UN ICT COVER - HotCity Wireless

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UN ICT COVER - HotCity Wireless
Challenges
and
Partnerships
A contribution of the United Nations Information and Communication
Technologies Task Force to the World Summit on the Information Society
Opening up
ICT to the world
Contents
“Information technology... is a
powerful force that can and must be
harnessed to our global mission of peace
and development. This is a matter of
both ethics and economics; over the
long term, the new economy can only be
productive and sustainable if it spreads
worldwide and responds to the needs
and demands of all people. I urge
everyone in a position to make a
difference to add his or her energies
to this effort.”
Kofi Annan, Secretary-General, United Nations
5
Foreword
Mr José Maria Figueres-Olsen, Chairman,
UN ICT Task Force
7
Welcome message
Mr Yoshio Utsumi, Secretary General, International
Telecommunication Union
9
Publisher’s welcome
10
Digital diaspora networks and the series on
Policy Awareness and Training in Information
Technology (PATIT)
United Nations Information and Communication
Technologies Task Force
12
Global digital divide initiative
World Economic Forum
14
Digital opportunities for all
Digital Opportunity Task Force
16
The dialogue of civilisations
UN ICT Task Force Regional Network for Europe and
Central Asia
18
eEurope: An information society for all
European Commission
20
Creating digital opportunity for developing
countries
Markle Foundation
24
Global focus on youth and education
Nokia
Welcome to Challenges and Partnerships, a contribution of the United
Nations Information and Communication Technology Task Force to the World
Summit on the Information Society.
26
ICT – Transforming the world by transforming
universities
Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
28
Closing the digital divide through education
and training
STMicroelectronics
29
The Abu-Ghazaleh Cambridge IT Skills Centre
Talal Abu-Ghazaleh International
Contents
31
The World Bank Group: Fostering digital
opportunities
World Bank Group
32
Metapolicy for ICTs: The Digital Nations
Consortium
United Nations Information & Communication
Technology Task Force, Working Group 1
34
National & regional e-development strategies:
A blueprint for action
United Nations Information & Communication
Technology Task Force, Working Group 2
36
A road to universal broadband connectivity
United Nations Information & Communication
Technology Task Force, Working Group 5
38
Technology solutions advance
entrepreneurship in developing countries
United Nations Information & Communication
Technology Task Force, Working Group 6
41
ICT Policy Development and Implementation
seminar for Afghanistan
The Asia-Pacific Information Development Programme
42
APC: Internet and ICTs for social justice and
development
Association for Progressive Communications
44
Bridging the digital divide through the Cisco
Networking Academy Program
Cisco Systems Inc.
46
AME and the [email protected] initiative
Fundación Cisneros
48
Promoting ICT for development alongside
gender equality issues
WSIS-Gender Caucus
50
German initiatives
Federal Foreign Office, Government of Germany
52
e-Inclusion: Dikahotole Digital Village,
South Africa – rising out of a cycle of poverty
Hewlett-Packard
53-55
The First Latin American and Caribbean
Video Art Competition and Exhibition
DIGITALYART, an exhibition on technology in art
The Cultural Center of the Inter American
Development Bank
56-60
The Inter-American Development Bank
steps in to support ICT applications for small
businesses
The ALDEA Program: Digital strategies for the
Latin America and Caribbean Governments
Italian Trust Fund for Information and
Communication Technology for Development
Inter-American Development Bank Information and
Communication Technology for Development Division
61
The vital role of e-government and
e-governance
Ministry for Innovation and Technologies,
Government of Italy
62
Challenges and partnerships
International Telecommunication Union
64
Media Lab Asia:
Innovating for the next Five Billion
MIT and the World Bank Group
66
UNCTAD and e-commerce strategies for
development
United Nations Conference on Trade and
Development
68
The Information Society in Europe and
North America:
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
71
UNITeS: In partnership with universities
United Nations Information Technology Service
73
UNESCO’s international initiative for
community multimedia centres
UNESCO
75
UNFIP: Facilitating the Millennium
Development Goals
UNFIP
Foreword
Mr José Maria Figueres-Olsen
Chairman, UN ICT Task Force
espite real progress on some
good. They can help devise ICT solutions
fronts, there remain dramatic
that are built to last. Secondly, they can
disparities in levels of human
participate in public-private initiatives that
D
development: the digital divide is
are driven by user demands, identified
threatening to exacerbate the existing
and realised through direct participation
social and economic inequalities between
and ownership. Thirdly, such initiatives
countries and communities.
should be sensitive to local conditions
The principal objective of the Summit
and limitations. And finally, initiatives
should be identification of strategies and
should be explicit about their
actions that would mainstream ICT into
development goals and how they will
the work aimed at achieving the
directly impact the target population.
Millennium Development Goals, which provide the wider social,
economic and political context.
One third of the world’s population has never made a telephone
All these aspects suggest that ICT interventions focusing on
development goals must address a variety of interrelated
dimensions to secure an enduring impact. The potential impact of
call. Seventy percent of the world’s poorest live in rural and remote
ICT interventions would be far greater if they are conceived in
areas, where access to information and communications technologies,
conjunction with private sector economies. There is no doubt that
even to a telephone, is often scarce. Most of the information
the private sector could be a great asset to ICT initiatives in
exchanged over global networks such as the internet is in English, the
developing countries.
language of less than 10 percent of the world’s population.
Governments, on the other hand, can play a role in providing a
In response to these growing concerns, in March 2001, the
favourable policy and pro-competitive environments to ensure
United Nations Economic and Social Council requested the Secretary
market fairness and flexibility as well as exercising leadership
General to establish an Information and Communication Technologies
through strategic investments in ICT applications and content.
(ICT) Task Force. The Council recognised the tremendous potential of
If public-private partnerships are built on complementarities
the digital revolution for economic growth, poverty eradication and
between the profit motive of the private sector and human
sustainable development. Countries in which most people do not
development goals, we can achieve sustainable results and the
have access to the new technologies cannot play a full part in the
harmonious development of a global networked society.
new global economy at a time when knowledge acquisition and
The United Nations ICT Task Force is helping to build
information are becoming pre-requisites for human development and
partnerships in key areas such as low-cost connectivity access,
progress. And the longer they remain outside the global economy,
human resources development and capacity building, and business
the harder and costlier it will be to catch up. The digital divide must
enterprise and entrepreneurship. It also provides a platform to
then be bridged before it is too late.
analyse how programmes for promoting education, combating
In order to spread information and communications technologies
diseases, promoting gender equality and the empowerment of
and their benefits to the developing world, intensified cooperation
women, and those targeting youth, the disabled and people living in
and strong commitment among the private and non-profit sectors
poverty in general can be leveraged and enhanced with ICT.
will be required.
The private sector – through innovation, risk taking and
Our objective is to work towards an ambitious but achievable
agenda, in which progress would offer all human beings a chance of
investment – can help develop a country’s ICT infrastructure. The
achieving lifelong prosperity. We have begun to transform our
private sector can contribute to achieving development goals with
societies and together we can and must find our way towards a
investments that can produce a positive impact on social and
universal and inclusive information society in which wealth creation
economic development outcomes. Companies can do well by doing
and social well being go hand-in-hand.
■
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
5
Welcome message
Mr Yoshio Utsumi
Secretary General, International Telecommunication Union
“
While the basic needs of humankind have
long been food, clothing and shelter, the time
has come to add ‘information’ to that list
nformation has the power to dispel ignorance and to empower
I
those who are oppressed. It has the power to bind the global
”
community and to spread the common ideals of peace and
tolerance, growth and development. While the basic needs of
humankind have long been food, clothing and shelter, the time has
come to add ‘information’ to that list.
We stand on the brink of a new era in which we must make
fundamental choices about what life in the information society will
be like. We may not be entirely able to predict how it will manifest
itself, but we must embrace it if we wish to ensure the basic
principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
and embraced by the Millennium Development Goals, are fulfilled.
Today, activities based around the creation, processing and
dissemination of information account for more than 80 percent of
employment in the developed world, while 1.5 million villages
worldwide remain unconnected to this information society. The
World Summit on the Information Society represents a unique
opportunity to help our political leaders, on either side of this digital
divide, to develop a common vision of how to turn the challenges
created by the Information Society into opportunities.
Now more than ever we must seek new and innovative ways of
mobilising and coordinating our efforts in this area, by seeking a
global perspective that ensures we maximise our collective
strengths, resources and skills. This publication provides an
excellent overview of the work that is being done to bridge the
digital divide and the hope that information and communication
technology can bring to people of the world.
It has been said that the best way to predict the future is to
invent it. Together, through the World Summit on the Information
Society, we can invent a future where the tools of communication
make the world a more equitable, peaceful and sustainable place for
all, not just for a privileged few.
■
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
7
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Welcome message
Mr Spencer Green
Chairman, GDS Publishing Ltd
DS has been publishing journals for the
G
Secretary-General of the United Nations has said:
information and communication technologies
“Governments themselves are acknowledging that
(ICTs) sector for many years, and still the
they cannot successfully pursue development on their
phenomenal speed of evolution and development
own. Thus there is unprecedented scope for public-
amazes me. New products, new services and new
private partnerships that match real investment
ways of conducting business are created everyday
opportunities with the real needs of the poor...”
through an increasing convergence between
The digital divide has the potential to give rise to
telecommunications, broadcasting multimedia and
a new form of illiteracy by promoting information and
traditional IT, then disseminated and implemented at
knowledge poverty and limiting the opportunities for
incredible speed using the same channels.
economic growth and wealth distribution. Mr Annan:
Meanwhile, modern business’ hunger for
“If all countries are to benefit, we need more and
information, ‘lean’ operations and connectivity – given
better strategic public-private partnerships. That is
a solid platform by ICTs – is opening new markets to
one of the primary functions of the United Nations
competition, foreign investment and participation, and
Information and Communication Technologies Task
is driving commercial and professional opportunities
Force, which brings together CEOs, government
in these markets.
officials, nongovernmental organisations, technical
We are living through a paradigm shift every bit as
far reaching as that of a century ago, when the world
experts and other information industry leaders.”
ICTs can create economic and social networks,
pitched from an agrarian to an industrial base. Now
allowing diverse groups around the world to access
the industrial society that marked the 20th century is
and exchange information and knowledge crucial for
giving way to the information society of the 21st
their socio-economic development. The benefits to
century, and the changes are coming thick and fast:
business are obvious, less obvious are the benefits to
how people live, how they learn and work, and how
basic health and education services delivery, and to
governments interact with civil society. Information
marginalized and isolated people who can now have a
has become the most powerful tool for economic and
voice in the world community, regardless of their
social development.
gender or where they live.
To benefit the world community fully, this new
dynamic needs global attention. We need to close the
gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ of access to
To this end, of course, there is the World Summit
on Information Society.
I would like to wish everyone a successful
the global information and communication network: to
Prepcom and hope you find ‘Challenges and
bridge the ‘digital divide’. And, as Kofi Annan,
Partnerships’ a useful and interesting contribution.
■
Editor Adam Burns [email protected] Assistant editors Jonathon Edgley Kellie Peakman Alice Sharp Designers Andrew Hobson James
West Production manager Dylan Law [email protected] Managing director Chris White [email protected] Chairman Spencer Green
Contact GDS: T +44 2920 383333 www.gdsinternational.com GDS Publishing Ltd, Tower House, Fairfax Street, Bristol BS1 3BN, UK
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
9
From the United Nations Information and
Communication Technologies Task Force to the
World Summit on the Information Society
Two Task Force initiatives
Digital diaspora networks
brought together more than 130 high-level
onvinced of the positive potential of ICT
C
entrepreneurs, academics and experts of African
to accelerate economic growth and
origin currently residing in the United States.
effort to mobilise key partners for ICT-for-
meeting was the creation of an AfriShare
development, the United Nations ICT Task Force
Network, a platform for sharing best practices
Among the tangible outcomes of the launch
social development, and as part of its
and matching innovative projects with mentors
launched an initiative aimed at bringing together
qualified members of the Diaspora – high-tech professionals,
and potential sponsors, and the launching of a Social Venture Fund
entrepreneurs and business leaders – into a network with their
for Africa that will provide financial support for entrepreneurial
counterparts in order to promote ICT-for-development initiatives in
activities using ICT in Africa. A Steering Committee was formed and
their home country.
immediately started work on the Plan of Action of the Network.
This initiative, known as the Digital Diaspora Network, aims to
In September 2002, the Digital Diaspora network for Africa was
promote development and the achievement of the Millennium
launched in Europe as well. In the near future the Digital Diaspora
Development Goals through mobilising the intellectual,
Network for Africa will link the two diaspora networks – in the United
technological, entrepreneurial and financial resources of the
States and in Europe – with existing and emerging networks in Africa,
Diaspora entrepreneurs.
thus creating a broad platform for empowering African entrepreneurs
Through the Digital Diaspora Networks, expatriates working in
and enhancing their contribution to development of the continent.
the high-tech sector in North America and Europe will seek to
jump-start ICT initiatives in their home region. Thousands of
Internet nodes and digital activities are taking shape in many
For the Caribbean
The Digital Diaspora Network for the Caribbean was launched in
developing countries, but usually lack the capital, expertise and
January 2003, in partnership with the United Nations Development
networking ability to stabilise and grow. The Networks will mobilise
Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Fund for International
expatriate leaders and entrepreneurs to underwrite and mentor
Partnerships (UNFIP). The initiative was supported by the CARICOM
these developments.
Permanent Missions to the United Nations and the CARICOM
The modalities of the initiative are modelled, to a large extent, on
the successful IndUS Entrepreneurs network created nine years ago
for the Indian Diaspora in the United States.
Two Digital Diaspora Networks have been launched by the ICT
Secretariat, and facilitated by the Caribbean American Chamber of
Commerce and Industry.
The launch meeting of the Network led to the formation of a
steering team, coordinated by the CARICOM Secretariat and the
Task Force so far: The Digital Diaspora Network for Africa (DDN-A)
University of the West Indies with the task of establishing an
and the Digital Diaspora Network for the Caribbean (DDN-C).
organisational framework to promote and manage the resulting
network of interest, to ensure continuity and to oversee and monitor
For Africa
follow-up activities.
■
The Digital Diaspora Network for Africa (DDN-A) was launched in
July 2002, in collaboration with the United Nations Fund for
International Partnerships, the United Nations Development Fund for
Women and the Digital Partners Institute. The launch meeting
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C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
For more information, contact: Daniela Giacomelli,
Program Manager, United Nations ICT Task Force Secretariat
[email protected] www.unicttaskforce.com
Series on Policy Awareness and Training in Information Technology (PATIT)
Initiative
Organised by UNITAR, Mandate given by ICT Task Force, under the auspices of the ECOSOC Working Group on Informatics in
New York, with the support of Intel Corporation, Inc.
Type of initiative
Capacity building programme – skills training and awareness building
Objectives
To enable diplomats to the United Nations in New York, to acquire specific computer skills and be exposed to workings of the Internet.
To raise awareness and understanding of policy and security issues related to the information society among diplomats and policy makers
To enable govt. officials in countries to acquire specific computer skills and be exposed to workings of the Internet through webbased learning
To help provide input into preparation for the World Summit for Information Society by exposing Member State delegates and
officials in capitals to technologies, on which they will be required to formulate policies.
Implementing partners
UNITAR, United Nations ICT Task Force and Intel Corporation, Inc.
Partnership with Intel
Intel’s high level of commitment to the series is demonstrated through its donation of 40 computers for training labs at the United
Nations in New York, and its substantial and financial hands-on participation in training events with UNITAR. This participation
includes providing instructors and facilitators in class, development of training material and complete involvement in delivery and
evaluation of the project in instructor-led training as well as on-line training. Intel is also very committed that this capacity building
initiative should support the eventual quality of inputs into WSIS.
Facts and results
Participants – Certificate Programme (4 modules on basic computer and Internet skills and one module on policy and information
security issues):
• In 2002, 4 cycles of the 5 module certificate programme were conducted
• 33 workshops were delivered
• 100 participants trained in the certificate programme in 2002 (Africa 41%, Asia 23%, Latin America and the Caribbean 24%,
Europe and Emerging Economies 10%, North America 1%)
• Participants from 65 countries participated in the certificate programme.
Participants – Open High-level Seminar (Module 5) I, II and III:
• 400 participants attended the 3 high-level seminars in 2002; (Africa 33%, Asia 21%, Latin America and the Caribbean 28%,
Europe and Emerging Economies 16%, North America 2%)
Training Material:
• For Module 1 to 4 a set of handbook, exercises on CD ROMS and Handouts were provided for each. In addition supporting
resources were posted on the training website www.un.int/unitar/patit
• For Module 5 – the high-level seminar, training materials and summary of discussions were provided on CD ROM, and posted on
to PATIT website.
3-Year Plan (2003-2005)
Partnership agreement with Intel, with commitment from the ICT Task Force for 2003:
for the PATIT Initiative
• Instructor-led Classes in New York: To expand the cycles of instructor-led classes in New York from 4 to 5 for the next 2 years
• Global Outreach through Web-based Training: To develop, in parallel to the above, web-based full-fledged modules to provide
access to training in capitals over the next 2 years. To phase out the instructor-led classes once the modules are fully on-line.
• Policy and Security Awareness Seminars: To provide briefings and input to the diplomatic community in New York in preparation
for the WSIS in 2003 and 2005
Conclusion
The organisers and sponsors are encouraged that the participant profile has been in-line with the ICT Taskforce’s developmental
priority of providing policy makers and officials from developing and less-developed countries with basic exposure to computers
and Internet technologies. This can be seen from the regional and hierarchical class profile, where on average 41% of participants
were from Africa (a priority area) and 47% were from Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean combined. By title/hierarchy 48% of
total participants were senior diplomats such as Permanent Representatives, Deputy Permanent Representatives and Minister
Counsellors etc. This indicated a high level of interest and need among the highest level of decision makers for meeting the
challenge posed by new information and communication technologies.
