Fifty Years of Partnership in the Philippines

(December 2003) The world is undergoing a fundamental transformation as the industrial society that marked the 20th century rapidly gives way to the information society of the 21st century. This dynamic process promises a fundamental change in all aspects of our lives, including knowledge dissemination, social interaction, economic and business practices, political engagement, media, education, health, leisure and entertainment.

The World Summit on the Information Society convened this December to provide a unique opportunity for key stakeholders to assemble at a high-level gathering and to develop a better understanding of this revolution and its impact on the international community. This summit brought together heads of state, executive heads of United Nations agencies, industry leaders, non-governmental organizations, and representatives of media and civil society in a single, high-level event.

SIL representatives who took part in the World Summit on the Information Society presented ideas for addressing the problem of “infopoverty” through the promotion of local content and knowledge. SIL's display, part of the Information and Communication Technology for Development exhibition, highlighted some ways in which SIL partners with people groups to improve quality of life through language development.

SIL combats information poverty by training people to:

SIL also develops technology to help development workers produce culturally adapted content.

Challenge Technology
Production of local content books Shell books
Publishing complex script languages on paper and the Internet WorldPad
Browsing complex script languages on the Internet Graphite-enabled Mozilla
Development of multilingual dictionaries The Field Linguist's Toolbox software
Understanding the local culture FieldWorks Data Notebook for cultural anthropology analysis
Phonetic analysis and documentation Speech Tools software
Language mapping WordSurv and PalmSurv software for sociolinguistic analysis
Understanding a group's language and culture LinguaLinks Library and Workshops
Slow translation of content into local languages Adapt It! software