[AfrICANN-discuss] Re: [africs-ig] Africa report
me at benakoh.com
Tue May 28 14:28:09 SAST 2013
Some organizations, eg Research in Africa are producing reports from primary data (because of the challenges of accessing both primary and secondary data) such as mawaki describes. A substantial amount of data and analysis of data already exists, although more needs to be done. However, the fundamental question pertains to a mindset that fails to read these reports or to associate research findings with policy action. It shouldn't be a report just for the sake of it!
Sent from my iPhone
On 2013-05-28, at 6:27 AM, Dandjinou Pierre <pdandjinou at gmail.com> wrote:
> You said it all ! collecting the information and documenting those relevant events as the ones Nnenna alludes to should be the focus. But this calls for resources (human and financial resources). The way some parts of the world do this is through regional organizations such as the European commission who commissioned (!!) appropriate studies and white papers.
> Our challenge here is how to get the Africa Union commission and other RECs interested.
> On Tue, May 28, 2013 at 12:42 PM, Mawaki Chango <kichango at gmail.com> wrote:
>> There is a lot to be done in Africa. So one might think it is even more crucial here to bring in all segments of the society which can help improve our understanding and practice. I totally agree that academia should be invited in what we do at all levels. It doesn't matter how much you slice this, you can't avoid education, training, research without a serious loss. As recently as last year I was doing a survey in an African country and one of my respondents working in a public research agency told me once she asked to consult a document (which was not a government classified document but has to do with some development issues in one sector of activity) at another government agency, then after asking what exactly she was looking for her colleague opened the corresponding pages for her to make note of, while concealing the non-related contents. That's the mindset we're up against. In many places, it is the very notion of collecting information and making it easy to retrieve later on which is lacking. Believe it or not, in some countries ICT-related policy documents are said to exist but cannot be easily found by the public. For the medium and long-term there is a need to educate and train information specialists, librarians, people who are prepared to identify relevant data gathering opportunities and sources and people who are prepared to systematically gather and curate information, index it and make it easy to find and retrieve at any point in the future. This can only help all researchers, academic or practitioners, to do their job better as well as decision-makers, for that matter.
>> In any case, and particularly for the short term, the best we can do is to gather raw data whenever possible, I agree with Nnenna on that (Reports are just a means to build reference repositories for such data and there may be other ways). The most important (and urgent) is to make sure the data (as per the data points she just indicated) is available somewhere for the public to access. Otherwise, how is one to debate cogently about the geopolitics of the Internet in Africa without knowing which African countries were there during relevant proceedings, which ones contributed language, what their rationale was, what the different positions among African countries are and which ones took which positions and why, etc. A handful of people may be able to find out with a reasonable time investment but most people, who might use that information for useful things that we cannot even predict, won't be able to find it. Not to mention that the more aware the public, the greater the benefits of the debate.
>> So yes, we need to demonstrate more awareness for the necessity to collect information and systematically document what we do and relevant events, to associate academia and other researchers and work with them in order to facilitate data collection and information retrieval for research and policy analysis as well as for decision-making, policy-making and public information.
>> On Tue, May 28, 2013 at 9:40 AM, Nnenna Nwakanma <nnenna75 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> SM, all
>>> I am talking about an Africa report directly in relation to the:
>>> WCIT - World Conference on Information Technology
>>> WTPF - World Telecommunications and ICT Policy Forum
>>> WSIS+10 - World Summit of Information SOciety + 10 meetings
>>> It is not about "what worked in a country" but rather the sum total of:
>>> Which African countries contribted content
>>> In which areas/domains were African countries working/interested in
>>> Which Countries had delegations
>>> What commissions/committees of the policy rounds did they chair/work on
>>> What Ministers were present? What panels did they feature on? What content did they contribute?
>>> What engagements, what plans, what future..
>>> All of that in the framework of global Internet/ICT Policy
>>> On Tue, May 28, 2013 at 8:28 AM, SM <sm at resistor.net> wrote:
>>>> Hi Nnenna,
>>>> At 00:04 28-05-2013, Nnenna Nwakanma wrote:
>>>>> I honestly do believe that if we have an "Africa report" after each of these meetings, such will come in handy when we are planning for the future.
>>>> Replicating what worked in Country X does not work well. The quality of reports are in my opinion relatively low. That might be due to research constraints. The reader would expect an Africa report to include as many countries as possible. Reports generally cover a few countries as case studies and are extrapolated from there.
>>>> There isn't a breath of expertise as input; either the expertise is not there, or it is untapped, or there is lack of interest.
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> Pierre Dandjinou
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