UNITAR and its partners for this series strongly believe that this is one of the rare programmes where results are immediately
visible, because the need is immediate, and can be addressed very simply.
For more information, contact: Humaira Kamal, UNITAR Special Fellow. [email protected] www.unitar.org
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
11
From the World Economic Forum to the World
Summit on the Information Society
Global digital
divide initiative
O
ver the last three years, the global digital
divide has come into focus as one of the
critical global issues facing poverty
alleviation and development. Indeed, the role of
technology in development has been recognised
through key international efforts undertaken by the
G-8 DOT Force and the United Nations ICT Task
Force. In parallel, the business sector has made
important investments towards digital development
and such practices are being mainstreamed into their
corporate strategy.
The World Economic Forum through its Global
Digital Divide Task Force is pleased to have served
the development community at the intersection of
government, business and the not-for-profit sectors
in addressing the issue of creating digital
opportunities for social and economic growth.
In its third and final year, the Global Digital Divide
Task Force has demonstrated itself as a successful
over 10 countries and collective investments totalling
incubator for projects that facilitate digital
over $2.5 Million.
development in disadvantaged regions of the world.
While the Task Force completes its mandate at
Set up by the Governors for IT, Media and
this year’s Annual Meeting 2003, the work
Entertainment at our Annual Meeting 2000, the Task
programmes launched by the Task Force will
Force has developed a private sector-led multi-
continue their growth thanks to the leadership and
stakeholder community that serves to provide a
commitment of their original initiators. Having served
business perspective to policy advocacy, awareness
as a ‘launch pad’ for sustainable projects, such as
raising, project implementation, resource mobilisation
this one, the World Economic Forum will diminish this
and relationship building.
support in the future.
Through the commitment and leadership of its
As we commence 2003, the Forum looks forward
co-chairs, and the vision, hard work and dedication
to new challenges where we can apply our many
of the Task Force members, the Global Digital Divide
lessons learned over the course of our mandate. The
Task Force boasts a significant portfolio of
Forum is poised to facilitate efficient participation in
achievements. In 2000, the Task Force was
corporate citizenship activities for our members and
mandated to complete an international policy effort
partners that wish to increase their involvement in
culminating with the G-8 Summit in Kyushu-Okinawa.
development activities. ■
With the momentum generated from this effort, the
Governors requested an additional two-year mandate
to implement our recommendations. Today, the Task
Force work programme has a footprint that reaches
12
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
For more information, visit:
www.weforum.org
CEO charter for digital development
At the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2002 in New
questionnaire answered by our first 10 CEO signers. Members of
the Global Digital Divide Task Force look forward to expanding
York, former Vivendi Universal Chief Executive and Global Digital
this process of information gathering and data analysis towards
Divide co-chair, Jean-Marie Messier, proposed the CEO Charter
more efficient partnerships as companies become more involved
for Digital Development (‘CEO Charter’).
in corporate citizenship activities.
The CEO Charter is a resource mobilisation initiative
designed to bring together members of the private sector to
affirm their commitment to social, economic and educational
General findings
The drafters of the CEO Charter used the terms ‘corporate
progress in the developing world. The Global Digital Divide
philanthropy’, ‘corporate citizenship’ and ‘social investment’
Initiative has coordinated this process for the last year among
interchangeably to encourage companies from around the world
business executives involved or interested in ICT for development
with different corporate cultures, traditions and business
activities. The CEO Charter is a private sector commitment to
practices to volunteer to participate in the Charter.
transparently allocate human, in-kind or financial resources to
Of those that answered the questionnaire, 60 percent
reduce poverty in developing countries and disadvantaged
exceed the 20 percent corporate citizenship/philanthropy or
communities through the use of information and communication
investment target for ICT for development projects and 30
technologies.
percent meet the target. The other CEO Charter signers
It is a signal that participating CEOs stand ready to partner
aspire to achieve the investment target. They indicated their
and collaborate with governments, international organisations
hope that participation in the CEO Charter will lead to
and civil society to find innovative solutions to help bridge the
expanding their network of potential projects to support and
digital divide.
further exchange of best practices.
Participating CEOs agree to make their best effort to target
Ninety percent of CEO Charter respondents have a clear
at least 20 percent of their annual corporate citizenship and/or
mission behind their philanthropic programmes and 50 percent
philanthropy budgets to support concrete and sustainable actions
of respondents undertake their social investments as part of their
aimed at promoting social, economic and educational progress in
core business strategy. This group indicated that such investment
developing countries and disadvantaged communities through
is part of their portfolio of corporate citizenship activities rather
information and communication technologies.
than a philanthropic investment. In their response, they indicated
We hope that the CEO Charter serves as a step towards
that a focus on citizenship activities assist the corporate goal of
galvanising the private sector to commit to socially responsible
mainstreaming socially conscious corporate investment into their
business activities and analysing the ‘support’ market. One result
core business operations.
will be the accumulated body of knowledge on the resources that
All respondents stated in their reply form that partnership
are dedicated by the private sector to combating the digital
organisations (e.g. international donor agencies, regional
divide. As we build up information about the ‘who’, ‘what’,
government organisations, the World Economic Forum, etc.) play
‘where’ and ‘why’ of social investments, we hope that project
a significant role in introducing projects to businesses for
partnerships will develop more efficiently (be it technology for
corporate support. As companies expand and innovate on their
health, education or e-government).
citizenship programmes, they will rely more on these
The outline below serves as a first look at the support
market. It includes information generated from an informal
organisation to find sustainable, impactful and credible projects
that they can support.
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
13
From the Digital Opportunity Task Force to the
World Summit on the Information Society
Digital opportunities for all
n July 2001, G8 leaders endorsed the Genoa Plan
for the reduction of poverty, known as the Millennium
of Action, a product of the work of the Digital
Development Goals. They pledged to eradicate
Opportunities Task Force. The DOT Force, which
extreme poverty and hunger; to achieve universal
I
was formed following the 2000 G8 Summit in
primary education; to promote gender equality and
Okinawa, represented both a unique model of
empower women; to reduce child mortality and
international cooperation and a new way of
improve maternal health; to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria
responding to the challenges of development. It
and other diseases; to ensure environmental
brought together committed leaders from
sustainability; and to develop a global partnership for
government, industry and civil society, drawn from G8
development.
member countries and from the developing world, to
Information and communication technologies
conceive a forward-looking action plan designed to
(ICTs) provide a powerful tool to help achieve the
expand the use of digital technology and to
Millennium Development Goals. Thus, the
universalise its benefits. Its report, Digital
‘mainstreaming’ of information technology within
Opportunities for All: Meeting the Challenge,
project planning and design and, even more
contained a vision of global development based on
importantly, within development strategies is critically
the power of information technology to promote
important, both nationally and internationally. The
sustainable growth, advance social justice and
value and legacy of the DOT Force is clear – it has
strengthen democratic governance.
focused global attention on sustainable, ICT-enabled
Less than one year later, the DOT Force vision
development, and has encouraged the international
has moved dramatically closer to realisation.
development community to mainstream ICTs in its
Participation has reached well beyond its original
bilateral and multilateral assistance programmes.
membership to include almost 100 stakeholder
Over the past two years, DOT Force partners
organisations, spanning more than 30 countries.
have worked with great passion and dedication to
Through the work of its implementation teams, the
broaden the understanding that ICTs are a
DOT Force has generated more than 20 major
fundamental tool for reducing poverty and for spurring
bilateral and multilateral initiatives, operating across a
sustainable development. As stressed in its first report
broad range of areas crucial to balanced development
to G8 leaders: “Access to knowledge and information
– access, governance, entrepreneurship, health and
is a prerequisite for modern human development.”
education. In designing and implementing these
This central premise underlies the continuing work of
initiatives, DOT Force members have also given
the DOT Force and the commitment of its members
special attention to the needs of lesser developed
to expanding the contribution of ICTs to all forms and
countries, and particularly to Africa, responding
levels of development.
directly to the requirements articulated in the New
Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).
Examples of the enabling power of these
technologies are now emerging. Community radio
stations in Africa are providing vital information on
New tools and partnerships for development
At the United Nations Millennium Summit in
September 2000, world leaders set a series of targets
14
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weather disaster warnings, health and nutrition, and
HIV/AIDS prevention. The quality of life of many poor
women in Bangladesh has improved through the
innovative use of cellular phones. In Bolivia, internet
however, has now become the business of a
centres have been set up to provide farmers with
number of other bodies that will carry on the
timely information on crops, production and
leadership role of the DOT Force within the
processing, as well as policies and regulations.
international community. The UN ICT Task Force,
established by the Secretary-General in November
The formula for success
The success of the DOT Force has relied on the
2001, shares the DOT Force vision and approach,
and provides a focal point for establishing strategic
close cooperation from representatives of G8
direction, policy coherence and advocacy in relation
governments, developing nations, international
to the global, ICT-based development agenda.
organisations and the non-profit and private sectors.
Through its regional networks, the UN ICT Task
Each participated fully and equally in its work. The
Force provides an effective means for broader
multi-stakeholder approach of the DOT Force now
outreach and the effective involvement of
serves as the model for other global ‘ICT for
developing countries in future implementation work.
development’ initiatives that follow in its footsteps.
In the private sector, organisations such as the
World Economic Forum, the Global Business
Future agenda
Under the auspices of the G8, the DOT Force has
Dialogue on Electronic Commerce, and the
International Chamber of Commerce have also
emerged as the primary instrument for harnessing the
accepted the challenge of widening digital
potential of information technology for global
opportunities within the developing world.
development. Through its leadership and sense of
The DOT Force implementation teams have
strategic purpose, it has successfully mobilised the
become the primary means of implementing the
international community behind a common goal of
Genoa Plan of Action. Their initiatives illustrate the
broadening the participation of countries and peoples
key elements in the DOT Force formula — they
in the information age. As catalysts for action, its
include innovative models of development that are
products and partners have demonstrated
scalable and replicable; they involve partners from
conclusively the crucial role of ICTs in addressing
developing countries in all phases, from design to
basic development needs – in promoting good
delivery; they rely on public private partnerships; and
governance and democratic values, improving
they carry minimal overhead, allowing for speedy
healthcare, education, and government services, as
implementation.
well as supporting industry and small business. The
Their autonomy and operational flexibility are key
continuing challenge is to sustain the energy and
values to nurture in the deployment of projects,
creativity of the DOT Force and ensure the full
while seeking high-level support from global
implementation of its future agenda.
organisations.
The first and most essential task is to maintain the
The teams are important agents to carry forward
sense of political leadership and accountability that
the future work of the DOT Force and to complete
have characterised the mandate and work of the DOT
the implementation of the Genoa Plan of Action.
Force to date. The mobilisation of political leaders,
They will seek other additional partners and
industry captains and civil society requires a suitably
establish an informal network to coordinate their
high-level forum to provide strategic direction to, and
work, facilitate the exchange of information and
promote the cause of, ICTs for development.
combine forces on ‘ICT for development’ advocacy.
Secondly, given the numerous initiatives under way at
As part of their ongoing work, DOT Force
the global level, a focal point is required to provide
partners also invite G8 governments individually to
policy coherence and coordination in the design and
continue their involvement in the implementation of
implementation of ICT-based development initiatives.
the Genoa Plan of Action, including support for
This focal point should also act as a strong catalyst in
specific initiatives. The World Summit on the
the formation of partnerships between countries and
Information Society will provide a good opportunity
organisations of all types, based on an all-inclusive
to take stock of progress made in achieving the goal
approach that involves governments, the private
of an inclusive global information society.
■
sector, civil society and international organisations.
As a process conducted under the G8, the DOT
For more information, visit: www.dotforce.org
Force is formally drawing to a close. Its agenda,
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
15
From the UN ICT Task Force Regional Network for Europe and
Central Asia to the World Summit on the Information Society.
The dialogue of civilisations
O
n the 29 April 2002, an inaugural meeting of the UN ICT Task Force
Europe and Central Asia (EuCAs) regional network took place in
Geneva. Two nodes of the UN ICT TF EuCAs Secretariat were
established in Geneva and Moscow. The Moscow node started to operate in May
2002 and has five regular staff members. A special UN ICT TF EuCAs Regional
Network website has been set up.
Six EuCAs regional network working groups were established in accordance
with those in the global UN ICT TF. Election procedures for WG coordinators
were organised. The elected coordinators now represent the following countries:
Armenia, Belarus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Switzerland and the United
Kingdom. All six chairmen of the working groups became ex-officio members of
the UN ICT TF EuCAs Bureau, which includes 11 members. This Bureau was
established to ensure that the regional network pursues the objectives of the
UN ICT Task Force.
Two regional conferences took place in our subcontinent. We have approved
the Bishkek-Moscow Declaration and Bucharest Declaration. These two
important documents will be our ponderable input in preparation for the World
“
The last five years of our
work clearly proved to us
that we are not talking
about conquering the
digital divide, but rather
about conquering the
divide between economies
or even civilisations. Today,
we are appealing to those
who have knowledge
Summit on Information Society, which will take place in Geneva and Tunisia.
Upon the meeting of the EuCAs Bureau in Bucharest, we adopted the vision of
the strategy and plan of action for the near future. Now we have regional
priorities, such as creating the infrastructure of the information society,
knowledge-based economy and cultural diversity of the content.
An example of the holistic approach to e-development at the regional level
could be the comprehensive e-Moscow programme. Its main goals were
proclaimed as: improving the quality of life for citizens and their maximum selfrealisation, development of democracy, innovativeness and labour efficiency,
improvement of the social and economic situation through the creation of new
work places and the development of an information industry, improvement of the
environment through ICT, effective use of Moscow’s creative and cultural
potential, etc.
The last five years of our work clearly proved to us that we are not talking
about conquering the digital divide, but rather about conquering the divide
between economies or even civilisations. Today, we are appealing to those who
have knowledge.
On 9 December 2002, the international conference “Global Knowledge –
Russia” took place in Moscow, which brought together decision makers and
high-level experts from 18 countries, representing government, business, civil
16
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
”
society, the research and education community, mass media, national and
international associations, and international organisations (such as the World
Bank, United Nations Development Program and United Nations Economic
Commission for Europe). The participants were made aware of E- and Kstrategies and programme development implementation worldwide. They could
exchange their own unique practical experience and were informed about the
World Summit on Information Society and its preparatory process. Partnership
networks were looked at and analysed as mighty tools to transform the society
towards an information society for all and to enhance the knowledge economy.
One such network is the Russian e-Development Partnership (PRIOR). It is a
loose association of organisations established in November 2001, aimed at
facilitating Russia’s dynamic and fully-fledged development in the information
society through building a partnership between the key forces of edevelopment, undertaking targeted efforts to bridge the digital divide, and
assisting in the development of the knowledge economy. Now the partnership
includes 193 organisations from 26 regions of Russia – those ranging from a
one-man company to leading Russian universities and research organisations,
recognised public organisations and IT leaders. It is open for international
participation as well.
One of the significant outcomes of PRIOR and UN ICT TF EuCAs’ joint
activity is the fact that Russia made a step towards a national e-strategy – a
multi-stakeholder working group has been created to prepare a framework for
this document. The group has been established under the umbrella of the
Ministry of Russian Federation for Communication and Informatization, which is
in charge of issues related to the information society.
Today, we are looking at those who are ready to share technologies. We are
waiting for goodwill actions from those who are willing to share their profits,
realising that without it there will be no profits tomorrow. We are closely
cooperating with the Geneva Node of the UN ICT Task Force Europe and Central
Asia regional network. This cooperation resulted in a contribution to the
preparation of the conceptual outcome of the European Regional Ministerial
Conference (Bucharest, 7-9 November 2002), now it refers to the development of
action plans for the WSIS.
It’s time to speak about the dialogue of civilisations. And it’s time to use ICT
for this dialogue. The time is coming to merge TV, radio, multimedia and the
internet into one entity – the entity of knowledge and technology.
We are approaching the World Summit of Information Society. It will take
place in Geneva and Tunisia. Both Summits with our help can turn into a new
form of a dialogue between civilisations.
This is our dream. This is our will.
■
For more information, contact: Andrey Korotkov, Head of Bureau, UN ICT Task Force Regional Network
for Europe and Central Asia. www.unicttaskforce.org
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
17
From the European Commission to the World
Summit on the Information Society
eEurope:
An information society for all
T
he European Council held in Lisbon in March
2000 set the ambitious objective for Europe
to become the most competitive and
dynamic economy in the world. It recognised an
urgent need for Europe to quickly exploit the
opportunities of the new economy and in particular
the Internet. To achieve this, the Heads of State and
Government invited the Council and the
Commission to draw up ‘a comprehensive eEurope
Action Plan using an open method of co-ordination
based on the benchmarking of national initiatives,
combined with the Commission’s eEurope initiative
as well as its Communication Strategies for jobs in
the Information Society.’
eEurope initially identified ten areas where action
at European level would add value. The key target
areas were revised following the Lisbon European
Council, and clustered into three main objectives: a
cheaper, faster, secure Internet; investing in people
and skills; and stimulating the use of the Internet.
