Summary of Initiatives Proposals


Online Forum from March 13th, 2000 to March 27th, 2000.

Title: Core Literature for Development Communication

Objective: To collect, review, select the landmark publications, papers, articles, and audio-visual materials that have shaped the discipline over the past three decades. Translation of abstracts will be translated in the three working languages of Orbicom, English, French, and Spanish.

Methodology: The process will be guided by the chair holders, who because of their responsibility for a large portion of the literature. A peer review system will be created, as well as the criteria for deciding what is "core" regarding the evolution and growth of the discipline. With an initial collection of 200-300 titles, 5 to 6 compilers/editors need to be identified, in addition to a project manager. The final methodology must be designed by the project partners.

Output: The end product will be a multi-media CD-ROM and/or web site which contains an abstracted bibliography of the core literature and the complete documents and materials which are abstracted.

Nature of Collaboration: Global in nature, with collaboration between the chair holders and the associate members, initially working in Spanish, French, and English. Other bodies of literature in Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Bahasa Indonesia, Arabic should be considered for inclusion, but the abstracts will be in the three working languages.

Time Frame: N/A

Budget: N/A (Possible sources of funding not identified)

Proposed by : Saik Yoon Chin [chin@south.pc.my]

Title: Communications Research in Progress: Dissemination of the Results of the Chairs’ Initiatives

Objective: To generate awareness, externally, of the resources possessed by the Orbicom Network.

Methodology: Chair holders will submit the results of their research in the respective fields, as well as identify research initiatives in progress.

Output: The information will be provided in a suitable format for members of the network as well as the external community: electronic and, fund permitting, print.

Nature of Collaboration: Global initiative, led by the Chair holders.

Time Frame: N/A

Budget: N/A

Proposed by: Goran Sjoberg [goran.sjoberg@pubrel-worldcom.se]

Title: Communications Networks and the Culture of Peace: Contributions to Sustainable Development and Human Security

Objective: Using case studies from different regions of the world, illustrate how communication networks contribute to sustainable development and human security, how they contribute to the on-going debate about the Culture of Peace. It is proposed to expand the discussions on the contributions of communication networks to the Culture of Peace within the membership of Orbicom at large and with other like-minded networks.

Methodology: Ten regional case studies will be presented as follows:
1) The Canadian Experience with Training in Peacekeeping, Sustainable Development and Human Security;
2) The Emergence and Social Appropriation of Networking Platforms: Building New Types of Information Flows for Sustainable Development;
3) Women’s Appropriation of Communication networks in Korea and South East Asia and their Contribution to Equity and Peace;
4) Excluding Exclusion: Continuing Education and Distance Learning for Underprivileged Groups in Africa;
5) New Eastern Europe Experiments in partnerships for Transition. Socioeconomic Reconstruction and Sustainable Development;
6) The Socio-legal Challenges of Communication Networks beyond National Frontiers;
7) Universal Human Rights Issues in the Maghreb Region: Media Challenges and Practices in search of Sustainable Development;
8) Community Media Debates in Latin America: Democratic Experiments in Search of a Culture of Peace;
9) Enhancing a Culture of Peace on the Internet: Challenges Ahead;
10) Communicating a Culture of Peace: A World Watch Experiment for Sustainable Development and Human Security

Two co-editors will have responsibility for organizing the studies into a cohesive monograph.

Output: A published monograph, in paper and electronic formats

Nature of Collaboration: Chair holders and associate members of Orbicom will be the authors of the 10 case studies

Time Frame: N/A

Budget: Initiative dependent on securing external funding. Sources are currently being explored.

Proposed by: Charles Okigbo [charles_okigbo@ndsu.nodak.edu] and Danielle Maisonneuve [maisonneuve.danielle@uqam.ca]

Title: Communications and Ethnic Conflict

Objective: Research on the central theme of communication and ethnic conflict could contribute to the opportunity of a new understanding of the problem of communication and possibly move toward the identification of new strategies of action in the field of communication and social management.

Methodology: A Series of Case Studies in Conflict Management, Peace Missions, Preventive Diplomacy, and Post Conflict Social Reconstruction.

