ISIF Asia celebrated the innovative ICT solutions contributing to social development in the Asia Pacific region with the launch of the Award in 2011.

The program received 46 nominations across the 4 categories from 17 economies in the Asia Pacific. Each winner received a cash prize of AUD 7,500 to support the continuation of the project or the organization conducting the activities and a travel grant for a project representative to participate at the 6th Internet Governance Forum (Nairobi, Kenya - 27-30 September 2011).

The winners of the 2011 Awards were:

  • Rights and Freedom / Cambodian Human Rights Portal (Cambodian Center for Human Rights), Cambodia: The website is a new, collaborative approach to human rights work, which relies on monitoring, documentation, and information sharing as a basis for research and evidence-based dialogue, enabling advanced advocacy to with CBOs and development partners. The Human Rights Portal project plans and infrastructure are shared with other CSOs to encourage its adoption, which would strengthen civil society’s capacity to improve human rights conditions Cambodia, in particular civil and political rights. The Cambodian Center for Human Rights provides training to build capacity and transfer skills, knowledge, and tools to empower organizations to advocate for change.
  • Localization and capacity building / Internet Niue (Rocket Systems Limited), Niue: Internet Niue has enabled the inhabitants of the most isolated nation on the planet to connect with the outside world and to participate in modern culture. Ninety percent of Niueans are connected, making this the highest Internet penetration rate in the South Pacific. A successful business model based on profits achieved through sale of register names under the .NU domain managed by the IUSN Foundation, is helping Niue to develop a tourism industry, providing the greatest hope for the Niue economy. Visitors to Niue can expect high standard communications infrastructure, even in such a remote location. The project, established in 1999 by external consultants, is now managed entirely by a local business, Rocket Systems Limited. The “healthy user” policies and support provided promote a healthy lifestyle for Niueans.

ISIF Asia founding award winners at the awards ceremony held as part of the 2011 Internet Governance Forum.
Left to right: Ou Virak (Cambodia), Meenakshi Guatham (India), Lemi Soarez (Timor Leste) and Emani Fakaotimanava-Lui (Niue). Nairobi, Kenya.

  • Innovation on access provision / Dili Village Telco (Rowetel and FONGTIL), Australia and Timor: Dili is the largest city in Timor Leste, one of the poorest countries in Asia. Mobile and fixed phone service is available but unaffordable for the average Timorese. This project has built a Village Telco mesh network in Dili, which provides a low cost local telephony service. A Village Telco is built from low cost, rugged Wi-Fi telephony devices (the Mesh Potato). Each Mesh Potato provides a single telephone landline to the end user, and is connected to other Mesh Potatoes via a mesh Wi-Fi network. The project is a collaboration between Rowetel (an Australian IT company) and FONGTIL (a Timorese NGO). Rowetel trained FONGTIL personnel, who proceeded to install Mesh Potatoes in Dili and two other regional sites. The end users love the free phone call service and there is significant demand for expansion. The project is set to be expanded with FONGTIL’s own funding in 2011/2012.
  • Mobile services and applications / Interactive guidelines for quality rural health care (Garhwal Community Development and Welfare Society - GCDWS), India: Significant social and economic development of a community cannot proceed unless basic healthcare support is affordable and readily available. Compliance with established clinical protocols, and error-free performance of clinical care procedures are the best indicators for improved health outcomes. Studies suggest that frontline health providers in rural and underserved areas may have low levels of protocol compliance. The impact falls mainly on the poor and disadvantaged. The mobile Guidelines developed through this project aim to effect significant improvements in health outcomes among vulnerable populations, enabling frontline health workers to make independent decisions, with the advice of remote specialists.

For more images, please visit: ISIF Asia Flickr Photo Pool and Dot Asia photo pool.