30 March 2011

Closing the ICT Gap in Australia's Aid Program

Closing the ICT Gap in Australia's Aid Program: Bridging the Digital Divide in Aid Delivery

Speaking engagement, Australian Institute of International Affairs, Glover Cottages, Sydney, 29 March 2011

From the perspectives of humanitarian aid, human development and human rights, contributing to global efforts to bridge the digital divide should be an urgent and central priority of Australia’s aid program. 
There is a gap in equitable access to the digital domain between rich and poor countries, and between the rich and the poor within all countries. The “digital divide” has several dimensions: those who use computers and the Internet and those who do not; those with access to broadband networks and those without; and those groups within society such as the poor, uneducated or disabled who are denied access to 21st century skills such as “information literacy”.
Progress towards bridging these gaps is now widely accepted as a key indicator of human development within and among all countries. With bipartisan commitments to double Australia’s foreign aid program by 2015, Australia needs urgently to scale up its capacity and investment in Information & Computer Technology (ICT) for development.
In this context, Michael Hutak, Regional Director, Oceania, One Laptop per Child Foundation will discuss a regional initiative to provide every child in basic education with access to a rugged, low-cost, low-powered, web-connected laptop. The computers will be loaded with appropriate Pacific content and open source software designed to unleash each child’s creative potential and foster collaborative learning. The program is seeking to reach more than 700,000 children in schools across 22 Pacific island nations.

About the speaker: Michael Hutak is a development communications specialist who works with global organisations to deliver sustainable human development outcomes. A former journalist, since 2000 Michael has been consulting to peak civil society and intergovernmental organisations such as the UN World Food Programme, UNICEF and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He specialises in advocacy on issues surrounding ICT for development, food security, child hunger and malnutrition, and humanitarian emergency preparedness and response. In 2007 Michael presented One Laptop per Child to the 39th UNESCO General Conference and in 2008 was appointed Regional Director for Oceania by OLPC Chairman and MIT visionary, Prof. Nicholas Negroponte.

1 comment:

  1. Australian institute is a place of education without any doubt. What you mentioned goes well with the new education law there. There is its translation on term-paper-research.com page.
    Susan, a law learner