The Oxford Internet Institute is looking for civil society activists from the developing world to participate in their new Civil Society Practitioners Programme:
This visitor programme is intended for Civil Society Practitioners of distinction or outstanding promise who wish to visit the Institute for a period of six weeks between February and December 2008, to undertake research concerning the social impact of the Internet and related ICTs. Visitors are expected to reside in Oxford during their stay, and to participate fully in the intellectual life of the Institute.
Program participants receive a subsistence allowance of 3800 GBP (7500 USD) to cover research expenses and living costs during their stay in Oxford and a travel grant of up to 1000 GBP (2000 USD) for travel to and from the UK. Applications should be submitted by "Civil Society Practitioners in or from the global South," active in the areas of freedom of expression, media reform, media justice, and communications and information policy.
More info at the OII website.
2 thoughts on “Civil society activists from Global South sought for Oxford Internet research program”
I am heading a national non-governmental organisation called direct democracy association – Sierra Leone, in west africa embarking on good governance, human rights, charitable work and educating and building a sound civil society.
I will be very much interested on this project.
MCP PRESS AGENCY
SUPPORTING THE„STOP THE FEAR TOWARDS NEW!”
INTERNATIONAL INFORMATION CAMPAIGN
Through the activities it develops in order to increase the interest towards important community issues, MCP Press Agency will represent a constructive force of the civil society. Taking into account the slogan “Hope becomes reality with better people!” we believe that this „STOP THE FEAR TOWARDS NEW!” campaign substantiates the care towards citizens and their problems.
It is not surprising that the greater and greater interest people have as regards different persons and different movement determines a state of mind that is actually difficult to reach or to maintain. By analysing the public’s reactions (those of the common person) we see that the fear towards new still exists sometimes without having any grounds. That is why in the United States of America there is a consensus on many issues. Thus, if at Harvard University it is acknowledged the power of public opinion on its own activities, the following questions rise: a) What must we do in order to conquer this fear towards new, through which means and how we can diminish it? b) Are education and traditional belief enough? c) Does anybody have a certain interest in maintaining the citizens´ fear towards new things? I believe that we cannot stand by and watch this plague of the humanity, but it is mandatory that we cooperate in this extensive campaign against fear towards new, by mobilizing all persons interested in social progress and a prosperous life. Right now there is a special concern towards a modern life standard, but in many circumstances citizens still express their fear towards new.
I. At national level, being tricked and losing money at Caritas and FNI people no longer trust promises, no matter who makes them. This is also the reason for the negative reaction Romanians have towards private pension funds. „The state can no longer manage the public pensions system and the responsibility is passed on to the private sector” – states sociologist Marius Pieleanu, and he believes that the citizens´ negative reaction towards private pension funds is well grounded. Sociologist Maria Voinea acknowledges that at national level the investment funds but also banks have been led to bankruptcy thus resulting in a pregnant image of people being cheated. The last scam Romanians went through was from the NATIONAL INVESTMENTS FUND thus that thousands of people still go through lawsuits in order to recover their money and to see justice done. The previous government made promises elections-related (i.e. PSD made those promises in order to win votes from the people conned), but this remained just a trick. Not even today the investments (life’s earning of the common people) have not been recovered. We hope and we expect that the present government during the office of President TRAIAN BĂSESCU will try to answer positively to the social issues. The lack of information but also the mob-like methods through which the Romanians have been cheated (immediately after the 1989 Revolution), makes them have more faith in the state pension than in the private funds. Studies developed by great insurance companies confirm the reluctance (already existent) of citizens as regards any medium or long-term investment, no matter the risk degree. (SHAH ROUF, CEO AVIVA LIFE INSURANCES). Sociologist Maria Voinea says: „Romanians are conservatives, used to the state pension, and their mentality changes in time, possibly even during ten years. CSSP will develop for this, in order to inform citizens, a campaign on what private pensions mean, that will have a budget of approximately one million dollars, money borrowed from World Bank through a Social Development agreement of the Ministry of Labour.” Anxiety appears for some people as an object-lacking fear and it is translated through an association of functional signs and imagination objects. The functional signs can be minor: anorexia, insomnia, nightmares with intense sweating, constrictions, etc. Imagination makes reference to the fear of not waking up, the fear of complication, fear of mutilation, fear of being depleted of a vital body function. There are also other fears such as: the patient’s fear towards surgery, fear towards death…..For the mass media area in Romania, we might speak of the ownership’s FEAR towards the Common Employment Agreement at a branch level.
