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beginners' handbook aims to get more people involved in ICT policy
for Progressive Communications (APC)
the book online
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa
-- "How information and communication policy is decided today will
shape the future of contemporary societies," says APC in a new book
presented at last week's World Summit on the Information Society.
Information and communications
technologies (ICTs) have become essential tools for development and the
degree of access to ICT, as well as affordability of access, is largely
determined by policy decisions taken at the national, regional and international
levels. APC's new book "ICT Policy: A Beginner's Handbook" lays
out the issues and dispenses with the jargon to encourage more people
to get involved in ICT policy processes.
"ICT policy is not just
about ICTs. It's about the kind of society we want to live in," says
book editor, Chris Nicol. "ICTs are determining what kind of society
we, and our grandchildren, will live in. It's up to us to make sure they
shape a better society, one that allows the enormous benefits of ICTs
to be shared by all."
"People and organisations
can inform the debate with their experiences and can in fact influence
ICT policy decisions. We all have day-to-day concerns about ICT policy,
for example how much we have to pay for phone calls and internet access,"
explains APC deputy executive director, Sonia Jorge.
"The APC handbook
is not a map of the ICT policy terrain," stresses Nicol, "but
it is a compass."
Who is this
book will help people who feel that ICT policy is important but don't
know much about it. Readers will be non-specialists such as a government
official worried about a gap in her technical knowledge of how the internet
works, a human-rights worker concerned that his need to send secure email
is being challenged by national government policy, a citizen fed up with
paying exorbitant rates for dial-up internet access, a journalist looking
for background material, an activist who is unable to perceive the real
consequences of possible changes in government policy on her online campaigning
work, or anyone who wants to find out about these new 'information society'
debates that are beginning to make the news more and more.
"The handbook is intended
to encourage people to speak out and ask questions about ICT policies.
Greater public participation in policy processes does not only lead to
better policy, it involves citizens in the implementation and monitoring
of those policies," says APC Executive Director, Anriette Esterhuysen.
the book include?
Policy: A Beginner's Handbook" takes the mystery out of ICT policy.
The handbook identifies those issues and addresses them without using
technical jargon. It provides concrete examples of recent policy landmarks
and debates, as well as background knowledge that will serve as a basis
for further investigation. Contributors include but are not limited to
Sean O Siochru, Kate Wild, Russell Southwood, Karen Banks, Natasha Primo,
Paul Hamilton, Anriette Esterhuysen, Chris Nicol, Paul Mobbs, Claire Sibthorpe,
Teresa Peters and Peter Benjamin.
Policy: A Beginner's Handbook" is produced by the Association of
Progressive Communications (APC). It is part of our efforts to ensure
that communication and internet rights are upheld and protected as fundamental
rights throughout the world.
In 2003, APC has produced a
training curriculum, carried out training in (so far) Latin America and
Africa to educate civil society about ICT policy, and produced several
publications aimed at getting civil society involved in ICT policy.
Next year, we are planning
to continue our advocacy work in the policy area, globally and regionally,
and will focus on increasing civil society awareness and capacity to engage
in policy processes at their own national level. We will focus our efforts
on specific issues of importance to civil society, including access and
connectivity, free and open source software, intellectual property rights,
protection and expansion of the public domain, and secure online communications.
We will conduct several ICT policy courses in Africa (under the CATIA
project) and planning similar activities in Latin America, Asia, and Central
and Eastern Europe.
A Beginner's Guide" would not have been possible without the generous
support of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO). www.cto.int
Association for Progressive Communications (APC) is an international network
of civil society organisations dedicated to empowering and supporting
groups and individuals through the strategic use of information and communication
technologies (ICTs), especially Internet-related technologies. APC and
its members pioneer practical and relevant uses of ICTs for civil society,
especially in developing countries.
Find out how to order a printed copy by writing to email@example.com
Chris Nicol, Editor
APC Executive Director
Tel: +27 11 726-1692 (South Africa)
Fax: +27 11 726-1692
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