I love the project and I think it is a very very unique snapshot of "the internet" and "the real world" - it is a global snapshot and horizon scan... it is very valuable for me to look back on the reports from all the countries and draw comparisons... it is like the story of the internet.. different chapters, different themes, every year :)
ICT policy issues were not a priority for our organization previously. Due to GISW we got involved in this areas and disseminate these ideas in the Romanian NGO and academic communities.
There is genuine need for the new spaces opened by this project , which at the same time sharing different country experiences building plat form for solidarity and supporting different communities to share their challenges and to show the state violations of its international HR obligation. The report development for me is a learning process and opportunity to meet other activists and defenders from different country sharing the same values and principles.
The GISWatch is a magical space for learning, knowledge sharing and advocacy. Stakeholders should use this to help implement the human right-based appproach to programming.
The project has unique value as it provides a global but detailed overview of different key topics. It helps people to get the arguments and diverse/complementary detailed views about topics.
In the long term, some of the topics should be revisited to monitor evolution and update the content to keep it relevant.
GISWatch may be very useful for those who want to have a general idea of global situation on specific issues and in that sense, the theme is often quite broad, so different topics may be included in the same theme.
"I appreciate all your work in improving [our] report. With your help I feel I am improving my writing from one report to the next one. From time to time, when it is appropriate I mention your annual report in my work as a trainer and lecturer."
"I am using GISWatch in a course I am convening on development communications at Wits University. There is a session on ICT4Ds, and GISWatch will be used for that -- but it is generally useful and helpful. For instance, reports on institutions and governance can be shared with students to show how complex and complicated engaging with UN bodies can be for rights advocates. Many of them capture the nuances of this engagement, which can be absent from official reports and documents."
"Since their launch in 2007, the annual GIS Watch reports have become must-read material for analysts and activists concerned with the global social, economic and political effects of information and communication technologies. The insightful Thematic Reports set the context and focus for each edition, and the regional and country reports provide concise and authoritative overviews of how that focus is playing out "on the ground" around the world. In keeping with that tradition, this year's edition on Internet rights and democratisation provides solid evidence that the simplistic binary choice offered up in popular treatments—either the Internet and other ICTs promote democratization, or they do not—is utterly unhelpful in grasping the forces that have been unleashed around the world. Under certain conditions, citizens have been able to use been able to use the technology to advance freedom and social justice, and under certain circumstances the forces of repression and control have been able to use the technology to counter or attenuate these advances. This volume provides a conceptually and empirically nuanced assessment of this dual reality and is thus a welcome corrective to an often ill-framed debate."
The number of reports published on human rights on the internet in the last year alone is staggering. Who has the time to read them all, some might ask. The good news: You don’t have to. If you take the time to read one report, make it GISWatch 2011.
Written by internationally renowned experts, the report brings its readers easy-to-read and yet comprehensive articles, many with policy proposals, on the most important challenges protecting human rights on the Internet is facing today. But the Internet is about people and their stories. This is where the report's country studies come in. They shed light on how the Internet can truly be a catalyst for change – and how it can be misused.
As the speed of information and communication interchange increases, finding a collection of studies that allow readers to stop and study, to gather their thoughts and form opinions on the future development of human rights protection online, is exceedingly welcome. This report is just what international Internet lawyers need to, first, understand some of the most pressing issues of today, and, then, to see why their work, their efforts, their energies matter. The stories the report tells are impressive, saddening, moving, uplifting.
The people at the centre of these stories are why we got involved in protecting human rights on the Internet. APC and Hivos deserve our thanks. And the people of the world our unflinching commitment to their human rights. Online and offline.