Technology Related Violence Against Women
KEY INDIVIDUAL(s)

N/A

WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM
THIS CASE STUDY

Policy/ decision Makers
Civic Tech Initiatives
Communities

KEY CATEGORIES

Violence Against Women
ICT
LGBTQI

CONTACT CTIN

CASE STUDY

Technology Related Violence Against Women: Investigating Tech Related Violence Against Women in Peri-Urban Areas of Uganda

TYPE OF ORGANISATION RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INITIATIVE

STATUS

COUNTRY

FOUNDING DATE

LAST UPDATED

Live

Uganda

2018

N/A

BRIEF OVERVIEW OF CASE STUDY

Technology-related violence against women (tech-related VAW) encompasses acts of gender-based violence that are committed, abetted or aggravated, in part or fully, by the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs), such as phones, the internet, social media platforms, and email.

As highlighted by APC’s statement to the 57th Commission on the Status of Women:
“Violence against women that is mediated by technology is increasingly becoming part of women’s experience of violence and their online interactions. In the same way we face risks offline, in the streets and in our homes, women and girls can face specific dangers and risks on the internet such as online harassment, cyber stalking, privacy invasions with the threat of blackmail, viral ‘rape videos’ and for young women in particular, the distribution of ‘sex videos’ that force survivors to relive the trauma of sexual assault every time it is reposted online, via mobile phone or distributed in other ways.”

These forms of violence may be perpetrated via technology but they cause psychological and emotional harm, reinforce prejudice, damage reputation, cause economic loss and pose barriers to participation in public life, and may lead to sexual and other forms of physical violence.

QUICK FACTS/TAKEAWAYS FROM THE CASE STUDY

Tech-related abuse is violence! Challenging myths about VAW

Myth: Violence that takes place online is not “real violence”.
Violence against women is often erroneously interpreted as encompassing only physical or sexual harm against women. However, relevant international human rights documents consistently include psychological or mental harm, as well as threats of harm under the full definition of VAW.

Myth: Violence that is not physical is not as damaging.
As previously noted, psychological harm is recognised as a form of violence and is
clearly defined as a human rights violation under international law.

Analysis of cases from APC’s Take Back The Tech! mapping project showed that the harms resulting from technology-related VAW include emotional or psychological harm, harm to reputation, physical harm, sexual harm, invasion of privacy, loss of identity, limitation of mobility, censorship, and loss of property.

LESSONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Under international law, States must demonstrate due diligence by taking active measures to prevent, investigate and punish acts of violence against women, including by ensuring accountability for private actors who commit abuses31.

APC’s research has shown that States are, for the most part, failing to exercise due diligence to adequately address technology-related violence against women.

APC recommends the following actions for States:

1. Recognition of technology-related forms of VAW

States should recognise VAW as a human rights violation and provide a comprehensive definition of VAW that includes psychological violence and recognises its occurrence in both public and private life. Technology-related forms of violence must be recognised by States as a form of violence against women and must be integrated in monitoring, prevention and response mechanisms, including in public policy and in expanding the implementation of anti- VAW laws.

2. Multi-sectoral prevention and response mechanisms

Adequately resourced holistic, multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral (primary, secondary and tertiary) prevention and response mechanisms must be developed to include private sector technology actors, state telecommunications and communications institutions, and the technical and internet rights communities.

3. Evidence building: Reporting on technology-related forms of VAW

Systematic reporting and monitoring of technology-related forms of VAW must be instituted at all levels. National statistics and indicators on VAW must include a component reporting specifically on ICT-related VAW, so that trends can be monitored and addressed. States should, where possible, create a dedicated agency to receive and investigate complaints of VAW.

4. Capacity building for actors in the criminal justice system

Comprehensive capacity building should be provided for public officials in the areas of education, health, social welfare, and justice as well as the judiciary and police, and must include awareness, understanding and responses to technology-related forms of violence against women. Accountability mechanisms must be established and strengthened to ensure compliance of public officials with laws and regulations that respond to these violations.

5. Engaging intermediaries to build safer online spaces

Internet intermediaries including internet and mobile service providers must be called upon to develop corporate policies, practices and tools that respect women’s rights and condemn online practices that are harmful to women.

