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Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)


Doubling Digital Opportunities: Enhancing the Inclusion of Women & Girls in the Information Society

UNESCO/ITU, September 2013

This publication frames the challenges and opportunities we face in achieving gender equality in an era of rapid technological change. It closely examines critical gender issues with respect to new information and communication technologies (ICTs) and broadband. Most important, it shows ways in which we can further advance the sustainable development agenda by promoting the use of new technologies in support of gender equality and women’s empowerment.


Unlocking the potential: Women and mobile financial services in emerging markets

GSMA, 2013

Mobile financial services (MFS) are emerging rapidly in the developing world. Mobile operators, financial institutions, governments and other service providers are figuring out how to build attractive and user-friendly services, distribution networks and marketing approaches to embed MFS into their national infrastructures with viable, long-term business models. A consistently overlooked theme in these discussions has been women, including their wants and needs for and use of mobile financial services, as well as their critical role in the success of any mobile financial services deployment. This is not a surprise: there is a gender gap in terms of women’s ownership and use of mobile services generally. Despite the proven role women’s financial inclusion can play in advancing economic development and empowerment, and despite the role mobile might play, the linkages between women’s financial inclusion and mobile financial services thus far have not been illuminated and elevated for discussion. This report offers insights on women’s needs for financial management tools and use of mobile financial services in Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea and Tanzania. It also contains implications for action for mobile financial service providers in any emerging market.


Global Information Society Watch 2013 - Women's rights, gender and ICTs

APC/Hivos, 2013

This edition of GISWatch explores women’s rights and gender through the lens of information and communications technologies (ICTs). It includes a series of expert thematic reports on issues such as access to infrastructure, participation, online disobedience, and sexuality online, as well as 46 country reports on topics like the rights of domestic workers, trafficking in women, participation in governance, child brides, and the right to abortion.
GISWatch 2013 shows that gains in women’s rights made online are not always certain or stable. While access to the internet for women has increased their participation in the social, economic and governance spheres, there is there is another side to these opportunities: online harassment, cyberstalking, and violence against women online all of which are on the increase globally. This GISWatch is a call to action, to the increased participation of women in all forms of technological governance and development, and to a reaffirmation and strengthening of their rights online.

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Empowering Women through ICT

Spider ICT4D Series No. 4, March 2012

This publication offers a review of Spider (The Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions) supported projects that gave specific focus to the empowerment of women through ICT and contributes to on-going discussions in the area. Spider has supported several initiatives that focused on increasing ICT access and use among women. Each project focused on a particular area of importance for the women and using ICT to address the issue at hand helped demystify the technology to the women. The success of the projects hinged on this ability, i.e. the extent to which technology was adapted to suit women’s reality.


Information technology and farm households in Niger

UNDP, February 2012

This technical report seeks to understand the impact of improved access to information technology on farmers’ agricultural production and marketing practices in sub-Saharan Africa, with a specific focus on Niger. Related research suggests in that access to mobile telephony can reduce communication and search costs, thereby increasing rural households’ access to price and labour market information. Reducing information asymmetries should, in theory, allow households to better respond to shocks. The report finds that increased access to a mobile phone via an adult education program increases the diversity of crops planted, particularly marginal cash crops grown by women. This also increases the likelihood that these cash crops are grown, but does not increase the farm-gate price received.


The Role of Information and Communication Technologies for Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change

FAO-CSDI, 2011

This publication is a state-of-the-art overview on the application of communication and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for community-based livelihood adaptation to climate change. It is crucial to identify information and communication systems, particularly for poor smallholder farmers, in order to have access to scientific and technological advances that can support their agricultural decision-making. As a result, research must be reported and communicated in such a way that policy makers can support the adaptation of the food systems to climate change.

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ICT in Agriculture Sourcebook

The World Bank, ARD and infoDev, 2011

The 15 modules of this e-Sourcebook touch on a wide spectrum of sub-fields in agriculture, including risk management, gender, forest governance, and farmers’ organizations. The Introduction (Module 1) introduces users to the ‘ICT in agriculture’ topic, offering key themes throughout the sourcebook as well as more details on how to use it. Each module is stand-alone in format, providing users with the advantage of selecting the module or modules closest to their interest or work.

