Policy briefs

This article was developed as a background paper for a presentation to delegates from developing countries at the South Centre, Geneva, in February 2017. It presents the key geo-economic elements of the digital phenomenon; how data is the new raw material that is extracted from developing countries by a few, primarily US based, corporates from the Global North, which is then ‘manufactured’ into ‘digital intelligence’.

This paper examines and discuss these shifts in our contemporary democratic fabric by focusing on emerging technological practices in government. It explores key concerns, and articulates the gaps in current legal-policy measures necessary to promote participatory democracy in the digital age.

The digitalisation of public service delivery has effected a paradigmatic shift in governance. This note discusses two aspects of this shift pertinent to women farmers - 'E-agriculture' initiatives and the new challenges to women's citizenship arising due to the reconstitution of governance systems by the Internet and ICTs. In the past, digitalisation efforts by the government has focused on the areas of digitalisation of service delivery at both central and state levels of agricultural departments. However, these efforts have failed to address the lack of gender inclusivity.

In November 2015, IT for Change submitted a position paper on critical concerns for women farmers' rights in the digital age to MAKAAM's meeting to deepen its Charter of Demands for Women Farmers. This note discusses 2 aspects of this shift pertinent to women farmers:

  • 'E-agriculture' initiatives
  • New challenges to women's citizenship arising on account of the reconstitution of governance systems by Internet and ICTs

This policy brief provides insights from Women-gov, a feminist action research project aimed at enhancing marginalised women's active citizenship and their engagement with local governance, across three sites in India, Brazil and South Africa. The partnering organisations for this project are IT for Change in India, Instituto Nupef in Brazil and University of the Western Cape in South Africa.

IT for Change submitted inputs for the post 2015 women's coalition's brief on Gender and ICTs. The report contains critical issues, priorities and actions related to gender justice in the information society.

The IG chapter, penned for a book of policy recommendations in the context of the new Government, calls for a reconstitution of the India's Internet policy in place of knee-jerk reforms that are poorly researched, incomprehensible and lack foresight.

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.