Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

Central to the way in which EcoAfrica works is the belief that information empowers people and that the sharing of knowledge and information can contribute to improved governance, effective conservation and better management. We therefore pay considerable attention to bridging the gap between those that have the information and those that need to acquire it. We have developed a range of toolsets that can be applied in awareness building, public participation process and participatory planning at small or large geographical scales. One of the information sharing platform that EcoAfrica developed is the Distance Learning and Information Sharing Tool (DLIST) (www.dlist.org), initially pioneered on the southwest side of Africa and now been replicated on the east side as well as the Western Indian Ocean islands.

Our work includes:

  • Working with a range of stakeholders – at the community, donor, government, and regional level – to ensure transparency in decision making and planning processes
  • Developing mechanisms to ensure that there is a two-way flow of information (top-down and bottom-up) from planning to implementation of large initiatives
  • Providing web-based platforms that facilitate the sharing of knowledge and information across all sectors of society, including through distance learning
  • Enabling stakeholder communication – recognizing the right of people to have input into processes and initiatives that affect their lives
  • Promoting a culture of information sharing called a Community of Practice (COP) in development initiatives in which a common pool of knowledge is generated and maintained
  • Developing toolkits for information sharing and learning (see: www.dlist.org)
  • Managing credible and proper public participation processes as part of EIAs and SEAs
Good ideas can change the world, but only if they are shared.
There is mounting evidence that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can facilitate sustainable development by fostering the empowerment and participation of communities. The information gap that exists between those who ‘are in the know’ and those who are not has serious implications for sustainability. For people to meaningfully participate in development initiatives they need to be informed. Unfortunately, large sections of the human population have little or no access to information on issues and processes that affect their lives. ICT in all its forms can help bring to people the information that they need, be it through formal education by way of distance-learning or simply by spreading information through the radio. The imperative for information sharing at costs that are affordable, using simple but innovative technologies, is greater than ever before. Information sharing should occur in all directions, capturing and managing both modern and indigenous knowledge for easy access by all.