i ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. Contents Acknowledgements:................................................................................................................ 1 Executive Summary......................................................................................................... 1 Introduction ..................................................................................................................... 3 This report: ............................................................................................................................... 4 A strategic approach to ICT for Development .................................................................... 4 Checklist for planning strategic use of ICTs ................................................................. 9 Stage 1: Understanding the context for ICT work .................................................... 15 1.1 The external context:...................................................................................................... 15 1.2 Organisational experience and capacity: .................................................................... 18 Stage 2: Finding a match between priorities and possibilities ................................23 2.1 Rooting the system in local needs and priorities: ...................................................... 23 2.2 Finding good uses for tools and applications: ........................................................... 28 Stage 3: Planning and implementing concrete initiatives........................................ 31 3.1 Carrying out participatory assessments: ..................................................................... 32 3.2 Linking to other development processes: .................................................................. 36 3.3 Technical issues and concerns: ..................................................................................... 38 Stage 4: Building a culture of systematic, sustained and strategic ICT use ................................................................................... 41 4.1 Linking ICT with programmes: ..................................................................................... 41 4.2 Transforming the role of ‘the IT guy’: ......................................................................... 44 4.3 Building expertise of the cultural and social aspects of ICT use: ............................ 45 Additional material ....................................................................................................... 47 Opportunities and constraints for ICT4D in Africa .......................................................... 47 Policies and regulations: the operating environment for ICT4D in Africa.................... 47 Salim’s ICT4D advice part 1: consider both process and passion .................................. 48 Salim’s ICT4D advice part 2: innovate, but keep it real .................................................. 50 Country ICT Briefings ................................................................................................... 53 Ghana ICT briefing ................................................................................................................ 53 Mali ICT briefing .................................................................................................................... 56 Mozambique ICT briefing .................................................................................................... 59 Senegal ICT briefing ............................................................................................................. 63 Uganda ICT briefing.............................................................................................................. 66 Cameroon ICT briefing ......................................................................................................... 70 Kenya ICT briefing................................................................................................................. 74 Plan’s current work on ICT4D in Africa ..................................................................... 79 Summary of Plan’s ICT work: .............................................................................................. 79 Case study: Breaking the silence on violence against children in Benin....................... 82 References ......................................................................................................................85
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. ii
1 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. Acknowledgements: This report is based on inputs from Plan staff who participated in workshops in Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Senegal and Uganda. Thanks to all of those who participated, and in particular the ICT Managers in those countries for facilitating and reporting on them. It also draws heavily on the work of Mika Valitalo and Linda Raftree who co-developed the workshop and research methodology, provided additional insights and material and participated in analysis of the results. In addition, the report pulls in suggestions and insights of regional ICT coordinator Anthony Makumbi and Deputy Regional Director Programme Stefanie Conrad and other key staff and management. Executive Summary This report is part of an ongoing process led and supported by Plan Finland and USA to support country offices in Africa to apply ICTs more strategically and effectively to development goals. A previous research project supported by Plan Finland culminated in the ‘Mobiles for Development Guide’ in 2009I, which aims to inspire and support country office staff to understand the potential of mobile technologies to support and enhance their work. Following the success of this report, key staff working on ICTs in regional and northern offices facilitated a process for country office staff to reflect and plan further, not just on the use of mobiles but on all types of ICT devices and applications. Mika Valitalo, Linda Raftree and Hannah Beardon (consultant) worked together to develop a workshop methodology, which was used by Plan ICT managers in five African countries (Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Senegal and Uganda) to facilitate a process of reflection on the potential of ICTs to enhance their organisations’ programme work and impact on poverty. This report draws on some of the information and ideas emerging from those workshops, as well as background research and interviews with national and regional ICT staff, to provide guidance and recommendations for Plan offices to use ICTs effectively and appropriately. The first section of the report explains the concept of ICT-enabled development, and the reasons why it is important for Plan, and other development organisations, to take on board. With so many ICT tools and applications now available, the job of a development organisation is no longer to compensate for lack of access but to find innovative and effective ways of putting the tools to development ends. This means not only developing separate projects to install ICTs in underserved communities, but looking at key development challenges and needs with an ICT eye, asking “how could ICTs help to overcome this problem?”. The checklist provides 10 key areas to think about when planning for this kind of ICT-enabled development, to ensure that ICT use is both linked to real development needs and priorities, and appropriate to the target group. The rest of the main report draws on observations and learning from the workshops and research to illustrate these issues and provide examples (of both methodologies and experiences), which can help to orient others undertaking a similar planning or assessment process. Finally, there is a section to explore some of the organisational issues involved in making the strategic use of ICT a routine part of Plan’s work. Other information generated through the workshops and interviews, including detail of Plan’s current development work with ICT in Africa, is included as additional material at the end of the report.
3 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. Introduction Ever since new information and communication technologies (ICTs), such as What is: ICT FOR the Internet and email, became indispensable DEVELOPMENT? tools in cities and offices around the world, people have been trying to work out how to ICT for Development is concerned extend their coverage and scope, and apply with applying information and them to pressing development problems. communication technologies, including Many could see a direct link between the internet and mobile phones, video marginalisation and poverty, on the one and audio, to development goals and hand, and lack of access to information and poverty reduction. The field is relatively having a voice on the other. From improving new, since the late 1990s when service delivery and outreach, to increasing infrastructure began to expand tele- participation in governance, and enabling communications into poor and remote people to make better-informed decisions, areas and development organisations the potential was clear; however, so were the invested in ‘telecentres’ to provide ICT- challenges: accessibility, cost, sustainability enabled services to poor communities. and capacity, for example. In the last few years, with the expansion of mobile networks, the field has Development organisations and practitioners expanded and evolved rapidly. have puzzled over how to overcome serious challenges of accessibility, cost, maintenance and capacity, and created many pilots to test out applications of ICT, and solutions to the challenges. At the same time, the landscape for introducing and using ICTs was changing fast, and this time not only in cities and offices, but all over the world. This was, or is, the revolution of the mobile phone. Mobile phone use spread first amongst wealthy and highly concentrated populations, but the relatively low cost and simple technology has meant that it is now an indispensable tool, and service, for people everywhere, including rural areas of developing countries. And mobiles are not only useful for making calls or sending text messages, they are increasingly used to access the internet and the range of applications available is growing daily. The revolution of the mobile is a lesson for us all: while we have been hard at work planning how to use ICT to transform lives and communities, the transformation has been happening outside; through a conflux of commercial, social, economic and cultural factors. But the lesson is not to give up and follow the flow, for development is about redressing imbalances of wealth and power which leave some people, communities and countries marginalised and poor. It is traditional market mechanisms of supply and demand – meeting a need – that are leading a communications revolution and creating the conditions for more effective and wide-reaching ICT for Development (ICT4D) work. Development organisations are neither leading, nor in control of, this revolution, but they do have an important role to play to adapt and apply these new tools and opportunities to development goals.
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 4This report:This report is based on a process of reflection and strategic thinking which has taken place in fivePlan country offices: Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Senegal and Uganda, with participation fromregional level ICT4D coordinators in Africa. Workshops held in each country were an opportunityfor staff working on different themes to learn about how others are using mobile technologiesand ICT, share their own experiences, and think about how they might apply ICTs to meet theirstated goals and objectives.The workshop reports were rich in examples of Plan staff and programmes using ICTs ininnovative and effective ways to define and meet their development goals, and also offeredideas and opportunities to expand this work. Much of this detail is available in the additionalmaterial at the end of this report. However the main body of the report is structured so as tofacilitate future reflection and planning, blending the workshop methodology with the outcomesof analysis to come up with a simple checklist and more detailed tools and examples, to supportplanning for strategic and appropriate use of ICTs in development projects and, in the longerterm, programmes.A strategic approach to ICT for DevelopmentPlans and progress reports of Plan’s African programmes do not make much mention of theuse of ICTs in their development projects. There are a small number of examples of providingICT equipment or training, such as in Senegal, where Plan has supported a project supplyingchildren’s clubs and schools with computers, games and internet training, or in Cameroon whereICT training was provided for teachers. However, most country programmes do not mention anydirect ICT for development work. Radio is the big exception that is widely used to support Plan’sprogramme goals.The low visibility of ICT4D programmingin reports could be due to a number Thinking about: how to useof factors. In some contexts it is ICT for Devcertain that the high cost and lowaccessibility of ICTs, and the supporting There are three key ways in which ICT caninfrastructure, including telephone lines be used to help meet key developmentand electricity, hamper efforts to employ goals:them for development goals. Lack of 1. Directly: This includes any work toexperience and capacity to apply ICTs improve connectivity, access and capacityto development goals could be another to use ICTs, such as telecentres or policycause. But it is also possible that our advocacy.increasing access to and reliance on ICTsin our daily lives means that their use is 2. Strategically: This involves using ICTsunderreported and overlooked. There are in support of development goals, suchprobably many uses of ICT to facilitate as good quality education, protectionand enhance other programmes of work from violence or participation in decisionwhich are not explicitly mentioned in the making.reports, as well as much potential which 3. Internally: This is the use ofremains untapped. ICT to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the organisation, including communications and monitoring and evaluation.
5 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. Can it be true that ICTs such as computers and mobile phones are just not used at all? Mention ICT for Development, and people usually think about projects that aim to increase people’s opportunity and capacity Thinking about: what to to use these tools. It may be that this is not use ICT for a priority for many Plan offices, and the Staff in Mozambique identified different heavy investment and technical capacity types of uses for ICTs, including: required for this kind of work may explain the lack of specific ICT4D projects in Plan • To collect data: Depending on who programmes. But ICT does not have to be from, they may use email or the internet, an end in itself; after all, we are talking or cameras, mobile phones and audio about ICT for development. recorders ICTs are very valuable tools that can be • To access information: the internet applied to many issues and processes is commonly used, as are books or underlying development. Of course access computer files. and capacity are very important, but it is • To communicate: email, mobile phones, worth looking at how ICTs are, and can be, radio, internet and social networking employed to reach broader development applications such as Facebook and goals, such as gender equity, protection Twitter are all used. and education for all. Digging deeper into country progress reports and plans it is • To store information: they use easy to spot a great affinity between the computers, email, mobile phones, goals and processes supported by Plan, cameras and audio devices. and the potential and possibility that ICTs represent. Information and communication - central themes in Plan’s work: The details of Plan’s development priorities and objectives vary in different country contexts, but all are rooted in a rights-based approach, which has a strong focus on capacity building, participation and awareness raising. This means strengthening people’s access to information and opportunities to participate in decision making. For example, Plan Uganda does not mention ICT specifically in their progress reports, but much of the work they describe both relies on and strengthens information and communication, including: • Children’s participation • Awareness raising and behaviour change around HIV and AIDS • Sponsor communications • Child rights awareness and monitoring. Similarly, for over twenty years Plan Senegal has been supporting children’s clubs, to allow exchange and dialogue between youth and children. Evaluations have shown that children from the clubs are more aware of their rights, develop faster and are better at implementing their own actions plans and participate in local children’s parliaments and school cooperatives. Plan Mali also supports children’s clubs, who are now being trained to participate in communication with sponsors. The theme of Children’s Day at Plan Cameroon in 2008 was “Children’s participation; let the children be seen and heard”: with the aim of encouraging dialogue between children and adults and including young children in processes of decision-making and democracy.
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 6Of course, when you are used to usinga mobile phone to communicate, andhave adapted your social behaviour to Thinking about: thethe new opportunities this provides, you personal benefits of ICTare likely to apply this at work as well. At Senegal staff highlighted a number ofthe workshops, Plan country office staff potential benefits to using ICT moretalked about using email, mobile phones, strategically, for:photography, video, radio and other ICTs in • Plan staff: ICTs make it easier to dotheir daily working lives. However it seems their work, cutting down the need tothat more forethought and capacity are travel to meetings and enabling therequired in order to make sure that ICTs quicker conclusion of projects andare applied strategically and appropriately processes with better results. Enablesto enhance the children’s participation better organisation and availability ofand voice, amongst Plan’s other goals. As information, stronger participationAnthony Makumbi, the then regional ICT and exchange of ideas. The skillscoordinator for Plan in East and Southern encourage professional behaviour andAfrica said: competitiveness, which is motivating. “After the workshop people were • Partners: For greater collaboration saying ‘we thought ICT4D was about and build up of documentation of computers but no, it is about leveraging lessons and experiences. technology to improve the delivery of • Young people: Improves learning and our projects and services.» comprehension, knowledge of local and global events, interaction with other young people, participation in the global information society and local and national development.
7 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.
9 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. This checklist has been developed based on ideas emerging from the workshop reports and analysis of existing work using ICT in Plan, as well as external resources and frameworksii. The checklist aims to support the design of ICT enabled projects and programmes, to help structure discussion and planning processes. It suggests some key steps for the design process, and some questions to ask in order to ensure appropriate and workable plans. However, there are many ways of using ICT in development and this checklist can do no more than provide pointers to ensure that any design is well rooted and appropriate to the context. What’s more the numbered and linear nature of the checklist, while easy to follow, does not represent the reality of how these types of processes actually happen, and it will need to be adapted and adjusted to fit the context. Each of the points could be a guidebook in itself, and this research has shown that effective and strategic use of ICTs requires not just good planning, but good communication, good awareness of opportunities and a creative approach to problem solving. What’s more, ICTs by their nature are dynamic, and their use needs to be continually reviewed as the context, opportunities and needs change. The rest of this report gives substance to this checklist, providing examples, questions and exercises from the workshops to illustrate some of the challenges and opportunities. The workshop methodology and presentations include many more exercises and questions for identifying how ICT could be integrated into programmes, and are available from email@example.com. Please also send questions or feedback regarding this checklist to the same address. 1 • Context analysis: What is happening with ICT (for development) in the country or region? A good, up-to-date context analysis will help establish what is possible and affordable in current policy and market conditions, and highlight inequities or potential policy advocacy issues. Analysis of local information and communication contexts by community members, local organisations and government stakeholders should be a routine part of community consultations for strategic planning processes. It is also important to map external stakeholders, including ICT for development projects and networks, and providers of key skills and expertise, to identify potential learning, partners and allies. But it is not all about looking outside, as there is likely to be relevant experience and capacity within Plan in the country or region that could offer important opportunities for learning and collaboration. Often ICT-enabled development work is not reported as such, and important learning and support can be missed if the right questions are not asked. 2 • Defining the need: What problems can ICT help overcome? What opportunities can it create? The use of ICT in development programmes and projects should be linked to identified needs, goals and development objectives. To find out how ICT could support these, there are various places to start. You could think about: • The big problems being faced by your sector or programme and whether ICT may have a role in overcoming them; • The underlying causes of poverty in the area, or problems in the sector, and how lack of information or poor communication contributes to this;
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 10• The information and communication elements of existing work and how ICT might facilitate or improve that;• Social and economic changes happening because of ICTs (such as mobile phones) and the development opportunities this could bring to poor people and communities.3 • Choosing a strategy: What kind of ICT4D is needed - direct, internal or strategic?ICT for development takes in direct work (ICT access is the project goal), internal (the use of ICT bydevelopment organizations and staff) and strategic (the application of ICT tools and applicationsto enhance development projects and processes). Each will have different challenges, and needdifferent types of technical and training support. Any strategy should link carefully to wider workand processes, both in Plan and in communities, to ensure that they support people’s own effortsto drive development and access their rights.4 • Undertaking a participatory communications assessment: Who will benefit from this use of ICT, and how?Development programmes aim to reduce poverty and inequality, so it is essential to understandcultural, social and economic issues which may affect people’s access to ICTs and their intendedbenefits. Participatory assessments (including gender and power analysis) of communicationcapacity and information needs will allow the design to be targeted at those who are hardestto reach, informing the choice of technology and identifying capacity building needs. It may bethe starting point for an ICT project, helping to define the needs as well as the possibilities andcontext for work, or it might be done once the needs and basic strategy have been defined.Throughout this checklist there are examples of the types of data and perspectives that theassessment could collect, and more detail is in the report.5 • Choosing the technology: What ICTs/applications are available to meet this need or goal?The ideal technology or application may already be out there, and there will always be people inthe organisation and outside who can help you find it, or suggest alternatives. Your design mightrely to some extent on technology already existing in the community, such as radio or mobilephones, or you may need to purchase and install the whole lot.In either case, when choosing a technology/system as well as functionality, costs (to theorganization and the users) and support/maintenance considerations, think about issues arisingfrom the participatory assessment: will poor women, illiterate people, youth, etc. be able toaccess and control it? Is it compatible with their existing communication patterns and culture?When the ideal solution is not possible because of cost, or because of policies or infrastructure,policy advocacy may become a strand of the project strategy.
11 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 6 • Adjusting the content: Can people understand and use the information provided for and by the ICTs? ICTs are technologies that can transmit and process information and facilitate communication. Therefore a large element of ICT enabled initiatives will be the information being shared and communicated. This will be different in each case, for example, if information is being provided to poor farmers, if young people are trying to get messages to their peers, or to their government, or if Plan staff are trying to base their planning on more thorough and up-to-date community information. The important thing is to identify who will be producing and using the information, and whether the format, language and style are appropriate. It is also important to ensure that the instructions for using the system are clear and easy to understand for the target audience, who may not have familiarity with the tools and applications. 7 • Building and using capacity: What kind of support will people need to use and benefit from the ICT, and to innovate around it? The capacity needs will depend on the system, and include the needs of users as well as the capacity to manage and maintain it. The participatory assessment (see #4) will help to identify the capacity needs of different groups of users, as well as indicate potential partners or champions to embed new skills and communication practices in the group or community. Capacity building for maintenance and management is a great opportunity for developing ownership and sustainability and building up skills and services in the local area that could develop into spin off services and innovations. What’s more, given the challenges in installing and maintaining delicate ICT equipment in remote rural areas, having a blend of local knowledge, creativity and technical skills can keep the project on track. 8 • Monitoring progress: How do you know if the ICT is helping meet the development goal or need? The main objective of the project or programme should be to meet the identified development goal or need. Monitoring and evaluating this, against the objectives and indicators set in the project, is standard practice. But in this case it is also important to try to understand the contribution of ICTs to any progress made, how effective they have been at enhancing communication and information, and ultimately improving lives, livelihoods and access to rights. Setting both short and long term goals and being clear about assumptions and expectations from the start will provide something to monitor against. The participatory assessment (see #4) could provide information on people’s expectations of the benefits and impact of technology, to inform the monitoring and evaluation strategy.
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 129 • Keeping it going: How can you manage risks and keep up with changes?ICT4D is wrought with challenges and risks, many of which will be outside of your control. Forexample, you can invest in equipment, but still rely on service providers for connections andthe government for infrastructure. Or you can set up a system, only to find it is superseded bysomething much more appropriate months later. Some things can be done to minimize theserisks, including good research and preparation and prudent choice of technology (and the useof open standards). Regular review and updating of the context analysis, needs and capacity willalso help to ensure that new opportunities and partnerships are identified and potential risksavoided or managed.From the beginning, decisions will need to be made about how the system will be paid for,sustained and maintained in the long-term. User charges can result in the exclusion of thosewho most need support, even if it only amounts to the cost of using their own mobile phone. Onthe other hand, real ownership and commitment may be both demonstrated and strengthenedby the need for user, or community, contributions to keep the system running. Good analysis ofability to pay, the impact of user charges and potential partners (including government) will feedinto a realistic sustainability strategy.10 • Learning from each other: What has been done before, and what have you learned that others could use?Sharing of learning should be a first and last step of the process, and continual throughout thework. ICT4D is a relatively new, challenging and constantly changing area with a lot of potentialto reduce inequalities and support development goals. It is important to know what has beendone and draw on past experiences, and there are many networks to support this. It is equallyimportant to document and share the experiences of your project or programme to inform futurework in the area.
13 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.
15 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. A first planning step for the integrated use of ICTs in development work is a thorough analysis of the context in which they will be applied. This means an analysis of both the opportunities and constraints to using ICT to make an impact on development goals, including available technology and services, infrastructure, skills and support. This analysis will be of both the internal and external environments, locally and nationally. Internally, it means looking at Plan’s experience and any capacity available within the organisation to support planning, decision making and implementation in relation to ICTs. External factors and influences include the policy and market environments, as well as key external stakeholders in the fields of ICT4D, such as ongoing projects, networks and funding partners. 1.1 The external context: A thorough context analysis is an essential element of good planning, and ICTs are no exception. This means having an up to date understanding of the policy and regulatory context, the market for devices and services, and the field of ICT for development. Analysis of these types of issues, described further in the box (right), enables more focused and realistic planning for the use of ICT in development programmes. The Thinking about: conducting a Ghana workshop report includes context analysis the observation: Before the workshops, participating country “It is important to conduct offices were sent briefings detailing their indigenous research to know national ICT policy environment, the state of ICT markets and infrastructure, and key stakeholders what pertains to our peculiar including regulators, policymakers and ICT for environment and not just development projects and programmes in their swallow all that we are told country. These briefings are summarised and since what pertains to other included at the end of this report, and could areas may not apply to us.” serve as a template for this type of context analysis. The areas of information included are: Plan: External A broad context analysis is necessary to understand what is • Work involving a • ICT usage statistics and possible and identify potential communication/ characteristics areas for learning, collaboration information aspect • ICT policy and trends or campaigning. For example, the • Activities including or state of the telecommunications • ICT policy actors supported by ICT infrastructure and markets may • ICT4D projects make an idea workable in one • Colleagues with country, but not in another. In relevant skills and • ICT Institutions some cases it may be necessary to experience • Risks and opportunities work with, or lobby, policymakers Much of the research into external factors, as a first step to making the tools including policy and other projects, can be more accessible for development started online and followed up through email work. However, thorough and and phone calls. Internal information can be participatory local assessments found in reports, but more reliably through of social and technical issues in personal contact, meetings or workshops.