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NOTE: The case studies submitted will be used in content creation, we will write articles on your work that engages with our readers. The case studies will also be compiled and added to our CTIN database of civic tech case studies and shared through our various channels.

Assessing the Implementation of Information Communication Technology (ICT) for Sustainable Development in NGOs in Zimbabwe
KEY INDIVIDUAL(s)

Elvi Shava
Tafadzwa C. Maramura

WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM
THIS CASE STUDY

Policy/decision Makers
Civic Tech initiatives
Researchers
Funders

KEY CATEGORIES

ICT
Capacity Building

CONTACT CTIN

CASE STUDY

Assessing the Implementation of Information Communication Technology (ICT) for Sustainable Development in NGOs in Zimbabwe

TYPE OF ORGANISATION RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INITIATIVE

STATUS

COUNTRY

FOUNDING DATE

LAST UPDATED

Live

Zimbabwe

2016

N/A

BRIEF OVERVIEW OF CASE STUDY

Over the past years, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have been actively engaging in local, regional, national and international matters with or against the public and private sectors ever since their genesis. This paper examines the role of NGOs in Zimbabwe by analyzing the dynamics of ICT on NGO relations and their direct causal effects on the promotion of sustainable development. Through a qualitative secondary study approach which was enabled through a content analysis, the paper illustrates various factors affecting the sustainability of ICT for NGOs in Zimbabwe.

The paper explores the challenges being faced by NGOs in trying to maintain sustainable development through the usage of ICT and web-enhanced tools in Zimbabwe. The paper establishes that government interference, financial instability, poor infrastructure, low technical expertise among citizens, effects of HIV/AIDS, desire to maintain status quo constrained the implementation of ICT by NGOs to achieve sustainable development.

QUICK FACTS/TAKEAWAYS FROM THE CASE STUDY

The study depicted that, the development of ICTs in Zimbabwe through the NGO movement is still to be embraced by the government and local communities. The public still have negative attitudes towards NGO aid in the field of technology since the NGOs are viewed as agents of Western Imperialism.

Such a notion has been popularized by media with other analysts regarding as politically motivated by the ruling government. Poor infrastructure is inhibiting NGOs to fully implement ICTs in most vulnerable rural areas in Zimbabwe. Some rural communities in Zimbabwe are inaccessible hence it is an obstacle for the NGOs that intend to provide ICTs such as computer services. The paper observes that, the lack of technical skills among rural people to exploit modern technology remains a hindrance to ICT advancement and sustainable development.

To that end, it remains the duty of local government in Zimbabwe to improve on the infrastructure of local growth points to facilitate effective erection of network cables. In schools the Internet has been fundamental in improving the grades of learners. However, some rural schools which do to have electricity were greatly disadvantaged since they could not see the benefits of using computers. The paper concludes that improved ICT development in rural areas of Zimbabwe can resonate to improvements in sustainable development.

LESSONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

As the digital divide is fast enveloping the world of business and labor force, ICT advancement by NGOs in Zimbabwe is a  necessity towards achieving sustainable development. Based on the findings of the study, the paper recommends the government of Zimbabwe to establish an enabling infrastructure which supports the establishment of ICT networks in most vulnerable rural communities. This is fundamental in improving information dissemination on development issues.

The rural people should be trained to increase their ability to use modern technological devices. This can be done by NGOs through establishing vocational schools that cater for the illiterate so that they fully participate to achieve sustainable development in their communities. The paper recommends NGOs to enter into Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) and Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships (MSPs) with the government of Zimbabwe and other related stakeholders on ICT development in rural communities. Such collaboration enables NGOs need to improve on ICTs awareness campaigns in rural areas which can be realised through partnering with the state media mainly the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC).

This is imperative to NGOs because programmes are aired to the benefit of the public. An improvement in Monitoring and Evaluation of ICT projects is crucial in curbing mismanagement and corruption which can arise in the projects. Information Technology experts need to be employed by NGOs to avoid poor connections in the establishment of ICTs.

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NOTE: The case studies submitted will be used in content creation, we will write articles on your work that engages with our readers. The case studies will also be compiled and added to our CTIN database of civic tech case studies and shared through our various channels.