A cheaper, faster, secure Internet
The first priority of this goal was to establish
cheaper, faster Internet, an important aspect of which
infrastructure and the technologies required to fully
exploit it. The Commission launched the research
networking activity under the 5th Framework
involved developing competition in the local loop and
Programme, which provide €80 million to ensure the
unbundling the local loop. Ensuring that less-favoured
upgrading of trans-European capacity to 2.5 Gbit/s.
regions can fully participate in the information society
The final goal regarded the establishment of secure
is a priority for the Union. Projects encouraging the
networks and smart cards. This included improving
uptake of new technologies in less-favoured regions
the availability of solutions for Internet security, better
are also now a key element in regional development
co-ordination to fight cybercrime and the
agendas. In relation to the next generation Internet,
encouragement of the use of smart cards to improve
the Commission is also to launch an initiative aimed
the security of access to electronic services (via a
at mobilising telecommunications operators and
high level Task Force to initiate and support common
equipment manufacturers to work together with
developments in the deployment of smart cards).
service providers and users to ensure the rapid
deployment and use of IPv6.
The next priority in this objective was faster
18
Investing in people and skills
A key responsibility established in the framework
Internet for researchers and students. Europe needs
of the action plan was to integrate European youth
to invest more to provide both a truly ‘state-of-the-art’
into the digital age, by promoting the relevant use of
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
new technologies and applications, and financing
recognised as a critical component, and the
dissemination of best practices. Extra financial
Commission has revised procedures to better
resources were also made available to ensure that all
exploit digital technologies.
pupils have the possibility to be digitally literate by the
The Commission also launched a programme to
time they leave school. Ensuring employability and
support European digital content on global networks
adaptability in the new economy is also a primary
and promote linguistic diversity in the information
responsibility. The Commission played a key co-
society. Finally, the eEurope initiative was also
ordinating role within the European Employment
created to address the growing demand for mobility
Process, which is based on drawing up employment
within transport infrastructure networks – paying
guidelines at European level and translating them into
particular attention to the issues of congestion,
National Employment Action Plans.
safety and the shortage of new services.
The Council also noted that there should be no
Technologies are already being deployed to address
‘info-exclusion’, adding that special attention should
these issues, and eEurope will also kick start new
be given to disabled people. As part of this drive, the
solutions and accelerate their deployment.
High Level Group on the Employment and Social
Dimension of the Information Society (ESDIS), in cooperation with the Commission, examined and
An operational action plan
The action plan acknowledges that there is an
monitored legislation and standards relevant to the
urgent need for Europe to quickly exploit the
information society to ensure their conformity with
opportunities of the new economy and in particular
accessibility principles. It was also established that
the Internet. The objectives will contribute to the
public sector websites and their content in member
development of a stronger and more pro-active
states and in the European Institutions must be
policy in the information society at a global level. In
designed to be accessible to ensure that citizens with
the context of e-commerce, for example, it will
disabilities can access information and take full
provide global co-operation between governments
advantage of their potential.
and the private sector, particularly in the
development of co-regulation.
Stimulating the use of the Internet
A critical element of stimulating the use of the
Europe must play an active role in the
development of a more equitable information society,
Internet involves accelerating e-commerce. To
which offers fair chances of inclusion to all countries.
ensure the establishment of the internal market for
Closing the 'digital divide' between developed and
e-commerce, the Commission proposed a number
developing countries is a key goal for the European
of legislative measures – the ‘Dual Use Regulation’
Union. To meet this goal, collaboration with Europe’s
providing an internal market for security products
main international partners and private industry will be
and the rapid adoption of the e-commerce
necessary. eEurope assists this collaboration, driving
Directive, for example. Enabling electronic access to
the ambitious objective of making Europe the most
public services and health information was also
competitive and dynamic economy in the world.
■
For more information, visit: http://europa.eu.int/information_society/eeurope/action_plan/pdf/actionplan_en.pdf
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
19
From the Markle Foundation to the World Summit
on the Information Society
Creating digital opportunity
for developing countries
T
he Markle Foundation is a private, not-forprofit philanthropy. In 1999, the Foundation
focused its mission on using emerging
Global Digital Opportunity Initiative
Markle, the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP) and a broad set of public-private
information and communications technology (ICT) to
partners launched GDOI in February 2002. Supported
improve people’s lives.
by multi-million dollar commitments from UNDP and
The Foundation creates and operates most of its
the Markle Foundation along with the collaboration of
own projects using grants, investments, and strategic
a broad set of private and public sector institutions
alliances with governments, multilateral organisations,
and experts, GDOI is an implementation vehicle
industry, the academy, think tanks and other
created to carry on the work of the G8 DOT Force.
foundations and non-profit organisations. It is a
The GDOI is based on a report developed for the
unique institution that combines the functions of an
G8 leaders at the 2001 Genoa Summit by UNDP, the
operating foundation, granting foundation, think tank,
Markle Foundation and Accenture, that which out a
and incubator.
strategic framework for action (http://www.optinit.org/framework.html) that developing countries can
Policy for a networked society
Markle is currently undertaking work under its
deploy. It enables them to reap the benefits of the
networked economy and build an information society.
Policy for a Networked Society Program to support
The report issues a strong call to action for the
the use of ICT in development efforts. We pursue this
international community to assist developing
work through the Global Digital Opportunity Initiative
countries in taking advantage of ICT’s potential and
(GDOI) Project and the Policy Cooperation Project.
its integration into the mainstream of their
These projects address two related needs of
development activities
developing countries:
(http://www.markle.org/programs/_programs_policy_g
doi.stm).
• The GDOI Project seeks to integrate ICT into
national development strategies.
• The Policy Cooperation Project seeks to engage
The GDOI assists in the development and
implementation of national ICT for development
strategies that have the highest likelihood of
developing countries in global ICT policymaking that
generating broader development impacts leading to
will influence how ICT is deployed at the national
greater national growth and capacity in selected
level and in the global marketplace.
countries. It includes a steering committee comprised
of senior officials and experts from both the
The roots of the GDOI and Policy Cooperation
development and ICT communities and an
Projects can be found in the G8 DOT Force and UN-
International Partners Group consisting of commercial
ICT Task Force. Markle helped create the G8 DOT
and non-profit institutions with expertise and interest
Force and co-chaired Implementation Team I ‘National
in both ICT and development matters.
e-Strategies’, and Team V ‘Global Policy Participation’
GDOI’s engagements to date include:
on the DOT Force currently chairs Working Group I
‘ICT Policy and Governance’, and participates in
Group II ‘National and Regional e-Strategies’ on the
UN ICT Task Force.
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C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
Mozambique
The GDOI was asked by the Prime Minister of
Mozambique to assist in finalising a national ICT
strategy. Working with an in-country ICT Policy
in the G8 DOT Force, which expired in the summer of
Commission, the GDOI helped finalise its
2002, and the UN ICT Task Force, which is not an
implementation strategy by providing policy and
operational body. This project aims to enable
technical support to the government and other
meaningful and effective participation by developing
sectors. The Mozambique Council of Ministers
nations in international multilateral institutions where
approved the revised version of the ICT Policy
ICT commitments, rules and policies are made
Commission’s Implementation Strategy and UNDP
(ICANN, ITU, WIPO and WTO)
has made an agreement with the government of
(http://www.markle.org/globalpolicy/).
Mozambique on an ICT for Development
Implementation Program.
The GDOI is currently mobilising resources and
While domestic policies are needed to harness
ICT for development effectively, international policies
forged in multilateral institutions will increasingly
enlisting additional partner organisations to help
define the range of policy options available to
implement the strategy.
developing countries. Many developing countries
have not participated effectively in international ICT
policy processes due to capacity and process
limitations. These limitations may cause developing
country stakeholders to question the transparency,
legitimacy and accountability of international
governance processes and outcomes related to ICT,
and impede both developing and developed countries
in their national and international ICT goals.
Full and equitable participation by developing
nations in multilateral institutions, therefore, is critical
to the realisation of their developmental goals.
Specific achievements to date include:
Roadmap
DOT Force Implementation Team V’s Roadmap
South Africa
A team of seven GDOI consultants was invited to
Toward Enabling Meaningful Participation by
Developing Country Stakeholders defines the
participate in a national e-Strategy task team
current global ICT policy environment and the most
mandated by the South African Electronic
common barriers to developing-country
Communications and Transactions Act of 2002. The
participation, examines key lessons in developing
GDOI team is providing expertise in key areas of the
country participation drawn from other global policy
strategy development process: education, healthcare,
fora that are not ICT focused, and lays out a
e-government, job creation access/infrastructure and
framework of priorities and recommended actions to
policy. Once the national e-Strategy is finalised, the
increase developing nation participation. The
GDOI will assist South Africans in attracting additional
Roadmap complements Louder Voices:
partners and resources for its implementation.
Strengthening Developing Country Participation in
Policy Cooperation Project
International ICT Decision-making (Louder Voices), a
Markle created the Policy Cooperation Project in
2002 to further the work on policy participation begun
survey and report conducted by CTO and PANOS
with DFID support.
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
21
Global Internet Policy Initiative (GIPI)
Markle is a founding partner, along with the
ramifications for developing countries, including:
the allocation and maintenance of country-code
Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) and
top level domain names (ccTLDs); the
Internews, in GIPI, an organisation committed to
standardisation of foreign language domain names;
promoting an open and democratic internet through
and the implementation of the Uniform Domain
the adoption of legal and policy frameworks in
Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) to
fourteen developing countries. The initiative serves
safeguard the intellectual property rights of users
as a resource for local stakeholders (ISPs, content
in developing nations.
providers, investors, telecommunications and
Recently, at the ICANN board meetings in
wireless service providers) as well as NGOs,
Accra, Bucharest and most recently Shanghai,
academics, and government entities in order to
Markle has funded developing country participation
promote transparency and predictability in: internet
and organised meetings with ICANN officials and
business regulation; competition; privatisation;
other members of the global domain name
open network and universal service; and market
community to discuss how best to ensure that the
driven solutions and user agency. The project is
needs of developing nations are met. Among the
leading consultative, coalition-based efforts to
possibilities discussed at these meetings: are
identify country-specific legal and regulatory
ensuring funding for participants from the
impediments to internet development, and is
developing world to travel to ICANN meetings;
working with local initiatives to integrate open
creating a number of ‘regional ombudsmen’ within
internet principles.
ICANN to represent developing countries; and
ensuring that ICANN’s decision-making structures
Foreign affairs
“Governing the internet: Engaging Government,
remain open and in line with some of the
suggestions outlined in the Roadmap (see above).
Business and Nonprofits”, an article published by
Markle President Zoë Baird in Foreign Affairs
(November 2002), examines the limitations of self-
Other work
Markle supports additional relevant activities
regulation given the internet’s rapid expansion in
that aim to foster digital opportunity for developing
protecting the public interest. The article argues for
countries, including: a Markle and the World
a new, pluralistic model of regulation that includes
Resources Institute co-sponsored report, Serving
government, business, and non-profits. In addition,
the World’s Poor, Profitably, which focuses on
it suggests ways to encourage greater participation
innovative business models; InterAction, an
by developing countries in international ICT
alliance of 160 international relief and development
policymaking bodies, such as ICANN, the ITU and
non-governmental organisations awarded a two-
the WTO.
year grant by Markle to expand use of information
and communication technology to facilitate their
ICANN
Markle has been working with ICANN since
1999 to ensure that its decisions, decision-making
work; and Voxiva, which seeks to expand
communication services to poor communities in
developing nations.
■
processes and venues are representative and
inclusive of developing countries. While many of
ICANN’s decisions appear to be strictly ‘technical’,
they have important social and economic
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C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
For more information, contact:
Noa Meyer, Manager for a networked society.
[email protected] www.markle.org
From Nokia to the World Summit on the
Information Society
Global focus
on youth and education
N
okia aims to be a good corporate community member
wherever it operates and has been running programmes for
many years to help people, particularly the young, improve
themselves through a wide variety of learning opportunities.
The focus of Nokia’s Corporate Community Involvement
programme is youth and education – a logical step given Nokia’s
leadership in future-oriented technologies. Chairman and CEO
Jorma Ollila puts it this way: “In the future that Nokia’s business is
shaping, people will have the technology to communicate anytime,
anywhere. Helping young people improve their skills, knowledge
and connections to society is a natural outgrowth of Nokia’s
business, vision and values.”
Nokia is committed to having a positive impact on society that
extends far beyond the advanced technology, products and
services it creates. The company’s Corporate Community
Involvement programme is designed to respond to the expectations
of all stakeholders – customers, employees and investors alike –
and to reflect the company’s core values.
It is dedicated to the ideal of continuous learning – constantly
improving life skills, creating an environment that fosters open and
creative thinking, establishing a meaningful connection with
society and sharing best practices across all borders. Veli
Sundbäck, Nokia’s Executive Vice President, who is in charge of
global Corporate Social Responsibility, explains: “It is not our
intention to promote technology as such even though it is our core
competence. In a fast changing world, we want young people to
develop the skills they are going to need – creative thinking, the
life skills needed to make quick decisions, and simply an ability to
think for themselves and take responsibility for what’s happening
around them.”
Veli points out that the company has also made local donations
While Nokia has been sponsoring activities to support youth
and education for many years, 2000 saw the beginning of a multiyear commitment to the International Youth Foundation (IYF) – a
for specific events, such as disaster relief in Kosovo and victims of
new and truly global partnership to promote corporate
the Venezuelan floods, in addition to supporting long-term
responsibility.
initiatives on all the continents. “It’s not a question of pure
24
Nokia and the IYF make a connection
In the first year, Nokia invested 3.4 million Euros in the well-
donations – we want to take an active role as a company and as
established IYF programme to support children and youth
individual employees,” says Veli. “This is all about human values.”
development activities in six countries – China, Germany, South
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
Africa, UK, Mexico and Brazil – as well as to conduct global
programmes. The IYF programme, called ‘Make a Connection’,
Life skills initiatives in the UK
For the past seven years, Nokia has sponsored Mencap – the
will work hand-in-hand with existing Nokia projects in many parts
UK’s leading charity for children and adults with learning disabilities.
of the world.
The company supports specific projects each year ranging from
IYF itself is an independent, non-governmental organisation
establishing a special sensory unit for learning to the construction of
dedicated to improving the conditions and prospects for young
a recording studio to produce Mencap’s newsletter in audio format.
people wherever they live, learn, work and play. It does so by
Mencap Chairman Brian Baldock comments: “Computer and
drawing on the expertise of a worldwide network of national-level
communication technologies have the potential to revolutionise the
children and youth development organisations, as well as
lives of people who have a disability by offering a better quality of life
corporations, such as Nokia, and governments, to ensure that the
unimaginable only a few years ago.”
best programmes are identified, strengthened and expanded.
Mencap is also one of the partners helping to develop teaching
Currently, this global network includes organisations in more than
materials in the new IYF Make a Connection project in the UK,
30 countries with plans to expand to 60 by 2003.
funded by Nokia and managed by the Children and Youth
IYF views young people’s needs as an urgent global priority,
Partnership Foundation. The nationwide project is aimed at young
with all young people having the innate right to develop their full
people aged between 11 and 16, including those with special
potential to become responsible and caring individuals. Its
educational needs, to equip them with the necessary life skills for
programmes seek to build character, confidence and competence
future personal and social well-being.
and to ‘connect’ young people to their families, peers and
communities.
Connecting schools and families in the USA
Creative thinking in China
to creating a positive impact on society by providing wireless phones
ClassLink is a well-established example of Nokia’s commitment
“In just two days, I learned skills which I believe are most
important to success in the information age. I believe this project
will have a positive and significant impact on nurturing the creative
thinking skills of Chinese university students.”
This is what graduate Fu Peng had to say about Nokia’s
to hundreds of schools across the USA in order to connect students,
teachers and parents more effectively.
More than 90 percent of American classrooms do not have
access to a telephone, yet a national survey of teachers showed that
wireless phones are the one tool they really need. ClassLink, a
‘Creative Thinking Corner’ project, which helped him to prepare his
philanthropic partnership sponsored by Nokia, the CTIA's Wireless
thesis for his master’s degree. The programme, launched in Beijing
Foundation and several carriers, answers that need.
University of Post and Telecommunications, is the first of its kind
Piloted successfully in Texas, Nokia donated 1,000 phones to 200
and is touching the lives of thousands of students. It includes a
high schools in the state. Due to the success of the Texas programme,
series of roadshows and Thinking Club activities and has travelled
ClassLink moved into the national arena in 2000. So far, more than
to 12 universities across China.
6,000 phones and millions of minutes of airtime have been donated to
An important part of the programme in 2000 was the Nokia
College Student Thinking Challenge Competition, which helped
students from the 12 universities develop their brainpower,
schools across the country, bringing teachers and parents into a closer
partnership in the education of their communities’ students.
But ClassLink is not the only Nokia Corporate Community
intelligence, innovation abilities, problem-discovery and solutions
Involvement project in the USA – others include help for sick children
capabilities. And, in order to share the project with as wide an
and support for community issues. The Make a Wish Foundation
audience as possible in China, the Thinking Corner now has its
supported by Nokia and CBS Channel 11 has given trips to Disney,
own website.
puppies and computers to children suffering from life-threatening
The Thinking Corner, for university students, has a natural
synergy with an existing IYF project called the ‘Little Master
Newspaper’, which is now receiving Nokia backing. Youngsters
illnesses. And The United Way is a programme dedicated to making
communities better places in which to live and work.
Nokia employees choose to donate to a network of agencies
under the age of 15 write, edit and produce the newspaper which
looking after children, families, crisis relief, health and the elderly.
has a circulation of more than 1 million.
Their contribution went up by 116 per cent in 2000 and the
Folke Ahlback, Chairman of Nokia (China) Investment
Corporation, comments: “We feel that the newspaper encourages
combination of corporate and employee pledges rose to $472,000 in
2000 from $173,200 the year before. ■
leadership, creativity and responsibility across activities such as
culture, education, sports and the arts. We hope it will emulate the
For more information, visit:http://www.nokia.com/cda2/0,1083,2912,00.html
success of Nokia’s Creative Thinking Corner workshops.”
