In the mean time there was not too much going on with ICT4D.at – everybody was busy with something else. I am looking forward to an internal meeting in the beginning of December though, where we will set the path for the coming weeks and months.
One main thing we are currently working on is the preparation for the second round of our Zanzibits support project. Our representative Fritz Grabo in Zanzibar is having rehearsals to choose future students and is working on improving the infrastructure on the ground – repairing stuff, improving furniture and several other things. Here in Austria we are looking for sponsors for the project – so if you want to support a small-scale project for capacity building in Zanzibar, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Some events which we are looking forward to are the launch of the eDevelopment Thematic group Flagship Report and an Open Source workshop, also by the eTG group. Furthermore we will be present in Berlin at the 26th Chaos Communication Congress (26C3) in December.
One past event we will write about soon is the World Social Web Dialogue – there is still some planning and internal coordination on the way.
So – quiet times, but there’s more to come soon!
Kevin Li presented about the situation of Chinese workers in Southern Chinese computer part factories. People there work under very bad working conditions, are forced to work overtime without payment and are exposed to health hazards. The workers have few possibilities to protest against these conditions.
Globalization Monitor tries to shed a light on these conditions and to empower the workers. They help them to organize themselves and published several research papers and even a book – No Choice but to Fight – about the workers situation.
Andrea Ben Lassoued from Clean-IT tackles the problem of the exploitation of Chinese and Thai workers by computer part factories from the other direction – the Western one.
Clean-IT – as part of the European initiative Procure IT fair – tries to put pressure on the big computer manufactors to take resposibility for their supply chains. As a matter of fact the big brands – Apple, Leneovo, Fujitsu Siemens, … – don’t produce the parts for their computers themselves, but buy them at various factories, mostly in South East Asia. If they would insist on socially benificial working conditions in these factories, the workers there wouldn’t be.
So Clean-IT makes people and organizations aware that they can express their desire for fair-produced computers when buying them.
The presentations and discussions were really interesting. I was not really aware of the problem before and I think it’s really important to make people conscious that they have the power to improve the living conditions of people living far away – only by altering their buying decisions.
So – go to the Clean-IT web page and see what you can do!
Today was the final day of Development Marketplace 2009, a competitive grant program hosted by the World Bank and supported by them and several other partners.
There were 100 finalists projects with “ideas to save the planet” surrounding the topic climate adaptaion. On the last four days these finalists were competing for 26 grants of up to $ 200 000 to realize their project.
A very striking feature of all the projects was that the solutions offered were brought forward by local people. A lot of projects fostered indigenous, ancestral knowledge to prepare for climate adaptation. As Ed Canton from MIT stated in his interview – many projects are not high tech, but appropriate to the local circumstances.
Some projects also used ICT to achieve their goal. In the following the three winning projects using ICTs are presented:
- Strengthening Disaster Preparedness of Southern Leyte with SMS Technology, Philippines
- African Pastoralists to Play Out Climate Drama on the Airwaves, Nigeria
- Women and Youth Use Reality-Show Format to Tell of Climate Options, India
The organizers of the event put a very strong emphasis to promote the event via web 2.0 and created possibilities for the project teams to take and upload videos, pictures and to stay connected via social networks. There was also a live webcast several hours every day with interviews of participants and experts on climate change.
There was also broadcasted one panel discussion on Thursday which was really interesting to see. Former winners of Development Marketplace competitions described their projects and focused on the aspect of “scaling up” a solution. In the following discussion the participants suggested a different kind of support from donors, which would encourage more people to come up and get started with their ideas – a bigger number of grants with less money, but therefore more training, capacity building and networking.
Other interesting statements in the course of the event included:
- Valeria D’Costa – Program Manager infoDev: the rate of access to ICT is growing, but the content doesn’t grow fast enough – infoDev will try to tackle that
- Wayan Vota – Inveneo: ICTs are not expensive, people make conscious decisions to use these tools because they are valuable to them
- Valeria Merino – Vice President, Ashoka: marketing & dissemination is a central element of scaling up – selling the idea to others
- Marianne Fay – Chief Economist, SDN: to be effective, innovation has to tap local knowledge – that’s a big challenge for projects
- Mara Bun – Green Cross: we are already globally adapting to climate change, we just have to find these ways and promote them
All in all Development Marketplace was a great opportunity to get a peek on what future strategies to adapt for climate change may look like.
From tomorrow until Friday the Development Marketplace 2009, hosted by the World Bank Group in Washington takes place. The event is the final date for the Development Marketplace competition – dealing with the topic of Climate Adaption this year. Over 1700 projects tackling climate change were handed in and 100 of them were chosen to reach the final selection stage. Up to 25 of the projects will win – and be funded with a $ 200 000 grant – funded by the World Bank Group, the Global Environment Facility, the International Fund for Agriculture Development, Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other partners.
The whole event will be covered fully on social media – including a DM2009 FlickR group, DM2009 Twitter account, DM2009 Youtube channel, DM 2009 Facebook and DM2009 LinkedIn event. It will also be broadcasted live (DM2009 live webcast) – starting tomorrow at 3 PM Austrian time.
Looking through the projects, there are several ICT4D-related ones there. What’s interesting though, is that the ICT used most in the projects is radio. There is only one project using SMS.
As the finalists are getting a small training how to use social media and ICT (they can borrow a camera and shoot videos with them) during the event, I am curious if they will find it useful and maybe even pick it up for the future development of their projects.
Three of the teams with ICT-related projects will even be interiewed tomorrow during the live webcast:
- Philippine Business for Social progress: Strengthening Disaster Preparedness of Southern Leyte with SMS Technology
- Resource and Analysis Center “Society and Environment”: Rate-and-Shame Project Would Raise Media Pressure on Public Officials
- Relief International-Schools Online (RI-SOL): Media Access and Education for Climate Change Adaptation and Risk Reduction
If you are interested in them – check their projects at the DM2009 project repository, watch the webcast tomorrow and post your questions and comments on Twitter – with the hashtag #dm2009.
Our documentary Hello Africa continues to tour the world. Previously shown in Accra, Ghana, at the Maker Faire Africa event, 14-16 of August (Which we attended and covered in detail here) , and just recently we were honoured to be invited and have it screened at a festival event called May You Live in Interesting Times, in Cardiff, Wales, 22-24 of October. This was a three-day festival “that celebrates the latest intriguing uses of everyday technology and social innovation, enabled through shared ideas”, and the film was screened daily on their festival hub. Here’s a brief description of the core idea behind the festival:
“With technology now firmly placed in the everyday we have put together a festival programme that explores how participation is increasingly the driving force behind much digital content. Mass-technology has enabled individuals and communities to become connected and share information.”
Unfortunately we had no possibility to attend this great event ourselves, but according to Carolina Vasquez who is a festival coordinator there, the movie was highly appreciated by the audience and a “great success”. Check out the screening program here, and the Hello Africa entry here.