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Best Practices

The Digital Shift: Youth and ICT for Development Best Practices' is a compilation of best practices and projects from around the world that have used Internet and Communication Technologies to aid social development.

 

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  • Wireless Ghana

    Boateng Ebenezer (http://www.wirelessghana.com)

    1. Describe the aims and motivation behind your initiative, the context of the problems being solved.

      The initiative is called Wireless Ghana. It is a project under Rural Communities Empowerment Center (RCEC), a non-government organization based in Ghana. The Wireless Ghana project is a rural project. It was initiated at the Apirede Community Resource Center (ACRC) in 2005 in response to the local communities request for connectivity to help them break their isolation, move their children and community closer to the 21st century, and be competitive with their urban counterparts. Apirede is in the Akwapim North district in the Eastern Region of Ghana. This district has seventeen towns and several villages with a total population of about 750 thousand people.

    2. Why do you consider this initiative to be a best practice? Describe your impact (qualitative and quantitative).

      Low cost –the initiative is an open-architecture mesh network – wireless--that uses low cost-priced WiFi technology and open-source software to share affordable Internet access offering connectivity to schools, public health services, educators, citizens and civic associations and small businesses. Access is providing the youth with jobs and reducing the incidence of the rural-urban drift

    3. What recognition did you receive (internal and/or external)?

      The success, the efficient and professional way of running the wireless project attracted the attention of UNDP Country office in Ghana who in collaboration with Ghana Investment for Telecommunications (GIFTEL) recognized our NGO Rural Communities Empowerment Center as a partner in their effort towards developing ICT infrastructure and building ICT capacity in rural areas. Recently the wireless team was asked by UNDP and National Disaster Management Organization (NDMO) to implement the project in the northern region of Ghana. This will help with the training of Municipal and District Assembly Officers and position the communities to participate in the e-governance process. The innovativeness and success of the wireless project also attracted the attention of InfoDev of the World Bank who contracted the Apirede CRC to do a case study of Open Access using the wireless project. The project was part of a major study on Open Access from many developing countries by InfoDev in 2006-2007.

    4. What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

      Data-driven culture: Trying to instill data driven culture and encouraged Community to be made aware of the importance of the use of data for their projects. Overcome through clear communication. This means constant visiting with chiefs, scheduling meetings with district councilman, and, quite importantly, maintaining open communication with the local people who you are working side-by-side with. This adds to the sense of ownership and “can do” attitude not only by the elders but the whole community thus, avoiding top-down approach to managing the project. Management: Central government has been kept out to avoid politicizing the projects by making communities take the lead. Partnership: Forming partnerships with schools, churches, and community businesses. Sustainability: The projects cannot depend on external resources indefinitely but communities have to be given enough time to find ways of generating funds because of limited resources. Partners have to pay for some of the service fees. Quality Control: NGO’s and partners should not focus too much on quality of management and systems until the management and people assisting with the projects have been trained and done the job for a while.

    5. What key factors enabled your initiative to build momentum (internal and/or external)?

      Funds from the NGO –Rural Communities Empowerment center (RCEC) Partnership with communities. Volunteer from the Peace Corp to provide some technical advice for eighteen months

    6. How did your initiative utilize technology to enable efforts (if at all)? Please provide examples.

      Recycling CPUs and computer hardware, and ensuring the low-cost of WiFi made it accessible to clients.

     

  • Forgotten Diaries

    Selene Biffi (http://www.forgottendiaries.org)

