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Weekly Wire:the Global Forum

Roxanne Bauer's picture

These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.

Infographic: The Decline of Global Internet Freedom
PC Mag
Two years after the Internet went dark in protest of a proposed U.S. Internet censorship bill, four out of five people worldwide still don't have access to an uncensored Web. In celebration of the second annual Internet Freedom Day, Golden Frog released an infographic (below) chronicling the worldwide struggle for Internet freedom. "Everything you love about the Internet is at risk," the software firm said, painting a bleak picture of global Web sovereignty. Few countries can claim "mostly unrestricted" access; the U.S., U.K., Australia, and bits of South America, Western Europe, Africa, and Asia (specifically Japan) can freely roam the World Wide Web, without fear of government oppression or censorship. Almost half of the world, however, falls under heavy restrictions READ MORE

Rescuers Sift Through Social-Media Noise to Direct Typhoon Response
Wall Street Journal
In disasters like the typhoon that slammed into the Philippines, sifting through a barrage of confusing and conflicting on-the-ground reports is one of the first problems facing rescue teams. Social-media sites such as Twitter and Facebook can make matters worse. All too often, users recycle what others have posted or retweeted without adding any fresh information. Sorting through all the noise is too much for individual agencies to handle on their own. So Swiss-born Patrick Meier is gearing up to attack the problem with a new approach called social mapping: Using a combination of volunteers and algorithms to filter the chaos and to provide rescue teams with a detailed, data-driven map of what they should be doing, and where. READ MORE

3 reasons 'governance' should not only be a stand-alone development goal
Lowy Interpreter
Better governance is increasingly recognised as a key driver of development. So much so that a number of organisations and states are lobbying for a 'stand-alone' governance goal to be included in the next global development framework after the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expire in 2015. To support the call for such a stand-alone goal, a fierce debate is under way, including at the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals meeting in New York this week, about how governance can possibly be measured. I have concluded that focusing all efforts on a 'stand-alone' goal risks missing the point. READ MORE

Africa: A 'Wikipedia' of Cheap Tech to Get a Facelift
All Africa
A Wikipedia-style site that gets people to upload information on sustainable technologies and has received more than 50 million page views since its launch in 2006 is going through a raft of changes aimed at improving it further.  The site, called Appropedia, is built on open-source wiki software and allows information to be shared on technologies that could help improve lives in the developing world. "We focus on sustainable technologies and how to use them in resource-poor settings," says Lonny Grafman, founder and president of Appropedia. As is the case with Wikipedia, anyone can edit Appropedia pages that currently hold close to 6,000 articles on topics including agriculture, energy, water and transport. READ MORE

Which Voices Are Heard & By Whom?
Making All Voices Count
Voices: the expression of citizen engagement with the state or corporate actors on issues related to transparency and accountability Voice at different scales: ‘Voice’ can be articulated at several different scales, ranging from conversations between individuals to political organisations at a global scale. Different voices will be articulated at different scales, and the extent to which voice travels between scales depends on the context and power dynamics. READ MORE

Michael Bloomberg Funds African Media Initiative
Media Bistro
It’s called The Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa. It’s set to run at least three years and, per a report by, the intent of the $10 million program is to underwrite financial journalism across the continent and advance transparency, accountability and governance within that discpline. Michael Bloomberg announced the initiative Monday in Johannesburg at the C40 Cities Committee annual conference: The initiative will provide cross-disciplinary education programs and mid-career fellowships to increase the number of highly trained business and financial journalists, convene  pan-African forums to examine worldwide media best practices and support research to stimulate media innovations. READ MORE

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