural Environment (G2C-R) • Government to Business (G2B) • Government to Government (G2G) Two levels of assessments, one quick, and another, indepth are outlined to serve the impor-tant purpose of identifying which of the e-Governance projects e-Governance project and services must be assessed should be replicated in other locations. Two important attributes for this are: The MDGs arose to counter- (i) Value that the project delivers to its primary clients and also to the many blast to the perceived failure other stakeholders that are involved in delivering the government of neo-liberal agenda, one service. Though it is difficult to that favours markets, the monetize the value, it still needs to be measured in concrete terms. private sector, and (ii) Adaptability of the Technology globalisation – to deliver for architecture to different contexts.

the world’s poor. –Richard

The Context of Millennium Heeks Development Goals

The attributes to be assessed have been classified into: • service orientation • technology • sustainability • cost effectiveness

The Millennium Development Goals, established in 2000, was reviewed in September 2005. With 18 specific targets focusing on how ICTs can be useful in catalyzing the development processes to achieve global and national goals, and numerical indicators being agreed upon to measure the achievements of these


used as global and national (in some cases even provincial) development indicators. UNDP had focussed the 2004 edition of the Asia Pacific Human Development Report on promoting ICT for human development in Asia, in order to systematically assess the role and impact of ICTs on human development. Such studies and reports provide an opportunity for field level ICT4D project implementers to design, conceptualise and execute an effective monitoring and evaluation strategy, depending on what kind of project one is implementing.


The National Institute for Smart Government website provides valuable resources for ICT project implementers

targets, the stage is set to review whether ICTs have after all played a catalytic role or not! In an incisive analysis on the connection between ICT and Development, Richard Heeks, of the Development Informatics Group, University of Manchester, UK remarks, “The MDGs arose to counter-blast to the perceived failure of neo-liberal agenda, one that favours markets, the private sector, and globalisation – to deliver for the world’s poor.” He further notes that it is technology that generates wealth of enterprise, which in turn, pays for all social development. A workshop is being organised by UNDP-Asia Pacific Information Development Programme, Thailand, during the World Summit on the Information Society at Tunis in mid November 2005. This is a partnership effort on measuring ICT4d initiated by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the OECD, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UN ICT Task Force, UN Regional Commissions, the World Bank and Eurostat. The objective of this collective partnership is to better

understand how to build and use indicators for measuring Information and communications technologies for development (ICT4D). This event would bring together ICT stakeholders at national, regional and international levels to present a set of core ICT indicators recommended for national statistical offices. The panelists will discuss the importance of measuring the information society for ICT policymaking, and development in areas such as education, government and health. Such a partnership is very critical to ensure that the evaluation and progress made due to support and coordinated efforts of various agencies and the very sparse international aid that has been committed to this sector can be measured in an effective way, and the impact of the ICTs on various development sectors can be measured. One of the ways would be an assessment of progress made based on the objectives. Another is to evaluation the impact or outcomes based on broad development goals. In the past five years, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have been


1. Interview with Salil Shetty, Millennium campaign gains momentum, i4d, p13-14, February 2005 2. ITU, 2004 The Impact of ICTs on the MDGs 3. Richard Heeks, ICTs and MDGs: on the wrong track? I4d, p9-11, February 2005 4. Measuring the impact of information on development, edited by Paul McConnell, IDRC, 1995 5. Sarah Earl, Fred Carden, Terry Smutylo Editors, Outcome mapping : building learning and reflection into development programmes Ottawa, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), 2002, 139 pages 6. Monitoring and Evaluation, Guidelines for Country Gateway Implementation Grants Funded by Development Gateway Foundation 7. E-Governance Assessment Frameworks (EAF Version 2.0) prepared by TP Rama Rao, V Venkata Rao, SC Bhatnagar, and J Satyanarayana, May 2004 http:// 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.

