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IT for Change
Submitted by doug on Fri, 2014-12-19 12:30
Organization's slogan:An India-based NGO working on information society theory and practice from the standpoint of equity, social justice and gender equality.
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IT for Change works in the following areas.
Development for IS
An equitable information society can flourish only through inclusive and informed debate, involving not merely actors from the technology arena but all actors in the development sphere, especially from the South. Current information society and 'ICTs for development' or ICTD approaches predominantly represent Northern realities and perspectives, tending to favour market-fundamentalist thinking and valorising technology per se. IT for Change attempts to de-construct the dominant approach and concepts in relation to ICTs and development and articulate alternatives, based on information provided by field work.
The manner in which the Internet is being shaped today is an important determinant of the directions of social change. It is no longer a simple technical platform about which scientists and technical experts are best placed to take all the important decisions. The question then becomes important: who decides the direction in which the Internet is evolving? A common response is that the Internet is a dynamic platform which responds to user needs. User determination of the trajectory of the Internet's evolution is today largely a myth, though some remarkable oases of alternative practices amongst committed techies or perhaps even involving some ordinary 'power users' do exist. To the extent the user has a role, it is in his capacity as a consumer, which capacity itself is very differentially distributed between the affluent and the marginalsied groups. Largely, it is the corporatist and statist powers that play an overwhelming driving role in shaping the Internet. Other than in very authoritarian countries, it is the global corporate power, often with strong support from governments, especially those of the North, that is the major determinant of the directions that the Internet is taking. The Internet being a major force in our shifting social configurations, it should not be difficult to see what this means for our future, especially for people and communities that are already marginalised.
IT for Change (ITfC) focuses on theory-building and policy research, adopting a pro-South feminist approach. ITfC seeks to build a theoretical framework of gender and information society that problematises women’s citizenship in the changing social order. ITfC’s research and advocacy have critiqued market-based approaches in policy making – globally and nationally – and have pushed for new frameworks based on citizenship and rights-based approaches.IT for Change's work in the area of governance looks at how new technology paradigms open up novel opportunities for deepening democracy while also presenting challenges to many conceptions of democratic governance. We engage with policies in the area of e-governance, public information systems, decentralisation and community based governance structures. We also engage with demonstration projects to explore bottom-up, participatory designs of governance systems that centre on divergent and dynamic priorities of local communities and engage their ongoing active participation.
IT for Change's work in the area of governance looks at how new technology paradigms open up novel opportunities for deepening democracy while also presenting challenges to many conceptions of democratic governance. We engage with policies in the area of e-governance, public information systems, decentralisation and community based governance structures. We also engage with demonstration projects to explore bottom-up, participatory designs of governance systems that centre on divergent and dynamic priorities of local communities and engage their ongoing active participation.
IT for Change (ITfC) believes that ICTs can help to shape participatory and collaborative processes of learning as well as teacher professional development in education, and is concerned by the attempts to use ICT programs in schools to justify, without any basis, the privatisation of both curriculum and pedagogy in the Indian public education system.
Public software is all software that is essential for participating in the digital society and thus needs to be provided to everyone as an universal right and entitlement. It includes operating system, text / image / audio / video editors, email, web browser, search engine etc. Public software needs to be free software, providing the freedom to use, study, modify and share, to ensure universal access as well as participation in its creation and modification.
Organization's headquarters:Bangalore, India
Organization's geographic focus:India-based
Contact person:Parminder Jeet Singh