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The Bi-Weekly ICT4D Retrospective: Important Links for April 11 – 24, 2012

By Sabina Behague on April 24, 2012


Happy International Girls in ICT Day! Two years ago the ITU passed a resolution to implement Girls in ICT Day on the fourth Tuesday of every April. Girls and young women often do not even consider careers in ICT because it’s long been perceived as a male-dominated field, and Girls in ICT Day is meant to provide opportunities for them to meet ICT professionals and learn more about what ICT careers have to offer. Combining our interests in ICT4D and the proven positive impact that girls and women have on development, Girls in ICT Day is definitely something we in the ICT4D community should get behind and support. With the current hyper growth of ICTs in the developing world, career opportunities are growing exponentially and we should do all we can to encourage girls and young women to get involved. Visit the Girls in ICT portal to learn more.

Mobile Tech Improves Healthcare in Bangladesh: Recent mobile phone initiatives in Bangladesh are allowing patients to reach a health worker for advice at no cost 24 hours a day, receive prenatal care reminders, and even send complaints about patient care. In the rural areas of this country of 140 million people, health care workers are scarce and hospitals are far away and difficult to reach. Yet because about 60% of the population has access to mobile phones, health care advice – sometimes life-saving – is just a phone call away. Read more here.

Digital Governance in Latin America: The Latin American Studies Association is holding its XXX International Congress in San Francisco, CA on May 23 – 26, 2012. The German Development Institute (GDI) and the Swiss Center for Research on Direct Democracy (C2D) are seeking paper submissions for a joint panel to address the topic of ICTs and democratic governance in Latin America. The growth of ICTs in the region has increased opportunities for improved governance efficiency and enhanced political participation. Over the past decade Latin America has seen a number of remarkable initiatives in the field of ICT use for democratic governance. If you happen to be a Latin Americanist with ICT expertise in ICTs, you don’t want to miss this panel. Read more about it here.

Beyond ICT4D: New Media Research in Uganda: This is a collection of ethnographic reports written by five Master’s students in New Media from the University of Amsterdam. What makes this publication unique is the presentation of the Ugandan perspective on ICT4D – rather than being a passive recipient of Western development aid, users and producers of ICTs entail innovations from the ground up. It is this “other” point of view that is too often missing in the ICT4D debate – valuable voices that put technologies, projects, and organizations into their proper context. The book argues that now is the time to look beyond the technology layer and instead focus on the social implications and local consequences of digital media’s widespread use.

Women Sharing News in Sri Lanka: Frontline SMS is proving to be an excellent tool for news sharing, as shown by this example in Sri Lanka. Minmini News is a local SMS news service for women in the Batticaloa District of Sri Lanka, the poorest in the country. In 2010 a small informal collective associated with women’s groups in Batticaloa decided to trial a model for sourcing, producing, and sharing news relevant to women in the area. The model tested continues to be used, and is directly based around sourcing news from the strong network of women community workers in different parts of the district. News information is collected, fact-checked, and written up in text messages by a central “news team.” Between one and three messages are sent out to readers, who subscribe to the service via text message through FrontlineSMS each day. Read more about this service here.


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International development professional (and mom), living in DC metro area. I am focused on ICT and education, with mad writing and editing skills, proposal development acumen, and Latin America and Africa experience.
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