On behalf of Mekong ICT Camp Organiser, Thai Fund Foundation in partnership with Open Development Cambodia, Emerald HUB, Social Technology Institute and Foundation for Internet and Civic Culture we would like to Thank you our Donors and sponsors, Open Technology Fund, SPIDER, Google, UNESCO, Friedrich Naumann Foundation and Sokha Siem Reap Resort & Convention Center for this great support to the Mekong ICT Camp 2017 between 4-8  September in Siem Reap Province, Cambodia. This year’s Mekong ICT Camp is the first time we have organized it outside of Thailand, taking one step ahead to make Mekong ICT Camp a true Mekong sub-region, regional initiation and collaboration amongst partners.

 

And we would like to thank you to our selection committee of each country namely, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar Thailand and  all facilitators from many countries, Taiwan, USA, India, Germany, Australia, Cambodia,  Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. And also thank you all staffs and the great volunteer team from Cambodia for your great spirit contribute  to the camp.

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Opening Speech by H.E. Mr. OUK Kimseng

5th Mekong ICT Camp
Opening Speech
H.E. Mr. OUK Kimseng, under-Secretary of State,
Cambodia’s Ministry of Information
September 4 to 8, 2017, Siem Reap,Cambodia
____________________________
Ms. Pissamai khanobdee
Ms. Misako Ito
Mr. Norbert Klein

Today, I have the honor to grace this important event, gathering people with ICT knowledge by either profession or by end-use for the good of all countries named in the Mekong sub-region.

Let me recall my ever first participation in this regional efforts to get people together and let them share experiences pertaining to the rapid growing of information and communication technology in the world, especially in South East Asia and/or in Mekong sub-region, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. It was Mekong ICT Camp2 in June, 2010 held in Thailand’s Chiang Mai province. I was one among online applicants assessed and accepted for the function. I hope some of you may acknowledge this recall.

Let me extend my heartfelt appreciation to the Thai Fund Foundation for having thus far made this professional gathering possible.

As we are discussing and sharing ideas for Social Innovation for development in the region, I would like to bring to your attention the number of media outlets in Cambodia in addition to the social media platforms, like facebook, telegram, etc..

With a population of 15.9 million , Cambodia has over 30 terrestrial analogue and digital TV stations and around 122 cable or paid TV stations across the country. Radio broadcast is also a growing industry. There are around 180 radio stations.

By the first half of this year there are around 7,160,000 active internet users,4,800,000 of whom are reportedly confirmed to be social media users.

I understand that media can play important roles to promote ideas for development.

Establishing people-to-people bonds could be one of the most challenging tasks of any media. The present day youths, as leaders of tomorrow, can enhance people-to-people connectivity to develop ideas for any innovations for development among nations in the region.

The Mekong ICT Camp , as a matter of fact, can help open doors to connectivity and also have a better understanding of cultures, history, and the social patterns of the people outside of one’s realm. It should rightfully play its role in fostering deeper mutual understanding among participants of different nationalities from this sub-region.

However, secured connectivity must be made available and accessible to people involved in projects as designed for the Mekong ICT Camp 2017 theme, including Government transparency, Environmental and Climate Change, Resilience and smart city, Community wifi, Internet security and privacy, Online training, and technology projects to support Social Development.
Through gatherings forged, all participants, particularly youths can capture insights into different paths of development taken by their respective countries, as well as each country’s unique foreign policy, culture, and way of life.

Over the years, we’ve learned the importance of media in our professional and personal lives. It is after all a revolution of itself. From improving governments to socializing businesses to improving collaboration and learning to investing in personal or people to people development, experiences and lessons that will emerge from this gathering may influence and reshape current needs for respective, national development plans.

Nowadays, we live in the information age where every individual has easy and quick access to a variety of information sources., either through the touch of a button, a glimpse at the morning daily news on smartphones and tablets or notebooks.
The advantages of information and communication technology are omnipresent and cannot be underestimated.

As per my personal notes on agendas and activities planned in the function timetable, you all will undergo chains of expertise and know-hows provided by professionals and experts, invited to share the most with you pertaining to the theme. Topics will cover from design thinking, working with community, information security, anthropological tools for development work, building secure community information network, digital media tools for development, privacy and security for field data collection and usage, community mapping, social entrepreneurship, crowd funding to public awareness of internet and data privacy.

I am convinced that all participants will obtain and make use of all advantages prevailing in this event.

I wish you all the best and I announce the opening of the Mekong ICT Camp 2017 in this land of wonder of the Kingdom of Cambodia, ANGKOR WAT !

