Report. Inclusion in the age of post-democracy

Cover of the report Inclusión en la era de la Postdemocracia

Inés Bebea (from Ondula), Gabriel González (from Fundación Esplai) and I (with the help of Juan Sánchez, also from Fundación Esplai) have just issued our report Inclusión en la era de la Postdemocracia (Inclusion in the age of post-democracy).

The origins of the proposal “Inclusion in the age of postdemocracy” come from the debate held during the day of the plenary meeting of the Advisory Council of Fundación Esplai on Committed Citizenship, held on January 20, 2015. In this debate took part the Advisory Board, the Board of Trustees and the technical team of the organization, and during the event the participants identified the challenges that technology is creating at the social level at the present time, and to which the Fundación Esplai Foundation should respond in order to collaborate in the the construction of a technologically empowered citizenry that makes a critical, responsible and useful use in the pursue of their own personal development and that of one’s community.

The project takes as its starting point a basic document, which sets out the concrete objectives to advance in this line:

  • Present the state of the situation on the practices of active citizenship in the areas of health, education and democracy.
  • Propose consensuses that group different actors and sensitivities towards a common strategy and action lines.
  • Design action lines for the promotion of active citizenship based on an intensive, open and community-based use of ICTs.

Between July and October 2016 Fundación Esplai launched a proposal to study and debate the role that Information and Communication Technologies play in social inclusion and in the active exercise of citizenship, as essential tools for access to education, health and democratic participation. The work proposal, which emphasizes the analysis of the call third-level digital divide, included a participation process to which a broad sector of the citizenry was invited, especially those more linked to Fundación Esplai initiatives: members of the Advisory Board, Board of Trustees and professional staff of the Fundación Esplai, organizations of the of the Red Conecta and associated networks, professionals in the ICT sector, Education and Social Inclusion as well as private individuals interested in the topic.


logo of PDF file
Final report:
Peña-López, I., Bebea, I. & González, G. (2017). Inclusión en la era de la Postdemocracia. Informe del estudio. Octubre 2016. El Prat de Llobregat: Fundación Esplai.


Fifth Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (IV). Rural Communities

Notes from the Fifth IPID ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium 2010, held at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain, on September 9-10th, 2010. More notes on this event: ipid2010.

Sustainability Action Plan and Validation for ICT projects in rural areas of developing Countries
Inés Bebea González

Working in the framework of a huge ICT4D programme run by EHAS Foundation, mainly focused in e-Health for development, linking the primary healthcare system via Wi-Fi in the Amazon.

Measurement of ICT4D project results: appropriateness, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability. Main hypothesis: Sustainability Action Plan (SAP) implementation will reduce sustainability failure risk of ICT project in Napo, turning this project into success also inters of sustainability.

Several parts of the plans were analyzed:

  • The institutional and financial plan, that should lead to institutional change management.
  • The operative maintenance plan, based on a historical knowledge of network status and a layered maintenance team.
  • The failure diagnosis and incidence management system, following (tech) monitoring protocol standards.
  • The continuous learning plan, with the goal to turn information into knowledge, and to avoid the drawbacks of high rotation within staff (see Batchelor, S. and Norrish, P. (2003) Sustainable information and communication technology (ICT). Reading: Gamos).

Data show a risk reduction between 33% and 65% of sustainability failure after application of the sustainability action plan.


Q: Two suggestions. The first one, is to leverage the power of the community, especially students in higher education. The second one, is to include a security scheme, which seemed absent in the presentation. A: Definitely, volunteering programmes do apply in this kind of projects.

Usability testing of educational tool for secondary level children: A case of Sura ya UKIMWI
Barun Khanal

e-Learning platform in English and Swahili that has to be effective, efficient, engaging, error tolerant and easy to learn (the 5 E’s by Quesenberry, 2001).

Usability is not validation, it has to be embedded into the process, not put at the end. This means including real users and self-criticism

Educational tools deserve a special approach than business or commercial or work context tools.

In usability testing, it is as important as the feedback to analyze how the process itself has been perceived by the users. Many users are just not used to provide feedback, especially structured and formal feedback. Seeing how they react to usuability testing is also a way to test their skills, their perceptions, they cultural framework, how they behave in front of the technology, the usability of the test, etc.



