Testimonies for ITfC


“We (knowledge lab of Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, TIFR) did workshops on 'Free Software for Education' at several parts of the country. One such workshop which was in Bangalore in March 2010 was the most successful one, our lab conducted anywhere in the country. The reason: there were four participants from IT for Change. They not only took the message and the medium seriously, they localized the message and conducted several workshops in Karnataka. Apart from taking free software to schools in Karnataka, IT for Change played a very important role in shaping ICT policies within the country. Their leadership continues to send alerts to the free software community to take part actively in those campaigns.”
- Dr. G. Nagarjuna, Homi Baba Science Centre and Free Software Foundation, India

“Open Educational Resources (OER) is a global movement to provide quality learning resources at very low costs to teachers and learners. In Karnataka, IT for Change, is working with us on a OER model, in which our teachers and teacher educators would participate to create, review and share OERs through the KOER project. The participatory approach of KOER aims to support teacher development, apart from resource creation. I wish IT for Change success in their pioneering efforts.”
- Mr. Rama Rao, Director DSERT

“The increasing use of ICTs in education and other areas has led to commercialisation. ITfC has been at the fore-front of digging up information and making it available to those who need it, and even those who are not aware they needed it. Their sense of zeal, purpose and perseverance, though it may appear to be too idealistic at times, makes them be heard and prevent large social sector projects from unconscious slipping into unfair arrangements. ITfC has also worked towards building constructive alternatives in integrating ICTs into Teacher Education.”
- Dr. Hridaykant Dewan, Vidya Bhawan Society, Udaipur

"Advocacy in present days has to go beyond journalistic passions, which tend to have extremely short engagements. Be it policy debates or public stances, communicating to the public, engaging with them and creating opportunities for their participation will go a long way in ensuring, public good is adequately highlighted and promoted. The work of IT for Change has been in this genre. Their ability to take up issues and generate public opinion will stand them in good stead. In particular their campaign for free and open source software, open standards in electronic communication has found many an admirer and stirred many a silent spectator to join hands in the movement towards equitable sharing of knowledge and expertise. It would also prove to be a significant investment of effort in creating an inclusive society. I wish them even more perseverance, endurance and success in their initiatives."
- Prof. Rajaram S. Sharma, Joint Director, Central Institute of Educational Technology, NCERT, New Delhi

"We at Mahila Samakhya Karnataka value our partnership with IT for Change as we share the same passion for social change and transformation with better information for the have-nots - especially poor rural women who often not only lack daily necessities but also the access to information that can make their lives better and more meaningful, and empower them with knowledge and connections that will enable them to be change-makers for the betterment of all."
-Ms. Cynthia Stephen (State Programme Director at Mahila Samakhya, Karnataka)

"I find videos very useful. Very often, when we go to officials asking for information, we don't remember many of the nuances they point out with regards to schemes and programmes. If I have a video camera with me, I can record the official speaking about it and play it before other women in the community. Also, government officials and panchayat members say a hundred different things but hardly fulfill their promises. Videos can help us in holding them accountable to what they have said on previous occasions, in public."
- Jayalakshmamma (Sangha woman from Hosavaranchi village, reflecting on Prakriye's community video strategy)

“IT for Change has emerged as a "point of reference" both regional and globally, for the quality and creativity of their contributions, both theoretical and practical, to the construction of the field of gender and ICTD. Their capacity for articulating innovative ideas and practices that have been rigorously deliberated, and their explicit commitment to the questions of gender and social justice, and inclusive development, their excellent publications, and their generous ways of sharing knowledge and collaborative practices, are highly valued. They are indeed, a source of inspiration for many organisations.”
- Gloria Bonder (Director of the Gender, Society and Policies Area of FLACSO, Argentina)

“IT for Change is a key critical yet constructive voice from India's vibrant ICT and development sector. Year after year ITfC highlights and tackles important research challenges, often focusing particularly on more marginalised groups. We frequently refer to ITfC outputs in our research and use them in teaching our ICT4D Masters students. Congratulations on another successful year of doing the important work you do.”
- Dr Dorothea Kleine (Director, ICT4D Centre, Royal Holloway, University of London)

"In an atmosphere of technocratic domination information technology is far too often and conveniently projected as a magic bullet solution for problems in governance and delivery. In such a scenario, IT for Change offers a much needed bottom up approach that puts people and society first, and attempts to shape technology solutions if, when and how they are needed. IT for Change has demonstrated the need to take into account power relationships and political dynamics and helped point out that technology need not be neutral to these relationships. It is an institution that therefore takes into account not just politics, and technology, but also the politics of technology. They have helped create a much needed space for groups working for the poor and marginalis ed where the technology choices can be determined and controlled by people rather than technocrats."
- Nikhil Dey, Indian social activist, Mazdoor Kishan Shakti Sangthan

“It is in my interactions with IT for Change that I learned how key questions of ownership of data, confidentiality, terms and conditions etc to be borne in mind to ensure that governments do not fully lose control and ownership of the data and software. This knowledge comes in handy in the work i currently do, where dealing with private companies for various IT requirements is a daily affair. IT for Change helped me understand what to expect from technology and how to deal with it, making me more aware of what needs to be borne in mind while engaging with it.”
- Sowmya Kidambi (Director, Social Audit Government of Andhra Pradesh, India)

“IT for Change's work on e-governance has helped clarify the kinds of models that are being used in this area, and how this is systematically being used to privatise and centralise governance activities. There work in this area has helped us and other civil society groups understand the immediate need for advocacy and action in this area. It is necessary that civil society works out alternate models of e-governance and data gathering/usage that are more people oriented and community centric. This is not an easy challenge as how such models can be people-centric and yet scalable is a formidable challenge. I look forward to IT for Change pioneering concepts in this area that can be useful to the larger societal needs.”
- Prabir Purkayastha (Knowledge Commons and All India Peoples Science Network, India)

“ IT for Change is at the forefront of internet governance issues. The increased interaction of developing country governments in this area can be associated to IT for Change's role in raising awareness and providing information to policy-makers to take action.”
- Viviana Munoz (Programme Officer, South Centre, Geneva, Switzerland.)

“Third World Network has been cooperating with IT for Change for several years, and their contribution to the democratisation of the global governance of the Internet is extremely valuable and of crucial importance. First, they are the only Southern-based group that vigilantly monitors the dynamics of the global governance debate and inter-governmental negotiations. Secondly, their approach of a structural analysis of the issue makes vital linkages to the development needs and diversity of knowledge systems of the South. TWN looks forward to closer collaboration with IT for Change.”
- Yoke Ling Chee (Director, Third World Network, Malaysia.)

“ IT for Change is a beacon in the Global South, a commanding and reliable light, a leader in civil society for democratic change. In the Internet Governance space, where I particularly appreciate the contributions, their voice articulates unmistakably for developing societies and also leads the way for all, toward a truly democratic global regime.”
- David Allen (Co-principal, World Collaboration for Communications Policy Research, United States)