Policy briefs

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 is a response to a call for papers on "Responding to the learning and developmental needs of out-of-school adolescents - Experiences of South Asian countries" by the gender list of Solution Exchange (UNESCO) and Plan India. The commentary 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'.

This paper was prepared for the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development (UNGAID) Global Forum on Access and Connectivity: Innovative Funding for ICT for Development (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) in May 2008 The analysis captures the significance of a rights-based approach to ICTD, which can provide a new point of anchor to develop its theory, policy frameworks and practice, while mainstreaming into ‘development’ with its central ethos of equity, social justice and participatory methods.

This paper was contributed for a report prepared for the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development (UN GAID) Global Forum on Access and Connectivity in least developed countries and small islands developing states in Asia/Pacific and innovative financing mechanisms for ICTD, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 18-20 May 2008. This paper explores the meanings of women's empowerment and gender equality in the information society, looking at the opportunity for progressive change and critically unpacking the ICTD discourse on gender and development.

This policy brief was originally prepared as an expert input for the 'Regional Conference on Delivering Social Protection to Unorganised Workers', held in Bengaluru (India) in November 2010, and organised by the Department of Labour (Government of Karnataka) and GTZ (Germany). It explores the different ways in which Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are used in social protection systems in India. It then builds upon different models to advocate for the transformative use of ICTs for social protection which would be community-centred rather than based on tactical choices.