    1. Describe the aims and motivation behind your initiative, the context of the problems being solved.

      There are now over 100 ongoing conflicts and crisis in world, and despite the fact that some of these have been going on for over ten years and have claimed several thousands lives, they have received very little coverage by mainstream media (over 25 years in Sri Lanka & 40 in Colombia, for example). Thus has made them, de facto, shunned by the international community at large and are referred to as 'forgotten conflicts'. Several millions children and young people are confronted daily with war, and have no chance to tell the outer world about their lives, hopes and expectations, nor the way they perceive conflicts and their struggle to survive. To continue the long-standing tradition of young people keeping a diary of their lives and their struggles in conflicts (as much as those of Anne Frank and Zlata Filipovic), the internationally acclaimed organisation, Youth Action for Change (YAC) will offer them a platform though this project to voice their thoughts, feelings and hopes and promote ongoing dialogues between young people from all sides of the identified conflicts as well as the global audience. Aim: Providing young people living in areas affected by neglected conflicts with the possibility to make their voice heard in the media and through the media, by reporting on their daily life via an especially dedicated platform for the exchange of information and analysis of critical situations, expressing their right to peace while engaging their peers and the global audience into concrete actions Mission: • Giving children and young people the opportunity and the tools to report on their daily lives and the conflict they live in • Educate the global audience about unreported and underreported conflicts, crisis and issues while giving them a chance to get involved through a host of activities (campaigns, advocacy efforts and fundraising) • Encourage the implementation of youth-led, on-the-ground activities in the countries and communities targeted by ‘Forgotten Diaries’ Target Audience: Our main target is with children and young people living in conflict and post conflict areas, aged 15-29. We have identified then ten most neglected conflicts and crisis worldwide (including Kosovo, Chechnya, Kurdistan, Timor Leste and others). Other than young people and youth-led organisations coming from neglected conflict and post-conflict areas, we also aim to inspire and involve the global audience, both young and adult alike.

    2. Why do you consider this initiative to be a best practice? Describe your impact (qualitative and quantitative).

      Impact (as of June 2008): Forgotten Diaries is the first initiative ever of this kind • Over 82.000 hits • Media Coverage: International - SBS Australia, Oxfam newsletter, IYF newsletter, UN Youth Unit newsletter, the Communication Initiative, SKY TV National - TG5, Sole24Ore, Rai International, Il Giorno, Corriere della Sera, Psychologies, Top Girl • Partnership with Oxfam OIYP and activities in cooperation with the Pulitzer centre for Crisis Reporting • The FD participants are implementing small, youth-led projects in all of the ten areas involved with our project, after following our online training initiatives and thanks to our support • Awards: 'Econtent Award 2008', in the cathegory 'Young Talent - Freedom of Expression' of Politecnico di Milano. The prize allows Forgotten Diaries to run for the WYSA Award, representing Italy. 'Premio Takunda 2009' as the best Humanitarian Project • Official Endorsement of the Italian Ministry of Youth

    3. What recognition did you receive (internal and/or external)?

    4. What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

    5. What key factors enabled your initiative to build momentum (internal and/or external)?

    6. How did your initiative utilize technology to enable efforts (if at all)? Please provide examples.

      ‘Forgotten Diaries’ is a long-term initiative with a one-year pilot project, and its objectives are as follow: • Select five young people aged 15-29 from each of ten of the most pressing conflict zones, making sure to represent a variety of points of view, backgrounds, ethnicities and gender balance, and offer them a one-month online training course on basic reporting techniques and on the ICTs and tools to be used throughout the project (blogs, podcasts, videos and other), releasing a certificate at the end of it. The project will be extended to cover more countries after the pilot phase. • Develop a website which will be used as a unique tool through which the neglected voices of youth in conflict zones will be heard by the global audiences and interested parties in the media and online. Focused campaigns and advocacy efforts will then contribute to make these intercultural exchanges and youth-led program known through the media, with preference to the online community. • Promote the exchange of perspectives among participants (from within the same country and among all the countries involved) through their weekly blogs, posts, videos, interviews and photos, with a view to foster long-term intercultural dialogue and an enhanced understanding of different backgrounds and experiences of conflicts • Engage the global audience – young people and adult alike - in an ongoing dialogue with participants about their perspectives and the conflicts they live in through blogs and forums, encouraging them to contribute to the project by also taking part in campaigns, advocacy efforts and contributing their time and skills in different fields. The global audience will also have the opportunity to volunteer in assisting youth projects in conflict zones and in advocacy efforts. • Raise funds online to help participants and local organisations in the selected conflicts plan and implement local activities in different countries in order to reach out to and empower several hundreds more young people and their communities

