Finally I managed to upload the presentation slides of my presentation at the Linuxwochen Wien.
Generally the buzzword “open Access” is a very broad term. It is used to describe initiatives for the free access to scientific data or cultural assets in museum, libraries or archives.
There exists even an international movement on this topic, the “Budapest Open Access Initiative”. It consists of several American and European scientists and researchers which aim at the public and free accessibility of research results. Furthermore they challenge the big research institutions to publish their work in the internet and permit free reading, copying and transmission.
In the context of ICT4D, the initiative could help very much in reducing the digital divide as it could permit researchers in poor countries to have the same access to the newest research and results as their collegues in highly subsidized universities in western countries. As nowadays in developing nations there even exist universities with no journal subscriptions at all, as they are too expensive, this could be a large step forward for the research community there.
A prominent supporter of this movement is the Harvard University which just in February this year voted for “a motion for finished academic papers to be posted for free online, in an open access repository, on an opt-out basis”. [Link]
Of course the realisation of this aim is not similar for every research field, but in informatics and related sciences there is more and more research material available online for free and I am very fond of this development. My master thesis even bases only on papers available online and I can state that there is quite a bunch of them to be found.
The Linuxdays Vienna are over and we had some response on out presentation so maybe we have enough people for our first “Stammtisch” soon.
Also we will upload the video of the presentation, as well as the slides. We will put both in our wiki.
Thanks again to every contributor for the comments.
ICT4D.at beschÃ¤ftigt sich mit der Positionierung von Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologie (ICT) zur Entwicklung in unterentwickelten LÃ¤ndern. Wir glauben, dass ICTs wie Computer, Radio, Fernseher, Handys oder das Internet eine einzigartige MÃ¶glichkeit fÃ¼r unterentwickelte LÃ¤nder darstellen, um in Punkto Zugang zu Information zu den westlichen LÃ¤ndern aufzuschliessen. Viele problematische Felder, beispielsweise Bildung oder medizinische Versorgung, kÃ¶nnten durch Einsatz dieser ICTs verbessert werden.
Unsere Hypotese lautet: Wissen ist Macht ist VerÃ¤nderung ist Verbesserung.
Zum Beispiel …
- … ein Krankenhaus im afrikanischen Busch, dass mittels Internet auf Informationen zu spezifische medizinischen Problemenzugreifen kann, oder mit Spezialisten auf der ganzen Welt Kontakt aufnehmen kann.
- … ein Bauer auf einer philippinischen Insel, der Ã¼ber Internet oder Handy den aktuellen Marktpreis fÃ¼r seinen Fang abrufen kann, um sich gegenÃ¼ber seinem ZwischenhÃ¤ndler rechtfertigen zu kÃ¶nnen, und Ã¼ber SMS eine Warnung bekommt wenn ein Sturm aufzieht …
- … ein normaler BÃ¼rger in Tibet, der anonym Ã¼ber Internet von UnterdrÃ¼ckung und Gewalt berichten kann, wenn alle Journalisten schon das Land verlassen mussten …
Wir glauben an das groÃŸe Potential dieser Technologien.
Wir wollen euch neugierig machen.
Wir wollen euch fÃ¼r unsere Idee begeistern und wollen wissen, was ihr darÃ¼ber denkt.
Wir wollen Leute ansprechen, die sich mit Techologie auskennen und sich sozial engagieren wollen.
Wir wollen Leute ansprechen, die sich in der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit auskennen und auch glauben, dass Technologie etwas bewirken kann.
Wir wollen eine Plattform sein, damit Leute sich finden und diskutieren.
Wir wollen helfen, Ideen zu finden.
Wir wollen helfen, Projekte zu starten.
Wir wollen nicht mehr lÃ¤nger nichts tun.
This Saturday will be the first time this site is introduced to a greater audience. We will have a presentation of half an hour at the Linuxwochen Wien (Gewerbehaus der Wirtschaftskammer, Rudolf Sallinger-Platz 1, 1030 Wien).