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
25
From The Swedish International Development
Cooperation Agency to the World Summit on the
Information Society.
ICT –
transforming
the world by
transforming
universities
Views from a roof in Maputo
lecturing. Now we have to solve real world
welcoming warm city. The trees are
problems and that is of course very
green, the ocean shines with an
interesting,” he says.
F
intense blue colour. But Maputo is also the
There is still a long
way to go. But here,
on the roof in
Maputo, with the sun
and the breeze from
the sea, the vision
does not seem totally
impossible
”
Open – is in itself also a symbol of what
countries, a country with a GDP of only 250
needs to be achieved in most of the world’s
USD per capita.
developing countries. Open means opening
researchers, university teachers in
Their aim is to connect six university
Mozambique and other countries can truly
buildings in Maputo to the university
become partners in a global, open
backbone – and to the rest of the world.
community where knowledge, information
The Open.Net concept has been
developed by The Royal Institute of
and experiences are freely exchanged.
There is still a long way to go. But here,
Technology in Stockholm. The concept can
on the roof in Maputo, with the sun and the
be described as an access network with a
breeze from the sea, the vision does not
freedom of choice of service operators.
seem totally impossible.
In Mozambique, few students can afford
their own computer and they only have
access to computers and the internet at the
Main issues at stake
ICT and development is a broad subject.
university during school hours. This means
This deals entirely with ICT in relation to
that it is very difficult to conduct research
universities in developing countries.
activities in the evenings when the university
is closed. But thanks to the project, the
1. Access and connectivity.
students will have access to the internet
• Connectivity. Internet access is
through wireless computer labs in four
student residences. As the situation in
be replicated in other countries.
“This is a truly multicultural project and
paramount and in many cases a key issue
for ICT development projects.
• Bandwidth. The lack of bandwidth is the
prime obstacle for ICT in developing
countries in general and in Sub-Saharan
for us this has been a great opportunity to
Africa in particular. By working together,
learn more about ICT in another – and to
universities in developing countries could
Sweden a very different – country,” says
Qarin Hjortzberg-Nordlund, one of the
Swedish students.
Eneas Huguana, one of the
Mozambicans in the project, is also
enthusiastic: “For me it has been a very
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
up access to the world so that students,
Sweden and Mozambique have gathered.
Maputo is not unique, the project might well
26
The name of the project – Mozambique
capital of one of the world’s poorest
On the roof, a group of students from
“
studies are theoretical with teachers
rom above, Maputo looks like a
negotiate better prices for bandwidth.
• Technical constraints. Lack of
infrastructure, lack of qualified man power
and unreliable power supply are among
the major problems.
• Access to information. For a higher
good experience working together with the
quality in education and research, access
Swedish students. Here, most of our
to information is fundamental.
2. Human resource development (HRD)
6. Gender
the private market once donor programmes
• Efficient administration. ICT must be
• ICT cannot be a male-only club. If you do
come to an end?
used in the universities’ administration in
not get various perspectives you risk
order to guarantee transparency and a
losing valuable aspects. The gender
generation and universities can actually
more effective use of resources.
issue must therefore be further
make money – so cooperation with the
addressed in all programmes.
private sector is of vital importance. Many
• Capacity building. Training of
Sustainability requires income
professionals in the ICT field will give
developing countries an important
knowledge base.
• Cooperation with other universities. ICT
opens up new possibilities for
cooperation.
3. Local content
• ICT in research and research on ICT.
Universities in developing countries can
better participate in research projects and
contribute with their findings. There is
also a need for specific research on ICT in
developing countries.
4. Innovative use
• The university as incubator. By working
closely with the private sector the
university can play an important role for
the establishment of an emerging ICT
industry. This will also make it possible
for the university to sell services and be
more sustainable.
• The university within society. The
university plays an important role in
Achieving sustainability
To bridge the digital divide, huge
universities in developing countries are
selling their services to the private sector in
introducing ICT as a way of combating
investments are required in bandwidth,
the form of internet services, consultancy
poverty and improving living conditions in
running cost, infrastructure, equipment and
for private companies, fees for students,
the country.
human resources along with major support
etc. SIDA is planning to start a study that
from the donors. But here lies the problem
will address the issue of sustainability of
5. Sustainability
with sustainability. In order to make the
ICT projects in the public sector of low-
• Huge investments are needed, but how
investment sustainable, there is a need to
income countries.
could they become sustainable? What will
develop a long-term financing model for ICT
happen the day the donors phase out
at the universities. But who will pay? What
their programmes? Sustainability is a key
will happen with salaries, software licenses,
issue for long-term development.
connectivity costs, and salaries to match
■
For more information, visit: www.sida.se
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
27
From ST Microelectronics to the World Summit on
the Information Society
Closing the digital divide
through education and training
T
he proposal made by Pasquale Pistorio and
Moreover, no one should forget the payback in terms of security and
STMicroelectronics (ST) concerns the involvement of
peace for the entire world if economic reasons for potential conflicts
corporations in the fight against the digital divide. The
are reduced in the future.
proposal is based on the firm conviction that, while building
ST has already started down on this track and has completed
infrastructure – and whatever else is needed to provide internet
the most significant part of the preparation job, that is, building up a
access – is essential for overcoming the technological gap between
model course for basic PC and internet literacy, and a course to
the most advanced nations and the developing world, it is equally
train its employees or other volunteers to become trainers. The
important that people be able to use the technology, understand its
courses were designed by ST information technology specialists
importance and recognise the benefits it has to offer. Education and
leveraging the training expertise of the internal corporate school of
training are essential to access modern means of communication
management, and are totally royalty-free. As such, they will be
and information.
offered to any organisation willing to run the same programme.
In Pistorio’s opinion, all companies can and should invest in
The model course, to be deployed in at least 20 hours in a
teaching those who have not had access to the education necessary
classroom, not only includes basic PC and internet tools for a user
to use a PC, no matter where they might live. He suggests that
starting from scratch, but also instructions on security and quality,
medium to large corporations – i.e. companies with over 250
as well as an introduction on hardware key elements.
employees – voluntarily donate up to 0.1 percent of their annual
After a successful trial with teachers in an Italian primary
revenues and up to 0.1 percent of their employees’ working hours to
school, translation in all the main languages spoken by the ST
this cause. The intention is to create a widespread movement and to
community worldwide has begun, taking into consideration both
mobilise voluntary donations, not only of hardware, software and
local culture and local standards of computing literacy. The
communications connections but also of human resources.
English, French and Italian versions have already been
Why get business involved? Firstly, because Pistorio and ST are
deeply convinced that socially responsible companies – that is,
completed.
More than 50 trainers have now been trained and will initiate,
companies that are committed to promoting the wellbeing of the
in 2003, the cascading process by which the company aims to
communities in which they work – generate more value not only for
reach one million people in a decade.
their stakeholders but also for their shareholders.
Secondly, corporations should consider that by encouraging
employees to transfer basic computer skills they also provide them
with extra motivation. This kind of initiative helps companies to
The process will first involve members of the ST community at
large, including employees, their relatives, small businesses, schools,
local organisations and administrative entities in the vicinity of ST sites.
The next steps will foresee the setting up of internet kiosks for
recruit the best young talent and retain them for longer since they
free access to the web and its services and the start-up of remote
contribute to increase the motivation of employees and their
training activities, while at the same time expanding the cooperation
acceptance of and identification with the company.
with other organisations and business enterprises in order to
Lastly, in the long run, the most advanced economies will clearly
broaden the scope and the reach of the initiative.
benefit if, by triggering a process to limit the digital divide and to
contribute to the development of poorer areas of the world, new
markets and new opportunities for trade and production are created.
28
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
For more information, visit: www.st.com
■
From Talal Abu-Ghazaleh International to the World
Summit on the Information Society
The Abu-Ghazaleh Cambridge
IT Skills Centre
T
alal Abu-Ghazaleh International (TAGI) is one
of the leading providers of professional
services in the Arab world. Although it is a
profit-making firm, it is uniquely distinguished by the
inclusion, in its core mission statement, of a
commitment to contributing to the socio-economic
development of the Arab world. This unusually strong
focus on development issues originates in the lifelong commitment of the firm’s founder, CEO and
namesake Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, to fostering a
“
The key to initiating the
project was TAGI’s core
commitment and
mission to Arab
development
”
renaissance in the Arab world. Abu-Ghazaleh’s
special interests and commitments in this area have
resulted in his becoming a leading Arab business
Individuals who successfully complete this course are
leader in the field of development.
awarded the Cambridge Skills Award in Information
In the late 1990s, his belief in the power of
Technology. CIE provided their world-renowned
information and communication technologies (ICTs)
educational materials and awards, which were
increased to such an extent that he acted as a
translated into Arabic and marketed by TAGI.
catalyst to the development process. The increasing
The only difficulty the project experienced was
focus on ICTs led to an evolving leadership role at an
that which affects most development-oriented
international level, which culminated in his current
initiatives: financing. CIE and TAGI are both profit-
international leadership position as chairman of the
making companies. For CIE, venturing into the
ICC’s Commission on Electronic Business,
marketing of Arabic versions of their products would
Information Technology and Telecoms (EBITT), and
be too risky without a strong local partner. Even for
co-chair of the UN ICT Task Force.
TAGI, some of their in-house consultants were
The stumbling block for Mr Abu-Ghazaleh in
sceptical of the profitability of the project. The key to
seeing his vision of an Arab information society
initiating the project was TAGI’s core commitment and
realised is that the Arab world is one of the most
mission to Arab development.
digitally deprived regions in the world. Other issues
Thus far, the project has yielded far greater
that pose problems include lack of high-quality local
success than was initially imagined. Utilising a
content (i.e. Arabic language materials), and
franchising system, TAGI has begun spreading the
significant lack of literacy in basic computer skills.
Abu-Ghazaleh Cambridge IT Skills Centres (AGCA) to
One solution pioneered by Abu-Ghazaleh was to
partner with Cambridge International Examinations
academic and other institutions across the region.
This is a demonstration of a winning partnership
(CIE), one of the world’s foremost educational
between the two motivations of development and
institutions. Together with the Arab Knowledge
profit making in one successful project.
■
Management Society (AKMS), they formed AbuGhazaleh Cambridge IT Skills Centre (AGCA). AGCA
was established to prepare prospective candidates for
For more information, visit: www.tagi.com
the Cambridge IT Skills Award tests in Arabic.
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
29
From the World Bank Group to the World Summit on the
Information Society
The World Bank Group:
fostering digital opportunities
T
he World Bank Group’s strategy for
policy and investment tools remain effective
ICT lays out four directions for our
in a rapidly changing sector. This evolution
work:
is underpinned by a commitment to learning
and knowledge development within the
• Policy for ICTs, including
Bank and beyond, covering research, pilots
telecommunications reform, access
and dissemination. Much of this
programmes and e-strategies.
development and dissemination is
• Connectivity, including support for private
supported by infoDev, which was one of the
sector roll-out of information infrastructure.
first grant initiatives created to back pilot
• Skills, supporting public private
projects that put ICT to work in the fight
partnerships to generate human capital to
supported a number of
against poverty. It has supported over 250
exploit ICTs.
telecommunications investments.
projects covering initiatives such as rural
• Applications, using ICTs to deliver the
goals of development.
The Bank is currently involved in over 70
Turning to skills, the Bank has been a
telecentres, e-readiness studies and use of
leader in expanding e-learning operations.
the internet to sell products created by
This is not only through lending operations
artisans. More recently, the Development
such as the Turkey Basic Education Project
Gateway has also played an important role.
countries worldwide working with
which will eventually link 10,000 schools to
The Gateway is more than a website
governments to improve the policy and
the internet, but also through a number of
containing best practice and information on
regulatory environment for information
special initiatives. The Global Development
development topics, it also acts as an e-
infrastructure. This involves support not only
Learning Network, World Links and the
procurement portal, an aid database and a
for the development of well regulated,
Africa Virtual University all provide e-
centre for knowledge creation surrounding
competitive private provision of
education facilities – the first through a
ICT and development.
infrastructure, but also innovative subsidy
network of 32 learning centres, the second
schemes to support the roll-out of services
through virtual teaching that has reached
Bank Group’s ICT strategy recognises the
to poor and rural communities.
24,000 tertiary students and the third
great importance of cooperation and
The IFC, the World Bank Group’s
through a programme that has reached
partnership in an area where so many
private sector arm, has mobilised about
130,000 primary and secondary school
governments, private companies, donors
US$5 billion in private capital over the past
students in LDCs.
and non-governmental organisations are at
10 years to extend access to information
Finally, the Bank also supports roll-out
Finally, it should be noted that the World
work, and on an agenda that is far too large
infrastructure in developing countries.
of ICT applications in government services
for any one organisation to hope to tackle
Including the catalytic impact of IFC
from budget and accounting to education
alone. The World Bank Group sees
projects, this investment can be linked to
and telemedicine. In total, somewhere
collaboration with and learning from our
the roll-out of 32 million new cellular
between US$1-2 billion in lending each year
development partners central to the effort of
connections – equal to 20 percent of all of
goes to support the ICT components of
grasping digital opportunities.
the mobile phones in developing countries
such projects.
at the start of 2000. MIGA, the private
sector guarantee agency, has also
The World Bank Group is continually
■
For more information, visit: www.worldbank.org
evolving its ICT agenda to ensure that its
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
31
From the United Nations Information & Communication
Technologies Task Force to the World Summit on the
Information Society on behalf of Working Group 1.
Metapolicy for ICTs:
The Digital Nations Consortium
espite the incredible technological advances
company funded by industry and by up to US$100
of the past decade, the digital revolution has
million seed money from the Indian government.
yet to touch the lives of most people in most
Media Lab Asia has four main research themes: bits
D
parts of the world. Even where new technologies are
for all (universal broadband connectivity), world
available, they have had only minimal impact on the
computer (low-cost computing and universal
great social needs of our times: improving education,
interface), tomorrow’s tools (low-cost sensors and
reducing poverty, enhancing healthcare and
fabrication) and the digital village.
supporting community development.
The Digital Nations Consortium focuses explicitly
on these major social challenges. The Consortium
technologies on village life, asking if the change is
does not aim to impose solutions but rather to
beneficial for the various stakeholders and if it is
empower people in all walks of life to invent their
sustainable. It also works with the government to
own solutions. The Consortium is developing a new
develop policy recommendations that can aid in
generation of technologies and policies that enable
adoption of the technology and, at the same, time
people to design, create and learn in new ways,
minimise negative effects.
helping them become more active participants in
their societies.
The Consortium focuses especially on populations
with the greatest needs – children and the elderly,
underserved communities and developing nations. The
From this process two main policy
recommendations have emerged: one concerning
spectrum allocation and the second concerning the
telephone companies universal service obligation.
Spectrum allocation: After examining the
Consortium tests out ideas and technologies in pilot
technology available for broadband wireless
projects around the world, helping individuals and
connectivity and the economic trends associated with
communities develop innovative strategies in domains
those technologies, it was determined that the IEEE
ranging from commerce to agriculture to healthcare –
802 standards offered great promise for rural
and, more broadly, it transforms the ways they learn
communications. Although these wireless standards
and develop.
were originally intended primarily for office use, many
To accomplish this goal the Consortium helps
have noted that with a suitable antenna these very
organise and coordinate action projects that make
inexpensive digital transceivers (now under US$200)
use of cutting-edge ideas and technologies in real-
can be used for broadband communications over
world settings. In each country local organisations
many kilometres.
(typically a public private corporation) create similar
To leverage this technology Media Lab Asia
action projects in their own communities and
argued to the government that the 2.4Ghz frequency
countries. The learnings from these action projects
band used by the IEEE 802.11b standard should be
are shared among consortium members, and form the
deregulated. The goal was to allow local
basis for informed policy decisions.
entrepreneurs to become ‘mini-ISPs’ and quickly
The largest participant in the Digital Nations
Consortium is Media Lab Asia, a not-for-profit
32
The digital village research theme uses large-scale
field experiments to examine the effect of new
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
spread broadband connectivity throughout India, in a
manner similar to the spread of India’s cable TV
“
The largest participant in the Digital Nations
Consortium is Media Lab Asia, a not-for-profit
company funded by industry and by up to US$100
million seed money from the Indian government
”
service via entrepreneurs capitalising on India’s
revisit the definition of the universal service obligation.
unregulated cable TV service industry.
Media Lab Asia has argued that a wireless broadband
In autumn 2002, the government of India freed the
‘village area network’ based on the IEEE 802.11
2.4Ghz frequency band, becoming perhaps the first
standard may make more sense, and is certainly more
nation in history to deregulate spectrum. More
scalable, than the current standard of service.
recently, the FCC in the US has also issued policy
As single-chip implementations of the standard
recommendations that may lead to greater
become common, we expect to see the emergence of
deregulation of the spectrum.
wireless ‘communicators’ at under US$25. This opens
Universal service obligation: throughout most of the
the possibility of providing dozens of multimedia
world, telecommunications companies have an
terminals (each capable of voice and data) at a price
obligation to provide service to rural areas, in essence,
comparable to the current isolated village telephone,
a tax on urban service to promote universal service. In
in essence, leapfrogging to a level of service higher
most developing countries the specified service is
than in most developed countries.
■
typically a pay telephone in the village centre, often
manned by a local official or entrepreneur.
In an age when developed countries are removing
pay telephones because they are too expensive to
maintain, and in which SMS messaging frequency
For more information, contact: Prof. Alex (Sandy) Pentland
Co-Director, Digital Nations Consortium
Founding Director, Media Lab Asia
MIT Media Laboratory E-mail: [email protected]
dominates that of voice traffic, it makes sense to
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
33
From the United Nations Information &
Communication Technologies Task Force to the
World Summit on the Information Society on
behalf of Working Group 2.
