PRO-POOR ICTS FOR EDUCATION

Roundtable Panel on PRO-POOR ICTS FOR EDUCATION, Innovation, research, monitoring and evaluation, Parallel Events of WSIS Tunis:

Thursday, 17 November 2005, 9:00 – 11:00AM, Salle/Room Nabeul

Organizers: International Literacy Institute (ILI) (www.literacy.org), InfoDev/World Bank (www.infodev.org), EARTF (Education, Academia and Research Task Force)

Panel Members
Chair and Introduction: Dan WAGNER (ILI/University of Pennsylvania, USA)
Presenter: Tim UNWIN (Royal Holloway, Univ. of London, UK)
Presenter: Jonathan MILLER (Trigrammic, South Africa)
Presenter: Andrew BABSON/ Dan WAGNER (ILI/University of Pennsylvania, USA)
Presenter: Eduardo MONGE/Clotilde FONSECA (Fondation Omar Dengo, Costa Rica)
Presenter: Michael TRUCANO (InfoDev/World Bank)
Discussant: Simon ELLIS (UNESCO Institute for Statistics)
Final Remarks: H.E. Adama SAMASSEKOU (ACALAN, Mali)

Roundtable Perspectives: Many international and national agencies have promoted ICTs for education (ICT4E), believing that ICTs will lead to a breakthrough in learning, and allow countries to “leapfrog” in terms of social and economic development. Yet, much of the argument in support of such claims concerning the role of ICT4E in development is insufficiently grounded in rigorous empirical data, and many key ICT4E questions remain largely unanswered. If one adopts a pro-poor perspective, reaching those in the bottom third or half of society (the poorest of the poor) will be a very difficult challenge, demanding both increased innovation and serious research. The goals of the United Nations EFA/MDG efforts are very clear about the need to promote pro-poor approaches to gender, “marginalized” populations (such as illiterate persons, ethno-linguistic minorities, refugees, people with disabilities), and those with special educational needs. Would the availability of equity-sensitive monitoring and evaluation (M&E) indicators work towards promoting greater inclusion of populations within the MDGs? This panel will explore trends in pro-poor innovations, while also taking into consideration advances in M&E within ICT4E. In this context, an overview will be provided of the just-released Monitoring and Evaluation for ICTs in Education: A Handbook for Developing Countries written by some of the contributors to this session and published by infoDev.

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