IAMCR PANEL
  Transfer of Information Technology and Knowledge: Development and Underdevelopment
  Return to List of Themes
  (Last updated: September 27th, 2005)
 
 
. . .
  Transfer of Information Technology and Knowledge: Development and Underdevelopment  
  Presented by: International Association for Media and Communication Research - IAMCR  
     
  Panel Members:  
  Robin Mansell, President of the IAMCR, London School of Economics, UK  
  Marc Raboy, McGill University , Canada  
  Hopeton Dunn, University of the West Indies, Jamaica  
  Paschal Preston, Dublin City University, Ireland  
  Divina Frau-Meigs, Université d'Orléans, France  
  Rojan Samarijiva, LirneAsia, Sri Lanka  
  Jeremy Shtern, Université de Montréal, Canada  
. . .
 
. . .
 

This theme will allow our contributions to focus on a range of research and practical issues relating to e-Exclusion and the Knowledge Society. As a follow-up to Geneva, the emphasis in Tunis is expected to be on development gaps, the role of technology, Internet Governance, new policy approaches and their application to practical human problems, particularly in the Global South. Contributions to the IAMCR panel presentation would therefore be expected to provide research-based responses to issues relating to "the potential of ICTs, including the Internet, for leapfrogging development in general for education and research." Other issues within the scope of this Session include "objective constraints in accessibility and unequal distribution of ICT between North and South, regions and states, social groups, including gender and language..." The implications for Intellectual Property Rights, TRIPS, Universal Service arrangements, Human Rights and existing legal and policy regimes would also be relevant.

 
. . .
 

 
 
    View Full Paper
    View Bio
    Join a discussion on this paper and theme
 
. . .
  Alleviating Inequality: struggles over ICT financing mechanisms  
  Robin Mansell, Professor and President  
  International Association for Media and Communications Research (IAMCR), London School of Economics, London, UK  
. . .
 
. . .
 

A difficult issue for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis 2005 is the question of where the massive investment needed to implement that WSIS Action Plan will come from.  The list of actions is long and the estimated need for new sources of financing to reduce ‘digital divides’ is enormous.  For the poorest countries and poorest regions within countries, there is widespread agreement that investment must be mobilised on a scale far greater than in the past.  Beyond the WSIS, the private sector, governments and many other organisations will have to play a role.  This paper will critically assess various perspectives on this issue. Some advocate ‘market-led’ solutions while others advocate the need for new mechanisms and a greater reliance on public or community initiatives to supply infrastructure and services.  These issues are discussed within an analytical framework that highlights the strategic economic and political interests of the actors.

 
. . .
 
 
 
   
    View Full Paper
    View Bios
    Join a discussion on this paper and theme
 
. . .
  New Policy Approaches for Information Societies: Globalization, Communication Governance and the Public  
  Marc Raboy, Professor  
  Department of Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada  
     
  Jeremy Shtern, Doctoral Candidate  
  Department of Communication, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec, Canada  
. . .
 
. . .
 

Taking a long, historical view on the governance strategies adopted for previous new ICTs leads us to conclude that the problems stemming from gaps in access and broader concern for social development have always been central to policy approaches to communication governance. Until the recent discussions of the Internet, these issues have traditionally been addressed mainly at the national level -- but the Internet, we argue, is a global public good. This principle should be at the centre of any policy approach to Internet governance, but it presents a real conceptual challenge to policy makers for, obvious as this may seem, much of the discussion around Internet governance has been tainted with the orthodoxy of a view that digital technology is (and should be) somehow immune to control. Thus, the next contribution to be made in establishing the principle of the Internet as global public good is clearly to extend the historical notion of ‘the public’ which has framed the policy approach to previous ICTs to discussion of Internet governance issues. With this historical context in mind, this paper will consider whether notions such as globalization and problems such as underdevelopment are in fact incompatible with previous conceptions of the public interest in communication governance and will respond to the question:  Is a new policy approach to Internet governance based on the principle of the Internet as a global public good a conceptually sustainable framework for directing the potential of ICTs towards the problem of underdevelopment?

 
. . .
 
 
 
 
    View Full Paper
    View Bio
    Join a discussion on this paper and theme
 
. . .
  Redressing e-Exclusion and Social Divergence in an Era of Technological Convergence  
  Hopeton S. Dunn, Chair, Communication Policy and Technology Section, IAMCR, and Director, Caribbean Programme in Telecommunication Policy and Management, University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica  
. . .
 
. . .
 

Digital technologies have enhanced many aspects of social, economic and political life where these tools are available and in widespread social use. They also can contribute to promoting creativity and assist social and cultural inclusiveness. However, where these technologies remain inaccessible and expensive, or where there are inadequate strategies for their effective use, they can and often do contribute to increasing disparity, exclusion and divergence, in an era dominated by the tools for social, technological and economic convergence. The challenge of WSIS Tunis, as well as for 21st century policy-makers and all citizens of the 'digital millennium', is to find effective ways of redressing this growing disparity, which is emerging on similar patterns of geography, gender and social status to traditional economic gaps in global development. While, quantitatively, the world is now more endowed with tools of communication and information flow than the scenario painted by the 1983 Maitland Commission, there remains an enduring 'missing link' that requires more committed financial resources and strategic planning by communities, state and global actors in both the North and the South. Emerging creative initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean have begun to address the 'digital divide', including provision of the eLAC Plan of Action, informed by the ambitious principles of the WSIS Geneva Phase and targets of the UN Millennium Development Goals.

 
. . .
 
 
 
 
    View Full Paper
    View Bio
    Join a discussion on this paper and theme
 
. . .
  Beyond the Tech-Fix: New Potentials & Barriers to Leapfrogging Development in the ‘Knowledge Economy’  
  Paschal Preston , Professor, School of Communication and Founder, STeM Centre  
  Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland  
. . .
 
. . .
  In several respects, the year 2005  is ‘a very interesting year’ for those engaged in international communication, information and development  policy matters.  
     
  Firstly, as we don’t need reminding here, 2005 sees the culmination of the four-year long WSIS process and its associated international meetings, ‘dialogues’ and debates.  
     
  Secondly, the WSIS has been accompanied by several parallel debates in other international fora. Thirdly, 2005 also marks the 25th anniversary of the report of UNESCO’s [‘Mc Bride’] Commission on International Communication Policy. Fourth, 2005 also sees the overall UN ‘project’ – as weak/embryonic international system for multi-lateral ‘governance’ related to peace and development-- under immense pressure for change.  Finally, is also about 25 years since we first encountered ideas about technology and the prospects for ‘leapfrogging’ development.  
     
  Locating my presentation within this wider institutional and historical frame is deliberate. It serves to frame the current WSIS proceedings as the culmination of the third major initiative since the UN’s formation, to define and frame the ground rules governing the international structures and flows of communication and information (Hamelink, 2002).  It reminds us that a global ‘information society’ is not only or predominantly a matter of access and use of technology, but also crucially concerns questions of communication and knowledge (including IPRs).   
     
  Thus the paper identifies key changes in knowledge and communication structures and functions since the formation of the UN system (late 1940s) and addresses how these provide new potentials and barriers to international development and leapfrogging strategies in the early 21st century.  
. . .