Facebook’s Free Basics Incubator

Facebook and its initiative (now called ‘Free Basics’), have faced their fair share of criticism, but I’m guessing that neither is going away anytime soon. So, here’s something that may be of interest to folks working with and/or designing mobile tools for lower income populations or those with lower end phones. Praekelt Foundation is partnering with Facebook on an open source toolkit of technologies and strategies that will open the Free Basics platform to more organizations and/or tech developers to adapt existing services or create new ones for distribution through the web and the Free Basics platform. Praekelt Foundation will be running this incubator for Free Basics. It will provide 100 social change organizations with tools, service and support worth a total of $200,000

Photo from Daniel Agee

Community Survey: Use of Digital Clinical Resources

Digital clinical resources are on- and off-line tools that are used in the context of medical education and/or care delivery with the overarching goal of Read More

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Prevention of sexually transmitted infections using mobile devices and ubiquitous computing

Background: Advances in the development of information and communication technologies have facilitated social interrelationships, but also sexual contacts without appropriate preventive measures.


Course on social and new media for crisis management

From 11 to 15 April 2015, the ICT4Peace Foundation conducted an ENTRi certified training programme on a variety of new media tools and platforms used in the collection, presentation, verification, and dissemination of information. 22 participants, from as far afield as Sudan and Iraq, as well as from Europe and Asia, attended the intensive programme, held at SWISSINT in Stans-Oberdorf, Switzerland. As noted in the course description, This course was designed to introduce its participants to a variety of digital media tools and platforms used in crisis contexts.

Problems as symptoms

When I started out in development I had no idea what I’d be able to do to help solve the huge, complex problems out there. That lack of certainty – and an absence of obvious answers – turned out to be a far better starting point than I imagined.  After a trip to Zambia in 1993 to help build a school, I knew immediately that my work in IT and finance in Jersey wasn’t the right career for me and that I wanted to spend the rest of my working life doing something more meaningful. But that was all I knew. At that stage I didn’t have a skill set that was particularly useful to international development, so there was no obvious quick and easy way in. Instead I set out on an extended period of learning, one where I spent as much time as I could living with, working with, and supporting the communities and causes I wanted to help – everything from a few weeks helping build a local hospital in Uganda to a year working in rural conservation in Nigeria.

UN and ICT4Peace engage with private sector on responding to terrorist use of ICT

ICT4Peace is pleased to announce the formal launch of its joint project with the UN Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) on Private Sector Engagement in Responding to Terrorist Use of ICT. Through the project, ICT4Peace and UNCTED will work with the private sector and civil society to deepen understanding of current industry responses to terrorist use of their products and services, particularly with regard to content and-operational related issues and identify practices and experiences. The ultimate objective of the project is to establish a forum through which these same practices and experiences can be discussed and shared with a greater number of actors.

Welcoming HXL Version 1.0: A breakthrough in humanitarian information exchange

The ICT4Peace Foundation congratulates OCHA on releasing the first version of the Humanitarian Exchange Language (HXL). The Foundation worked closely with CJ Hendrix and Andrej Verity, both visionaries who were able to see how HXL could change the information exchange landscape in humanitarian contexts, and far beyond.

Life in full circle

In both my books – The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator from 2013 and Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation published this March – I make no secret of my early struggles to find meaning and purpose. Back home in Jersey, for a period approaching a decade from my mid-teens, I went through the motions doing what most people around me were doing – working in a well-paid but totally unfulfilling job. It was a fairly dark time, but one which I thankfully stumbled my way through. Part of my strategy at the time was to go on long drives in my beloved TR7 – quite a feat on an island the size of Jersey. As most people my age did I’d play my music loud, putting together compilation tapes of some of my favourite thought-provoking, sometimes gloomy, music. In 1986, like many people, I found myself caught up in the buzz and excitement of a new album called So by Peter Gabriel (famous for a number of hits including Sledgehammer, Don’t Give Up and Big Time)