Thank you

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Mekong ICT Camp 2017: Keynote by Norbert KLEIN

Mekong ICT Camp 2017
Siem Reap, 4 to 8 September 2017
Welcome and Keynote Address

Norbert KLEIN

Welcome – what an assembly of people from the five Mekong countries: Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia – and also some others. I have the privilege of having visited all of these countries over the years, and so I have also learned some of the different histories from which we come here together.

And here we are: I was asked to be here now and give us some thoughts for the coming days under the heading:

Innovative Practice

This is the heading of the first of the three program tracks – but it extends to all. Surely we all are here because we were, or we are, involved in innovative practices. Innovation – that is always looking forward, beyond what we had until now and before.

It seems to me that sometimes we easily forget that we have already made tremendous advances on the ways to where we are now. I would like to illustrate this personally, from my own experiences in Cambodia. Let me here describe some of the steps I went through, starting the first Internet service in Cambodia in 1994. There was no plan for “innovative practice” – we just responded to the challenges as they presented themselves to us.
At that time, I worked at the Ministry of Agriculture. A colleague at the Ministry had received an international scholarship – but then came a letter canceling the scholarship: in the data sheet requesting more details, there had been a line asking for his e-mail address. He had just crossed it out: he did not have an e-mail address! But the scholarship program was decentralized – professors and students lived in different countries. So it was clear: No e-mail – no further education!
A friendly member of the teaching staff in this program sent me software on a floppy to set up an e-mail system. I had brought a computer when I came to Cambodia in 1990, and I had also received one of the first 600 telephone lines in Cambodia. It was a simple DOS program – UUCP: UNIX to UNIX Copy Program – that was able to talk to a UNIX server over a phone line. At that time, international telephone connection did cost 5 US Dollars per minute. But we needed to set up many things before communication was possible. There was no regular electricity supply in Phnom Penh; so I bought a Japanese 24 Volt truck battery, charged using a Thai charger when there was electricity. Then – imported from the USA – an inverter changed the 24 Volt DC from the battery to 110 Volt AC, which were transformed by a Vietnamese transformer to 220 Volt AC for the computer. And finally a friend traveled to Singapore to buy a modem.
Innovative practice? We never knew how many problems would show up – but my friend
finally got the scholarship. He became the first person in Cambodia to gain a Master’s Degree from the University of Uppsala in Sweden, in Sustainable Tropical Agriculture. His continuing research earned him ten years later the first Doctorate Degree for a person from Cambodia from the same university. And last year he was invited to join the Ministry of Environment as a Department Director.
But getting e-mail for one person’s scholarship resulted in the establishment of the first ISP in Cambodia: not only ONE, but now MANY people were now able to engage in this new way of communication.
That was the important first steps in the country.

I think the next big step, after 1994, was in 2007. Many of us became aware, working
together, to what kind of a new world this innovative practice had already led us. By that time, many of those who had started to use these newly developed instruments and methods available, started to use them in cooperation with others. The use of the Internet had started to become a social phenomenon.
This T-Shirt which I wear today is part of this history: it was made for a special event In 2007, some people took the initiative to organize the first blogger weekend workshop in Cambodia: ICT was not only about technology, these instruments were seen as a new stepping stone in wide communication – not only in a one-person to one-person way, like the telephone had allowed such person-to-person communication already since 1876.

I was recently reading a bit more about the beginning of the telephone – and it was interesting to see that there too had been innovative efforts. But the original goal had not been to develop a telephone! The telephone was just a kind of unexpected by-product of a completely different intention and effort. This is interesting, because it shows that innovation can lead to quite new developments, which go beyond the ideas that were motivating the innovators. Alexander Graham Bell is considered to be the father of the telephone. In 1874 and 1875, Bell and a friend worked on the ‘harmonic telegraph’ – an effort to transmit different streams of simple data at the same time over one copper wire, using different frequencies for the different data streams. As an unintended side-product of this effort, they discovered that the human voice could be caught in the form of electric impulses. This was considered to be a surprising big success: because Mr. Bell’s father had tried to develop some means to help his mother who was loosing her hearing, and though they had been working to develop the ‘harmonic telegraph’, they just discovered a method to make the human voice louder.
Alexander Graham Bell continued his work for deaf people, establishing the American
Association to Promote Teaching of Speech to the Deaf in 1890. – The fact that it now was
also possible to electronically transmit the human voice over long distance – the telephone –
was just a side product, and the great importance of this was only recognized in the following year 1876. Innovative practice – it had led to some originally intended result – to help people with hearing impairments – but the unintended result, the telephone, had world wide consequences.
I mention this link from technological innovation to actions for the benefit of society, because such links keep innovation with its own dynamics: always resulting in more than what had been intended at the beginning.

