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                                                                  Issue 8                   April 2006

                      Our April issue

                      We hope that you have enjoyed or still enjoying your Easter vacations and to those of
                      you celebrating the orthodox one we wish you a Happy Easter!
                      We have received feedback on our Newsletter and for those of you who have not yet
                      replied there is still time to do so by filling in the questionnaire on the website.
                      Your articles are always welcome as well as suggestions regarding new publications
                      (books, articles etc) you would like to inform our readers about. Please send your
                      contributions to Athanassia Fourla.
                      Athanassia Fourla, SPIDER

                      Opportunity to meet entrepreneurs from the
                      developing countries

  Disclaimer          We would like to remind you of the opportunity to meet the finalists of the Stockholm
                      Challenge Award on May 9th and 10th, when over 200 entrepreneurs will come to Kista
The views and         to participate in a number of workshops. There is currently a forum available online,
opinions of           where you can help define the content of these workshops. Participating in the forum
authors expressed     as well as in the workshop is an opportunity to interact with those who have first hand
herein do not         knowledge from field work in developing countries. The finalists are also prominent
necessarily reflect   entrepreneurs working in an environment affected by the digital divide, but believe that
the opinions of       ICT can help improve quality of life. If you would like to participate in the forum or
                      the workshop, please contact Johan de Geer. The forum and workshop schedule can be
                      found at

                      “WSIS, Internet Governance and Human Rights” and
                      “Post-WSIS and Uganda’s Way Forward” - Proceedings

                      The proceedings of the seminars in Uppsala October 3, 2005 (“WSIS, Internet
                      Governance and Human Rights”) and in Kampala, Uganda, December 14, 2005 (“Post-
                      WSIS and Uganda’s Way Forward”) supported by Sida and SPIDER are now available
                      as a pdf report from
                      The general theme of this report is the process and outcomes of the United Nations
                      World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), with special focus on Internet
                      governance, censorship and human rights issues, as well as the way to tackle these issues
                      in the future. In this context some of the issues raised were: Why did Internet
                      governance turn out to be a controversial issue? What has the WSIS meant for the
                      development in the world? Are human rights in information and communication
                      technologies (ICTs) separate from issues of development and poverty reduction, or are
                      they mutual cause and effect? What will be Uganda's post-WSIS way forward?
                                                             Johan Hellström, The Collegium for Development Studies
ISSUE 8                                                                                                          PAGE 2

 SPIDER´s visit to Bangladesh
Dr. Afzal Sher and Lotta Rydström from SPIDER visited Bangladesh the last week of March to
take part in the inauguration of a rural regional training center, meet with partners from the
SPIDER-funded ICT projects and the Swedish Embassy in order to discuss the role of ICT for
development in Bangladesh.
The main event of the week was the inauguration of the SPIDER-funded ICT Center that will work as a
regional training center in education and health. The center is located at a girls’ college in Nohata in the
district of Magura – west of Dhaka. Nohata is the administrative centre for 27 villages and thus functions as
a district hub with many government educational institutions and a primary healthcare center. The girls’
college authority has made two rooms available for the center, one for the ICT centre and another one for
telemedicine work. The center will serve more than 800 students and villagers with an interest in ICT,
education and health.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by the Swedish Ambassador to Bangladesh, Ms. Britt F Hagström,
the Minister of State for Secondary Education, Mr. Eshanul
Haque Milon, local members of the parliament in Magura
district, the Managing Director of Grameen Communications
Ms. Nazneen Sultana and other representatives of colleges,
schools, administrations and institutions. On the same day the
ground breaking ceremony for the future Nohata University of
Healthcare and Agricultural Technology took place. For further
information regarding the ICT Center please contact the project
leader: Dr. Mannan Mridha.                                      Ms. Nazneen Sultana, Dr. Mannan Mridha and Ms. Britt Hag-
SPIDER also had the opportunity to follow up on the project ström discuss the newly inaugurated ICT Center.
“Virtual Classroom”. Three universities are collaborating in this
project and are now in the process of starting their first academic course that will utilize the potential of SMS
technology in education. For further information, please contact Prof. Åke Grönlund.

