Policy briefs

Getting a CSTD Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation through a UN General Assembly resolution was an hard won victory for developing countries. It was an opportunity to propose and push for a new institutional architecture for the global governance of the Internet. In April, 2013, IT for Change wrote this paper for the South Centre, Geneva, an inter-governmental think-tank of developing countries, outlining the significance of the Working Group and exhorting developing countries to take up an active role in it.

IT for Change was commissioned by BRIDGE, IDS in 2013 to prepare a policy brief on Gender and ICTs for DFID. The final policy brief, submitted in February 2014, provides a broad brush-stroke analysis of the depth and breadth of the implications of information society change for gender equality and women's empowerment, and identifies future directions for policy and programming.

In April 2014, IT for Change submitted a solicited input to the Second High Level Committee on Status of Women in India, analysing key policy and programmatic concerns in the area of 'Digital Technologies and Gender Justice in India'. The brief demonstrates the urgent need  for  a gendered analysis of the National e-governance Plan and e-governance schemes under implementation, to overcome the limitations of current 'gender-neutral', 'corporatist', e-governance approaches.

Anita Gurumurthy, Executive Director, IT for Change, has been closely in dialogue with the Women's Major Group for the UN Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals , urging for the inclusion of information society concerns in the SDG discussions.

On 20th July, 2013, Parminder Jeet Singh drafted a position paper reflecting on the current nature of e-governance schemes upon sampling and studying recent developments in the area, where he posits that the increasing role of ICTs in governance is resulting in a de facto “centralisation of power” and “privatisation of Governance”.

Find the link to article here.

In May, 2013 IT for Change was approached by the global NGO Action Aid to generate think pieces on the subject of the role of ICTs in development.

Overall trends and developments in the area of e-governance in India
Brief history
National E- Governance Plan – achievements, and challenges ahead
Community level e-governance infrastructure – the fulcrum of possible transformation
NGOs and donor agencies
Recommendations for UNDP for project development over 2013-17
Mainstreaming ICTs and e-governance
Specialised and convergent approaches to e-governance
Innovative Project Proposals – 1: Decentralised governance
Moving beyond capacity building mode to ICT-based resource support system for elected representatives
Innovative Project Proposals - 2 : Accountability and transparency

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 emergent information or network society context  offers a range of opportunities for women and girls to enhance their participation across economic, socio-cultural and public-political realms of life, as well as the scope for enhancing their individual freedoms. The Post-2015 Agenda therefore, both in terms of goals and related targets and indicators, has to promote and measure women's participation in the information society and their access to and effective use of the Internet and ICTs.

The work of public institutions leads to continuous creation of knowledge, but such knowledge often remains with specific individuals or institutions. This policy brief argues for sharing of such individual knowledge across the institution, and sharing of institutional knowledge across the domain through the use of publicly available ICTs. It also argues for and outlines an organisational policy on ICTs, besides providing a list of public (Free and Open Source) software resources for common organisational use.