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Creating an inclusive society with ICTs

17 November 2009

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Global Information Society Watch 2009 examines how information technology is advancing human rights and democracy across the world. With country case studies, it highlights the impact of ICT policy at the local and global level and the need for strengthening networking and advocacy for a just, inclusive information society.

Global Information Society Watch 2009 Report

Publisher: GISWatch, 2009

Freedom of expression and the free flow of information and knowledge are essential to democratic societies. Therefore the focus of the 2009 GIS is “access to online information and knowledge –advancing human rights and democracy”.

Image credits: GISWatch/ Cover page of the report

Information and knowledge are crucial factors in human development. Freedom of information and the resulting power to make informed decisions are bedrocks of liberal democracy, essential tools for active citizen participation – and the foundation of dominant ideas of the better life, such as that of an open society.

The access to knowledge movement, for instance, works on copyright law reform and the promulgation of open access.

With regards to government information, it is important that not only are there mechanisms put in place that facilitate access to it, but also that these mechanisms work.

The history of events leading up to the enactment of the Right to Information Act in India provides valuable lessons as to what the scope of government information should be, in how punitive measures can be implemented to guarantee that the process works, and, above all, as to how marginalised citizens can gain the space and the means to use the law to their advantage.

This report helps to give focus and context to the policy development process and to civil society networking and advocacy at the local, regional and global levels.

In addition, 48 country reports analyse the status of access to online information and knowledge in countries as diverse as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mexico, Switzerland and Kazakhstan, while six regional overviews offer a bird’s eye perspective on regional trends.

It is aimed towards overcoming disparities in access to ICTs while also advocating for human rights, promoting education and public access to information, women’s empowerment and economic prosperity.

Source : GISWatch

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