At the bloggers weekend 2007 in Phnom Penh – where a lot of hardware and software ideas and experiences were exchanged – enthusiasm about the possibilities of blogging was high.
We would be moving beyond the limited public space, defined by the printed media and by
the electronic media of radio and of TV. Now everybody who used a blog, could share her or his ideas widely with the public on the Internet!
Looking back, I found a press report, from which I will quote here, about the 2007 blogger
weekend. The report was published in TechRadar
The source for tech buying advice – www.techradar.com – The latest technology news and
reviews, covering computing, home entertainment systems, gadgets and more I quote this here, again to show that the innovative practice which had led to this blogger weekend workshop, was oriented towards technical computing and gadgets – and the social implications appeared as surprising secondary results. “…a small group formed in 2006 to give workshops on social media. With their efforts, and Cambodia’s King-Father Norodom Sihanouk starting his own blog, the group of 30 soon transformed into thousands. Now, they call themselves ‘Cloggers’ – Cambodian Bloggers.”
“After all the hardship our country has experienced, we’re trying to bring a new era of
innovation…” – “Blogs are helping to break down barriers, get discussions going –
something we need to move forward. It’s the voice of the new generation.”

“They hit another success in September 2007 with the first BarCamp held Phnom
Penh… BarCamp was great for thinking outside the box” – “we got Cambodians to start
speaking their minds in that nontraditional setting, the un-conference.”
“We just blog because we want to talk about our lives and talk with each other.” –
“Cambodia, a conservative society, doesn’t offer opportunities to open up and discuss
your feelings, especially for women. That’s what makes blogs so special here.”
“Men have dominated technology fields, but we’re seeing more and more women
speaking their minds through blogs,” says a woman, a rising voice in Cambodia’s
women’s empowerment movement. “They give us an outlet to gain self-esteem and be
more informed about the world.” – “If everyone keeps silent to intimidation, intimidation
will gain its position.” – “By making our voices heard, we can create change.”

Quotes from:

http://www.techradar.com/news/internet/web/meet-cambodia-s-social-media-elite-the-
cloggers-528529

At a certain point during this enthusiastic discussions in the plenary, there was an
intervention from one participant who said: “Don’t forget, we are in Cambodia!”
Without any further explanation, it was clear that there were limits to the prevailing
enthusiasm.

But innovative practice continued. Technological infrastructure continued to present
challenges.
Our program for this week also shows hat engaging in innovation in technology leads beyond
– I quote from the program:

 Community and Innovation Management
 Building Secure Community Information Networks
 Internet of Things in Environment and Climate Work
 Technology for Good

Technological innovation obviously leads beyond technology, as these items show – and so
we have a whole track with a focus on Governance, where technology is just the assumed
base and background for such themes as:
 Working with Community
 Digital Media Tools for Development Work
 Digital Campaign Design
 Organizing Public Hearings

 Mapping National & Regional ICT Governance Mechanisms with International
Treaties & Principles

Even technological innovation leads us to affirm our fundamental basis, as it is shown in the last item, referring to International Treaties & Principles, to which our governments have subscribed.
What are some of these?

“The term “human rights” was mentioned several times in the United Nation’s founding
Charter, making the promotion and protection of human rights a key purpose and guiding
principle of organizing the United Nations organization after the end of the Second World War.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the United Nations
General Assembly in1968, brought human rights into international law. Since then, the United Nations Organization has been involved in promoting and protecting human rights.
Two articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights deserve special attention in our
work.
Article 2.
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without
distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other
opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or
international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be
independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
Article 19.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes
freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart
information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
These rights are not legally binding in themselves, but they have been elaborated in
subsequent international Treaties, and Conventions, some in Regional Human Rights
Instruments, some became National Laws, or they were made part of National Constitutions (like in the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia of 1994, where the “guarantee of human rights” became part of the Preamble of the Constitution).

In order to make these high ideas practical, their content was spelled out more in detail in
some documents called Conventions – first adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, where the member countries are represented by their governments, and then presented to these governments with the expectation, that they would be integrated into national legislation. Especially the following two Conventions are important in a wider context:

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Adopted in 1966, in force since 1976, after it had been ratified by a required number of
countries.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Covenant_on_Economic,_Social_and_Cultural_Rights
The main provisions:
 Principle of progressive realisation
 Labour rights
 Right to social security
 Right to family life
 Right to an adequate standard of living
 Right to health
 Right to free education
 Right to participation in cultural life
Ratified or acceded at different times by the following countries:
Cambodia 1992
Laos 2007
Myanmar 2015 signed, but not ratified
Thailand 1996
Vietnam 1982
Note: The government of the USA has signed it in 1979 under President Carter, but it was not presented to parliament for ratification, because there were strong objections: the arguments against were that “economic, social, and cultural rights were not really rights but merely desirable social goals and therefore should not be the object of binding treaties.” – signing this Convention would obligate the introduction of policies and laws that were opposed, such as “universal health care.”