National & regional e-development strategies:
A blueprint for action
T
he focus of e-development strategies
largely connectivity-centred focus on the
is to enhance development through
digital divide to a more holistic
technology options are making ICT more
effective deployment of ICT, putting
development focus that concentrates on
accessible than ever before, difficulties in
the deployment of ICT.
securing investment funds and private
in place the conditions necessary to achieve
these ends.
Convinced by this potential of ICT to
• Awareness of the networked economy
While falling costs and an increase in
sector involvement remain in the wake of
and society as opportunity and
the dotcom and telecom crashes. This
enhance national and regional development
challenge: ICT themselves have helped
increases the premium on well-defined,
opportunities, and realising that
to underpin the process of global
costed and implementable strategies, as
telecommunication and IT sector reforms
integration through the creation of a
well as the need to think of new
by themselves were insufficient to release
networked economy and society. This
partnerships, business models and
this potential, a number of developing
has transformed the ways in which
implementation strategies in terms of ODA.
countries have embarked on formulating
organisations, services, production and
and implementing e-strategies or ICT for
markets are organised, creating new
Development (ICT4D) strategies. Many
opportunities and challenges for those
have yet to do so, and are looking to
not yet networked.
understand what needs to be done and to
The e-strategy
As an enabler of development, ICT has
the potential to assist in the achievement of
• The distinctive focus on ICT – as a
millennium development goals: through the
get a clearer sense of the results that can
sector and/or enabler of development:
creation of new economic and social
be expected.
development of the ICT sector is not
opportunities; the promotion of greater
essential for deployment of the
participation in development policies and
not necessarily retrace all the steps of
technology, nor can all countries benefit
processes; an increase in the efficiency,
those who have gone before but adapt
from developing a sector.
accountability and delivery of public
In developing e-strategies, countries do
their strategies to new environments and
opportunities. For both developed and
developing countries, e-strategies are thus
National approaches to ICT
an evolving process rather than a fixed
output that is defined once and for all. In
analysing past national and regional estrategies, impact is seen to vary
according to the approach followed.
Strategies can be differentiated along some
ICT as a sector
ICT as an enabler
of the following:
• Degree of integration of telecom in estrategies: few address the full range of
ICT and converging technology choices
and platforms.
• Digital divide as opposed to digital
opportunities for development focus:
strategies are only slowly evolving from a
34
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
National capacity/
domestic market
Focus
e.g. Brazil, India
(1960s-1980s)
Export market
focus
e.g. Costa Rica,
India (1990s)
Global
positioning focus
e.g. Malaysia/
Ireland
Development
goals focus
e.g. Estonia, South
Africa (1990s)
Source: p. Final Report of Digital Opportunity Initiative, a partnership of UNDP, Accenture & the Markle Foundation
http://www.opt-int.org/
e-strategy essentials / a blueprint for national and regional e-strategies
This blueprint highlights 10 key steps for conceiving, planning and implementing e-strategies.
Telecom-IT cohesion
Poverty
reduction goal
Processes to enhance
global inclusion
Donor cooperation
and resource mobilisation
Regional integration
Implementation modalities
Prioritisation programmes
Holistic framework
Multi-stakeholder strategy
Vision and leadership
Bottom up approaches
services; as well as through assisting with
improving the content, access and delivery
of education and healthcare.
However, this awareness of the
Identification of strategic entry points
It is important to begin by identifying
exceptions rather than the rule. In the
context of the PRSP exercise, ICT is yet to
areas where ICT can have a critical
be viewed as a strategic enabler for
development impact. Most e-assessments
development and poverty reduction. There
development potential of ICT is often not
do not have this development focus in
are examples of ICT but as of yet there are
fully reflected in the formulation of national
mind. Development entry points for the
no systematic case studies or guidelines
e-strategies, many of which either lay
strategy may be usefully derived from the
on ICT as an enabler in the PRSP
primary emphasis on ICT as a sector (IT
priorities identified in the national poverty
sourcebook. ICT is viewed as infrastructure
services, call centres), assuming that this
reduction strategy and other development
or considered in the context of private
can emerge as a new growth and export
policies and plans.
sector development.
sector, or focus on ICT as an enabler, but in
a more piecemeal fashion.
To consider a few recent examples: in
Moving forward, it could prove both
the case of Mozambique, the ICT policy
useful and important to secure
implementation strategy draws its priorities
complementarity at the policy and
strategic deployment of ICT to support the
from the PARPA or poverty reduction
implementation levels between the national
achievement of millennium development
strategy. There are indications that the
ICT and poverty reduction strategies by
goals is the potential to demonstrate
PARPA may in turn be iteratively revised to
inserting development in ICT strategies and
impact. There are currently few studies or
address deployment of ICT for development.
ICT in poverty reduction strategies.
Also critical in making the case for a
strategies that outline a strategic
■
Within the context of the IT Masterplan
programmatic vision with regard to ICTs
2001-2005, the pre-eminent focus is more
and development in terms of benchmarks,
on ICT as a sector rather than ICT as an
goals, etc.
enabler. But in general, these are the
For more information, contact:
UN ICT TF Working Group 2.
E-mail: [email protected]
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
35
From the United Nations Information & Communication
Technologies Task Force to the World Summit on the
Information Society on behalf of Working Group 5.
A road to universal
broadband connectivity
A
s an implementation of very low cost ICT
among public kiosks and private communications
infrastructure, we have developed a store-
devices (as an intranet) and between kiosks and a
and-forward wireless network for rural
hub (for non-real-time internet access). Through the
connectivity known as DakNet. The name derives
use of low cost WiFi radio transceivers, the data
from the Hindi word ‘dak’ which means ‘post’ or
carried by the MAP is automatically and wirelessly
‘postal’. The DakNet wireless network takes
transferred at high bandwidth for each point-to-point
advantage of existing communications and
connection. The operation of the network can be
transportation infrastructure to distribute digital
described as follows:
connectivity to outlying villages lacking digital
communications infrastructure. DakNet combines
1. As the vehicle carrying the MAP comes within
physical means of transportation with wireless data
range of each village (up to 1km depending on line-
transfer in order to extend the internet connectivity
of-sight, velocity and use of antennas) they
provided by a central uplink or hub (e.g. a cybercafe,
automatically sense a wireless connection with a
VSAT or post office) to kiosks in surrounding villages.
kiosk and deliver and collect data at relatively high
Instead of trying to relay data over a long distance
(which can be expensive), DakNet transmits data over
bandwidth (300Kbs-11Mbs).
2. Whenever a MAP comes within range of another
short point-to-point links between kiosks and portable
kiosk or a hub, data is automatically uploaded to,
storage devices called mobile access points (MAPs).
and downloaded from, the intranet/internet.
Mounted on and powered by a bus, motorcycle or
even bicycle, the MAP physically transports data
3. This cycle is repeated for every vehicle carrying a
MAP unit, thereby creating a low-cost wireless
network and seamless communications
infrastructure. Even a single vehicle passing by a
village once per day is sufficient to provide daily
information services.
“
Although the data transport provided by DakNet
DakNet transmits data over
short point-to-point links
between kiosks and
portable storage devices
called mobile access points
”
is not real-time, a significant amount of data can be
moved at once, supporting a variety of applications.
As a result, it is interesting to note that physically
transporting data from village to village by this
means generally provides a higher data throughput
than other low bandwidth technologies, such as
telephone modems.
By employing short distance radio links, DakNet
allows for small low cost, low power radio devices to
be used. Perhaps more importantly, the use of short
distance radio links also ensures high data rates and
does not have the interference problems, security
problems and maintenance costs associated with
long distance wireless links.
36
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
DakNet can be used to support a wide variety of
applications such as:
• Internet/intranet messaging: e-mail and video/audio
messaging.
• Information distribution/broadcasting: community
bulletin boards, public health announcements,
music and video broadcasts.
• Information collection: collection of environmental
sensor information, voting, census/polling, health
records and land records.
• Information searching, web services: searching and
browsing, and e-commerce.
• Rural supply chain management: tracking the
movement of goods.
■
For more information, contact:
Prof. Alex (Sandy) Pentland, Dr Richard Fletcher,
Amir Alexander Hasson, MIT Media Laboratory
E-mail: [email protected]
“
Although the data transport provided
by DakNet is not real-time, a
significant amount of data can be
moved at once, supporting a variety
of applications
”
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
37
From the United Nations Information & Communication
Technologies Task Force to the World Summit on the
Information Society on behalf of Working Group 6.
Technology solutions advance
entrepreneurship in developing countries
W
orking Group 6 (WG6) was
funded initiative called Enablis. A new
created with the understanding
organisation that will be piloted in South
that ICTs can be leveraged to
Africa, Enablis will provide venture capital-
achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
style funding and support to medium-sized
Over the past year, the working group has
businesses that are either focused on ICT
assessed the development environment and
or are using ICT in innovative ways.
has recently engaged in three specific
Enablis will also serve as a focal point for
projects aimed at helping enterprises and
expertise in the ICT/entrepreneurship area.
entrepreneurs build sustainable businesses.
It is believed that Enablis will have a
With the assistance of experts in the field
transformational impact on the socio-
and inputs from those who have worked in
economic environment of the businesses it
development, the chair of WG6 has crafted
supports. This vision is to be achieved
a strategy that will allow the working group
through loan financing, direct business and
to directly affect medium enterprises, small
technical support to the SMEs, as well as
to medium-sized businesses and micro-
policy advice to governments that
entrepreneurs. In addition, WG6 is also
encourages a more bottoms-up approach
drafting policy recommendations for
to business development.
governments wishing to create a more
enabling environment for business
development. To achieve this goal, WG6 has
DevelopmentSpace Network
WG6 has formed an alliance with the
partnered with outside NGOs, most notably
Center for Global Development, Many
Bridges.org and Open Economies.
Futures Inc. and State of the World Forum
Each of the projects being pursued
to create the DevelopmentSpace Network
under the WG6 umbrella is unique in its
(DSN). DSN is an innovative approach to the
focus, scope and reach. Yet the projects are
way the private sector and civil society can
consistent in their overall goals: addressing
participate in development. Through a
the business and financial needs, and
website (www.developmentspace.com)
sustainable economic growth in developing
created by Many Futures, the alliance will
countries. These goals parallel those of the
create a virtual marketplace that matches
Millennium Development Goals. Thus all the
pre-qualified community-based projects in
WG6 projects are focused on concretely
developing countries to individual donors
applying the benefit of ICTs to entrepreneurs
who wish to make direct contributions. By
and enterprises in developing countries.
building a bridge between small donors and
small entrepreneurs, DSN plans to link
Enablis
In the category of medium-sized
38
individuals at a person-to-person level for
the transfer of financial and skills-based
businesses, WG6 is continuing the efforts
resources. It is the vision of the alliance that
initiated by the DOT Force entrepreneurship
grantmaking and individual and corporate
task force through an already partially
investment to the developing world will
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
“
The projects are
consistent in their
overall goals:
addressing the
business and financial
needs, and sustainable
economic growth in
developing countries
”
dramatically increase, resulting in direct
partnerships between the private sector and
civil society that will help reach and surpass
the Millennium Development Goals.
Microdevelopment finance team
WG6 has focused on microentrepreneurs by seeking solutions that
enable the dramatic scaling of microfinance.
A team of dedicated and talented
individuals who comprise a cross-section of
organisations involved in microfinance has
been convened by WG6. Over the past
several months, this team has been
considering the key obstacles that are
preventing the microfinance industry from
reaching scale and exploring potential
solutions. The elements of the solution are
likely to include:
• Financial instruments that can attract
sizeable new commercial investment.
• Consistent management information
“
implementation of such a solution will
reporting systems.
require a voluntary, decentralised
• Universal, low-cost, end-to-end, real-time
It is believed that
Enablis will have a
transformational impact
on the socio-economic
environment of the
businesses it supports
for each aspect of microfinance. The
systems and standardised operations and
organisation structure that supports
information flows within the sector and
continued local innovation, institutional
between microfinance institutions and
autonomy and consensus building around
organisations outside the sector.
critical issues. The concept behind this
• Innovative solutions (both high-tech and
initiative was announced at the
low-tech) for reducing the cost of
Microcredit+5 Summit held the week of 11
transactions.
November 2003 in New York City. The team
• Flexibility in the design and delivery of
financial services to meet diverse and
is continuing to reach out to parties who are
interested in participating.
■
changing local needs.
”
The group is seeking a solution that will
For more information, contact:
www.unicttaskforce.org
leverage the most appropriate technology
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
39
Hewlett Packard (Services)
31/1/04
10:43 am
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Professional experts, proven work methodology, and knowledge create our competitive advantage.
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businesses. We look forward to working with you.
www.hp.com/hps
From the Asia-Pacific Development Information
Programme to the World Summit on the
Information Society
ICT Policy Development
and Implementation seminar for Afghanistan
T
he Asia Pacific Development Information Programme
2. Provide universal access to ICT information and knowledge.
(APDIP) in collaboration with the UNDP Afghanistan Country
3. Reinforce the role of government as a model user of ICT.
Office successfully conducted a specialised seminar on ICT
Policy Development and Implementation from 14-18 October 2002
in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The curriculum of the seminar was
Five principles are also put forward to guide the development
and implementation of policy:
tailored to the specific needs of government officials from
Afghanistan: to provide professional expertise and assistance in the
1. An interconnected and interoperable network of networks.
development of organisational, national and international ICT
2. Collaborative public and private sector development.
policies for their country.
3. Competition in facilities, products and services.
“APDIP aims to promote the development and application of
ICT for poverty alleviation and sustainable human development in
4. Privacy protection and network security.
5. Lifelong learning as a key element of ICT policy.
the Asia Pacific region,” said Shahid Akhtar, the programme’s
Regional Coordinator. “By providing assistance in formulating
Afghanistan already has two key building blocks in place for a
comprehensive ICT frameworks and enabling policies, we help
national ICT policy: the National Telecommunications Policy issued
countries to harness the potential of ICT to support national
in July 2002, and the Telecommunications Development Strategy
development in line with their social, economic and political
issued in October 2002. These documents tackle critical aspects of
objectives.”
building communications infrastructure. However, a number of
Headed by the Afghanistan Minister of Communications, H.E.
complementary public policy issues related to content and capacity
Masoom Stanekzai, the Afghan delegation included representatives
building must be addressed before further progress can be made
from the Ministries of Information, Foreign Affairs, Education,
towards the development of a national ICT policy. These public
Justice, Higher Education, Women Affairs, Commerce and Finance,
policy issues, ranging from competition to culture, and from access
as well as from the Afghan Assistance Coordination Authority. “The
to learning, will be discussed and debated by representatives of all
need for ICT development in Afghanistan is huge and the
levels of Afghan society.
development of policy is a critical ingredient for the success of the
ICT programmes,” said Mr Stanekzai.
With the assistance of a skilled facilitator and ICT policy
Mr Stanekzai is considering the establishment of a National
Information and Communications Technology Council (NICTC)
consisting of a core group of UNDP/APDIP ICT policy seminar
specialist, the group identified challenges, issues and processes for
participants, to which representatives from various levels of Afghan
developing and implementing a national ICT policy for Afghanistan.
society would be added. The NICTC would use the strategy report
Citing a vision to build a high-quality, low-cost ICT network for
as a roadmap to ensure an appropriate and balanced approach to
Afghanistan, a strategy paper was produced that outlines pertinent
providing network access, information and knowledge access to all
public policy issues and recommends the development of a
sectors of Afghanistan that respects Afghanistan’s history, socio-
national ICT policy for Afghanistan in consultation with
economic and cultural realities, international context and
stakeholders. The paper puts forward three objectives to be
encourages investment and innovation.
■
pursued by the strategy:
1. Ensure affordable and equitable access to ICT networks and
For more information, visit: www.apdip.net
infrastructure.
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
41
From the Association for Progressive
Communications to the World Summit on the
Information Society
APC: internet and ICTs for
social justice and development
“
Our Internet Rights programme works to build the capacity
of civil society organisations to understand the issues and
influence of policy and to ensure that ICTs and the internet
are tools for development and democracy
T
”
he Association for Progressive Communications (APC) is an
international network of civil society organisations. APC is
dedicated to empowering and supporting groups and
individuals working for peace, human rights and the development and
protection of the environment, through the strategic use of information
and communication technologies (ICTs), including the internet.
Technology: practice and policy
APC’s members were often the first providers of the internet in
their countries. Today, we continue to pioneer practical and relevant
uses of ICTs for civil society, especially in developing countries. APC
is an international facilitator of civil society’s engagement with ICTs
and related concerns (in both policy and practice), who strives for a
just and inclusive information society. Our Internet Rights
programme works to build the capacity of civil society organisations
to understand the issues and influence of policy and to ensure that
ICTs and the internet are tools for development and democracy.
The APC’s Internet Rights charter
(http://rights.apc.org/charter.shtml) outlines our position on the right
to communicate, freedom of expression, diversity of ownership and
control, licensing, intellectual property, privacy, governance of the
internet and awareness of rights.
We work to expand concern for ICT issues into the broadest
range of civil society organisations: social movements, women’s
groups, human rights organisations, trade unions, environmental
activists and more. We aim to generate information, explain
issues, build capacity and encourage lobbying – supporting the
voice of civil society to build a just information society. Visit
http://www.apc.org/english/rights/why_ir_and_civsoc.shtml to
read why civil society should lobby and protect our right to use
the internet.
42
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
Working regionally in Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean
The APC has active Internet Rights initiatives in Africa and Latin
America and the Caribbean (LAC), and works with networks of
activists in Asia and Europe. To read more about our activities,
please visit http://rights.apc.org.