     

  • Adobe Youth Voices

    TakingITGlobal (http://www.tigweb.org/express/magazine/index.html?method=issue3)

    1. Describe the aims and motivation behind your initiative, the context of the problems being solved.

      In  the  fall  of  2007  TakingITGlobal,  with  the  support  of  Adobe  Youth  Voices,  offered  capacity-building workshops to underserved youth in 10 different countries: Argentina, Brazil, China, Canada, Kenya, Mali,  Russia,  Sweden,  Egypt,and  South  Africa.  These  workshops  aimed  to familiarize  the  youth  participants  with  digital  image  editing  using  Adobe  Elements  6.0  software,  as  they  created  images  to communicate their perspective on two key issues: Climate Change and Culture & Identity.  Project Goals: Goal  1:  To  empower  youth  in  underserved  communities  to  create  with  purpose,  through  artistic  creations  including  digital  art,  photo  journalism,  animations,  and  multimedia projects. Goal 2: Provide youth with the technology tools to make a positive impact in their  communities and around the world. Goal  3:  To  leverage  these  breakthrough  learning  experiences  to  foster  cross‐ cultural  dialogue  and  understanding,  with  a  special  emphasis  on  outreach  to  marginalized and underserved youth.

    2. Why do you consider this initiative to be a best practice? Describe your impact (qualitative and quantitative).

      The  themes  of  Climate  Change  and  Culture  &  Identity  were  chosen  because  they  are  both  global  issues,  relevant  to  youth  everywhere,  and  also  because  youth  involvement  in  the  dialogue  and  solutions  related  to  them  is  prominent.  All  over  the  world  youth  have  adopted  Climate  Change  as  their  issue  to  champion,  as  it  will  be  younger  generations  most  affected  by  the  consequences.  Youth  are  taking  part  in  forming  solutions  to  this  problem  in  their  local  communities  and  they  are  also  calling  on  global  leaders  to  take  action.  Similarly,  youth  play  a  major  role  in  influencing  and  reinforcing  Culture  &  Identity,  but  also,  as  a  generation  more  exposed  to  cultural  diversity,  youth  today  are  more  open,  accepting  and  embracing  of  cultural  differences.  he TIG Magazine ‘Culture, Identity & Climate Change’ was distributed to all Country Coordinators, to be  shared  with  organizations  that  hosted  the  workshops,  as  well  as  participants  in  the  workshops  themselves.  Distribution  at  the  WYC  ensures  that  these  examples  of  creative  youth  expression  on  Climate  Change  and  Culture  &  Identity  will  also  be  shared  with  youth  leaders  and  activists  worldwide.  The  availability  of  the  magazine  as  a  free  download  on  the  TakingITGlobal  online  community  means  it  is  available  to  an  even  wider  audience  of  youth,  organizations  and  educators  who  frequent  the  TakingITGlobal Online Community.  Quantitative:   • 107 youth participants in workshops  • 7 partnerships formed with local organizations for the project   • 145 submissions were made to the online Youth Voices Contest  • 7,112 approximate number of youth directly reached [Including youth who submitted to the  contest, participated in the workshops, received a copy of the magazine, or clicked to learn  more about the project]   • 4,729 approximate number of individual visitors to Youth Voices online project and collection  pages    Qualitative:   • Youth participants were eager to learn new skills and contribute to the Youth Voices Project ‐  Approximately 90% of respondents ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly agreed’ that the workshops were a  positive experience  • Youth participants in 7 different countries were able to discuss and recognize the importance of  Climate  Change  and  Culture  &  Identity  in  their  local  communities  –  90%  of  respondents  ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly’ agreed that they had learned something new about one of the themes by  participating in the workshops.  • New submissions to the Global Gallery on relevant global issues were generated through the  workshops and contest  • The final products, including the Contest Collections and TIG Magazine, illustrate the similarities  and differences in youth perspectives on the topics of Climate Change and Culture & Identity  

    3. What recognition did you receive (internal and/or external)?

      TakingIGlobal's collaboration with Adobe helped promote the idea of global outreach in an innovative and fun manner. Because the project was conducted in ten seperate countries, the potential to gain members from these was vast, as was the recognition TakingITGlobal received.