                                                                  In brief — SPIDER projects in Bangladesh
                                                                  ♦     “Bangladesh Virtual Classroom" - a project
                                                                        that focuses on the use of SMS applications
                                                                        in e-learning. The project partners are Öre-
                                                                        bro and Umeå Universities (Sweden) and
                                                                        BRAC University in Bangladesh.
                                                                  ♦     “ICT Center for health and education in
                                                                        rural Bangladesh” with The Royal Institute
 Ms. Hagström and Mr. Milon inaugurated the rural ICT center in         of Technology (KTH) in Sweden and
 Nohata on March 30th.                                                  Grameen Communications in Bangladesh as
                                                                        project counterparts. The ICT Center is
                                                                        located at the rural girls’ college at Nohata.
                                                                  ♦     “ICT to enhance science education in
                                                                        Bangladesh” – a series of workshops,
                                                                        organized by the Dept. of Applied IT at
                                                                        KTH in Sweden, targeting science teachers
                                                                        at rural schools in Bangladesh

Close-up of the wall inscription at the center in Nohata
ISSUE 8                                                                                  PAGE 3

SPIDER´s visit to Honduras

Together with Bert Geers from Delft University of Technology (Netherlands), Karoline Beronius and
Enrico Pelletta from SPIDER traveled to Honduras to collaborate with the Learning Resource Centre (CRA)
at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras to progress the ICT Project, part of the Sida Research
Cooperation program.
                                     As a result of this trip, the ICT Policy and Master Plan is being drafted,
                                     and the Network Design is being created. The three components are
                                     expected to be finalized at the end of June 2006, after input from the
                                     major conference and workshop which is being planned for the third
                                     week of May in Copán, in western Honduras. The workshop will bring
                                     together representatives from all regional campuses to assure that the
                                     plans respond to the requirements of the users, and that the appropriate
                                     network and ICT services will be planned. The objective is to create a
                                     comprehensive Policy and Master Plan, as well as the design for a UNAH
                                     wide network, which includes eight campuses and eight regional centers,
The project team                     which will guide the implementation of the project.

Diaspora as Wealth Creators – DiWeC 2006

Jönköping University organized on April 6-7 an international workshop: ”Diaspora as Wealth Creators –
DiWeC 2006” supported jointly by SPIDER, NUTEK, Vinnova, Microsoft and Jönköping University.
The main theme of the workshop was the potential among diaspora to create wealth in their home and host
regions (countries of origin respectively residence), with a focus on trade and enterprise development. The
aim was to bring stakeholders together and formulate an action plan that recognises best practice and proven
experience. As a result of the workshop, projects proposals were discussed and formulated – one example is
the creation of an IT platform that would support organizations and individuals to establish trade relations
between home and host regions.
The workshop gathered participants from the three main actors (country of
origin and residence and diaspora itself) where several areas of interest,
regions and even continents were represented. Delegates from, for instance,
Bangladesh, Jamaica, Vietnam and sub-Saharan Africa were present and took
part in key note speeches, sessions and discussions.
Thomas Andersson, the President of Jönköping University and a member of
the SPIDER Board held the welcome and introductory speech where he,
among several things, expressed the importance of human networks and
immigrants for a country’s development. He also emphasized that ICT plays a Carlo Dade, Senior Advisor from the Cana-
vital role in not only the development of trade and enterprise networks but dian Foundation for the Americas and Thomas
also in the global development. Other key note speakers also highlighted the
importance of ICT in the creation of welfare for diaspora population and their countries of origin and
residence, for example the use of mobile phones in trade and export.
Further information regarding DiWeC 2006 can be found at

                                               DSV, School of ICT, KTH
                                           Forum 100, 164 40 Kista, SWEDEN