In 2001, APC brought together civil society representatives to
Internet Rights workshops in Europe, Asia and LAC. In November
2002, we held a successful African Civil Society and ICT policy
workshop in Addis Ababa hosted by the UN Economic Commission
for Africa. Over 80 people attended from all over the continent. This
workshop (http://africa.rights.apc.org/workshop.shtml) developed an
African civil society statement on ICT policy, with specific actions
and contact people in each region.
Monthly newsletters are produced in LAC and Africa on ICT
policy issues as complements to our regional ICT policy monitoring
websites. Occasionally special issues on WSIS and related themes
are produced.
We are developing a one-week training course on ICT policy
for civil society, which will be translated into French and
Portuguese. Currently in draft form, this was demonstrated at the
Addis conference.
The Communication Rights in the Information Society campaign
The APC is a member of the campaign for Communication
Rights in the Information Society (CRIS) (http://www.crisinfo.org),
which brings together many civil society organisations and
individuals committed to building an information society that
benefits all. Communication rights are emerging as a key issue. The
Universal Declaration of Human Rights does not fully recognise this,
“
We work to expand concern for ICT
issues into the broadest range of
civil society organisations
”
however, the World Summit on the Information Society could declare
it a universal right.
APC would like to thank IDRC, the Open Society Institute, the
CTO and Hivos for their support of our Internet Rights work.
■
For more information, contact: Dr Peter Benjamin, APC Communications
and Information Policy Programme Manager. E-mail: [email protected]
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
43
From Cisco Systems Inc. to the World Summit on
the Information Society.
Bridging the digital divide
through the Cisco Networking Academy Program
T
he Cisco Networking Academy
Program is a comprehensive elearning programme that provides
students with the internet technology skills
essential in a global economy. The
Networking Academy Program delivers
web-based content, online assessment,
student performance tracking, hands-on
labs, instructor training and support, and
preparation for industry-standard
certifications.
Launched in 1997, there are now over
10,000 networking academies in 149
countries, companies and individuals,”
countries (LDCs) by the end of 2001.
Chambers stated.
“The Cisco Networking Academy
The initial target was met six months
countries. Over 296,000 students are
Program enables the internet to bring digital
ahead of schedule. The Academy Program
enrolled in academies in high schools,
opportunity to every corner of the earth. By
has been established in 32 LDCs and six
colleges and universities, technical schools,
including these countries in our programme
African non-LDCs. Eighty-six academies
community-based organisations, and other
we will show that the internet and education
have been established at universities,
educational programmes around the world.
are truly the two great equalisers in life for
technical schools, secondary schools and
Cisco has partnered with various
international organisations to help bring
digital opportunities to disadvantaged and
at-risk communities worldwide.
Least developed countries initiative
During the G-8 Summit in July 2000,
leaders of eight major industrialised
democracies called for new public and
private sector efforts to bridge the global
digital divide. In response, Cisco System’s
President and CEO, John Chambers, and
United Nations Development Program
Administrator, Mark Malloch Brown,
announced the Least Developed Countries
Initiative. Their intention was to partner with
the US Agency for International
Development/Leland Initiative/EDDI and the
United Nations Volunteers/UNITeS to extend
the Cisco Networking Academy Program to
44
24 of the world’s 49 least developed
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
“The Cisco Networking
Academy Program
enables the internet to
bring digital
opportunity to every
corner of the earth”
of skilled networking and IT professionals.
Students in developing countries face
particular difficulties in gaining access to
training in the IT field.
With the aim to close the gap in internet
and networking skills in developing
countries, the International
Telecommunication Union (ITU) launched the
Internet Training Centres Initiative for
non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Developing Countries (ITCI-DC) in May 2001.
Three-hundred instructors have been trained
Cisco is the pioneer corporate partner under
and more than 2440 students are currently
this initiative. Cisco Networking Academy
enrolled. Furthermore, 20 UN/UNITeS
Program will be offered at the ITU’s training
volunteers have been deployed in the
centres, which will provide training in
targeted LDCs to focus on outreach to
networking skills. The goal is to establish a
groups with restricted access to ICT training
worldwide network of 50 internet training
and to promote female participation.
centers by end of 2003. As of November
2002, 26 centres were participating in the
Internet Training Centres Initiative for
initiative, with more than 800 students
Developing Countries
enrolled in the Academy Program.
Leaders and experts worldwide
increasingly recognise human-resource
capacity development as one of the most
opportunities with particular emphasis on
women, ensuring that they play an active
Jordan – achieving e-quality in the IT sector
In Jordan, Cisco and Cisco Foundation
role in the internet economy.
Under this project, 10 institutions
crucial constraints facing developing
have partnered with UNIFEM and the
including community centres, NGOs,
countries in their attempts to bridge the
Government of Jordan to establish 10
colleges and high schools were identified in
digital divide. In both the developed and
gender-focused academies. The primary
the capital and secondary cities. Instructor
developing world there is an acute shortage
goal of the project is to create training
training took place in August 2001 in
Amman and since then, nine of the 10
academies have started classes. There are
currently 520 students enrolled, of which
345 are females (66 percent).
In addition to establishing the
academies, this partnership also includes
other activities such as research on the role
of women in IT in Jordan, as well as
developing marketing materials intended to
improve recruitment and retention of women
into the IT sector.
■
For more information, visit:
www.cisco.com/edu/academy
(The Cisco Networking Academy Program)
www.cisco.com/edu/ldc
(The least developed countries initiative)
http://cisco.netacad.net/public/digital_divide/
partners/ITU.html (The ITCI-DC)
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
45
From the Fundación Cisneros to the World Summit
on the Information Society
AME and the [email protected] initiative
What is AME?
esigned to make a contribution to
D
Founding partners
AME’s founding partners have made this
• 45 percent of entrants into primary school
do not graduate
the quality of basic education in
programme a forceful reality through their
• 40 percent of primary school graduates
Latin America, AME (Actualización
generous contributions. These enlightened
do not understand a 500-word essay
de Maestros en Educación) is a partnership
institutions are:
• 55 percent of high school graduates fail a
DIRECTV Latin America
• 35 percent of primary school children
between an entertainment content providing
satellite-based platform and the educational
basic algebra test
authorities of seven Latin American nations.
Made available transponder space in its
AME is also an innovative distance-learning
region-wide digital satellite platform (Galaxy
programme that provides training to
VIII i).
schoolteachers across the region via digital
satellite television.
AME relaunches its services this year
to serve 250 schools in seven Latin
Venezuela. Teachers access an eight-
The Microsoft Corporation
Donated the operating programs and
internet software to schools.
Provides the project management and
finances the training fees and the publishing
originated in Barcelona, Spain, at the
of learning manuals for teachers.
headquarters of the Universidad Autonoma
communicate with the University and fellow
trainees through the internet.
repeat grades
not receive their teaching materials
• 80 percent of primary school teachers are
not empowered with new teaching skills
throughout the duration of their careers.
Fundacion Cisneros
month distance-learning course that
de Barcelona via DIRECTV, and
• 45 percent of children in high school
• 70 percent of primary school teachers do
American countries: Argentina, Colombia,
Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama and
repeat grades
• Average teacher salary in the region is
US$1.09 per hour.
This situation posed a development
challenge for the partnership, as the
Inter-American Development Bank
Covered the fees charged by UNESCO
to assess the pilot project.
Groups of teachers from different
expansion plan was based on the constant
recruitment of skilled human resources. The
Fundación Cisneros was thus enlisted to
develop a region-wide teacher-training
countries then work together to resolve
Centro de Transferencia de Tecnología
practical tests and to prepare research
Trained, free of charge, participating
programme that would contribute to
redressing this situation – resorting to the
projects designed to deepen the knowledge
teachers in the pilot project phase in the use
DIRECTV digital satellite platform as the
acquired through the distance-learning
of computers and the internet.
distribution medium.
■
courses. The effort has been widely praised
by teacher participants, and preparations
are underway to become a full-scale
46
Why AME?
As the DirecTV partnership (Hughes
resource for teachers throughout Latin
Electronics-Cisneros Group of Companies)
America. UNESCO assessed AME at the
prepared to enter the Latin American
end of its pilot project phase (September
market, disparities between economic and
1998-May 1999). Strong recommendations
social trends became painfully apparent.
to continue the project were issued by this
Most salient was the status quo of
UN authority on educational matters.
education in the region.
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
For more information, contact:
AME
Dennys Montoto [email protected]
http://www.cisneros.com/company/ame.asp
[email protected]
Maria Ignacia Arcaya
[email protected]
http://www.cisneros.com/company/clase.asp
“Thank you so much for your devotion to a
Programming includes:
kid like me… Congratulations to all programmes,
especially to the Math Crew that is leading me
out of my fear of numbers.”
John Jairo Marulanda Arroyave, aged 12,
Pereira, Colombia
What is the [email protected] initiative
[email protected] was developed in 1996 as an educational
Website
The [email protected] website provides a meeting point for
• Eyewitness – Dorling Kindersley. This series
the Latin American educational community. Alongside
stimulates the imagination through the use of
programming information and teacher guides, the site
computerised images, documentaries, footage
also provides children with the opportunity to interact
from films and animations. In Eyewitness, history
with the programmes’ content through games, and
and science are presented in an anecdotal manner
offers access to additional resources for parents,
with energy and a touch of humour.
teachers and students.
• Eddie Files – FASE Productions. Eddie solves
channel for families in DIRECTV subscriber homes in
interesting mathematics assignments and, through
Distribution
Latin America. The first pan-regional educational
his video camera, shows us that numbers are a
Argentina
channel, it was further developed in 1999 to provide
part of our day-to-day lives.
educational content for children and teenagers.
[email protected] offers dynamic content relevant to
• Beakman’s World – Columbia Pictures. Mr
[email protected] is offered as part of the package of
channels that is made available to 8000 rural schools
Beakman and his assistants use ingenious
through the Ministry of Communications’ Schools
primary and secondary school students, thus serving
humour, special effects and fascinating scientific
without Frontiers initiative.
as an educational tool for teachers that children and
experiments to make learning an adventure.
teenagers become easily engaged with. Its valuable,
• Sacbe, The Maya Route – Canal Once.
Costa Rica
educational content provides a clear purpose for the
Documentary content and fiction are combined
integration of new technologies in the classroom and
to yield a passionate adventure through the
DIRECTV programming through a government-
its integrated system takes full advantage of available
Maya World.
sponsored project.
technologies, offering:
• Connect with English – WGBH/CPB/Annenberg.
Provides all of the pedagogical foundations
• [email protected]: the educational channel direct-to-home
and direct-to-schools.
• Teacher guides: distributed to schools to assist
teachers in taking full advantage of the channel
content as a complement to the curriculum.
• [email protected] website: an interactive environment allows
[email protected] reaches 150 schools that have access to
required to use television to teach a second
Mexico
[email protected] signed a collaboration agreement with
language. Throughout the video, key phrases are
the Instituto Latinoamericano para la Comunicación
repeated, important events retold and idioms
Educativa (ILCE) for distribution of the channel and
paraphrased.
teacher guide to 30,000 schools throughout Mexico.
• The Arts – BBC. Artists and artisans show the
techniques applied to their artwork, while they
for open communication within the continent
explain their perspective on the world and how it
between students, teachers, parents and [email protected]
provides them with inspiration.
Pan-regional
[email protected] provides educational content to more than
6000 teachers and 150,000 students in schools that
have participated in the Fundación Cisneros’ AME
The [email protected] channel
• Targets 6 to 17 year olds.
• Includes hosts who make programming content
Teacher guide
Developed by Latin American educational experts
project in seven countries (Venezuela, Ecuador, Costa
Rica, Panama, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia).
to add didactic value and relevance to the channel’s
relevant for a Latin American audience, frame
programming, the teacher guides provide detailed
programmes with questions to stimulate classroom
information about the channel’s programming,
programming with much enthusiasm, which we
discussion, and promote audience participation
suggested activities in accordance with the students’
wish could be seen in all Mexican homes. We
through contests, e-mails, on-line games, etc.
grade level, programme summaries and more in depth
await the fourth teacher guide and wish you
information about related subjects, and articles
much more success.”
• Features programmes from: BBC, Dorling
Kindersley, TV Ontario, Pearson, Canal Once.
regarding teaching trends.
“At our school we follow [email protected]’s
Prof. Martin Alcocer, teacher, Mexico City, Mexico
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
47
From WSIS-Gender Caucus to the World Summit
on the Information Society.
Promoting ICT for development
alongside gender equality issues
T
here is a wide consensus that ICT can play
These inequalities in access to, and control of,
an important role in reducing poverty,
ICT between men and women limit the potential of an
improving education and healthcare,
information society to make the most valuable
enhancing political participation and empowerment,
contribution to the achievement of the Millennium
and promoting sustainable development in
Development Goals MDGs. Without women’s
developing countries as well as countries with
participation in decision-making in all spheres of life
economies in transition. The ICT sector is the central
and at all levels of society, poverty will not be
core of the emerging global knowledge-based
eradicated nor will fully democratic societies be
economy in which access and control of ICT
created. Limited access to ICT for women also has
facilities and applications are prerequisites for
the effect of reducing countries’ competitiveness in
effective integration into the global economy.
the global market.
The role of ICT as a tool for development has
Promoting ICT for development can assist with
recently attracted the sustained attention of the
achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
United Nations. In 2000, the Economic and Social
The first goal of the MDGs is to: “Eradicate extreme
Council adopted a Ministerial Communiqué on the
poverty and hunger.” The UN General Assembly
role of information technology in the context of a
recognised that the achievement of this goal depends
knowledge-based economy. Later that year, the
in part on: “Good governance at the international
Millennium Declaration underscored the urgency of
level,” and also resolved to: “Ensure that the benefits
ensuring that the benefits of new technologies,
of new technologies, especially information and
especially ICT, be available to all. The World Summit
communications technologies… are available to all.”
on the Information Society, with ITU as lead
(UN Millennium Declaration paras. 13 and 20.5
organising entity, which takes place in 2003 (Geneva)
[A/res/55/2]).
and 2005 (Tunisia), provides a unique opportunity to
advance the ICT for development agenda.
These positive opportunities are undermined by
The challenge of gender inequality can be
the prospect that ICT will remain accessible only to
overcome with urgent and concerted actions at the
the elite and will not contribute to the achievement of
national, regional and international levels to put ICT
fundamental human development.
firmly in the service of development for all. However,
The majority of the world’s population still lives
48
Gender implications
this will not happen if ICT decision makers continue
in poverty and remains untouched by the benefits
to treat gender issues as being non-existent or
of ICT. There are critical disparities between and
unimportant. In recent months, specifically since the
within countries and among groups within countries
first WSIS PrepCom in July 2002, there has been
and regions. One of the most overlooked and
consolidation of evidence on the status of women in
ignored disparities is the one that exists between
the Information Society and development of analysis
men and women. Unequal power relations in our
of strategies for improving this position. WSIS should
societies contribute to differential access,
provide a platform for sharing this information and
participation and treatment for men and women in
debating on the best course of action to reduce
the Information Society.
inequalities and increase opportunities.
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
• Inadequate provision of relevant content and
“
applications, particularly in local languages and
adapted to needs of non-literate women.
• Gender discrimination in labour markets and in the
provision of education and training opportunities
The majority of the world’s
population still lives in
poverty and remains
untouched by the benefits
of ICT
”
Evidence shows that it is important for decision
and allocation of financial resources for
entrepreneurship and business development, which
also offer negative consequences.
• Under-representation of women in all aspects of
decision-making in operations, policy and
regulation in the ICT.
The convening of a World Summit on the
Information Society by the United Nations system
provides a unique opportunity to focus global
attention on these issues. In making preparations for
makers on a national and global level to recognise
the Summit, the organisers are urged to take the
that, in order to formulate an appropriate plan of
opportunity to ensure that WSIS provides an
action to proactively target the themes proposed by
opportunity for women and men to enjoy the myriad
WSIS, there must be a clear understanding of the
of potentials for social and economic empowerment
issues that impede some sectors of the population to
offered by ICT, and to participate effectively in all
maximise their potential. In doing so, it will be
aspects of the ICT field. WSIS can assist in building
possible to formulate measures to effectively provide
an information society that contributes to promoting
access to ICT for all, to understand the value of ICT
gender equality as well as furthering progress in the
as a tool for economic and social development and to
eradication of poverty, promotion of peace and
assure confidence and security in the use of ICT
security and the enjoyment of human rights. All
(www.itu.int/osg/spu/wsis-themes/).
stakeholders must take urgent action to ensure that
Therefore, some of the issues that must be
seriously taken into account are:
gender equality and women’s rights are integrated
into the WSIS and its follow-up programmes. Unless
these actions are taken, there is a grave risk that the
• A lack of participation by the majority of the people,
Summit will not succeed in its aim of creating a
particularly women, in the developing countries,
vision of the information society that contributes to
because of structural and cultural impediments,
human development.
■
which significantly reduce the developmental
benefits of ICT.
• The uneven and unaffordable access to ICT
facilities and services by women, especially, but not
For more information, visit:
www.wougnet.org/WSIS/wsisgc.html
exclusively, in developing countries.
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
49
From Germany to the World Summit on the
Information Society.
German initiatives
n the framework of bilateral development
Mali. In this way, it makes a contribution to bridging
cooperation, Germany supports a number of
the digital divide.
I
projects aimed at the application and use of ICT.
These, above all, are projects that improve the access
Extension of the digital patent information system
of the rural population to ICT services, contribute to
in the People’s Republic of China
the modernisation of the economy and strengthen
civil society organisations.
Some examples of these initiatives include:
With the first Patent Law of 1985 the People’s
Republic of China has created the legal conditions for
granting commercial patent rights to applicants from
China and abroad.