Output: Published monograph.

Nature of Collaboration: The chair holders and the associate members of the ORBICOM Network can participate in their respective region, toward the creation of this comparative analysis.

Time Frame: N/A

Budget: N/A

Proposed by: Claude-Yves Charron [charron.c-y@uqam.ca]

Title: UNESCO: World Communication Report

Objective: To contribute to a high quality World Communication Report by preparing comprehensive chapters on a range of communications issues, with supporting data. With the vast changes in communications today, this type of report will be very valuable. (It could also be accessed for a subscriber’s fee via the Internet, and could be one of the resources ORBICOM is able to offer its members.)

Methodology: Within a sectorial approach, Chair holders and Associate members should be contributors to some of the chapters; within a more comprehensive approach, Chair holders would act as the coordinating point, and interact with the associate members, both academics and private sector. Two chair holders would then be identified to be the overall editors, for Orbicom’s input to the Report, ensuring consistency and high quality.

Output: Chapters in the UNESCO World Communication Report; or the management of the editorial process as a whole.

Nature of Collaboration: Chair holders coordinating the initiative with input from the associate members.

Time Frame: To be determined by UNESCO

Budget: N/A

Proposed by: Helen Molnar [hmolnar@netspace.net.au] and Claude-Yves Charron [charron.c-y@uqam.ca]

Title: NICTs and Trust-Building Mechanisms

Objective: To undertake comparative research, concentrating on some trust-intensive issues, such as the usage of filtering/blocking/rating software, and the topics of access, authorship, and privacy, in order to find out to what extent trust-building mechanisms are universal or cultural-dependent

Methodology: Preliminary step is to establish six regional groups in the Orbicom Network: chair holders and associate members. Methodology not fully presented.

Output: A published monograph (?)

Nature of Collaboration: ORBICOM Network members in six regions.

Time Frame: N/A

Budget: External funding required. UNESCO may be able to contribute to the research activity. However, the German Volkswagen Foundation is a likely source for support.

Proposed by: Rainer Kuhlen [rainer.kuhlen@uni-konstanz.de]

Title: A Regional Training Workshop: based upon the Kothmale Internet Community Radio Project model

Objective: Within the Action Plan/ Regional Training Workshop component, conduct a training workshop for members of other community radios in the region, based on the Kothmale initiative model, which has as its Objective to empower local communities to take advantage of new communication technologies and thus foster democratic participation in social development.

Specifically the Objectives are to :
1) utilize radio to overcome lack of access and linguistic limitations in order to create shared interpretation of the information retrieved through the Internet;
2) use local radio as an effective outreach interface between the people and the Internet; and
3) develop a community database that could eventually be used for local communities to retrieve and deposit data for educational and information requirements.

Methodology: Via training sessions, demonstrate the interface between new and old technologies, linking grassroots communities to the Internet, in a modest, well focussed and pragmatic communication and develop initiative. There must be a commitment from the governmental authorities to provide telecommunication facilities for the initial stage, either free of charge or at a subsidiary rate.

Output: Training Workshops in developing regions of the world

Nature of Collaboration: Partnership between chair holders and associates in all regions who are interested in working on development communication issues.

Time Frame: To be completed before the end of 2000.

Budget: UNESCO may be able to assist with the negotiation with the telecom authorities in the developing countries concerned to obtain access to an internet link at a reasonable cost.

Proposed by: Claude-Yves Charron [charron.c-y@uqam.ca]

Title: Knowledge Network

Objective: To serve as an electronic forum for on-going assessment and exchange of information on communication trends, training needs and opportunities. This will be accomplished by acting as a clearinghouse for the collection and distribution of information.

Methodology: Collect and circulate information across institutional and professional boundaries — policy making, the multi-lateral sector, universities, private think-tanks, journalism associations, and professional organizations. Disseminate reports on the state of information and communications in each region, as well as case studies relating to capacity building.

Output: Regularly published reports and case studies in electronic and printed formats.

Nature of Collaboration: Total Orbicom membership.

