Advocacy statements

The role of the Internet and of digital technologies in structuring our lived reality is beyond doubt. As a core facet of contemporary society, the Internet is central today to the enjoyment of our rights and freedoms. ITU statistics point to how the Internet has developed unevenly throughout the world - 77 percent of people from developed countries are Internet users, the corresponding number for the developing world being 31percent. This gap obviously has implications for development parameters in relation to education and work, and of course, for democracy and wellbeing.

As an axis of global power today, the Internet is key to aggrandising wealth and consolidating hegemony. The WSIS Principles heralded "connectivity (as) a central enabling agent"... in their vision for "an equitable, development oriented information society". More than ten years since the commitment to creating this new society through"universal, ubiquitous, equitable and affordable access to ICT infrastructure and services", remains a distant dream. In fact, the Internet has rapidly lost its
public good character, instead evolving as an enclosed commons at the service of global capitalism and rather ironically, as the next frontier of intellectual property control.
 

IT for Change is a civil society member of the Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation (WGEC). In late 2012, the WGEC issued a questionnaire to the public, in a bid to elicit views on the World Summit on the Information Society's (WSIS) mandate regarding "enhanced cooperation" (appropriate mechanisms for governance of the global Internet). Find below, links to IT for Change's response to this questionnaire.

Read the response here.

IT for Change was asked to provide inputs in the area of e-governance and ICTD to UNDP as it was developing its plan for the programming period of 2013-18.

 A civil society input to the UN Working Group looking at institutional mechanisms for global governance of the Internet

IT for Change with CIVIC Bangalore, KRIA Katte, and Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement condemn the proposal to amend the Right to Information Act that the government has undertaken in the monsoon session of the parliament. The amendment is to keep political parties out of its ambit. This challenges the basic principle of the Act which is to maintain transparency and accountability by the government, including the processes of governance which determines functioning of the government. The move of the government to amend the Act only goes to show that political parties are not willing to subject themselves to the transparency law and be open public scrutiny under the Act.

Anita Gurumurthy, Nandini.C and Emma Saloranta represented IT for Change at the International Working Forum on Women, ICTs and Development. The Forum was organised by UN Women and the U.S. Secretary of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues, between January 10-11, 2013, in Washington D.C. The overall objective of the Forum was to convene a broad-based coalition in order to take stock of current ICTD and gender approaches, challenges, opportunities and to chart a course forward.

The Government of Rajasthan has floated a tender for the purchase of 112,000 laptops in January 2013. In their bid document they have specifically asked for proprietary software to be provided. A letter has been sent to the Government asking it to re-consider the waste of public resources in this procurement.

IT for Change submitted its input to the UN Working Group on Discrimination Against Women for its report on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice in public and political life. The position paper problematises public spaces in the network age from the standpoint of gender justice also suggesting considerations for action by the Working Group.

Brief elaboration of some points made during stakeholder consultation on Legitimate Restrictions on Freedom of Online Speech:  Creating Balanced Approach: From Deadlock to Dialogue” held by FICCI on 4th of September, 2012