 Rendezvous D IGITAL L EARNING 2005, 18 - 19 O CTOBER , T HE G RAND N EW D ELHI

ICT and Education: Challenges and Practices With a focus on the use and potential of ICT in education and training, the first Digital Learning conference, highlighted various ICT and education initiatives across the India and from abroad. Organised by the Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies (CSDMS) and supported by Department of Information Technology, Government of India and UNDP, the conference featured the work of 50 speakers including keynote speakers, presenters and chairpersons. With a participation of over 150 delegates, the conference programme brought together many of the leading exponents of technology enhanced learning, leading advocates of e-learning, ICT in education professionals and practitioners. In order to create the best possible mix, the conference program was created through a selection process involving both a public call for papers and invited speakers and representatives, identified through a thorough review of the national e-learning sector. Commencing with a welcome speech by Dr M P Narayanan, President, CSDMS, the opening Keynote speakers on 18 October included Susanne Ornager, Advisor for Communication and Information in Asia and Pacific, UNESCO, Amitabha Pande, Principal Resident Commissioner, Government of Punjab, Punjab, Keshav Desiraju, Jt Secretary, Ministry of Human Resource Department, Government of India, Aruna Sundararajan, Country Programme Facilitator, GeSCI and Dr Amiya Baran Saha, Executive Director, CDAC, West Bengal. Susanne Ornegar gave an overview on the Distance Learning Resource Network as an effective process of e-education and opportunity for those who would otherwise have no access to new knowledge. She pointed out that an ontological standardization is required for standardizing course content, a necessary for distance learning. She discussed that there is a need for proper coordination between the teachers and students to avoid isolation of the students. Since technology is the only conduit through which information and communication flow, students and teachers needs to familiarize themselves with the technical delivery system to maintain adequate communication. She quoted several initiatives of UNESCO and

November 2005 |

explained how collaboration among distance learning institutions and recognizing and addressing cultural diversity in content and curriculum development can be effective methods to overcome some of the challenges faced in distance learning programmes.

Lighting the lamp of knowledge

Amitabha Pande emphasised on the need for a paradigm shift in education, with more focus on the learners as knowledge creators than on the instructor. He pointed out that the present education system does not add value to a child’s development. Mr Pande described the ‘Mapping the Neighbourhood’ Project, which initiated a learning process outside the formal school system. Initiated as a process outside the curriculum, the projects involved students who joined voluntarily to learn and generate knowledge. The process initiated the learners to design their own learning and learn through the process of knowledge creation. Quoting the example of the National Curriculum Framework, Mr Pande insisted that learning should be learners centric and knowledge created within the learners.


Keshav Desiraju highlighted the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (education for all) initiative of the Ministry of Human Resource Development to reach and keep students in schools. Mr Desiraju pointed out that the initiative has been successful in the primary level, however, the secondary education level still requires serious attention. In this respect ICTs can act as an effective shortcut to fill the gaps in education delivery process, lower the dropout rates and retain the students in schools. The Human Resource Development department along with the Department of Information Technology has developed a report on technology in education. The report has identified four issues in integrating technology in education in government schools, namely, ICT infrastructure, quality content that is locally relevant, teachers training, and education delivery through public-private partnerships. Mr Desiraju pointed out that these four interdependent issues needs to be addressed if technology has to be integrated to formal education to improve the quality of education in government schools. Aruna Sundarajan drew from her experiences in ICT projects that impact community lives and pointed out that there is a strong similarity in the debate that persists in e-governance and e-education. She elaborated that instead of disputing the merits of ICT in Education, focus should be on how best the education challenges are addressed and education objectives achieved through the infusion of technology in education. ICTs, primarily computers, are incentivising children to be back to schools; similarly ICT can be used to address several other traditional problems of education. She also stated that there is a need to facilitate a paradigm shift in education. She pointed out that conference like this help to bring stakeholders together to share their products and knowledge and an opportunity to learn and use such knowledge for bettering the education process. Dr Amiya Kumar Saha represented the industry sector and spoke on the need for quality content that is interactive, to identification of the users of this content and associated training required by the user, be it a teacher or a student to use the same. He highlighted CDAC’s, Kolkata’s initiative in providing ICT training to local community to create local information management system, and manage their information system. He also discussed the need for local education content in local language and alternate learning materials for effective education through ICTs that can affect education anytime and anywhere. The keynotes was followed by the three thematic sessions pertaining to Tools of learning through ICT, Challenges and Practices of e-learning and Technology options in education. Tools for learning vary between CDs and DVDs, multimedia, PDA, Internet, mobile devices etc. The aim of the session was to showcase and discuss the potential of various tools in formal and