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 16the communities where ICTs are tobe used will always be necessary toinform more detailed planning. Thinking about: questions to ask The Plan Senegal team had lots of questionsWorkshop participants identified they wanted to explore before planning anyseveral factors in the external new system:environment which have an impacton their plans and strategies for using • Human resources: where are the skills,ICT, including: knowledge and gaps? • Material resources: what is available locally and externally and what is missing? • The legal framework: what are the relevantAdding value to the policies and laws?existing picture: • The risks: what are potential risks of usingBy necessity, ICT for Development ICT and how they can be mitigated?is the work of multiple stakeholders,including government departments, • Lessons learned: what are the experiencesprivate companies large and small, of other actors in Senegal and beyond, theas well as civil society. It takes many challenges they have faced and the solutionsdifferent players to provide the legal • The social context: what are the socialand regulatory framework, ensure realities in the operating context whichaccess to the technology and provide would affect the implementation of ICTs?services, finance initiatives, develop What knowledge do poor people haveand share appropriate content and which can be the basis for the introductionbuild the capacity of users, as well as of new technologies?entrepreneurs and managers. • The market: what is the supply andDevelopment NGOs like Plan need demand situation for ICTs? What are theto work out what their own role is in opportunities for resource mobilisation?this, which will depend on the contextspecifics. For example:• Working with the government and regulators, as well as the private sector, to ensure that the needs and perspectives of poor and marginalised groups are considered in sector planning, pricing and service provision.• Exploring partnerships with the corporate sector to reach large untapped markets of poor and rural communities. Plan Uganda have some experience of this, for example working with PostBank and mobile providers to find more efficient and effective ways to reach the rural poor.• Working with community groups to build capacity and facilitate linkages between service and users (or needs) and providers and policy makers.Partnering for real priorities:The Uganda team noted that there are great opportunities for resource mobilization withICT companies at all levels. However, a careful balance needs to be maintained to ensure thatpartnerships with public and private sector initiatives are directly aligned to local developmentneeds and strengthen the role and capacity of the government to deliver. Fundraising teamsshould base any corporate partnerships in ICT on a strategy, which defines the developmentobjectives and themes the money can support, and identify good targets in relation to the
17 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. corporate social responsibility aims, and market interests, of corporations. Otherwise there is a danger of missing funding opportunities, or worse being led by the interests of the corporate partners rather than the poor communities. Finding out what is possible, and what could be: Part of the context analysis should be the availability of technology, whether the spread (infrastructure), or other issues such as usability and affordability (which will come out more in participatory assessments discussed below). The Mozambique team stated that it is important to map available ICT tools and explore which are appropriate given local constraints, such as lack of electricity and cash. Despite the hype and excitement around the accessibility of mobile technologies to rural communities around the world, they gave a reminder that many are still excluded for various reasons: “Mobile phones are a challenge still. Mobile phone could add costs to the community leaders, and later would not be sustainable. This needs to be looked into to see what kind of solutions we can find.” But recognising the limitations does not mean we should stick within them. Some very basic tools, such as MP3 players, can be used to great effect; challenges are constantly shifting and boundaries pushed back. The Mozambique team were optimistic about the possibilities of introducing new technologies and applications: “This workshop was an eye opener. Technology is not so mysterious. We need to try our best to make technology something simple that can be used by anyone, just like mobile phones, small children can use them. IIf all other technologies could be that simple it would be great.” It is important to look at what is around and leverage available opportunities. Plan Uganda identified several initiatives that could bring down costs and expand opportunities for poor people, such as mobile money transfer services linked to Village Savings and Loans Associations and closed user group services that allow cheap calls within a private network. This may require support at a regional level, and networking of ICT managers across the region to share and compare findings. Being aware and prepared: As well as assessing the context for positive opportunities and potential areas of engagement, it is also important to identify the risks and potential changes that could threaten ICT-enabled development work. Those elements of the policy environment which make the use of ICTs cost effective or productive should be analysed, to identify the conditions on which they depend and the risk of changes. This includes the risks inherent in the current policy context, for example the possible risks in promoting citizen’s reporting in a repressive environment, as well as the risks of changes in policy and administration. And as well as the risks inherent in the communications and ICT policy context, there are those related to the technology. Does the price or availability of a service or application depend on the number of subscribers, for example? Will the device become obsolete, after the budget has been used? Forethought and monitoring will enable ICT- enabled development initiatives to prepare for and respond to such risks and threats.
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 181.2 Organisational experience and capacityIdentifying where there is experience of using ICTs in the organisation’s work, the lessons thathave been learnt and the connections that can be made will help to inspire and inform planningfor further strategic use of ICTs, avoid duplication and identify capacity.During the workshops, participants mapped the experiences of their country office of usingICT in their development work. These experiences are summarised in the Additional Materialappendix of this report, and can serve as examples and inspiration for future innovations. Theexamples cover a variety of themes, ranging from the promotion of child rights and participationthrough to the innovative use of media and arts, campaigning and awareness-raising on keyissues, provision of internet access, public awareness of Plan’s work, project learning and datacollection, to the routine use of mobile phones to improve communication and cut down travel.Closer examination of some of these experiences has brought out valuable learning, both for replicationand adaptation of these initiatives and for planning new ones, as described below. However, as wellas the general insights and lessons, an internal context analysis should bring up potential linkagesand contacts within the organisation, and identify where there is capacity to support the choices ofappropriate technology, as well as installation, management, training and maintenance.Breaking the silence: supporting responses to childviolence in BeninIn Benin it is common that acts of violence against children go unreported, and even when theyare reported, responses are often inadequate. Plan Benin is experimenting with the use of textmessaging (SMS) and the internet to support reporting of violence against children, and improveboth immediate and longer term responses to the problemiii.How it works: Using Frontline SMS, software which allows the sending and receiving of multipletext messages through a computer, and Ushahidi crowdsourcing websites, which can map complexinformation onto a single webpage, Plan Benin can provide a service whereby people text in a reportof violence and it is mapped automatically on the site. The website is monitored by an administrator, System SMS report administrator Child incident protection USHAHIDI services SMS report WEBSITE WITH MAP FL SMS incident Policy SMS report incident Other stakeholders SMS report FIGURE 1: DIAGRAM OF THE PLAN BENIN PILOT SYSTEM
19 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. who verifies and organises the response to each case, working closely with local authorities. Linking to local child protection services enables the mobilisation of appropriate medical and social services. And in the longer term collecting and mapping the data will provide evidence for better planning of prevention and response services, as well as awareness raising and campaigning. In this way, Plan hopes to overcome the problems of access, and provide the shelter of anonymity for potential reporters. Adding value to existing services: The system is designed to support and enhance existing public services, as well as NGOs and local partners, and it is hoped that the system will become a public service in the long run. Linda Raftree, Plan’s adviser on social media and ICTs in West Africa, noted that: “The system reflects real information and communication flows on the ground, the roles of the different actors – including youth – are clear, it can add value to local structures and initiatives, and it could be sustainable and potentially scaled into a national level system in Benin and possibly other countries.” Building capacity and awareness: An important part of the implementation of the system is building the capacity of local young people to articulate and report on their experiences of violence, of the local social services to respond, and of staff to make the system work. The pilot has involved awareness raising and training for young people to create and upload multimedia content about the situation in their area. During the pilot phase, Plan is working with district authorities to meet the increased demand for services, but is also building evidence and advocating for more public resources to sustain the approach. Supporting local solutions: Although there are many challenges to setting up a system like this where infrastructure and public capacity is weak, the team believes that these are surmountable where the motivation and drive of local people, especially youth, is strong. Local people, community groups and service providers are taking responsibility to make the system work, overcome problems and find solutions to emerging issues. This includes low-tech solutions like patience when internet services are down, creativity when the right kit is not easily available locally, and persistence or flexibility when people do not use the system properly. You can read more about this pilot in the Additional Material at the end of this report. Registering children for their rights in Kenyaiv Life can be hard without a birth certificate. You need one to register at secondary school, for social services and insurance, and for international travel. You need one to get married, or to prove your age if you are being forced to marry too young. And communities lose out in other ways: without proper registration, the district does not get its fair share of the national budget because it’s not clear how many people are actually there. Yet birth registration is currently a time consuming and costly business for people in Kwale, Kenya. The current system: When a child is born in Kwale, the family have to tell the village chief or local organisation who then notifies the district civil registration office at their own expense. Although local chiefs and CBOs are allowed to register children locally, certificates must be issued at district level and this must be done by parents in person. Kwale district civil registration office manages all registrations for a population of over half a million, with five staff. Although they have two computers, all records are handled and stored manually and they do not have the capacity to digitise existing records. What’s more, the parents have to travel to the district capital to apply for the birth certificate and again to collect it, which combined with the cost of the certificate itself is off-putting.
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 20Adding value to existing services: Computerised systems and mobile technologies can help tomake the system more efficient and accessible, cutting down on time and travel for staff of theregistration office and local chiefs and CBOs. An initial time investment in creating a functionalcomputer database would cut down on staff time for registration and searching for records. Forchiefs and CBOs, electronic means of sending birth registration notifications not only save traveltime and money, but also have advantages of data accuracy, checking, speed and the ability to usethe data for other purposes such as planning. Plan Kenya has been supporting communities andlocal partners to enhance the birth registration process, with the support of Plan Finland, the FinnishMinistry of Foreign Affairs and Nokia. At the same time, the Kenyan government is developing anationwide web-based civil registration system, to be rolled out this year. Plan aims to develop andtest an ICT-enabled local registration system, which could link into this at the national level.Building capacity and awareness: As the existence of underused computers in the districtcivil registration office attests, the provision of equipment and systems is not enough. Plan willsupport the roll out of computerised registration systems by building the capacity of stakeholdersto use ICTs. At the same time, Plan will work on raising awareness of the benefits of registrationand the use of the new system among communities. These experiences and impacts will bedocumented, and stakeholders networked to support the wider development and replication ofdecentralised birth registration models.Young people express themselves, and makethemselves heard:The Youth Empowerment through Technology, Arts and Media (YETAM) projectv aims to helpyoung people develop skills and networks to communicate, participate, educate and advocateon issues that matter to them locally, nationally and globally. Through workshops and activitiesyoung people analyse and prioritise key themes and issues. They learn to use arts and mediato get their messages across to others in their communities, families, local decision makers andpeers. A project website is under construction to share maps, artwork and videos from Maliand the other five participating countries which will enable their voices, and opportunities fordialogue, to stretch even further across the region and the globe.Engaging young people: In Kati District, Mali, around 60 young people are involved in the YETAMproject, researching and developing their own opinions on issues important to them, using songs,poetry, theatre, photos and video. These issues include low levels of birth registration, violenceat school, female circumcision and the lack of opportunities for young people in rural areas. PlanMali has supported local teachers to engage with young people on these issues, helping to shareinformation on them through various media, and supporting advocacy efforts. For example:• They developed a short film drama highlighting some of the medical and social implications of female circumcision.• They organized a public performance of drama, songs and poetry, and showed the film.• After the event there was a panel with local authorities at which the mayor made commitments to ensure universal birth registration and stem the flow of out-migration and, astonishingly, the chief proclaimed an end to the traditional practice of female circumcision.
21 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. Engaging other stakeholders: Bedo Traore, Plan Mali’s child media coordinator, has noted that the participatory and inclusive approach brings challenges, but in the long term engages different stakeholders. Teachers initially felt threatened and targeted by the discussions with pupils concerning violence at school, but over time, “their frustration dissolved and trust began to grow between students and teachers because teachers are discovering another way to teach and discuss sensitive issues – they are behaving as coaches.” Following these discussions, the education authorities have also become more interested in the topics and involved in the project. Seeing the changes: Children, teachers and community leaders have all noticed a change since young people started to speak out about the issues affecting them. They remark on the decrease in acceptability and practice of corporal punishment, as well as female circumcision. One child commented: “In our village, many people practiced circumcision, but now they say they will stop because they have learned from our messages about the harm it causes.” Young people have learned from this experience that participating in decision making and opinion forming is not only possible, but effective, and there has been an increase in young people’s participation in community development processes and meetings. The project, and the increasing participation and articulation of young people, have also enabled Plan staff to respond to issues of concern to youth in their planning. Lessons learned: integrated ICT can be sustainable These three examples show how effective ICT can be when supporting local processes and needs, and integrated into existing social structures and services. In Benin and Kenya, Plan is testing the potential of appropriate and accessible ICT, such as mobile phones, to enhance existing services: social protection and civil registration respectively. In these cases the ICT system needs to be built according to the needs, capacity and practices of the users, and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the public system for which they ultimately depend on for sustainability. This kind of system can be a very effective way to strengthen governmental capacity to protect children’s rights, the basis of a long-term, rights-based development process. It also helps to reinforce the information, communication and technology environment for local communities and organisations, increasing the possibility of local ICT enabled innovation. The YETAM project shares some of these characteristics, with ICTs as enablers and the underlying social process as the heart of the project. However, rather than fitting ICTs to specific needs and issues, in YETAM they are used to support young people to research and prioritise issues, and then communicate them, learn more about them and debate them with others locally and globally. In other words, rather than being issue led, this process allows a more ICT savvy and enabled community to grow, and builds their capacity to engage in development planning and implementation of public services and of development NGOs such as Plan. People find their own uses for technology, given the chance to experiment and innovate. By basing their systems on the real information needs and communication practices of the communities they serve, as described further in Stage 3 below, Plan can help to create the conditions for ICT- enabled, community-led development processes.
23 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. Based on the analysis of the types of tools and technologies which are available and practical for the context (Stage 1), the next stage is to define the development goals or priorities that ICT can help to meet. This can be done by taking inspiration from other uses of certain types of ICT tools or applications and identifying areas of work to which these could be adapted (tools first), or the process could be based in an assessment of the development goals which have a strong information or communication element, and the appropriate tools found to fit (needs first). At the ICT4D workshops, Plan staff heard about different ICT tools and applications, and how they have been applied to further development goals. They were then asked to reflect on their own goals and priorities, and identify areas for exploration. This section highlights some of the suggestions and ideas that the participants came up with for using social media and ICTs to improve the quality, reach and impact of their work. From these, it also draws some analysis of some of the key issues to consider in making that match. Making the most of ICT: needs or tools first? There is a tension at the heart of ICT for development, and it is right there in the name. For while the development sector increasingly recognises the need for bottom-up planning models, in which organisational decision making is informed by local needs, priorities and capacity, the ICT sector tends to lead with new services and devices which they then offer to their clients. The tension is between putting needs first and finding technology to fit it, or developing tools first and allowing people to access and use them. This may seem clear cut: after all NGOs like Plan do not exist to create and market new technologies, but to help people overcome development challenges. But in fact the tension is not quite so easy to resolve. For, while it is important to root all ICT4D work in development goals and local priorities, it is also important not to be constrained by available or known technology. he nature of ICTs – adaptable to many different uses, rapidly evolving in design and expanding in scope and availability – provides immense capacity for innovation and creativity which may be lost if the goals and plans are too tightly set. There are many examples of organic social change which take place around new technologies, such as the changes in social or working practices that many of us have experienced with the arrival of mobile phones, email or social networking, and the numerous local business and social innovations using mobile technologies in developing countriesvi. But whether ICTs are a tool for meeting a specific development objective, or an asset for a community to generate their own development, the important thing for ICT4D is that it is rooted in, and serves, the D: development. 2.1 Rooting the system in local needs and priorities: ICTs can enhance Plan’s effectiveness and impact on development in many ways. Starting the planning process with a clear development goal – if possible established in consultation with the participating community – will help to ensure that investments made are linked to people’s own development visions and processes. Anthony Makumbi, Plan’s East and Southern Africa ICT4D Coordinator, suggests that programme unit managers should identify the key issues and
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 24problems facing their sectors, and then think about how ICT can help to solve them. For example,if quality is a problem in education, then using ICTs could be employed to deliver teachingmaterials more cheaply and efficiently. He said: “Ask yourself: What are the causes of povertyand denied rights in this programme area? Is poor communication or access to information partlyto blame for this?”ICTs are literally Technologies which facilitate Information and Communication. As Anthony says,by establishing the role (the lack of) information and communication play in causing poverty andrelated problems, and the role that they could have in overcoming such challenges, the potentialof ICTs can start to be unlocked. The fundamental role of information and communication indevelopment problems and processes is dealt with in more detail in the 2009 Plan guide to usingmobile technologies for developmentvii, which explains that: “Good access to relevant information sources and communications media can support people to make informed Thinking about: the decisions about their own lives and role of information livelihoods, participate in and influence and communication in decisions which affect them and their development communities. Effective and good The workshop methodology includes quality development processes are exercises to identify the information built on strong communication and well and communication aspects in managed information flows, to facilitate development goals and programmes. learning and sharing, networking and Everyone has experience and examples of how timely, relevant information coordination. Furthermore, a focus on can make a difference to people’s information and communication media livelihoods, health, or social lives. can build local knowledge, identity Encourage people to share these with and voice into a strong basis for equal case studies, or questions such as: development partnerships with a range • Have you ever changed your plans of stakeholders, and at the broadest because of new information? Or level enable connections to be made saved time? Made money? between local experiences and national • Have you ever received information and international policies and processes.“ which has benefited your health? • Have you ever used information on your rights?The examples of Plan’s work with ICTs inAfrica at the end of this report illustrate • Did you ever act on a piece ofmany of the information and communication information and wished you hadn’t?aspects of development work. For example, • Have you ever held back information?Plan’s work in Benin to gather informationon violence against children in communities • Did you ever get a piece ofwhere they work will not only support the information too late?immediate protection of vulnerable children, • Have you ever heard of a piece ofbut also generate awareness, inform information which saved a life?programme planning and provide evidencefor advocacy and campaigns. Finally, a tree graphic can be used to explore the factors governing the value of information to people’s lives and livelihoods. Using a drawing of a tree, people can identify the roots of reliable and relevant information, and use branches and fruits to illustrate the different benefits and outcomes.
25 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. Protecting and reinforcing rights: Just as ICT is only an enabler of development projects, these initiatives themselves are tools with which to empower citizens and communities to fulfil their potential and access their rights. As the Plan Uganda workshop report notes: “ICTs give communities a platform to give feedback on services rendered and know of services available to them”: essential elements of ensuring good governance and human rights. However, Plan Ghana noted that this is a challenge, given that many government ministries and agencies are not online, and there is a lack of both online information and communication. In line with Plan’s rights-based and child- Thinking about: centred approach to development, the supporting duty bearers strategic use of ICT should promote people’s sustainable access to their rights The context analysis and the participatory and enhance the capacity of duty bearers assessment should provide information to fulfil their obligations. The experiences on the systems and structures which mentioned in 1.2 above show how support people’s access to information effective use of ICT tends to support rather on their rights, and communication with than compensate for (or even undermine) duty bearers such as local government existing mechanisms for accessing or police. If there is a gap, ask first whose entitlements and rights. In the cases of responsibility it should be to fill that, and SMS reporting of violence against children what support is needed from Plan. This in Benin or birth registration in Kenya will inform the choice of ICTs and the this has meant linking to and supporting stakeholders who will manage and use public services, and in the YETAM project them. It may be that advocacy rather it means facilitating active participation in than service provision (or both!) is the development and decision making. appropriate long term approach. Roles Policy Access Content Training Responsibilities Gov’t Private sector NGOs CBOs Schools PLAN TABLE 1: ESTABLISHING ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES As well as analysing the role of ICT in relation to specific rights, for example education, freedom from violence, or good governance, Plan’s right-based approach will also inform initiatives to increase access to ICTs themselves. Any initiative should support government accountability and services and reinforce other development processes. The above table is one tool to analyse roles and responsibilities relating to ICT access, in order to work out the appropriate role for Plan, and potential allies or partners, to increase people’s access to information and ultimately their rights.
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 26Ideas and suggestions:The workshop groups came up with lots of Thinking about: whoideas as to how they could fit ICTs to their could use ICT for what?development priorities. Some of these Plan Senegal identified several priorityideas are quite well developed and rooted groups for rolling out the strategic usein existing processes and priorities. For of ICTs.example, in Uganda, where there is a policyof free and compulsory universal primary • Plan Employees: to improveeducation in place, the quality of teaching efficiency and effectiveness.remains a major issue. Getting up-to-date, • Plan colleagues in otheruseful and reliable information and teaching countries: to share information andmaterials to teachers, and textbooks to the communication.kids, is a real problem facing the government.Yet, with the decision to roll out the one • Technical partners: to facilitate thelaptop per child initiative in the country, relationship.there is a real opportunity to mobilise ICT • Young people involved in projects:as an effective and efficient means to solve To facilitate dialogue with peersthese issues. Plan Uganda’s idea to produce and the wider world and improveand support online libraries and electronic conditions for learning/development.materials, as well as build the capacity ofteachers to use and teach ICT, is based on • Women and children in Weerthis context analysis. pilots: to improve health conditions and vaccination planning.Plan Mali considers child protection to bethe first priority in any investment in using • Ministry of Education / teachers:ICTs strategically, with the aim of enabling support new teaching methods andconfidential reporting of this sensitive issue approaches, materials and promotionin a similar vein to the work in Benin. The of science and technology.team are considering the possibility of using • Local authorities: to improve themobile phones, websites and the radio to conditions for development.establish an early warning system of abuseon children and tackle violence at school.Community Development Facilitators andmembers of the local Child Protection Committee would collect information on reported casesof children being mistreated in schools, households and the community in general, as well asreported cases of sexual harassment, female circumcision, early marriage and other rightsabuses. As well as enabling appropriate responses to individual cases, this collection of data on alarger scale would allow for stronger analysis and advocacy, better targeting of child protectioninterventions and impact assessment of awareness raising and behaviour change campaigns.Because ICT infrastructure can so easily fail in the wake of a big disaster, Plan Mozambiqueare looking at how it can be integrated into disaster risk reduction and preparedness work,including the development of early warning systems using bulk SMS and community radio. Acommunity radio project will provide information on how to reduce the risk of disasters, as wellas other development issues, and encourage dialogue and debate amongst communities at risk.This would link to advocacy and campaigning work with partners such as the national coalitionfor disaster preparedness. The table below highlights some of the suggestions of workshopparticipants for the development goals to which they would like to apply ICTs.
27 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.Theme Country Suggestion ICT StrategyEducation Uganda Producing/supporting online CD, internet Direct/ and electronic educational strategic materials to support the One Laptop per Child initiative. Training teachers to use and teach ICT. Ghana School-based ICT labs Internet Direct Mali Data collection on children’s Mobile phone/ Strategic schooling, tracking disabled FrontlineSMS children through the school system, raising awarenessChild Protection Mali Early warning system and FrontlineSMS, Strategic services for confidential internet, radio reporting of violence against children.Disaster risk Mozambique Awareness raising, Community radio, Strategicreduction preparedness and early FrontlineSMS warning system.Health Mozambique Data collection and analysis Mobile Internal for rates of malaria, HIV/ technologies Aids, maternal and child mortality Mali Promote voluntary SMS, radio, TV strategic counselling and testing for HIV Senegal Health outreach (prevention, Mobile Internal/ treatment, information) technologies strategicSanitation Uganda Planning and monitoring GPS, mobiles Internal Community Lead Total Sanitation programmesLivelihoods Mozambique Providing information and Mobile phone strategic marketing support Ghana Provide access to banking Mobile phone Strategic servicesProgramme/ Uganda Systematic collection of FrontlineSMS Internalsponsor data on sponsored children, mobile phonesinformation village savings and loans associations, gender ratios, youth participation etc Mozambique Provide qualitative Video, web, GPS, Internal information on development forum needs and processes for current and potential sponsors Mali Monitoring food security SMS Internal TABLE 2: SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE WORK USING ICTS
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 282.2 Finding good uses for tools and applications:Alongside the analysis of the types of development work and processes which could beenhanced by ICT, the workshop groups were inspired by examples of different applications ofnew technologies, including mobile phones, for development ends. Mobile phones, computers,email and the internet are already widely used by Plan staff and partners to communicate andseek information. Many people wereinspired by the variety of uses towhich applications such as FrontlineSMS and Ushahidi have been put, What is: FRONTLINE SMS ANDand came up with many ideas of their ALL THAT...own as to how they could use such There are many tools and applications whichtools in their work. Older and more can turn ordinary pieces of equipment, suchestablished technologies remain very as laptops and mobile phones, into complexpopular because of their familiarity communication systems. Some of thoseand accessibility. For example one shared at the workshops include:participant from Uganda, StanleyOpio, suggested the use of radio • FrontlineSMS (frontlinesms.org) is anprogramming, drama and video to example of an SMS hub or gatewayinform, educate and raise awareness application, to send a large number of textin communities. Other examples and messages using a computer and a mobileideas include: phone or modem. Messages are sent and received using software installed on a• Using mobile phones: The computer which transmits and receives spread of mobile phones means them through the mobile phone network that it is one of the favoured ICTs via the attached phone or modem. for collecting and disseminating information. Most of the workshop • Ushahidi (www.ushahidi.com) is an example groups found potential uses for bulk of crowdsourcing software, which enables SMS services such as FrontlineSMS, many individuals to input data and analysis to collect data, for example, on child into a web-based system. For example, it rights violations, food security and can map data from text messages onto nutrition, programme indicators a website to consolidate and visualise and education performance. complex information. Plan Senegal is considering using • Nokia Data Gathering (www.nokia.com) Nokia’s data gathering software to software can be used to create tailored monitor the status of child flood questionnaires and distribute them to victims. Of course the technology multiple mobile phones using a normal can only collect and process the mobile network. Field personnel surveying information, and needs to be part of local conditions can quickly complete the a larger process or system to inform questionnaires and immediately transmit appropriate responses. their findings to a central database.• Using the internet: Internet is not • Village Diary (www.villagediary.org) is a freely available to most of Plan’s platform developed in Cameroon to provide community stakeholders, and in access to digital records of inheritance, most cases does not carry relevant social services and legal assistance to the local content. It is considered, most vulnerable members of society. however, to be an essential tool for networking and sharing information
29 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. between Plan staff and peers, and with sponsors and donors. For example, Plan Mali is considering developing an online network and forum for water and sanitation issues. One example of the use of internet for community information is the Village Diary Project, and many workshop reports mentioned following this example to complement existing legal aid projects to protect widows and their children, amongst other uses. • Social media: Plan Senegal was quick to see the potential of social media, including blogs, wikis and podcasts within many of their projects and programmes: to facilitate dialogue between young people and their duty bearers; and to make information on their work available to colleagues, peers, supporters and the general public. Plan Mozambique also plans to use social media tools to strengthen learning and support between peers. • Mapping tools: The Benin example uses Ushahidi to map cases of violence against children, enabling the use of information to trigger immediate responses to abuse, and also raise awareness and inform advocacy. This methodology will also be incorporated into the YETAM project in Mozambique, Cameroon and Kenya to track rights abuses. These offices will participate in training on Open Street Map (www.openstreetmap.org) and use of GPS and plan to upload videos and other materials produced by participating youth to an on-line map as a way to engage and inform supporters. From the map, sponsors would be able to find video footage of individual projects and follow progress as it occurs, and be able to interact, encourage others to watch and become sponsors, or even donate online.