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Adopted by the General Assembly in 1966, in force from 1976, after 35 countries had adopted it.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Covenant_on_Civil_and_Political_Rights
The problem of compliance and observation is being taken up: they can be implemented
gradually, over time, in stages. “The Covenant commits its parties to respect the civil and
political rights of individuals, including the right to life, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, electoral rights and rights to due process and a fair trial.” As of February 2017, the Covenant has 169 parties and six more signatories without ratification.
“This Covenant is monitored by the United Nations Human Rights Committee, which reviews regular reports of State parties on how the rights are being implemented. States must report initially one year after acceding to the Covenant and then whenever the Committee requests it, (usually every four years).
Ratified or acceded
Cambodia 1992
Laos 2009
Myanmar (not signed – not a party)
Thailand 1997
Vietnam 1982

That is it.
Innovative practice assumes that there is always still uncovered territory to be worked on in future innovative practice.
That is for which we came here – that is what we are going to work on during this week – and then to continue, when we will be again home in our different environments.
But during this week we can build the links to take up the tasks of innovation together, as the invitation for the Mekong ICT Camp 2017 stated that this time it is to focus on cross border collaboration.
Thank you very much.

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Mekong ICT Camp 2017 Seed Grant Announcement!

 Hi, Mekong ICT Camp 2017 Campers!

If you have any idea of social innovation for development and want to develop it as a pilot project prototype, we would like to invite you to submit the idea to get the Mekong ICT Camp seed grant of USD 3,000 for a project (5 awards; one for each country).

What is the Mekong ICT Camp 2017 Seed Grant

Mekong ICT Camp 2017 Seed Grant is a small grant aimed to support pilot project prototypes on Social Innovation for development. The support is USD3,000 per project. This year, the seed grant will be awarded for the 5 best prototypes (one for each country in this region, Lao, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand).

The Seed Grant support will be awarded to the selected projects prototype by our Selection Committee at Marketplace at the 5th Mekong ICT Camp 2017.

What we support

The area of project should be on the topic as follows;
– Government transparency
– Environmental and Climate Change
– Resilience and smart city
– Community wifi
– Internet security and privacy
– Online training
– Any technology project to support Social Development

How to apply the grant

– Submit your idea at https://goo.gl/hbbMVD
– Pitch your idea on 4 September 18:00-19:00 during Mekong SI project session and     gather a team of  2-4 people from the same country
– Develop your prototype during the camp

– Exhibit your project at Mekong ICT Marketplace for selected 10 teams for final round
– 10 teams will present the project on stage for final judge after the marketplace.

Download our slides for more information!

For questions, please e-mail to mekongictcamp@gmail.com

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First Round Participants list announced today!

Please check your inbox (also check your ‘Trash’, sometimes it can goes there).

For those who didn’t make the cut, it may not mean you are not good enough. We just have limited seats, and try to scope the selection to focused on the theme of this year Camp. We looking forward to see your applications again in the next Mekong ICT Camp.

For the second round, will announce on July 19

Thank you every applicants and thank you our selection committee for their dedicated job.

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Apply is Now CLOSED

Mekong ICT Camp 2017

Registration is now CLOSED!!


Mekong ICT Camp 2017:

innovation, citizenship, and open technology for social change in Mekong sub region:

A Hands-on Workshop on Social Innovation through Information, Communication, and Technology Capacity Development for Independent Media, Community Health Workers, and Civil Society Organizations in Mekong Sub-region.

Activity Name:   Mekong ICT Camp 2017

Date:                    September 4-9, 2017  

Place/Country:  Siem Reap, Cambodia

 WHO CAN APPLY?

  • All developers, journalists, development workers and social workers are welcome.
  • Participants are welcome from EVERY Mekong-region country, and elsewhere.
  • Around 60 participants will be selected from the Mekong sub-region, with others from outside the region.

WHAT IS THE EVENT’S FOCUS?

This workshop will focus mainly on already existing developmental projects in Mekong countries, trying to solve data and technological problems related to issues such as:

  • Environmental and social impacts of development projects such as dams, mines, oil and gas, road construction or land concessions.
  • Disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation
  • Health, education, civil rights and others.

