Partha's blog

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Conversation with John Dada: Working with Microfinance and ICT in rural Nigeria

I'm still in Varna. I've been planning to have a podcasting session with John Dada since the time I was introduced to him. I knew about his organization, Fantsuam Foundation (http://www.fantsuam.com) that works in rural Nigeria and provides IT and mirco-finance services for rural women. Initially the foundation started as a micro-finance organization but now has expanded its activities to ICT and education services too. In the midst of a busiest day, we both could manage a time and to have a chat together. I turn on my small i-river and John Dada speaks out his experiences. The conversation is PODCASTED here.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Meeting Nikolai with his Mobile Wireless Van in Rural Bulgaria

I'm now in Varna, Bulgaria to join APC Council Meeting. Varna is a small port city place and just beside the Black sea. I'm meeting different interesting people, projects who are member to APC and from different countries of the World. Here I met Nikolai, a young guy who parks his wireless van in front of the conference venue to check whether anyone would be interested to use the wireless services that he is providing. Some of the conference participants who didn't bring any laptop are more than happy using Nikolai's wireless connectivity for free. Free! yes, its a project that he is trying to promote. His project's name is: www.icentres.net and is supported by UNDP and the Govt. of Bulgaria. Here goes my interview with Nikolai and is PODCASTED here.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Talking to Norbert Klein: Open Forum of Cambodia

It was great talking to Norbert Klein, a founder of 'Open Forum of Cambodia' (http://www.forum.org.kh/), that pioneered localizing and popularizing open source computing in war torn Cambodia. Mr. Klien tells me how his organization started using & providing first email services in Cambodia, developed unicode enabled fonts in Khemer language, popularized & standardized it and then now run a nation wide localization initiative with support from the government. 'Open Forum of Cambodia' has also developed different open source localized software such as, Mozilla, Firefox, Open Office in Khemer language too and has spread the waves all across the society. The interview with Norbert Klein is PODCASTED HERE.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Swaminathan Research Foundation (in India) and talking with Arun

I met Prof. Arunachalam at ITU HQ in Geneva and thought to organize an interview on Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF - www.mssrf.org). He is a distinguished fellow and a volunteer spokesperson of MSSRF. So we came out together and went to 'Palais Des Nations' building where we sat in a corner to have this interview. Arun talked about the salient features of ICT enabled development projects that MSSRF runs in rural Southern India and his experience being with it. MSSRF in many ways is considered to be an icon particularly in developing participatory tele-center models in rural areas. The interview is PODCASTED HERE.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Talking about 'Amader Gram' (Our Village) Project

Today I met Reza Salim who is running an interesting project, Amader Gram (Our Village)- www.amadergram.org in South West rural Bangladesh. Since 1996 Amader Gram is networking 12 schools and 20 villages under 2 upa-zillas (sub-district) of Bagerhat (Rampal) and Khulna (Paikgacha) districts in Bangladesh. Through this project village information, communication and knowledge centers have been created to frame the process of data gathering and digital heritage building. Listen to the detailed of this project from the interview that is PODCASTED HERE.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Interview with Sohrab Razzaghi of Tehran, Iran

I met Dr. Sohrab Razzaghi in the corridor today and decided to run an interview. He is one of the senior civil society organizers in Iran and runs Volunteers Actors (http://www.irancsos.net/) a capacity building and research organization in Tehran. I had a chance to meet Dr. Razzaghi during my visit to Tehran for WSIS Asia Pacific Conference which they boycotted at that time. His organization Volunteer Actors provide training and capacity building services to other grassroots and civil society organizations in Iran on issues such as, social capital, volunteerism, democracy, civil liberty etc.. They have a number of regular publications too. The interview is podcasted HERE.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Meeting Hamada Tadahisa

Today, I'd an interesting interview session with Hamada Tadahisa, founding chair of Japan Computer Access for Empowerment (JCAFE)- www.jcafe.net . JCAFE provides Internet and IT education services to different NGOs and civil society organizations in Japan and have as many as 400 organizations on their list of clients. It started working around these issues in 1993 when Internet itself was a new concept to Japanese community and is now engaged even with advocacy/campaign on development issues of Japan. Mr. Tadahisa is attending WSIS Prepcom 3 in Geneva, where I took the interview and is PODCASTED HERE.