informal education. Akira Hattori of Kanagawa Institute of Technology, Japan, demonstrated how digital map–based geo-information system is used for awareness building for senior population. V K Sharma of CDAC Noida demonstrated a web-based learning model for formal education and Atul Pant of Enabling Dimensions presented an interesting case for game based audio-based e-learning for the visually disabled youth. Dr Ananthakrishnan provided a conceptual framework for web-based repository of information for self learning. Abhinav Dhar of Educamp Datamatics demonstrated Educomp’s Technology enabled smart classrooms that uses various digital and multimedia techniques to improve the delivery of education. The session was chaired by Dr Hema Murty,TeNet group of IIT Chennai . The session on E-learning challenges and practices was chaired by Osama Manzar, Founder and Director of Digital Empowerment Foundation. Several e-learning initiatives like learning through computers in school in Delhi Municipal Corporation, e-learning for small groups in Diplo Foundation, e-learning centers of Colombo University, e-learning content in Egypt and e-leraning in Technical University were presented by MR Mukesh Haleja, NICT, Indore, Kishan Rana, K P Hewagamage, of Colombo, R Bahgat of CULNAT, Egypt and N K Roy of National Institute of Technology, West Bengal. Technology in education session, chaired by Dr Manas Chakrabarti of HIWEL, had diverse and interesting presentations including Government Initiatives like the National Institute of Open Schooling ( NIOS) and IGNOU, represented by S K Prasad and Prof S C Garg respectively, IIT Cennai TeNet Group initiative on developing online tutorials presented by Dr Hema Murty and Gautam Goradia ( Remittag software Co Pvt Ltd) advocated for e-learning solutions for the individual. Indranil Das Gupta (L2C2 Technologies) and Rahul Dewan’s (Srijan Technologies) presentation on the scope of open source in e-learning and higher education generated a very lively debate that indicated that open source has moved on from being a powerful idea to a working principle. The conference began the second day with the session on Civil society initiatives in ICT and education. Chaired by Swaran Singh of Tamil Nadu Text Book Corporation, this session provided opportunities to practitioners to showcase their initiatives. Shiksha initiative of CII presented by Narinder Bhatia, UNESCO initiatives presented by Savitri Subramanium, EDC initiatives presented by Vandita Sharma provided an insight into diverse interventions in education from teachers training and community learning to using radio for education. Uday Pawar of Microsoft Research discussed a taxonomy of ICT in education initiatives while Dr Sanjeev Singh of Delhi University and Martin Stern debated the scope of open source in higher education.

i4d | November 2005

The session on Government initiative was chaired by Dhir Jhingran, Director, Sarva Shisha Abhiyan. This session discussed several of large scale ICT in Education projects taken up by the state government. P Sukumar, Dy. Secretary, Ministry of HRD, presented an overview of the government policy and initiatives in technology in education. Other presentors included Rakesh Gupta, Deputy Commission and District Magistrate, Rohtak, Neeraj Saxena, Coordinator of HeadStart Project, Atul Dutta, coordinator of Punjab ICT in School project. Syamal Mehta, Dy. Project Director, GSAT3, EDUSAT ISRO elaborated EDUSAT’s outreach and Dr Parvez Ahmed discussed the need for ICT in education in islamic seminaries. Dr Sugata Mitra presented an enlightening keynote and illustrated the need for ICT enabled education through non-formal techniques as the ‘Hole-in-the-wall’ project. The private sector initiatives session was chaired by Abhinav Dhar, Vice President, Educomp Datamatics. Many cases ranging

Sugata Mitra presenting the ‘hole in the wall’ experience

from content development to e-learning initiatives were discussed by Krishna K Bhardwaj, Vidyatech, Srikant B Iyer of Edurite, Daman Dev Sood of TCS and Ramesh K Verma of Arrkey Infotech. The Policy Advocacy session, chaired by Aruna Sundararajan, Gesci had Dr K Subramanium, Director General, NIC, Pooran Chand Pandey, VANI, Sajan Venniyoor, Prasar Bharti, Anshul Solank, Intel, Prof Ashok Ranjan Thakur, VC, West Bengal University of Technology and Avik Banerjee of Dolcera Infomax discussing various perspectives on issues that needs consideration when framing policies for incorporating ICTs in education. Several recommendations that emerged from the discussions emphasized on the need to think of ICT in education beyond computer aided learning and investigate the potential other technologies like community radio and other medium. These