HOW IS THE EVENT ORGANIZED?

The workshop brings together development workers, journalists and others who are looking for solutions to their data problems. These problems can involve data collection, analysis or visualisation.

These “project initiators/problem owners” present their problem to software developers, hardware makers and data experts, who, if interested, will work with to find tech solutions for their projects.

WHAT IS THE COST?

For those from the Mekong-region: we will sponsor all your travel, accommodation and program costs, but we ask for a contribution of USD50 from each participant. This sponsorship is available for participants from the Mekong sub-region (Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and  Vietnam), including those who are originally from elsewhere but currently working on projects that related to the development of the Mekong region and its people.

Participants from outside the Mekong-region: Limited numbers of PARTIAL sponsorship (camp fee and accommodation, but not travel cost) are available for those outside Mekong Region.

HOW DO I PREPARE?

  • Development workers, journalists and others with data and technical problems to solve should bring descriptions of those problems, resources, reports, datasets, equipment or anything else that will help others understand and solve the problem
  • We want participants to lead discussions. All participants can consider bringing problems, ideas, stories, tools, equipment or websites to present to others.
  • A computer is required in most of the hand-on sessions. Participants are advised to bring their personal laptop computer with them. The camp will not provide computer to participants.
  • If you have camera, video recorder, voice recorder, wifi router, Raspberry Pi, Arduino or any other equipment, please bring them, as you may find it useful and interesting to use them during the workshop.

 

About organizer http://mekongict.org/about/

Follow us on our Twitter: @mekongict and Facebook page: Mekong ICT.

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Why Big Data matters for Lower Mekong countries?

BIG_Data_1
Photo Credit: Trang Ta

While big data represents a new era of computing, what does it mean for civil society organizations in Southeast Asia? How can nations in the Lower Mekong  harvest the power of big data? These were the questions discussed during a five-day workshop, from 8-12 June, 2015, at College Of Innovation of Thammasat University Pattaya in Thailand.

New opportunities mean new challenges
Where data in any format may be explored and utilized, the Mekong ICT Camp featured a series of workshops and panel discussions to help more than 60 participants from the region to learn open source technologies, define, and design project challenges. With design thinking methodology, facilitated by Good Factory, participants
focused on prototyping those challenges for social impact projects.

BIG_Data_4
Photo Credit: Trang Ta

Klaikong Vaidhyakarn, a lead organizer, said “Big data is coming to our daily life since mobile phone penetration in the Mekong region saw double growth and this is an opportunity to use data in development works such as health, environment or even disaster risk reduction. Some development projects, including community health data human and animal to prevent disease outbreak, have already leveraged big data.”

Continue reading

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Memories from Mekong ICT Camp 2013

Ta Trung has create and shared this wonderful video about Mekong ICT Camp 2013. This show how we’ve a wonderful time together.

Thank you very much and hope to see all of you again very soon.

 

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What Campers Said in 2010

In the 2010 Camp, the organizers hired third-party evaluaters to interview campers in order for us to understand the nuance of participants’ feelings, opinions and all kinds of interaction during the five-day activities.

The results of the interview and qualitative evaluation were very encouraging. The following is the summary from the evaluation report. You may read about
2012 Report Testimony directly.

Continue reading

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Laurence Millar: Open government data to support dialog between citizens and government

Laurence Millar will give out a kickstart keynote for Mekong ICT Camp 2010.

Laurence Millar

Laurence Millar is an independent advisor in the use of ICT by governments, and Editor at Large for FutureGov magazine. His career has included work in the public and private sector, in the UK, USA, Asia and New Zealand. From 2004, he led the New Zealand e-government programme providing leadership in strategy and policy, establishing a foundation of shared infrastructure, and maintaining oversight of government ICT investment; he finished in the role of NZ Government CIO on 1 May 2009.

He has written and spoken extensively about the importance of open government to strengthen trust between government and the people. He believes passionately in the power of open government data to support a more effective dialog between citizens, businesses, civil society (NGOs) and government

Governments in USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand, as well as international oragnizations such as the World Bank have all launched catalogs of data that is available for reuse. There is a growing collection of freely available software tools (such as Gapminder, Many Eyes, and Swivel) being used by engaged citizens in the community and businesses. In addition, communities around the world are developing applications to provide better insight into the business of government.

Open government data and citizen-led measurement provide a focus to improve understanding of government performance, increase transparency, strengthen trust in government, and deliver better value to citizens.

You can read more of his opinions at www.gvg.net.nz

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