31 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. By this stage the aims and objectives, as well as the potential tools, for the ICT-enabled initiative will have been identified. Though the basic shape of the system is emerging, there is a lot more work to be done, and questions to be asked, to refine the details. Most importantly, participatory assessments with the groups and communities where the initiative is to be carried out will provide crucial information and understanding of the socio-technical context. This means not only who has access to what types of technology, or skills to use it, but also the cultural and social issues which may favour one group over another, or make certain types of ICT more appropriate. There are also a lot of other decisions to be made and issues to consider about the choice, procurement and installation of the technology and associated applications. The workshop methodologyviii included some exercises which could be included in a participatory assessment, and some questions and issues to consider when designing a system. These are expanded in this section, along with insights from the workshop teams. Thinking about: setting up a new ICT system These factors, based on reflections in Linda Raftree’s blog about the Benin experience (lindaraftree.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/7-or-more-questions-to-ask-before-adding- icts) highlight some key considerations when setting up a new information and communications system: Building on what exists: It is critical to understand how information currently flows, who communicates with whom, in order to find points where ICT system can help improve that flow. This can also be a catalyst to identify, map out or even adjust that flow. Getting end user input and testing: The initial ideas and designs were shared with local stakeholders, service providers and youth, and many changes were suggested and made. Participation by the local Social Protection Services and Plan’s Child Protection point persons who know how things work on the ground brought us amazing knowledge on who should be involved and who should receive reports and alerts, and at what levels different parts of the system should be managed. Testing SMS with the youth, the team realised that the keyword “HALTE” (necessary to trigger automatic transfer of the report to the Ushahidi map on the website) was being misspelled, and so they adjusted the system to ‘ALT’ to capture alternative spellings being used. Continued monitoring and evaluation: The end goal, to evaluate in the long term, is whether actual levels of violence and abuse go down over time, and what role this system had in that. But as this is a new initiative, it is critical to capture learning for potential scale up and replication. As well as quantitative data on reporting and response rates, verified cases and actual prosecutions or actions taken, the team will be paying attention to issues such as: additional costs to maintain the system; adoption and sustained use by local entities/government; user suggestions for improvement; privacy issues; promotion of the hotline; and factors deterring people at different levels from using the system.
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 323.1 Carrying out participatory assessments:The user group, or target beneficiaries, for any ICT enabled initiative will be defined in part byorganisational capacity and priorities, and in part by the development priorities and processeswhich it is designed to serve. Participatory assessments will help to inform the details of theplans, ensuring that they meet the needs of those who are easily excluded because of gender,age, language or any other characteristic. People are different, and bring different skills andexperiences to bear on their use of technology, and issues such as literacy and gender play a bigpart in access and control over technologies. For example, while a community may have plentyof access to radio, when you break this down you may find that poor, married women have nocontrol over what is listened to and when. For this reason, strategic use of ICTs should be plannedbased on a deep and detailed local analysis of access to, control over, and capacity for ICT use.However, it is very difficult to generalise about how they should be done, and with whom,given the almost unlimited range of ICT-enabled initiatives that are possible. ICTs enablecommunication and connections over great distances, over time-zones, national borders andlanguage barriers, so this group could be any size and could be incredibly varied. Bottom-upplanning processes might begin with a participatory assessment and clear target group, and decisions on even the broad objectives and needs to be met based on the outcome. Other projects may be quite well defined, Thinking about: especially those which put tools first, using the capacity to use the participatory assessment to understand information the user needs of those who are most excluded and hardest to reach and adjust Information may be useful, but it may the design to suit them. not be used. It is worth thinking with the target group/ community about different The tools and questions here and in the factors affecting the perceived usefulness Mobiles for Development Guideix are of information, such as: designed to be applied and adapted to different participatory assessments, but • The source: do people trust more will always be necessary which are information from doctors more than specific to the context and design. from websites? newspapers? leaflets? • The format/medium: Does the spoken word carry more weight and credibility than written or taped? Not just availability: • Relevance: what issues are people usability interested in? Just because the infrastructure and • Capacity: Do people have the skills, equipment is there does not mean that including literacy, computer skills or people can get to use and benefit from it. language, and equipment to find and Communities are not homogenous groups, understand the information? and it is usually the most educated, wealthy and well connected who benefit first and • Confidence: Do people have the foremost from such facilities. For example, confidence to request and use the the costs of the buying and using ICTs, information? This usually requires from radio to mobile phone, has always confidence in your own knowledge. been a limiting factor which excludes women in many rural settings because
33 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. their culture does not allow them to handle money. The market will usually take care of people who can afford to pay for products and services, and as a development NGO Plan can ensure that the information and communication needs of those who are not reached by market forces, poor and marginalised people in communities and households, are better met. What’s more, where information services are targeted at a particular group, for example child nutritional information targeted at mothers, this needs to be based on a good assessment of the tools and sources of information that women can access. People in a physical community, such as a village, will share many of the same basic contextual issues, such as policy and infrastructure, and these should be borne in mind when planning (see Stage 1: understanding the context). Virtual FIGURE 2: EXAMPLE OF AN ICT RANKING MATRIX, FROM communities are more diverse, and it is A REFLECT GROUP IN ORISSA, INDIA. important to be aware of differences, and especially the needs of the least-served members. But in any community, different people will have different experience, skills and abilities, so participatory assessments should ask groups of women, men, older, younger, poorest, etc (depending on the target groups) to analyse the accessibility of different ICTs. There are many tools and methods which can be used to facilitate the participation in this analysis of different groups and people. For example, the mapping techniques described in the box on the communications context (below), or the use of graphics such as a matrix to allow different groups to identify and rank different ICTs. One exercise is for a group to list all the types of media and ICTs that they know of and use in relation to different types of communication in a matrix format. They could show different types of communication (spoken, written, images and numbers) across the top axis; and different processes (capture, store, process, share and retrieve) along the side to bring out all the different tools and media they use for each. The matrices could be divided by gender and age to highlight issues of power and control over different types of media and technology. Each box would be filled in according to what women and men, girls and boys can and can’t use, to promote discussion of who has control over different media and equipment or who has the time and skills to access information in different ways. Finally, the different age and sex groups could each create another matrix to rank the different media and ICTs according to factors such as: accessibility; reliability; affordability; and appropriateness. This encourages discussion of accessibility issues such as: language, literacy, cost and control of income, physical accessibility, ease of use, efficiency, etc. It will also allow further investigation, with a strong gender lens, of the types of tools and media people don’t use and the reasons why.
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 34 Thinking about: the communications context One exercise that can be used to map people’s existing communication channels and patterns is to develop a systems diagram. Where do people get their information from? Who do they trust, and how reliable are they? Starting with a particular theme in the centre of the diagram, the group should identify the available sources of relevant information – where would/could they go to find out about that issue? What channels could they use to make their own opinions heard? Each source/channel should be drawn or written on a card sized according to importance, and located on the diagram according to accessibility – the nearer to the central theme the more accessible the source is. Arrows can show the direction of links. The example below is from an adult literacy (Reflect) group in Orissa, India. As a follow up the group can discuss the picture, and whether there are any big gaps or distances that need to be dealt with. What are the strengths and weaknesses of different information sources? How could you follow this up to strengthen links or improve the quality of information and communication on the issue?Not just accessible: useful and beneficialEven if people can access ICT tools, they are only ever as useful as the locally relevant contentavailable for them to deliver, or the people and services available to communicate with. Agood assessment should include the information and communication context, as well as skills,equipment and infrastructure. This might include asking people to map their information flows:where do they get information from regarding health, education and other rights? How reliableand trustworthy are those sources? Is there a difference between men and women, girls andboys? And does where the information comes from, the language it is in, or the format (video,radio, face to face) make a difference to the way it is used? The Mobiles for Development Guidealso looks at these issues: “Social and cultural issues play a big part in how and whether information is accepted and used, and thereby translated into knowledge or changes in behaviour and practice. Information will have a different impact if the source is known and trusted, if the format and language are appropriate, and the receiver has the confidence and capacity to access, interpret and apply it.”
35 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. The capacity to use and benefit from ICTs includes the basic skills and knowledge required to use the technology, to send a text message or upload a video for example, but goes beyond that. For example, the internet and social media is quite a different culture than face to face or printed word. The fact that anyone can upload anything means that very keen and informed judgement is necessary in order to filter and find useful information, or trustworthy connections. Linda Raftree mentions in her blogx, concerning a workshop in Ghana on the use of the internet, that the group spent a long time discussing the question: ‘Is the internet true?’ They noted that anyone can put information online and anyone else can discuss it. “You can’t believe everything you read, it’s not regulated, so you need to find a few sources and make some judgment calls.” To a large extent, media literacy and information seeking skills come through practice, and it is worth asking participants what skills they have learnt or needed along the way to inform future practice and design. When designing new uses for ICT equipment or applications, you need to Thinking about: choosing start from, and build on, people’s existing appropriate technology practices and skills. This builds in a level When you are examining local of confidence, appropriateness and information and communication ownership, which has an impact on the capacity, and unpacking issues such usefulness and sustainability of the system. as privacy and accessibility, you may Participatory methods can be used to wish to map out the communications facilitate analysis of existing capacity, to resources of the group, village or district understand the context and identify further – highlighting where there are public capacity needs as well as adjustments to and private use telephones, internet, the system design. radio, television, newspapers, technical Understanding information and information on different issues etc. communication flows and capacity, and This could be done through a guided appreciating the social element of ICT walk of the area and/or in group work enabled systems, is vital to ensure that drawing a map and marking on the solutions are designed with the users’ communications resources. capacity and habits in mind. But it is also You might also ask: worth remembering to revisit both the context and the possibilities, as people, • What assumptions are you making communities and technology are constantly in your project plans about people’s changing and evolving, and people gain access to and use of ICTs? their own experience of what is possible • How do people use their phones: and how things work. Regular contact with Are they for individual, family or users can help to understand how capacity community use? Who owns and pays and expectations are changing, and make for them? Who has access to them? relevant adjustments where possible. • How does information reach people and especially those harder to reach, for example illiterate, minority language groups or housebound people?
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 363.2 Linking to other development processes:In some cases much of the capacity may be available in the community, whether virtual or physical,if you look in the right place. Much of the work and analysis already done will have unearthed keystrategic partners and allies, Plan colleagues or other organisations that are working on similar issuesor have relevant capacity or experience. This will be an essential part of planning, to avoid duplicationof effort and identify opportunities for collaboration in the design, monitoring and implementation ofthe system. Where systems are designed based on identified needs and priorities, the links with otherprogramme or advocacy work may be clear.Furthermore, it is important to situate the initiative within the wider resources, processes and activitiesof the community, as this will have a great impact on the way theinitiative unfolds and the impact it can have. For example, based onthe previous analysis of barriers and obstacles to good information Thinking about: linkingand communication, a further exercise could map the resources with programmeswithin the community to help overcome such obstacles. These mightbe teachers or community development workers who can translate The YETAM project uses mediainformation into the local language; traders who travel regularly to and arts to enable young peoplenearby towns where internet kiosks are located; community radio to identify and address issuesstations; etc. that are important to them. A perfect example of ICT-enabled development, it uses ICT, but deals with programme issues. In one case, however, the project wasLearning as we go misunderstood as an ‘IT’ project andSharing learning is a first and last point of the cycle. The context given to the IT team to manage. Theanalysis and participatory assessments will identify relevant learning, team lacked field and programmeexperiences and capacity at the beginning, and mechanisms should experience and found it verybe put in place to ensure that learning (of staff and participants) difficult to engage and coordinateis captured and disseminated throughout. There are plenty of with related thematic initiativesnetworks, both global and regional/national, which can help with and staff. This meant that theythis. Blogging continuously about the process is also a great way to missed out on useful experiences,engage with others working in similar areas and to share a project’s advice, and opportunities for jointprogress, challenges and learnings; and it’s often one of the only work, common reporting andways to find information about specific initiatives while they are monitoring. Care should be takenhappening and to share ideas and find guidance from others in the to communicate the thematic andsame field. What’s more, considering the dynamic nature of both programmatic elements of ICT-ICTs and development processes, the changes in skills and capacity enabled projects, and use commonas well as technology, mean that the design of ICT systems and or institutional project indictorsinitiatives needs to be regularly reviewed and revised. and reporting systems.ICT-enabled development is a very innovative and creative field,and capturing this innovation in a way that can be shared and allowfor replication is a real challenge. The process of innovation is notusually linear, and can require a bit of distance and retrospection to emerge clearly as a shareablestory. The ALNAP Review of Humanitarian Actionxi has a chapter on innovations, and suggestsfollowing a ‘4-Ps model’ to ensure that innovations are used, and planned for. People should beencouraged to look out for, and take note of, any of the four Ps that they develop or observe,which are: Products (which could be technology); Processes (including methods for capacitybuilding, implementation and planning for example); the Position of the organisation and its work
37 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. Thinking about: overcoming local obstacles This excerpt from Linda Raftree’s blog (lindaraftree.wordpress.com/2010/03/01/ finding-some-ict-answers-in-benin) shows that creative thinking is a vital skill in designing ICT enabled initiatives. “Here [at the Nokia Store] we don’t carry the older models, surely you would prefer this nice new one with many cool features and capabilities?” Um, no, actually what we’re looking for is an older, cheaper phone or one of the modems on our list here! We spent quite some time visiting stores and testing modems and phones to find one that worked with FrontlineSMS. Mobile phones are a complex ecology with many factors – the modem model and auto- installed programs they come with, SIM cards, etc. – that can trip you up. Plus there is not a lot of standardisation across phones or countries, so what works in one place may not work in another. It’s good to have an additional day for testing things out. We found a solution – the young woman working at the Nokia store in Cotonou was very happy to sell us her used old phone for an exorbitant price….. in relation to stakeholders; and the Paradigms and attitudes which determine the approach, such as youth participation. Using these as a basis for reflecting on experiences of using ICT will enable colleagues to better report and share learning, and enable the organisation to better realise the creative potential of its staff and stakeholders. Monitoring development, and ICTs: One of the key mechanisms for capturing this learning, both to feed into the project and share with others, is the monitoring and evaluation framework. Plan has indicators and methods for assessing progress towards the overall development outcomes, which should be adapted and used. But if ICTs are integrated into development projects and processes, how can you tell whether they have made a difference to the outcome? Specific questions and indicators will need to be incorporated into review processes to get a sense of the contribution of the ICTs to these objectives, the appropriateness of the technology choice, as well as the wider impact of their introduction or use. Indicators of effective use of ICTs should be established at the beginning of a process, where possible with the participation of participants or beneficiaries. Asking what people want/expect to get out of the project, and what value they expect the ICTs and associated services and capacity to add, will provide a strong basis for developing such indicators. For example, if people say they expect to see more reporting of child rights abuses, then this should be an indicator. If they think that using participatory video will help to improve communication with authorities, then this will be the starting point for an indicator. Any increases in use of ICTs would then be linked to the data on those indicators. These expectations and resulting indicators should also include secondary impacts, for example, people may expect the capacity building or experience of using the ICT to improve their livelihoods in other ways. Depending on the ICT tools, components and systems put in place, there may be useful data to be collected on usage, but these indicators should never be taken in isolation from the larger development goals. It is useful to know how many texts have been received to a reporting system,
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 38or how many hits on a website, but in ICT-enabled workthe use of the technology is not a goal in itself, so thistype of data needs to be carefully integrated into wider Thinking about:monitoring systems. For example, to see whether rises children in the mediain the use of an SMS reporting system are reflected in One aspect of child protection relates to the use ofoverall numbers of reports coming in by all different children’s images and identities in the media. Even ifmedia. you are working with young people to produce andIn the end, much of the useful learning and insights into publish their own material, you should consider thehow effective and appropriate the use of ICT has been following key points on the use of children’s imageswill be gained through qualitative monitoring methods. and stories:This will provide information not only on how well the • If the person is under 18 you need the consent ofICTs have been used, but how they have been used the parents/guardians. Consent forms must be keptand for what... and will bring up the many unexpected securely for future audit or proof purposes.impacts and consequences of the introduction of the • A child’s real name should not be used in publicationtool or application. This may mean interviews or focus or broadcast unless they would get a boost to self-groups with key stakeholders, and should make sure esteem seeing their name in printthat the voices and perspectives of harder to reachgroups are heard. Depending on the type of project, • The information given about the child should nota wealth of information may be available within the allow their precise location to be identifiedinitiative itself, through content and material created or • A story should not be published, with or withoutuploaded by participants. names or identities altered, if it could put a child, siblings or peers at risk • The best interest of the child comes above all else3.3 Technical issuesand concerns:It is very difficult to give general advice on technical issues, but the analysis done and informationcollected in previous phases will provide a good basis for conversations with ICT experts in Plan,or in ICT4D networks and fora. Provided here is a selection of questions highlighted by otherswho have planned and implemented ICT4D systems before:• Will you need to create new applications, uses or spaces, or can you take advantage of existing ones? What are the tradeoffs?• What kinds of technology are suitable to the user group, and to the environment (for example repairing and finding spare parts)?• How do you expect the investment in equipment and capacity to meet the identified needs, expected impact, benefits and outcomes and what are the measures of success?• What types of expertise will you require to design, test and maintain the system, and how will you fill gaps in your team?• What local processes and organisations might be interested in partnering to ensure that capacity stays and the system is sustainable?• What public services does this system support and how can you ensure that linkages are made?• What financial resources will be needed in the short, medium and long term?• Who are the stakeholders with complementary goals, or overlaps in service or technology provision?
39 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. • Are there any companies who might be interested in funding or supporting this initiative? • How can you involve local people to provide insights, perspectives and intelligence, and to test and give feedback on the system? • What is happening in the policy and regulatory environment and how might changes affect the initiative? Data and child protection issues: Child protection needs to be considered whenever children are involved. Adults and children need to be aware of potential risks and thoroughly discuss how to mitigate them. Mechanisms need to be in place to address any intentional or unintentional harm that could be caused to a child or children. It is essential to check whether the type of information you are dealing with is subject to laws and policies regarding data protection and child protection. This is especially critical if you are collecting information from and/or about children under legal adult age or with sensitive or potentially dangerous areas such as conflicts, elections, health or human rights. It is important to consider whether the information reported or held, or the act of reporting, will pose any risk to people and how this can be managed under the project structure and set up. There are plenty of good resources around on how to do this, available from the Child Rights Information Network (www.crin.org). Thinking about: ICT Thinking long term: system sustainability Many of the questions above deal with ownership and sustainability issues: if the Where you are making initial investment project is well linked to real development in equipment and applications, you will priorities and public services, and the need to consider the long term exit or system adjusts to changing context and handover strategy and implications: capacities, then it should remain either as a • Who will manage and run the initiative concrete initiative, or in terms of increased if you leave? What support will they capacity and participation. It is important need? Who will be able to provide that to ask what you, and the participants, in the long run? expect to happen to the project or system • Who will own, manage and care for the in the long term to be able to plan for it, and equipment? How will it be maintained/ revisit these expectations for monitoring upgraded and sustained, and by who? and planning purposes. What future costs are implied and It may also be necessary to consider plans how will they be covered? How can for scale up and replication, depending on you prevent equipment being taken the success of the initiative or pilot. Making over by those with more power in the systematic note of learning, including community? contextual issues, will help to inform the • What happens to sensitive or protected replication of the system in other areas. data? Who will be responsible and accountable for keeping it safe?