NOTE: The case studies submitted will be used in content creation, we will write articles on your work that engages with our readers. The case studies will also be compiled and added to our CTIN database of civic tech case studies and shared through our various channels.

Advancing Women’s Rights Online
KEY INDIVIDUAL(s)

Nanjira Sambuli
Ana Brandusescu
Ingrid Brudvig

WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM
THIS CASE STUDY

Policy/decision Makers
Civic Tech Initiatives

KEY CATEGORIES

Civic Engagement
Political Voice
Access to Information
Gender Gap in Digital Empowerment
Internet Access
Technology

CONTACT CTIN

CASE STUDY

Advancing Women’s Rights Online

TYPE OF ORGANISATION RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INITIATIVE

STATUS

COUNTRY

FOUNDING DATE

LAST UPDATED

Live

N/A

2018

N/A

BRIEF OVERVIEW OF CASE STUDY

The newly adopted UN Sustainable Development Goals include an important pledge to harness information and communications technologies (ICTs) to advance women’s empowerment, as well as a commitment to connect everyone in Least Developed Countries to the Internet by 2020. However, until now, estimates of the “digital divide” between women and men in use of the Internet and other ICTs have been sketchy.

This report explores the real extent of that divide in nine cities across nine developing countries, in order to gain a better understanding of the empowering potential of ICTs as a weapon against poverty and gender inequality, and the barriers that must be overcome to unlock it. Research was designed and carried out in close collaboration with leading national civil society organisations in the countries we studied.

The stereotype of poor people in the developing world uniformly “left behind” in the darkness of a life without Internet connectivity is as misleading as its opposite: the cliche in which almost everyone in Nairobi or Jakarta now wields a mobile phone that gushes forth market price data, health information and opportunities for civic engagement.

Instead, our research reveals a picture of extreme inequalities in digital empowerment − which seem to parallel wider societal disparities in information-seeking, voice and civic engagement. For example, Internet use among young, well-educated men and students in poor communities of the developing world rivals that of Americans, while Internet use among older, uneducated women is practically non-existent.

QUICK FACTS/TAKEAWAYS FROM THE CASE STUDY
  • We will not achieve the SDGs on universal Internet access and empowerment of women through ICTs unless technology policy is specifically designed to tackle and overcome the steep inequalities of gender, education and income outlined in this study. Blanket initiatives to “connect everyone” will have less impact on the SDG targets than focused programmes to enable women and the poorest to get online, to overcome disparities in ICT skills and capabilities, and to design applications, services and content that are relevant to women’s challenges and needs.
  • The online realm presents women and girls with liberating opportunities to gain their own voice in civic and political life, increase their economic autonomy, and experience a sense of self- efficacy as well as solidarity. Many women we surveyed recognise and value these possibilities, but most are not yet appropriating them. To open the door to real digital empowerment, policymakers must tackle constraints such as the cripplingly high cost of access; the prevalence of harassment and abuse confronting young women in particular in their online lives; the extension of patriarchal norms in the digital arena; and the continuing silencing of women in public life.
LESSONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

We will not achieve the SDGs on universal Internet access and empowerment of women through ICTs unless technology policy is specifically designed to tackle and overcome the steep inequalities of gender, education and income outlined in this study.

Full details of each recommendation can be found at the end of the report, but the fundamentals include:

  1. Establish time-bound targets for equity in Internet access, use and skills, by gender and income level.
  2. Teach digital skills from primary school onwards.
  3. Smash the affordability barrier.
  4. Practice woman-centred design.
  5. Make women’s civic and political engagement an explicit goal.
  6. Combat harassment of women online
  7. It’s not (just) the technology, stupid.
  • ICTs can enhance poor women’s livelihoods, but women also need equal access to decent work, productive resources, childcare and financial services and credit.
  • Social media can help women gain a bigger voice, but this needs to be accompanied by other measures to increase women’s participation and representation in decision-making processes at all levels.
  • The Internet can support women in making informed choices about their bodies and health, but without adequate access to safe, legal and affordable sexual and reproductive health services and action against practices such as early marriage, these choices cannot be implemented.
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NOTE: The case studies submitted will be used in content creation, we will write articles on your work that engages with our readers. The case studies will also be compiled and added to our CTIN database of civic tech case studies and shared through our various channels.