Best practice begins in the classroom

In The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator and my more recent book, Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation, I dedicate more than a few pages to emerging best practice in technology-for-development projects. While we certainly need as many bright minds as possible turning their skills, energy and attention to solving many of the problems in the world, their efforts should be respectful to the communities they seek to help, and properly guided in order for those efforts to have the greatest possible impact and chance of success. But if you step back for a moment, it defies logic that someone should try to solve a problem they’ve never seen, or don’t fully understand, from tens of thousands of miles away. It’s hard to argue that they have the knowledge or qualifications – even the right – to attempt such an audacious feat. Yet that’s precisely what’s happening in many universities across much of the developed world multiple times each academic year.

A phone of her own: How mobile access can change women’s lives

Link to original: A phone of her own: How mobile access can change women’s lives

Updates on using tech for peacebuilding & peacekeeping | March 2016

Updates on using tech for peacebuilding & peacekeeping from October 2015 to March 2016. Download it as a PDF here.

Countering Violent Extremism & Mobile Advocacy in Myanmar

Sanjana Hattotuwa, Special Advisor at the ICT4Peace Foundation, was invited to take part in Tech Camp 2016, held at Phandeeyar, where he talked about and trained on mobile advocacy and activism strategies. Calling on the work engineered in Sri Lanka around election monitoring, civil society mobilisation, voter education and civic media, Sanjana talked about how mobiles were used to bear witness to violence, promote democratic debate, dissent and also foster interest in voting.

ETH Professor (em.) Kurt R. Spillmann joins ICT4Peace International Advisory Board

The ICT4Peace Foundation is deeply honoured, that former ETH Professor Kurt R. Spillmann has kindly agreed to join its International Advisory Board.

ICT4Peace Cyber Security Policy and Diplomacy Workshop at GCSP, Geneva on 14 and 15 March 2015

Building Capacities for Cyber Security Negotiations The ICT4Peace Foundation is honoured to co-organize the Cyber Security Policy and Diplomacy Workshop with the Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP) on 14 and 15 March. This course examines international cyber security policy issues. Specifically, it analyses responsible state behaviour in cyber space and related concepts of international norms, confidence building measures (CBMs) as well as international cooperation in cyber space.

Operationalizing Peace Operations Reform: New Media and New Technologies

Clearing the Decks After a Year of Reviews: Operationalizing Peace Operations Reform, organised by ZIF, the Centre for International Peace Operations, was held from 25 – 26 February just outside of Berlin. Agenda here. Sanjana Hattotuwa, Special Advisor at the ICT4Peace Foundation, was asked to make a presentation on ‘New Technologies and New Media’ as it related to UN peacekeeping.

African Union Commission and ICT4Peace co-organized Capacity Building for International Cyber…

As part of its Capacity Building Program for International Cyber Security Negotiations, ICT4Peace organised in cooperation with the African Union Commission the first cybersecurity policy and diplomacy workshop at The African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa on 15 and 16 February 2016 (see AU Press release). 43 mid-level and senior diplomats from 28 English and French speaking African Countries and 3 regional organisations participated in the 1 1/2 days workshop. The teaching faculty included high-level diplomats and experts from Kenya, Estonia, Switzerland, Germany, Australia and Finland.

UN and ICT4Peace launch project to counter use of ICTs for terrorist purposes in cooperation…

Since the late 1990s, terrorist groups have become more sophisticated in their use of the internet and ICT. In the wake of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, extremist groups came under increasing pressure to go underground, finding in the internet an ideal channel through which it could continue communications while reaching out to a larger audience, and as a means to seek finance for its activities. Confronted with the growing threat posed by the Islamic State (IS), concerns regarding terrorist use of ICT and the internet further increased, due in large part to IS’ adeptness in using the technologies and related platforms to groom and recruit foreign fighters and supporters, produce and disseminate propaganda

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