May 1st, 2009
The United Nations Global Alliance for ICTs (Information and Communications Technologies ) and Development (GAID) has invited the global online community to help it determine its themes for the coming year, with gender being one of the suggestions (the others are poverty eradication and financial crisis, climate change and education and health), with the purpose of aligning “itself more closely with the broader UN Development Agenda and addressing the critical issues that the world is currently facing.” To do this, GAID has set up four separate discussion groups, with the one on gender located at http://un-gaid.ning.com/forum/topics/gender-1. The overall purpose of the discussions is to ”’identify ideas and suggestions on how GAID can contribute with clear deliverables to progress on these issues, using ICT.”
To my mind, this means how ICTs can help bring gender equity and meet the Millennium Development goals. In a way, the discussions are a sort of vote (although this is unsaid), with the one attracting the most interest standing the best chance of being accepted as a theme for GAID activities.
If you are not familiar with GAID (www.un-gaid.org), It is a UN global forum, open to all, to address cross-cutting issues related to ICT in development. [And gender is certainly an issue that cuts across many aspects of ICT in development]. GAID’s aim is to broaden the dialogue on innovative ways of harnessing ICT for development, on the basis that “a people-centered and knowledge-based information society is essential for achieving better life for all.” I have listed below GAID’s specific objectives. GAID’s modes of operation include forums, consultations, meetings, blogs, publications, a web portal and the organization of networks, among others.
The discussion will continue until the third week of May. At its conclusion the two Communities of Expertise on gender within GAID- The International Task Force on Women and ICT and Gender, Development and Information Society Policies (GDISP) will synthesize the results of the discussion for presentation to the GAID Strategy Council meeting taking place in Monterrey, Mexico the second week of June.
Please visit the discussion site and contribute to it, on a regular basis if you can. Our charge is to suggest ways that GAID could advance gender equity using ICT.
The Alliance will seek to contribute to:
- Mainstreaming of the global ICT agenda into the broader United Nations development agenda
- Bringing together key organizations involved in ICT for development (ICT4D) to enhance their collaboration and effectiveness for achieving the internationally agreed development goals
- Raising awareness of policy makers on ICT4D policy issues;
- Facilitating identification of technological solutions for specific development goals and pertinent partnerships
- Creating an enabling environment and innovative business models for pro-poor investment and growth and for empowering people living in poverty
- Acting as a “think-tank” on ICT4D-related issues and as an advisory group to the Secretary-General.