- Saturday, March 31, 2012 - 05:05
The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Working
Group for the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-PhilippinesEast ASEAN Growth
Area (BIMP-EAGA) identified three
major projects to be included in the BIMP-EAGA Implementation
Blueprint (IB) for 2012-2016.
According to Attorney Jonalyn Bagayan from the Mindanao Development Authority, the
projects includes the roll out of the ICT rural outreach
program, the establishment of the BIMP-EAGA rink
(submarine cable), and the implementation of the Intelligence Clearance Identification (iClid).
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin">The ICT Rural
outreach program aims to improve ICT literacy of rural communities
through the construction of e-telecentres equipped with e-Learning models and mobile
the Philippines, the Committee has identified 30 pilot sites in the Autonomous Region
for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) for the roll-out of the e-telecentres.
Each pilot site is expected to have 20 computers.
E.A. Trillink Inc. is the private sector lead of the program
in the Philippines. The latter is investing US$33 million
for the installation of around 2,000 telecentres in ARMM.
Meanwhile, Brunei has successfully implemented the programs first phase which includes
training courses on e-commerce and the establishment of e-telecentres equipped with
broadband internet, and other applications.
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin">The BIMP - EAGA Rink
project on the other hand, aims to develop BIMP-EAGA as
a new hub and centre of investment by leveraging a Hybrid Communications Platform
which would make use of sea cable, satellite, or terrestrial systems.
the iCLid project will use a combination of Radio-frequency Identification and web
technology to facilitate cross-border movement of goods and vehicles within the BIMP-EAGA region.
Darussalam has already implemented the first phase of the project in Sungai Tujoh
and Kuala Lurah, and will extend it to Sabah and Sarawak checkpoints in Malaysia for
the second phase. Each checkpoint is estimated to cost around US$1.5 million.
- Thursday, March 29, 2012 - 17:45
When a large company or famous philanthropist donates computers to children to advance
their learning and give them online access to the world, it makes an impact. But when
the donors are young teenagers who revamped and renovated the computers themselves,
it makes an even bigger impact.
Students and teachers at Forest Park High School, a public magnet school in Woodbridge,
Va., say their schools computer donation program has become an essential part
of the learning experience. It has also become an essential asset for the community.
The program combines academic learning and hands-on lab work with community service.
First students learn about computer systems and networks. Then they rebuild used computers
and give them away to children and other schools needing computers.
It is the act of giving that solidifies the learning experience,
says Brian Hackett, an instructional technologist at the school and co-coordinator
for the program. It becomes personal. You dont get personal in learning until the
kids see results of what they have learned.
Hackett thinks education in general should head in the direction of combining schooling
with community service. Applying academic material gives it relevance.
The students seemed to agree. When we go to events to give the
computers away, the parents and students are overwhelmed with joy. The smiles on their
faces are amazing, said Karl Stallknecht, a student at Forest Park. You can see
the big picture.
As the students worked on restoring computers to mint condition during class, they
spoke about their coursework with enthusiasm. They seemed to grasp the complexities
of information technology as they discussed network systems, web hosting, cloud-based
solutions, Linux operating systems, and various software programs. Listening to their
high level of discourse, it was clear they understood as least as much about technology
as the average adult working in the field.
- Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - 22:40
The digital gap that faced by Quechua-speaking
communities of the Andes could be reduced thanks to two initiatives that create content
in this language and replace the lack of Internet connectivity with off-line versions.
A project sponsored by One Laptop Per Child Association (OLPC by
its acronym in English), works in an offline version, based on the Wikipedia online
in Quechua language, so that could be used by students who speak that language and
have no Internet connectivity.
"The wiki page in
Quechua is too good and it is wasted because most Quechua speakers do not have
Internet access" told Gonzalo Odiard to SciDev.Net, from the Association OLPC and
Sugar Labs project, global initiative, which uses a computer learning platform for
children to learn together through the computer.
Odiard had already successfully completed a similar project in Rwanda, based on the
The project to provide a viewer for the wikipedia offline on computers using the XO
which use OLPC program was created by Chris Ball in 2008, in Spanish and English.
