Advocacy statements

IT for Change participated as one of the five civil society members of the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development's Working Group on Improvements to the Internet Governance Forum (WGIIGF). IT for Change submitted two input papers arguing that processes need to be developed to strengthen the IGF for more concrete outcomes.

Based on our advocacy work relating to National Policy on ICT in School Education, the issue of 'vendor driven ICT programs' was discussed in the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) and a sub-committee was setup to study the issue.

For the 4th IGF (14-17th September 2010, Vilnius, Lithuania), IT for Change partnered with the Association for Progressive Communications, Centre for Internet and Society, Global Partners and Internet Rights and Principles Dynamic Coalition to hold a pre-event on “Internet Governance and Human Rights : Strategies for Collaboration and Empowerment” on September 13. Among others, the event was attended by Frank La Rue, UN's Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression. The event sought to frame Internet Governance issues in rights frameworks – civil and political rights as well as economic, social and cultural rights, along with the right to development.

Public software is 'software developed or procured, for the public good, which is publicly owned' (Guiding principles for public sector software). It is essential for participating in the digital society and thus needs to be provided to everyone as an universal right and entitlement. It includes operating system, text/image/audio/video editors, email, web browser, search engine, etc. Public software needs to be free software, providing the freedom to use, study, modify and share, to ensure universal access as well as participation in its creation and modification.

CABE accepts ICT in school education policy - June 2012

Read the final version of the policy on ICTS in School Education

In January 2008, MHRD released a draft policy on ICTs in school education. This policy, created by a committee that included big businesses interested in the 'ICT in education' space was hugely problematic - in a way looking at education as a process of private sector training of public system teachers in its resources and models, creating labour force for the global economy. Many educationists were uncomfortable with both the process and substance of this and organised consultations on this policy, networked (the ict-education-india googlegroups was created for this) to build broad positions, submitted several policy advocacy letters as well as substantive comments on the policy, some of us met officials in MHRD and other institutions to explain how ICTs in education required a deep understanding of education, rather than of just technology.  In November 2008, the MHRD minister cancelled the privatised policy making process (http://www.indianexpress.com/news/ministerial-panel-to-draft-hrds-ict-policy-for-schools/401222/). The policy itself had three more drafts over the next 3 years -  the second policy draft included many of our suggestions - education perspectives, focus on teacher education, support constructivist approaches to integrating ICTs in education, systemic integration rather than just hardware and software procurement, resource rich environment, FOSS etc, and was quite different from the first one. The fourth and final version, which further refines the second draft is available here.

The issue of 'vendor driven ICT policy/program' was also raised by Vinod Raina in the CABE. He was part of a CABE sub committee which looked into this and their report provides several ideas on the role ICTs should play in education. 

Both the final ICT policy in school education and the CABE committee report were unanimously adopted at the last CABE meeting on June 6 2012 and these documents can guide the design and implementation of ICT programs in school education, whose budgets will only increase exponentially over time... (UP budget presented this month earmarks 2200+crores for laptops/tablets for students. Hopefully this will support some of the ideas in the policy rather than just continue the failed PPP/BOOT models)

 

In 2008, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) published a policy draft on 'ICTs in  School Education'. IT for Change (ITfC) actively campaigned to challenge the draft policy, advocating for a greater participation of educationalists in the policy design promoting thereby a constructivist ICT at schools model for both teachers and students. 

Anita Gurumurthy wrote about the promise of ICTs for developing countries in World economy and Development In Brief. In this articles, she states that even though the IT revolution did open up new job avenues

This document was an input into the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) High-Level Intergovernmental Meeting on the Review of Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action.

The 2006 Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was held in Athens (Greece, 30 October - 2 November) and its overall theme was 'Internet Governance for Development'.

IT for Change submitted a paper titled 'A development agenda for Internet Governance - Call for a framework convention on the Internet'.

IT for Change (ITfC) was one among five civil society organisations invited to make submissions before the Working Group on Improvements to the Internet Governance Forum (WG-IGF) of the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology Development (UNCSTD), in January 2011. The WG-IGF has been set  up to provide recommendations (process related as well as substantive) for the democratisation and pro-poor sensitisation of the IGF, a multistakeholder policy dialogue forum on Internet related issues. The report of the WG-IGF will be tabled by the UNCSTD at the next session of the UN General Assembly.