Dear GKD friends,

The following in an announcement of an important conference on
e-government and the digital divide, which Athena Alliance is
co-sponsoring. Please pardon any cross-posting.


Announcing E-Government for All:
A Virtual Conference on E-Government and the Digital Divide
November 3-14, 2003

Sponsored by the Benton Foundation, the New York State Forum and Group

In conjunction with the American Library Association Office of
Information Technology Policy, the Association for Community Networking,
Athena Alliance,, the Council for Excellence in
Government, CTCNet, the Information Technology Technical Assistance and
Training Center (ITTATC), La Sociedad de Informacion de las Americas,
One Economy Corporation and

About the conference:

There has been much interest in the US and abroad in utilizing the
Internet to improve communications between governments and citizens. The
Internet has great potential in giving individuals greater access to
their governments, while at the same time improving efficiencies and
cutting bureaucratic red tape. But the reality is that a sizeable
portion of society lacks both access to the Internet and the skills to
use it effectively.

As state, local and national governments expand their e-government
activities, millions of underserved citizens fall further behind,
effectively becoming cut off from the people and institutions that serve
them. Governments, in conjunction with the private sector and civil
society, must develop sustainable strategies for ensuring that all
citizens can reap the potential benefits of e-government. We must also
work to ensure that public information and services remain accessible to
all, especially people with disabilities, understandable to low-literate
citizens and readable for non-English speakers.

E-Government for All will convene key stakeholders in government,
research, business and civil society to tackle the challenge of
implementing e-government while simultaneously addressing the digital
divide. Participants will interact via the Internet and conference calls
over the course of the conference, participating in virtual keynotes,
panel sessions and community forums.

Goals of the conference:

- Raise awareness and spark engagement among policymakers of the
importance of tackling the digital divide while pursuing e-government

- Convene and evaluate a first-ever virtual gathering of experts and
practitioners to develop strategies to expand the relevance and
accessibility of e-government in underserved communities

- Develop a set of guiding principles that can be used as a "call to
action" for better e-government policies in the context of bridging the
digital divide and the need to ensure access to government information
and services for all

- Publish a post-conference report to summarizing the activities the
conference and the collective wisdom of participants

Issues to be covered at the conference:

- E-government best practices
- Access to government information, services and decisionmaking
- Latest research from leading experts
- Citizen's panel: underserved community experiences with e-government
- Partnerships between government, the private sector and civil society
- Government website accessibility
- E-government and importance of 21st century skills
- International perspectives of e-government
- and more!

A detailed agenda for the conference, including a list of speakers, will
be on the <> website soon.

How to participate:

E-Government for All is free and open to the public. Participants can
register online here:

Simply click the Registration button on the homepage and fill out the
form. You'll then be registered to participate in the conference, which
begins November 3.

For more information, please feel free to email us at

Kenan Patrick Jarboe, Ph.D.
Athena Alliance
911 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC  20003-3903
(202) 547-7064

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