Communal multimedia centres in Mali
Mali has a very dynamic and wide-ranging media
Because of rapid economic development, the
Chinese Patent Office (CPO) reached the limits of its
environment. Its 110 private radio stations represent
technical capacities. The increasing duration of patent
the largest transmitter density in the whole of sub-
procedures (on average four years) was an obstacle
Sahara Africa.
to the modernisation of the People’s Republic of
These private radios are of a commercial,
communal, religious or cooperative type. Radio is the
China and to economic growth.
The project supports the capacities of the CPO
most important means of communication and
and access to patent information by affiliated patent
information in rural areas. Communal radio not only
information centres of the most important industrial
conveys important information, but it also gives a
cities in China. The CPO was equipped with new
‘voice’ to the rural population. In the course of the
data-technical equipment. There was also extensive
decentralisation process, communal radio stations
training of CPO employees.
have become particularly important because they
contribute to creating a local identity.
The project, currently in the pre-feasibility stage,
aims to create multimedia centres in small towns and
The German Patent Office has been involved in
the whole process from the beginning. The exchange
of information between the two patent offices is to be
continued by means of a sponsorship agreement.
rural communities in Mali. These centres are to be
attached to existing private radio stations, thus
Development of the electronic payments system in
creating an added value of communication services
Uganda
for the population. The one-way communication of
the financial sector since 1993, with the support of
modern communication infrastructure (telephone, fax,
the international donor community. A lack of trust in
computer, internet access).
the system has preventend an interbank market from
The aim is to give an additional means of income
coming into existence. Clearing of checks by the
to private communal radio stations while, at the same
Ugandan Central Bank can take several months. The
time, facilitate a more active participation of the
deficiencies of the system burden the rural
population in the political decision processes on the
population, because financial transactions often
communal and national level.
require travelling to the capital. The project aims at
The project promotes the connectivity of remote
areas and supports the process of decentralisation in
50
Uganda has implemented substantial reforms in
radio transmitters is to be extended by means of a
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
improving the efficiency of the Ugandan payments
system by creating an electronic clearing house. Both
companies and private bank customers will profit
offer study programmes for a Master’s Degree in
from reduced transaction costs.
international peace education.
In the near future, cross-boundary digitalised
payments will also be possible.
The project comprises the equipment of this new
These programmes can be made available on a
worldwide scale through links with partner universities
(above all in developing countries) and the use of new
electronic clearing house with the necessary
information and communication technologies
computer hardware and software, as well as
(distance learning).
installation, maintenance and training.
The commercial banks have been involved in the
preparation of the project and the elaboration of
standards and regulations.
ICT in development cooperation
In 2002, Germany presented a study concerning
the state of ICTs in five countries (Peru, Laos,
Vietnam, Tanzania and Uganda). This study, which
Support of the project of the NGO Kabissa
‘It’s time to get online: simple steps to success on
the internet’
Many NGOs in developing countries are not able
was carried out against the background of the G8
countries’ commitment to promote the application of
ICTs in developing countries, analyses the potential
for possible cooperation in this field.
■
to take advantage of the internet, because they do
not realise the benefits or because they do not have
the necessary knowledge to use it. The project aims
at removing these two barriers.
Training material will be developed and capacitybuilding workshops will be organised in order to
convey the necessary knowledge for an efficient use
of the internet.
The project is aimed at NGOs in West Africa that
commit themselves to human rights, freedom of
information and democratisation.
At first, Germany will support the pilot phase of
the project. It is planned to finance the propagation in
West Africa together with other donors. Overall, 1000
NGOs are to be reached with the project and more
than 3000 sets of training material are to be
distributed.
Support of the UN University for Peace in Costa
Rica in setting up and propagating study programmes
in the field of crisis prevention, conflict management
and peace education.
Beginning in autumn 2003, the UN University for
“
Many NGOs in developing
countries are not able to
take advantage of the
internet, because they do
not realise the benefits or
because they do not have
the necessary knowledge
to use it
”
For more information, contact:
Gerd Benke, Federal Foreign Office, Germany
[email protected]
Peace in Costa Rica will – with German support –
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
51
From Hewlett-Packard to the World Summit on the
Information Society
e-Inclusion: Dikhotole Digital Village,
South Africa – rising out of a cycle of poverty
ikhatole, a community just outside of Johannesburg, suffers
and experience, and encouraging entrepreneurship, particularly
from chronic unemployment coupled with primitive living
among women,” explains Henry Ferreira, Managing Director of HP
conditions – no running water, electricity or basic housing.
South Africa.
D
The unemployment rate is more than 30 percent and many of
Residents will be taught skills such as computer literacy, CV
the community’s 8,000 people still cling to the bottom rungs of the
writing, communications and presentation, and entrepreneurship.
South African economy: most families are led by single mothers who
More than 1,000 unemployed youth will be trained in employability
lack the skills needed to get a job. Often, young people leave their
skills and self-employment, while 540 women will be trained in basic
unstable home environments to live on the street, and are vulnerable
Internet use for networking and support, as well as in starting and
to a life of violence, crime and infectious disease. There is a
running a small business.
perpetual cycle of poverty that leaves little hope for the future.
Addressing community needs
A reason for hope
A business consortium led by Hewlett-Packard South Africa has
The second major thrust of the project is to build up computer
resources and skills in the region’s schools. HP and ORT aim to train
launched a project to provide the Dikhatole community with basic
at least 70 teachers in essential computer skills and will help train
computer, Internet and business skills to improve their chances of
more than 2,400 children in basic computer use. In addition, the two
getting work. The training will be provided through the Dikhatole
companies will upgrade and install computers and Internet facilities
Digital Village, the largest facility of its kind in the country, with more
at the schools.
than 90 Internet-enabled workstations.
To stem the tide of chronic unemployment in this South African
The third aspect of the project involves training local
government employees in basic computer and Internet skills, and
township, this Digital Village strives to help unemployed youth and
installing computers in the workplace to allow them to communicate
women develop sought-after computer and business skills, giving
effectively and share information more readily.
them access to the Internet to open job opportunities.
The project is spearheaded by the non-profit Organisation for
The project is expected to last for three years; by then it is
expected that the community will be trained enough and
Rehabilitation and Training (ORT) South Africa and sponsored by
experienced enough to become self-sufficient. HP and ORT have
HP, Macsteel and Microsoft. HP is donating much of the
worked closely with governmental and private-sector bodies, and
equipment, while Microsoft is donating the software. Macsteel, a
members of the community, to ensure the project will sustain itself
South African industrial-steel producer is providing the training
once ORT and HP have withdrawn.
room and related offices.
Dikhatole, which literally means ‘lost’, may have represented the
feelings of many youths and women in the community up until now.
Opening new opportunities
The programme’s goal is to improve the standard of living
But hopefully this project will be one small step toward selfsufficiency and helping people find their way.
■
among Dikhatole residents by increasing their earning potential and
connecting them to the world. “The project targets unemployment
and low income in the area by helping youngsters gain qualifications
52
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
For more information, visit:
http://www.hp.com/e-inclusion/en/project/dikhotole1.html
From the Inter-American Development Bank to the
World Summit on the Information Society.
The first Latin American and Caribbean
video art competition and exhibition
L
ast year, the Cultural Centre of the
Inter-American Development Bank
and the Information Technology for
Development Division of the IDB (SDS/ICT)
announced a competition and international
video art exhibition, to be held in December
2002 and January 2003, at the IDB Cultural
Centre Art Gallery in Washington DC, and in
April-May 2003 at the Istituto ItaloLatinoamericano (IILA) in Rome.
The objectives of the competition were
to broaden the discussion of economic and
social factors affecting Latin America and
the Caribbean with the participation of
individuals who use technology-based visual
media; to encourage those working in the
cultural milieu to use their creative abilities
to formulate viewpoints that enhance public
awareness and understanding; to inspire the
public to consider possible alternatives and
solutions; and to establish a benchmark for
the advancement of video art as a form of
expression in the region.
According to Mirna Liévano de
such as justice, security, social inclusion,
Carlos Fernando Osuna (Colombia), Ester
Marques, IDB External Relations Advisor:
ethnicity and the environment, among many
Guízar and Maries Mendiola (Mexico),
“The social and economic reality of Latin
other issues. As a result, we have a chance
Humberto Polar (Peru) and David Morey
America and the Caribbean, and the role of
to experience the everyday reality of life in
(Venezuela).
communications in development appealed
the region as video artists see it. The results
to a large group of people who work with
are poignant, revealing and educational.
those video artists who are able to
cutting-edge video technology. It is the first
They also underscore and celebrate the key
interpret particular issues affecting their
international video contest of its kind in
role of culture in the development process.”
countries, and who reflect, in their
Washington DC, a benchmark that has
An international jury selected 56 videos
The strength of the exhibition lies with
personal ways, their social and economic
afforded talented artists an opportunity to
from 21 countries. The two cash awards
realities. The significant response to the
show their abilities. These, mostly young,
went to Brooke Alfaro (Panama) and to
call proves that the IDB Cultural Centre
filmmakers presented short films on social
Eduardo Baggio and Carlos Rocha (Brazil).
was able to penetrate an entire community
issues that the IDB works with every day,
Honourable Mentions were awarded to
not yet familiar with the IDB and its
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
53
agenda. The outstanding number of
Competition and its accompanying video
excellent pieces received from certain
installation exhibition requires patience and
countries attests to their past economic
pacing from its audience, but the effort
well-being, their long standing attention to
spent viewing this show is worth it,” said
education and the visual tradition in the
washingtonpost.com. The Washington
realm of filmmaking. In some countries it
Times listed it in the Top Picks of its
appears that artists have been able to
weekend section. The Washington Diplomat
keep up technologically but are having
went further, stating that: “The aspect of
difficulty in adjusting video to artistic
technology was key here because the IDB
terms, or they are having trouble dealing
was dealing with countries that may not
with current situations. The structure of
have advanced video technology, education
many pieces shows that in almost all
or knowledge of video as an artistic
countries the boundaries between
medium. This, in itself, is already a reflection
The results are
poignant, revealing
and educational. They
also underscore and
celebrate the key role
of culture in the
development process
documentary, short film, performance
of the social and economic realities facing
The Washington Diplomat
recording and video art are blurred.
these countries, and how the artist
In all countries, access to technology
their artistic journey.” And: “In some videos,
an outstanding issue, in some more than
the equipment may have been less than
others and in physical terms as well as
state-of-the-art, but the message is no less
economic terms. In Latin America and the
intense, and the images no less disturbing
Caribbean, technology still has a long way
or beautiful.”
to go to fulfil its promise of making life – or
Despite the unsympathetic and
at least work – simpler, cheaper and more
sometimes angry messages that video
functional. Judging from the clippings that
artists are sending to society’s leadership
the IDB representations sent to the IDB
through their work, there are positive,
headquarters, the general feeling among
optimistic and even humorous alternatives
artists is that video, and video art in
that assimilate the region’s problems and
particular, requires resources they just do
individual shortcomings. Taken as a group,
not have. It is significant to note that
the present exhibition may be a strong
Nicaragua, Honduras, Jamaica and
reminder of unsolved and lingering
Guyana were four out of the five countries
problems, but it is also a gratifying
that did not submit any entry.
demonstration of the talent of the region
The press of Washington DC quickly
54
overcame their lack of resources was part of
for the regular individual continues to be
that, despite chronic limitations, is found in
responded to the event in a variety of
abundance, and is waiting for better
reviews: “Without a doubt, the First Latin
opportunities to help re-conceptualise the
American and Caribbean Video Art
elusive idea of integral development.
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
■
“
”
DIGITALYART,
an exhibition on technology in art
T
he Cultural Center of the Inter American
ROMA II, currently in the collection of the Guggenheim
Development Bank, in cooperation with the
Museum in New York. Both the monumental scale and
Information and Communication Technology
the bold statement he makes with the use of marble
for Development Division, of the Sustainable
and video combined, not to mention the sensible use of
Development Department and the Istituto Italiano di
water imagery, speaks of the balance between the past
Cultura, of Washington, DC, has organised
and present, the reference to history for man to remain
DIGITALYART, an exhibition honouring Italy and the
alert to recurrent errors, and the awareness of
City of Milan, host of the 44th Annual Meeting of IDB
everything else humans share life with.
Governors in March of 2003.
It has become the Center’s tradition to honour the
The position of Plessi in the international scene is
that of an artist concerned with developing a
member country hosting the Annual Meeting with an
contemporary language inspired by the newest and
art exhibition. This allows the IDB to bring to global
most advanced resources available. At the same time,
attention some of the most significant cultural
however, he uses that language which is inscribed in
expressions from the LAC region. Most importantly, it
the context of man and the existential realm.
helps establish a tangible relationship between culture
Architect Celestino Soddu has dedicated his
and development, a notion that is obvious for some,
entire career to investigating the possibilities of
but debatable for others; the debate illustrates how
generative design. He creates software that endows
imperfectly the definition of development is
the machine with the capacity to produce multiple
sometimes conceived.
alternatives to a given program, producing designs
Technology summarises the dynamic of the world
that depart from cultural and physical DNA. Adriano
in the 21st century. The ‘revolution’ that started at the
Abbado’s work illustrates an artist interested in
end of the past century has brought many unresolved
expressing himself with new tools. To achieve these
issues into the beginning of the new one. Technology
goals in a contemporary world, sensibility has to be
has always been entangled in the socio-cultural
guided into new dimensions where both aesthetics
evolution of civilisation, but has never before played
and intellectual thought coexist with technology; the
such an important role affecting almost every second
resultant imagery cannot be rejected under the
of our lives. Although technology is assumed to be, in
traditional arguments or modes of perception.
itself, an expression of advancement, its goals are
For the IDB it has been very rewarding to
unavoidably linked to the improvement of life and
coalesce such an interesting and different group of
elevation of human kind. Technology, however, has
efforts and realisations departing from a common
not always brought man to better understanding,
premise. This is the first time that the work of these
refined his nature, or made him wiser. If not these,
three artists has been exhibited in Washington, DC
■
what other purposes should technology have?
The artists selected for this exhibition represent a
variety of current proposals within the ample framework
of artists working with interactive digital technology in
For more information, contact:
Enrica Murmura, Information and Communication Technology for
Development, Division SDS/ICT
[email protected] www.iadb.org/ict4dev
Italy. Maestro Fabrizio Plessi is one of the most admired
and recognised contemporary Italian artists. For this
Felix Angel, Cultural Centre- Inter american Development Bank
[email protected] www.iadb.org/exr/cultural/center.html
presentation, the Center was able to secure his piece
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
55
From the Inter-American Development Bank to the
World Summit on the Information Society.
The Inter-American Development Bank
steps in to support ICT applications for small businesses
T
he Inter-American Development
fortunes of the sector led, in 2001, to a swift
Bank (IDB) and the Multilateral
reduction of resources in the development
Investment Fund, a unit of the IDB
of ICT applications.
Group, have launched the ICT Innovation
Innovation by tech firms has been
Program for e-business and SME
reduced and marketing efforts have been
Development (in short ICT-4-BUS
concentrated on providing IT services to
Program). This is a US$5 million fund,
large corporations, a market that is already
which supports innovative ICT applications
controlled by large consulting and/or IT
in Latin America and the Caribbean and is
firms. Investments in new ICT technologies
aimed at strengthening the competitive
tailored to the need of hitherto marginalised
position of SMEs.
medium and small sized business users
The Program’s first call for proposals
have become much more risky. This
was closed in October 2002 with 101
represents a potential setback for the
project applications from 18 countries. A
access of these users to ICT technologies,
new call for proposals will be opened in
either for increased efficiency and
June 2003.
competitiveness or for market penetration.
through the provision of rapid and
Background
In the past few decades, knowledge-
As ICT has become a key element for
The ICT-4-BUS Program
ICT-4-BUS aims to improve the
driven innovation has become a decisive
improving the productivity and efficiency of
competitiveness, productivity and efficiency
factor in the competitiveness of both
private firms, it also plays a crucial role in
of SMEs in Latin America and the
nations and firms. This trend is particularly
strengthening the competitiveness of
Caribbean through the implementation of
pronounced in developed countries where,
national economies. However, access to,
innovative ICT and e-business solutions. It
by 1999, knowledge-based industries
and use of, these technologies remains
will make ICT solutions available to SMEs
represented more than 50 percent of GDP.
uneven. This disparity, the so-called digital
that strive for market penetration and
ICT is the backbone of knowledge-
divide, is a reflection of deeper social and
business efficiency, which were once
based economies. ICT solutions and
economic inequalities. In particular, the lack
limited to larger companies and
services improve efficiency in the value
of financial, human and technical resources
international corporations. In so doing, this
chain by providing better and faster
prevent SMEs from swiftly adopting new
initiative will lend a truly global dimension to
communication between trading partners,
technology to compete in national and
the multitude of efforts to bridge the global
integrating transactions with logistics
international markets.
digital divide, foster digital opportunity and
functions, reducing intermediation costs,
56
strategic information.
On the supply side, during 1999-2000,
thus firmly put ICT at the service of
facilitating the search for new markets and
an incipient industry for ICT has emerged in
allowing better pricing policies. ICT also
Latin America and the Caribbean confirming
serves as an important tool for other
the potential for a small but vibrant
non-reimbursable matching funds for the
corporate functions such as strategic
information sector that could count on a
development and implementation of pilot
planning, business operations, customer
reservoir of technology and business
projects that will test innovative ICT
services and decision-making processes
talents. The subsequent downturn in the
services and solutions for SMEs, primarily
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
development for all.
