Syndicate content

The World Region

Defining Problems for Effective Coalition-Building

Sina Odugbemi's picture

Technical specialists like to name social problems using the language of their disciplines, and of whatever narrow policy community they belong to. What they often forget is that to secure broad support within the relevant political community how you define the problem that you are asking society to focus on and do something about matters. It matters a great deal. In fact, it can be the difference between getting the attention of legislators and broad publics or having your issue ignored.

For a live example consider the current efforts to implement health-care reform in the United States, something that presidents have been trying to do for about 50 years. Let's ask: What's wrong with America's health care system? What needs to be fixed? In other words what is the definition of the problem?

Extending Reach and Increasing Impact

Michael Trucano's picture

ICD09The recent release of the World Bank's new flagship publication on ICT for development (ICT4D) contains much food for thought for educational policymakers. IC4D 2009: Extending Reach and Increasing Impact takes an in-depth look at how ICT, and particularly broadband and mobile, are impacting economic growth in developing countries.

How can education systems help develop the type of workers increasingly needed for jobs that increasingly require familiarity (and in some cases mastery) of ICTs -- a challenge complicated by the fact that many of these jobs may not yet even exist?

Research Without Borders

Antonio Lambino's picture

A CommGAP colleague and I recently spent a week in Kampala, Uganda, to attend a workshop with communication and media research teams from 14 African and Asian countries.  These country teams make up the BBC World Service Trust’s Research & Learning (R&L) Group, headed by Dr. Gerry Power, who also manages an expert group in their London head office. 


More than 15 development-oriented projects were presented during the workshop, including media productions, capacity building and training efforts, and public information and advocacy campaigns. 

Quote of the Week

Sina Odugbemi's picture

"When you fight corruption, it fights back. It will likely have greater resources than you, and it is led by those who operate outside the law and view the fight as life and death for their survival."

- Nuhu Ribadu's Testimony before the US House Financial Services Committee, May 19, 2009.

Visiting Fellow at St. Anthony’s College, University of Oxford; Visiting Fellow at the Center for Global Development; and former Executive Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of Nigeria.

How to measure technology use in education

Michael Trucano's picture

one way to measure ... | courtesy of the Tango Desktop Project via the Wikimedia Commons ICTs are increasingly being used in education systems around the world. How do we know what the impact of such use is? How should we monitor and assessment the use of ICTs in education? How can, should and might answers to these questions impact the policy planning process?

Open Development Camp this Friday at the World Bank

Sameer Vasta's picture

This coming Friday, July 10th, we'll be hosting the first Open Development Camp (OpenDevCamp) here at the World Bank, along with our friends from AidInfo, Development Gateway, Forum One Communications, and USAID's Global Development Commons.

Tweet tweet -- Twitter in education

Michael Trucano's picture

this one tweets instinctively ... | image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, used according to terms of the GNU free documentation license

Some Professors' Jitters Over Twitter Are Easing, announced an article in The Washington Post last week, reflecting the explosion of interest that this relatively new communications tool is experiencing this year.  As with discussions of any new technology, reporting on Twitter is a often a combination of breathless enthusiasm and snarky criticism, as well as a fair amount of befuddlement and misunderstanding.

(For those unfamiliar with Twitter, the related Wikipedia article might be helpful.)

While discussions about the use of a tool like Twitter are now, suddenly, quite mainstream in many places, educators have been exploring the tool for awhile.  Search Google and you'll find lots of useful references, like this one from way back <grin> in 2007.  (Or better yet, search on Twitter itself!)  As occurs with any potential new innovation in education, response to this exploration and experimentation has at times been rather heated (have a look at the comments to the article from U.K.'s Guardian newspaper in March when it announced, with just a touch of hyperbole,  Pupils to study Twitter and blogs in primary schools shake-up).

So what, you might ask, does all of this have to do with the use of ICTs in education in developing countries?

Conservation versus Correction: I have Burke on My Mind

Sina Odugbemi's picture

The outbreaks of political turbulence around the world have prompted me to re-visit Edmund Burke's masterpiece, Reflections on the Revolution in France ( 1790). In the work, Burke attacks the French Revolution. I remember that when I had to write a term paper about the work in a class on the History of Political Thought in graduate school, I fully expected to hate the Reflections and to debunk it. But it amazed me, and impressed me. First, its eloquence is overpowering. Even now as I leaf through my old copy, the grandeur of the language still moves the spirit. Second, you cannot but be impressed by the prophetic power of Burke's analysis of the French Revolution. For he wrote the Reflections in the early days of the Revolution, yet he was able to correctly predict its path - the deepening violence, the collapse into dictatorship. Now, as a school-boy fan of the French Revolution that got my attention.


Pages