November 2005 |

Participants learn about Educomp experience

mediums could not only be cost effective but also has a greater outreach potential. It was also pointed out that low cost software solutions for e-learning that have scopes for innovation, should be incorporated in large scale projects. With an indication to open source solutions, the sessions recommended that such solutions should become a part of the overall policy for implementating technology supported education interventions. Sustainability and scalability of project are also issues that needed serious considerations. While moving beyond the pilot and experimental phase, projects especially those that needs a considerable financial contribution should have a viable sustainability model for upscaling. It was also recommended that implementers needs to be cautious when selecting areas for implementing ICT in education projects. Projects should also not lose priority of the education objectives. In some cases ensuring school accountability system and teachers attendance may be more important that investing time and resources in ICT integration in schools. One fact that emerged in the sessions was that ICTs effectively computers, initiated in government department and schools were being used as decision support in education. Essentially, clear criteria, norms and standards needs to be developed for the information that was being used for decision-making. One very essential recommendation that emerged from the discussion was that synergies needs to be developed among different players in the sector and effective partnerships needs to be build between the private and the public sectors to share knowledge and expertise. Finally, it was recommended that the vision for education should be a comprehensive balance between addressing the pertinent issues of ‘education for all’ strategies of improving the quality of education through ICTs at the same time creating human capital that can contribute and sustain a knowledge society. 


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Bytes for All... Bytes for All Readers Forum offers condolences to those who lost their nearest ones, other lives and properties in the South-Asia earthquake. This month Bytes for All had intense debate on topics such as, Dr. Heeks article on FLOSS issue, Negroponte’s idea of 100 dollar laptop, ICT4D- Force or Farce etc. Here goes the summary of different discussion threads.

Disaster Management Pakistani FM radio stations appeal for emergency broadcast licenses for disaster areas The Association of Independent Radio (AIR) of Pakistan, the representative grouping of the country’s licensed FM radio stations, have appealed for grant of emergency temporary broadcast licenses in the areas struck by the deadly October 8, 2005 earthquake that has killed an estimated 30,000 people, injured close to 60,000 and rendered about 4 million people in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, North West Frontier Province and the Northern Areas. RISE: Pakistan Relief and Information Systems for Earthquakes An information sharing web portal Pakistan Relief and Information Systems for Earthquakes (RISE) was launched which is designed to provide information about the 4,000 earthquake-affected villages in the largely rural North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) in Pakistan. To access the web site, please visit South Asia Quake Help News and information about resources, aid, donations and volunteer efforts after the Earthquake of October 8th, 2005 at: http://quakehelp. WikiPakistan, providing further information on the calamity at:

ICT4D Relief International - Schools Online, Bangladesh Relief International - Schools Online (RI-SOL) is an international NGO, which formed from the merger of the Los Angeles-based relief and development agency Relief International [RI] http:// and the Palo Alto-based Schools Online [SOL] http:// . RI-SOL is establishing Internet Learning Centers (ILCs) in secondary schools throughout Bangladesh. These ILCs are designed to function as sustainable telecommunications centers serving both school and community users. Nicholas Negroponte on $100 Laptop The MIT Media Lab has launched a new research initiative to


develop a $100 laptop,a technology that could revolutionize how we educate the world’s children. To achieve this goal, a new, nonprofit association, One Laptop per Child (OLPC), has been created. The initiative was first announced by Nicholas Negroponte, Lab chairman and co-founder, at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland in January 2005. Here Negroponte answers questions on the initiative. Getting connected in rural India The tech market in Bangalore may be racing ahead, but it is a very different story for India’s 700 million farmers. Spencer Kelly has been to Northern India to see how plans to bring technology to rural areas are working. Kiosks of Chaos Once again the government of India has taken a decision that is going to spell a more of the same approach in extending the reach of information technology. Much like we declared that Indian villages had electricity, drinking water, healthcare, roads etc., the Govt. of India is half way to declaring that India’s villages have also been computerized. Much like we do not have drinking water, electricity, healthcare or roads in majority of our villages, in the case of computerization as well we are likely to repeat the performance.

