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Bridging the Digital Divides: Best Practices and False Perceptions

4 Mar 2005
Filming venue:

Oxford Internet Institute, 1 St Giles, Oxford OX1 3JS United Kingdom

The meeting will focus on systematic and critical case studies of initiatives designed to narrow ‘digital divides’ – within developing countries and between developing and developed countries – relating to the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICTs). Contributions will offer individual or comparative case studies providing insight into the most significant divides and how they can be closed, or which question the significance of digital divides.

Accounts of these kinds of initiatives are not always closely scrutinised or challenged by hard questions concerning their scalability or transferability to other contexts. By informing discussion about competing approaches, the seminar aims to move debate away from overly simplified prescriptions on how divides can be bridged, as these typically lack clarity in how the aim of closing divides can be accomplished in practice. Relevant experiences relating to participation in WSIS processes are particularly welcomed.

Time Session
09:00 Welcome and Introduction by Bill Dutton and Sonia Liff
10:00 Panel I: Digital Divide Initiatives

Michael Best: Kali, Creator and Destroyer: A Personal Recollection on Media Lab Asia

Paul Foley: Social exclusion and the digital divide – A comparative international perspective

Panayiota Tsatsou: Civil Society in Greece – Shaping new digital divides?

11:30 Lunch
13:15 Panel II: Comparative Perspectives on the Digital Divide

Barbara Crow and Leslie Regan Shade: Gender, Digital Divides and ICT Agenda in Canada

Sharon Strover: Assessing Community Efforts to Reduce the Digital Divide

Harsha Liyanage and Michael David: Second generation problems of bridging the digital divide in Sri Lanka

15:15 Discussion led by Sonia Liff, Stephen Coleman and Corinna di Gennaro
15:45 Break
16:00 Summary of Key Issues: A Webcast

Panel TBD: Participants will design and produce a 15-30 minute summary of the key issues in a webcast enabling wide participation in the proceedings of the seminar series.

16:30 Closing remarks

We are grateful to the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for their support of this seminar series.

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)