These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
"CIMA announces the release of its most recent report, Is There a Link Between Digital Media and Good Governance? What the Academics Say, by media development consultant Mary Myers. The report investigates whether there is a link between new digital technologies and good governance and what, if any, are the connections between digitally equipped populations and political change. It approaches these questions by examining what some key academics say on the matter. This paper is a follow-on from a previous CIMA report by the same author, Is There a Link Between Media and Good Governance? What the Academics Say, which profiled a number of key academics and their research on the links between traditional media and governance. This report turns, instead, to digital media and brings a selection of some key academic writing to a non-academic audience." READ MORE
"Investor Fares Mabrouk returned to his home country of Tunisia from the U.S. 10 days before the country was rocked by the unrest that led to President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s resignation.
The turmoil was the first event in the Arab Spring, and Mabrouk, who’d invited Tunisian bloggers to speak when he was a Yale World Fellow, saw an opportunity to try to consolidate the online community." READ MORE
Can Silicon Valley Save the World?
"Not content with dominating IPOs on Wall Street, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are taking their can-do, failure-conquering, technology-enabled tactics to the challenge of global poverty. And why not? If we can look up free Khan Academy math lectures using the cheap, kid-friendly computers handed out by the folks at One Laptop per Child, who needs to worry about the complexities of education reform? With a lamp lit up by an electricity-generating soccer ball in every hut, who needs coal-fired power stations and transmission lines? And if even people in refugee camps can make money transcribing outsourced first-world dental records, who needs manufacturing or the roads and port systems required to export physical goods? No wonder the trendiest subject these days for TED talks is cracking the code on digital-era do-gooding, with 100 recent talks and counting just on the subjects of Africa and development." READ MORE
"Money is so corrupting that even the simple act of thinking about it can lead people to act in unethical ways, according to a recent study from the University of Utah and Harvard University.
Researchers split up roughly 300 participating undergraduate students into two groups. The first group was asked to perform activities that were associated with money-related words and images, and the second group participated in activities that were unrelated to money altogether." READ MORE
"Facebook is the third most popular outlet for sourcing news in the Arab world, behind Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya, according to a survey published today by Northwestern University in Qatar.
The survey, which interviewed more than 10,000 people from Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the UAE, revealed that news sources varied widely between countries. While Al-Jazeera was watched in every country, 52 per cent of respondents in Tunisia identified Facebook as their 'top' outlet for news, while in Bahrain 26 per cent listed Google." READ MORE
Publish What You Pay
Voices from the field - campaigning for transparency in MENA
"The call for transparency and accountability in the extractive industries in the MENA region has gained momentum over the past year. Relying on a much appreciated grant from the UK Embassy in Beirut, Publish What You Pay organized two regional workshops and hosted more than 70 participants from 7 different areas around MENA. I handled the task of acting as facilitator for these workshops, where I discussed the conditions of extractive industries in the different MENA countries represented, in an effort to push forward the journey towards increased transparency.
The majority of the participants during the first workshop were men. Being a woman myself, I was naturally inclined to push for more gender equal groups in subsequent workshops. Needless to say, the increased female participation during the second workshop proved to add more spice and diversity to the atmosphere. Personally speaking, one of the highlights of the second workshop was when all the female participants from the region gathered around to introduce themselves during a short video celebrating women in EI. Being a woman working in this field, and in particular in the MENA region, has proved to be, at times, a real challenge." READ MORE