As the executing agency of the Open Crowd-sourced, on-line Digital Review of Asia Pacific (e-DIRAP) Project which came to an end in September 2013, Orbicom leveraged the learning and networks from DIRAP previous model and achieved a higher level of development impact. We tapped various networks and resource persons to update country chapters. In addition, we did interviews and hangouts on ICT4D themes to bring e-DIRAP to life and build a community.
While authors from past editions may have information, they may not be updating it to e-DIRAP. We did an interview style format with them on Skype and recorded the same for a video plus a summary of each interview. On a monthly basis, we did Google+ Hangouts with experts on a specific topic, posted these on e-DIRAP's YouTube channel. 13 videos can be found at the following link:
To get the most up-to-date data, information and views on different ICT4D topics, we think that interviews and Google+ Hangouts are worth pursuing. Writing up a summary of each interview/hangout and publishing it together with the video can be a trend in the digital future given the rapidity of change in ICTs and ICT4D practices.
In the case of Pakistan, we used action research methods to activate the "crowds" in Pakistan universities, four weeks after, our research achieved anticipated results, i.e. an updated chapter on Pakistan, a new section containing uses of ICTs in higher education identified by students, and a new and enthusiastic group of university students using and working on e-DIRAP. One student's question has been guiding our research to a new level - "I think the more important question is what will be done with all our suggestions. Will they be implemented?"
The way how we get the Pakistan effort going can serve as a model for other countries. The major factor is mobilization toward a common purpose, the development of partnerships, getting commitment and taking action.
Thanks to the strong backing of IDRC, as well as the whole community, a milestone was achieved. With a whole lot of satisfaction it is time to say adious and viva to e-DIRAP. The bonds that have been bulit are ever strong as the pioneer work holds a special place in the hearts of those who were involved.
Almost a decade of publishing as a paper-cum-CDROM-cum online work, the Digital Review of Asia Pacific (DIRAP) is remaking itself into a crowd-sourced online publishing endeavor. The new e-DIRAP is seeking the collaboration of netizens in an open, participatory manner, to sustain its mission of reviewing, analyzing, forecasting and reporting on ICT and development issues.
DIRAP has been a biennial comprehensive review of the state of diffusion, adoption and application of ICTs in 30 economies of the Asia Pacific region. The print publication model has been expensive and time-consuming to produce, and providing current ICT data such as country statistics has been a characteristic weakness, given the lengthy print preparation cycle causing the timeliness to fall behind.
Over the past four issues of the bi-annual Digital Review of Asia Pacific (DirAP), the project stakeholders have been accounting for the region, the changing landscape of ICTs and development. In October 2009, a meeting was held in Singapore to explore and develop a new frame that is responsive and relevant to new and critical needs in the region.
They see a window of opportunity to remake the DirAP mission of state-of-ICT policy and practice mapping into a critical analysis and think-tank mission, on how the new digital media and communication strategies can support multi-disciplinary knowledge-driven solutions to stimulate society and more particularly, communities, towards innovation and transformation so that innovation is not exclusive, but broad-based. They feel that aiming at innovation by all and for all, is more likely to increase the pool of innovative approaches to development.
The project stakeholders wish to begin to identify and brainstorm with outside domain partners on the critical developmental problems in the region to ask the questions: what are the high potential areas for innovation? what creative solutions are possible? how can policy support these solutions? What ICT-enabled interventions might lead to improved research capacity; innovative products and services and effective regional policies?
The Digital Review of Asia Pacific 2009-2010 was launched in Penang, Malaysia, on June 11, 2009. This is on the eve of the PAN All Partners' Conference, where more than 150 ICT researchers, experts and policymakers are gathering to discuss how ICTs have helped solve development problems and what can be expected of the future. The conference is organized by PAN (Pan Asia Networking), IDRC's (International Development Research Centre) ICT for development (ICT4D) program in Asia.
The biennial Digital Review of Asia Pacific is an independent commentary on the ICT4D state-of affairs and trends and a macro-level time series narrative tool that assesses how the region is performing over time.
This fourth edition features 30 economies and four sub-regional groupings. The chapters provide updated information on ICT infrastructure, industries, content and services, key initiatives, enabling policies, regulation, education and capacity building, open source and R&D initiatives, as well as key ICTD challenges in each of the economies covered.
Policies for managing innovation in the network economy - an important topic for governments in today's fiercely competitive world, are presented in one chapter by Tengku Mohd Azzman Shariffadeen and his co-author, Mahendhiran Nair. Tengku Mohd Azzman headed Malaysia's ICT R&D agency, MIMOS, for 21 years and was involved in setting up new ventures that introduced innovations arising from technology.
Tan Sri Dato' Gajaraj Dhanarajan, Vice-Chancellor of Wawasan Open University, Penang, a leading world expert in open distance learning and also a contributor to DirAP, says "As we look ahead to the future of technology-supported learning in the Asia Pacific region, the challenge will not be the availability, cost, maintenance and versatility of technologies. Rather, the challenge will be about the capabilities, capacities, imagination, and aspirations of our institutions of learning and pedagogues to use technologies to their full potential".
Over 80 authors from across the region and beyond, drawn from government, academe, industry and civil society, have contributed to the production of this compendium, providing a broad perspective on the use of ICTs for human development.