ICTD2010 pre-conference – interesting & critical views

As already mentioned in a previous post, we are supporting Ineke Buskens and her team in the pre-conference to this year’s biggest ICT4D/ICTD conference – ICTD2010.

Everybody has the chance to participate there and we’re especially interested in “voices from the South” about what ICT4D/ICTD should and shouldn’t be. The texts sent in will be discussed in an own session at ICTD2010 conference, so even when you can’t come physically, you can make your voice heard!

Several researchers have already taken the chance to publish their views and here’s some links to interesting texts which might inspire you to comment or write your own text:

  • Oum Kalthoum Ben Hassine raising the question The ICTs: for what kind of development? (English / French / Arabic)

If development concerns the sole economic growth, unlimited gain and extreme profit, ICTD will mean “ICT development in the north” and the development of markets dedicated for ICT products and tools, where unbridled conquest of new markets will target more and more developing countries within the framework of what we call “technology transfer”. This type of development has generated and still generates the “left behind”, excluded and marginalized, the third and fourth worlds, all excluded from progress and well being. [read more]

  • Lina Abou-Habib presenting her thoughts on Researching ICT4D and/on ICT4T: On women, activism, transformation and ICT in MENA (English)

In replacing D (development) by T (transformation), the intent is not simply stylistic or superfluous! It is intended to reflect how many women, including myself, define development. In this case, I will define development as the right to have rights and the freedom to have and exercise choices. These are conditions sine qua none for development. For women, this means literally a transformation from a position of subordination and dependence to that of power and autonomy. [read more]

  • Anne Webb sharing her critical remarks: How can ICT use strengthen movements for equality and social justice in the land of power and money? (English / French)

In my work with gender researchers who are exploring relationships between women’s empowerment and ICT, I see ICTs as additional tools at women’s disposal. These are tools that could, can and do increase our ways and means of communicating. […] We can design and use them to reinforce and expand our efforts to imagine and create a better world for women, a more equitable globe for all, environmentally sustainable socio-economic systems, and so forth.

But these electronic devices and platforms are tools to be used by any (who can access, afford and understand them) to their advantage. They are primarily developed and used in the interests of our current unsustainable, inequitable and destructive socio-economic system. [read more]

  • Susan Bakesha introducing examples on the ambivalent possibilities of ICT usage in ICTs are a double edged sword: Tele-mothering vs tele-murdering (English)

The term development has been defined differently by many scholars. However, all definitions allude to one point: making life better. Proponents of ICT4D argue that ICTs play a pivotal role in supporting underdeveloped countries to achieve development in all spheres of life; political, economic and social. [read more]

So if you’re hungry for food for thought – just check out the ICTD2010 pre-conference platform, read the texts, comment on them (discussion pages are open to everyone) and if you want to have your own text published, send a mail to Ineke Buskens or me.

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ICTD2010 pre-conference – interesting & critical views
was published on 24.11.2010 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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Zanzicode – donation by the Leo Club St. Pölten

Leo Club St. Pölten Thanks to the generous donation of € 3590,- by the Leo Club St.Pölten, the next 6-month iteration of the Zanzicode basic course is secured. The Leo Club St. Pölten is a non-profit organisation which supports social projects, usually with a regional focus in Lower Austria, Austria; with Zanzicode, they are assisting a project in a foreign country for the first time. With the help of the donation, we have the means to continue our work in Zanzibar and to steadily move our project forward. Thanks a lot, Leo Club — your help is most appreciated!

Here’s a picture of the ICT4D.at chairman Florian Sturm receiving the donation in the form of the classic oversized cheque from Leo Club St. Pölten chairwoman Maria Propst in Vienna, Austria (two more pictures on Flickr):

ICT4D.at chairman Florian Sturm receives the donation cheque from Leo Club St. Pölten chairwoman Maria Propst

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Zanzicode – donation by the Leo Club St. Pölten
was published on 19.11.2010 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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Announcement: Stammtisch #10

It’s an anniversary! Our 10th official ICT4D.at Stammtisch meeting is coming up. And this time there’s much to tell. Zanzicode is running great, we have two exciting projects in the pipeline and we are searching for partners for our next grant application. If you want to find out more, just come by!

What: ICT4D.at Stammtisch

Where: Cafe Benno, Alser Straße 67, Wien

When: Wednesday, 17. November 2010, 20:00

We’re happy if you come by! Please notify us via mail or RSVP on in that case.

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Announcement: Stammtisch #10
was published on 12.11.2010 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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Notes of Global CIO Dialogue on the Future of Government Transformation

Notes of the World Bank ICT Sector Unit event Global CIO Dialogue on the Future of Government Transformation on 8 November.

Trying to bring the learned lessons from practicioners all around the world (UK, Moldova, Singapore) to real-life projects.