Based on this project, "we developed a set of tools used to process files of wikipedia
dump (a kind of backup of all contents of all pages in the wiki), select a set of
pages, compress and prepare so they can be deployed locally on computers", said Odiard.
The community Somos Azúcar will do the same with wikipedia pages in Aymara and Guarani.
This Projects would be aimed at users of the highland areas of Peru and Bolivia in
the first case, and Paraguay in the second, where these languages are spoken, and
where the population has not full Internet access.
The most important thing is that the project has no cost. "For every wikipedia collaborate
volunteers who speak the language and that we are working, doing quality control and
selecting relevant articles", said Odiard.
Another initiative, the Mozilla community in Peru, seeks to turn the Quechua language
in one of the Firefox web browser, that is why the community has invited to all Quechua
speaker and who wish, to contribute in the construction of the project.
- Monday, March 26, 2012 - 23:27
The ICT Ministry and the Ministry of Finance released the draft law Easy Pay - Digital
Pay, which seeks to bring transactional services to the entire population and expanding
demand over the Internet.
The Deputy Minister for ICT, María Carolina Hoyos Turbay and Technical Deputy Minister
of Finance, Ana Fernanda Maiguashca, presented the draft law 'Easy Pay - Digital Pay'
during the Third Congress of Access to Financial Services, Payment Systems and Tools,
organized by Asobancaria in Cartagena (Colombia).
The project serves a new digital payments business that will allow Colombians to make
their transactions safely, efficiently and at lower cost. It also seeks financial
inclusion of the population which develops informal productive activities, and thus
tending to the formalization of the transactions in the economy.
"The idea is that people can do their financial transactions from their phones, tablets
and other mobile devices, to no longer waste time on travel and rows. It is a great
alternative for people who live in rural or remote areas of banking areas", said Vice
Technical Deputy Minister of Finance said that it is important a balance between protection
and access to electronic transactions, as this project is part of the strategy that
seeks that more Colombians are banked.
Now there are over one million users of mobile transaction, this thanks to the coordination
of different actors in the government and the private sector, who in a joint, are
driving the delivery of government subsidies through electronic wallets.
This mechanism has reduced prices incurred by the national government to meet the
basic needs of vulnerable sections of the country, and also this social service is
going to be provided in an efficient, quick and transparent way.
Mobile banking has grown substantially in recent years. According to the latest report
of the Superintendency of Colombia, the channel used by financial users in Colombia
is the cell phone, with a 26% of usability.
- Friday, March 23, 2012 - 19:38
The world's poorest countries can jump directly from the pre-electricity era into
a new industrial revolution through an "energy Internet" the uptake of renewable
energy shared through communication technologies, argues economist Jeremy Rifkin.
"The great economic revolutions in history occur when new communication
technologies converge with new energy systems", writes Rifkin.
And now with industrial civilization at a crossroads and the
need to transition to a post-carbon era internet technology and renewable energies
are coming together to create a new infrastructure for a Third Industrial Revolution,
a decentralized system where millions of people can produce green energy locally and
share it with each other.
Rifkin points out that because developing countries do not have an aging electricity
grid, they can "leapfrog" into a new energy era by building new, distributed electricity
systems. This will significantly reduce the time and cost of making the transition
the European Union needs to spend US$ 1.3 trillion between 2010 and 2020 to update
electricity grids and keep up with renewable energy.
Economic development is impossible without reliable and affordable
green electricity, says Rifkin, and this democratization of energy will help raise
40 per cent of the global population out of poverty. Power and control over energy
will shift from "giant" fossil fuel companies to millions of small producers, diffusing
risk as neighborhoods and regions pool resources to create local grids.
Establishing this infrastructure to transition to a Third Industrial Revolution will
require setting down several 'pillars' simultaneously, which include shifting to renewable
energy; building micro-power plants to collect renewable energies; and using the Internet
to create an "energy-sharing intergrid".
- Thursday, March 22, 2012 - 05:32
On 15 March,
was held the Consumer's Day in the world and to celebrate it, the Superintendency
of Industry and Trade in conjunction with the School Cafam, prepared virtual guides
'Alert and Safety in the Network', by which, children and
young people will get information about the expected behavior on the Internet, warning
of hazards and risks, plus tips and suggestions for browsing the network.
is framed in the Act
1480 - 2011, through which was issued the Consumer Protection Statute, which protects
the right of all consumers to be educated about their rights.