Section 1: Overview of ICT in Agriculture
Section 2: Enhancing Productivity on the Farm
Section 3: Assessing Markets and Value Chains
Section 4: Improving Public Service Provision

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Community Radio, Gender & ICTs in West Africa: How Women Are Engaging with Community Radio through Mobile Phone Technologies

Search for Common Ground, July 2011

This report shares findings from a comparative study across three West African countries (Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea) to explore the current intersection between radio, gender, and information communication technologies (ICT). The research examines whether recent improvements in radio broadcast coverage and SMS technology are increasing women's access to information and providing them with a platform that adequately meets their needs, and tests whether implementing a SMS mobilisation programme, like FrontlineSMS, can increase women’s engagement with local community radio programming. The findings show that, while technology can play a role in enabling participation, the lack of participation is influenced more by the fact that radio is still male-dominated and too often consigns women's programming to a narrow interpretation of gender issues including marriage, childcare or domestic responsibilities.


GenARDIS 2002-2010: Small grants that made big changes for women in agriculture

APC, 2010

This book describes how access to new ICTs are affecting rural men and women, as well as improving agricultural production and livelihoods. Several examples are provided, such as women overcoming fear of ICTs and breaking their silence in the DRC.


Gender Assessment of ICT Access and Usage in Africa

Research ICT Africa, 2010

This analysis explores the inequities of access and usage by viewing them through a gender lens. Of the limited demand-side data on Africa that exists, very little is disaggregated on gender lines. This study provides a descriptive statistical overview of access to ICTs by women and men and their usage of them. This is supported by focus groups that were undertaken in five of the 17 countries surveyed in East, Central, South and West Africa.


African women and ICTs. Investigating Technology, Gender and Empowerment

Zed/IDRC, 2009

This book explores the ways in which women in Africa utilize ICTs to facilitate their empowerment; whether through the mobile village phone business, through internet use, or through new career and ICT employment opportunities. Based on the outcome of an extensive research project, this timely book features chapters based on original primary field research undertaken by academics and activists who have investigated situations within their own communities and countries. The discussion includes such issues as the notion of ICTs for empowerment and as agents of change, ICTs in the fight against gender-based violence, and how ICTs could be used to reconceptualize public and private spaces.

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Gender and ICT: a good mix

IICD Thematic Brief, February 2009

The IICD assists people in developing countries in benefiting from ICT to improve their livelihoods and quality of life. In focusing our work on the less privileged, special consideration is given to reaching people in rural areas with low incomes. Women constitute a substantial part of the members of this target group. Attention for gender issues is therefore paramount for the programmes to be effective and sustainable.


Mobiles in-a-box: Tools and Tactics for Mobile Advocacy

Tactical Technology Collective

This toolkit is a collection of tools, tactics, how-to guides and case studies designed to inspire advocacy organisations and present possibilities for the use of mobile telephony in their work. From choosing an audience, to privacy and security issues and also countering technological challenges, Mobiles in-a-box provides effective solutions to enable you get started with using mobiles in your advocacy efforts.

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Guide to managing ICT in the voluntary and community sector

ICT Hub, 2007

This guide is aimed at staff and volunteers from voluntary and community organisations (VCOs) who want to manage their ICT better. It is intended particularly for staff and volunteers from small and medium-sized organisations and especially for those people who don't have access to "paid for" technical advice and support. The main sections reflect some of the key issues that VCOs face in managing ICT, from policies and procedures to keep things running; and how to produce an ICT strategy to putting realistic costs into funding bids. Case studies help to illustrate how others have taken up the challenge of ICT and there is plenty of signposting to other information, especially to useful websites.

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e-agriculture.org is a global initiative to enhance sustainable agricultural development and food security by improving the use of information, communication, and associated technologies in the sector. The overall aim is to enable members to exchange opinions, experiences, good practices and resources related to e-agriculture, and to ensure that the knowledge created is effectively shared and used.