41 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. The workshop reports are full of examples of ways in which Plan staff and partners have used ICT in their work, but the potential of ICTs to enhance Plan’s impact still seems to be largely untapped. The various youth media projects are fantastic initiatives that build ICTs into processes of capacity building, analysis and dialogue to enhance youth participation and awareness and respect of child rights. Staff members, partners and communities are taking advantage of the communications tools they have, such as mobile phone and email, to organise, collaborate and coordinate. But there is a large area in the middle that is missing, or at least weak: where ICTs are used to renovate and add value to existing programme work. This middle is missing for a reason: specialist projects can be organised and facilitated by specialist teams, with special funding; and individuals can employ their own knowledge, and even their own mobiles, to improve their personal communications; but to really integrate ICTs with programme work requires organisational structures to be breached. ICT managers need to work together with programme managers, they need to understand each others’ work and needs, and share expertise, in order to support each other and advance together. Yet feedback from this research suggests that there is a tension in their role. In many cases they are recruited to maintain the office equipment and systems, and rarely get to travel to the field. Meanwhile, many programme unit managers are unclear about what ICTs are and how they work, and are too busy to stop and ask. The Mobiles for Development Guidexii, the workshops and this report are part of a process to generate these types of conversations, reflections and questions in Plan offices in Africa (and hopefully beyond). But this should be considered as a beginning, not a one-off process. More strategic use of ICTs – the missing middle – will not happen automatically, with a ‘business as usual’ approach, but will require new relationships and capacity, and time and space for reflection, planning and experimentation. In this section there are some concrete recommendations and considerations in order to systematically and sustainably promote a culture where strategic use of ICTs makes Plan’s work more efficient and effective. 4.1 Linking ICT with programmes: In order to strengthen the use of ICT to support ongoing programmes of work, and existing development goals and objectives, there needs to be a strong and active link between the staff, and planning processes, of ICT and programme units. The basis of this will be the working relationship, understanding and communication between staff/teams working on ICT and programme units. There also need to be structures and systems in place to ensure that ICT staff can contribute to the planning and strategy processes of programmes. Fitting ICT to existing problems, and opportunities: The starting point for ICT-enabled development should be the big problems and challenges facing programme staff. However, this should be informed and inspired by examples of what is possible and what has been done using ICT. Programme and thematic staff should not be thinking ‘How can I use ICT?’, but think first ‘What are the major problems we need to overcome?’, and then ‘How can we start to solve those problems?’. It is possible that ICT will be a big part of that solution, and if so then planning and fundraising for ICT elements can be done as part
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 42 of identification of tools, partnerships, etc which can make the solution work. At Thinking about: the other end of the spectrum, field staff supporting integrated ICT should also be supported to integrate planning the possibilities and potential of ICT into The Mozambique workshop group stated community planning processes where they that it is important to think through how exist. Monitoring and evaluation should ICT managers can be supported to take be conducted to measure the impact, and a more proactive planning role in their capture the learning, from using particular organisations. This might require: new tools. • Involving more Plan staff and partners This depends on a good working in ICT4D workshops, to increase relationship between programme awareness and buy in. planning and ICT staff, which requires the support of organizational structures and • Regular staff training on new ICT tools management, as well as the capacity of and innovations. ICT staff. In reality, pressure to produce • Ensuring regular planning and results and keep to plans means there is a communication meetings of ICT, tendency to stick with the established way programme, funding and advocacy of doing things. Yet to incorporate ICT well staff. into programmes, and all the efficiency and effectiveness benefits that would • Securing firm commitment and support bring, means thinking and planning, as from managers. well as doing, differently. This needs to be an intentional process with management support.The role of ICT staff should include working with programme staff to brainstorm how ICTs canhelp them to overcome challenges and meet goals, as this requires knowledge of the policy andoperational context, existing initiatives in the country and outside, such as those shared in themobiles for development report and in the additional material to this report. Maud Tsagli fromPlan Ghana sees a great opportunity for ICT staff to contribute to programme planning, workingwith programme unit managers during annual planning and review processes and review anddevelopment of the Country Strategy.Building common understandingIf Plan wants to make the most out of ICT tools, it needs a good, up-to-date understanding ofwhat is available, what it can do and how it is being used by others. Programme unit managersmust take the initiative, and fit ICTs to the goals, processes and contexts of their work. But theywill not be able to all gain the expertise and the networks to be able to identify opportunitiesand solutions themselves. On the other hand, most ICT staff are tied to the office to ensure thesecurity and smooth functioning of office systems, but knowledge and understanding of the realissues for communities and programme staff is important to enable responsive and innovativeideas for how ICT could help. This also helps to ensure that local opportunities for ICT useare identified and built into plans where appropriate. A participant from the Uganda workshopremarked: “We initially thought that when you talked about ICT you were referring to the computer guys, but our minds have now been opened further on the topic. We’ve learned that ‘ICT’ does not equal ‘computers’. Instead, the term ICT encompasses any technology tool that
43 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. enables information flow and communication.” Another participant from Mozambique stated: “For some of us who are only NGO workers without formal training in ICT, we get scared, we think of megabytes, how info flies, all those things. But we found that all of us use ICT – our cell phones, our gadgets, the things we use daily, internet, intranet — it’s all part of the ICT jigsaw.xiii” As the role of the ICT manager expands into programming support, so programme, advocacy and sponsorship staff need to stray over the threshold into the ICT domain. Demystifying the term ICT, and familiarising staff and partners with the tools and applications, is an essential step in order to open up thinking about how ICTs can support their every day work. Staff know about ICTs, they use them, and exposure to new innovations, devices and possibilities should be based on this existing expertise and awareness. “People need to be informed of something in order to be able to seek further information about it. If we know about available technologies and what they can offer, we will further explore them.” For example, social media applications, whether blogs or social networking sites, are being used in very innovative ways for advocacy and campaigning, networking and governance. The more people are exposed to this, the more innovative they can be – matching the tools to the problems and needs arising in their programme work. Some recommendations for bridging the gap Ongoing efforts should be made for programme staff and ICT staff to familiarise themselves with each others’ work: • ICT(4D) staff should be given inductions and field trips for each of the main programme units and themes, • A regular ICT4D communication, such as an email newsletter or regular lunchtime talk, would be useful to capture the latest innovative practices, pilots and applications to inspire and inform programme staff and spark new ideas or solutions. • Regular training on ICT applications and innovations, as well as question and answer sessions and sites, should be made available to more people in the organization, and to partner organizations, to build more capacity and keep abreast of the latest developments in ICT4D in the country. This would enable them to initiate and design ICT-enabled development programmes and projects. • The workshop methodology developed for this work could be used to raise awareness and spark ideas among a larger range of staff, including field staff and advocacy, sponsorship and fundraising staff. • Small funds for experimental work should be available for collaborative and experimental work linking ICT with different programme units.
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 444.2 Transforming the role of ‘the IT guy’:It is difficult for the kind of collaboration mentioned above to happen well given the currentsupport role of ICT staff. Regional ICT4D coordinators have been able to develop strategies andpilots, build capacity and share information to inspire a growth in ICT-enabled initiatives. Butthey need to link to people on the ground who have the time, capacity and mandate to takeit forward at national and local levels. ICT staff are hired and trained to ensure the control andsecurity of their IT systems, and it is difficult to see how this role can be compatible with theneeds of ICT4D, which requires innovation, creativity, risk-taking and engagement with peopleat the grassroots to co-design tools and processes, as described in this report.For this to happen, Plan either needs to introduce dedicated ICT for Development staff, outsource tolocal partners, or enable the roles, capacity and expectations of ICT staff to grow. There needs to be acadre of staff who both understand the potential and uses of ICTs, and the issues, concerns and areasof work of the different programme units, so that they can provide training and support to colleaguesand communities, and help them find solutions to the problems they, and the communities, face.This means that the role of the ICT manager in Plan country offices needs to shift to take intoaccount this organisational need for understanding the context and opportunities for ICT indevelopment programmes, and communicating and planning with their colleagues in programmesto ensure that ICTs are supporting efficient, effective and responsive programmes. his may meanjob descriptions, personnel specifications and performance management being revisited, andon the job support, learning resources and training provided to support the ICT staff in thistransition, to build their confidence as well as capacity to engage in strategic planning. PedroMiambo in Mozambique commented that the training had been very useful for him and theMobiles for Development guide was like a ‘bible’ for this work. ICT staff would also benefit fromsustained and facilitated networking and peer support.Or alternatively a new role could be developed in country offices, to bridge the worlds of ICTand development programming. This bridge builder should be a member of, or adviser to, thecountry office programme team, with a remit to spend time in communities, train local staff,work with staff and local partners, do the demystifying work around ICTs, test and pilot things,keep abreast of the local and national scene and collaborate closely with the IT dept. This couldbe brought about through a pilot initiative to fund and support community ICT staff member ina small number of country offices to experiment and develop a three-year ICT4D plan. There aresome examples from Plan of this type of role being very effective.Supporting the change in country officesMuch of the innovative work mentioned in this report, including the examples given in section1.2 above, have an international, or regional focus and have been supported by northern officesand donors. The role of the regional actors such as Stefanie Conrad in the west and (formerly)Anthony Makumbi in the south and east, linking with international colleagues working on ICTsuch as Mika Valitalo in Plan Finland and Linda Raftree seconded from Plan US, has enabledlocal processes and priorities to be matched with global trends, innovations and funds. Plan’snorthern and regional offices seem to share and collaborate well to maximise their learning andimpact, and would be key actors in the development of a culture of ICT-enabled developmentas suggested in this section. This might include financial, technical, and management support todedicated ICT4D staff in country offices, as well as a meta-level networking and information role.
45 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 4.3 Building expertise of the cultural and social aspects of ICT use: The need for capturing and sharing (and using) learning in this relatively new area of ICT4D has already been stressed in previous sections of this report. However, in order to build a culture of using ICT in Plan’s development work, it is important to develop systems or spaces for consolidating some of the learning, especially from the participatory assessments. The understanding of the cultural and social issues, which affect the implementation of ICTs, is contextual; however, over time trends and insights will emerge from consolidated assessments. One of the workshop participants in Uganda has already begun a participatory communications assessment process in a community where they work. It would be very interesting for Plan to carry out wider participatory research across communities in two or three countries, to look at differences in access to information on key topics and issues. This would help to illustrate the reasons why this type of assessment needs to be done, as well as drawing out common problems, trends and issues in communication capacity and ICT accessibility.
47 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. Opportunities and constraints for ICT4D in Africa The opportunities, and costs, of using and experimenting with ICTs depend to a large extent on telecoms policies, taxes and regulation, as well as private sector innovation. In some places a project may be able to spend few resources developing a website or application for a target group to access through their own mobile phones or community internet connection. In others any work on ICT may necessarily be expensive infrastructure work, or policy advocacy to create the conditions where this could happen. Things that work in South Africa, where mobile internet access is widely available, affordable and used, would be impossible to apply in other countries such as Togo or Mali where these types of networks are not yet available. And even beyond mobile phone network coverage is the issue of electricity, which is not easily available in rural areas of most countries. A good analysis of both the policy environment and the different barriers and facilitators to access ICTs, including issues such as cost, literacy, skills and cultural attitudes, is essential to the design of any project. And the analysis should consider differences in access issues between groups of people, for example rural and urban communities, or men and women within a community. Finally, workshop participants from Plan Ghana remind us that we should not start from scratch, but look around for what is already there. For example, in some communities where they work there are information centres with overhead loud speakers connected to a microphone that allow you to reach the entire village. Participatory tools for assessing communication capacity and access to ICTs were shared at the workshops, and are included in this report. In some cases, notably Uganda, participants have already started to adapt and use these tools. Policies and regulations: the operating environment for ICT4D in Africa The potential for ICT enabled development is huge, largely because of the spread and growth in the reach and accessibility of ICT tools and services, in particular mobile phones. The main drivers of this growth have been consumer demand, available technology (the improvements in price and usability of new devices), and the services offered and provided. All of this is greatly affected by the regulatory and policy environment; countries whose governments were early adopters and enthusiastic promoters of ICT are those who benefit from greatest coverage and availability of services. Strong, early promotion of ICTs makes a difference: In countries with a clear strategy and plan for ICT the coordination, input and confidence of private and NGO partners to contribute to the development of ICT services in the country has been visibly strengthened and enhanced. In Kenya this has been strengthened even further by the active and proactive participation of, and collaboration between, the different non-governmental stakeholders, including private sector, media and NGOs. On the contrary, Togo does not seem to have adopted any coherent approach to or policy for ICT and as such there is very little visible investment of time, resources or thinking to improve the situation, spread (or even assess) the benefits of ICT or reduce the digital divide. This is reflected in the near impossibility of finding information from, or about, ICT in Togo, and the country’s near invisibility on the World Wide Web. ICT as enabler – or generator – of development Government policies reflect the overarching political doctrines of the government, and ICT policies are no exception. It is interesting to see that some countries, like Cameroon, Senegal and to some extent Ghana, have sought to capitalise on the opportunities of ICT and position themselves as strongly as possible in the global ‘knowledge economy’. Their policies favour businesses, including large multinational ones, as a means of raising the standard of development of the whole country. Others, such as Mozambique and Uganda, see ICT as a means for accelerating, enhancing and enabling the development of its citizens and communities. Their policies place human resources, government structures, as well as infrastructure, at the service of human development goals. However, in reality the expensive and
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 48challenging practicalities of rolling out universal access and sufficient local content are overwhelming, and thisvision is slow to be realised.Good intentions, stark realities:Even where early, strong policy exists and is put into practice; reality too often compromises the achievementof goals such as universal access, quality improvements or affordability. A series of articles from research carriedout by the Association for Progressive Communicationsxiv highlighted some policy contradictions and failures incountries such as Uganda, Senegal and Kenya, especially in relation to liberalisation and privatisation processes.For example, they note that despite the entry of multiple mobile phone operators in Senegal, the state-ownedoperator, Sonatel, still controls the infrastructure, as well as the fixed line and internet markets, underminingany opportunity for competition to bring down prices and improve service quality. In the case of Uganda, theyargue that the state is seeking to maximise revenue from the telecommunications industry, rushing throughliberalisation and taxing at high levels, which has meant missed opportunities for increasing accessibility andaffordability.Mozambique had an early and well-supported ICT policy process, resulting in very clear strategic linkagesbetween ICT policy implementation and goals of poverty reduction and participation in governance. The visionof the Mozambique government is to deliver public services through e-government, requiring digitisation ofgovernment information, as well as training and capacity, citizen access and registration and infrastructure. The2006-2009 Plan of Action for Poverty Reduction (PARPAII) placed special emphasis on access to information andknowledge as essential means to increase participation and dialogue, and engage citizens in the fight againstpoverty. However, despite all of this commitment and vision, analysis of the national context in the 2008 progressreport from Plan Mozambique suggests that in reality, policy commitments and opportunities for increasinginformation and participation are falling short of the need: “There is lack of adequate financial resources on the part of government; not enough room for community participation due to top-down centralization of power by the government; and widespread illiteracy, particularly among women. In general many communities are left without adequate access to their fundamental rights, and duty bearers need to do much more to fulfil these rights.”Salim’s ICT4D advice part 1:consider both process and passion August 1, 2010 by Linda RaftreeSalim Mvurya, Plan Kwale’s District Area ManagerPlan’s Kwale District office in Kenya has been very successful in buildinginnovative community-led programming that incorporates new ICTs. I hadthe opportunity to interview Salim Mvurya, the Area Manager, last week,and was really struck by his insights on how to effectively incorporate ICTsinto community-led processes to reach development goals and improve onchild rights, child protection and governance. Salim Mvurya,ICTs and development Part 1: ICT tools for child rights, child protection and social accountability Plan Kwale’s District Area ManagerMy name is Salim Mvurya, I’m the Area Manager for Plan in the Kwale District. My core responsibility as anarea manager is to provide leadership to the Kwale team in both programme issues and also operational issueswithin the organisation. This week we have been here in a workshop where we’ve been focusing mostly onissues of ICT for development and particularly what we’ve been learning here is the issue of mapping. We’vealso learned Ushahidi. We’ve also learned from our colleagues in Kilifi on mGESA (a local application of mGEOSthat Plan Kenya, Plan Finland, University of Nairobi and Pajat Mgmt are developing) and basically we have beenlooking at this workshop as providing opportunities for using ICTs for development, but more particularly for usin Kwale is the issue of child protection and youth governance.
49 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. How has Plan Kwale been using ICTs for issues of child rights, child protection and child participation? ICT in Kwale has a bit of a long history and it’s because of the issues on child rights. Kwale has a number of issues. Child marriages, issues of violations of child rights through sexual exploitation, and child poverty. So the efforts to do media started in Kwale in 2003 when we rolled out our first video that was done by children at the time to profile some of the issues of child marriage. But more importantly in 2005, we began to think greatly how we can bring the voices of children to duty-bearers and at time we thought of having a children’s community radio. Because of lack of experience, we were thinking maybe at the end of that year we could launch the radio station. But then it took longer than we envisioned because we needed to roll out a participatory process. Alongside the same time, we had ideas of community-led birth registration which was being done in one community based organization. But later we also thought about looking at how ICT can help us in moving that direction. Then we also had this idea of inter-generational dialogue, where children and youth can sit with duty-bearers and discuss critical issues affecting them, so we began using youth and video there, children and video, and showing those videos in a community meeting where then people could discuss the issues. Alongside the same time we were partnering with various media houses and also rolling out radio programmes where people could listen and also foster some discussions on children. So it’s been a long journey but I think what we are seeing is that we need now to consolidate the gains, the experiences and efforts so that we can have a more strategic approach to ICT for Development and this workshop basically provides us with an opportunity and a platform to think much more. What potential do you see for some of the newer ICT tools for your work in Kwale? I see great potential in some of the tools that have been learned here this week, more particularly to get information at the click of a button from the ground. We could use the tools to map out resources out in the community, to map zones where there are a lot of issues on child protection, areas where we have issues like low birth registration… There is great potential for the tools that we’ve learned here to assist us not only in planning for projects, but in issues of social accountability. For example if you map out the areas where we have projects for Constituency Development Fund you can easily see where we have projects that have been done well but where we also have projects where maybe communities will need to discuss much more with duty-bearers to be able to, you know, foster issues of social accountability. What are your biggest challenges? What mistakes have you made? One thing that we’ve been learning in the process… well, you know sometimes we have ideas that we think can work in the next week, like for example the children’s community radio when we were thinking about it we were thinking that it could take off in about 2 months. But what we learned is that there are processes to be involved. Communities have to be prepared well for sustainability. Children have to be trained, there needs to be capacity building. You have also to conform to government procedures and processes. The same also with birth registration. We thought in 6 months we could send an SMS and get your birth notification, but what we have also learned is that it takes a process. It takes a while. You have to get the government buy in. You also have to work on software, where the government is having a critical input. Because, although it is a pilot, we also think that if it works well then it has to be replicated, so it has to conform with the thinking in government. Also, with the issues of youth and media, one thing that has to be very clear is that you have to get youth who are committed, so you start with a bigger group, and you end up with those who are passionate. So I think it’s very critical when somebody is thinking about ICT for Development that, one, you look at the context: is it relevant to that area? What kind of skills are needed? What kind of processes for sustainability? but also getting the passion. Getting people who are passionate to lead the process is also a very critical lesson.
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 50Salim’s ICT4D advice part 2:innovate, but keep it real August 1, 2010 by Linda Raftree Rate ThisSalim (left) with Solomon in Kinango community.As I mentioned in my previous post, Plan’s Kwale District office in Kenyahas been a role model for Plan on how to integrate ICTs into community-led programming to help reach development goals and improve accessto children’s rights.ICTs and Development Part 2: advice for tech community, Salim (left) withcorporations and development organizations Solomon in Kinango community.My name is Salim Mvurya, I’m the Area Manager for Plan in the Kwale Development Area.What advice can you give to outside tech people who want to develop something for a place like Kenya?I think that to get an idea externally is a good thing, but that idea has to be blended with grassroots. It has tobe contextualized, because there are very many good ideas which may not be appropriate at the communitylevel. So I think my advice, for people who have ideas, who have never been to Kenya or Africa or in the field, isto leave the process to be home grown, so that the ideas that are coming from outside are building on existingissues, so that the ideas are also looking at what kind of skills and what can be done on the ground, and lookingalso at issues of sustainability. So it’s very important for somebody from outside the country to be sensitive tolocal conditions, local context, local skills and also looking at putting ideas that can be self-sustaining.What is your advice for corporations who want to support the use of ICTs in development?Corporate organisations who are interested in making a contribution to ICT for development, I think it isimportant that they foster and have partnerships with grassroots organisations that can really give them theissues because, OK, most corporations are very innovative, but working with grassroots NGOs and civil societythat can give them the practical sense of those ideas, I think would be a good thing to do.What is your advice for colleagues trying to successfully integrate ICTs into their programmes?One thing for organisations that are thinking of utilizing ICT is that you need local capacity. Like, if you have a fieldoffice, for example, Plan has development areas, in development areas, particularly for Plan, the ICT technicalpeople should also have an opportunity to lead the ICT for development. What I have seen in the few years that Ihave been trying this is that it requires also the ICT function to be more available to communities. It requires theICT function to also work around the programme issues that the team is thinking, so it’s not just about looking atsystems, looking at computers, but looking at how can all these ICT skills be able to help to develop programmes.How can the ICT function be able to support innovations that are also going to enhance problem solutions at thecommunity level? How can we use ICT to strengthen our interventions in the community?And I must say from experience, that the ICT coordinator for Kwale has been more of a ‘programme’ person,and I think that is why we are seeing all these gains. I remember when we were designing the community-ledbirth registration one afternoon, we sat together and we were thinking, how can we put all these ideas togetherand include ICTs in it, so I think it’s about having an ICT function that is responsive to the programme issues onthe ground and not necessarily sitting somewhere and looking at software. You know, even designing a softwarethat would be more responsive to what is happening on the ground, like looking at issues of child protectionand seeing how can ICT help the response mechanism. Looking at issues of accountability and seeing how ICTcan make a contribution to accountability processes in community. So I think that is the kind of ICT that wouldbe appropriate in the field, but also an ICT function that can learn. You know, learning from other people, butbringing the lessons closer home to see what can work, and what can’t work.
51 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. Any last advice for development organisations around integration of ICTs? The message that I would want to give to stakeholders and development organisations is that a lot is happening in the world in terms of ICT. Also recognising that development is changing… ICT is providing opportunities for greater advocacy and accountability, and I think getting the interest for looking at all this and trying to say ‘what does this mean for development’ I think is very very critical. The youth constituency is emerging as very critical and they have interest in ICT. I know in Kenya youth have been trying different things, different groups, but I think ICT is providing an opportunity for them to strengthen accountability but also to be able to get skills that they can use as individuals that can also make a contribution in economic development.