NOTE: The case studies submitted will be used in content creation, we will write articles on your work that engages with our readers. The case studies will also be compiled and added to our CTIN database of civic tech case studies and shared through our various channels.

Bridging the Digital Gender Gap in Uganda: An Assessment of Women’s Rights
KEY INDIVIDUAL(s)

Oluseun Onigbinde

WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM
THIS CASE STUDY

N/A

KEY CATEGORIES

Civic Engagement
Political Voice
Access to Information
Gender Gap in Digital Empowerment
Internet Access
Technology

CONTACT CTIN

CASE STUDY

Bridging the Digital Gender Gap in Uganda: An Assessment of Women’s Rights

TYPE OF ORGANISATION RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INITIATIVE

STATUS

COUNTRY

FOUNDING DATE

LAST UPDATED

Live

Uganda

2020

N/A

BRIEF OVERVIEW OF CASE STUDY

The digital gender divide has been recognized as a challenge to achieve gender equality for women, particularly as the 4th Industrial Revolution continues to increase the pace of change of information and communication technologies (ICTs). As societies become increasingly dependent on digital technology, women, their broader communities and national economies are at risk of losing out on the positive promise of full participation in digital economies.

According to a 2019 report from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) – Measuring digital development: Facts and figures 2019; women in most countries worldwide are still trailing men in benefiting from the transformational power of digital technologies.

The report estimates that over half the total global female population (52 per cent) is still not using the Internet, compared to 42 per cent of all men. And while the gender gap has narrowed in many regions of the world since 2013, it has widened in Africa. As well as having the lowest rate of Internet penetration, the African region has the widest digital gender gap in the world with only 18.6 per cent of women using the Internet, compared with 24.9 per cent of men. In Uganda, according to a 2015 Uganda Communications Commission survey on Access and Usage of ICTs, only 44% of women owned and could use a phone at any time compared to 62% of the men. Additionally, only 15% of women had used a computer or the internet in the last three months prior to the survey compared to 21% of the men that were interviewed.

Technology and the internet can be a great enabler for girls but a lack of opportunities, skills and a fear of discrimination prevent many from using and creating digital tools and online content. And if the digital gender gap is not addressed, digital technologies may exacerbate gender inequalities rather than help to reduce them. This is because, without equal access to technology and the internet, girls and women are not able to equally participate in our ever more digital societies.

QUICK FACTS/TAKEAWAYS FROM THE CASE STUDY

It is evident that the gender digital divide has increased over the last few years, with more women and girls, being left behind. Factors such as the high costs of data, digital illiteracy, as well as online based violence has forced many women and girls off the internet. Although Uganda has several laws and policies that provide for gender equality, none of them is specific about the digital gender divide, including the ICT Policy and Vision 2040.

In order to bridge the digital gender gap, government leaders, and all other relevant stakeholders must get to understand the barriers to access and develop the public policies, tools and interventions that promote more gender inclusivity.

LESSONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
  • Government should ensure that the policy framework have women’s unique perspectives and views integrated in order to produce a robust law that is gender-sensitive
  • Government should work with telecommunication service providers to improve access and affordability by lowering the cost associated with internet data and other digital technologies for women and girls in order to enhance affordability
  • Enhance the ability of the police and judiciary to fight online gender-based violence through training and capacity building
  • Government together with civil society and telecommunication service provides should build the capacity of the women and girls to improve their skills to access and use digital technologies
  • The Ministry of ICT, and NITA-U should populate and the expedite the implementation of the Data protection Act by passing the required regulations and setting up relevant offices
  • The media should strive to inform, educate and mobilise the public to respect and promote women’ rights online
  • The media should also improve on their professionalism in reporting about cases of online violence against women
  • Civil society organisations should seek to build stronger multi-stakeholder coalitions to advance and promote women’s rights online
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NOTE: The case studies submitted will be used in content creation, we will write articles on your work that engages with our readers. The case studies will also be compiled and added to our CTIN database of civic tech case studies and shared through our various channels.

NOTE: The case studies submitted will be used in content creation, we will write articles on your work that engages with our readers. The case studies will also be compiled and added to our CTIN database of civic tech case studies and shared through our various channels.

