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Tuesday, 13 August, 2019 - 17:41

Following a popular Twitter Thread I wrote on this subject recently, I thought it might be useful to have these all in one place. 

 

 

1. Digital Democracy, Analogue Politics is my favourite ICT4D read to date. I read the whole book in one weekend and was gripped from start to finish. If you only read one Digital Development book, make it this one. Nanjala Nyabola combines insightful analysis with an engaging style that makes this book the most accessible of the lot. The book combines positive description of the agency of Kenyan feminists using Twitter as a new space to do politics and shift gender norms, to the insidious use of Kenya as a test bed for Cambridge Analytica before they unleashed their digital campaigns on Trump and Brexit. You can get a feel for the book by listening to this podcast in which Nanjala discusses the book with me when she visited us at IDS.

 

2. The best ICT4D textbook is unquestionably...

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People’s Power: have we got an app for that?

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Don’t Recycle!

Don’t Recycle your old computers. Reuse them!

Re-use is 20 times better for the environment than recyling,
according to research from the UN.

Extending the productive life of our PCs by upgrading and donating older computers for re-use is the single most effective thing that each of us can do to reduce the environmental impact of our own computing.

A is for Access

Our practice of applying ICT for Development (ICT4D) is often concerned with access issues: trying to ensure that even the most marginalised communities, in the most remote locations, have equitable access to the tools that they require for development.

Vapourware

There was a lot of media coverage this weekend about the unveiling in India of the the world’s cheapest ‘laptop’ which, media reports say, will cost $35 and is ‘likely’ to go down to $10. http://bit.ly/bqngWZ

Designed by the respected Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi the device is not a laptop at all but rather an iPad-like touchscreen slate.

10 million first steps

How do you measure the value of being able to save lives with telemedicine?
Or of being able to provide the training that means a young women gets her first job as a network engineer?

The eWaste Billions

Our love for the latest gadgets & gismos puts the planet in peril.

More precisely the problem is toxic design & manufacture, rapid obsolescence & replacement cycles, and inadequate reuse & recycling.

Death by a Thousand Cuts

The axing by the government of the WEEE Advisory Board is a matter of real concern, coming as it does on the back of decisions to cut the budgets of DEFRA and of the Environment Agency.

The new government says it wants to bring the responsibilities of the WEEE Advisory Board ‘back into government’ where there is more accountability.

ICT Against Apartheid

One of the people who played a key role in establishing Computer Aid had previously spent 22 years in jail for treason.

Denis Goldberg was a member of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the ANC, and amongst his other duties he organised the supply logistics for the ANC camps in Zambia, Zimbabwe and other ‘Frontline States’.

Enough Email Already

When old-timers like myself first began applying information and communication technology to development there was no such thing as ICT4D, no world wide web, no broadband, and no SMS.

Working in the Nicaraguan parliament after the Sandinista revolution, my first assignment was training staff to use WordPerfect for MS-DOS on a pre-hard-disk IBM PC.

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