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Saturday, 10 April, 2021 - 11:12

Like so many aspects of our life, democratic debate is increasingly moving online. Yet it seems like every time citizens adopt a new digital tool or enter a new digital space to voice opposition, repressive governments respond with a whole arsenal of tactics to dampen dissent and deny their right to opinion and expression. For every new activist tactic there are three or four state countermeasures. New research has found that this digital game of whack-a-mole is playing out across Africa. An issue about which the activists, analysts and academics of the African Digital Rights Network are conducting research and raising awareness.

 

For all of us, the right to be heard and to influence decision-making on issues that affect our lives is a cornerstone of open democracy and a sustainable development goal. In an increasingly digital world being heard means making use of mobile phones and social media – especially during a pandemic when social distancing makes public protest both difficult and dangerous. Marginalised groups have repeatedly made creative use of digital technologies to create spaces online to give voice to neglected issues, influence debate, and hold to account those with power. #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter are powerful...

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Open Source ICT4D can be Sustainable and Free

Wayan Vota wrote a great blogpost this week on whether the goals of sustainability and using open source ICT4D are compatible within the context of international development. It is a stimulating and thoughtful piece.

25 ICT4D Conferences in 2016

This is my latest attempt at sketching out a calendar of ICT4D conferences scheduled for 2016. Thanks especially to Laurent Straskraba, Edgar Nsheega and to Richard Heeks and Larry Stillman for suggesting additions.

Should all ICT4D be Commodified?

Alex Deng from Huawei's Corporate Sustainable Development Committee has posted a stimulating article on the Harvard Business Review site. In it he argues that to really help the global poor we must create technology that they’ll pay for.

Join the Founding Team at UNU-CS

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you will know that as soon as I finish the final (?) revisions on my PhD this September I am moving to Macau.

UN University Computing and Society (UNU-CS) Research Fellowships

The United Nations University is recruiting Research Fellows for its new Institute on Computing and Society - UNU-CS - in Macau.

It's Not About the Technology Stupid!

I'm busy reading Kentaro Toyama's new book Geek Heresy.

Another Technology is Always Possible

Rui Roberto Ramos provided a fascinating case study at IFIP9.4 of ICT use by Recife City Council to impose control over informal street traders.

Is a Transformist ICT4D Possible?

Comment about ICT4D tends to be either celebratory hype or entirely negative criticism. Both extremes tend to be based on assumptions that are uncritical about exactly what we mean by development, as well as about the relationship between ICTs on the one hand and development on the other.

A Critical Look at Participatory Video

As you know participatory video (also known as PV) is the process of enabling non-experts to make films about (development) issues that they prioritise. Participatory video can be a way for disadvantaged communities to appropriate technology in order to take control of the way in which they are represented and to amplify local voices on key issues of concern to them.

Top ICT4D Conferences of 2015

As usual I have had a go at putting together a calendar of ICT4D conferences scheduled for the year ahead.

With many conferences still to announce details it already looks like a bumper harvest with May, as ever, looking to be the busiest month.

Talking about ICT4D: a typology

There's an interesting discussion going on within the civic-tech community about the lack of a common language for discussing the hugely diverse ways in which citizens are using technology to foster social change.

All ICT4D is Political

Emily Shaw wrote a great blog this week about 'Civic Tech', which, in case you have been living in a cave for the last year, is the new lingo for the field of 'citizen technology for social change'.

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