The Nigerian Budget: Using Creative Technology to Intersect Civic Engagement and Institutional Reform
KEY INDIVIDUAL(s)

Oluseun Onigbinde

WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM
THIS CASE STUDY

Public Finance Experts
Researchers
Grassroots
Inactive Literate Citizens

KEY CATEGORIES

Accountability
Budget
Government
Institutions
Technology
Transparency

CONTACT CTIN

CASE STUDY

The Nigerian Budget: Using Creative Technology to Intersect Civic Engagement and Institutional Reform

TYPE OF ORGANISATION RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INITIATIVE

STATUS

COUNTRY

FOUNDING DATE

LAST UPDATED

Live

Nigeria

2014

N/A

BRIEF OVERVIEW OF CASE STUDY

This study analyses the efforts of BudgIT, Nigeria’s creative start-up, in making the Nigerian budget simple and accessible to every citizen. This includes its classification of citizens according to their understanding of public finance and its personalised approach in reaching out to them.

In its 53 years of independence, Nigeria, which has an oil-driven economy, has had more than thirty-three years of military rule, which guarded the detailed budget as a state secret. Current efforts in the democratic regime have made both the proposed and enacted budget available to citizens as enabled by law. However, the budget is officially released in a non-readable format. In addition, most citizens have no clear understanding of government finances. BudgIT uses an array of technology tools to simplify the budget for citizens and also works with the civil society and media in data analysis and representation.

BudgIT believes that the amplified voices of citizens based on better access to budgetary data can lead to institutional reform. It also works to improve the capacity of congressional budget offices to enhance budget performance. BudgIT methodology will use refined data mining skill sets to creatively present data and empower citizens to use the information that is available in demanding improved delivery of services.

QUICK FACTS/TAKEAWAYS FROM THE CASE STUDY
  • BudgIT’s website has been visited by over 112,000 unique visitors and our platform has also responded to over 4,000 data requests. Our recent plan is to reaching out to the grassroots using bespoke communication tools such as radio, sms and print documents.
  • We have started this approach using Ekiti State as our pilot project.
    Working with other civic minded organisations, BudgIT distributed over 10,000 copies of simplified budget documents to citizens in Ekiti. Citizens including grassroots leaders and traditional leaders were shocked to see huge budget allocations for their communities.
LESSONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
  • The lack of transparency and accessibility to the Nigerian citizen on the budget led to the emergence of a creative startup named BudgIT. BudgIT initially conceptualised and developed in Nigeria’s foremost technology hub, Co-Creation Hub, has a core goal of making the Nigerian budget simpler and accessible for the average citizen.
  • The availability of budgets in non-readable pdf formats via the government website provided an initial opportunity for BudgIT to stretch forward its innovative idea by simplifying the budgets using infographics and interactive applications. BudgIT with over 4 million web views and over 112,000 unique users believes that active participation in government finance is key to a functional society. Citizens in a clear, timely and transparent manner need to know how government revenues are expended in delivery of public infrastructure, meeting debt obligations or funding the recurrent component of the budget.
RELATED LINKS & DOWNLOADS

NOTE: The case studies submitted will be used in content creation, we will write articles on your work that engages with our readers. The case studies will also be compiled and added to our CTIN database of civic tech case studies and shared through our various channels.

NOTE: The case studies submitted will be used in content creation, we will write articles on your work that engages with our readers. The case studies will also be compiled and added to our CTIN database of civic tech case studies and shared through our various channels.

Engaging with local communities to prevent violence: what role for ICTs?
KEY INDIVIDUAL(s)

Chas Morrison

WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM
THIS CASE STUDY

Human Rights Activists
Policy Makers
Civic Tech Initiatives

KEY CATEGORIES

Citizen Engagement
Crowdsourcing
Civic Technology
Citizen Engagement and Voice
Civil Society Advocacy

CONTACT CTIN

CASE STUDY

Engaging with local communities to prevent violence: what role for ICTs?