II. At international level there is the fear towards NATO and EU! We must draw the line and see what has been done from one phase to another. Isn’t it possible that we see what’s not there? The time has come to correctly analyse results, to see which benefits and obligations we have at the same time, but also the citizens´ state of mind. We must know what’s there to do and not to adopt immediate solutions that might tempt us. Why accept for our public conscience to be haunted of fear? As it is well known, Romanians are conservatives through their dominant culture, but also through their religious beliefs. Still, after half a century during which tradition has been mocked of, the conservative attitude remained but changed in the fear towards new, in hostility towards the change-related uncertainty. Another great fear of the Europeans is unemployment. Citizens of eight countries (Great Britain, Germany, France, Spain, Poland, Italy, Netherlands, and Austria) have been asked: „Which is their greatest concern? . Half of the respondents answered that unemployed scares them the most. In Germany, where there are 4 million unemployed persons, 77% of the respondents put first the fear of losing their job. A similar result has been registered in Poland, a country that has great problems as regards unemployment. In Great Britain where it is registered a smaller percentage concerning unemployed (5%) the respondents still put unemployment on the top of their fears (among young). Second among Europeans´ fears was criminality. In Netherlands it went first. In Great Britain the greatest concern is the foreign policy and the immigration issue.
Among the fears Europeans have (they disclosed them during unemployment) there are: public health system, politics and government, education and economic stability. Approximately 9000 persons took part at the poll. The source: Eurobservator – Sondajul GFK. The fear of terrorism, another important social danger, is another type of threat for the citizens that expanded in Europe after the London attack. These circumstances and events that took place in the last ten years already made the European Governments wonder. That is especially for the governments that have sent troupes in Iraq and that supported the US actions in this country. Some other risk factors are phone listening, spying the Internet, ISLAM conquering Europe (once the Islamic world has been attacked by the Bush American administration; the fear of death expands due to the world wide religious war), etc. According to Wiliam Trotters studies, fundamental from the biologic standpoint, the human being is permanently biased, anywhere and under any circumstances. The fear towards new can be used as a weapon by the powerful ones in order to manipulate masses? If so, then we need specialized services and adequate funding in order to correctly inform the public. As long as you have a great deal of information, you will have power and trust in your own forces, you will be able to exit the fear state, and you will be able to think rationally and creatively. Everybody will thank you! The purpose of this campaign is to make people interested towards new, a thing without which cannot be obtained performances in any activity domain. Is it possible to become successful if you don’t take into consideration the last hour novelties? The answer can only be negative. Among leaders having great performances one will never encounter people that fear the new. They acknowledge at any time that their great achievements are based on preparing, working and not last on believing. That is why they can state with trust “The future of the civilization is not far”, as against other people that ignore the novelties on the market.
THE GOALS OF THIS INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN ARE:
1. MCP PRESS AGENCY supports the need of informing the citizens. Being connected to new, they can become aware that they can have great performances in any activity area.
2. We are looking forward the reaction of decision makers all around the world and especially, the manner through which they achieve citizens´ mobilization that assumes adapting to the state of the art technology and science discoveries.
3. Informing the governments´ representatives, the ones of the civil society and of mass media, including in Romania, for supporting this campaign that does not require money, but good will and respect for the community, human values and for a dignified life.
4. Establishing partnerships among researchers, statistics analysts, scientists, businesspersons, university professors and political leaders in order to find solutions for eliminating the fear towards new.
5. Declaring the day of August 25th as the TIME FOR PUBLIC COMMUNICATION (TPC), occasion on which persons (mentioned on item 4) all around the world will present on mass media channels as many news, aspects, presenting magazines, newspapers, events and any other material that lacks the FEAR TOWARDS NEW.
We wish for all decision makers in all countries to support, if possible, the legislative projects concerning this, as regards the stimuli the public opinion answers to more often and the fundamental studies´ researches of the individual and group psychology.
We are looking forward to Your answer that will honour us and we thank You!
Manager of MCP Press Agency,
Economist Mihail Georgevici