Policy briefs

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.

This paper was written for the second IGF – Access Plenary Panel (Rio de Janeiro, 2007). It posits that ICTD models for poor people cannot be driven by financial considerations, and neither can they be demand-driven. Access to ICTs for the information poor has a very direct impact on their development status; consequently, ICTs cannot be conceptualised merely as business infrastructure. They instead need to be seen as development infrastructure. This calls for state intervention for creating an ecosystem which makes access to ICTs by marginalised communities a real possibility.

IT for Change presented a paper titled 'Project development for expanding women's digital opportunities: some reflections' at the Policy and Strategy for Digital Opportunities from the Gender Perspectives organised by the Asian Pacific Women's Information Network Center (APWINC) in Seoul (South Korea) in July 2006. In this paper, Anita Gurumurthy analyses the necessary link between project definition and policy making, arguing that policies need to serve project objectives, as much as they determine them.

IT for Change has been working in the area of ICTs and education, at the levels of research, capacity building and demonstration projects. Based on our work, this note explores ways in which ICTs could be used as an integral part of the education system and its processes to promote teacher professional development. The digital medium has the capacity to allow local knowledge construction and supporting text, audio and video learning materials development. Hence its potential for revolutionising teaching learning needs to be explored. However, in order to be successful, this exploration needs to be firmly grounded in both educational aims/philosophies and in educational contexts, and anchored by educationists.