It is clearly important that developing countries are not left behind in their use of ICTs, otherwise the digital divide can become a knowledge divide - and in the information economy this can lead to even greater disadvantage, marginalisation and exclusion. But what is the reality in the various countries? Is the current use of ICT being colonised by particular multinationals? Is it a second wave of imperialiasm?
Global Information Society Watch 2008 (or GISWatch), published in print and online by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), the Third World Institute (ITeM), and Dutch development organisation Hivos, collects the perspectives of ICT academics, analysts, activists and civil society organisations from across the globe in over 50 reports.
GISWatch is both a publication and a process: it aims to build networking and advocacy capacity among civil society organisations who work for a just and inclusive information society. This is reflected in the growing number of participating organisations writing country reports – sixteen more than last year, the first year that GISWatch appeared. By doing this they hope GISWatch will impact on policy development processes in countries, regions, and at a global level.
Thirty-eight country reports have been written by authors from countries as diverse as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mexico, Switzerland and Kazakhstan. At the same time, six regional overviews contextualise the country reports, and cover North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, the countries that constituted the former Soviet Union, South-East Asia and the Pacific.
The Global Information Society Watch 2008 Report is available for download by chapter or complete in one large file (5213 Kb).