Time Frame: By the end of 2001

Budget: N/A

Proposed by: Approved Orbicom Action Plan, 1999, Claude-Yves Charron [charron.c-y@uqam.ca]

Title: Learning to Learn Regional Training Workshops

Objective: In response to the growing gap between employment and training in communications, it is proposed to organize a series of regional workshops for the training and retraining of communication professionals for the new knowledge economy.

Methodology: The training shall be based on the needs of the different regions. It will target management, professionals, new information workers, and educators. Concrete multi-media skills and team-building skills will be developed. An evaluation will be conducted to refine and build capacity for subsequent phases.

Output: Regional Workshops

Nature of Collaboration: These Workshops will be designed and delivered through partnerships amongst ORBICOM members, and between institutions of learning and the private sector.

Time Frame: Before the end of 2001.

Budget: N/A

Proposed by: The approved ORBICOM Action Plan, 1999, Claude-Yves Charron [charron.c-y@uqam.ca]

Title: Creation of an ICT School in Francophone West Africa

Objective: In response to a request from the Ivory Coast, and based upon the expertise at the Université du Québec àMontreal, the UNESCO-Bell Chair has offered its services for the implementation of this project.

Methodology: Installation of a Multimedia Technical Infrastructure, Training of Teachers, and Program Delivery.

Output: Creation of a graduate level program in Information and Communication Technologies in the Ivory Coast.

Nature of Collaboration: An invitation to participate in the area of connectivity, specifically in creating a network on connectivity between the Chair holders and Associate members, both within this on-going initiative in the Ivory Coast; an invitation also to participate in a feasibility study in the transferability of such an initiative in other regions, including in the Americas.

Time Frame: N/A

Budget: Relating to the graduate school of ICT in Francophone West Africa, sources of funding are: CIDA; Government of Quebec - Ministry of International Affairs; and Agence de la Francophonie, Francophone Information Highway Fund.

Proposed by: Jean-Paul Lafrance [lafrance.jean-paul@uquam.ca]

Title: The Societal Aspects of the Advancements in Information Technology on Developing Countries, with Emphasis on Asia: A Discussion

Objective: To have a dialogue amongst multi-lateral organizations, developed nations and governments of the developing nations toward developing mechanisms and provide aid in order that the benefits of the advancements in information and communication technologies reach the grassroots level of a developing society.

Methodology: A discussion forum

Output: The initiation of training programs in local software development in developing countries

Nature of Collaboration: All ORBICOM members who are interested in development communications and have as their specialisation ICTs.

Time Frame: N/A

Budget: N/A

Proposed by: R. Mahesh K Sinha [rmk@cse.iitk.ac.in]

Title: Inter-Regional Dialogue on Communication Projects Relevant to Developing Countries

Objective: To compare the experiences of use of community media, as an instrument in development communication projects. The strong and weak points of the experiences would be compared with a view to applying the appropriate approaches to future projects.

Methodology: Not developed

Output: An electronic forum

Nature of Collaboration: All Orbicom members who are involved in development communication.

Time Frame: N/A

Budget: N/A

Proposed by: Mody Sory Barry [barryms@sotelgui.net.gn]

Title: The Concentration of Ownership in the Communication Field

Objective: To undertake a major global research initiative that would seek to:
1) assess the real contribution of the media to democracy and good governance;
2) determine the level of concentration of ownership in the communication field, specifically in the countries where the ORBICOM Network has chair holders;
3) Assess the social, political, and economic factors, real and perceived, in the countries of the North and South, in the areas of Freedom of Expression, Editorial Policies, Access, related industries, and Market Forces;
4) Evaluate, for each of the countries under study, the existence, or the lack there of, of public policy, and adequate policies for the situations under review; and
5) evaluate the factors, real or perceived, related to democracy, good governance, and informed societies.

Methodology: N/A

Output: Electronic and print publications.

Nature of Collaboration: Chair holders and associate members.

Time Frame: N/A

Budget: Although a budget figure is not given, potential partners are identified. They are UNESCO, bilateral agencies concerned with the issues of this project, and WTO and ACCT who have indicated interest in the research initiative as well as the results.

Proposed by: Claude-Yves Charron [charron.c-y@uqam.ca]