Instituto del Tercer Mundo
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Focus on information
ITeM focuses on information, communication, and education activities on an international level, particularly focusing on development and environment-related activities. It describes itself as "a civil society organization, working for civil society, which encourages citizen involvement in global decision-making processes."
ITeM's has been known for the publication of the The World Guide (formerly called the Third World Guide), which acted as a useful reference book focusing on diverse global issues and concerns, as seen from the perspective of the South, the developing world or the Third World.
It has also researched and built electronic communication networks through Chasque. Its other projects revolve around "information and communication as the basis of education and democracy".
Publications of ITeM are widely distributed. In earlier years it was distributed in the printed format and now on CD-ROM and via the Web. Much of its activities focus on promoting citizen organization networks on an international level.
Its aims include contributing to the "construction of democracy", and "placing civil society organizations as key agents in this process." It says it contributes to the construction of democratic, equitable and environmentally sustainable societies. Other goals include promoting a respect for human rights, promoting national and international networking among citizens' organisations, and contributing to the study and solutions of problems affecting the Third World.
It was set up as a non-profit civil association on July 7, 1989, recognized as a legal person by Uruguay's Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC) and exempted from national taxes by a 1994 Presidential decree. It has been an organization in consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
The portal site Choike (http://www.choike.org/), created by the Instituto del Tercer Mundo (ITeM) seeks to improve the capacity of both users and publishers to understand and influence national and international decision-making processes that affect local communities.
Choike originated from the will of promoting information and knowledge sharing among Southern civil societies and strengthening citizenship and participation in the design and implementations of local, national, regional and international development policies by promoting the use of ICT for South-South exchange, to strengthen Southern NGO participation in international decision-making and improve visibility of Southern content.