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Describe the role of information and communications technology (ICT) in civil society and the transmission and flow of images, ideas, information and finance.
Information and Civil Societies
This short video, from Oxfam, introduces the importance of access to information as a human right and as a tool for social and political participation.
Open Street Map
OpenStreetMap is an open initiative to create and provide free geographic data such as street maps to anyone who wants them. It is a massive online collaboration, with hundreds of thousands of registered users worldwide. (Source: http://blog.osmfoundation.org/faq/)
How is openstreetmap.org an example of civil society?
How has openstreetmap.org been used to facilitate a flow of images, ideas and information to benefit the interenational response to the 2010 Haitian earthquake?
'Open Street Map' (discussed in the above box) is an example of a civil organisations that is based around the use of ICT. There are many civil organisations around the world that are using ICT, here are just a few examples:
From the Map Action website - "In the aftermath of a disaster thousands of people can suddenly find themselves battling to save lives and livelihoods. Before aid agencies can help them, the first requirement is information. Which areas have yet to be reached? Where are the relief resources? Where are the people in greatest need?
MapAction delivers this vital information in mapped form, from data gathered at the disaster scene. Creating a 'shared operational picture' is crucial for making informed decisions and delivering aid to the right place, quickly."
Wildlife Direct uses blogs to enable communication between wildlife professionals, who blog on a particular animal, and donors. Individual donors are able to communicated directly with the people that they are funding thereby increasing their engagement and raising the level of donations.
The Impact Alliance is an international network committed to strengthening the capacity of individuals and organizations to generate deep impact within the communities they serve. They assist members and clients to improve the quality, sustainability and scale of their activities through facilitating peer knowledge exchange, networked learning initiatives and multi-stakeholder partnerships. Their goal is to help organizations create greater social impact. (Words from website)
Role of ICT in Civil Societies
What is a civil society?
Civil societies include "mass organisations, trade unions, faith-based organisations, NGOs, academe, social movements and campaign networks".
(Source: Nagle, G. & Cooke, B., 2011. Geography: course companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.)
ICT can be used by civil societies for many purposes. They can reach people all around the globe and encourage them to take action in support of their activities and campaigns.
Why are ICTs important for Civil Society Organisations?
This document, from the United Nations, includes lots of information about ICT use by Civil Society Organisations as well as useful links to organisations that are using ICT.
In your text books...
Geography Course Companion by Briony Cooke; Garrett Nagle
Look at page 337 to find a short section on the role of ICT in civil society.
Cambridge Geography for the IB Diploma Global Interactions by Paul Guinness
You have online access to this book through the home page of this libguide. Look at pages 48 to 52 for information on the role of ICT in civil society.
Moore's Law relates to the rapid rate of advancement in computer technology.