    4. What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

      The major challenges faced were: •Locating host organizations with the necessary  computer/internet facilities and availability was difficult in certain communities.  •Not all the Country Coordinators had previous experience with  Adobe software making it more challenging for them to guide  workshop participants.   •Recruiting participants with the basic computer literacy required  was sometimes difficult in certain communities. Running workshops in ten different countries presented a whole host of logistical problems,  ranging from language barriers to lack of infrastructure necessary to run the workshops, as well  as unforeseen problems like the post‐election violence in Kenya and an internet outage in Egypt.   For future projects, it would be beneficial to have a series of workshops within the same  country in order to provide a more in‐depth experience and greater outreach within  identified communities, leveraging the up‐front investment of the software donation  and coordinator preparation.  This would also allow coordination efforts to focus more  on the workshops themselves and less time sorting out logistical hurdles.  While the project was meant to focus primarily on underserved youth, in order to participate  youth needed to have a basic understanding of computers and familiarity with the internet, and  many truly underserved youth would not have even this most fundamental experience.   The project did reach youth in what can be referred to as underserved communities, but  working with digital image manipulation is a fairly complex project for truly marginalized  youth.     

    5. What key factors enabled your initiative to build momentum (internal and/or external)?

      This project helped to catalyze reflection and expression on critical issues affecting youth and the  culmination of images reflected in the Global Gallery provides an incredible glimpse into the hopes  and concerns of youth from around the world.   Having an opportunity to produce and distribute a  printed TIG Magazine publication at the 4th World Youth Congress was a highlight of the project as it  extended the audience and interest in both the process along with sparking further interest in the  issues and the program.  Moving into 2009, we are very interested in the possibility of implementing  an adapted version of the program based on lessons learned.    One of the unexpected outcomes from the project was the range of new insights generated that  have influenced the developed of a redesigned and upgraded version of TakingITGlobal’s online  Global Gallery, which is scheduled to launch in early 2009!  Moving forward, TakingITGlobal hopes to  continue to collaborate with Adobe Youth Voices on future programs and initiatives, and possibly as  a partner in the new Global Gallery, an online exhibition space with over 17,000 creative  expressions!  Internally, the Adobe Youth Voices Project was in keeping with promoting TakingITLGlobal's mandate of promoting awareness among youth, and giving them a platform to be heard.

