ITU to bridge the digital divide: Connect the World

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) announced a week ago that it will be launching Connect the World, a major new development drive designed to bring access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) to the estimated one billion people worldwide for whom making a simple telephone call remains out of reach.

I’ve read all that’s been published on the issue, and the only thing I made clear from it all is that examples of concrete actions to achieve this goal include connecting villages via community access points, connecting schools and universities, connecting health centres and hospitals, and connecting public libraries and research centres (see the Presentation by the Secretary-General, Mr. Yoshio Utsumi PDF file ( 306 Kb).

I don’t know it there were any press kits — the Secretary-General said so — but I could not find more information but that the initiative comprises three key Building Blocks — Enabling Environment, Infrastructure & Readiness, and Applications & Services.

Well, this is not what I’d call a lot of information. After making the audience cry on how bad things in the world are, Mr. Utsumi closed the session saying that I would like to close my remarks today simply by asking that you “stay tuned”.

Ok, we will. But next time, please, tell us something we just cannot find in the Telecomms’ TV Ads.

Please, No More Volunteer-Matching Web Sites

Jayne Cravens writes about the proliferation of volunteer-matching web sites in Please, No More Volunteer-Matching Web Sites.

I fully agree.

In a research I’m about to finish – and about to publish here in parts and as a whole –, I studied some volunteer matching sites.

One of the funny things I found was about two – in apparence – powerful sites that were evaluated: USA Freedom Corps and Network for Good. After some navigation I found that the first one linked directly to the second one, and that one used – though with its own template – the database and tools from Volunteermatch. Surprisingly, Volunteermatch has PageRank 7 and both others have 8.

Unbelievable! :D

The frustrations of online students. Causes and preventative actions

My colleague Federico Borges, has publised an online article entitled The frustrations of online students. Causes and preventative actions.

It deals with the reasons why online feel discontent with their online education and, thus, end dropping out. Most of the reasons Borges gives are especially aplicable to the community that follows cooperation for development online courses or, indeed, e-learning for development courses.

ICT4D Wiki

For those who do visit this blog besides reading it by RSS subscription, you’d have seen there have been some changes in the horizontal navigation bar.

The main goal behind these changes is feeding ICTlogy with more content… even if it’s most by myself };)

Articles section has been spanned in, sofar, three sections:

  • Articles itself, containing all the articles I’ve published, linking to (coming soon) abstracts and full text
  • Communications, same as Articles but with presentations and speeches. You know, you sometimes say some things not deserving the effort of an article but cool enough to be shared :)
  • ICT4D Wiki, a wiki I started as a personal notebook but… hell, why not sharing it.

Concerning the wiki, well, it is a complete mess, so don’t be cruel. I’ve been doubting about whether opening it to anyone or keeping it just for myself. At last, I opened it, but kept it locked so I’m the only one editing it. If you really think you can contribute, let me know. Notwithstanding, I’d really hate to “compete” with some really cool portals over there: that would be useless and far from reality.

WiICTlogy, the ICT4D Wiki should not be a place to put content or links, but reflection – you’ll see it is not this way now, but…

FAQ: Why not starting an ICT4D category in the Wikipedia?
ANSWER: Because I want to put there all the nonsenses I’d feel like to

(um, I feel this is getting less and less serious – time for holidays, I guess)

Myths About Online Volunteering

Jayne Cravens posts 11 myths about online volunteering. I guess she really hits the point.

More info at Nancy White’s

Internet, a fundamental right?

A couple of articles – actually, one article in two parts – that I wrote in the framework of the II Conference Internet and Solidarity.

Published in La Malla.net in Catalan. I should promise now and here that I’ll translate them into English and republish here. I’d try to :P