We have the slot on Saturday the 17th at 12 o’clock.
I hope a lot of people will visit our site and will get interested in the topic.
We are happy for everyone to join us, no matter if it’s a technical person or not. We want to know everybody’s opinion and are happy about comments and criticism.
This project is just starting so don’t be shy and tell us what you think so we won’t forget about something.
There is a impressive Google maps mashup, which is used to map the violence in post-election Kenya. The application visualizes violence e.g. riots, death and property loss an a Google map.
Check out http://www.ushahidi.com/ where this screen shot was taken.
Ushahidi is a great example how state of the art web mashup technology can be used in the context of ICT4D.
There is a flickr group called Images FOR Africa … The group is about collecting ‘Images of Africa’ that are ‘free to use’ according to a Creative Commons License: Social documentary, structures, public transport, village life, poverty, nature, wildlife … everything!
There is no special purpose other than spreading/providing Africa related, CC licensed photos in media:
so they can be used free of charge by e.g.:
- Africa related NGOs/NPOS to do proper media-work,
- local business initiatives for their web presence,
- upcoming journalists,
The group exists since march 2007 and there are already 5000 photos and 320 contributing members. Check it out:
A quite recent NY Times articel (April 13), takes a closer look at the current work of Jan Chipchase who conducts “exploratory human behavioural field research at Nokia Research Center”.
This means actually that he tries to design the mobile phone of the future. Therefore he travels all over the world and meets people to find out their needs and desires for a “perfect mobile phone”.
As the market of the mobile phone industry in the western world has been largely saturated, the interesting parts of the world for companies like Nokia are emerging markets and less developed countries. Mr. Chipchase therefore takes a closer look at the demands of people in those countries which leads NY Times journalist Sara Corbett to asking the question – Can the Cellphone Help End Global Poverty?
Link to the article
Ethan Zuckerman is a co-founder of Global Voices Online and has an interesting weblog – ...My heart’s in Accra. I found out about him when doing research about my master thesis. He is a very active blogger and activist and in the context of ICT4D and has built up a network of many interested people.
Currently he works at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society in Harvard and is in the Wikimedia Foundation Advisory Board, which amongst others operates Wikipedia (from where I also took this picture).
To get an overview of what currently happens in ICT4D I recommend everybody interested to visit his blog and to get an overview of what currently happens in places of the world not so much covered by the media, I advise you to visit Global Voices Online.
On September 18th 2000, 189 member states of the United Nations passed with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) a catalog of measures with eight compulsory aims for all member nations. The main focus was on fighting worldwide poverty, which was not only understood as material poverty but also as lack of chances and possibilities.
The eight aims are
- Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
- Achieve universal primary education
- Promote gender equality and empower women
- Reduce child mortalityImprove maternal health
- Combat AIDS/HIV, malaria and other diseases
- Ensure environmental sutainability
- Develop a global partnership for development
These aims were to be targeted in the following 15 years, to be achieved in 2015. ICTs are in this context seen as a measure for empowerment and the UN supports many projects in this field. As stated in a paper of the World Bank:
“This new technology greatly facilitates the acquisition and absorption of knowledge, offering developing countries unprecedented opportunities to enhance educational systems, improve policy formation and execution, and widen the range of opportunities for business and the poor.” [Report of the World Bank, 1999]
Right now the aims are actually far away from being achieved. In Austria the expenses for development assistence are even below the EU-wide average. The rich countries of the world have obliged themselves to spend at least 0,51 percent of the GDP from 2010 on, which obviously produces quite many difficulties for Austria. The discussion if the budget for the military mission in Chad should be accounted for development aid is one of the oddities in this context.
A popular and interesting statistic often cited is the relation between the worldwide expenses for development aid – 84 Billion Dollars – and the military budget – 1118 Billion Dollars.