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"Understanding Broadband from the Outside" - ARNIC Seminar April1 08
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"Understanding Broadband from the Outside" - ARNIC Seminar April1 08


"Understanding Broadband from the Outside" …

"Understanding Broadband from the Outside"
Ricardo Ramírez
Freelance researcher and consultant, adjunct professor at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Published in Technology , Education
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  • Francois invitation, share ideas from a recent article I will take you on a tour - how I came to see this McLuhan: the massage Like fish in water


  • 1. Understanding broadband from the outside Ricardo Ramirez  ARNIC Seminar - USC Annenberg  April 1, 2008
  • 2. Methods and Media in Community Participation  1983-4
  • 3. I nformation and C ommunication T echnologies 4 D evelopment “ ICD” (DFID) … radio and popular theatre
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  • 10. Understanding broadband from the outside What is it you want to do with education, with health? How can you use the technologies to get there? --- a locally grown “theory of change”.
  • 11. Video testimonials are now a way of tracking change:
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  • 16. Understanding broadband from the outside
    • The “outside” invited fields, disciplines, approaches:
    • Community Development and Adult Education
    • Natural Resource Management and Communication for Development
    • Systems Thinking and Participatory Action Research
  • 17. 1. Community development and Adult education Start where people are at Work with local champions Understand the context (history, politics, power, culture, age groups, jobs, aspirations, communication patterns) Reflect on your own role (the organization you work with is half the methodology)
  • 18.  
  • 19. Mens’ communication linkages (left) and women’s (right) in Pembe (Homoine)
    • health and sanitation stakeholders are prominent in women’s network
    • radio seems to be a channel with potential for both genders
  • 20. 1. Community development and Adult Education Attention Comprehension Interpretation Confirmation Acceptance Retention Behaviour change Rohrmann, B. 2000. A socio-pyschological model for analyzing risk communication processes. The Australasian Journal of Disaster and Trauma Studies Vol. 2000 (2) on-line Moments of truth: librarians in rural communities
  • 21. 2. Natural resource management… Multiple perspectives - Columbia River Different languages - the power of indicators Kai Lee (1993) Compass and gyroscope. Washington DC: Island Press The Columbia River Basin -multiple stakeholders, unpredictable behaviour, reading system feedback… a metaphor to work with.
  • 22. Valparaiso, Chile, 2002
  • 23. 2. Natural resource management and Communication for Development Policy communication Educational communication Advocacy communication Participatory communication
  • 24.  
  • 25. 2. Natural resource management and Communication for Development
      • Communication for development is the use of communication processes , techniques and media to help people towards a full awareness of their situation and their options for change , to resolve conflicts , to work towards consensus , to help people plan actions for change and sustainable development, to help people acquire the knowledge and skills they need to improve their condition and that of society, and to improve the effectiveness of institutions .
    • Fraser, C. and Restrepo-Estrada, S. 1998. Communicating for development: Human change for survival . London: I.B. Taurus. (p. 63)
  • 26. 3. Systems thinking and participatory action research Who owns the problem; who owns the process to address it; who owns the content? Tracking change: Most Significant change and Outcome mapping
      • … a trusted, mediating organization that creates moments of learning with ICTs…
  • 27. Evidence world-wide – emerging principles: Ballantyne, P.; Labelle, R. and Rudgard, S. 2000. Information and knowledge management: Challenges for capacity builders. Policy Management Brief No. 11. Maastricht: ECDPM. FAO/WB/DFID. 2004. Information and Communication for Development (ICD) in support of rural livelihoods. Presentation made during the 9 th UN Roundtable on Communication for Development, Rome: FAO. 6-9 September. Gómez, R., Beltrán, M. and Beaulieu, Y. 2003. Facing the sceen: ICTs in Latin America and the Caribbean . Kuala Lumpur, Ottawa and Bogotá: GKP, Bellanet, IDRC and Fundación Colombia Mulitcolor
    • Principles for partnerships:
    • Foster ownership
    • Focus on processes
    • Give priority to local capacities
    • Use open standards
    • Prepare an exit strategy
    • Key principles for ICD:
    • Share costs appropriately
    • Ensure equitable access
    • Local or appropriately localised content
    • Build on existing systems
    • Build capacity
    • Use realistic technologies
    • Build knowledge partnerships
    • Principles to look at the challenges of ICTs:
    • Innovating for equitable access
    • Enabling full human capacity
    • Promoting local content and media
    • Building effective networks and partnerships
    • Empowering women and marginalized groups
