Women, empowerment and new technologies

IWDYesterday we celebrated the International Women’s Day (IWD) for the 108th time.  The celebration first took place in 1908 in New York CIty. Back then it was called the International Working Women’s Day (IWWD), first organized by the Socialist Party of the US. At some point in time, the additional W dropped, and the event became a celebration of all women.

Fast forward to 2015. Although significant progress has been made since, women still face many issues and challenges that must be addressed appropriately to achieve gender equality, One of the areas that seem to be falling behind is women’s political and policy-making participation. How can women be empowered in this regard? And what is the role of new Information and Communication Technologies here?

We know that by the end of 2014 global

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Governments, Crowdsourcing and Innovation

citizensDualRoleThe paper on the role of governments in crowdsourcing I presented at the last ICEGOV 2014 gathering in Guimaraes, Portugal, is now available here – in this blog. The paper was supposed to be published by ACM press as part of the proceedings of ICEGOV.  However, the proceedings are still not available in the ICEGOV web site, nor at the ACM site. In any event, we have chosen a publishing license that allows the authors of the paper to publish it on their own web sites. Note that copyright still applies to this material (please read the license before downloading the paper!).

The paper makes the case for government to harness crowdsourcing as one potential way to improve service delivery and foster people participation in selected public policy-making processes. It presents a governance-centered

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Pakistan Interview: e-governance and development

ICT Review - coverI gave the following interview to a local business newspaper during my mission to Pakistan. The interview was published on 15 December.

BR Research: You have previously worked in Pakistan. How was the e-governance situation like back then, and how is it now?

Raul Zambrano: It was back in 1993 when UNDP launched an initiative called the Sustainable Development Networking Programme (SDNP) that aimed at bringing access to development content via new technologies. Working with out local office here in Islamabad and using local expertise and human resources, we set up email nodes in four cities including Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi in addition to Islamabad. We essentially provided email access to the Internet and trained lots of people on how to effectively harness the new technologies to

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The Role of ICTs in Empowering People

In the last twenty years, we have witnessed a very rapid and dramatic evolution of ICTs, at a pace perhaps unprecedented in history. This evolution, however, has come in a series of waves. First, we saw the advent of the Internet in the early 1990s, a network of networks that quickly gained global relevance -although uptake by developing countries lagged well behind initial expectations. By the of the millennium, we saw a second wave which essentially brought forward the application of Internet-based solutions for businesses, governments, and almost any other sector.

This wave ended suddenly with the so-called dot-com crash in March 2000. By 2004, Web 2.0 and social media emerged as the third wave of ICT innovations where user-driven content, interactivity, netwempowerorking, and collaboration

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