Deputy Minister for ICT, María Carolina Hoyos, helped to launch the project, which
intends to continue with the issue of virtual cards in matters of protection and safety
of children as consumers, to allow- through the use of technological tools-present, disseminate
and educate Colombians about their rights under the law in their role as consumers.
the ICT Ministry is a priority to develop strategies for our children, so they will
be better users of ICT, especially Internet and, as such, they should respect their
to that purpose, under the Digital Living Plan, we developed the strategy 'EnTicConfio',
a novel model by which we produce, collect and disclose content to provide citizens
with valuable tools to make better use of ICT ", said Hoyos, the Deputy Minister.
the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce started to provide to manufacturers,
suppliers and marketers of good services, as well as general users, the tool called
VIRTUAL BOX, by which they can meet the demands that promote consumer to
the entity, as an efficient and expeditious channel of communication with the SIC.
(Source: MINTIC Colombia)
- Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - 18:10
In quarterly tracking studies through fall 2012, InterMedia is monitoring trends in
awareness and use of mobile money in Tanzania, for the benefit of the financial access
This first quarterly report, covering the period Sept-Nov. 2011, provides a concise
view on levels of awareness and use, triggers and deterrents to use, what alternatives
to mobile money services are being used, and perspectives on successful marketing
of mobile money services.
As Key Points this report shows:
Ownership of a mobile phone in Tanzania is high with more than three-quarters (78
percent) of Tanzanians having household ownership of a mobile phone and 63 percent
having personal ownership.
General awareness of mobile money (MM) services in Tanzania is almost
universal with 93 percent of Tanzanians aware of at least one brand of mobile money
services. However, only about a quarter of the population (24 percent) is actually
Use of mobile money is not even across demographic characteristics.
Usage of mobile money is positively associated with ownership of mobile phones.
Income often not a factor in usage of MM applications.
MM usage still restricted to sending and receiving money.
Non-MM users are not yet convinced that MM is reliable, trustworthy, or convenient.
Rural females living below the $1.25/day PPP poverty line, the population
least likely to use MM currently, express the most interest in the products safety,
security and convenience.
- Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - 18:04
Located 160km Northeast of Hanoi, Ha
Longcapital city of Quang
Ninh province, Vietnamhas started installing 30 wireless base broadcasting stations
to provide free wifi for citizen and tourists revealed Mr Nguyen Minh Hong, Director
General, Department of Information and Communications, Quang Ninh province.
The project to offer free wifi for the main cities of Quang Ninh is estimated to cost
about 350 trillion Dong (USD 17 million).
The first implementation phase required an investment of about 100 trillion Dong (USD
5 million) to establish free wifi for Ha Long city. Quang Ninh local government
is working closely with the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (VNPT)
to implement this project. VNPT is responsible for installing infrastructure and collect
monthly wireless internet fee from local government and end-users who need better
services for their entertainment needs.
Hong told FutureGov that the Ha Long project is expected to be finished before the
end of April 2012 when the local tourism festival begins. The free wifi coverage will
help meet internet access needs of local citizens, investors and tourists.
Connectivity How Mobile Phones, Computers and the Internet Can Catalyze Women's Entrepreneurship - India: A Case StudyTuesday, March 13, 2012 - 18:21
This study examines how access to and use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) are transforming the economic opportunities available to poor and low-income women in India by promoting their entrepreneurial activity. What types of initiatives support small and medium enterprises for women, and through which ICTs? What factors shape a positive connection between ICTs and womens business success? What barriers have been lifted and what opportunities realized? What types of impact are ICT-based initiatives having on women, their businesses and beyond? What promising pathways are being shaped, and what channels have yet to be explored?
The larger goal of this research is to identify how technology can be leveraged to
create and transform entrepreneurial opportunities for women across the globe. The
insights presented here are intended to inform programs, policies and investments
that encourage women to start, strengthen and sustain businesses by adopting and using
ICTs. Recommendations aim to provide direction for stakeholdersdevelopment actors,
governments, and especially the private sectoron how they can support womens entrepreneurship
through ICT platforms, products and services.