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Gender and ICT

UNDP-APDIP, Elsevier, 2007

This publication looks at ICT for development through a gender lens and discusses ICT within a gender equality framework. Getting access to ICT potentially offers a number of benefits for women. Through ICT many women have gained access to valuable information they wouldn't have gained otherwise. Technology is however, not neutral to the context it is being applied in. Where ICT has been perceived to be gender neutral the ICT sector still remains primarily a male domain. Although women are starting to use ICT for a variety of purposes, women are mainly viewed as consumers of ICT. This e-Primer examines why it is necessary also to view women as ICT producers, developers and decision makers, in order to ensure further equal participation of women in the Information Society.

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Managing and sharing agricultural information with IMARK

FAO, in collaboration with over 30 partner and contributing organisations

The Information Management Resource Kit (IMARK) is a partnership-based e-learning initiative to train individuals and support institutions and networks world-wide in the effective management of agricultural information. IMARK consists of a suite of distance learning resources, tools and communities on information management. IMARK is being developed as a series of modules on CD-ROM and on the Internet, offered free of charge, which will introduce the latest concepts, approaches and tools for information management. Each IMARK module focuses on a specific area of information management. All modules are or will be produced in five languages: English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese.

Current modules:

  • Management of Electronic Documents
  • Building Electronic Communities and Networks
  • Investing in Information for Development
  • Digitization and Digital Libraries

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Supporting women’s ICT-based enterprises: A handbook for Agencies in Development


A handbook for development agencies designed to assist anyone working to support women’s ICT-based enterprises, specifically micro and small-scale enterprises in developing countries. It looks into the management and operational issues of women’s ICT-based enterprise, with an overall aim to deliver more and better women’s ICT-based enterprises.

Download ( - 82p) or order from DFID

The Gender Digital Divide in Francophone Africa: A Harsh Reality

ENDA, 2005

Women have one chance in three less than men to benefit in the African Information Society. Research on six countries conducted by the Gender and ICT Network, connections between gender and ICTs were found to be widely unrecognised. Looking at control, content, capacities and connectivity, the research measured gender disparities that are present with regard to access, use and mastery of ICTs. The publication presents the main results of the research on the “Gender digital divide in Francophone Africa: data and indicators”, which was carried out in 2004–2005 by the Gender and ICT Network (Réseau genre et TIC), with the sponsorship of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC, Ottawa, Canada).

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WOUGNET (Women of Uganda Network) is an NGO which was initiated in May 2000 by several women's organisations in Uganda to develop the use of ICTs among women as tools to share information and address issues collectively. Its goal is to improve living conditions for women by enhancing their capacities and opportunities for exchange, collaboration and information sharing. WOUGNET is Dimitra's partner organisation for Eastern Africa (covering Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia and Uganda).

The WOUGNET CD was produced in response to a call to increase the diversity of media with which information is exchanged and disseminated. The CD includes the entire WOUGNET website (as of 31 December 2004), the 2004 WOUGNET Update Newsletters, and the reports of WOUGNET workshops held in 2004. It is expected that a new edition of the WOUGNET CD will be produced annually.

To obtain a copy, write to [email protected] or call +256-41-256832

Feminia - African women media professionals claim their space on the Internet

Feminia, an African women's network of media professionals, has created and launched her own virtual environment. The Feminia website is a platform for publication and exchange of articles, programmes, experiences and knowledge about women's issues, discussions, training and effective networking. Topics that are dealt with include: women at the top, defying traditions, gender mainstreaming, the price women pay in times of war in Darfur, HIV/Aids and the vulnerability of girls, interviews with e.g. "Bayam- Sellams", Cameroonian market women who are driving forces behind the countries economy.

As with the Feminia network itself, the website is not limited by traditional boundaries between Francophone and Anglophone readers. Some of the articles are English, some in French, depending on the preferred language of the contributing member.

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Gender and ICTs for development. A global sourcebook

KIT Publishers, 2005

Around the world information and communication technologies (ICTs) have changed the lives of individuals, organizations and indeed, entire nations. This book is a collection of case studies about women and their communities in developing countries, and how they have been influenced by ICTs. ICTs can have profound implications for women and men in terms of employment, education, health, environmental sustainability and community development.

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