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Nutrition surveillance is expensive and logistically laborious and therefore often non-existent in resource-low countries. Surveillance systems are also constrained by time-consuming and error-prone paper-based data collection followed by manual data entry. Consequently, monitoring of nutrition outcomes in real time and timely response to nutritional crises is often impossible. This new evidence review by Inka Barnett and Jose V Gallegos, funded by Transform Nutrition, outlines how mobile phone technologies could help to address many of these challenges and offer potential benefits.
Many funders have begun to use technology to explore new ways of working together, from casual peer learning to joint funding and strategy development. This report is a story about how new tools - social networking sites, file sharing tools, crowdsourcing systems, data visualisation, wikis, and many others - are changing the way funders collaborate. Aimed at funders in the philanthropic sector it is nevertheless relevant and useful to a wider audience. It is divided into three primary sections:
And while no written document can actively keep pace with all of the continuous changes and developments in technology, the report includes profiles of a sampling of the tools that are now available to give a flavor of the wide diversity and tremendous potential of the new technologies to strengthen philanthropic practice and increase impact on public problems. [summary adapted from authors]
This ebook offers a guide through the process of choosing social media platforms and developing an effective online media strategy. It provides an overview of few popular social media channels in South Africa and how they work, so that organisation can learn about the potential benefits of these networks. It also shows how to develop a content calendar for web and social media work.
Movements towards open data involve the publication of datasets (from metadata on publications, to research, to operational project statistics) online in standard formats and without restrictions on reuse. A number of open datasets are published as linked data, creating a web of connected
datasets. Governments, companies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) across the world are increasingly exploring how the publication and use of open and linked data can have impacts on governance, economic growth and the delivery of services.
This article outlines the historical, social and technical trajectories that have led to current interest in, and practices around, open data. Drawing on three example cases of working with open and linked data it takes a critical look at issues that development sector knowledge intermediaries may need to engage with to ensure the socio-technical innovations of open and linked data work in the interests of greater diversity and better development practice.
This article addresses the emerging field of the knowledge commons in relation to the challenges of international development. It reviews the history of academic knowledge since the Enlightenment, its evolution and current trends, with the purpose of exploring the future of the knowledge commons.
Assuming that knowledge is the most important resource in the twenty-first century, the intention of this article is to map the conditions necessary to take advantage of this resource. What are the barriers to accessing and using the common pool of knowledge that is currently being generated?
The supply and the demand sides of the knowledge sharing equation are reviewed to understand their particularities and trends. Particular attention is given to the demand side of this equation in order to identify the obstacles that prevent people from less developed countries from taking full advantage of this fast-growing resource.
Affordable broadband connectivity,services and applications are essential to modern society, offering widely recognized social and economic benefits. With this Report, the Broadband Commission expands awareness and understanding of the importance of broadband networks, services, and applications for generating economic growth, and for achieving social progress.
The report explores questions of whether, and how, everyone can be connected to broadband Internet, and if so, by when, specifically:
why should everyone be connected?
is there a viable business case to connect the last 5-10% of the population?
how can women, minorities, and disadvantaged groups be connected?
have Universal Service Funds (USFs) been extended to include broadband?
The authors argue that in our converged broadband environment, the roles of the public and private sectors are changing rapidly, and that all stakeholders must work together towards a common vision to achieve universal broadband.
While the South African information and communication technology (ICT) sector continues to demonstrate dynamic growth, particularly as driven by the mobile sector, the growth has not met the national objective of affordable access to the full range of communication services. Access to mobile services continues to grow, however, broadband access (particularly access to fixed broadband) remains very low in comparison to other lower-middle-income countries, and the prices of all communication services remain high by both African and global standards.
This report argues that the impact of the current broadband realities on the cost of communications in South Africa requires regulatory assessment, and policy and regulatory bottlenecks that constrain operators and potential players from responding dynamically to the changing nature of communication require policy and regulatory attention.
Major policy challenges thus remain for South Africa if it is to create the conditions for large-scale investment (in backbone and backhaul networks) to deal with demand for stable, high-speed broadband. Such investments will require more capital than government alone can be expected to provide. The South African Government needs to create an environment conducive to investment, through credible commitments and a predictable regulatory environment.
The report makes the following recommendations:
ICT policy development is often seen merely as a technical issue with little relationship to other development areas. At the same time, many national gender-centered policies do not take into consideration the use of ICTs or broadband as key enablers to expand the reach of those policies to accelerate progress.
This report frames the challenges and opportunities faced in achieving gender equality in an era of rapid technological change. It closely examines critical gender issues with respect to new information and communication technologies (ICTs) and broadband. It aims to show ways in which the sustainable development agenda can be advanced by promoting the use of new technologies in support of gender equality and women’s empowerment.
The report expands on five major policy recommendations:
integrate gender and national ICT and broadband policies - policy needs to cover universal access, regulatory frameworks, privacy and security, licensing, spectrum allocation, infrastructure, ICT industry development and labor issues, and draw onavailable expertise, frameworks and tools that provide relevant guidelines
improve sex-disaggregated ICT statistics and measurement - gender statistics should be mainstreamed in national ICT statistics and a gender perspective integrated into ICT data collection
boost the affordability and usability of ICTs - women need access to affordable, pervasive broadband services, and the equipment necessary to use it
improve relevant and local content online - there is an urgent need to address the lack of relevant content and services for people in marginalised areas. The creation of local content and applications should therefore be stimulated, such as development of websites, software and mobile tools in indigenous languages or information systems for those in rural areas
The demands of public diplomacy have shifted with the development of social media technologies. Increasingly, governments are required to gauge and respond to public sentiment over and above the one-way communication of broadcast media.
The paper seeks to make sense of the evolving nature of public diplomacy and what the involvement of public sentiment means for the future of China–Africa relations.
