Author Archives: jboleky

Mexico ICT4D Resources

1.  The National ICT policy written 2013 by President Nieto, the document was an important step in Mexico’s ICT development . It was written officially by the office of the president and is all in Spanish. Here is another great page about the plans expected effects.

There WAS also a very important project to increase the amount of ICT’s in use by Mexican citizens called compuapoyo . It was very successful and allowed mexican citizens to purchase ICT’s at reduced prices.  Here is a video explaining

2.  Mexico’s ICT policy is overseen by the office of the president here

3. There are important non- official programs and NGO’s in Mexico that are integral to the ICT process:

The NGO that is very involved is called CUDI, it is involved in connecting Mexico’s schools, research centers, cities, and libraries. This organizations is so far very successful and has already laid down 8,000 KM of cable.

Two great newspaper article sabout the new national policy here and here

4. The resources for Mexico are relatively easy to find but they all in Spanish.  Mexico is also an interesting country to pick because they are really taking their ICT development seriously

YOU MUST AT LEAST KNOW BASIC SPANISH (on at least the 2030 level). If you know Spanish but are not fluent I would recommend this website as the best translator that is free on the internet Spanish Translator

 


Lessons learned- Jackson Boleky

ICT4D is a very interesting topic and class to take as an international development major because it really drives some concepts and common mistakes home. The lesson that I think is the most powerful and useful thing we learned is the rule of implementation, this means the success of an initiative is based primarily on its implementation. At first this might seem obvious, but as development majors we too often forget this; that no matter how incredible the technology or idea is, implementation is key. And we saw time and time again that the technology in some instances does not have to be incredible, Farm radio is a great example, but with good implementation and a culturally specific plan it has been very successful.

Crowd sourcing development tasks is the thing that i thought was most interesting we learned this semester. And it comes in many shapes and sizes from GIS to social media in disasters. In many instances this crowd sourcing can take stakeholder participation to a whole new level. This allows seeming insurmountable tasks to be accomplished as well as getting even more instantaneous feedback and thus better response times.

Finally the most important concept is the empowerment that ICT’s can bring, having a stable income is certainly empowering and necessary but this doesn’t translate necessarily into increased political or social power. But ICT’s can do just that their power lies in being connected to everything, similar to economics but the difference in many cases is as simple as viable access. Increased health, political power and greater social security can all result from all access to an ICT. But as we have also reviewed in class Governments have been slow to adopt and similar to wealth disparity the technology gap is widening and in many ways the third world is falling behind. This whole paragraph right here has been the main point of the class and is so important for development professionals to recognize and appreciate the power of ICT’s

 

 


Social Gaming and Development

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      Social Gaming is one very interesting aspect of social media. First off its a big business almost 68.7 million people in America played social games in 2012, and the business brought in 3.06 billion dollars that just in the United States alone! Secondly, social gaming is huge on the international scene, its difficult to find numbers but 55% of ALL Facebook users said that they play social games, and pointing to my on experience in many games like WoW and battlefield the number of international players is amazing. So what does this mean for development? Well three points, development games, community building, and why video games are so successful, are all important regarding development. First we have already seen how face book social games can be used for development purposes like the “Are you game?” woman’s health game. Social games can be yet another avenue for development messages and information. Another thing that video games do is build community, both domestically and internationally. International development could make use of this social space in all the ways it makes use of social spaces. In addition IDEV could use video games could reach populations that normally are anti-social or are difficult to reach. Finally video games and social games make learning fun! Every action and piece of information learned is associated wit a reward, if your ICT4D has anything to do with educating anyone, you might want to take a little extra time to learn what you can from social games. They combine increasing difficulty, instantaneous reward, active participation, and they are fun which certainly increases the amount of learning. In any case games can be helpful in a development perspective.

Sources:

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=social+gaming&FORM=HDRSC2#view=detail&id=D71EA5B72B9778E4ABDC05172DA8236A740C0E6A&selectedIndex=93

http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/01/the-new-games-people-play-game-mechanics-in-the-age-of-social/

http://blog.games.com/2010/09/13/facebook-users-55-play-social-games-19-say-theyre-addicted/

http://mashable.com/2011/02/15/top-social-games/


The NSA and America’s Technological Security Problem

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   I know most of you didn’t see my comment last week about encrypting phone application data, but recently I have been interested in the topic of security and its connection to development. Now at first one could say, what does the recent NSA scandal have to do with ICT4D? Well actually the NSA scandal is very important in the ICT4D world for many reasons. First, the recent scandal has shown to the US, and indeed the world, that almost no security, piece of technology or software is immune to being hacked by a powerful governmental organization. Second, most of the ICT’s in the developing world don’t have anywhere near the security we do in the US, so while other governmental organizations are considerably less powerful then the NSA it also requires less effort to break into these applications. Governments and other organizations being able to break into ICT for development and access peoples information could lead to major problems. This issue was recently seen in the discussion of Uganda’s anti-gay laws, because people were talking about an ICT that could help reach those people. If that data was somehow confiscated real people could die, which is one of the many potential consequences of taking a lighthearted approach to security in ICT4D. Many times we use mobile phone applications or some other technology that can possibly carry a lot of data that would be very bad in the hands of the wrong people. Any powerful group or government could use that data and do any number of horrible things with it. As development “people” we should definitely care about securing the data of the people that we are supposed to be helping. Another application of the concept of security in development is what I mentioned in my previous comment, we could encrypt data to protect people we are trying to help. Obviously many governments wouldn’t like this, but it could be used to great effect to help oppressed minorities that we potentially could not have assisted before. To bring this all back to my first point we, as development majors, should be very pro open internet. That is, placing restrictions on security agencies to keep the internet “free” should be something as a community we should absolutely support. If you have any thoughts on this last opinion or on the connections between security and ICT4D’s please comment below.

Jackson Boleky 3/20/14                    


World Economic Forum Report

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Jackson Boleky

The world network report

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The world economic forum report explicitly states the results of the Network Readiness Index and the Global Information Technology Report, and makes a special note of the changes in ranking between the last year and 2012.  It’s a report on a study with 57 variables for ranking countries in ICT, half of these come from expert repots and the other half comes from an assessment by other international organizations. It ranks a large 144 countries and groups their assessments in several pillars, which are; “The friendliness of a country’s market and regulatory framework, in supporting high levels of ICT uptake the degree of a society’s preparation to make good use of an affordable ICT infrastructure, The efforts of the main social agents—that is, individuals, business, and government—to increase their capacity to use ICTs as well as their actual use of ICTs in day-to-day activities and the broad economic and social impacts accruing from ICTs and the transformation of a country. Toward an ICT- and technology-savvy economy and society as in previous editions, the NRI is composed of twenty-seven executive summaries and twenty-seven data sets from international organizations.   It makes several interesting conclusions and creates a picture of where countries stand in relation to one another. However, it also has some major questions that need to be answered.

C:\Users\Jackson\Documents\WEFreport.pdf

Mainly, how did the writers obtain the measurements out of those countries; some of which are currently in conflict or without real governments? Also, why did they leave out Belize and other countries and not include Afghanistan and Mali? Additionally, what expert opinions were collected and how did they set such qualitative data against the intrinsic quantitative data? Finally, there are many negatives using a ranking system instead of presenting in terms of more basic data. How does one really measure Botswana against Finland?  All of these questions require a much better answer but the data is helpful for gauging countries in one’s mind. Despite these issues, this was overall an interesting study.