    6. How did your initiative utilize technology to enable efforts (if at all)? Please provide examples.

      The following are the major steps taken in the project that involved technology. Also, given that TakingITGlobal is a web-based organization, and Adobe is a software, internet technology was a major factor in the project. Activity #1: Produce and Distribute Workshop  materials Development and distribution of the materials  took place from September 2007 – November 2007.    1.Adobe Youth Voices Power Point Presentation: The PowerPoint Presentation introduced participants to the Adobe Youth Voices initiative,  TakingITGlobal, the Global Gallery, and the purpose of the workshop, as well as a discussion  on the power of art and why it is a useful way to communicate with others.  2.Adobe Youth Voices Feedback Form:   The feedback forms were voluntarily completed by workshop participants at the end of each  workshop. It included questions regarding the workshop experience as a whole, as well as  focusing on specific project goals, such as whether the workshops were an opportunity to  improve on computer skills and participate in cross‐cultural exchange with other youth.  3. Adobe Elements 6.0 Guide:   A basic overview of the software was created for Facilitators to guide participants through  the functionality and specific tools which would be most useful to them during the creation  of their digital image.   Activity #2: Workshops on Climate Change and Culture & Identity  November 2007 – June 2008.  In each workshop participants:  1.Learned about the Adobe Youth Voices initiative, TakingITGlobal and the Global Gallery, and  were given an overview of what the Youth Voices Project aimed to achieve.  2.Discussed the two themes of Climate Change and Culture & Identity – both in a local and  global context.  3.Were given a basic training on Adobe Elements 6.0 software   4.Created digital images that communicated their perspective on the two workshop themes.  5.Created a TakingITGlobal profile and submitted their finished image to the online Youth Voices Contest.  Activity #3: Youth Voices Contest in the Global Gallery  January 30 2008 – May 28 2008    Two separate contest collections were created  within  TakingITGlobal’s  online  Global  Gallery,  one for the theme of Climate Change and one  for the theme of Culture & Identity. The contest  was  promoted  through  a  Spotlight  on  TakingITGlobal’s homepage that received 1,989  hits, the TakingITGlobal monthly Dispatch which  is  sent  to  approximately  200,000  youth  worldwide in 7 different languages, and in an e‐ mail to TakingITGlobal’s ‘Inspire Group’, a group  of  TIG  members  interested  in  creative  opportunities which has 1,592 members.   A Youth Voices project page was specially designed and built by TakingITGlobal’s in‐house tech team:  http://takingitglobal.org/contest/youthvoices/  Traffic from the Spotlight on TakingITGlobal’s main page  was directed to this special project page.  145 accepted submissions were received for the contest in  total.   

     

  • The Youth Media Exchange Report

    TakingITGlobal; YMEX (http://www.ymex.org/)

    1. Describe the aims and motivation behind your initiative, the context of the problems being solved.

      The ymex.org pilot focused on the creation, organization, and dissemination of youth produced digital media addressing a wide range of global and social issues in innovative ways. By building on the TakingITGlobal community platform and existing media uploading sites such as Flickr and YouTube, ymex.org allows users to share both first and third party digital media. The site incorporates a youth development approach to learning through “Quests”, guided steps to engage in a global issue while learning to use digital media to effectively explore the issue; “Resources”, member submissions of online tools and free open source software to find, create and upload media on the Internet, as well as online resources on global issues; and “Youth Guides” 1 , a mentorship system for members age 13 to 17 to facilitate peer-to-peer learning and engagement. The learning activities on ymex.org focused on the global issues most important to the community identified through a pre-registration survey and site activity. These issues included global health, migration, access to education, environment, and poverty. The website attracted young people who were likely to be media literate. According to the compiled digital media literacy survey results, 86.9% of the participants were confident of teaching themselves new skills on the computer. 75.4% agreed they could affectively determine the accuracy of information found online, and 73.8% agreed that they were able to effectively identify bias or prejudice within a form of digital media. In order to attract youth members to take part in these learning activities, we proposed them as discovery-based experiences, referring to them as “quests”6 rather than “learning activities” to take the “school” feeling out of the formula. We assumed that by taking on a quest and making the completion of a step a discovery into the next step members would be intrigued to complete an entire quest in order to uncover an ending.

