07.04.2011 -

UNESCO calls for participation in online debate on mobile phone for development

UNESCO is launching the first in a series of debates on ICTs and development on the WSIS Platform of Communities on 11 April. This first debate will focus on the Social and Economic Impact of Mobile Phones in Developing Countries.

Mobile phones have made personal communications readily accessible, for the first time, to women and men, poor and prosperous, rural and urban dwellers in developing as well as in industrial countries. Mobile phones are used in many different ways. The upcoming debate considers the social and economic value of mobile phones to people, especially in developing countries.


The debate will be moderated by David Souter (United Kingdom) with Rich Ling (Denmark) who will focus on the social impact, and Abi Jagun (Nigeria), who will highlight the economic impact.


A number of interviews with the following experts in mobile phones and development are to be used to set the scene:

<li>Jenny Aker (USA),

<li>Ken Banks (UK),

<li>Roxanna Barrantes (Peru),

<li>Harsha da Silva (India), and

<li>Alison Gillwald (South Africa).

UNESCO urges everyone with an interest in mobile phones and development to <a target=_blank href="http://www.wsis-community.org/">join</a> the debate and raise issues which he/she thinks should be discussed. New developments and insights on the issues are also welcome.


Summaries of the issues and comments from the moderator will be posted as the debate progresses.


The 2nd Debate, on Licensing for Open Educational Resources (OER), will start from Monday, 18 April 2011.

The WSIS Platform of Communities has been launched in 2009 by UNESCO to facilitate and to stimulate knowledge exchange among those who are interested in exploring opportunities offered by ICT for development. The output of this online collaborative tool will also contribute to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) implementation.

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