  • 28. "The cognitive and social impacts of mobile and pervasive technologies are largely unknown, the potential for negative side effects is high, and the possibility for unexpected emergent behaviors is nearly certain . Before individuals, families, or communities can make decisions about how to adopt, use, constrain or appropriate emerging technologies, we need better information about what mobile and pervasive media do to our minds and societies." (Rheingold, H. 2002. Smart mobs. Cambridge, MA. Basic books. p. 206)
  • 29. Fundamentals on evaluation
    • Determine USERS and USES of an evaluation from the beginning
    • Express your assumptions: a theory of change (example: the ICT4D value chain)
    • Agree on terminology: inputs or activities > outputs > outcomes > results or impacts (results-based management and logical frameworks are “in the water”)
    • Consider alternative approaches like “Most Significant Change” and “Outcome mapping” that challenge the linear causality and focus on contribution (instead of attribution)
  • 30.
    • Focus on those whom you work with directly ( boundary partners )
    • Engage partners in visioning where they want to go
    • Work with partners to brainstorm on what they will do differently as a result of the interaction (training leading to new capacities )
    • Determine progress markers (expect to see, would like to see, would love to see)
    • Give up on the notion of taking credit for their actions and achievements (replace attribution with contribution )
    • Embrace process and unexpected outcomes
    • Combine with additional methods for assessment and impact evaluation
    Action Output Outcome Impact or result
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    • Results-based management, logical frameworks and ZOPP
    • logical sequence  assumes linear causality
    •  does not address process nor emerging change
    • Outcome mapping
    • focuses on outcomes and process
    • focuses on contribution
    • tracks changes in what people do differently
    • Most significant change
    • embraces narrative and interpretation
    • complements other methods
  • 32. Emerging options
    • Outcome mapping
    • Most significant change
    • Gender evaluation methodology
    • See examples in: Evaluation in practice
  • 33.
    • Andrew, T. & Petkov, D. (2003) The need for a systems thinking approach to the planning of rural telecommunications infrastructure. Telecommunications Policy , 27(1-2), 75-93
    • Bar, F., Cohen, S., Cowhey, P., DeLong, B., Kleeman, M. & Zysman, J. (2000) Access and innovation policy for the third-generation internet. Telecommunications Policy , 24, 489-518
    • Cizek, C. & Wintonick, P. (2004) Seeing is Believing: Handicams, Human Rights and the News . Necessary Illusions in association with CBC News World and SRC/RDI
    • Denning, S. (2002) Technical cooperation and knowledge networks. In Capacity for Development : New Solutions to Old Problems. , ed. S. Fukuda-Parr, C. Lopes & K. Malik, pp. 229-46. London and Sterling, VA: Earthscan Publications and UNDP
    • Fink, C. & Kenny, C. (2003) W(h)Ither the Digital Divide? The World Bank
    • Mitchell, D. (2003) The Alberta SuperNet Research Alliance. Canadian Journal of Communication , 28, 219-26
    • O'Reilly, T. (2005) What is Web 2.0 Design patterns and business models for the next generation of software. Http://, 30/09. 13 June 2006
    • Ramírez, R. (2007) Appreciating the contribution of broadband ICT with rural and remote communities: Steppingstones towards an alternative paradigm. The Information Society 23(2): 85-94
    • Ramírez, R. and Richardson, D. (2005) Measuring the impact of telecommunication services on rural and remote communities. Telecommunications Policy 29 (4): 297-319
    • Ramírez, R. (2003) Bridging disciplines: The natural resource management kaleidoscope for understanding ICTs. Journal of Development Communication 14 (1): 51 – 64
    • Rheingold, H. (2002) Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution . Cambridge, Massachusetts: Basic Books
    • Sawhney, H. (1996) Information superhighway: Metaphors as midwives. Media, Culture & Society , 18, 291-314
    • Sawhney, H. (2001) Dynamics of infrastructure development: The role of metaphors, political will and sunk investment. Media, Culture & Society , 23, 33-51
    Literature signaling unpredictable dimensions of ICTs
  • 34. So what was in the water? An instrumental mind-set A focus on Technology and Information, at the expense of Communication Comfort in prediction and causality Evidence-based decision making… unchallenged Blind spots about how change is complex and systemic
  • 35. Options? Systems thinking: ask who owns the problem, embrace emergent properties, engage stakeholders at the start, and read system feedback Focus on contribution instead of attribution Projects as policy experiments - including alternative evaluation Seek spaces for learning with policy makers - collaborative policy making
  • 36. "One does not build bridges by counting the number of people who swim across the river.” Sawhney, H. (2001) Dynamics of infrastructure development: The role of metaphors, political will and sunk investment. Media, Culture & Society , 23 , 33-51
        • "...communication should be measured by the successful coordination of efforts.”
        • Peters, J. (1999) Speaking Into the Air: A History of the Idea of Communication . Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press
  • 37. Communication is reciprocity of thought (Nora Quebral, 2002)
  • 38.