    2. Why do you consider this initiative to be a best practice? Describe your impact (qualitative and quantitative).

      The YMEX Project specifically served to use social networking like TIG and YMEX for the purpose of youth education. Not only was this initiative novel, it also ensured that it targeted education and awareness and made it appealing to youth, at the same time giving them the tools needed to help express their own understanding and awareness of issues. Qualitative: 1.Creating opportunities for broader global reach: We did focus but did not restrict outreach to the three Asian countries because we believed it was valuable to leverage the diversity of the TakingITGlobal network and the likelihood that a number of members would be interested in the more niche-based ymex.org. And indeed, the most active members were not from the target countries. Included in the Evaluation Report is a profile of the five most active members as of August – four of whom were TakingITGlobal members prior to joining ymex.org. 2. The factors that determine the level of engagement in a global context and the potential for cross-cultural collaboration: We envisioned and designed quests in order to enable cross-cultural collaboration by way of members making contacts with youth in other countries and then working with them on a particular media creation. This did not occur in the pilot phase time frame but other forms of collaboration did occur, mostly in the exchanging of media and comments that gave us insight into the potential for future. 3. Inherent value of international dialogue and cross-cultural interaction: Our intent in designing and building a website with an international focus and appeal was to take the process of learning about global issues out of the abstract and make it more tangible to the youth members. For example, a young person who wants to learn more about water issues in the developing world will undoubtedly be engaged in doing so on a social network where she can submit a video or blog on the issue and continue the process of learning about this issue in a dialogue with a member from China or India. This type of learning most likely has more of a genuine, authentic impression on both members. 4.Determining learning objectives and assessing learning outcomes for an informal digital environment: As practitioners in the field of media and education, we tend to focus on goals for learning that are based on concrete outcomes and deliverables such as new media creations, comments and dialogue around the digital media that is shared and learning activities that are completed. But we also realized that experiential learning and the creation process is as valuable as the end product itself. 5.Content necessary to "seed" the site and "expert" content needed to ground learning: While the entirety of the site was intended to be driven by the community’s submissions, including the educational content, there must be exemplar material as well as enough “expert” material to guide new members and set the standard for future content. The dilemma that persists is how to seed the site with this content while maintaining the authenticity of a member-driven community. We approached this by asking members for specific contributions such as telling us directly what issues mattered to them as well as sending us images, short blurbs, and the beginning thread of a discussion board topic that matched this issue. For the two youth that did submit the content needed for a new Issue page, their learning and contribution to other member’s learning was tangible, as well as the sense that they played a leadership role in the process of peer-to-peer learning.

    3. What recognition did you receive (internal and/or external)?

      The TakingITGlobal and YMEX Initiative was a success, with there being media mentions such as LIVE IT's article on youth networking sites, at: http://www.tigweb.org/about/media/mentions.html?ItemId=461 By hosting entries for popular contests, as well as actually helping raise awareness on the issues being featured, the YMEX site gained recognition as a tool for becoming acquainted with issues of importance.

    4. What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

      Because a majority of the efforts were collaborative, there were challenges involved with the coordinating needs and approaches of three different organizations. Also, TakingITGlobal was blocked in China, making it necessary to place YMEX on a different server to enable access from China. Although interest in ymex.org from educators, educational organizations, and youth in Asia was high, efforts at outreach in Asia were complicated by a number of factors. Due to unforeseen delays in site development, the launch coincided directly with school vacations and holidays in all of the target countries. Many educational organizations in Asia expressed interest in participating in partnerships and project activities on ymex.org, however the timing made it impossible for them to do so before the evaluation period. As the site was constantly in development during the launch and the membership was growing, technical bugs and lower levels of user activity may have made it seem intimidating and less user-friendly to an audience who uses English as a second language.

    5. What key factors enabled your initiative to build momentum (internal and/or external)?

      Factors mentioned above in phase 2 were instrumental in building momentum. Also important were other factors such as the broad global reach of YMEX, the focus on visual awareness that appealed to youth also contributed to building momentum with the project. Creating opportunities for a global reach, as well as promoting cross-culturalism also helped the project succeed.

    6. How did your initiative utilize technology to enable efforts (if at all)? Please provide examples.

      The project consisted of promoting two web-based social networking sites, and also using web-technology to make an impact on youth. Launching an initiative using technology for youth, promoting the use of Web 2.0 tools for information, and spreading knowledge of the power of technology make this project a major user of technology.

     

  • Multilingual Platform for TakingITGlobal (TIG) Users

    TakingITGlobal (http://multilingual.tigweb.org/)

    1. Describe the aims and motivation behind your initiative, the context of the problems being solved.

      When TIG was formed about ten years ago, the main idea was to provide a global platform for participants around the world to focus on issues that affect us all.However, these issues could only be relevant if they were put in the right cultural context. TIG's mission and vision was to be able to provide a platform that was inclusive, and which provided a space for members to create issues that were relevant to their own culture. Launching TIG in a number of languages was the perfect step to realise this mission, and resonated well with potential sponsors. The whole idea was the perfect way to give back to TIG's members and online community, which made it's global reach so unique. Fostering intercultural dialogue, and doing so in multiple languages was the first step towards promoting effective global citizenship.