Fifth Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (2010)

ICT4HD. Experiences in Research on ICT4D within the Master Telecommunication Networks for Developing Countries

Notes from the I International Workshop on Research in ICT for Human Development, at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, and held in Fuenlabrada, Spain, on May 13th and 14th, 2010. More notes on this event: ict4hd10.

Experiences in Research on ICT4D within the Master Telecommunication Networks for Developing Countries

Voice over IP in Tutupali-UTPL Network (Ecuador)
Katty Rohoden and Patricia Ludeña

Installed wireless network to connect Health care centres, which enables them to be connected to the capital and amongst themselves.

Alternative Rural Telecommunication Network in Ecuador
Danilo Corral de Witt

Project in Equador, where 60% of people live in rural areas, that are usually have no Internet coverage.

The “Red Alternativa de Telecomunicaciones Rurales de Ecuador” [Ecuador Rural Telecommunication Alternative Network] seeks to find a solution to that, with a new wireless infrastructure and adding GIS technologies to optimize its deployment.

Using GIS allows for a clever management and design of the new infrastructures, and to see what the overall coverage will be.

Design of Clinical History and Tele-ECG Services
José García Muñoz y Ferney Beltrán

Wireless services for the comprehensive management of hospitals, including software to for a more efficient management, monitoring and impact assessment.


  • Epidemics monitoring.
  • Drugs supply.
  • Emergencies.
  • Pacient monitoring.
  • Lack of equipment in health centres.
  • Limited access to health care services
  • Cerebrovascular diseases not detected.

Goals: improve management and health care, and designing and implementing a network to send and receive signals.

It was key to the project to have an array of indicators of usage of the tool (management software) to test its strengths and weaknesses.

Connectivity was provided by Bluetooth, as it required low power consumption, allowed for high bandwidth and was a spread standard.

Sustainability of Rural Telecommunication Networks
Inés Bebea

The project analyses how ICTs have contributed to the Millennium Development Goals.


  • Projects in developing countries have low rates of success, under 20%
  • Public institutions play a very important role.
  • Financial, technological, social and human factors that make sustainability a tricky issue.

How to design and implement a Sustainability Comprehensive Plan?

Three sub-plans:

  • Operative maintenance plan
  • Institutional and financial plan
  • Content and human plan

That provide five kinds of sustainability:

  • Financial sustainability
  • Technological sustainability
  • Social sustainability
  • Content sustainability
  • Human sustainability

Inter-institutional Network in Santa Clotilde (Loreto, Peru)
Rico Hario Abilowo Hardjono and Elsa Feliz

Goal: improve the administrative and coordination processes between the staff at local public administrations. This was done with a WiFi network of inter-institutional interconnexion that, amongst others, could provide voice over IP services.

The project was a success, but some important areas need much improvement: power supply still and issue, and capacity building and training should be strengthened.

WiMAX solutions for rural areas
Nydia Mendiola and Carlos Rey

Context: big zones without coverage, scattered population, low resources.

WiMAX is a standard solution, runs on a free wave spectrum, is designed for long distances, and its parameters are quality-of-service oriented.

It has, though, high costs when users are highly scattered, as it is designed for a unique connectivity leap: how then to maintain the quality of service while reducing costs? Could WiFi and WiMAX be hybridized?

A hybrid and working solution was created. Then a new standard (802.16j) was issued and seems to perfectly fit with into the hybrid solution.

Analysis of National Policies for Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean. Are integral strategies in reducing the digital divide?
Amagoia Salazar

Research on the different digital divides and the different national plans to fight against e-exclusion.

Most countries in Latin America have designed and implemented national plans to foster the Information Society, but it is yet to be found whether their approach was a comprehensive one or just focused in specific parts or conceptions of the digital divide.

  • Comprehensive approach?
  • Where is the focus put?
  • What are the thematic priorities?
  • What are the regional priorities?
  • Is there a commitment with free software?

Maintenance Plan for a Rural Telemedicine Network in Mozambique
Valentín Villarroel, Camilo Garzón

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David: what was the non-technical part and what the main barriers in this area? Elsa Feliz: human interaction and logistic coordination was the toughest, and, on the other hand, all the things you can not foresee and that once on the field are much more difficult to solve. Carlos Rey: teamwork is always a challenge.

[worth knowing array of projects, rich in insights, and difficult to summarize in a single post]

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I International Workshop on Research in ICT for Human Development (2010)