Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Struggle

Dear Patrick,

As alumni to the School of Development Studies, I am in support of your appeal to the university to keep the Centre for Civil Society at UKZN open. During my time at the university, the CCS has encouraged the use of new methodologies and participatory action research to best understand civil society; such new and innovative ideas should be encouraged in the name of the advancement of social research. Their record of publications and support around the world is more than impressive because of its strive to understand the true realities of the underserved, disenfranchised people of Africa.

The Centre has brought a diverse wave of academia to speak on civil society issues and in the recent past I have found as alumni, the CCS tried innovative Web 2.0 and collaborative forums to open the discussion beyond the physical space of the centre. In an area studying the usage of Information & Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D), your attempts to use such creative methods of civil society participation is beyond the steps taken or used in research institutes in Africa.

Please take this email as a sign of support for the continuation of the Centre for Civil Society. I have asked the SDS alumni to email you for their sign of support.



Related websites:
UKZN's Centre for Civil Society website:
Hands of the CCS, COSATU:
SangoNet Support of CCS:
Mail and Guardian article:

Friday, August 08, 2008


I am currently busy working on my project literature review as well as assist with background materials for Wireless Africa's own demand studies on wi-fi community networks. It's been intense, I'm trying to write as much as possible (and trying to push away from writer's block) and just prepare for my upcoming trips to Uganda and Nigeria! Woohoo!

In the meanwhile, I've been finding a few funding strategies and grants for possible follow up on ICT4D work (if the proposal is worded well enough). Just thought I'd share and perhaps others can share their own list of funders:

1. Research Into Use (DFID): Innovation Challenge Fund
"The purpose of the African Innovation Challenge Fund (African ICF) is to provide financial support to teams so they can take promising research, funded by DFID, to the next stage of use. The selected initiatives will contribute to RIU’s purpose by delivering significant use of RNRRS and other natural resources research outputs for the benefit (direct or indirect) of poor men and women in different contexts. "

2. SSRC (USA): Media Research Hug: Small Grants Project
"Small grants of up to $7,500 are available for research that supports public-interest efforts to change the media / telecommunications infrastructure, practices, policies or content. The grants are intended for short-term, advocacy-centered research, completable and usable by advocacy partners within the next 4-12 months."