IPID The International Network for Post Graduate Students in the Area of ICT4D and its program ’Academia meets Practice’ arranged a study visit to UNESCO headquarters in Paris the 23-24th April 2008. Gudrun Wicander (IPID Coordinator) organized the event together with Tim Unwin (UNESCO Chair in ICT4D) with the financial support of SPIDER. The aim of this event was to allow IPID members to explore the contributions of UNESCO’S Information Society Division to ICT4D research.
Among the UNESCO key speakers we have: Mr. Tarek Shawki (Chief of Section for ICT in Education, Science and Culture), Cédric Wachholz (Program Specialist, Education Sector), Jean Claude Dauphin (Open Source and Open Access), and Armelle Arrou (Information Society Division). The key speakers described the mission, structure, finances, and future of UNESCO as a global organization. They also explained the role of UNESCO in the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), which promotes the concept of the ’knowledge society’ and its principles: freedom of expression, universal access to information and knowledge. Moreover, the key speakers described some of UNESCO programs for Communication and Information such as The International Program for the Development of Communication, The Information for all programs, Creative Content, Memory of the World Program, and global uses of Open Source.
The participants were 20 PhD students researching in the area of ICT4D from all over the world affiliated to IPID. During this event, the PhD students shared their experiences in current research using ICT4D in countries such as: Tanzania, Iraq, Iran and Venezuela. In summary, 20 ICT4D research cases were explored focusing on ICT, infrastructure, social impact and challenges for each region.
This event was highly appreciated by its participants because of its relevance in their current ICT4D research. This event contributed to a deeper understanding of ICT4D in several ways. First, this event explores the contributions of UNESCO to ICT4D research. Secondly, it explores the contributions of 20 PhD students working with ICT4D all over the world to ICT4D research. Finally, it provides a forum for the understanding of challenges using ICT in different development countries.