Center for Research on Women - ICRW)
- Monday, March 12, 2012 - 19:59
March 8th is International Women's Day and to mark the occasion, the GSMA
mWomen Programme has released a study called "Striving
and Surviving Exploring the Lives of Women at the Base of the Pyramid". Drawn
from 2,500 interviews with women (aged 16-64 in both rural and urban areas) living
on less that $2 a day in Egypt, India, Papua New Guinea, and Uganda, the report looks
at how mobile technology influences the way women approach health, economic development,
and family relationships, and what mobile operators can do to reach more low-income
The report is divided into three parts; part one looks at the social, cultural, and
economic factors that women at the base of the economic pyramid face in their daily
lives, part two looks at the role of mobile technology in their lives, and part three
looks at how technology can be used to further reach low-income women.
Some of the statistics pulled from the report show that when asked what the key benefits
of mobile would be:
- 80% reported being connected to friends and family
- 58% said it would be useful in an emergency
- 40% said it would cut down on travel time
- 15% believed it would help them feel secure
93% reported that mobile phones made them feel safer, while the same proportion particularly
valued being connected to friends and family.
41% reported that owning a mobile had helped them increase their income or their professional
85% of mobile owners reported a greater feeling of independence
- Thursday, March 8, 2012 - 04:42
This paper makes the case for a National Software
and Broadband Policy in support of the recently published draft National ICT Policy
of January 2012 by the Ministry of Communications Technology's Ministerial Committee
on ICT Policy Harmonization which includes in its objectives, "To encourage the development
of Broadband services that will enable Nigerians enjoy the benefits of globalization
Specifically, the paper builds on the Broadband Section of the policy which states
that "It is widely acknowledged that broadband infrastructure is an enabler for economic
and social growth in the digital economy.
Therefore as part of the universal service obligation, broadband access shall be made
universally available to all citizens." This section of the policy sets the National
Broadband objectives as - To accelerate the penetration of affordable broadband Internet
in the country and - to foster broadband usage for national development.
The strategies put forward for achieving these objectives are that the Government
Provide periodic review of the broadband penetration targets in order to determine
further action for broadband expansion;
Promote both supply- and demand-side policies that create incentives for broadband
backbone and access network deployment;
Facilitate broadband development and deployment, leveraging on existing universal
Provide special incentives to operators to encourage them to increase their investment
in broadband rollout;
- Promote e-Government and other e-services that would foster broadband usages.
- Provide periodic review of the broadband penetration targets in order to determine
- Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - 04:44
Survivors of the 2010 devastating earthquake in Haiti have this week started receiving
cash subsidies through the first-ever mobile money transfer system in support of post-disaster
housing reconstruction, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
More than 2,000 mobile money transfers are planned in the next three months to 1,000
low-income families receiving subsidies totalling $500 to purchase construction materials
such as cement, iron and wood at selected project-certified stores. The initiative
is part of the Community Support Centres for House Repairs, a partnership between
UNDP and the Government of Haiti.
Commissioned by UNDP and developed by Digicel, one of the countrys largest cell phone
service providers, the mobile telephone cash transfers are helping boost financial
inclusion in Haiti, where nearly two-thirds of the population has access to mobile
phones, but only 10 per cent have bank accounts.
Beneficiaries can also access a mobile phone checking account, which is a safer method
of keeping cash, reduces financial transaction costs, improves users ability to save
and helps bring more people into the formal financial sector.
Mobile phone vouchers create additional security and convenience here in Haiti, especially
for women, who might feel more vulnerable when carrying large sums of money, said Jessica
Faieta, Senior UNDP Country Director for Haiti. She stressed that more than 40 per
cent of Haitian households are led by women.
With safer housing conditions, this initiative will also encourage the permanent
return of camp residents to their neighbourhoods and repaired homes, she added.
The Support Centres, known locally by their French acronym as CARMEN, have been empowering
quake-affected communities in Port-au-Prince and the western town of Léogâne to directly
take charge of house repairs, with engineering assessments and construction training.