53 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. Ghana ICT briefing Plan Ghana themes involving a communication or information aspect include: • Government education policy highlights the role of ICT as a subject and means of delivery. Improved access to, and quality of, learning and teaching materials is a strategic goal of Plan Ghana. • Groups such as microfinance institutions (and girls’ football clubs) are considered to have an important role as a source of livelihood information. Specific ICT or media related activities: • Ghana participates in the YETAM project. • An urban project on child media and ICT skills programme aimed at deprived urban communities was launched with a programme on national television that highlighted the objectives, beneficiaries and the achievements of the project during the pilot phase. • Community sponsor volunteers received training on computers. • There is lots of radio usage: • Radio project in Tumu as part of the Upper West education programme. • Plans to use children’s radio in the monitoring and evaluation of advocacy work. • Use of radio to broadcast market prices for farmer information. • Radio discussions and programmes to popularise information on child birth registration. ICT situation in country ITU 2007 statisticsxv show: • Telephone lines: 1.6 per hundred people as compared to 1.65 in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole. • Mobile subscribers: 32.4/100 as compared with regional average of 23.0 • Internet subscribers: 3.8/100, as compared to 3.23 regionally with 6 computers per 1,000 people. Telephones: World Bank figures show that the rise in mobile subscriptions since 2000 has been steep in the last few yearsxvi, a common pattern in Sub-Saharan African countries. However, Ghana is one of the few African countries that also has sustained growth in land or fixed line subscriptions. The price of these services is lower than the regional average, according to World Bank statistics. Fixed lines increased to 376,509 by the end of 2007, from 248,900 lines in 2001. During the same period mobile phone users rose from 215,000 in 2001 to 7.6 million, bringing the total for fixed and mobile subscribers up from 463,900 to 7,980,552 at the end of December 2007. Telephone penetration at the end of the period was 36.3%. Mobile phone services cover all of the 10 regions in the country. Zain have just joined the established mobile service providers, increasing the quality and number of mobile services. Internet access: While 2007 statistics show that Ghana is ahead of the region in terms of telephone and mobile access, the figures for internet and PC use are way below the average for Sub-Saharan Africa. Internet subscription is estimated at 1.5 million users, while broadband subscribers number just over 13,000. The first phase of the country’s fibre-optic development is complete and this is expected to facilitate the deployment of ICT applications nationwide. Cybercafés are the most important source of internet access in Ghana. In early 2003, there were more than 750 Internet cafés in Ghana, mostly using dial-up. About 90% of these are located in Accra, with the rest in other cities such as Kumasi and Takoradi. Ghana’s Ministry of Communications is constructing 230 Community Information Centres (CICs) to enable people in remote areas to access information on relevant topics such as farming, education and health. Staff in the centres will be trained in ICT skills, and a model for selling prepaid vouchers for fast internet connection is being piloted in some centres. The CICs have also been the focus for non- governmental and donor support to universal access (i.e. UNDP, IICD and GIFTEL for example). However, there have been some independent ICT4D projects introducing telecentres and computers in community development contexts. For example, the Open Digital Village (ODiV) is like a telecentre project that promotes local
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 54community oriented wireless networks, open source and open content technologies and approaches. Winneba andIbadan are prototype open digital villages, which operate as hubs hosting various activities to engage the grassroots inthe communities in their respective communities. They are supported by IDRC through the Meraka Institute and theInternational Institute forCommunication and Development (IICD) as well as other organisations and projects.ICT PolicyIndependent analysts consider that Ghana was among the first African countries to establish the legal andregulatory framework to enable growth in the ICT sector. The country’s medium-term development plan capturedin the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (GPRS I&II) and the Education Strategic Plan 2003-2015 allsuggest the use of ICT as a means of reaching out to the poor in Ghana. Since 1990, the Ghanaian governmenthas liberalised the telecoms sector to enable the private sector to increase coverage and improve the quality ofservices and goods available. The International Institute for Communication and Development state that: “The Ghana ICT4D process is one of the most documented and most consultative in Africa, and discussion and debates centred on ICT4D are broadcast on radio and television, reported on in the news, and are firmly on the political agenda. The Ghana ICT4D policy has been approved by Cabinet and Parliament, and considerable improvements have been seen in various areas. “The ICT Policy process, supported by the UNECA, is known as “ICT for Accelerated Development”, applying ICTsto aid Ghana’s development efforts and move towards a knowledge based information society and economy asquickly as possible. The policy document was published in 2003, and details the government’s commitments inrelation to ICT for Accelerated Development, approved by the cabinet. It is essential reading to establish to whatextent that the policy and programmes are supportive of Plan’s approach to the application of ICTs in support ofchild centred community development. To find out more or send comments or suggestions contact: firstname.lastname@example.org . The priority areas of the nation’s ICT4D policy include: • accelerated human resource development; • promoting ICT in education; • facilitating government administration; • facilitating development of the private sector; • modernisation of agriculture; • deployment and spread of ICT in the community; • promotion of national health; • rapid ICT physical infrastructure development; • legal, regulatory and institutional framework; • facilitating national security and law and order.When the policy was developed, half of the telephones in the country were in Accra, while 70% of the populationlived in rural areas, with phone lines costing around US$1,000 to install. To overcome these obstacles to accesstelecommunications services, two national network operators were authorised, including the newly privatisedGhana Telecom and the newly established WESTEL, and financing arrangements to enable the necessaryinfrastructure development and investment were established.Recent reports show that Ghana is likely to meet, or even exceed, UN MDG targets for telephone lines, mobilephone subscriptions, personal computer and internet use by 2015. Minister of Communications Benjamin Aggrey-Ntim said at the ITU meeting in December 2008: «In the relative short period since the development of our national ICT vision, Ghana has witnessed appreciable growth in the ICT sector. Telephone subscription has hit the eight million mark, giving a telephone density of nearly 40%,»Aggrey-Ntim is certain Ghana’s progress in infrastructure development so far will speed efforts to completeits e-governance programme and the establishment of community information centres in all 230 politicalconstituencies of the country. Funding has been one of the major factors hampering the speedy progress of ICTdevelopment plan, and the private sector are being urged to invest more heavily in national infrastructure andservices. Currently, the key practical focus of the policy implementation process, supported by UNDP and others,include:
55 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. • e-governance, setting up the appropriate structures and capacity to roll out e-government services and systems; and • access, expanding and consolidating the Community Information Center network. ICTs in Education: In recent education policy reforms, the content of the curriculum has shifted towards the teaching and learning of ICT as well as Science and Technology. A committee set up by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports outlined an ‘ICT in education policy’ framework and produced a policy aiming to promote ICT as a learning tool at all levels of education, and ensure that the appropriate skills and resources are built to enable teaching of and with appropriate ICT. Through the help of various agencies, including Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative (GeSCI), a final ICTs in education policy document was finalised in 2007. In the basic and secondary education sector, a project to set up computer laboratories in all science schools in the country has lead to a significant number of computers being installed across the country. A computer levy is allowed in most secondary schools. The tertiary education sector in Ghana is the most advanced in the deployment and use of ICTs in the country. All the country’s major universities have their own separate ICT policy, which includes an ICT levy for students. This enables students to have access to 24-hour computer labs with broadband connection. However, access is still inadequate and unevenly distributed, with an urban bias and the capacity of teachers to deliver ICT education is still low and there is still resistance to adoption and inadequate skills. Stronger partnerships are needed to implement the policy intentions across the board. The 2007 infodev survey of ICT and Education in Ghana by Kofi Mangesi offers an overview of education related ICT projects and initiatives in Ghanaxvii. MTN-Ghana, the mobile network operator, in partnership with the Government of Ghana has launched MTN ICT learning centres to improve the teaching and learning of ICT in communities. The project involves the construction of ICT learning centres in each of the 10 regions in the country, each equipped with computers and related office equipment, and digital audio-visual equipment. Furthermore, the Ghana Education Service and the education ministry have organised a number of training programmes for teachers to help improve upon their knowledge and skills in ICT. The Global Teenager Project in Ghana offers educational virtual exchange programmes to secondary school students. It was launched in September 1999 with only four schools. Since then, the collaboration has extended to involve over fourteen schools and five hundred students. The primary activity, “Learning Circles”, last for ten weeks each and are run twice a year by coordinators in each participating school. They give participating students the chance to chat with their peers in other countries, and additional activities including school fairs, lectures, debates and symposia, as well as award ceremonies for participating students. ICTs in Health: Healthnet runs two centres in Ghana, to facilitate the flow of information and communication between health services nationally and internationally. The Grameen Technology centre are also developing a Ghana programme for ICT innovation with the Gates Foundation focusing on mobile phone health applications. One application will use mobile phones to feed detailed community-level health information into the District Health Information Management System, saving nurse time and increasing the level of detail available at the district level. Key ICT for development actors • The National ICT Policy and Plan Development Committee was set up by the government to develop (through extensive consultations) a national policy and plan that puts ICT at the service of socio economic development. The Chair of the committee is Professor Clement Dzidonu. • The National Communications Authority was created in 1996 to regulate the telecoms sector and promote a stable operating environment, with efficient services and fair competition. The main tasks of the NCA include licensing and regulation of operators and allocation of frequencies. • The Ministry of Communications was created in 1997 to facilitate the strategic development and application of various human, material and technological resources for effective communications throughout the country. The Ministry then embarked on a process aimed at formulating a workable national communications policy for Ghana.
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 56• In 1998, the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) supported the Ghanaian policy process, facilitating national ICT Roundtables. These processes generated various pilot projects, as well as recommendations to feed into the policy development.• In Ghana local information exchange, knowledge sharing and networking is coordinated by GINKS – the Ghana Information Network for Knowledge Sharing. The focus of GINKS as a network is to use ICT as a tool for poverty alleviation by facilitating the work of network members and encouraging knowledge sharing on ICT4D. The GINKS network is currently focussing on the health and agriculture sectors, with an emphasis on education and gender issues.• The Ghana Investment Fund for Telecommunications (GIFTEL) is a public private partnership, funding projects including CICs, which promote sustainable advances towards universal access to ICTs for social, economic and cultural development in Ghana. • Providing funds for the development of the national telecoms services, • Building awareness of the benefits of ICT, • Conducting research into the state of ICT in Ghana, and • Promoting universal access and community ICT applications through support to CICs.• The United Nations Development Project (UNDP) support Ghana’s efforts to build capacity to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and middle-income status by 2015, and consider ICT to be central to this effort as an enabler but also by generating economic activity and strength.Institutions:• Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT / Advanced Information Technology Institute (AITI-KACE) http://www.aiti-kace.com.gh/• Ghana Information Networking and Knowledge Sharing (GINKS) http://www.ginks.org/• Ghanakeyboards works on ICT and Ghanaian languages http://www.ghanakeyboards.com/• Internet Society of Ghana (ISOC chapter)• Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)• Ubuntu Ghanaian Team https://wiki.ubuntu.com/GhanaianTeam• Global Teenager Project Ghana http://www.globalteenager.org.gh/Policy analysis resources:• Ghana ICT Policy official website: http://www.ict.gov.gh/• APC page for Ghana: http://rights.apc.org/africa/index.shtml?apc=s21827e_1• PanAfri wiki page for Cameroon http://www.panafril10n.org/wikidoc/pmwiki.php/PanAfrLoc/Cameroon• Economic Commission for Africa – NICI Cameroon http://www.uneca.org/aisi/nici/Cameroon/cameroon.htmMali ICT briefingThere are no activities with a clear ICT component, perhaps because of the low level of rural penetration of ICTs,and high cost? However, there is a thematic focus on children’s participation, which includes a strong informationand communication element. For example, Plan supports the Mali Children’s parliament and children’s clubs.Children’s clubs are also being trained to participate in communication with sponsors, including using video.Specific media related activities:• YETAM• Kids Waves is a radio programme prepared and hosted by children and broadcast nationally by partner radio stations. Plan supports the programme and trains children on radio animation.• Training of journalists working on female circumcision awareness and information.
57 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. ICT situation in country Statistics from the ITUxvii are mostly from 2006, with some even earlier. As things change so rapidly in telecommunications, and especially mobile subscriptions, it is worth trying to get more recent data locally. • Telephone lines: 0.4 per hundred people as compared to 1.65 in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole. • Mobile subscribers: 12.6/100 as compared with regional average of 13.5xix • Internet users: 0.6/100 (60,000 or 0.5% of the population as of Sept 2006) as compared to 3.8 regionally with 0.4 computers per 1,000 people, lower than the average for Sub Saharan Africa. Telephones: Mali’s telephone network is at a low level of development. The development of its telecommunication infrastructure is mostly in the urban areas with 69.9% of all lines in the biggest cities. Its telephone density (telephones per hundred people) in urban areas is 1.78 compared to 0.08 for the rest of the country.xx Cellular phone usage has grown tremendously since the 1990s, due in part to the vast and sparsely populated areas in the north and west. Internet access: Internet in Mali is limited because there is no direct access from the sea to a backbone, meaning that Mali must negotiate its access to international networks with its neighbours, Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire. A reliable Internet connection is still difficult to obtain for a reasonable price. There are an estimated 24 private internet service providers. Recently an association has been formed called the Association de Fournisseurs de l’Internet au Mali to represent these providers. Telecentres are still the main means of access in the country in Mali, and in addition to the private companies in cities there are several projects: • CLIC (Community Learning and Information Centers) financed by USAID, which include CLAC (Clubs des Amis du CLIC) to support the management of the Centres – coordinated by Afriklinks. CLICs are community- based telecenters providing information and communication services and locally relevant content to support other USAID efforts in sectors such as education, health and local governance. However, early evaluations showed that only 13% of users were womenxxi. • CMC (Centres Multimédias Communautaires) financed by UNESCO. The UNESCO Community Multimedia Centre Scale-Up Project enables ICT access for villages. 2007 figures there were 23 CMCs where people can access computers, printers, community radio, digital devices, and other services. • TCP (Télécentres Communautaires Polyvalents) managed by the Association des Municipalités du Mali is an ambitious public programme to set up 701 telecentres over the next years to support the newly created local governments (701 municipalities) and to promote development. However, usage statistics suggest that these services are failing to reach women, and with up to three quarters of the population without literacy skills, access falls short of meaningful usage. Radio and TV: Mali has allowed private radio stations to operate since 1994. Foreign, and some commercial, funding have helped to establish 160 FM stations in Mali, though many of those are small community radio stations. Private radio stations are required to be members of URTEL, the radio union http://urtel.radio.org.ml Skills: ICT is now used in many sectors in Mali, but a critical lack of trained personnel, in both the private sector and government, has negative impacts on productivity and sustainability of ICT use. There are development partners willing to introduce open source software, which offers real advantages for the country’s sustainable development, but they have difficulties finding local structures that can support this move. ICT Policy Malian president Alpha Konaré was one of the early protagonists giving a high priority to ICT4D and it looked like Mali would become an eager implementer of ICT4D projects in Africa. At regional level, Mali was instrumental in identifying good practice and networking public ICT initiatives and strategies. However, at national level, although there has been significant interest and investment from the highest levels of government, and substantial development in the improvement of infrastructure, policy, planning and strategy issues have yet to be addressed. Furthermore, the lack of infrastructure and capacity of human resources and institutions, low levels of private foreign investment and huge geographical distances have hampered the efforts and achievement of ICT for
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 58development goals. IICD point out, however, that: “Although it is very challenging to achieve results in Mali, successful implementation has an enormous impact, simply because there was nothing resembling an information infrastructure before”.Mali’s National Information and Communication Infrastructure development process was launched in May 2002and finalised in December 2004. The ICT Policy was adopted by the Council of Ministers and a decree waspassed to create the «Agence des Technologies de l’Information et de la Communication (AGETIC)», which hasthe mandate to implement the NICI plan. The NICI Policy and Plan documents were approved by the Cabinet inJune 2005.However, it lacks strong financing and implementation plans and commitments. In 2007 the priority actionswere:• Setting up a legal and statutory framework• Developing ICT infrastructure• Education and capacity-building• Health support• Good governance and administrative intranet• Popularisation of internet access and connection of all communities of MaliKey actors in ICT policy and regulation• AGETIC (Agence des technologies de l’information et de la Communication) was created to ensure the administration and implementation of national ICT policy and strategic plans.• The Ministère de la Communication is the governmental body responsible for the telecommunications sector.• The Société des Télécommunications du Mali (SOTELMA) was the sole operator in the sector, established by decree of the Council of Ministers, and reporting directly to a Board of Trustees representing key ministries in the country.• UNDP, UNECA and IICD support Mali in developing the ICT policy and strategy.ICT and educationOne of the objectives of ICT policy is to set up an empowering environment for the promotion and use of ICTin education and capacity building for the formal and non-formal sectors. ICT use, access and skills are stronglypromoted amongst the youth. ICT is introduced as a school subject in the first years of primary level and thegovernment of Mali have put in place incentives to increase the cyber cafés and internet access. The mainconstraints to adapting schools to ICT use stem from the slow development of infrastructure and the high costof ICT materials.A number of actors, including the Ministry of Education, local and international public and private partnerships,and many others, have been working to enhance Mali’s education system. For example, USAID has invested overa billion CFA francs to interconnect 10 sites of the University of Bamako. The University of Montreal works withvarious partners, including the IIRCA and IDRC to deliver online teacher training. They also work with ROCAREto carry out assessments with schools to understand their ICT needs and capacity.Other notable initiatives in the formal system include:• Cyber Edu: Initiated by the Ministries of Education and Communication, Cyber Edu provides computer labs to enable teachers and school managers to access virtual educational and manage human and material resources. The project involves 10 school groups and three teacher training institutes in the regions of Sikasso and Mopti and the District of Bamako.• School Net Mali: USAID has supported SchoolNet Mali to equip some high schools with computer materials to allow student access and learning, train teachers and students on ICT use, and establish systems to allow exchanges between Malian teachers and students with others around the world. The project partners with the Global Teenager Project Mali, iEARN international and the Malian Association for Linux users.• UNESCO: UNESCO has established an ICT training programme for those working in adult literacy and informal education that aims to improve the visibility of non-formal education and enable them to produce and exchange
59 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. information across electronic networks. • NEPAD e-Schools Initiative: The NEPAD e-Schools Initiative is part of the e-Africa initiative and aims to provide all African schools with the necessary ICT infrastructure and equipment, trained teachers and appropriate applications and content to ensure that ICTs enhance education and health in Africa. In 2007 there were 6 schools in Mali participating in the demonstration phase of the project. • ICT Development Centre: Supported by IICD and run by ICD the ICT development centre provides ICT skills training for staff of companies, government bodies and non-governmental organisations, as well as university students, health professionals and IT professionals. There is also a social component involving internships and training for students wishing to work in the ICT sector, who can subsequently train other students in grassroots organisations.xxii References and Links • NICI policy http://www.uneca.org/aisi/nici/country_profiles/mali/malpol.htm • TOGUNET is a network for exchanging and sharing information among ICT users for development in Mali. TOGUNET currently has nearly 200 subscribers or members. http://www.mali-ntic.com/ • Initiatives Mali Gateway «un site dédié à la promotion des initiatives locales de développement du Mali» http:// initiatives.net.ml/ has information on the status of the ICT policy and implementation. http://initiatives-mali. info/spip.php?rubrique2 • Agetic - http://www.agetic.gov.ml/ Mozambique ICT briefing Plan Mozambique’s progress report for 2008 stated that: “The situation of poverty is exacerbated by weak capacity by both government and communities to overcome the causes and consequences of poverty. There is lack of adequate financial resources on the part of government; not enough room for community participation due to top- down centralisation of power by the government; and widespread illiteracy, particularly among women. In general many communities are left without adequate access to their fundamental rights, and duty bearers, need to do much more to fulfil these rights.” This is in stark contrast to the policy aims and objectives summarised below. The policy commitments and opportunities for increasing information and participation are clearly falling short of the need. Although YETAM operates in Mozambique, there is no explicit mention of ICT, media or radio in the plans and progress reports. There are activities which include an information and communication element, including the birth registration campaign and sponsor communications, but it seems that there is a wide breach between aspirations of the role of ICT in supporting development and the conditions on the ground for implementing and designing development initiatives. Education is one of the areas where the link between information and participation, rights or development is most explicit. Plan Mozambique recognises this link, and the contradiction with the reality of children out of school, and poor conditions and quality of education. There is no mention of ICT as an enabler, as most of the activities in both health and education are based on construction and setting up. However, it is a great opportunity to make the leap in quality, access and availability through the integration of ICTs into local resources and capacity. Education was and continues to be the key for access to information, for participation, as well to influence the processes that tend to reduce poverty and accelerate development. Even though the knowledge of the link between knowledge and development is widespread, the reality is controversial, where many children as still excluded from the education processes, or, in some cases, subject to bad learning conditions, which compromise the quality of the teaching and learning process.
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 60ICT situation in countryAccording to the World Economic Forum Global Information Technology Report, Mozambique ranks 101 out of115 economies using the Networked Readiness Index, which measures the degree of preparation of a nation orcommunity to participate in and benefit from ICT developments. World Bank 2006 data shows:• Telephone lines: 0.3 per hundred people as compared to 1/100 in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole.• Mobile subscribers: 11.2/100 as compared with regional average of 13.5.• Internet users: 1.9/100, as compared to 3.8 regionally with 1.4 computers per 100 people.The Infodev report on ICT and education in Mozambique has a useful table of factors that are enabling and hinderingICT adoption in the countryxxiii. These include infrastructure, cost and skills.Telephones: The two mobile providers are Mcel and Vodacom. The country is undergoing a gradual process ofprivatisation of Mcel and expansion of competition with 95% mobile network coverage in the country. Sincepassing the new telecommunications law in 2008, the Government and Communications Regulator Authority areworking in preparing conditions to licence more operators in fixed telephony service. The Research ICT Africasurvey suggests that 1 in 4 people over 16 in Mozambique have a mobile phone or active SIM card. In urbanareas this rises to over 50%xxiv. These users spend on average half of their disposable income (over 10% of totalincome) on mobile services.Internet access: 2006 figures show internet is very expensive, at double the regional average (over 30 US$ permonth) and facilities for the general public to use ICT-based services are rare in Mozambique. Those who canaccess the internet do so via a variety of means: cybercafés, work, educational institution or domestic connectionsand even via mobile phone. Cost, language and literacy and lack of relevant content are major barriers to thosewho do have access. To deal with these issues government, donors and NGOs have invested in developing modelsfor community access, which include capacity building and content elements. This has been a major strand of thegovernment and their partners’ ICT for development strategy and include:• UNESCO Community Multimedia Centres integrate community radio and traditional media with ICT and local content. Latest figures available number these at 16, all located in rural communities, with more planned. Provincial Digital Resource Centres (CPRD) are public institutions situated in provincial capitals and provide IT services, management and training for provincial government and civil society. They also act as public information points. The CPRDs also have mobile ICT units to support schools, health centres and remote communities to access ICTs and training. Schoolnet Mozambique is another large scale public programme of ICT access and capacity building, through secondary schools. The government’s ICT strategy recognises that these public access points are insufficient and emphasises the importance of scaling them up to reach all parts of the country. The implementation strategy states: “Well-defined business models are needed, and subsidy schemes should be considered along with public-private partnerships. In addition, further exploration is needed of innovative combinations of modern digital technologies and low-cost conventional technologies, such as combining Internet access with broadcast radio technology.”• The Centre for Informatics at the Eduardo Mondlane University runs a telecentres networking and services development programme with a web presence, which seems out of date, but still shows the established projects and evaluations amongst other resources.Radio and TV: Twenty radio and television stations are in operation, including state, private and communityowned media. However, a 2002 study indicates that print media only reaches 1% of the population and TVstations are confined to the main provincial capitals. Radio, however, has continued to grow, covering about 80%of the population. Considering the vast cultural and linguistic diversity of Mozambique, local and communityradio has become a valuable tool in information and communication for work, for development and public media.There is a community radio network: Fórum Nacional das Rádios Comunitárias (FORCOM) with 60 communityradio stations in its database at http://forcom.org.mz/.
61 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. ICT Policy The role of communication and information has been increasingly recognised by the Government of Mozambique for its potential to support development and poverty reduction at different levels, including the local. The 2006-2009 Plan of Action for Poverty Reduction (PARPAII) places special emphasis on access to information and knowledge as essential means to increase participation and dialogue, and engage citizens in the fight against poverty. Furthermore, the vision of the Mozambique government is to deliver public services through e-government, requiring digitisation of government information as well as training and capacity, citizen access and registration and infrastructure. Mozambique was among the first countries in southern Africa to adopt a national ICT policy. In May 1998 an ICT Policy Commission, chaired by the Prime Minister, was established by a Presidential Decree, to draft and propose to the Government an ICT Policy and promote the general use of information technologies in the country. In December 2000, following a two-year nationwide debate, and drawing upon the Pan-African effort through the African Information Society Initiative (AISI), an ICT Policy was approved by the Government of Mozambique. In 2002 the ICT Policy Implementation Strategy was approved by the Cabinet and presented to broader stakeholders. The ICT policy was based on research into the informatics capacity of the country, which showed that Mozambique needs to make a great effort to correct urban bias and become part of the global information society. The policy and implementation strategy aim to put ICTs in service of the objectives of the government’s Action Programme for the Reduction of Absolute Poverty (PARPA), in particular supporting literacy and human resource development, providing access to information, and improving administration and governance. A technical implementation unit (UTICT) was established within the ICT Policy Commission to oversee the implementation of strategic projects. The policy also aims to create a strong legal and business environment for the domestic production and dissemination of ICTs. Mozambique is developing a favourable legal environment that promotes private sector participation in the development of ICTs. The ICT strategy recognises the capacity and skills gap, the lack of infrastructure and the need for sector reform in order to provide the facilitative environment for a knowledge society and effective application of ICTs to development of the country. However, it seeks to combine some long-term strategies to overcome these challenges, and some medium term activities within these constraints. One of the main mechanisms for improving rural access are the Provincial Digital Resource Centres (CPRDs) which support rural access through affordable technologies, and link into a wider communication network with linkages to the district level. The strategy identified actions along several lines: • Human resource development (education, curriculum, literacy, training institutions, content development) • Infrastructure • Contents & Applications (including information on HIV and AIDS, science and technology and distance education) • Governance (including health information, digital land records, govnet and state financial records) • Policy & Regulation (capacity building and sector reform) • Enterprise (ICT incubator, and small business support) • Provincial development (telecentres and mobile units) The government plans to invest substantially in eGovernment services and has launched the Government Electronic Network (GovNet)-Pilot to improve public services and increase transparency in the public sector. The pilot has established a common communications platform for the Ministry of Public Administration, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Science and Technology, among others, aiming to give them a unified e-mail system, intranet, and document management system, as well as cost-effective shared access to the Internet. Further work is detailed in the implementation strategy.xxv The Implementation Strategy caused an increase in investment in ICTs and more confidence from external partners/donors. It is clear that external partners are more comfortable with making commitments because there is a strategy in place.xxvi During the life of the policy process various organisational changes came about. The Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology was created. Similarly, the Ministry of State digitalised years ago. And there is no doubt that the ICT policy process has expanded the awareness of the telecom sector and regulator by bringing them into contact with the “attentive public” who tried to get them to understand the needs of citizens who cannot afford or do not have access to ICTs and telecommunications. Constraints and challenges include: • how to demystify ICTs to a mainly rural population, • how to develop the necessary human resources needed for using and managing ICTs in the public and private sectors,
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 62• how to roll out expensive infrastructure to provide platforms for using ICTs,• how to best promote innovative and affordable telecommunication solutions,• how to make ICTs provide information that meet Mozambicans’ real needs, and• how to set up a monitoring system which will adequately measure the progresses intended.ICT in EducationThe Ministry of Education’s interest in ICT has undergone a substantial modification and the role of ICTs ineducation has changed dramatically, due in part to the Implementation Strategy. There are various initiatives toprovide training and equipment in schools, for education or wider community access to information, including:• SchoolNet Mozambique started in 1997 with support from IDRC and World Bank. The pilot project worked in 10 secondary schools to provide equipment, training and other resources to encourage schools to use and teach ICT and become centres of information sharing and communication for the community. In 2002 SchoolNet Mozambique was launched was integrated into the Ministry of Education to promote access to ICTs in all of Mozambique’s secondary schools and to establish an education portal and a Mozambican teachers’ network. A technical services centre was established at the Industrial Institute Maputo to refurbish and deploy of second-hand PCs to schools. PC labs had been established in 75 out of 280 secondary schools by July 2006 with an estimated 25 schools connected to the Internet.xxvii• NEPAD eSchools Mozambique. The NEPAD eSchools Initiative is active in several countries and both at primary and secondary level. The first phase of the initiative is a demonstration project to determine needs and challenges in implementation, and identify best practice for large scale implementation of internet connection and ICT access in schools across Africa. This has supported six secondary schools with equipment, teacher training and information for health and education. NEPAD have a dedicated liaison person at the Ministry of Education for SchoolNet Mozambique.• EPCI Working in one secondary school in Inhambane, this project is interesting as it not only equipped the school and trained teachers and managers (with a Research and Information Technology Centre based at the school for public access), but also developed a framework to integrate ICT into relevant issues for learning and application to real situations, including environmental management and translation. Within these sub- projects students and teachers conducted research, established partnerships with government and private institutions, and developed products and services in support of the community and the provincial economy. The project developed partnerships with the provincial and district government offices, and the provincial Education Department. The Research and Information Technology Centre trains the future workforce and those aspiring to go on to higher education, as well as civil servants, students, teachers etc. It promotes the use of ICTs through local NGOs and the community.• The Centre for Informatics at the University Eduardo Mondlane (CIEUM) played a pioneering role in introducing ICTs for development in Mozambique. It served as the home for a number of pilot projects during the late 1990s and has evolved as a leading agency in promoting the development of Mozambique’s national ICT policy and implementation strategyxxvii. Recently the CIEUM facilitated the establishment of the Mozambique Information and Communication Technology Institute (MICTI) to address the challenges of skills shortage, postsecondary education and a weak ICT sector. It has several components including learning, research, and technology.Policy analysis and resources:• APC page for Mozambique: http://rights.apc.org/africa/index.shtml?apc=s21815e_1• PanAfri wiki page for Mozambique http://www.panafril10n.org/wikidoc/pmwiki.php/PanAfrLoc/mozambique• Economic Commission for Africa – NICI Mozambique http://www.uneca.org/aisi/nici/country_profiles/ Mozambique/mozampol.htm• Infodev survey of ICT and education in Africa: Mozambique country report By Shafika Isaacs http://www. infodev.org/en/Document.419.pdf• http://www.ngopulse.org/thetha is a discussion forum for civil society on ICT for development in southern Africa, including Mozambique and has a link to the 2009 report on digital inclusion in Mozambique.
