Global Information Access

  1. Portal Sites and Tools
    1. "Virtual Villages: Technology and the Developing World"
      A companion site to the CNN program. Features essays and reference, including statistics.
    2. Activity Information Management System
      The Global Knowledge Partnership's "Activity Information Management System" is an extensive repository of organization and project profiles, documents pertaining to ICT and development, and information on upcoming events.
    3. Globalization Bytes
      PowerPoint presentation on the "Technological Revolution and the Global Digital Divide" by Dr. Robert J. Beck at 2001 Global Studies Summer Institute, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
    4. Interactive Map: The Geography of Technological Innovation and Achievement
      Valuable tool offered in UNDP Human Development Report 2001, "Making New Technologies Work For Human Development"
    5. Internet World Stats
      An International website featuring up to date 2005 worldwide Internet Usage, the Population Statistics and the Area Data, for over 233 countries and world regions. Includes statistics for Top Internet Penetrated Countries:
    6. QuickLinks Index - "Digital Divide"
      Quicklinks provides links to news items about legal and regulatory aspects of Internet and the information society, particularly those relating to information content, and market and technology. It consists of a free electronic mail newsletter and a Web site that includes news items organized by category such as "Digital Divide."
  2. Organizations
    1. Digital Divide Network
      The Benton Foundation and the National Urban League, with private foundations and companies from across the Internet, computing, telecommunications and software industries have launched The Digital Divide Network, arguably "the first-ever initiative to coordinate information, strategies and efforts targeting solutions to the Digital Divide." The new site is a comprehensive clearinghouse on completed and ongoing efforts to expand access by undeserved communities to the Internet and information technology.
    2. Digital Dividend A project of the World Resources Institute, an environmental think tank, the "Digital Dividend" advocates "a business approach to closing the global digital divide."
    3. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Task Force
      A multi-stakeholder initiative launched by the UN Secretary-General in 2001. In supporting the first phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in December 2003, the Task Force successfully helped in placing the United Nations development objectives at the heart of the Summit and mobilized the participation of the multi-stakeholder networks, organized a series of side events and launched new initiatives, including on education. This comprehensive portal site includes "Accessible Information on Development Activities" database.
    4. Sustainable Development Networking Programme - UNDP
      Features a "Networking and Information Technology Observatory," documents collection, technical help desk, virtual help desk, and case studies. There are Sustainable Development Networking Programmes [SDNPs] in 40 developing countries now, up from the initial 12 country pilot projects in 1993. Each one encompasses making Information Technology [IT] more accessible, more usable and more understandable to civil society.
    5. The Digital Opportunity Initiative (DOI)
      A public private partnership of Accenture, the Markle Foundation and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). DOI was launched at the G-8 Okinawa Summit in 2000, with the aim of identifying the roles that information and communication technologies (ICT) can play in fostering sustainable economic development and enhancing social equity.
    6. The Global Knowledge Partnership
      The Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP) is an evolving, informal partnership of public, private and not-for-profit organizations. Partner organizations are committed to sharing information, experiences and resources to promote broad access to, and effective use of, knowledge and information as tools of sustainable, equitable development. The GKP emerged from the cooperation of several dozen organizations in sponsoring the Global Knowledge 97 conference, "Knowledge for Development in the Information Age" in Toronto, Canada in June 1997.
    7. infoDev - The Information for Development Program
      Created in 1995, infoDev is an international consortium of official bilateral and multilateral development agencies and other key partners, facilitated by an expert Secretariat housed at the World Bank. Its mission is to help developing countries and their partners in the international community use information and communication technologies (ICT) effectively and strategically as tools to combat poverty, promote sustainable economic growth, and empower individuals and communities to participate more fully and creatively in their societies and economies.
  3. Documents
    1. Creating a Development Dynamic
      Final Report of the Digital Opportunity Initiative, July 16, 2001. Seeks to demonstrate the critical role that information and communication technologies (ICT) can play in helping developing countries to enhance the lives of their citizens. The document lays out a strategy for developing nations to work with developed countries, and the private and non-profit sectors, to generate sustainable development and achieve a range of social goals. These include improvements to education, healthcare, and increased economic opportunity.
    2. Practical Action Practical Action, formerly known as the "Intermediate Technology Development Group," is an international non-governmental organization that specializes in helping people to use technology for Practical Answers to Poverty. Practical Action emphasizes technologies that are affordable, accessible and appropriate for poor people. Its portal site features many documents of interest, including "Technology, Poverty and the future of the Developing World," a September 2001 "progressive response" to the UNDP Human Development Report, "Making new technologies work for human development."
    3. Spanning the Digital Divide: Understanding and Tackling the Issues
      Concludes that "ground level efforts and government policy are fundamental to changing the status quo and spread the benefits of ICT. Only with a concerted effort will the potential of ICT impacts on and improve people's quality of life, whether they are underprivileged or not."
    4. The Global Information Technology Report 2003-2004
      Since it was launched in 2001, the Global Information Technology Report has become a valuable and unique benchmarking tool to determine national ICT strengths and weaknesses, and to evaluate progress. It also highlights the continuing importance of ICT application and development for economic growth. The Report uses the Networked Readiness Index (NRI), covering a total of 102 economies in 2003-2004, to measure "the degree of preparation of a nation or community to participate in and benefit from ICT developments".
    5. infoDev Publication Library

  4. US Government
    1. Global Issues: "The Evolving Internet"
      Special issue of electronic publication of Department of State
  5. Books and Other Materials on Technology and Human History
    1. Britz, Johannes J. (2005) "Digital Divide."
      2005 Global Studies Summer Institute, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.
    2. Friedman, Thomas L. (2005)

    3. Rifkin, Jeremy. (2000)

    4. Tarnas, Richard (1993)

    5. Toffler, Alvin (1984)