Second Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (IV). Peace building, democracy and gender empowerment

Keynote speech: Khalid Rabayah
ICT as an enabling tool to ease tension, relief hardship, and resolve conflict: application within the Palestinian case

Despite the decreasing GNP and GNP per capita, the instability of the region, etc. the literacy rate in Palestine is 92% and the computer literacy is 51.2%. The explanation seems to be that precisely education seems to be the way out of the situation the region is immersed. So, the background seems appealing for ICTs for Development… but some failing projects seem to bring evidence on the contrary. The question being: can ICT work without a leading body?

NGOs provided most services before the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority. The difference being since the establishment of the PNA is that, even if it is now the PNA who supplies most of these services, it does not have financial stability, while NGOs do — depending on foreign policies. So, how to build one’s own IT policy?

The brain drain (more Palestinian IT experts in the Gulf than in Palestine) has done nothing but worsen things.

Two E-Government projects… we don’t even have a Government on our own!. Palestine Educational Initiative (PEI)… was fully halted when the PNA composition changed.

The ICT centers of Excellencies, built besides main universities, has or is being a successful project. The idea is to have the business community to interact through the centers with the academic community.

Lessons learnt

  • Despite of ups and downs and minor government role, progress has continued (ICT indicators continue rising)
  • Government failed to lead the sector
  • NGOs played a major role increasing capacity, raise awareness
  • Private sector lobbies to open market, defends the sector interest
  • Importance of people centered development
  • Politically motivated initiatives strongly affected the ICT environment
  • ICT in some scenarios provided the only solutions
  • The demand driven are the most successful

Jonatan Stanczak
Teaching information, communication and technology to empower children in a low intensity conflict area: a case study from Jenin refugee camp, West Bank, Occupied Palestenian Territories

How performing arts can be combined with ICT to empower children and how to assess/evaluate this?

One important problem to overcome is the researcher’s background and the biased language of “development” issues.

On the other hand, when uncertainty and security are such big issues, working with ITs is not really easy.

So, the goal is to occupy oneself by creativity, engagement, how to enable… and what’s the role of ICTs in this? It’s a very important tool, such as sports or theater, but it surely has a more special role.

Salma Abbasi
Role of Telecentres in Gender Empowerment: do they really work for women?

Despite everyone saying that telecentres are “so good”, why do they sometimes/often fail to achieve social goals?

  • “North knows best”
  • No consideration to community needs
  • Exclusion of marginalized
  • Irrelevant information
  • Lack of localized content
  • Illiteracy
  • Inaccessibility by community
  • Insecure locations
  • Donor funding
  • Expensive services

requirements to ensure women’s access to ICTs

  • Overcome Technophobia
  • Fight Discrimination
  • Conduct active outreach
  • Ensure financial accessibility
  • Ensure physical accessibility
  • Relevant content

More Info


Second Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (2007)

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2007) “Second Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (IV). Peace building, democracy and gender empowerment” In ICTlogy, #47, August 2007. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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