Policy briefs

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.

Computer learning programmes in schools (CLPS) in India have largely failed to achieve their goals of positively impacting learning processes and outcomes in schools. Implemented usually through 'PPP' (Public Private Partnership) models, these programmes have been treated largely as  silos. Schools and teachers have not seen  computer learning as an integral part of education, and the overall education processes, which has compromised their ownership over, and engagement with the programme.

In this piece written for the South Centre Bulletin (issue 5, December 2007), Parminder Jeet Singh and Gurumurthy Kasinathan highlight Internet governance issues that are important from a development perspective. The World Summit on Information Society was the first step towards debating issues of Internet governance and its recommendation on the setting up of the Internet Governance Forum which heads into its third year at Hyderabad is an important space which discusses issues of Internet governance.

In this article, Anita Gurumurthy and Parminder Jeet Singh analyse the way in which the emphasis on Internet governance and its high visibility in the WSIS process tended to take focus away from the important issue of exploring how the Internet can address long-standing development issues.

This paper discusses the background, strategies, outcomes, challenges and learnings of Kishori Chitrapata, a project of IT for Change that addresses the learning needs of out-of-school adolescent girls through innovative uses of ICTs such as video, radio and computing technology.

This paper argues for a public goods approach to ICTs, education and sustainable development. The author discusses the inadequacies of the current engagement of ICTs in education. Shifts from classroom-based learning to pupil-centered learning have occurred, but by and large the manner in which the ICT opportunity has been employed in the education sector has failed to breach mental barriers and the boundaries of the traditional education system.

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'.