These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
Financial Task Force
World Bank Unveils New Transparency Initiative
“Last week, the World Bank unveiled a major initiative to make their funding more transparent. Through the new World Bank Finances portal, vast amounts of information about the inner workings of the Bank’s finances are now made easily accessible. This includes information about specific funds that members are supporting, and the disbursement and repayment status of thousands of projects around the world. Tools are provided to allow members of the public to comment on specific elements of the data, as well as to download datasets specifically catered to their needs. The data is remarkably up-to-date, often covering information as recent as June 2011.” READ MORE
“A new grassroots research platform, R-Sheif, is attempting to make the news coming out of the Arab world more accessible.
R-Shief, which takes its name from the Arabic word for archive, is a self-described “hub” for research and analysis on how the Internet treats news coming out of the Arab world. It provides a macro view of the tweets, news stories, and comments regarding breaking events in the Middle East and North Africa.” READ MORE
Who are Africa’s ICT key players?
“South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya will be the key players in the African ICT sector in the next five years. A survey conducted by Africa Business Panel among 800 business professionals involved with Africa shows that these 3 countries were earmarked as the continent’s favorites when it comes to the future of the ICT sector.
Ghana, Egypt, Rwanda, Botswana, Angola, Uganda and Zimbabwe are the runners up and complete the top ten countries out of 53 economies on the African continent.” READ MORE
“Facebook is increasingly used to crowdsource crisis information and response, as is Twitter. So is it just a matter of time until we see similar use cases with Google+? Another question I have is whether such uses cases will simply reflect more of the same or whether we’ll see new, unexpected applications and dynamics? Of course, it may be premature to entertain the role that Google+ might play in disaster response just days after it’s private beta launch, but the company seems fully committed to making this new venture succeed. Entertaining how Google+ (G+) might be used as a humanitarian technology thus seems worthwhile.” READ MORE
“There have been several instances in the last half decade where canny digital campaigns have created mass movements for political change.
The Obama presidential campaign, masterminded by David Axelrod and Blue State Digital's Thomas Gensemer (speaking here at the inaugural Activate 2009), stands as a shining edifice to the power of the web to make things happen, at least within the context of the Western political world.” READ MORE
Fes Media Africa Series
Texting, Tweeting, Mobile Internet: New Platforms for Democratic Debate in Africa
“New Media platforms are changing how people communicate with each other around the world. However, there is great variation in both the kind of communication platforms people make use of as well as in how they access these platforms. Computer ownership and internet access are still the prerogative of the wealthy few in wide swathes of the African continent. All the same, mobile phone penetration will reach 100 per cent by 2014.” READ MORE