    2. Why do you consider this initiative to be a best practice? Describe your impact (qualitative and quantitative).

      Most websites, and especially social networking ones, are in English, making it difficult for the advantages of such websites to reach people speaking other languages. TIG's proposed multilingual platform aimed to rectify this situation. TIG's website was designed to reflect the various cultural heritages of its users. Because of this, the languages that TIG was launched in were those that TIG members spoke extensively, and not necessarily the world's most popular languages. The idea was to direct information towards the existing membership in a manner that would be beneficial for them, and would initiate changes in local communities, made by members using TIG as a resource for information, planning and management. Quantatively, TIG has now been launched in 12 languages (with two more on the way), which is a testimony to the popularity of the multilingual platform among its members. However, with there being 249 languages in the world, there is much room for improvement, and TIG is conducting research into, and working on the next possible language platforms to launch. Qualitatively, the Translate Tool developed combines the efficiency of a computer, but also provides the human element, as all translations are done by people themselves. This makes the translations quick, as well as genuine, reflecting the culture they are trying to reach.The translations also involved users from the beginning, encouraging users to create original content, giving each language platform the uniqueness of issues, and highlights of its own.

    3. What recognition did you receive (internal and/or external)?

      The fact that TIG's website is now available from 1 to 12 languages within the space of a decade is testimony to the fact that the Multilingual Platform has done exceedingly well. Also to be accounted for is TIG's membership, which is now over 200,000 members worldwide, the majority of who do not consider English as their first language. With the ever-increasing needs of TIG's membership being reached in multiple languages, the testimonies of TIG members as seen on the soon-to-be-launched Multilingual Pages also bring great recognition to TIG. Among others, the awards TIG, as an organization, has won the Mark Drake Award for Excellence in Communicating the Private Sector's Contribution to International Cooperation Issues (2005), and the 2002 Awards for Innovative Learning Environments among others. Awards such as these are a definite testimony to the effectiveness of TIG, and therefore, it Multilingual Platform, which has been crucial in expanding TIG to its current potential.

    4. What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

      As with the development of any new project, the Multilingual Platform faced many challenges. Among these, picking only a few languages from among the many spoken around the world, and also by TIG members, was a major challenge. Also, since the virtual team of translators could not meet in person, managing deadlines and working together on projects proved to be difficult at times. The spotty internet access and the lack of dependable technology in many parts of the world did not make things easier at times. Finally, understanding and working with different cultural values and backgrounds involved designing mechanisms that would ensure the most efficient work being done by all members of the Virtual Translator's Team. Once the best mechanisms and procedures to overcome these issues had been established, the work was done much faster, and with efficiency.

    5. What key factors enabled your initiative to build momentum (internal and/or external)?

      TIG's inherent mission that people responded well to, as we expanded and grew, was that TIG was a catalyst and was passionate about meeting young people, to encourage them to learn and be more aware of issues affecting them, by using the resources provided to them. Because of their help we could launch multiple languages, and reach out to many more people than was possible with just one language. TIG also wanted to stress the importance of cross cultural dialogue and provide lots of recognition to this topic. TIG still focuses to celebrating culture, and promoting networking and collaboration among different cultures through multilingualism.TIG's internal enthusiasm led to its external motivations, and therefore provided members with the opportunity to use turn their own interests into valuable community-building resources.

    6. How did your initiative utilize technology to enable efforts (if at all)? Please provide examples.

      The Multilingual Platform, and TIG too, utilize web 2.0 and interactive technologies to provide the best possible virtual experiences to members.The Translate Tool, created by TIG co-founder Michael Furdyk, is a tool that combines the best of technology and human interaction to provide the best possible translations for TIG members. Other features such as livechats conducted by TIG staff to provide information on issues and events, Project and Group Pages designed to showcase individual or group projects around the world, and provide networking space. Also, the Country Pages that showcased a specific country and culture every week, were especially important in providing awareness among members.