World Summit on the Information Society Destination Tunis: Promoting resistance against software monopoly Movements for social inclusion try to influence Latin American governments that will send representatives to the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis. The idea is to promote resistance against software monopoly. Summitry and strategies In November 2005, the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society will meet for the last time in Tunis. In its fiveyear history, the WSIS has failed to succeed in redressing the NorthSouth “digital divide”.

Open source Open source simple computer for agriculture in rural areas [OSCAR] Launched in January 2004, OSCAR looks at developing an open source weed identification software for the major weed species of Rice-Wheat crop systems which can be deployed on Simputers. The application will address extension workers, farmers/farmer i4d | November 2005

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Bytes for All... groups, and students in the Indo-Gangetic plains. By June 2006, complete versions of OSCAR for windows, Linux Desktop and Simputer will become ready.

free software movement, in a project that intentionally and significantly benefits society in other aspects of life.

Japan aims to boost state use of free Linux software

Microsoft has claimed the cost of software is not an important issue in the developing world. In response to a question on the role of open source software in Africa, Gerald Ilukwe, the general manager of Microsoft Nigeria, said that cost is not important, even though he admitted that the average annual salary in the West African country is only $160 (£91).,39020330,39231004,00.htm

Japan aims to switch some government computers to the free Linux operating system and reduce its dependence on Microsoft Windows. Japan is drawing up guidelines for its ministries recommending open source software such as Linux as an “important option” in government procurement, said an official at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. linuxcompanymicrosoft Open Source agreed in UN Information Society Summit preparations Encouragement for the use of free and open source software and open standards for science and technology has quietly worked its way into the draft texts being prepared for the November second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). Such ideas have gained significant support in recent years as potentially low-cost, easy-access solutions for developing countries, but as they are put forward in the WSIS context they are balanced bystronger calls for proprietary approaches. =1280_ff&print=0 Pre-WSIS eDevel Briefing 1: FOSS and Development In the run-up to the WSIS-Tunis, Development Informatics Group at the University of Manchester will be releasing a series of “eDevelopment Briefings”. These are very short (one-two page) overviews of current evidence and thinking on key issues related to ICTs and socio-economic development. Battleground of ideas: FLOSS debate raises tempers at BytesForAll APC member BytesForAll’s mailing list[1] recently played host to a strong, and at times polemical, debate on proprietary-versus-FLOSS (Free/Libre and Open Source Software). In this debate, there were these couple of great posts that put things neatly in perspective — thanks to David Geilhufe who is co-founder of theSocialSource and Sunil Abraham of Call for nominations for the 2005 FSF Award for the Advancement of Free Software The Free Software Foundation (FSF) announces the creation of a newannual award, and a call for nominations: “Free Software Award for Projects of Social Benefit”. This award is presented to the project or team responsible for applying free software, or the ideas of the November 2005 |

Microsoft: Africa doesn’t need free software

Events and announcements 40th national annual convention of the Computer Society of India The theme of the 40th national annual convention of the Computer Society of India is ‘ICT for National Development’. It is being held from November 9-12, 2005 at HiTech City in Hyderabad. Yahoo announces podcast directory Yahoo will launch a new service to search podcasts, making it the first in search services to delve into that type of audio content. National consultation on designing an enabling framework for community radio in Bangladesh The broad base objectives are to share the experience on Community Radio to other campaigners of Asia and Pacific regions and to buildup national and international linkages for strengthening movements on Community Radio in Bangladesh along with to draw the attention of the key players and policy makers to create a positive and favourable environment on community radio. Telecentre Leaders Forum invites to a special networking event, the Telecentre Leaders Forum (TLF), which will take place at the World Summit of the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis, from November 14 to 19, 2005. Bytes for All: Bytes For All Readers Discussion: bytesforall_readers Bytes for All RSS syndication: RSS Bytes for All Readers Forum RSS syndication: Bytes for All discussion summary compiled by: Miraj Khaled, Bytes for All, Bangladesh