Four thousand families have already registered to participate in the project, benefiting
12,000 people. Five thousand participants have been trained in construction techniques
and 2,000 damaged houses have already been evaluated, according to UNDP.
(Source: United Nations)
- Tuesday, March 6, 2012 - 18:04
The study identifies the main
healthcare challenges in each study country, and estimates the
potential benefits over the next decade of large-scale mHealth
solutions being made available, leveraging the best evidence
available on mHealth pilots to date. It also examines the roles
stakeholders need to play to help make this a reality.
Based on the explosive growth in global mobile phone penetration, a technology revolution
is quickly gaining pace in healthcare. Around the world, healthcare systems are overburdened,
costly and incapable of meeting the needs of a growing population. According to a
new study from The Boston Consulting Group and Telenor
Group, mobile health technology can offer sizeable benefits to all countries,
lead to economic growth and promise a better life for individuals.
The study "Socio-Economic Impact of mHealth " - commissioned by Telenor Group and
carried out by The Boston Consulting Group - is a comprehensive survey of the impact
that mHealth initiatives can have in 12 countries. What unites them all is that mobile
health technology can improve the quality, reach and effectiveness of services while
reducing costs and the overall system burden.
Telenor Group has launched a number of mobile health initiatives across its markets.
In Norway, an assisted living project helps the elderly stay longer at home through
mobile alarm systems. In Thailand, a mobile text messaging service provides epidemic
surveillance. In Bangladesh and Pakistan, a service called Healthline provides patients
with a simple number to dial for both serious and non-serious medical needs. In India,
mothers can obtain critical information about prenatal health via their phones. In
Montenegro, a joint project with the EU provides a service for remotely located elderly
people, enabled by one touch on a button on their mobile handset. In Serbia, mobile
health technology is used to increase the quality of medical registration and reporting
for the Roma community.
Among the key findings:
The necessary infrastructure is already in everyone's hands: 7.4 billion mobile subscriptions
projected by 2015
The technology richness and network capacity is sufficient, both on simple feature
phones and on smart devices
Currently, more than 500 mobile health projects are taking place around the world
Costs in elderly care can be reduced by 25% with mobile healthcare
Maternal and perinatal mortality can be reduced by 30%
Twice as many rural patients can be reached per doctor
Tuberculosis treatment compliance can be improved by 30-70%
30% of smartphone users are likely to use "wellness apps" by 2015
Costs related to data collection can be reduced by 24%
Smartphone is the most popular technology among doctors since the stethoscope
- Friday, March 2, 2012 - 19:50
A farmers organization in Western Kenya uses mobile
phones to access a digital marketplace and bypass middlemen. Now trading directly
with exporters, the group is seeing dramatic increases in income. New mobile applications
are also being used to provide timely information about disease outbreaks to farmers
in Eastern Africa, so they can prepare and prevent the pests from affecting their
Understanding and addressing global agriculture developments - both positive and negative
- are critical to improving smallholder livelihoods. These are just two examples of
how the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) can improve smallholder
farmers income and increase agricultural productivity. Expanded and increasingly
affordable connectivity and tools, especially mobile phones, as well as advances in
data storage and open access, have made ICT relevant to agriculture.
Now, the World Banks Agriculture and Rural Development Department (ARD)
has teamed up with infoDev to connect
smallholder farmers to knowledge, networks, and institutions.
The missing link to achieving smallholder farmer growth has always been access to
timely, cost-effective, and personally relevant information on improved practices,
markets, prices, inputs, weather - and impending disasters, said Mark Cackler, sector
manager for ARD.
Smallholder farmers, who still provide a significant portion of the worlds food,
need information to advance their work just as much as industrial-scale producers,
but they often lack access to simple tools and technologies that can provide essential
information on prices, markets, varieties, production techniques, services, storage,
or processing. As a result, smallholder farmers remain dependent primarily on word
of mouth, previous experience, and local leadership.
But this is changing as the types of ICT-enabled
services useful to improving the capacity and livelihoods of poor smallholders are
growing quickly. For example, short messaging service (SMS) is now enabling mobile
phones to be used as a platform for agricultural information exchange.
(Source: The World Bank)