Development Frameworks For Digital Age
From IT for Change's Annual Report for 2013-14
In early February, Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities and IT for Change brought together a group of 25 interested thinkers committed to social change – researchers, activists, journalists, media practitioners, teachers, artists, bureaucrats and designers – in a 3 day workshop titled 'Social Justice in an internet-mediated World' that used different methodologies to debate and discuss perspectives on the theme 'Justice in the Network Society'. Some of the themes addressed along the course of the workshop are listed below:
1. The continuities and discontinuities of the technological paradigm in the global economy
2. The Internet, democratic flux and citizenship,
3. The place of media, culture and community in the space of flow
Conversations and networks initiated during the workshop, have been sustained over various elists and google groups created for strengthening and expanding collective knowledges and discourse.
Continuing the practice of the last many years, this reporting period too saw a group of postgraduate students and staff, from the fields of ICT4D and Human Resource Development, University of Manchester - Institute for Development Policy and Management - pay our Bangalore office a visit in January 2013, to gain a deeper understanding of the impact of ICTs on women’s development.
Anita Gurumurthy and Parminder Jeet Singh, together authored a chapter titled, 'Establishing public-ness in the network: new moorings for development—A critique of the concepts of openness and open development' for the book 'Open Development: Networked Innovations in International Development'. brought out by the Cambridge MIT Press, early Jan 2014.
Over the years, IT for Change has actively worked towards cultivating and strengthening relationships with a number of global and Indian organisations/stakeholders broadly associated with the areas of IG and development, a number of whom have endorsed our input statements and recommendations on the democratisation of the Internet. This year, these connections were further cemented by the initiation of elists to sustain the dialogues of 2 global coalitions - CoNE and Just Net Coalition - and 1 national group of actors.
IT for Change has been closely involved in the global advocacy processes around the post-2015 development agenda. Anita Gurumurthy, Executive Director, IT for Change, has been in close dialogue with the Women's Major Group for the UN Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs), urging for the inclusion of information society concerns in the SDG discussions. In December 2013, she submitted a note on 'ICT, information and data issues' to the Women's Major Group, urging for close attention to the agendas of: evolving a just and equitable global governance framework for the Internet, and creating alternative 'small' data paradigms in governance systems that give marginalised communities greater control over developmental decision-making processes, in lieu of dominant 'Big Data' paradigms that centralise power.
IT for Change and IDRC will be co-organising a Round Table on 'Inclusion in the network society – mapping development alternatives, forging research agendas' in September 2014 in Bangalore, India. The round table will bring together around 25 participants – leading scholars, development practitioners and thinkers, who are interested in the theoretical and policy aspects of equity, inclusion and participation in the 'ICTs and development' domain. Moreover, in the area of national field building, we are looking to conduct another workshop/short course on the theme - Re-Wiring Women's Rights Debates in the Digital Age - structured in a manner similar to the workshop.