TYPE OF ORGANISATION RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INITIATIVE

NAME

EMAIL

WEBSITE

Chas Morrison (Conventry University: Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations)

STATUS

COUNTRY

FOUNDING DATE

LAST UPDATED

Live

South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda

2016

N/A

BRIEF OVERVIEW OF CASE STUDY

The peacebuilding field is full of examples of technology use that failed to live up to expectations. Effective conflict early warning and prevention approaches depend on building and strengthening relationships. The research that this briefing is based on – carried out in South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda – shows that, at best, information and communications technologies (ICTs) can support relationship building, but that they are not a substitute for the human element that is essential to creating trust, dialogue and shared goals. The research team argue that what is needed for effective conflict early warning are location-appropriate methods that can build on existing communication channels and strengthen trust between the people communicating. If ICTs are imposed externally in an effort to find a ‘solution’ to ‘conflict’, they are likely to be ineffective and unsustainable, and can do more harm than good.

QUICK FACTS/TAKEAWAYS FROM THE CASE STUDY
  • ICTs such as mobile phones, social media or blogs are tools, not approaches. Their potential for mitigating and reducing violent conflict is greatest where there are existing channels of communication and good inter-organisational and inter- personal trust.
  • High costs and low literacy levels mean that ICTs are out of reach for many people in the places where we worked. Simple, low-cost communication tools – banners, posters, flyers and blackboards – can have significant impacts, promoting messages to diffuse conflict tensions and reaching audiences that may not use ICTs.
  • If ICTs are imposed externally in an effort to find a ‘solution’ to ‘conflict’, they are likely to be ineffective and unsustainable, and can do more harm than good.
LESSONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

We make the following recommendations to those engaging in peacebuilding and conflict prevention at local levels:

  • Where ICTs are used to develop communication channels, they should build on local people’s existing engagement with technology. Introducing equipment, software or practices outside of people’s comfort zone will require significant groundwork and adds risk to the sustainability and viability of projects.
  • External agencies should be wary of introducing ICT innovations and avoid short-term ‘fixes’. Instead, they should support local partners who enjoy trust and respect, and plan for longer-term relationship-building and support to locally driven mechanisms for strengthening communication – which may or may not include ICTs.
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NOTE: The case studies submitted will be used in content creation, we will write articles on your work that engages with our readers. The case studies will also be compiled and added to our CTIN database of civic tech case studies and shared through our various channels.

NOTE: The case studies submitted will be used in content creation, we will write articles on your work that engages with our readers. The case studies will also be compiled and added to our CTIN database of civic tech case studies and shared through our various channels.

Empowering Women in Technology: Lessons from a Successful Woman Entrepreneur in Kenya
KEY INDIVIDUAL(s)

Rodrigue Castro Gbedomon

WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM
THIS CASE STUDY

Policy/decision-makers
Civic Tech initiatives
Researchers
Funders

KEY CATEGORIES

Women in Technology
ICT
Capacity Building
Women’s Rights

CONTACT CTIN

CASE STUDY

Empowering Women in Technology: Lessons from a Successful Woman Entrepreneur in Kenya

TYPE OF ORGANISATION RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INITIATIVE

STATUS

COUNTRY

FOUNDING DATE

LAST UPDATED

Live

Kenya

2016

N/A

BRIEF OVERVIEW OF CASE STUDY

Over the past decade, Africa has experienced significant growth in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. This can be attributed to the willingness of African countries to realize the transformational potential of ICTs to boost their economies.

Unfortunately, despite the important role of African women in the economy of their countries, millions of them have no access to ICTs and they cannot use the ICT facilities. The gender digital divide is so remarkable that institutions at different levels commit themselves to bridge the gap. This paper provides the success story of Judith Owigar who co-created AkiraChix, a space for women in technology to experiment, fail, and excel, with the vision to increase the ratio of women in technology.

After five years of activities, AkiraChix has developed many programs intended for women at different ages and impacted hundreds of girls and women in Nairobi. Even if it is too early to assess the real impact of AkiraChix on the issue of the gender digital divide in Kenya, the initiative is to be recognized and encouraged as already done by many international organizations. On the specific issue of women’s access to and use of ICTs, much has been achieved but much more remains to be done to ensure that women in urban and rural regions in all parts of Africa benefit from ICT opportunities.

