As interdependence between the developed (North) and developing countries (South) becomes greater, the economic policies of the North will invariably impact on the South.
The World Region
"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."
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.
The Open Development Camp that took place just a little over a week ago here at the World Bank was a success in many ways:
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?
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.
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?
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.
One of the dilemmas voiced by anti-corruption agencies at the UNODC-CommGAP organized learning event on the role of communication in anti-corruption efforts last November was the challenge of working with the media. On the one hand, anti-corruption agencies understood the importance of media relations. On the other, many of them had had unpleasant experiences with journalists, leaving them frustrated and suspicious of the media profession as a whole.
What's peripheral? In the case of the use of technology in schools around the world, it is becoming increasingly hard to tell.
In many developing countries, for better and/or for worse, the traditional way to approach large-scale ICT procurements is to divide such undertakings into four primary components: hardware; software (which often includes 'e-content'); connectivity; and peripherals. (Thankfully, 'training' is showing up as a fifth component more and more ... although in most instances we are still only talking about 'technical training').
The category of 'peripherals', a catch-all category where one typically finds things like like printers and projectors, is often treated as the poor cousin of the other, 'flashier' components. But this may be changing.