August Roundup: Leapfrogging Technology, ICT4E in Conflict, and Facebook in Myanmar
Aug 29, 2018
Ah, the dog days of summer. Usually a slow time for work, that means there’s extra time to sit at your computer looking for good stuff to read, struggling with either being uncomfortably warm from the summer heat or excruciatingly cold from over-aggressive office air-conditioning. We get it. We got you. Fresh ICT4D reads from our August Roundup below!
African Economy: The Limit of Leapfrogging: This is a really excellent piece that digs into the realities of the leapfrog phenomenon in Africa, taking examples from ICT4Ag and mHealth to reality check the technology “solutionism.” Super engaging, definitely worth your read—though please note that a Financial Times subscription is required.
Check out the Checklist for Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) Interventions to Support Education in Crisis and Conflict Settings, created by the U.S. Agency for International Development, Education in Crisis and Conflict Network, and the International Network for Education in Emergencies: I’m always a big fan of usable, pragmatic tools that make implementing digital services easier and better. This is one of them.
The UN Report of Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmaris a devastating analysis of the Rohingya genocide that specifically and repeatedly calls out Facebook for its role in propagating hate speech. The day after the report was released, Facebook finally did something about it and banned key instigators from its platform. Too little, too late? The UN report thinks so:
The role of social media is significant. Facebook has been a useful instrument for those seeking to spread hate, in a context where for most users Facebook is the Internet. Although improved in recent months, Facebook’s response has been slow and ineffective. The extent to which Facebook posts and messages have led to real-world discrimination and violence must be independently and thoroughly examined.
Did I think five years ago I’d ever see a UN report cite Facebook as a key actor in genocide? Nope. Where do we go from here, and how do we do more to push for protection? The stakes are so high. These are questions I will continue to look for answers for as the consequences of the report unfold.