i181 Technology and Poverty

Spring 2011


Office Hours

Prof. Burrell will be having office hours during RRR week during our normal course meeting time – 11am-12:30pm (Tuesday and Thursday).  Her office is in South Hall room 312.

More about RCTs

Discussion of the value (and hype) around Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) in international development work: Boston Review March/April 2011 issue.

Review Session

Slides and notes from today’s review session have been uploaded to the syllabus.

Documentary on farmer suicides and Indian mainstream media

Nero’s Guests: Documentary Screening and Discussion
When: Sunday, April 10 2011 @ 11:30 AM – - 02:30PM
Where: San Jose Peace and Justice Center
48 S. 7th. Street
San Jose, CA 95112
Description: SYNOPSIS

Nearly 200,000 farmers have committed suicide in India over the last 10 years. But the mainstream media hardly reflects this.
Nero’s Guests is a story about India’s agrarian crisis and the growing inequality seen through the work of the Rural Affairs Editor of The Hindu newspaper, P. Sainath. Through his writings and lectures, Sainath makes us confront the India we don’t want to see, and provokes us to think about who ‘Nero’s Guests’ are in today’s world.

P. Sainath, Rural Affairs Editor of The Hindu, is the 2007 winner of the Ramon Magsaysay Award, Asia’s most prestigious prize (and often referred to as the ‘Asian Nobel’), for Journalism Literature and Creative Communications Arts.

The screening will be followed by a discussion with Mr. Sainath.

Admission is free and open to the public. Suggested donation $5-$10. Screening will start at 11:30am, sharp.

This event is sponsored by San Jose Peace and Justice Center


Talk on Berkeley campus by journalist P.Sainath

The Inaugural Maharaj Kaul Memorial Lecture: “Pay-to-print”: How Media Corruption Undermines Indian Democracy

Lecture | April 11 | 5-7 p.m. | Blum Hall, B100 (conference room on the Plaza Level)

P. Sainath, Journalist

South Asia Studies, Center for, English, Department of, Journalism, Graduate School of, Blum Center for Developing Economies
CSAS is proud to announce the launch of the “Maharaj Kaul Memorial Lecture,” a lecture series on the theme of social justice. This lecture series has been established in memory of Maharaj Kaul (1940 – 2009), a UC Berkeley alum, tireless campaigner against injustice and for peace, founder of groups such as India Relief and Education Fund, and Coalition Against Coalition, and long-time supporter of CSAS’s mission and activities.

Our inaugural lecture will be delivered by Palagummi Sainath.

Palagummi Sainath, the 2007 winner of the Ramon Magsaysay award for journalism, literature, and creative communication arts, is an award winning Indian development journalist – a term he himself avoids, instead preferring to call himself a ‘rural reporter’, or simply a ‘reporter’ – and photojournalist focusing on social problems, rural affairs, poverty and the aftermaths of globalization in India. He spends between 270 and 300 days a year in the rural interior (in 2006, over 300 days) and has done so for the past 18 years. He is the Rural Affairs Editor for The Hindu, and the website India Together has been archiving some of his work in The Hindu daily for the past six years. His work has won praise from the likes of Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen who referred him as “one of the world’s great experts on famine and hunger.” He is the author of Everybody Loves a Good Drought: Stories from India’s Poorest Districts.

office hours – week of April 3

Office hours for Prof. Burrell this week have been moved to Thursday this week.  They are scheduled for the same time slot (just after class – 12:30-2pm).

ICT4D Masters Degree

NEW 1-year Masters in Practising Sustainable Development (ICT4D specialism) at the University of London (ICT4D = Information and Communication Technologies for Development) The UNESCO Chair/Centre in ICT4D at Royal Holloway, University of London, is launching an exciting new specialism within its successful Practising Sustainable Development Masters, starting Sept 2011. It is designed for IT-experts, designers, students, professionals and development practitioners who want to develop their skills specifically in the area of ICT4D. The degree prepares you for work in the public, private or NGO-sector locally or internationally, or can be a stepping-stone towards a PhD. This course offers students the opportunity to gain a Masters degree which combines – cutting-edge teaching by leading experts, current debates, and practical project design in ICT4D – a well-rounded syllabus introducing key theoretical building blocks in development thinking and current challenges from different disciplines – emphasis on participatory, sustainable, culturally-sensitive, locally relevant, gender aware approaches and appropriate technologies – rigorous training in both qualitative and quantitative research methods in the Social Sciences (plus optional IT courses), preparing participants to be fully-equipped independent (action) researchers. Includes geographical information systems and grassroots participatory video training. – intellectually stimulating and friendly atmosphere; individual mentoring by faculty (personal tutors; dissertation supervisors; individual career advice)


Intake: Sept 2011-Sept 2012 (12 months full-time, or 24 months part-time) Class sizes: generally 5-15 (25 max)
Teaching team includes: Dorothea Kleine, Tim Unwin, G Harindranath, David Grimshaw, Kostas Stathis, David Simon, Katie Willis, Vandana Desai, Jay Mistry
Entry requirements: good undergraduate degree (professional experience a plus); good English skills
Application deadline: April 15 (exceptions possible) Cost: £13,510 (overseas, = $21,950); £3480 (UK/EU) (limited scholarships available for full-time)

For full details, visit www.gg.rhul.ac.uk/psd/ict4d (includes draft syllabus)
Enquiries: dorothea.kleine@rhul.ac.uk

Assignment 2 reminder

Assignment 2 is due Thursday 3/31. Please bring a typed and printed copy of your assignment to class for submission.

Upcoming panel discussion on campus

Mark your calendars! Please join us at a special expert panel discussion on technology and poverty hosted by the UC Berkeley School of Information.

Digital Divide or Digital Bridge: Can Information Technology Alleviate Poverty?
with Eric Brewer (UC Berkeley computer science), Megan Smith (Google.org), Kentaro Toyama (I School & Microsoft Research, India), & Wayan Vota (Inveneo)
Wednesday, April 6, 2011, 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm
110 South Hall
The past decade has seen great interest in information and communication technologies applied to international development, an endeavor sometimes abbreviated ICTD. Can mobile phones be used to improve rural healthcare? How do you design user interfaces for an illiterate migrant worker? What value is wireless technology to a farmer earning a dollar a day?

In this panel, four prominent thinkers active in ICTD debate the potential for electronic technologies to contribute to the socio-economic development of the world’s impoverished communities. Eric Brewer is a UC Berkeley professor who develops wireless technologies to connect rural communities. Megan Smith is vice president of new business development at Google and managing director of Google.org. Kentaro Toyama is co-founder of Microsoft Research India, and a computer scientist turned technology skeptic. Wayan Vota is a senior director at Inveneo, a non-profit that works to provide information technology to underserved communities of the developing world.

Reception to follow.

Reading Summaries #4 and #5

The final two reading summaries are due this week.  Reading Summary #4 on conceptions of the Information Society and the Digital Divide is due Tuesday.  Reading Summary #5 on Telecommunications Policy is due on Thursday.  Please submit your reading summaries in class typed and printed.  See the assignments page to download the reading summary questions.