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Workshops in Tunis Much work is being done in the field of ICT4D that is impacting the lives of the poor in many developing countries. However in many cases these practitioners work goes unnoticed due to lack of adequate media reporting and poor documentation of their efforts on the part of the NGOs. A reflective and analytical written record of these initiatives and their impact can constitute an important learning experience for all those involved in this important field as well as an eye opener for those who are willing to and still trying to comprehend the complexities of ICT4D. There is a need to bring these grassroots ICT4D stories to the forefront to make such initiatives a learning experience for all. Practitioners who document ICT4D work need to adopt the right focus and a professional approach to make their case studies more meaningful for the global audience. Recognising the need to make documentation a focused and purposeful activity that helps to identify patterns in experiences, development of skills, instances of effective practices and dimensions of impact, Centre for Science Development and Media Studies (CSDMS) is organising a workshop on ‘Capacity building for documentation of project experiences for ICT4D Practitioners’ on November 19, 2005 in WSIS Tunis. Organised as one of the Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP) cluster event, this workshop is planned for ICT4D field practitioners and media practitioners from developing countries to learn documentation and reporting skills from peers and the organisations experienced in development communications. The workshop with participation form PANOS, International Institute of Communication and Development (IICD), Media ICT Network for Development (MIND), Africa and CSDMS, will offer a unique platform for moderated/facilitated interactions and


exchanges of views between ICT4D practitioners and journalists, with a strong capacity-raising element. The workshop is a thematic event under poverty reduction strategy of GKP. GKP also works to support education at all levels and believes that ‘enabling people to access lifelong learning for themselves and their families is the core of sustainable development’. While emphasising on the use of ICTs to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of programmes focusing directly on education, GKP focuses on technology enabled learning environment that can contribute to the development of the intellectual, creative and technological skills required for the digital age. As a member of the GKP Education Cluster, CSDMS is also organizing a workshop titled ‘Introducing Innovative Ways of ICT in Schools’ to be conducted on the 17 November, 2005. Planned as an interactive session, this workshop will see participation from SchoolNet Africa, Omer Dengo Foundation and UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education among others. The use of information technology in education has caused a fundamental shift in pedagogy, including the move from instruction-based teaching to interactive learning, and a progress in programme development towards student - and context-centric knowledge resources by connecting knowledge to real-life situations. The adventures for learning call for creative and effective environments where learners can share meaningful knowledge and experiences in constructing new information and ideas. The exercise/process

should foster collaboration that allows learners to apply newly acquired learning in the design of processes that leads to their knowledge enhancement and is not remote from real-life situations. Seemingly, there is still a lack of adequate knowledge and capacity/skill sets among the practitioners with respect to introducing ICT or innovatively using ICT for education. ‘Introducing Innovative Ways of ICT in Schools’ workshop would discuss process of ICT integration and address themes like: novel ways in which ICT can be used in school education, use of innovative ICTs to integrate school-book education to real life issues/problem, enriching school curriculum with ICTs, how teachers/schools can initiate micro-level exercises in local areas where students take community development initiatives using ICT. Through case studies of ICT in education in formal and non-formal education, and discussions on challenges faced and lessons learned, the workshop would address some of the pertinent issues of using ICT for education relating to awareness, capacity, innovation, etc Designed to identify the key factors that determine successful and effective use of ICT for education, the workshop will focusing on both formal and non-formal education in schools. The interactive workshop would attempt to also identify policy interventions that are imperative for reaping the maximum benefits from ICTs in education. The first i4d Advisory Board meeting, planned as a vision meeting for the i4d programme, would chalk out the future policy and strategy to increase the impact of i4d and excel in providing a knowledge sharing platform. The i4d Advisory Board Meeting, to be held on 16 November, 2005 at the WSIS – ICT 4 All forum would be attended by i4d Advisory Board Members who would contribute their guidance on editorial perspective and vision for the i4d programme.  i4d | November 2005

What’s on Australia 06-07 February, 2006 Open Road 2006 Conference: Challenges and Possibilities Melbourne

Bangladesh 19-20 November, 2005 National Consultation on Designing an Enabling framework for Community Radio Dhaka

Ethiopia 28-30 November, 2005 Civil Society, Governance and Integration in Africa Addis Ababa