63 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. Institutions: • http://www.infopol.gov.mz/ has all the information on the national ICT policy and its implementation plans and status. • http://www.telecentros.org.mz/ has some information about telecentres from the network. • UNESCO have information on their community telecentres http://www.unesco.org.mz/programmes/ communication/cmc.htm Senegal ICT briefing In terms of the type of social structure that underlies appropriate and effective use of ICTs, Plan Senegal has been working with children’s clubs for twenty years. These constitute the spheres of exchanges and dialogue between the youth and the children and evaluations have shown that children from the clubs show knowledge of their rights, develop and implement their own actions plans, participate in local parliaments of children and school cooperatives. They also run YETAM projects. Computers: Plan Senegal has been supporting a cyber project in Dakar, in Medina Gounass commune, in partnership with the local women’s group and children’s clubs. The project has supplied a children’s club with 6 computers and accessories, provided electronic and traditional games and organised internet training for 25 children’s associations. Children were part of the procurement process. Plan also provided computer equipment and educational materials to schools and children’s organisations promoting the rights of the child through the TELNET project, reaching 7,000 students at primary and secondary levels. Media and communications: The organisation has employed different technologies and media to raise awareness of child rights and enable children’s voices to be heard. For example they organised radio programmes with the participation of 324 children and developed “a dynamic partnership with the community radios and the national radios for that purpose.” Kids Waves has been running since 2005 with RTS, Senegalese Radio Television, and the involvement of community and rural radio stations to be in closer touch with local communities. A TV version of this project is currently being developed. The Going Further project builds on existing music and radio work (Tundu Joor and Radio Guneyi) and explores new ways to use media and ICT to raise awareness about and promote children’s rights. Training has also been provided for children on communication techniques and child rights. They have used radio and other communication channels such as theatre, to promote key behaviours for children’s survival. ICT situation in Senegal Senegal has modern telecommunication infrastructure: a completely digitised telephone network and an Internet protocol network covering a large area of the country. The sector already plays a significant role in the economic and social development of the country, comprising 7% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 5.4% in total capital. The will to make communication services one of the vehicles for the country’s economic and social development has been a goal since the mid-1990s. However, the country is still far from having universal access, or sufficient local digital content, to be considered a knowledge society. World Bank 2006 statisticsxxix show: • Telephone lines: 2.3 per hundred people as compared to 1 in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole. • Mobile subscribers: 24.7/100 as compared with regional average of 13.5. • Internet users: 5.4/100, as compared to 3.8 regionally with 2.1 computers per 1,000 people. Telephones: There are three mobile operators, Orange, Tigo and Expresso. Mobile phone subscription rates have shown strong growth and 85% of the country had mobile coverage in 2006, with an estimated 50% of the population subscribing to mobile services (ART figures 2009). Fixed line phones, operated solely by Sonatel, the ex-public company, cover approximately 1,000 out of over 14,000 villages.
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 64Internet access: There are 6 internet service providers, including the local NGO Enda, yet the penetration rate atMarch 2009 was of only 0.45% of subscribers and about 820,000 users, or 6.1% of the population (ART figures).There are over 800 public access points in the country, many private. To overcome the rural access problems,the government is working, with the support of UNESCO, to build community multimedia centres to provideradio broadcast and ICT services. Twenty four CMCs had been established by 2007, giving access to internet,community radio, computers and digital equipment. CMCs are the most important network of community accessto ICTxxx. Enda also run Cyberpop centres for access and content development in poor areas of Dakar. IDRCsupports these, and other initiatives, and in addition supports national infrastructure development models andstudies on rural demand, and the use of ICTs by women’s groups and in schools.ICT PolicyAccording to ICT for Development analysts, including IDRC, Senegal is one of the sub-Saharan African countrieswith the best-developed infrastructure in telecommunications and highest levels of Internet connectivity. One2002 report claims that: “Within Sub-Saharan Africa, Senegal is a pioneer in the field of new information and communications technologies. ... In this respect, Senegal brings a unique combination of assets to bear: its geographic proximity to Europe and the Americas; a highly educated population; a vast commercial and financial trade network drawing on a young and energetic émigré population; and a relatively well-developed telecommunications infrastructure capable of providing highly competitive services.” xxxiHowever, other analysts note that the Senegalese government have had difficulties coming up with a strategy tocouple the use of ICTs with the socio-economic development problems it is facing, with unstable decision-makingprocesses making it difficult to establish a broad and coherent national policy.xxxiiSenegal’s ICT infrastructure and actors were already developed before the ICT policy process began in earnest.The process has been very elaborate with international and local support, and implemented by the informationand communication technology secretariat at the office of the President. The Acacia programme started operationin Senegal in 1996 and was instrumental in supporting and developing the ICT policy and strategy. Private sectorand professionals working in ICT have also been active in spearheading the implementation of ICT programmesthrough a plan entitled “the ICT Grape”, which aims at harnessing ICTs to reduce unemployment and poverty,increase literacy and access to the healthcare, improve competitiveness and efficiency in government and privatesector institutions.The ICT strategy involves the creation of enabling environment to attract investment and innovation, universalaccess to ICTs by all including young people, harnessing ICTs in health and delivery of other public services,enhancing the capacities of small and medium enterprises and creation of content and building key instruments toadvance information and knowledge. ICTs are also central to the accelerated growth strategy of the government,and are a core instrument for delivery of the National Programme of Good Governance. This strategy has,according to APC, worked well in terms of bringing down prices and improving quality of services.Since 2000, with the national strategy for ICT development defined, a new code of telecommunicationswas adopted and the regulation agency created. Also created were the state data processing agency and atelecommunications ministry. Liberalisation of the sector enabled robust growth in infrastructure of which sparecapacity is now available for countries such as Mali. Other policy instruments facilitate the development of itsinformation infrastructure.ICTs are still high on the political agenda, and The State Informatics Agency (ADIE) has brought in legislationon cyber crime, the protection of personal information and electronic transactions to promote confidence anduse of ICTs. However, despite such a promising start, and these continued commitments on paper, the currentsituation does not live up to the promise: young graduates have difficulty finding work and ICT entrepreneursfinding credit. Furthermore, the global financial crisis is having an impact, with many local ICT service providerslosing contracts and closing down.By 2008, the priorities for ICT development in Senegal were growth in the telephone market, increasingcontribution of the telecommunications sector to GDP, improvements in rural services – total phone coverageby 2010, and the internet as a universal service. However, the APC CICEWA project has found that the de factomonopoly of state-owned operator Sonatel has undermined genuine competition and kept internet connectionprices too high for the average Senegalese user, as seen by the closure of many internet cafés and access points.APC point out that, despite the presence of three mobile operators in the country, there is no real competition asall three pass through the same infrastructure, which is controlled by State-owned Sonatel. APC note that: “Since
65 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. Tigo and Expresso depend on the prices fixed by Sonatel, it is Sonatel that ultimately determines the conduct of the other operators who are also seeking to make a profit, and it is this dependence that essentially eliminates competition.” Sonatel also control the market in fixed telephone and internet, where they are the only operator, reducing the power of the national regulator, ARTP. In reality, according to a local communications expert, “small internet service providers are ... forced to accept the tariff conditions imposed by the incumbent operator. All of the less costly alternative technologies such as voice over internet protocol (VoIP), WiMAX or wireless are prohibited for public use.” Currently, competition is limited to the mobile phone market, but APC suggest that the ARTP should be facilitating and promoting the entry of competitors to the fixed line telephony and internet services in order to bring prices down and increase quality, and for this they need total independence from Sonatel. Key actors in ICT policy and regulation • Ministère de la Communication et des Technologies de l’Information, the ministry in charge of ensuring the regulation in the sector of telecommunications and to adopt the suitable reforms. • The Agency of Regulation of Telecommunications (ART) playing the role of referee and regulator and on the other hand creating the conditions for healthy and fair competition between the operators. • The State Informatics Agency (ADIE) works to increase the availability and use of ICTs in government agencies. ICT and education Although Senegal’s public officials and government bodies recognise ICT as a powerful engine for progress, it has not yet been integrated into the education sector in any kind of formal policy. However, in its Ten Year Education and Training Program (PDEF), the Ministry of Education envisions promoting information and communications technology for administrative development and the improvement of education. As well as the government, NGOs have been working actively to supply computers to schools. However capacity and infrastructure issues are still key obstacles to achieving these goals. For instance, by 2007, only 38.5% of schools were connected to the electricity network, with a disparity between rural and urban areas, with only 7.9% connected in the district of Kedougou to 100% in Dakar City. As far as internet connections are concerned, 100% of universities are connected, two-thirds of high schools and 10% of junior high schools. However, the computer-to- student ratio ranges from 1 to 20 at Mariama Bâ highschool of Gorée to 1 to 2,000 at Parcelles Assainies high school. Examples of ICT education projects in Senegal.xxxiii • Between 1998 and 2004 the Senegalese NGO Groupe pour l’étude et l’enseignement de la population (GEEP) introduced ICTs in 20 school-based youth clubs. GEEP became an ICT for development expert and now coordinates Schoolnet Africa, helping to enhance learning with ICTs. Schoolnet Africa has its head offices in the School of Education at the University Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar. GEEP also advised the Senegalese education ministry on its strategy to harness ICTs and the Ministry’s current research in select schools preparing for an ICT rollout in primary education. • The Senegalese Ministry of Education’s Institut national d’études et d’actions pour le développement de l’éducation are collaborating with Université du Québec à Montréal, in Canada to test ICTs as a teaching complement at a pilot elementary school. The aim is to gradually extend new curricula and teaching approaches, in tandem with the government’s curriculum reform and ICT rollout in elementary schools. • Projects such as the Global Teenager Project and the Mtandao Afrika programme support and network youth internet education programmes. Ynternet.org Senegal is a youth organisation that aims to help young people use ICT and the internet in particular, in a positive way through training, information and access support through youth internet kiosks. The Nepad e-Schools Demonstration Project is active in six schools in Senegal to provide internet connection and training for staff on ICT teaching materials and resources. • The Canadian International Development Agency funds several projects that focus on the promotion of ICT use among youth and women, the promotion of distance education, and the provision of support to the development of instructional resources.
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 66Links and resources:• Osiris is the observatory on ICT policy and development in Senegal, and has a comprehensive list of publications, research and opinion on the state of play. http://www.osiris.sn/rubrique9.html• APC page for Senegal: http://rights.apc.org/africa/index.shtml?apc=s21834e_1• PanAfri wiki page for Senegal http://www.panafril10n.org/wikidoc/pmwiki.php/PanAfrLoc/Senegal• Economic Commission for Africa – NICI Senegal http://www.uneca.org/aisi/nici/Senegal/senegal.htmUganda ICT briefingThere is no specific mention of ICT, internet or computers in recent Plan Uganda progress reports. However, thethemes of Plan’s work in Uganda do have strong information and communication elements, including:• Children’s participation.• Awareness raising and behaviour change work on HIV and AIDS.• Sponsor communications.• Child rights awareness and monitoring.For example, children are designing their own IEC support materials. Another example of a strong communicationelement, that may be supported by ICT, is the PMTCT Plus project in Mukuju which involved community leaderstravelling to visit partner communities in Ireland.ICT situation in countryWhile Uganda has a strong policy and public investment framework, supported by well established programmesand capacity of local and international NGOs, infrastructure, capacity and content issues still undermine theachievement of ICT-enabled social and economic development, especially outside of urban areas. World Bank2006 statisticsxxxiv show:• Telephone lines: 0.4 per hundred people as compared to 1.0 in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole.• Mobile subscribers: 6.7/100 as compared with regional average of 13.5• Internet users: 2.5/100, as compared to 3.23 regionally with 1.7 computers per 1,000 people.Telephones: Mobile phone growth has been very steep and, by the end of 2008, around a third of the populationwere subscribed to mobile services – over 8.5 million subscriptions. Mobiles are not only allowing voice and textcommunication between subscribers, but being offered as public phones where previously there were none, andstrengthening access to radio and internet services.Internet access: A 2005 studyxxxv revealed that access to the internet across the entire country is far below whatwould be expected with the often-praised policy and regulatory environment in Uganda. In 2008 there were anestimated 2.5 million internet users in Uganda. Driving the growth has been the surge in mobile wireless internetaccess with more than 200,000 active accounts reported by end of December 2008, compared to only 22,000fixed line internet subscribers (UCC). «The low level of [internet] utilisation to date is largely attributed to a lack of awareness combined with high costs, limited points of access, lack of content relevant to the needs of the majority of the citizens and the high rate of illiteracy.»xxxviThe national ICT policy aims to establish the infrastructure necessary to enable connectivity in schools, healthcentres, agricultural extension units and administrative and commercial centres throughout the country; however,this is still a long way off. According to the Telecommunications Sector Policy Review, there is almost insignificantaccess to and utilisation of computers and the internet in areas outside the major urban centres.To facilitate rural access, the government established the Rural Communications Development Fund (RCDF)
67 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. administered by the Uganda Communication Commission, to provide subsidies for access to basic communication services such as telephones, computers and internet for all in Uganda. The Fund has already supported 100 internet cafes, 70 ICT training centres, web portals and internet points, research projects, community telecentres, ICT school labs and health facilities. Furthermore, the private sector and NGOs have made efforts to expand ICT access and services to rural areas. Multi-purpose community telecentres, sponsored by UNESCO and others, have also attempted to bridge the gap, offering a broad range of communication services such as fax, telephone, computer services, e-mail and internet, media services, books and other reading materials, etc. to rural areas. Other initiatives include • CEEWA-Uganda, • Busoga Rural Open Source Development Initiatives (BROSDI), • Community Organisation for Empowerment of Young People in Uganda (COFEY-Uganda), • Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH), • Uganda Development Services (UDS), and • SchoolNet Uganda. Private sector efforts have largely been through the large scale telecommunication operators – Mobile Telephone Network (MTN), Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL), and Celtel. Radio and TV: There are currently 188 radio stations and 35 TV stations on air. Studies, including the field survey done in 1998 to provide background information for the ICT policy, show that Radio Uganda has been the major source of information in Uganda. What’s more, the report “Towards an African E-index” notes that the rapid increase in availability of phone services has had an impact on the relevance and accessibility of radio for all Ugandans: «The spread of mobile phones has created a synergy with the spread of private FM radio stations, with more than 100 operational stations in Uganda providing near total national coverage in local languages. Where radio used to be a passive tool for development information dissemination, it has become an interactive public tool and discussion forum through the popular phone-in programmes. Daily programmes range from political debates and other topical issues to health issues, agriculture, education, gender issues and the environment.» Content: The lack of local and relevant digital content is a factor impeding the growth of internet use and penetration across Africa. Furthermore, the PanAfri wiki recognises the lack of appropriate content in local languages as an additional factor. ICT Policy Uganda was one of the first countries in Africa to develop a policy on universal access to telecommunications, with what many consider a far-reaching and proactive approach to providing access to ICT for the poor. The national ICT policy development process was initiated in 1998, managed by the Uganda National Council of Science and Technology (UNCST). A 1998 IDRC funded study revealed low coverage and skewed distribution of ICT infrastructure in the country, concentrated in urban areas, especially around Kampala. Private service providers had no incentive and lack the requisite infrastructure, as well as appropriate policy and legislative framework, to cater for nationwide coverage. The maintenance and sustainability of the ICT development initiatives also remained a critical challenge. In 1999 a multidisciplinary ICT policy task force with representation from government and private sector was set up to oversee the formulation of an ICT policy to deal with these challenges. Workshops and policy dialogues also made space for participation from research, training and development institutions, and civil society groups. The National ICT Policy Framework was finally approved in December 2003. This envisions ICT as a tool for: reforming government service delivery; achieving transparency, accountability and credibility; providing effective access to information; broadening public participation and promoting democracy; facilitating research and development; and enhancing competitiveness in the global economy (NRM, 2006). There are three areas of focus in the Policy: • Information as a resource for development; • Mechanisms for accessing information; • ICT as an industry, including e-business, software development and manufacturing.
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 68The policy considers categories of information from different sectors, including: health, education, agriculture,energy, environment, business, science and technology. Furthermore, it recognises the potential of convergenceso that ICT enhances rather than replaces traditional media. The policy states: “Although the majority of the population is still dependent on the conventional and traditional information delivery systems, especially radio, new ICT can greatly enhance the efficiency of these systems in delivering development information.”At the heart of the policy is integration, with ICT as not only an economic objective, but also an enablingfactor for other development objectives. The implementation of the National ICT Policy in Uganda thereforenecessarily involved various ministries, district and local authorities, development partners and non-governmentalorganisations (NGOs), as well as the private sector. The cabinet directed all government ministries to create abudget line for ICTs. However, an e-readiness assessment in 2004 revealed that a more focused and coordinatedapproach to implementation was required. This led to the establishment of an ICT Working Group that tabled anumber of recommendations, including the establishment of a Ministry of ICT to address the convergence of ICTand to provide coordination of policy development. This was set up in 2006, although still seems to be findingits feet.Implementation strategies for the policy include sensitisation and awareness creation; ICT capacity developmentamong rural people; building appropriate infrastructure; supporting favourable investment environment;supporting innovative ICT projects; stimulating production, storage, and dissemination of national information;and facilitation of access to public domain information. Progress has been made in a number of areas of the policy,including developing a national backbone, rural access, education, systems integration, and stimulating privatesector investment. The government has also removed taxes on all imported ICT equipment. This is graduallyreducing the costs of providing ICT services.xxxvii In the 2006 presidential elections, President Museveni includedICTs as one of the key areas for consideration during his new term in office.xxxviiiThe Rural Communications Development Fund offers subsidies and grants to incentivise private sectordevelopment in rural areas, funded by a 1% levy on telecommunication operators’ revenues. It has helped to setup internet access points, training centres and websites, as well as public pay phones and telecentres. Accordingto the APC, teledensity figures have leapt from 12% in 2006 to 22% in July 2008 – half way to the universalservice goal of 40% by 2012. However, many argue that high taxes on mobile service providers, as well as thebad management of liberalisation and privatisation of telecommunications, are undermining the purpose of theRCDF, and keeping prices high for the consumer.Key actors in ICT policy and regulation• Ministry of ICT.• Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) is the regulator of the communications industry in Uganda. UCC regulates and promotes the developments in the communications industry.• The national ICT Coordination Committee aims to give political guidance to the ICT sector. It includes representation from the offices of the President and Prime Minister, and the Ministries of Communication, Finance, Education and Tourism.• The Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST) coordinate the policy development and implementation processes.Other non-governmental actors include:• IICD are managing or supporting projects in the sectors of education, good governance, health and livelihoods, including training, rural health data and information management programmes, ICT maintenance facilities for rural areas, and the Agricultural Research and Information Network (ARRIN).• I-Network Uganda is a national network acting as a platform for sharing knowledge and information on applying ICTs. One of its programmes, DistrictNet, focuses on providing public information using ICTs• The Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) aims to promote the use of ICTs by women and women’s organisations, and hosts the secretariat of the women’s caucus on information society for Uganda.
