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Workshop 10: Media and civic driven change

July 27, 2009

Author: Corine Mengers Chair: Allert van den Ham

What role can media play in civic driven change?

Presenter 1: Anne Marijke Podt; IICD; Ecuador: ciudania informada, using interactive discussions via an online newspapers

  • Civic driven change because it is an on the ground project which involves citizens in discussions on political and social issues by using a variety of online tools
  • Also training is given how to use these tools to give more people access to and information about different issues, to raise awareness.
  • Challenges:
    - Quality of newspaper versus access to debate for everyone
    - Small group of readers effect the civic base
  • Purpose of the newsletter shift form informing media to communication media
  • Civic driven change came out of the process, not first initiative.

Presenter 2: Stijn van der Krogt; IICD; Bolivia: experience of national confederation of indigenous people CIDOB, using the web and blogs to formulate policies and influence the media

  • IICD formed networks aiming awareness raising, sharing of experiences and policy participation around ICT for development.
  • Bring together voices of independent groups, formulate a policy agenda and inform them about their rights.
  • Role of IICD changes from the set up, organisation and funding of the network to the role of advisor.

Presenter 3: Giacomo Zanello; Hivos; ICT and mobile phones in East Africa

  • A study to analyze how citizens can interact with society and authorities more efficiently and effectively by making use of ICT tools.
  • Technology can play an important role in development strategies of the future because it can create action at a large scale.

Discussion:

  • The great extent of illiteracy restricts the possibilities of ICT. But when people need it, they will learn how to use tools. New initiatives will come up from people when they need it; NGO’s should facilitate this process because it empowers the people or should NGO’s create a better infrastructure first?
  • Difficulties for donors by implementing new media tools in development strategy, because the lack of the knowledge how to do it.
  • Not the real costs and problems central but the perception of people. When they feel they need id, they will use it.

Agreements:

  • ICT creates a level of being for people
  • people feel part of a larger society, not excluded from the outside anymore
  • ICT can empower people for development
  • combination of new and old media is important

Innovation of ICT

  • influence agendas
  • new ways of bringing in ideas and organising
  • smaller number of people can make a bigger change

Problems with ICT

  • not accessible for everyone
  • trust in ICT is necessary for use