30 January-02 February, 2006 Connecting Rural Communities Cochin

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

12-15 December, 2005 Second International Conference on Technology, Knowledge and Society Hyderabad

Indonesia 24-27 November, 2005 1st AMARC Asia Pacific Regional Conference, Bali

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

Fiji Islands


01-04 December, 2005 5th IIDS International Conference on Governance and Development Suva

23-25 February, 2006 IDLELO2: Achieving Millennium Development Goals through Community Software, Nairobi


Tunisia 16-18 November, 2005 WSIS: World Summit on the Information Society Phase 2 Tunis

Turkey 17-19 November, 2005 Global Forum on Civil Society Law Istanbul

Uganda 28-30 November, 2005 Africa Copyright Forum Kampala

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


New Zealand

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

28-29 November, 2005 2nd Annual International Conference on Knowledge Management in the Asia Pacific Wellington

United States 17-19 November, 2005 4th WSEAS International Conference on e-Activities Florida e-activities/index.html



05-09 December, 2005 5th International Conference of OURMedia / NUESTROSMedios Bangalore

04-09 December, 2005 14th International Conference on AIDS/ STIs in Africa (ICASA) Abuja

25-26 May, 2006 ICTD 2006 Berkeley California

Get your event listed here. November 2005 |



Could ICTs create jobs for the youth? Unemployment scenario at a glance (in millions): Years Total Male Female

1994 140.3 82.8 57.5

1999 170.3 99.5 70.9

2001 174.3 102.8 71.5

2002 180.9 107.0 73.8

2003 185.2 110.0 75.2

2004 184.7 109.7 75.1

The youth unemployment ratio by region and sex (in percentage), 2003-2004: Regions World Developed economies and European Union Central and Eastern Europe (non EU) 8.1 and CIS East Asia South-East Asia and the Pacific South Asia Latin America and Caribbean Middle East and N Africa Sub Saharan Africa



Total 13.3 14.6

Male 13.1 13.9

Female 13.5 15.2

Total 13.1 14.2

Male 12.9 13.6

Female 13.2 14.6







7.0 14.9 11.0 18.8 21.3 18.3

5.8 15.9 11.8 23.1 24.2 16.4

8.1 14.1 10.7 16.0 20.0 19.8

7.0 14.7 10.9 17.6 21.3 18.4

5.8 15.8 11.6 21.7 24.2 16.4

8.1 13.9 10.6 14.9 20.0 19.9

“A national survey conducted in the United States indicates that 91 per cent of young people aged 18-19 years use the Internet to email friends and relatives, and 83 per cent use it for instant messaging. A recent study in the United Kingdom reveals that 94 per cent of youth have cell phones, and that young people were responsible for half of the roughly 10 billion text messages sent in 2003 (British Broadcasting Corporation, no date). Cell phone users are getting younger, and teenagers are spending more money on mobile communication every year. In 2001, the total number of mobile phone subscribers in the world stood at 860 million (Curtain, 2003). An average of 80 per cent of young people in the European Union use a mobile phone at least once a week (European Commission, no date). In China, nearly 60 per cent of cell phone subscribers are between 20 and 30 years of age.” – UN Youth Report 2005 “There are still wide disparities in the distribution and utilization of many forms of technology. For example, 331 out of every 1,000 people in Europe use the Internet, but the same is true for only around 92 per 1,000 in Latin America and the Caribbean, 37 per 1,000 in the Middle East and North Africa, and 15 per 1,000 in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Although these data are not age-specific, young people are among the principal users of computers and are likely highly represented in these figures. It is important to note that the disparities are not as great for the use of older forms of technology such as radio and television, which makes these media extremely useful for information distribution. For example, rates of radio ownership are 813 per 1,000 in Europe, 410 per 1,000 in Latin America and the Caribbean, 277 per 1,000 in the Middle East and North Africa, and 198 per 1,000 in sub-Saharan Africa.” – UN Youth Report 2005. Source:


i4d | November 2005

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Youth and Information & Communication Technologies (ICTs) : November 2005 Issue  

i4d encompasses the role and relevance of ICT in various development sectors such as Rural Development, Gender, Governance, Micro-finance, E...

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