69 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. ICT and education As it adopts ICT in education, Uganda faces the same challenges as most developing economies – poorly developed ICT infrastructure, high bandwidth costs, an unreliable supply of electricity, and a general lack of resources to meet a broad spectrum of needs. However, with the rapid emergence of wireless network capacity and the growth of mobile phones, the context is changing. The Ministry of Education and Sports is taking steps to coordinate ICT development and has allocated resources to support implementation of its ICT strategy. In its Review for 2005-2006, the Ministry listed the following achievements: • Over 300 teachers have been trained. • Three generators and 300 computers have been provided to NEPAD e-schools. • Software and upgrades for 6,000 desktop computers already in schools have been procured. • Preferential rate agreements with Uganda Telecom for voice and data connectivity have been secured. • Work has started on introducing ICT into the teaching and learning process in primary and secondary schools. The Education Ministry has approved a curriculum for ICT Training for Secondary Schools, and a limited number of schools are offering ICT Training. These schools are being equipped under various programmes, including the Schoolnet and ConnectEd Projects. However, the ICT policy points out that only a very small percentage of Secondary Schools offer ICT Training, and in almost all cases the facilities are inadequate for reasonable hands-on experience. At Makerere University, the Institute of Computer Science provides high-level academic training in the field of computer science to Computer Science specialist students. The Global Distance Learning Centre at the Uganda Management Institute hosts similar facilities. Examples of ICT education projects in Ugandaxxxix There are many projects working at small, local or national (and even international) scale to improve facilities, services and capacity of ICT in education. For example: • Uconnect is a non-profit NGO that aims to advance public education by using ICT to improve the quality and efficiency of communications. Activities focus on providing computer connectivity and training for schools and providing ICT training to officials of rural districts. More that 225 schools have benefited to date and 22 district offices have been connected to the Internet. Multi-sponsors are involved such as telecom, hardware, learning software, transportation, and internet provider companies. • The British Council has launched Connecting Classrooms, a project to link schools in Uganda to other schools in Africa and the UK. The project is aimed at coordinating ICT, science, vocational skills, global citizenship, and cultural science in the schools. • SchoolNet Uganda supports educators and learners by providing pedagogical and technical expertise and advice, infrastructure and human resources, coordination, training and capacity-building, and developing local and international partnerships. Policy analysis and resources: • APC page for Uganda: http://africa.rights.apc.org/?apc=he_1&w=s&c=21849 • PanAfri wiki page for Uganda http://www.panafril10n.org/wikidoc/pmwiki.php/PanAfrLoc/uganda • Economic Commission for Africa – NICI Uganda http://www.uneca.org/aisi/nici/country_profiles/uganda/ uganpol.htm
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 70Cameroon ICT briefingThemes relating to communication and inclusion are front and centre in Plan Cameroon’s programmes. PLANCameroon Day 2008 theme was “Children’s participation; let the children be seen and heard”: encouragingdialogue between children and adults and to initiate young children in the process of decision-making anddemocracy. During the day children put questions to government, including one question put to the Minister ofCommunications showing concern about ICT:“Nowadays, we observe the improvement of new technology; however, several children and other populationsin remote and enclave areas are excluded from this modern technology. What does the Ministry envisage for theinformation of these populations?”In the ‘Building Relationships and Resource Mobilisation’ component of their work Plan Cameroon have a strongfocus on child-sponsor communication; ensuring communities manage their own portfolio through communicationcommittees, with a strong dimension of informing about and debating local development priorities and activities.Specific ICT or media related activities:• 35 education inspectors and head teachers received training on ICT and in particular the education management information system and school evaluation• Sponsoring a radio programme: contracted the Cameroon Radio Television Corporation (CRTV) to broadcast the programme ‘I am a child but I have my rights too’ over provincial and private radio stations. Provided a 5-day training for radio hosts and representatives of local NGOs in charge of monitoring the project and involved youth in monitoring through listening clubs.• Local newsletters and sponsor communications, as noted in their annual report: “More children from Esse are now writing articles and drawings for the “EYEKE-Y’OR” and “Planète Jeune” magazines. Sponsorship communications have become a tool for development education in Esse”.• Involvement in YETAM.ICT situation in CameroonITU 2007 statisticsxl show:• Telephone lines: 0.79 per hundred people as compared to 1.65 in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole.• Mobile subscribers: 24.45/100 as compared with regional average of 18.28.• Internet users: 2.23/100, as compared to 3.23 regionally with 3.9 computers per 1,000 people.Cost is still a major barrier for both telephone usage and computer usage for the majority of Cameroonians,with the costs of equipment, subscriptions and calls relatively high and, proportionate to most people’s income,prohibitive.Telephones: World Bank figures show that the rise in mobile subscriptions since 2,000 has been steep in thelast few yearsxli, a common pattern in Sub-Saharan African countries. Meanwhile the rise in internet and PCuse is slow but steady. Cameroon has two mobile operators, MTN and Orange, both operating GSM coverage(Cameroon was one of the first countries in the region to provide GSM coverage).Internet access: There are 12 internet service providers, including Camtel, ICCNET and Creolink, but there arewide disparities in internet access, in terms of income and location. Mobile internet is available from at least twoproviders. Though there is less than one PC per hundred people, and over 60% of institutions have no computermeaning that most people cannot access the internet at work, the internet is available through cybercafés,concentrated in Yaoundé. However, telecentres are spreading throughout the country due to government, NGOand private sector initiatives. For example:• The government is introducing telecentres offering phone, internet and money transfer services, in rural areas throughout the country funded under the HPIC agreement. The objective is to have close to 2000 telecentres in the country by 2015 to attain the millennium development goals, supporting education, health, livelihoods
71 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. and entertainment in rural areas and reducing rural flight. However in 2007 the ministry reported that the project was slow to get off the ground and past pilot phase.xlii • Local company Douala1.com which provides wireless broadband in Yaoundé and Douala, is working on extending its network of cybercafés nationwide, linking to the internet via satellite technology or optical fibre where available. • The ADEN project of the French government is funding and providing software for telecentres throughout francophone Africa, and has three public access to the internet centres currently operating in Cameroon.xliii Radio and TV: CRTV runs 33 public radio broadcast stations, at least one in each province, and 2 production stations per province. The ICT policy document states that land reception limits actual coverage to about 60% of the country. They also run 33 public television stations broadcast from Yaoundé reaching about 85% of the country. There are also 3 private television operators running 5 TV stations and several cable television operators, of which 16 have applied for licenses, the vast majority operating illegally. There are 37 private radio broadcast stations, mostly located in the big urban centres of Yaoundé and Douala. There are no private stations in the Adamaoua and South provinces. 29 community radio stations were set up under an agreement with ACCT in 1996, providing radio services by and for rural populations. However, these are very unevenly distributed. Content: The ICT policy paper notes that Cameroon does not have a developed “infostructure”, that is to say there is not a culture of making national or local information or data available on databases, which could make the internet more useful for domestic purposes. “The practice of information gathering, processing, preservation and dissemination in usable formats to other users is uncommon in Cameroon. As a result, Cameroon has no data banks or information systems that can be consulted by citizens and enterprises.” However two exceptions that it notes are: • the Integrated System for the Management of Public Finances (SIGEFI) • the Integrated System for the Computerised Management of State Personnel and Salaries (SIGIPES) Only 10% of Cameroonian institutions have a website. ICT Policy Independent analysts consider that the government of Cameroon have failed to support ICT growth with appropriate policies, and in fact point to missed opportunities to turn the country into an engine for growth in the regionxlv. They were ranked 179 out of 206 countries by the ITU. As things stood in 2008, reported in the National ICT Policy document: • The public telecommunications network is obsolete and lacks the necessary capacity. • 15% of the country is still out of national communications coverage despite the satellite relay. • Cameroon has no Internet Exchange Point that can enable local service providers to exchange traffic without relying on transnational infrastructure. • There are many digital disparities between urban (Douala and Yaounde) and rural areas. • The infrastructure for gathering, processing and disseminating information is still rudimentary; • There is no strategy for enabling the country to develop all ICT-related sectors including production. In 1995, Cameroon began to restructure their telecommunications sector, establishing the Telecommunications Regulation Agency (ART) to promote competition between operators. Between 2002 and 2008, 123 network operating licences were awarded, including around fifty for internet providers, but the quality of services is still poor, and prices of all but mobile calls within networks are still out of reach for most Cameroonians. Cameroonian NGO PROTÉGÉ QV note that “less than 2% of Cameroonians have a fixed-line telephone, because of an inadequate supply of lines (175,000), the degraded state of the infrastructure, administrative red tape and high installation costs”. The cost and availability of internet services has also suffered from inadequate infrastructure and lack of competition. The regulator, ART, was set up by the government to manage competition, monitor services and protect consumers. Managed by the Ministry of Telecommunications, PROTÉGÉ QV argue that it does not have the authority, resources or – crucially – the independence to fulfil this function, and regulate fairly between private operators and the public supplier, who have the monopoly on developing new infrastructure. Furthermore, regulation does not currently cover cross-border connections and online business and transactions, leaving an area of growing economic significance ambiguous, opening private sector loopholes and losing opportunities for new products and services.
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 72The APC Communication for influence in Central, East and West Africa (CICEWA) project has found that the highcost and low quality of communication services have paved the way for illegal mobile phone and internet providersto emerge, dodging the high cost of licensing, and passing down the savings to their customers. While this allowsCameroonians to find cheaper services, it also means there are no quality guarantees, and results in a loss of taxrevenue and license fees for the government. Meanwhile, the licensed operators and the regulator are not able toguarantee or fund universal access.In 2000 the process of creating the National Information and Communications Infrastructure (NICI) plan was launched,with the support of UNDP. This is a tool of the UNECA which is applied across the Africa, and resulted in the publicationin 2004 of the “Plan National des Infrastructures de la Communication et de l’Information du Cameroun (NICI) 2004-2015”xlvi. This plan identifies 10 priority areas: agriculture; human resources; e-commerce; e-government; education;health; ICT services; infrastructure; tourism, environment and natural resources; youth and gender.In 2002, in response to a lack of coordination of different organisations working on the national ICT policiesand strategies, and the resulting lack of direction and vision, the government set up the National Agency forInformation and Communication Technologies (ANTIC). ANTIC deals with infrastructure, regulation, capacity andsecurity issues. Their plans and strategies are set out in the “National Policy for the Development of Informationand Communication Technologies”xlvii. This includes a summary of the current legal and policy framework, thedifferent actors and lines of accountability, as well as plans and strategies, and would be essential reading for anyadvocacy work on ICT or social media policies and investments. The NICI was handed over officially to ANTIC inApril 2006 for submission to Government.Key actors in ICT policy and regulation• The Agence de Regulation des Telecommunications (ART) is Cameroon’s telecommunication regulatory body, established in July 1998 by the Telecommunication Act.• Responsibility for ICT policy rests with the Comité Interministériel composed of representatives from the ministries of communication, telecommunications, higher education, education, economy and finance, foreign relations and the Prime Minister’s office. There are also various technical thematic committees.• The Sub-Regional Development Centre for Central Africa (SRDC-CA) is the UN ECA’s sub-regional arm charged with supporting sub-regional electronic information exchange networks of economic experts, civil society organisations, NGOs and the private sector.• Institutions involved in ICT training are: • The Département d’Informatique of ENSP; • The Faculté des Sciences at the Universite de Yaounde; • The Institut Universitaire de Technologie in Daoula and Bandjoun. • The Laboratoire d’Electronique et Traitement de Signal of ENSP has been behind the establishment of the Connectivity Information and Training Centre for Internet (CITI-CM) with financial support from InfoDev, ORSTOM, UNITAR, ACCT and local companies.ICT and educationIn terms of education, in the NICI plan document the government commits to the following:• Modernise the educational system through the introduction of ICTs in schools• Introduce ICT application training modules into national universities• Prepare a sectoral ICT policy for the educational sector• Train teachers in the use of ICTs• Equip all schools with ICT facilities• Multiply resource centres for teachers and students• Establish distance training facilities• Provide support for the production of ICT teaching materialsThere is an inter-ministerial committee working on ICT for education, and a commitment to introduce ICT coursesinto all levels of the public education system. However, the ICT Policy document notes the level of knowledge andskill relating to ICT and the knowledge society is still very low, even compared to other low-income countries.While higher educational establishments are better equipped and prepared, and virtual resources are being
73 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. developed at this level, schools are still poorly equipped. There have been several initiatives by NGOs and donors, including the Canadians, French and Islamic Development Bank, including the construction of multimedia resource centres with internet access in 16 public schools. But most primary and secondary schools are without multimedia resources and the great majority of children leave school without having had any exposure to ICT use. For instance about 44% of pupils drop out of school before completing the primary level, while less than 4% get into the higher education cycle. Where ICTs are available their use is still very basic. For instance most of the websites are static, providing no interactive services to users and some with obsolete content; virtual absence of didactic materials, management and guidance systems. Examples of ICT education projects in Cameroonxlviii The Cyber Education Project aims to use ICTs to support training in secondary and technical schools and in higher education (universities). For more information: www.cam-educ.com/. The project includes establishing multimedia resource centres, training teachers and monitors, connecting schools to the internet, establishing learning resources and distance training for teachers. As a result, 60,000 students have access to computers compared to 10,000 in 2001. According to the ministry of Education, 80% of government secondary schools have computer rooms and two-thirds have computer labs. SchoolNet-Cameroon SchoolNet-Cameroon (ISC) is a non-profit organisation that enables young people to use the Internet and other new technologies to engage in collaborative educational projects. ISC facilitates collaborative projects where communities of learners collectively develop on-line content related to school curriculum. It provides training to teachers in the integration of ICTs across the curriculum. Currently, it is seeking to sign an agreement with MINESEC and plans to distribute 200,000 computers to Cameroon schools. SchoolNet also works in collaboration with ROCARE, the African Teachers Network (ATN), and the UNDP in the framework of the Tokyo International Conference for African Development-Information Technology Project. For more information: www.iearn.org and www.schoolnetafrica.net The ROCARE Project ROCARE (Réseau Ouest et Centre-Africain de Recherche en Education) is a professional scientific, non-political, and non-profit association of teachers and lecturers of West and Central Africa. It aims to promote African expertise to positively influence educational policies and practices. ROCARE developed a regional study on the integration of ICTs in education in West and Central Africa, and individual national studies. ROCARE Cameroon also published a book on the integration of ICTs in education. For more information: www.rocare.org PROTÉGÉ QV E-learning Initiatives PROTEGE QV (which means promotion of technologies that guarantee environment and a better quality of life), is a Cameroonian NGO created in 1995. It aims to promote individual and collective initiatives to induce rural development, to protect the environment, and to improve the well-being of the community. Some of their projects have been financed by Global Knowledge Partnership, the World Bank, the French Cooperation in Cameroon, the United States Embassy, the Japan Embassy, and the Commonwealth, including: • Open Nkam e-learning: business training for women by women using traditional ICTs and radio based training for women entrepreneurs to support them in setting up small businesses • The Upper Nkam Women Opened to the Challenges of Innovations in ICTS: a project that introduced 150 women to data processing on computers • Small Business Training for Women in Cameroon 2005: An ongoing project using a standardised multimedia CD geared to reinforce the capacities of women involved in small businesses • A radio programme entitled “Woman and The Pride of Her Being” at Radio Fotouni to sensitise and share knowledge with the targeted women through radio messages Policy analysis and resources: • APC page for Cameroon: • English: http://rights.apc.org/africa/index.shtml?apc=s21850e_1 • Français: http://afrique.droits.apc.org/index.shtml?apc=s21850e_1
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 74• PanAfri wiki page for Cameroon http://www.panafril10n.org/wikidoc/pmwiki.php/PanAfrLoc/Cameroon• Economic Commission for Africa – NICI Cameroon http://www.uneca.org/aisi/nici/Cameroon/cameroon.htm• CICEWAhttp://www.apc.org/en/node/9692/Institutions:• Ecole Nationale Supérieure Polytechnique de Yaoundé (ENSPY) (computer engineering)• Institut Africain d’Informatique (IAI), Cameroon• Associations:• RESCATIC - Réseau de la Sociéte Civile Camerounaise pour la promotion des TIC http://fr.groups.yahoo.com/ group/RESCATIC/Kenya ICT briefingKenya is a regional centre, and leader, in ICT4D initiatives. The latest progress reports from Plan Kenya do notspecify any ICT4D activities, although themes of participation and awareness raising are central to much ofthe work. The Harnessing ICT for Community Health Project was implemented by Plan Kenya in partnershipwith AfriAfya. The project applies ICT and multimedia to facilitate equal and universal access to quality healthand development information. The 2007 mid-term evaluation of the project showed that this type of activity isrelevant to Plan’s approach and objectives: “In all Plan’s programmes and projects, the child, its views, needs and rights are put at the centre and communication is crucial in achieving this. The project is an effort to provide relevant, practical health and other development information to the communities, mostly through the school model at Primary and ECCD levels... All the Plan Kenya members of staff interviewed were agreed that the project is relevant to their mandate and congruent to their activities in the community.”The evaluation recommends that : “Plan Kenya should consider the possibility of extending the ICT project with AfriAfya as the use ICT for development in the marginalised areas is a fairly new concept that that is taking root slowly.”Furthermore, the 2008 progress report makes mention of work in Kisumu using ICT to link schools with theUnited Kingdom.Mobile advocacy and campaigns:The Plan Kenya web page mentions that “as part of the Learn Without Fear campaign to end violence againstchildren in schools, we have launched an SMS campaign where children who have been violated can receive help.”The progress report notes the successful lobbying for a telephone helpline service for children and youth who arethe victims of violence or abuse. Since 2008, Childline, via the toll free helpline number ‘116’, has been accessiblecountrywide in Kenya via mobile phones, offering counselling and referral for children and their families.Using media for development:The use of video, radio and magazines to enhance child participation and give children a voice, in relation to childprotection, including• Radio programmes for children to share their experiences of post election violence and advocate for peace,• For example, “Sauti ya Watoto”, a Swahili phrase meaning “The Voice of Children” are radio programmes broadcast by the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation. There were also forty one (41) broadcasts of children’s Radio
75 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. Programmes that were previously aired on community radio. • Children’s video highlighted issues of concern for children, from their perspective - as identified, scripted and acted by them. • YETAM – if they were not mentioned in the internal docs do they not go here or would you be adding things you know they are doing also? There is also UBR. They may be doing some GIS work also.... ICT situation in country As a traditional transport and communications hub for East Africa, Kenya has become a leader in communications in Sub-Saharan Africa, with amongst the best rates of literacy, school enrolment, internet access and coverage and services for mobile phones, for example. World Bank figures for 2006xlix show:l • Telephone lines: 0.8 per hundred people as compared to 1 in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole. • Mobile subscribers: 17.7/100 as compared with regional average of 13.5. • Internet users: 7.6/100, as compared to 3.8 regionally with 1.4 computers per 1,000 people. Telephones: There are four mobile phone operators; Safaricom and Celtel have been joined in late 2008 by Telkom Kenya and Econet Wireless. An increase in mobile penetration to 43.6% of the population is attributed in part to the new competition, which has reduced the costs of mobile use considerably, but also to availability of low denomination top-up cards. The competition is also broadening the available pricing structures, and has resulted in a stark increase in voice calls, and reduction in the use of SMS. 83% of the country now has mobile network coverage. Internet access: Whereas the number of internet users is increasing, it is doing so much slower than mobile phone use, hampered by high prices and poor infrastructure. The Kenya telecoms regulator state on their website that: “Internet penetration is low and way behind the penetration of other communication services (e.g. mobile) despite liberalization efforts; and there is general lack of information on the Internet service penetration, its impacts and factors that influence its development and diffusion.” The costs of Internet services have remained high in comparison to the income levels of Kenyans, there is very little local content to invoke demand, as internet service providers have focused on access rather than services and applications. People are increasingly turning to mobile and wireless internet connections, and fixed dial-up internet services are not as affordable as mobile internet or even SMS services according to the KCC survey from 2007. Only a small percentage of educational institutions are connected to the Internet and these are mainly higher education institutions. Most internet subscribers are commercial businesses. In general, 80% of the internet business serves customers in Nairobi. There are over 80 licensed cybercafés throughout the country. There is the usual mix of private, public and NGO supported telecentres across Kenya, for example, the Arid Lands Information Network manages community knowledge centres, known as Maarifa centres. The centres play a catalytic role in offering appropriate information and documentation of local knowledge.li Most recently, the government are looking at supporting local entrepreneurs to set up ICT and media centres in low access areas, with a mixture of loans, bandwidth guarantees and relevant content – i.e. online government services and national information portals. One of the anchor projects of the National ICT Board is the creation of Pasha Centres, a combination of cyber-café and training centre. It is expected that 63 of these centres will be opened by 2011, the simplest providing basic services but more advanced centres with a full range of training, access and entertainment facilities.lii Pasha centres are designed to reach rural areas that have not yet got connectivity. The services include different types of training, video, cheap internet phone services, media facilities and government e-services such as the payment of taxes online; legal and constitutional information; and digitised land and vehicle registrations. These centres are set up by entrepreneurs funded by loans from a government revolving fund, building on the success of other information services such as Safaricom’s M-Pesa mobile banking service, which has over 7,000 agents across the country. A national information portal has been launched to provide relevant digital content for Kenyansliii, and the initiative is partnered with Cisco, Google and Microsoft. Radio and TV: 18% of household had a television set in 2006. There are hundreds of licensed radio stations, and several television stations, across the country, many of which are local stations or community radio.
