The Information for Development Program (InfoDev), launched in 1995, is an international consortium of official development agencies supported by the World Bank to promote innovative projects on the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to combat poverty and promote economic and social development. A set of programs – financed by the consortium members – is developed in three key research areas: Mainstreaming, Enabling Access For All and Scaling Up, including field-based research and pilot projects for innovation in using ICTs, best practice guidance, innovation and global/regional dialogue and knowledge-sharing, financial, technical and networking support for innovators and entrepreneurs in developing countries. The InfoDev website provides a series of reports and papers about the ICTs and e-gov topics written by the InfoDev consultants. Their are highly specific and focused. This material can be retrieved in full-text in pdf format free of charge by all users. A very simple search facility by keywords allows visitors to locate (and download) the needed content information: publications (if available), projects, reports, etc. Content navigation and retrieval are open and free to the public. An effective design allows for a good usability. The site updates can also be received through a RSS feed.
The Information for Development Program
Information Technology and Politics
An APSA section on the study of new technologies
As an APSA organized group, Information Technology and Politics Section provides a forum for scholars interested in the use of Internet and multimedia in teaching, research, and policy applications in political science and in all related subfields and disciplines. Its website provides info about the section’s board members and their activities, by hosting an online database of events, people and organizations of interest to researchers and practitioners involved in ITs and politics. This database, based on the Harvard MIT Data Center, also contains members’ biographies and research interests, journals and publications, conferences and events, research projects, books and bibliographies, working papers, and job posting. Members are encouraged to add their own projects and other pertinent material to the lists of resources. This website is completely free for navigation and permit record downloading, mainly in pdf format. It also provides a good number of external websources, usually open also for non-affiliated users. Yet access to journals requires subscription, as in the case of the “Journal of E-Government”, dealing with the application and practice of e-government. Despite the absence of sophisticated supports for navigation, the Information Technology and Politics website shows a clear design and permits an easy retrieval for a good quantity of records.
Instituto Nacional de Estudios Políticos
A project focused on Mexican history and politics
As an independent nonprofit organization, the Instituto Nacional de Estudios Políticos (INEP) aims to provide the general public with historical, social and political documents about Mexico and its politics. As a result, its website (available only in Spanish) acts mostly as a digital repository with plenty of material drawn from a variety of sources, from official institutions to scholars and experts contributions. Material mostly consists in reports, documentation and various sources about the main periods of Mexican history. Chronological subdivisions, social and electoral archives as well as summaries of historical events happened in today’s date and/or important in Mexico recent history are retrievable. Users can freely browse, access and retrieve most site content, while a free registration allows access to the restricted areas. The vast majority of the final documents are provided both in html page and as a pdf file for immediate downloading, along with a printer-friendly version. Overall this site features a quite basic but functional design. Despite the lack of a specific search engine and a help file, the content is well structured under categories, submenus and other clearly defined areas. Currently the site runs on a free software platform.
International Committee of the Red Cross
The Red Cross portal about humanitarian aid and war victims
In application of its permanent mandate to help victims of conflicts and internal violence worldwide, the portal of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) provides a useful, up-to-date and comprehensive snapshot of war-related current events and the humanitarian situation around the world, along with detailed news about its many activities and projects. The main homepage section offers fresh reports from and about on-going conflicts, displaying latest news, publications, events, also including several multimedia (and streaming) files. Also prominently displayed are a series of several quick links, pointing both to internal and external resources (from The Geneva Convention and other treaties to services, film and photos), an interactive world map, and a few top-down menus for quick subject or country finder. The site interface and its most relevant items are provided in a total of six different languages, with a keyword-based and also an advanced search facility, and a printer-friendly option for each webpage. The entire site content is fully open to the public, under a well-structured layout and a professional design that enable an easy navigation for any user. Further help is provided by a sitemap, an index and useful dynamic features.
International Institute for Communication and Development
A network devoted to ICT sustainable development
The International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) is an international network based in The Hague, Netherlands. It was established by the Netherlands Minister for Development Cooperation in 1997 and is now active in nine countries. IICD works with its partner organizations in selected countries, helping local stakeholders to assess the potential uses of ICTs in fostering development. IICD is subdivided in three main teams: International Programs, Finance and Central Services, Country Programs. The website is a knowledge sharing platform of research results within the international community. It is freely accessible and offers a complete overview of sponsored research projects as well as a large amount of authoritative material about country programs publications, research reports and papers. Stored documents are rich-in-text, with careful annotations and comments. Country programs and projects are listed by country and theme, clearly explained and also provided with links to latest news on each issue. Through iConnect initiative the website also collects a large amount of articles, issue papers, and successful stories. The website is available in three languages: English, French and Spanish.