Philippe Dongier, Sector Manager, Sector ICT Unit, The World Bank

Opening remarks – Introduction of speakers and country audiences

The World Bank is working right now with Moldova on a large government transformation project and this project is also introduced today


Keynote Address by John Suffolk, UK Government CIO

“Somebody somewhere in the world has already solved the problem” – bringing people together has a large value

It’s difficult to predict the next steps of technology – nobody knew that Facebook, Twitter, … would change the world like that

Governments must respond to the changing needs of globalization

  • different media for services (paper, telephone, online forms, …)
  • governments are online
  • countries’ agencies are very integrated (fed, state, local) – also because of consumer demand
  • outsourcing of sectors to the private sector
  • Example: iTunes to get text for police officers to different languages when trying to arrest people

Different countries have expertise concerning different eGovernment sectors – mobile services, identity management, …

Tranparency is an issue

  • we publish crime data – quickly Android application appeared to show crime in different areas
  • UK approach: publishing as much data as we can

The next technology changes cannot be predicted – but what are the trends?

  • we have stopped worrying about the future – nobody can keep track of it
  • risk is rising
  • approach is important: which outcome do I want to deliver?
  • everything pervasive is interesting
  • not into long term contracts
  • not paying big license fees
  • scalable services
  • all things mobile
  • combining small services rather than having monolithic big systems

Where should I start?

  • there is no single start position – everybody has a different start position
  • start where you can simply and quickly achieve something
  • try to pick services which create an infrastructure for another service


  • it’s critically important to bring parties together – learning from each other
  • we need to think about where we want to be in 5 years time – past problems are already gone
  • anything you can do with teaming up with other countries to solve a similar issue will reduce your risk and learn from each other


World Bank Project Example: Moldova Governance eTransformation by Stela Mocan, Executive Director of e-Government Center, Moldova


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Notes of Global CIO Dialogue on the Future of Government Transformation
was published on 08.11.2010 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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Global CIO Dialogue on the Future of Government Transformation

Our partner the eDevelopment Thematic Group of the World Bank is coming up with another workshop on government transformation via ICTs.

After interesting workshops on – for example

this time the organizers decided to take a look in the future of government transformation. As written on the eTG homepage of the event:

This workshop […] will feature a keynote presentation by Mr. John Suffolk, Government CIO of UK, who will share the experience of United Kingdom and will speak of the latest technology trends and how they impact government transformation. This will be followed by a panel discussion with senior government officials and CIOs from leading countries on their vision of how online tools and advanced technology can be used to make government processes more transparent, to encourage informed public participation, to foster collaboration across government and with other sectors of society, and to make government administration more cost-effective during the next 5 years. The panelists will discuss the ways in which the cutting edge technologies, such as cloud computing, web 2.0, mobile technology and open data are pursued as tools for government transformation, as reflected in e-government strategies in their respective countries.

The workshop will also introduce the Moldova Governance e-Transformation project as an example of an innovative government transformation initiative leveraging the latest technologies in the context of a transition country […]

The date for the event is November 8 from 8:30 to 10:45 a.m. Washington time.

If you are interested in watching the workshop or even participating, you can register for the webcast and post your questions on Twitter (hashtag #WBCIO). You can find more information and the agenda at the eTG event page on the future of government transformation. After the event you’ll also find a summary here on the blog.

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Global CIO Dialogue on the Future of Government Transformation
was published on 05.11.2010 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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Zanzicode Incubator Course to be started beginning of 2011

ICT4D.at is happy to announce that we are about to start a second course within our Zanzicode project. The Incubator Course – a joint venture of ICT4D.at with Chembe Ventures – will run in parallel to our initial initiative, which we will refer to as Basic Course from now on.

The aim of the program is to provide talented young would-be entrepreneurs with the
tools they need to launch and maintain their own web ventures.

Here is the Incubator Course description as stated on the Zanzicode website:

The 12 month Incubator Course measures up to the entrepreneurial spirit of graduates of the Basic Course. Strong programming skills and the goal to set up an own real world online business are prerequisites for this course.
Students are guided through the process of realizing a business, from the idea to the running software and the working micro enterprise. We also stick to Open Source Software, but we optionally switch to Java and Google technologies as industrial standards. After the course the students will be owners of their own business. The course hosts 4 students.

Having conversations with our graduates and students, we got excellent feedback about their progress within the web development community in Zanzibar. The most rewarding statements for us are that graduates are working in the software industry and are keen to move on with their skills. They are searching for ways to educate themselves further. So the idea of an advanced course came up. We proposed approaches and got the commitment from possible future students.

After the experiences we gained so far, we agreed that the students should work on one big ongoing project during the course. The discussion with Sean Murphy (We got to know him at Africa Gathering April 2009 in London) led to the resolution that the best idea would be that students should not only develop plain software solutions, but also business models around the software and then eventually – at the end of the course – become business owners and run their venture. Sean offered to substantially fund this course through the company he is running, Chembe Ventures, which is specialized in seed funding and organizing tech events for African IT startups.

So after successfully acquiring complementary funding, the budget is set and the agreement with Chembe Ventures is signed. We are hereby going to the public and are very happy to announce this.

We are open for applications for this course via office (AT) zanzicode.com and are happy to send out detailed informations upon request. Applicants should not hesitate to call Salum Rashid (Zanzicode Lecturer) on his Zantel line: +255 777 755443 to get the details in Swahili.

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Zanzicode Incubator Course to be started beginning of 2011
was published on 03.11.2010 by Florian Sturm. It files under east africa
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