These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
Global Voices Advocacy
Netizen Report: Raise Your Voice Edition
“Internet activists in India are fuming over the country’s sweeping new Internet restrictions on objectionable content, and are beginning to take extreme action to combat the law. This week we recognize Aseem Trivedi and Alok Dixit from Save Your Voice, who have begun a hunger strike in protest of the ‘Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules 2011’ which were quietly issued by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in April 2011.
One of the flaws of the new rules is that they mandate that website or domain owners must take down material within 36 hours when a third party issues a complaint, without giving a chance for content owners to defend the material. The Bangalore-based advocacy group Centre for Internet & Society also pointed out that the rule leads to a general chilling effect on freedom of expression over the Internet.” READ MORE
Key findings from the Mobile Africa 2012 report
“Recently, the fourth annual Mobile Africa Report (2012) was recently released by Mobile Monday and Extensia. The report contains an absolute treasure trove of ideas, reflections and quantitative assessments of the continued growth of mobile ownership and use throughout the continent. The research behind the report was led by Dr. Madanmohan Rao, Research Project Director for Mobile Monday.
Instead of focusing on pulling together a laundry list of organizations working in the mobile sphere throughout Africa, the report authors queried select experts (“key informants” for those of you in the research bubble) to provide insights around who the important organizations and thought leaders in mobiles are today, what are the greatest emerging opportunities and where are the greatest challenges.” READ MORE
Africa Is a Continent of Opportunities
“In January, I was at the World Economic Forum in Davos as a Global Shaper representing Ethiopia and the Addis Hub. This meant a very rare and unique opportunity to meet and share experiences with amazing young people from all corners of the world, with impeccable achievements ranging from leading corporations to leading revolutions. It also meant unlimited access to more than 2500 corporate, political and civil society leaders that were gathered in Davos.
While in Davos, out of the hundreds of sessions, I attended four sessions on Africa. Surprisingly, the usual grim and gloomy topics of poverty, famine, drought, food insecurity, corruption,.. etc were not on the agenda. Nor were Bono or Bob Geldof leading the discussions. All the sessions were exclusively looking at the business and investment opportunities in Africa, with themes such as "Africa's Frontier Markets", "Africa: from Transition to Transformation", "The New Context for Africa", and "Climate Sustainability". Five African heads of States, the largest in Davos history, had made their way to make a collective case for Africa. The conversations were not about aid, rather about economic policies, business models, and investment opportunities.” READ MORE
Center for Global Development
Is European Aid Skepticism Going to Drive Aid Innovation?
“Cash on Delivery Aid (COD Aid) is moving from concept to reality as I learned in a recent trip to Europe. In the process we are learning a lot about measuring outcomes and other implementation challenges. While I heard about the ways aid agencies are beginning to try COD Aid or similar initiatives, the internal resistance they face told me a lot about the internal contradictions we’ve lived with in foreign aid for a long time.” READ MORE
“In the past decade there has been a rapid growth in transparency and accountability initiatives in the extractive industries sector. They reflect attempts to devise institutional mechanisms to make governments accountable for the extraction, allocation and use of revenues that, if well invested, could alleviate socioeconomic inequalities among citizens. Understanding and measuring the impact and effectiveness of these initiatives is a matter of proposing and empirically validating a causal link between interventions and governance improvements. To do this requires improved data collection, reporting and analysis; a stronger focus on the allocation and use of government expenditures that come from natural resource wealth; and a better understanding of importance of incentives and sanctions for ensuring effective impact.” READ MORE
Photo credit: Flickr user fdecomite