     

  • ICT for Development Disabilities

    Nabil Eid (http://www.caihand.org)

    1. Describe the aims and motivation behind your initiative, the context of the problems being solved.

      New hopes are emerging with the advent of Information Communication Technology (ICT) for persons with disabilities, more governments, organizations, NGO's has been involved in enabling the disabled to get integrated in the main stream of life. We believe in the concept, The persons with disabilities " disabled but not disqualified". And we believe also, the core of ICTs in offer individuals the ability to compensate for disabled people to access knowledge by adapting digital revolution to the nature of their disabilities, and to enhance their social and economic integration in community.

    2. Why do you consider this initiative to be a best practice? Describe your impact (qualitative and quantitative).

      "ICT can open new vistas for disabled people and making a world of difference". The use (ICT) in the field of disabled is very high on the political agendas of countries and we are required a lot of efforts at national, regional and global level to address the special requirements of persons with disabilities, using appropriate educational, administrative and legislative measures to ensure their full inclusion. We need to be taken to move into the information society and the central role played by education in making the information society a reality is clearly highlighted. As we all know the potential role of ICT in development, empowering educational sectors, rehabilitation and capacity building. ICT opens up great opportunities to improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities and promote to enhance teaching ,skills, learning in special needs education and explore the following issues relating and It will also explore how ICTs enriches the learning opportunities and potential of people who have disabilities, especially in the following areas (Physical, Blind and Visual Impairments, Hearing Impairments, Autistic Spectrum Disorders, Down syndrome and Learning disabilities).

    3. What recognition did you receive (internal and/or external)?

    4. What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

      There are different types of support structures available within countries but, must be focused upon combinations of one or more of the following to success the role of ICTs in development disabilities through attitude barriers in relation to understanding the benefits and possibilities of ICTs at policy and Diffused responsibility for policy implementation. Specialist national, regional, and global working groups to support networks and on – line networks. The development of theory for using ICTs in disability field is seen as being potentially enhanced if there are opportunities for co –operations between different groups of actors ( disabled people and their families, teachers, support professionals and researcher ) at national and international levels. Furthermore, the possibility to enhance virtual co –operation with face –to –face meetings and exchanges was raised. The power of ICTs as a tool for communication as well as a tool for learning is reinforced by the personal contact and exchange of persons with disability and ICTs specialists. Lack of information on needs and requirements of schools and pupils upon which to base policy initiatives. Limited finances supporting different aspects of provision or funding that is not needs

    5. What key factors enabled your initiative to build momentum (internal and/or external)?

    6. How did your initiative utilize technology to enable efforts (if at all)? Please provide examples.

      " Let's plant the seeds of hope in their souls " Use technology for people with disabilities and education has signaled a confidence in its potential to alleviate a particular problem or to make a job easier or more efficient especially for physically, blind and hearing disability the use technology has been adopted and integrated into the curriculum and state education. The following suggestions were highlighted with respect to widening access to internet through internet explorer and email with speech recognition. now these equipments are available to facility access for blind and programmed special browsers for disabled people with services learning disabilities and flexible control mechanisms for example controlled using only a few icons, special mouse, keyboard,…). Also, improvement of networking facilities to allow more efficient co – operation between institutions and building a Telecentres for all type disabilities people on –line network (discussion groups ,mailing list, chat ). Adaptation of standard software to the needs of the children with mental retardation . compatibility / application Co – operation in order to get a standardized storage format for text, pictures and sounds in different teaching materials and software according to the different needs of children with ( Autism ,CP, DS). We assure, improve better learning environment on computer systems and spend a good deal of time and effort in order to break the barriers within the society. Improved disability prevention will require a change in organizational priorities, restructuring of the symptom-driven health care system, and training for providers and clients to cooperate in collaborative care. concert with community resources and policies.