International Knowledge Network of Women in Politics
A project for advancing women in politics worldwide
As a joint project of major global institutions, such as the United Nations Development Programme and the Inter-Parliamentary Union, among others, the International Knowledge Network of Women in Politics (iKNOW Politics) aims at increasing the participation and effectiveness of women in political life through a technology-based space. Available in French, Spanish and English and Arab this website is a great resource for a range of current topics related to women’s political representation and participation around the world. A remarkable quantity of info, reports, academic papers and analyses from all world areas are provided. Under a professional outline and management, this website offers a complex structure clearly divided in several sections, including hot issues, library, regions, discussion groups (accessible through free subscription), etc., all completely free and open to the entire public. A help section and a sitemap are also provided. A simple keyword search window is featured in each page’s top bar, while the library section has an advanced search, with a summary of the desired item and direct link to the actual file for downloading (usually as pdf format) in the appropriate repository. A sophisticated design enables users to freely find and share a great deal of knowledge, thus allowing an easy navigation and orientation in this website.
An acclaimed project and data to improve journalism
Managed by the Project for Excellence in Journalism (a research organization underwritten by the Pew Charitable Trusts), this website is designed as a portal for people involved and/or interested in journalism in its many forms – citizens, reporters, students. It gathers plenty of data, tools, and ideas, along with studies and research, links to related sites, job links, compilations of ethics codes and many other resources for journalists and citizens. Among various activities, the PEJ publishes from 2004 the acclaimed State of the News Media, an annual report on American Journalism. Reports, analysis and commentaries are are also provided, and each data produced or aggregated is listed, searchable and customizable. Managed by a professional staff, the website produces plenty of original material and news with daily updates and weekly analysis reports, all freely available to the public. An e-newsletter and several RSS news feed are available, along with a sitemap and a simple keyword but powerful search facility. Overall the website is dinamically organized, well integrated with text and images, and quite easy to navigate, despite its large amount of different material available.
Marxists Internet Archive
An extensive and multilanguage collection about Marxism
Managed on a volunteer basis by a non-profit organization, the Marxist Internet Archive aims at diffusing knowledge about Marxism over the world by offering a large digital library. This website gives access to an impressive quantity of contents completely free of charge. It contains full-text classics and research material, some dated back to early 1920′s, in largely annotated and well-organized pages, presented also in many languages in addition to country-specific repository, such as the Portuguese Malatesta Archive and the Serbo-Croatian Praxis Archive. Also available an Encyclopedia of Marxism including factual material, quotes and a foundation of marxist analysis to make facts comprehensible and to ensure a contemporary rendering. Infos on upcoming events of interest for scholars interested in the study of Marxism are provided with a high updating rate. Users are allowed to search through a keyword-based engine, with possibility of sorting results by authors or by nature of contents, or through quick links presented in the homepage, and items are downloadable in various formats. A sitemap is also available for quick orientation, along with a twice-monthly update e-newsletter and online ordering of DVDs with collections of archived material, entirely protected by a Creative Commons license and also accessible through web-mirrors in several other countries.
Online Library of Liberty
An educational project on issues about liberty
Liberty Fund is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of topics concerning individual liberties. Among its many activities, the foundation holds conferences worldwide, publishes books, video and audio tapes, and sponsors several websites, including this online library which hosts electronic versions of classic and historical books about individual liberty in a variety of formats (pdf, html, text-based e-books). There are thousands of books in the Library, available in e-book pdf, e-pub and kindle/Mobi format, while essay and articles are often provided in all three of the above mentioned formats. The second section of this website, called The Forum, is devoted to general discussion and contains articles, essays, biographies, bibliographies, and other educational material. Along with a simple search (by author or title), an advanced option enables full-text search of the entire library collection, while a separate search engine covers The Forum section. Beside the search facilities, the content material can be easily browsed through several subjects. Also available are other useful tools: a full author list, a “how-to” guide, a RSS news feed, and other cross-category classification. Based on Joomla!, a free software platform, the website features a professional outline and a great level of usability.
Pippa Norris personal website
A very rich, personal and academic-oriented resource
Pippa Norris is McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Her research focuses on elections and public opinion, political communications and gender politics. This free access website provides info about the scholar research, speaking engagements and details about her scientific works. Her entire personal production, including forthcoming books and articles, is retrievable and mostly ready to be downloaded. Full-text versions in pdf format are organized by type and topic, as well as draft versions of authored books and her contributions to edited ones. Current year’s class syllabi and course notes, as well as further resource links are also provided. Another remarkable source are the several rich “shared datasets”, especially focused on elections and constituencies and fully downloadable in pdf or excel format. Featuring a very simple outline and monthly updates, this site is mostly aimed at PS scholars and others already familiar with Norris’ research.