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 76Content: The Communications Commission of Kenya’s internet market studyliv recognises the importance ofrelevant content for driving internet use, and notes that the lack of relevant digital content is one of the mainfactors hampering growth in the market. For example, the study states:“The availability of locally relevant content drives internet growth the world over. For example, when the Ministryof Education released the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education results via the web in March 2007 theinternet traffic increased drastically.”ICT PolicyKenya was a leader in developing ICT policy and legislation, but recent events have changed the context forpolicy and legislation. The East African Marine Cable (TEAMS) system was launched in Kenya in June 2009,bringing broadband connections to Kenya, and heralding a new converged communications landscape.The Kenyan ICT policy was developed via a multi-stakeholder process, coordinated by the Kenya ICT Action Network(KICTANet). A number of civil society organisations and private sector players, including media, were instrumental inestablishing the network, after lobbying for broader participation and better coordination of the Kenyan ICT policyprocess. At first the key issues were universal access and breaking the monopoly in telecommunications serviceprovision, as well as the integration of ICT into the national economic development programme.Civil society played a significant role in the development of ICTs by creating awareness, training, and introducingICT services in the early 1990s. Through the Kenya WSIS Civil Society Caucus, with a secretariat based at the AridLands Information Network, civil society was able to lobby in a coordinated way in the policy development process.The private sector lobby was also organised, through TESPOK, and these two lobby groups joined into a multi-stakeholder network, KICTANet, in 2004. The National Rainbow Coalition launched an official draft of the country’sICT policy in 2005, and KICTANet coordinated civil society, private sector, media and development partners’ inputinto the process, organising workshops, seminars, email debates and local forums, to collect and share commentson the policy with the government. The network worked with the Ministry of Information and Communications, theNCS, the CCK to finalise the ICT policy.As a result, the ICT policy represents a broad consensus reached between the different stakeholders on most issues.The final document was approved in 2006 and implemented through the Information and Communications Bill2006, and a Media Bill and Code of Conduct for broadcasters. The policy is based on a long-term vision for theICT sector as contributor to socioeconomic development, and sets out to redefine of the roles in the sector, withclear responsibilities for policy, market regulation, resolution of conflicts and the operation of services. The privatesector is considered the key investor in the ICT sector with profit its main incentive. The Government withdrew asan investor through the privatisation of the telecommunications service provider.However, despite the multi-stakeholder networking and consensus building, there is still a need for greater, more activeparticipation of the NGO and CSO (Civil Society Organisation) sector in ICT policy, as noted in the GIS Watch article: “Civil society’s engagement with the policy processes has not been as active as the private sector’s. And while a few CSOs engaged in the ICT sector have managed to articulate the complexities of interactions between ICTs, poverty reduction and development, and have managed to link ICTs to human rights and social justice, these organisations are not adequately represented. There is also a need for civil society to engage in more outreach and mobilisation activities to include CSOs that work in sectors other than ICTs. Currently there is a culture where many CSOs feel they are not part of a process or do not need to act on ICT issues because they are not directly involved in the sector. NGOs working in areas such as agriculture or human rights still do not recognise how ICT policy impacts on their work.lv”Kenya’s amended Communications Act (2008) includes new regulatory mechanisms for controlling online, as wellas print and other media, content. The controversial Section 88 gives the Minister of Communication powersto search broadcasting stations and seize communication equipment, intercept and disclose communicationsbetween people, and to intercept postal articles. The regulator, the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK),has been given the power to revoke licences and impose fines. APC note that “The exact implications for onlinecontent are not yet clear, and just how the new legislation will affect broadband and everything that can be pipeddown fibre, including television, has not been spelled out.”Beyond the ICT policy itself, in the country’s Economic Recovery Strategy (2003-2007) the government identifiedkey ICT-related goals. These include:• investing in adequate ICT education and training;• reviewing the legal framework to encourage the adoption and use of e-commerce;
77 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. • implementing tax reductions and tax incentives on software and hardware to make them affordable to micro- enterprises and low-income earners; and • establishing an inter-ministerial committee to incorporate ICT into government operations. The government also published an e-government strategy in 2004 that aims to use ICTs to “transform government operations and promote democracy” (Government of Kenya, 2004). Key actors in ICT policy and regulation The Kenya Communications Act No. 2 of 1998 unbundled the Kenya Postal and Telecommunications Corporation (KPTC) into five separate entities: • The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) is the independent regulatory authority for the communications industry in Kenya. Its role is to license and regulate telecommunications, radio and postal services in Kenya. • The National Communications Secretariat (NCS) serves as the policy advisory arm of the government on all matters pertaining to the information and communications sector; • The fixed-line operator, Telkom; • The Postal Corporation of Kenya (POSTA); and • The Communications Appeals Tribunal. Set up in February 2007, the Kenya ICT Board has a four-fold mandate that encompasses: marketing Kenya as a business process outsourcing destination; advising the Government on the development of the ICT sector in the country; providing skilled capacity for the achievement of ICT projects for development; and managing key ICT projects, such as the Pasha centres. ICT and education Kenya has a sophisticated ICT in Education Strategy and Implementation Plan. It is embedded in the national ICT policy and was developed through a consultative process with stakeholders. The plan has costing estimates, time lines with measurable outcomes, and specified lead agencies. Support is widespread. The national ICT policy states that government will encourage “…the use of ICT in schools, colleges, universities and other educational institutions in the country so as to improve the quality of teaching and learning.” The policy suffers constraints in terms of human capacity and infrastructure deficits in the country, but counts on strong collaborative support. Some of the other key partners are: • The Network Initiative for Computers in Education (NICE), a consortium of NGOs involved in ICT in the education sector, and other NGOs are implementing partners of the strategy. • The Kenya ICT Trust Fund was formed in 2004, with the aim of spearheading ICT initiatives in education, to facilitate public-private partnerships that will mobilise and provide ICT resources to Kenyan public schools and community resource and learning centres. Policy analysis and resources: • ICT Board http://www.ict.go.ke • Ministry of Communicaiton and Information http://www.information.go.ke/indexphp? option=com_content& task=view&id=239&Itemid=370 • Information portal http://www.information.go.ke/ • Kenya Communications Commission (CCK) http://www.cck.go.ke/home/index.asp • APC page for Kenya http://rights.apc.org/africa/index.shtml?apc=s21843e_1 • PanAfri wiki page for Kenya http://www.panafril10n.org/wikidoc/pmwiki.php/PanAfrLoc/Kenya • KICTAnet http://www.kictanet.or.ke/
79 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. Summary of Plan’s ICT work Promoting child rights and participation through media In West Africa, Plan has developed strong work using radio to raise awareness of child rights and the responsibilities of children and adults to protect and uphold them. “I Am a Child but I Have Rights Too” is a weekly radio programme produced and broadcast by public, private and community radio stations in nine West African countries: Burkina Faso, Guinea, Togo, Mali, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Benin, Niger and Cameroon. The programmes include plays and sketches produced by children and actors, interviews, debates and competitions. Stories promote the right to go to school, access clean drinking water, good health, protection from violence and so on. For example, Plan Cameroon partnered with Cameroon Radio Television Corporation to broadcast the programme, and provided training for radio hosts, local NGOs and young people for both contributions and monitoring of the programmes. Kids Waves, another weekly child rights programme broadcast on radio stations across the region, has developed out of this work. These programmes are prepared and hosted by children, allowing children and young people across the region to express themselves and provide entertainment whilst raising awareness of child rights and the associated responsibilities. Plan Mali supports the programme and trains children on radio animation. In Senegal Kids Waves runs in collaboration with the national public broadcaster as well as a number of community and rural radio stations to be in closer touch with local communities. A TV version of this project is currently being developed there too. Youth Empowerment Through Arts and Media (YETAM) seeks to give youth the skills and tools to communicate about issues impacting on their lives and engage in the community development process and beyond. The project operates in Senegal, Mali, Cameroon, Rwanda, Kenya, Ghana and Mozambique. Using mapping, participatory video, visual and performing arts, young people aged 12-18 work in teams to identify and analyse issues that affect their lives, produce arts and media about them and develop local action plans to raise awareness and support to resolve them. In YETAM, arts and media are a starting point to raise issues and youth viewpoints with community, district and national leaders and the public, and to advocate for change. The materials produced by young people are posted on the web so that the public can learn more about issues and get involved. In addition to the more traditional arts and media, YETAM trains youth on new technology including mobile technology and applications, internet, social media, Flip cameras, video production, editing and digital mapping. These social media components are key to allowing young people a space in global debates and to enter directly into dialogue. In Mozambique, Plan is looking for ways to link YETAM to other ongoing projects and processes, such as the child savings project, and sexual reproductive education for primary level two. In Cameroon, integration with a project with the Baka in the North is being considered also. The Going Further project builds on existing music and radio work in Senegal to explore new ways to use media and ICT to raise awareness about and promote children’s rights. Training has also been provided for children on communication techniques and child rights. They have used radio and other communication channels such as theatre, to promote key behaviours for children’s survival. Plan Ghana also have several other projects promoting greater communication with and between young people, including ‘Girls Making Media’ project, Tumu Radio which is part of the Upper West region education programme, and the ‘What’s Up Let’s Talk’ TV project. In East Africa, Plan Uganda have been using radio talk shows to raise awareness of child rights issues, including one on orphaned and vulnerable children, and one on gender-based violence. Plan Kenya, in addition to their work with YETAM, supported a radio series “Sauti ya Watoto”, meaning “The Voice of Children”, broadcast by the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation as well as radio programmes for children to share their experiences of post election violence and advocate for peace. Campaigning and awareness raising What is: CROWDSOURCING As part of the Learn Without Fear campaign, many Plan country programmes Crowdsourcing means bringing the ideas and inputs in Africa are using ICTs to overcome barriers of lots of different individuals together in one place. of reporting violence against children and Typically it is used to refer to online spaces, such abuses of children’s rights. Plan Benin as Ushahidi (www.ushahidi.org), which brings data staff are piloting the use SMS reporting sent from individuals’ mobile phones onto maps and (using FrontlineSMS) and digital mapping webpages to show an overall picture or analysis. and crowdsourcing (using Ushahidi) to strengthen reporting, tracking and response
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 80to violence against children at local and national levels. The campaign in Senegal organised a demonstration,and provided people with materials such as CD-ROMs and magazines to raise public awareness of the impact ofviolence at school.In several countries, Plan has supported helplines for children to report and talk about violence and rights abuses.In Kenya, Plan worked with the government and Childline Kenya to establish a free 24-hour helpline for childrento report violence. The most common forms of violence reported are neglect, physical abuse and sexual violence.In Mozambique, a toll-free line has been set up to report cases and offer counselling and referral services. Thehelpline service is also the basis for policy advocacy and campaigning for anti trafficking and domestic violencelaws. Efforts are currently ongoing to bring mobile operators onboard to ensure free access through mobilenetworks. Such helplines have also been supported by Plan in Uganda and Senegal.Providing access to important informationIn Tororo, Uganda Plan has been working with partners to improve young people’s access to information onsexual and reproductive health. Plan provide equipment, technical support and training for young people to usethe internet to access information and empower themselves to better manage their reproductive health. PlanKenya runs a similar project, in partnership with AfriAfya, called “Harnessing ICT for Community Health”. Theproject applies ICT and multimedia to provide access to quality, relevant and practical health and developmentinformation, mostly through Primary and Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) schools.In Ghana Plan use the radio to ensure that farmers have access to the latest prices for their crops and in UgandaPlan support the use of ICTs to improve farmers’ access to reliable weather information.Supplying computer equipment and trainingIn partnership with the local women’s group and children’s clubs, Plan Senegal has been supporting a cyberproject in Medina Gounass commune, Dakar. The project has supplied a children’s club with 6 computersand accessories, provided electronic and traditional games and organised internet training for 25 children’sassociations. Children were part of the procurement process. Plan Senegal also provided computer equipmentand educational materials to schools and children’s organisations promoting the rights of the child through theTELNET project, reaching 7,000 students at primary and secondary levels.In several countries, Plan collaborates with ICT capacity for the education system. Plan Cameroon has providedICT training for basic education inspectors and head teachers, with specific focus on management of educationinformation and school evaluation systems. Plan Senegal is providing ICT equipment for the district educationdirectorate to enable better management of children’s information. Plan Ghana, despite their reliance on radiofor information and communication work, are now piloting an ICT telecentre approach linked to school resourcecentres. Notwithstanding the serious drawbacks such as connectivity costs, sustainability, maintenance, andliteracy, this is considered important not least because ICT is part of the curriculum. Children are learning aboutICT without equipment, only seeing computers in books. The pilot ICT centres are used by schools during theday and then for training and internet cafe use for a small fee in the afternoon/evening. It is hoped that in thisway they may pay for themselves in the long run.Enabling feedback and learningPlan Uganda provided funding, technical support and internet connectivity for the Partners in Learning Project, whichlinks communities in Uganda (Mbula) and Ireland to exchange knowledge and learn from each others’ experiences.In Cameroon, Plan supports the development of local newsletters, with the participation of young people, to shareinformation and also to report to sponsors. The progress report states that “Children are writing articles and drawing forthe “EYEKE-Y’OR” and “Planète Jeune” magazines. Sponsorship communications have become a tool for developmenteducation in Esse”. As part of the YETAM project, blogging has also started by youth and partners.
81 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. Gathering data Senegal is one Plan office using a global online system called ChildData with digital cameras, to collect, organise and store data, making it more accessible to staff and reducing the use of paper. They have also used the existing computer systems to connect and enable sharing of documents between programme units and central functions. They also use mobile phones and cameras to collect data for sponsorship, situation analyses and monitoring and evaluation purposes. Communicating Plan’s work For example, Plan Ghana have produced video documentaries about their work for broadcast on national television, including a recent documentary on village savings and loans associations and a TV programme produced to share the objectives, beneficiaries and achievements of a pilot urban child media project. Some sponsorship staff have also been using their mobile phones to collect and share information for sponsors. Plan Senegal also pointed out the use of mobiles and cameras to document events and learning. Plan Uganda also mentioned using video to document and share good practice for their own research. Organising and staying informed: In all Plan offices staff have access to computers and the internet, and in many cases this is considered a base for connectivity in communities. Plan staff use their mobile phones to organise their work and connect with stakeholders and local leaders, keeping abreast of developments and organising meetings. Senegal staff noted that this saves them a lot of time and enables closer communication, but there are many setbacks, as not everyone has a mobile phone, people can have difficulties reading text and, ultimately, the culture respects and responds to physical presence much more than telephone conversations.
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 82Case study: Breaking the silence on violence against children in BeninCommonly in Benin, acts of violence against children go unreported. In a culture where elders are to be respectedand obeyed, it is difficult for children to report abuses – especially where they fear reprisal and stigma, lack ofinterest or ineffective responses. Difficulties in communication and access to relevant authorities, and lack ofawareness or political will to motivate appropriate responses, undermine further attempts to increase reporting.Even when violence against children is reported, national response and judicial systems in many countries don’tdo a good job of addressing it. Plan Benin are experimenting with the use of SMS and websites for reporting,mapping and responding to child violence, to help overcome the culture of silence which surrounds violenceagainst children. It is hoped that, considering young people’s growing access to mobile phones, the provision ofan anonymous, impersonal and rapid reporting mechanism will help to overcome this problem and make it easierfor children to speak out.How does it work, and what does it do?Under the new system, anyone that experiences or witnesses violence against children can send a text messagefrom their mobile phone to a special number, and through an application called Frontline SMS1 this event willappear on a map on the website of Plan partner Ushahidi2. Children can also choose to email the websiteand upload audio or video themselves, giving more substance to statistics and better understand attitudestowards violence. Plan Benin has trained young people to use video and audio to document violence and to taketestimonials from other youth and community members, to generate dialogue around the causes and practicesof violence. These materials, uploaded to the website, can also enable young people to connect and share theirrealities, challenges and accomplishments with others outside their communities.The website will be carefully monitored by a trained administrator, who will verify each case. The websiteadministrator, with support from government and local partners, will ensure that children who report abuseare referred to appropriate support by the relevant institution. SMS can alert local authorities quickly and helpimprove response. For now, Plan staff are managing and administrating the system as well as acting as liaisonpoints to ensure timely responses to reported cases. When a case reported in a particular community, Plan staff 1. www.frontlinesms.for that community and child protection services, as well as the local police, are automatically alerted. These com Frontline SMS is software thatauthorities have the mandate and training to verify the cases and provide follow up. However, the aim is that allows you to useeventually the system will be managed by national public authorities, with support from a range of government your laptop or PCagencies and NGOs working to protect children. and mobile phone for two-way groupBut the aims of the system are wider than the tracking and responses to individual cases of abuse and violence. It is messaging - sendingalso hoped to be an advocacy and awareness-raising tool. The idea is that the more people report cases of violence and receiving textagainst children, the more information is available, and the more analysis is possible on the scale and nature of the messages from a large numberproblem. Youth groups, Plan and partners will be able to use the statistics gathered to raise awareness of the severity of people. It hasof the problem, and advocate for the necessary resources to prevent and deal with it. Mapping is a visual tool that been used bychildren and youth can use to advocate for an end to cultural practices that allow for violence against them. And the NGOs and CBOsawareness itself may promote greater vigilance and reporting, reducing the incidence of violence and ensuring that around the world for communicationthose suffering abuses are quickly given the care and support they need. around a huge variety of themes and issues. The website includes some case studies to set your imaginationConnecting and supporting people and creativity going.to stop violence against children 2. www.ushahidi.com Ushahidi has usedWhile the Plan system of mobiles connecting to a website is itself new, it connects to existing structures and similar systems tomechanisms for reporting violence against children, rather than replacing or undermining them. In this way it map violence duringseeks to improve access to, bolster and connect up the existing system, strengthening public social services to elections in Kenya, in South Africa,ensure legitimacy and sustainability. Linda Raftree, Plan’s adviser on media and ICTs in West Africa, noted that: Gaza and Pakistan,“The system reflects real information and communication flows on the ground, the roles of the different actors to monitor elections– including youth – are clear, it can add value to local structures and initiatives, and it could be sustainable and in India and Sudanpotentially scaled into a national level system in Benin and possibly other countries.” and keep track of aid efforts in Haiti.
83 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. Working closely to complement and support public services, including the Ministry of Family and Child Protection Services, is important to ensure that there is sufficient capacity to deal with the increase in reported cases of violence. Putting in place a system like this raises the expectations of young people that their concerns will be listened to, and that reported cases will be dealt with. But if there is not the capacity to meet increases in demand for these services, people will be disillusioned and may decide not to bother again. During the pilot phase, Plan is working with district authorities, but in the long run the use of the information to advocate for more resources is considered a more sustainable approach. The young people participating in the initial workshops were also clear about their role, and responsibility, within the system, which is encouraging for sustainability and ownership. It is important that they defined their roles themselves, so that they are willing and interested, and ensuring that it is culturally acceptable and safe for them. They wanted to work to: • promote the SMS number for violence reporting, • take testimonials from youth and community members on the situation of violence, • carry out radio and poster campaigns against violence, • lead educational sessions in schools and communities on violence and the SMS service, • approach local leaders and decision makers to engage them in the campaign, and • provide orientation and support to potential users of the system. They will also monitor and feedback to the team how the system is working– what are the challenges children and youth face in reporting by SMS, how can they be resolved, and what other factors should be considered. Taking responsibility, and finding ways to make it work There are many challenges for making ICT systems and programmes work where infrastructure is poor. Many people who wish to report may not have a phone, or credit. The electricity may be down, creating problems uploading to the website. And in the case of Benin, it was difficult to find a phone suitable for running frontline – not because they are out of date but in fact quite the opposite - they were too modern! However, none of these problems were considered insurmountable. For people to report incidents they need access to a mobile phone – with credit. Though Plan Benin is talking to mobile operators and government about getting a freephone number set up, young people who were consulted about the usability of the system acknowledged that there is always a way to do it: borrow a phone or ask a friend for help. As Anastasie Koudoh, the regional coordinator for the programme pointed out: “This is not only happening here in one community or one district. This is a problem that we all share, and we all have a responsibility to do something about.” Internet connections and electricity supplies are always a challenge, and usually out of our hands to control, but with some workarounds like using mobile internet as a backup, and a degree of patience, the system did work under local conditions. The Ushahidi system is being managed from two Plan district offices with good internet connections, but it may be more of a challenge when it is passed to local authorities to manage. Capacity to use, and develop, the system The scope and usefulness of the system itself depends a lot on the capacity of administrators to use and develop it creatively, and overcome glitches and problems. Staff members are starting to see the potential for their work, whether to follow up on individual cases or use sorted and aggregated data. There is a lot more learning to be done on how to get the best out of Frontline SMS and Ushahidi, including exploration of existing add-on functions, to try to meet these needs. The team are currently looking into how the status of individual cases and incidents can be tracked and closed, with information about how it was resolved. As the system is being rolled out, the team are finding more problems. Many users try to call instead of text the number, or request a call back, perhaps because of literacy issues or because they are used to calling not texting into helplines, and they may expect to talk to a live person. Many are not using the keyword “ALT” in their text messages, meaning that the information is not being automatically mapped onto the Ushahidi site. Other messages are too vague to be able to identify and find the victim, and many people are not following the suggested format. However, the team feel that this will improve with time, and more sensitisation work.
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 84Protecting victims, witnesses and dataOne very thorny problem is the conflict between the need for privacy and protection of victims and witnesses ofviolence on the one hand, and the need to raise awareness and share information on the other. Of course thereare tried and tested ways of dealing with and resolving this conflict, but these require good understanding ofthe laws on data protection, the needs of victims and witnesses, and the operation of the system. Linda Raftreedescribes the challenge thus: “Can we capture all the information that comes in, yet scrub it before publication onUshahidi so that it doesn’t identify the victim or alleged perpetrators, yet keep it in a file for the local authoritiesto follow up and respond? And a second challenge: If everyone knows everything that happens in the community,how can we ensure privacy and confidentiality for those who report?”While the first issue is a question of looking into the functionality and potential of the system to enable someinformation to remain private, the second requires sensitivity and careful facilitation. Project staff are consultingwith children and youth to identify ways to ensure confidentiality at the community level.
85 ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. References i - The Mobiles for Development Guide is available here: http://mobileactive.org/ research/mobiles-development-how-mobile-technologies-can-enhance-plan- and-partners-work-africa ii - A selection of frameworks for designing and implementing ICT for Development projects is included in Tuulia Virhiä’s 2010 Masters’ dissertation: “Design Framework for Sustainable Mobile Services in Developing Countries”. iii - For more information and insights on the project and process see: http:// lindaraftree.wordpress.com/2010/03/01/finding-some-ict-answers-in-benin/ iv - For more information and insights on the project and process see: http:// lindaraftree.wordpress.com/2009/06/28/modernizing-birth-registration-with- mobile-technology/ v - For more information and insights on the project and process see: http:// lindaraftree.wordpress.com/2010/01/11/an-example-of-youth-led-community- change-in-mali/ or the virtual village website: www.virtual-villages.org vi - For examples, see Plan’s Mobiles for Development Guide(Beardon 2009) vii - The Mobiles for Development Guide is available here: http://mobileactive.org/ research/mobiles-development-how-mobile-technologies-can-enhance-plan- and-partners-work-africa viii - Many of these exercises were adapted from the Reflect ICT methodology, available here: www.actionaid.org.uk/1413/ict_for_development_ empowerment_or_exploitation.html ix - mobileactive.org/research/mobiles-development-how-mobile-technologies-can- enhance-plan-and-partners-work-africa x - http://lindaraftree.wordpress.com xi - www.alnap.org/pool/files/8rhach3.pdf xii - mobileactive.org/research/mobiles-development-how-mobile-technologies-can- enhance-plan-and-partners-work-africa xiii - See the relevant blog post from Linda Raftree: http://lindaraftree.blogspot. com/2009/10/its-all-part-of-ict-jigsaw-plan.html xiv - See http://www.apc.org/en/projects/communication-influence-central-east- and-west-afri xv - www.itu.int xvi - http://devdata.worldbank.org/ict/cmr_ict.pdf xvii - www.infodev.org xviii - www.itu.int xix - http://devdata.worldbank.org/ict/mli_ict.pdf World Bank Mali ICT data at a glance xx - www.infodev.org Survey of ICT and Education in Africa: ICT and Education in Mali by Babacar Fall xxi - «Selected Snapshots of the 12,000 CLIC Clients» www.dot-com-alliance.org/ newsletter/article.php?article_id=113 xxii - www.iicd.org/projects/mali-icd xxiii - Factors Influencing ICT Adoption from survey of ICT and education in Africa: Mozambique country report By shafika Isaacs www.infodev.org/en/ Document.419.pdf xxiv - www.researchictafrica.net/new/images/uploads/ria-policy-paper_ict-access- and-usage-2008.pdf xxv - www.infopol.gov.mz/ xxvi - www.idrc.ca/ Lessons learned from the Mozambique ICT policy process. xxvii - For more information on Schoolnet Mozambique www.mec.gov.mz/img/ documentos/brochura.pdf and on the current status of Schoolnet: www.mec. gov.mz/dep.php?p=56 xxviii - For more information: www.cieum.org.mz or www.micti.co.mz xxix - http://devdata.worldbank.org/ict/sen_ict.pdf
ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work. 86 xxx - http://portal.unesco.org/ci/en/ev.php-URL_ID=24335&URL_DO=DO_ TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html xxxi - New information and communications technologies: challenges and opportunities for the Senegalese economy by Gaye Daffé and Mamadou Dansokho, 2002 http://tinyurl.com/2evo8ct xxxii - Olivier Sagna, Information and Communications Technologies and Social Development in Senegal: An Overview www.unrisd.org/80256B3C005BCCF9/ (httpPublications)/63CFC0D257A25E5980256B81005E2C17?OpenDocum ent quoted in www1.american.edu/initeb/ib2769a/National_Policy.html IT landscape in Senegal website. xxxiii - From www.infodev.org/en/Publication.390.html ICT in Education in Cameroon Briefing paper xxxiv - http://devdata.worldbank.org/ict/uga_ict.pdf xxxv - Tusubira et al (2005) xxxvi - (Towards an African e-Index) quoted in PanAfri wikixxxvii - www.idrc.ca/en/ev-93066-201-1-DO_TOPIC.html women and ICT in Ugandaxxxviii - Global Information Society Watch Uganda report www.giswatch.org/en/ node/606 (Wougnet) xxxix - From www.infodev.org/en/Document.435.pdf ICT in Education in Uganda Briefing paper xl - www.itu.int xli - http://devdata.worldbank.org/ict/cmr_ict.pdf xlii - www.itu.int/ITU-D/study_groups/SGP_2006-2010/events/Case_Library_old/ africa/CAMERON.PDF xliii - See www.africaden.net/spip.php?rubrique9 xliv - www.antic.cm/IMG/pdf/Cameroun_National_ICT_Policy_10-03-2008.pdf xlv - Gillwald, A. (Ed.) (2005). Towards an African e-Index. Household and Individual ICT Access and Usage in 10 African Countries. Johannesburg: The Link Centre. xlvi - www.uneca.org/aisi/nici/Documents/1rst%20DRAFT%20NICI%202004.pdf xlvii - www.antic.cm/IMG/pdf/Cameroun_National_ICT_Policy_10-03-2008.pdf xlviii - From www.infodev.org/en/Publication.390.html ICT in Education in Cameroon Briefing xlix - http://devdata.worldbank.org/ict/ken_ict.pdf l - www.cck.go.ke/UserFiles/File/SECTOR_STATISTICS_REPORT_Q2_0809.pdf CCK statistics 2008/09 li - www.alin.or.ke/CKC%20Pullout%20EDITED.pdf lii - www.balancingact-africa.com/news/back/balancing-act_456.html liii - www.information.go.ke/ liv - www.cck.go.ke/internet_market_study/ lv - www.giswatch.org/files/pdf/GISW_Kenya.pdf
Founded over 70 years ago, Plan isone of the oldest and largest children’sdevelopment organisations in the world.Plan is active in 66 countries worldwideincluding 48 developing countries acrossAfrica, Asia and the Americas to promotechild rights and lift millions of children outof poverty.Plan is independent, with no religious,political or governmental affiliations.Produced by Plan Finlandwww.plan.fiin collaboration with Plan USAwww.planusa.orgPlan Internationalwww.plan-international.org