The paper calls for African states to close the gap in gender access to ICT in Africa by promoting and building capacity of women in ICT sector for inclusive achievement of economic development of these countries. Moreover, because of the lack of statistics, the gender digital divide could be underestimated in Africa – as such the paper calls for the regional institutions such as The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the African Union (AU) to support capacities of African states in addressing this knowledge gap.

A key lesson emerging from the study is that a small change in mindset can sometimes make a huge difference in women empowerment – therefore policies specially designed to promote early involvement of women in ICTs is important for improving women’s access to and use of ICTs in Africa.

QUICK FACTS/TAKEAWAYS FROM THE CASE STUDY

AkiraChix has been working for five years to influence the technology industry in Africa by increasing the number of women creating impact using technology. It has so far achieved notable points.

AkiraChix connected young women in Nairobi to technology
Since 2010 AkiraChix has taken 61 young women through its proven intensive diploma course in Information Technology and Entrepreneurship. These young women have gone on to get internships, jobs, promotion or start their own businesses (http://akirachix.com). Among the beneficiaries of the programme is Agnes Masia who, after the one-year training, went on to work as a technology researcher at a technology company and opened a shop where she has employed her brother.

AkiraChix seeds the passion of technology in mind of girls and children
Through its special programs High school outreach and Kids camp, AkiraChix introduced hundreds of girls from disadvantaged communities (Kibera, Kabiria, and Deepsea etc.) and children between 7 and 13 to technology. Even if there is no official and precise figure on beneficiaries so far, it is expected that an increase of girls’ enrollment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Similarly, it is expected that other girls and children who attended the different programs develop a passion for technology and in future create impact
using technology.

The community of female technologist empowered by AkiraChix is growing
Over the last five years of activities, AkiraChix has built a strong community of more than 500 volunteers and supporters, and look to grow this community beyond Kenya, into Africa.

AkiraChix became a model in technology field in Africa
The initiative of AkiraChix has been appreciated by different organizations and Judith won many prizes. According to TechHer (http://techherng.com/), a community platform of women using technology, Judith is an East African Acumen Fellow, 2014 International Focus Fellow, one of the 10 Africa Tech voices to follow on Twitter named by CNN. She won the 2011 Change Agent ABIE Award of The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology. The US Embassy in Kenya honored her with the Unsung Heroes Award in recognition of her work
with AkiraChix.

In 2015, she received the top highlight of her career when she was sitting next to President Barrack Obama and President Uhuru Kenyatta at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES).

LESSONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Considering the experience of Judith Owigar and her collective of AkiraChix, and the current state of art on the gender digital divide, some lessons could be drawn. These lessons call up on special and urgent policy recommendations.

ICTs are powerful tools likely to change the conditions of women in Africa but much remains to be done before.

The literature on the gender digital divide and the experience of AkiraChix shows clearly the opportunities of ICTs for women. Unfortunately there is some way to go before women take fully advantages from the potential of ICTs. There is an urgent need to overcome barriers. This includes a holistic strategy creating conditions for skills, innovation and entrepreneurship to flourish alongside modern infrastructures. These conditions include more investment, adequate policy formulations and more actions with regards to gender responsive outreach, advocacy and capacity building. These efforts should be conjointly done by ICT industries, communities, policy makers and international institutions.

Special policy which promotes early involvement of women in ICTs is important to improve women’s access to and use of ICTs
AkiraChix encourages girls at high school to select the technology field and connects children with technology field during kids’ camps. According to Judith and her team, this is a prerequisite for sustainably increasing women’s access to and use of ICTs and for increasing the number of women creating impact using technology. This is important for each African country to support and encourage women at an early age to take courses in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Special scholarship programmes could be developed to encourage their enrolment in this field.

A small change in mindset can sometimes make a large difference in women empowerment
“You know you’re the odd-ball just because of your gender,” Judith Owigar says. This opinion of the tech entrepreneur expresses how women are discriminated in many aspects of social life, including employment, literacy and income. These inequalities also come on ICT access and usage. Judith believes there should be no stereotype in the technology industry. This change in her mind helps her to overcome the problems. African women should change their minds and work to attend fields so far dominated by men but of great potential for them. They should not be afraid to fail and they should not give up. As an advice for millions of African women willing to impact using technology, Judith says “Dream big, start small, start now. Just because you’re not where you want to be does not mean you should give up. As long as you do not stop you will progress.”

