We, the people

The power of networking is no match to any effort: ask World Summit Award. Launched in 2003 under the framework of United Nation’s World Summit on the Information Society, the focus of WSA has been very clear: bridge the content gap by recognizing and facilitating the best practices in content and creativity and the producers. WSA succeeded in influencing 168 countries to participate and effectively established the network of people, practices, from so many countries – letting everyone know each other.

As a process of selection WSA selects 35 grand jury members from 168 countries where WSA has e-content experts in each of these countries. The grand jury meets every two years to select the best practices nominated by so many countries in access of 700 plus products and innovations.

This book is a result of the strong networking of WSA through we have access to e-content experts in 168 countries. We did an exercise of finding “what is happening in each of these countries in the areas of digital content development”, and whereas we got 30 countries contributing the first version of this book “e-Content: Voices from the Ground”, we have graduated to 39 countries this time including many small countries like Togo, Burkina Faso, and so on.

We started work on this book on September 15th when we conducted on line and email interview with so many e-content experts to share their knowledge on the overall ICT scenario in their countries and how e-contents are being developed there.

Obviously, it was never a. easy task to accomplish this book in so little time as we had targeted to launch this in WSIS Phase 2 in Tunis on November 15th 2005.

Now that we have done it, it is my moral duty to tell you that it is a creation of most beautiful people from 40 plus countries as they shared very humbly the information that make it a compilation of no parallels.

I must reveal that Prof Peter Bruck is solely responsible for influencing me to work with such zeal and force that “nothing is impossible” if there is clarity of thought and vision of desired objective. And as co-authors we achieved what I thought was impossible.

I have special admiration for the whole WSA team for being extremely helpful by getting in touch with 168 country experts for me to accomplish this book. It is a big boosting to this effort to know that this book is also “an official publication of UN’s WSA”.

I will always be indebted to all the 30 country experts who have been interviewed and featured here for their prompt response, and quality time spent on replying the questions in the given time period. I am extremely proud to mention that many of the country experts spent sleepless nights and days to provide quality replies to the questions.

I would like to express my gratitude to my wife, Shaifali Chikermane, to have agreed to do the editing, designing, and layout for the entire book in such a promising timeframe, and to our two small children Abner (7.5) and Abeni (3.5) for their patience and understanding our commitments, and deadlines.

Nandita Bose and Syed Kazi for looking at each and every word carefully and made the chapters readable and coherent without compromising on the originality of the flavor of each country expert’s opinion.

Since time was so limited, I was not very sure of financial support, but I was proved wrong as all the 7 organizations I approached, supported the book in whatever way they could, financially as well as morally, and in kind.

I especially feel lucky to have CDAC (Center for Development of Advance Computing, Government of India) agreed to continue their support for this creation. Microsoft Bangladesh agreed to support us.

Martin Casey from Ireland, who had supported last time as well, this time especially called me and assured me of continued support even more strongly.

Like it is as necessary as existence, the website of this book needs the mentioning of Shahid Ahmad for making it live and presentable.

And, finally I would like to recall the whole ICT fraternity which is a ray of hope for all those developing and under-developed countries to overcome the information and content gap.

Please ignore all those mistakes that you may find in the book knowing that we have only tried to bring the overview of e-content scenario in so many countries and have not gone really deep enough to bring forth the most trusted research and investigations.

Your gratitude will be highly appreciated.

Do contact us with your views, ideas and suggestions.

Osama Manzar

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