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Can the Chinese Find Social Purpose in a Facebook application?
Chinese university students are using online social networking programs to implement the 1 kg Program, bringing much-needed school supplies and tutoring to underprivileged children in rural communities.

Blogging in Iran
Iran's press is one of the most heavily censored in the world. But Iranian citizens and expats have made its online environment a different story.

Social Networking in Syria
Syria projects the image of a monolithic society. But resourceful Syrians have created a more complex mirror of their world online.

Burmese Days
The government of Myanmar has repressed both opposition activity and the news media that attempt to cover it. But online citizen journalism has been breaking the silence. Activists have been using every resource at their disposal – including the virtual reality program, Second Life.
(See also Cell phones/Myanmar)

India's Farmers Go Online
For centuries, small agricultural producers in developing countries have sold their crops to middlemen at a disadvantage, without knowledge of market prices. Recently India's ITC Limited launched an innovative online program called e-Choupal to give farmers the information they need to drive a good bargain.

Building a Better Want-Ad
Employment websites are becoming increasingly popular with job-hunters around the world. Babajob, a new project in India conceived by Sean Blagsvedt, extends the advantages to the impoverished populations who need them the most.

Lending with a Purpose
The poorer you are, the higher the interest you pay. Kiva.org helps to alter that harsh reality by allowing participants to loan seed money to small entrepreneurs in developing countries, with no overhead costs. Matt Flannery's Big Idea is that social networking can meld micro-credit with philanthropy, with benefits for all.


Cell Phones for Health
Rwanda addresses its HIV/AIDS crisis by using cell phone to monitor patients' meds. India applies cell phones to HIV/AIDS education with its Heroes Project.

Cell Phones and Emergencies
The last tsunami caught Asia unawares, with disastrous consequences. Now the tech community is using cell phones to develop a tsunami Early Warning System in Sri Lanka and elsewhere, to save lives in the future.

Cell Phones and Democracy
Many developing countries have struggled with electoral fraud throughout modern history. Nigeria has recently employed cell phones to improve election monitoring.

Ownership Issues
Many developing countries are struggling with the transitions from old landline systems to cell phone technology, and state-run structures to private ownership. Kenya offers a case study, with a few surprises.

Cell Phones and Privacy
Every new technology attracts its scam artists, and cell phones are no exception. In China, cell phone users are bombarded with fraudulent and criminal messages promoting everything from call girls to identity theft. But how does the Chinese government draw the line between fraud detection and the invasion of privacy?

Cell Phones and Education
Rural areas suffer disadvantages all over the world, but Pakistan faces additional challenges, with its ongoing religious tensions and deep ambivalence about the education of girls. Pakistani educators are experimenting with cell phones to close the gaps in rural and female education.

Cell Phones and Citizen Journalism
The repressive authorities of Myanmar are adept at closing out foreign press and silencing local dissidents. But when they took action against Buddhist monks, legions of citizens employed their cell phones to document the abuses and inform the outside world.

Business and Economics
The rural population of Bangladesh has long lacked communications infrastructure and sources of income. The GrameenPhone program offers both, by setting up local cell phone rental franchises. The brainchild of Iqbal Quadir is transforming the lives of entire communities.

The Afghan Radio Network
In the arid reaches of Afghanistan, radio is the only medium that reaches many villages. International development agencies have invested in community radio projects, working to support indigenous culture and support the local economies.

Community Radio Takes Root in India
India's vast population encompasses many languages and ethnicities. Minority regions, such the Kutch district in Gujarat, lacked a written form to their language and representation in the national media. Now the Drishti Media Collective is using community radio to overcome centuries of cultural isolation.

Community Radio Expands in South Africa
Since the end of apartheid, community radio has played an active role in democratizing the South African media. With support from the Kettering Foundation, media pioneer Brett Davidson is looking to the future of convergence, towards cell phone journalism and beyond.

Soap Opera and AIDS Education in India
India has one of the highest HIV / AIDS rates in the world, with scant resources for public education. The BBC World Service Trust has joined forces with Indian efforts to create soap operas and entertainment programming to educate and inform.

Roma Radio The Roma, formerly known as gypsies, are one of Europe's forgotten minorities, and their resplendent musical culture and unique language are at risk. In recent years, the international community has helped to develop Roma radio. But dwindling resources and shifting donor attention are threatening their progress.

How does communications infrastructure influence content? Sub-Saharan Africa has little existing infrastructure -- making its choices for the future all the more dramatic.
Case Studies in Communications Policy:

Ghana and Nigeria
As African countries move from government monopolies in communications to private ownership, their decisions will affect generations to come. Ghana and Nigeria have taken different paths, with markedly different results.

EASSy Does It
The East African Submarine Cable System promised to transform communications on the Continent. Its future remains unclear.

The Long March
China has become one of the largest investors in African communications infrastructure. Will the Chinese model of censorship affect the future of Africa's growing network of communications technology?

International Institutions
The World Bank, the United Nations, and the African Union have their own thoughts about development communications. How do they coordiate their strategies with each other, the private sector, and the governments in question?

Intel & Wimax
Craig Barrett, the chairman of Intel and an active member of the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development, has taken a strong interest in Africa. Intel will have an important role there in the future.
Wimax, Intel's emerging telecommunications delivery platform, is getting an early African debut.

Reflections on the critical principles for communications development in Africa.