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IT for Change Bulletin, April 2011

 

Greetings from IT for Change !

Research

Evaluation for IKME in Costa Rica

Anita Gurumuthy co-evaluated with Chris Mowles the progress of the joint project of the International Knowledge Management Emergent Research Programme, IKM Emergent, and the self-managed cooperative, Sula Batsu. Using both ICTs and traditional media, the project aims at developing info-mediation skills among a selection of Costa Rican communities in order to reclaim local knowledge, strengthen local community voices and build a community sense of identity and history.
 

News from the CITIGEN research programme

The Gender and citizenship in the information society (CITIGEN) research programme has grown with the addition of two new research teams from India and Bangladesh. The former will work on the empowerment of women political leaders at the local level, exploring the role of ICTs in effecting their substantive representation in local institutions in Kerala (India). The latter will work on the influence of new media on women's political decision-making in Bangladesh. The teams from China, Thailand/Taiwan, Sri Lanka and the Philippines are currently undertaking their action research field work. Preliminary findings promise interesting outcomes for building the ground for the articulation of a theoretical framework, as well as of recommendations for appropriate policies and contemporary feminist practice. The second meeting of the research network will take place on 26-28 April 2011 in New Delhi. More information available on the CITIGEN website and in our CITIGEN bulletin.

Presentations

IT for Change at ICTD 2010 (13-16 December 2010, London)

IT for Change was present at the 2010 International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD). After taking part in the opening panel about practitioners' perspectives, Anita Gurumurthy was part of the following panels: 'How can ICT research better inform and communicate theories of development and globalization? New challenges and promising directions' and 'Conceptions of Accountability in Policy and Practice'. She also intervened in a panel which discussed issues of openness on the last day of the conference. Read more here. More information about the programme of ICTD 2010 on www.ictd2010.org.

Conference on the learning and developmental needs of out-of-school adolescent girls (1-4 March 2011, New Delhi)

Gurumurthy K. presented the Kishori Chithrapata project at the conference on responding to the learning and developmental needs of out-of-school adolescent girls, organised by UNESCO and Plan India. The presentation exposed the different dimensions of the project, addressing the context, the observed patterns of change as well as the possible ways forward. The presentation, as well as a more extensive article about the project are available here.

Workshops
Capacity building workshops for knowledge management and knowledge networking

The UN Solution Exchange – Karnataka Community and Public Software Centre, IT for Change, organised a Capacity Building Workshop for Knowledge Management and Knowledge Networking using public software tools, for organisations of the Bengaluru Division of Karnataka in December 2010. A similar workshop was held for Mysore division organisations in January 2011.  Read more.

Advocacy
IT for Change's work in Internet Governance

On 31 March 2011, the '10 Internet Rights and Principles' were launched at the second expert meeting on 'Freedom of Expression and the Internet' (Stockholm, Sweden) by the Internet Rights and Principles Dynamic Coalition (DC-IRP) of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The aim of the charter is to anchor universal human rights in the new context of the Internet in order to foster an Internet governance rooted in human rights and social justice. IT for Change has been a founding member of the coalition and brought Southern perspectives to the debate, stressing especially equity and social justice issues in the digital environment. More information here.

Publications

Repackaging

In December 2010, we decided to revisit some of our research efforts which lacked visibility because they had never been published for an external audience, thereby limiting the impact of our work. We therefore formatted those resources to make them accessible to a larger readership, while contextualising them within their original research setting. The first round of this ongoing process includes case studies, policy briefs and think pieces about our work in gender and governance. They all are accessible on our website.

From the field

Teachers' Communities of Learning (TCoL) - An update

During the past year, the TCoL project has been working at building communities of learning among government schools teachers. In December 2010, the team attended the Workshop on Innovations in Education organised in Puri by Development Focus. The aim of the workshop was to share and learn from the partners’ experiences of innovations in education since 2007. Read IT for Change's presentation here.

On 21 January 2011, the TCoL team took part in the Bal Mela conducted by the American India Foundation at GMPS (Government Model Primary School) Puttenahalli. It was the team's first major event with children as part of the project. Broadly, the Bal Mela was a fun event for the children to test each others' skills and showcase their talents. The children had put up stalls on Science, History, Geography and Language. Around 700 children participated in this Mela by going to the various stalls and trying to answer the questions put to them.

On 24-25 January 2011, the TCoL team, with support from the Prakriye team, conducted a workshop on "Camera as teaching-learning material". Read the blog.

On 7 March 2011, the team organised a Bal Mela at GKHPS (Government Karnataka Higher Primary School) Akkitimanahalli to introduce students to syllabus related activities using computer-aided tools and to assist teachers in transacting such activities in the classroom. The Mela started with a puppet performance, which was followed by computer sessions where children learnt about Indian geography and the solar system and practised their mathematical and language capabilities. Teachers from the Indian Montessori Association were also present and conducted activities for the younger children. Both students and teachers of the school thoroughly enjoyed the programme. The students were especially eager to learn how to use the computer and wanted it to be part of the daily learning activities as soon as they learnt how to use it. Read Bindu's and Chloe's blogs.

On 12 March 2011, the TCoL project conducted a Teacher's Recognition Function at R.V. Teacher's College (Jayanagar 2nd Block, Bengaluru). Teachers presented the activity plans they prepared using ICTs and shared their experiences of being part of TCoL. They also were recognised for their efforts towards integrating ICTs into teaching-learning processes during the previous academic year.

Kishori Chithrapata

The training on photography culminated in an exhibition where the kishoris (adolescent girls) presented their work, which this video showcases. Since then, the kishoris have also received and engaged in trainings on other technical tools (video shooting with handy-cams, audio recording and basics of computers). The team of Prakriye - Centre for Community Informatics and Development (IT for Change's field centre in Mysore) has recently started the second phase of the Kishori Chithrapata project which will explore issues of identity, the body, the strength of the collective, marriage, livelihoods, etc.

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