The paper discusses:
The author summarises that:
on the other hand, it is Africa that is leapfrogging communication technology. Despite this trend, South Africa has demonstrated the limits of social media influence in decision making. In this inherently divided society, social media is not taken up as a policy negotiation tool but rather as a means for information and social interaction
although public opinion is difficult to measure online, sentiment (and a lack thereof) is able to provide an indication of the future direction of China–Africa relations. Both countries’ larger public remains disinterested in the relationship unless it affects their immediate environment (which emphasises economic concerns). The future China–Africa relationship depends on public diplomacy on both sides. and social interaction
Produced by the ICT Data and Statistics Division of the International Telecommunication Union in Geneva, this document presents gender- and regional-disaggregated data showing various aspects of mobile and internet penetration up to 2013.
The comprehensive data are presented in tables and charts, with analysis highlighting significant trends and conclusions. Topics covered are mobile, and internet penetration, gender disaggregated data, comparative subscription cost trends, and the rise of mobile broadband. The following are some of the findings:
Over the past decades, computers have substituted for a number of jobs, including the functions of bookkeepers, cashiers and telephone operators. More recently, the poor performance of labour markets across advanced economies has intensified the debate among economists about technological unemployment. While there is ongoing disagreement about the driving forces behind the persistently high unemployment rates, a number of scholars have pointed at computer-controlled equipment as a possible explanation for recent jobless growth.
Dawing upon recent advances in Machine Learning (ML) and Mobile Robotics (MR), the authors have developed a methodology to categorise occupations according to their susceptibility to computerisation.
This methodology is used to estimate the probability of computerisation for 702 detailed occupations, and examine expected impacts of future computerisation on US labour market outcomes.
The results distinguish between high, medium and low risk occupations, depending on their probability of computerisation. According to the estimates, around 47 percent of total US employment is in the high risk category. These are referred to as to these as jobs at risk – i.e. jobs the authors expect could be automated relatively soon, perhaps over the next decade or two.
The model predicts that most workers in transportation and logistics occupations, together with the bulk of office and administrative support workers, and labour in production occupations, are at risk.
More surprisingly, it is suggested that a substantial share of employment in service occupations where most US job growth has occurred over the past decades are highly susceptible to computerisation.
The authors conclude that their results predict a truncation in the current trend towards labour market polarisation, with computerisation being principally confined to low-skill and low-wage occupations. Findings imply that as technology races a head, low-skill workers will reallocate to tasks that are non-susceptible to computerisation – i.e., tasks requiring creative and social intelligence. For workers to win the race, however, they will have to acquire creative and social skills.
This is the report from World Water Week 2013, held in Stockholm 1-6 September 2013. It provides input into the discussions at the event which was themed ‘Water Cooperation: Building Partnerships’. The report also explores issues such as the role of ICT, the importance of climate mitigation and adaptation coherence and the interplay between actors in water, food and energy.
Evidence on Demand was requested to support DFID in work on what the post MDG framework might look like. This brief report was prepared to consider the data availability and measurability of indicators for a proposed target to enable everybody to have access to telecommunications. The report considered existing indicators used by the United Nations, and whilst their value was recognised, revisions were proposed to reflect technological change and a shift towards demand-side statistics. With advances in technology and increasing competition and investment by the private sector, the report concludes that infrastructure is becoming less of a barrier to access and in the future the price of services and user devices and digital literacy are likely to be the main barriers to expanded ICT access.
In 2012, there remain 1.4 billion people without access to energy and 783 million without access to improved water resources. Mobile penetration in Africa is estimated to reach 76 per cent by 2014 and more people have access to a mobile phone than to energy and water. Mobile technologies have been identified as one potential area of innovation in support of improved water and energy services for the poor. This cost benefit analysis provides a useful example of how to approach undertaking an appraisal of a development programme to provide seed funding for entrepreneurs and researchers to develop new mobile applications or business models in the water and energy service provision space. It looks at different ways to provide that funding but importantly estimates impacts on carbon emissions, health benefits of clean water and so on. It was used to inform the design of a DFID funded programme to support mobile technology development.
Eldis Climate Change Resource Guide experimented with social media tools for two months during April and May 2013, with the support of the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN). Although the guide already has a wide global audience, social media presence was considered a valuable addition in broadening CCRG’s global outreach and directly engaging with its users. The social media work focused on Twitter, Facebook andLinkedIn.
This learning paper outlines the broad objectives of the pilot project, presents the different activities undertaken and outlines the lessons learned.
In Latin America, innovations in microfinance come not only from new technology, but by focusing on the people and processes making use of that technology, achieving important advances in scale and reach. Since microfinance is based on small loans with no formal information and no real guarantees, technology plays a key role in lowering transaction costs and increasing profitability.
This Brief looks at technology in a broad sense, focusing on technological advances in equipment, and the personnel, processes and procedures that make use of these advances. The Brief provides an overview of how the microfinance business is organised at an operational level and the role that basic technologies have played in making it a viable activity in Latin America.
This IISD report examines the current state of alignment between climate knowledge brokering (CKB) platforms and the information-seeking and knowledge-sharing behaviour of users of online climate change information. It reviews the case for knowledge brokering and how brokering activities are put into practice online for climate change and development. The paper then outlines the results of research undertaken to understand how CKB platform users assess, access and apply knowledge.
This research includes interviews and surveys with over 200 online climate change information users to understand their needs, preferences and behaviours. The research also involved in-depth case studies of four CKB platforms: AfricaAdapt, Climate Finance Options, Climate Change Policy & Practice and the Eldis Climate Change Resource Guide. The paper highlights key findings and recommendations regarding user behaviours and preferences, potential areas for innovation in online knowledge brokering and the need for taking CKB beyond its online functions.