Because of the lack of statistics, the gender digital divide could be underestimated in Africa
A popularized wisdom of Mark Twain said: there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. The current statistics on gender digital divide are from studies based on samples generally and are biased because focusing mainly on urban and peri-urban zones. Therefore, the situations of rural regions where millions of African women live with severe socio-economic and cultural barriers are overlooked. Consequently, we are working to bridge a problem we do not master yet. There is an urgent need for African countries to collect and analyse data on the gender digital divide and its impact. This is a necessary prerequisite to efficiently, equitably and sustainably reach women and let them benefit from the potential of ICTs.

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Disentangling the broadband divide in Rwanda: supply-side vs demand-side
KEY INDIVIDUAL(s)

Onkokame Mothobi
Broc Rademan

WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM
THIS CASE STUDY

Policy/decision-makers
Civic Tech initiatives

KEY CATEGORIES

ICT
Broadband
Mobile
RAMP

CONTACT CTIN

CASE STUDY

Disentangling the broadband divide in Rwanda: supply-side vs demand-side

TYPE OF ORGANISATION RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INITIATIVE

STATUS

COUNTRY

FOUNDING DATE

LAST UPDATED

Live

Rwanda

2017

N/A

BRIEF OVERVIEW OF CASE STUDY

The Rwandan telecommunications sector has shown particularly strong growth in recent years, due to a vibrant economy and championing of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) at the highest level. ICTis a central engine to driving Rwanda’s transformation to a knowledge-based economy. The SMART Rwanda plan 2015-2016 put broadband at the heart of the national socio-economic development agenda. As a result, the country is rapidly catching up with other markets in Africa with increased mobile and internet penetration rates. Since the liberalisation of the sector in 2006, the country has seen an exponential growth of mobile phone subscriptions which jumped from 3.25% in 2006 to 70.48% in 2015 (ITU, 2016). It is nevertheless important to note that these subscription rates, while significant, are based on the number of active SIM cards and, as such, and not unique subscribers. This number reflects duplicate SIM cards held by individuals to optimise on-net and promotional prices on other networks.

The only way of establishing the real numbers of subscribers in a prepaid mobile market is through nationally representative demand-side surveys, which Research ICT Africa is currently undertaking in Rwanda. The high-level results will be available for RURA for the ITU to feed into the UN statistical system by October 2017. This survey is part of an eight-country African study and 16-country survey across the Global South.

QUICK FACTS/TAKEAWAYS FROM THE CASE STUDY

1. Rwanda is ranked ninth out of 38 African countries in terms of mobile broadband affordability.

2. It performs better than leading African markets, Kenya and South Africa, in terms of cost of 1GB data.

3. As with many predominantly prepaid mobile markets, bundled and dynamically priced products are better value for money than 1GB of data, the international standard for data measurement.

4. Airtel’s bundled products provide more value for money, more data, and a cheaper option than 1GB of data.

5. Despite a number of policy and regulatory initiatives aimed at improving broadband access and use, broadband demand remains relatively low, with the majority of Rwandans unable to access mobile broadband services.

6. As indicated by the low penetration rate and poor usage rates, Internet access remains unaffordable to the majority of Rwandans despite the relatively strong performance of mobile broadband products.

LESSONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

RIA ranks Rwanda ninth out of 38 African countries in terms of the cheapest 1GB mobile data. Despite this, about 75% (2016 ITU data) still have no access to mobile broadband services. This is evidence that reductions in prices through improved competition does not necessary translate into affordable prices. While the supply- side analysis provides information on price trends, it does not provide an understanding of issues relating to income disparities and affordability. To understand this, RIA is undertaking national representative household, individual and business surveys which aim at understanding the demand-side barriers to Internet take up.

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NOTE: The case studies submitted will be used in content creation, we will write articles on your work that engages with our readers. The case studies will also be compiled and added to our CTIN database of civic tech case studies and shared through our various channels.

NOTE: The case studies submitted will be used in content creation, we will write articles on your work that engages with our readers. The case studies will also be compiled and added to our CTIN database of civic tech case studies and shared through our various channels.