In this context, ICT-4-BUS will provide
in the areas of value chain integration,
workplace productivity and efficiency, and
Potential ICT solutions and services that
could be used by the projects include:
market penetration. The overall cost of the
projects to be funded is estimated at US$8
• E-commerce and e-business applications.
million, out of which, US$4.5 million will be
• E-productivity applications for individuals
provided by the ICT-4-BUS Program. Over
450 SMEs will participate in the pilot
projects. It is also expected that a large
number will benefit from new services and
solutions through the dissemination and
and organisations.
• Infrastructure and access enhancing
systems.
• Knowledge management and distribution
systems.
• Mobile (including satellite-based)
applications and services for businesses.
The projects will be presented by nonprofit institutions in the region, which are
involved in promoting SME development
and/or have proven experience in the
development of ICT solutions or services.
Examples of these institutions are trade
associations, universities, foundations,
NGOs, chambers of commerce, business
development centres and research centres.
The Program is managed by the
Information Technology for Development
Division (SDS/ICT), and the IDB technical
“
As ICT has become
a key element for
improving the
productivity and
efficiency of private
firms, it also plays a
crucial role in
strengthening the
competitiveness of
national economies
division that provides support to the IDB
and Latin American and Caribbean countries
in ICT-related areas. The Division’s specific
responsibilities include providing technical
and financial backstopping for projects to
be funded by the Bank, and offering
strategic and technical advice to
”
governments on how to make better use of
available information technology.
The IDB is actively participating in the
activities carried out by the UN ICT Task
Force and has also joined the Working
Group on Business Enterprise and
replication of the ‘best practices’ and
Entrepreneurship, in order to share and
‘lessons learned’ from the pilot projects.
exchange lessons learned and best
Between 15 and 20 pilot projects will be
selected through a thorough evaluation
process coordinated by the IDB. The projects
that will be selected for funding may receive
between US$75,000 and US$500,000 in
practices in the development of ICT policies
and programmes for developing countries.
■
For more information, contact: Antonio Ca’ Zorzi,
Program Manager Information Technology for
Development Division Inter-American
Development Bank E-mail: [email protected]
matching grants from the fund.
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
57
From the Inter-American Development Bank to the
World Summit on the Information Society.
The ALDEA Program:
Digital strategies for the Latin American
and Caribbean governments
different pilot projects (e-government solutions, e-commerce, and
access to information and communication technologies [ICTs]) to be
realised in each country.
The Program’s focus is to create the National Committees for
the Information Society (CNSI), connecting a political effort, mainly
represented by each country presidency, with representatives of
telecommunications, academic world, entrepreneurs and all
citizens. This particular partnership has to analyse each single case,
and the pilot projects will be identified depending on the priorities
of each country. The single strategy can be constructed from top to
bottom, starting from the idea that there are no set rules or models
in this context.
The Program
With the assistance of the IADB’s Information and
Communication Technology for Development Division (SDS/ICT) and
the Refurbishing Divisions of the State of the Operative Regional
Departments, we have gathered a technical team dedicated to assist
the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, in their
formulation of strategies, and development of solutions based on
nter-American Development Bank offers, through this program, a
I
solution to the Latin America and Caribbean countries, in order to
allow them to properly face the Digital Era challenges.
the application of ICTs for development.
Our mission consists of identifying and starting up solutions that
can suit the realities of development in each country.
These are the leading principles:
Introduction
The Digital Strategies program for Latin America and the
Caribbean – the ALDEA Program – has recently been launched in
several countries. The ALDEA Program was first developed in
Uruguay, and, at the moment, different operations are carried out
also in the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Argentina and
Paraguay.
The ALDEA Program offers technical assistance and/or loan
operations for digital strategies development through the different
are specific to each country.
• Development is local, but must show deep commitment to a
global view.
• This is not an exclusive task for governments. All different
economic and social agents (companies, governments,
universities, civil organisations, financial agents) should
participate.
financial segments managed by the Bank. In particular, the Program
• It is necessary to generate new management skills.
is oriented to work with Flexible Loan Institutions for Innovating
• All digital strategies must be converted into state policy.
Operations (almost 10 million fast approvals!). The Program started
• Strict coordination of public policies must be considered.
from a central concept: to partner digital strategies’ development
• A cultural environment where knowledge is the new goal of
with institutional strength in order to support the implementation of
58
• In the digital era, there are no set rules to development: strategies
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
development must be created.
What does the ALDEA Program do?
The ALDEA Program offers technical and financial assistance in
order to answer the question: how can we create the right national
conditions for development in the digital era?
We offer:
“Our mission consists of identifying
and starting up solutions that can
adapt to the realities of
development in each country”
• Development of a new public institutional ability for knowledge,
exchange and management.
• The transfer of technical, management and learning skills in the
Identification and start up of pilot projects in the following areas:
knowledge economy domain.
• The integration of country’s technical teams with Latin American
• Connectivity projects (Telecentres)
professionals and experts of local reality, in order to identify and
• Online Government projects
formulate the pilot projects that will be able to offer a positive
• E-commerce projects
factor for change.
• Education and ICT projects
• An appropriate frame for the definition and management of coordinated policies between several economic and social agents.
Activities
What kind of activities does the ALDEA Program promote?
How does the ALDEA Program work?
Governments of the countries benefited by the IADB can request
assistance from the ALDEA Program. The request must be directed
to the IADB’s representative in the country, and copied to the
Information and Communication Technology for Development
Division (SDS/ICT), and to the State’s Refurbishing Division of the
Regional Department, and referred to and signed by the Governor
and the Bank.
Once the request is received, it will be appointed to a technical
team in the Bank that will follow it throughout the project. Each
technical team will assist in identifying the ‘type of operation’.
Objectives
The general aim of the program is to contribute in creating the
• The design of a digital policy, linked to specific action plans, and
built-on in a coordinated way.
• Modernisation of the direction and decision-making systems for
public administration.
• Strengthening or development, according to the case, of the
institutional ability responsible for promoting digital strategies.
• Development of the necessary human resources.
• Improvement in the quality of services.
• Design and start up of mechanisms able to promote community
participation.
What results are expected from the ALDEA Program?
Right solutions for knowledge development.
institutional conditions able to foster knowledge development in
each country, starting from a single national strategy, and to favour
Results
the implementation of pilot initiatives for the starting up of the
• Strengthening of the public management ability for a digital
chosen strategy.
In each country, the ALDEA Program creates:
strategy.
• Strengthening of the policies’ definition ability for a digital
strategy, co-ordinating the public and private sectors, citizens and
• A political level able to identify and coordinate a digital policy with
different economic and social agents.
academic representatives.
• A pilot project to improve and increase citizens’ access to ICTs.
• A pilot project for the creation of e-government abilities.
A technical skill in management (management level) for the public
administration of different projects in the following areas:
• A pilot project for the creation of legal and institutional conditions
to support the development of e-commerce.
• A pilot project for the introduction of ICTs in public education
• Connectivity projects (Telecentres)
systems.
■
• Online Government projects
• E-commerce projects
• Education and ICT projects
For more information, contact: Pablo Valenti, Information and Communication Technology
for Development, Division SDS/ICT. [email protected] www.iadb.org/ict4dev
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
59
From the Inter-American Development Bank to the
World Summit on the Information Society.
Italian Trust Fund
for Information and
Communication Technology
for Development
A
mong its mandate and activities, of promoting the
introduction, use and application of ICT in the social and
economic development process of the Bank’s borrowing
member countries in the Latin American and Caribbean Region,
the ICT for Development Division (SDS/ICT) of the Sustainable
Development Department (SDS) promotes effective interinstitutional collaboration efforts to leverage the reach and impact
of such emerging technologies in the region.
In particular, the Bank’s inter-institutional cooperation and cofinancing strategy in ICT seeks avenues of cooperation with
international organisations, civil society institutions and private
sector enterprises to leverage the technical and financial resources
available to promote the use and implementation of ICT in the
region. Within this context, a number of cooperation agreements
have been reached with, among others, the Information Society
Technologies Programme (IST) of the European Commission for the
establishment of a ‘Pilot Programme for the Diffusion of Information
Technologies in Social Programmes’, and the Government of Italy,
which has provided an effective support to the Bank in various
activities in the area of ICT for development including ‘E-Strategies’,
‘E-Commerce’ and ‘ICT Financial Leverage’.
Of particular importance is the establishment of the ‘Italian
Trust Fund for Information and Communication Technology for
Development’ for US$3 million. Such an initiative will finance a
series of pre-investment studies, project preparation activities,
pilot programmes, and small and medium-sized demonstrative
ICT projects in priority e-government activities in the Latin
American and Caribbean region. Additional bilateral donors will
be invited to join the initiative under individual trust fund
agreements in 2003 and, thereby, be allowed to cover additional
areas in the field of ICT for development (e.g. for social
development, sustainable development, business development,
and national strategies for the information society).
For more information, contact: Andres Garret
[email protected] www.iadb.org/ict4dev
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C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
■
From the Government of Italy to the World Summit
on the Information Society
The vital role of e-government
and e-governance
T
he rapid pace of technological development has created
The United Nations ICT Task Force has also stated that e-
increasingly more powerful communication and information
governance is a priority area of action and has instituted an ICT Policy
technologies that are capable of radically transforming public
and Governance Working Group and another group with national and
institutions and private organisations alike.
These technologies have proven to be extraordinarily useful
regional e-strategies comprising an e-governance component.
The Italian government believes that e-government is a strategic
instruments in enabling governments to enhance the quality, speed of
instrument that will enable both the developed and the developing
delivery and reliability of services to the citizens and to business.
countries to make a quantum leap forward in terms of enhancing the
International experience and major international programmes
efficiency of government services.
that identify ways of ensuring, the digital revolution will benefit the
population of the whole world, have demonstrated that egovernment and e-governance can make an invaluable contribution
to helping to create digital opportunities for all. In the Indian state
of Andhra Pradesh, thanks to the new computerised real estate
registry system, the public can now perform operations locally in a
matter of hours, which formerly involved several days of travelling
to attend the registry offices. Increased efficiency has also helped
to reduce corruption and sharply raise the tax revenues associated
with conveyancing.
In the Brazilian state of Bahia, the introduction of computerised
service kiosks to access government services in shopping malls,
post offices and railway stations provide easy access to such
services as the issuing of passports, registration on unemployment
lists and submitting of police reports. In the Philippines, the
computerisation of the customs system has cut transaction costs,
streamlined procedures and substantially boosted tax revenues.
Both the G8 Digital Opportunity Task Force and UN ICT TF have
identified the vital role that e-government can play in spreading
wider access to information technologies.
In the action plan presented at Genoa in 2001, the DOT Force
Italy has, therefore, put forward her candidacy to promote an
innovative form of technological cooperation based on the design
and implementation of operational projects with measurable
recalled the importance of e-government in so many fields: “For
results for the developing countries. Italy’s initiative, E-
internal efficiency and effectiveness within government, as well as of
Government for Development, is intended to make an effective
e-governance for institutional capacity building, transparency,
and original contribution to disseminating information about e-
accountability and its ability to enhance democratic governance.”
government and its programming and implementation in
In addition to adopting the DOT Force Action Plan, the G8
countries which have not, or have only partially, exploited the full
leaders in Genoa, acting on a proposal by Italian Prime Minister,
potential of this important tool for narrowing the economic and
Silvio Berlusconi, in the final declaration, encouraged: “The
social divide.
■
development of an action plan on how e-government can
strengthen democracy and the rule of law by empowering citizens
and making the provision of essential government services
For more information, contact:
Minister for Innovation and Technologies – Italy
http://www.palermoconference2002.org/en/egov1.htm
more efficient.”
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
61
From the International Telecommunication Union to the World Summit
on the Information Society.
Challenges and partnerships
T
he International Telecommunication
Development Sector (ITU-D). The mission of
Union (ITU) is the United Nations’
the latter is to achieve its objectives, based
specialised agency within which
on the right to communicate of all the
Bridging the digital divide means providing
governments and the private sector work
inhabitants of the world, through access to
access to telecommunications and ICT and
together to coordinate the operation of
infrastructure and information and
promoting their use so that all segments of
telecommunication networks and services
communications services. The major
society can harness the opportunities of the
and to advance the development of
programmes of ITU-D are the six strands of
information society. Digital opportunities not
communications technology. Founded in
the Istanbul Action Plan (see side bar),
only serve as an engine for economic growth,
1865, ITU is based on a unique
which charts a course for developing
they enable social, educational and medical
public/private partnership, with 189
countries to transform the digital divide into
progress. These goals hinge upon the rollout of
member states and over 660 sector
digital opportunities.
ICT networks and services.
members. Every time someone,
In addition, there are a number of other
The Istanbul Action Plan is a
somewhere, picks up a telephone and dials
ITU activities that are directly relevant to the
comprehensive package that will enable
a number, answers a call on a mobile
work of the UN ICT Task Force. These
developing countries to promote the equitable
phone, sends a fax or receives an e-mail,
include:
and sustainable deployment of affordable ICT
takes a plane or a ship, listens to the radio,
watches a favourite television programme
networks and services. The core of the plan is
• The ITU New Initiatives Programme,
a series of six programmes:
or helps a small child to master the latest
launched in 1999, which provides high-
radio-controlled toy, they are benefiting
quality research and strategic workshops
• Regulatory reform
from the work of ITU. The role of ITU is thus
on issues of high current policy and
• Technologies and telecommunication
central to the creation of the information
regulatory relevance for ITU members.
society and the goals of the UN ICT Task
Recent topics covered include
• E-strategies and e-services/applications
Force, of which ITU was a founder member.
competition policy, creating trust in critical
• Economics and finance
network infrastructures, internet diffusion,
• Human capacity building
is the organisation of a World Summit on
multilingual domain names, 3G licensing,
• Special programme for the least developed
the Information Society (WSIS), to be held
broadband, etc.
One of the major current undertakings
network development
countries
in two phases, in Geneva (December 2003)
• A programme of information-sharing,
and in Tunis (2005). In line with UN General
notably through the publication of the
Assembly Resolution 56/183, ITU has
World Telecommunication Development
public/private partnership, provides
assumed the leading managerial role in the
Report, Trends in Telecom Reform, and
valuable experience in bringing together the
executive secretariat of the Summit and its
other publications and databases.
different stakeholders to work together
preparatory process.
The work of the Union is implemented
62
The Istanbul Action Plan
• A proposal, taken up by Working Group 5
The unique structure of ITU, as a
towards common goals. ITU is not just
of the UN ICT Task Force, on enhancing IP
talking about creating the information
through three Sectors:
connectivity in the least developed
society, it is doing it.
The Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R),
countries using low-cost VSATs (very small
Telecommunication Standardisation Sector
aperture terminals), which provide access
(ITU-T) and Telecommunication
to remote and rural areas by satellite.
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
■
For more information, visit: www.itu.int
The rationale for shared access
Since 1998, the International Telecommunication
Typically, MCTs are a collaborative effort of
According to the business plan, telecentres are to be
multilateral agencies and national partners, including
sustainable enterprises. The project responds to an ITU
Union has been developing multipurpose community
non-governmental organisations, who pool expertise in
resolution titled ‘Training of Refugees’ which calls on
telecentre (MCT) projects to bring telephone, fax,
different areas to serve communities. The expertise
The ITU to continue its efforts towards the application
internet, e-mail and, in some cases, distance learning
could range from basic health to small-scale industry.
of the United Nations’ resolutions relevant to assistance
and telemedicine to remote villages around the world.
The focus is on the development and adaptation to the
to refugees. ITU is also to collaborate fully with the
Timbuktu (Mali), with its legendary past, is home to the
local context of applications and ‘content’ relevant to
organisations concerned with the training of refugees,
first major multipurpose community telecentre in
their field of activity, and in the training of support staff
both within and outside the United Nations system.
Africa. Located East of Lake Faguibine and near the
and end-users.
Furthermore, the resolution invites ITU Members ‘to do
Niger River, Timbuktu remains an important trade
In Latin America, telecentre pilot projects at Valle
even more to receive certain selected refugees and to
centre on the Saharan camel caravan routes. But like
de Angeles and Santa Lucía in Honduras offer a good
arrange for their training in telecommunications in
most isolated areas, the once prosperous commercial
example of appropriate technologies and institutional
professional centres and schools’.
and cultural town needs a helping hand to join the
arrangements at work. The Valle de Angeles MCT
digital economy and participate in an increasingly
recently became a rural internet service provider. Both
knowledge-based society.
the Santa Lucía and Valle de Angeles telecentres link
Multipurpose community telecentres make it
five other ‘mini’ telecentres each with narrow-band
The project comprises a network of three
telecentres:
• The first telecentre is located in the district
possible for people of a village to learn how to use
packet radio and spread spectrum technologies. These
headquarters town of Ngara, which houses the
computers and the internet. Students and teachers can
low cost, low maintenance telecentres are located in
local administration as well as UNHCR and
run educational software on personal computers in
the neighbouring villages.
UNICEF offices;
telecentres or obtain access to world leading online
In Asia, Bhutan Telecom established a telecentre
• The second is at ‘K9’, about 17 kilometres from
libraries and distance instructors through the internet.
at Jakar in central Bhutan with ITU assistance in 1998.
Local administrators and society leaders can access
The telecentre has been particularly successful in
information on basic social services such as water
providing basic information technology training to over
supply or infrastructure. Farmers can form joint buying
450 people. As part of the next phase of operations,
refugee camps are located: Lukole A and B, which
and selling groups and monitor market prices. Small
UNESCO is assisting Bhutan to convert the Jakar
currently have no telecommunication facilities.
entrepreneurs can find larger markets, secure
telecentre into a community multimedia centre in
business and use the telecentre for basic office
which access to the internet and the broadcasting
services such as fax, e-mail or document production.
programme production are integrated to maximise the
information services through its VITA-Connect
information services accessible to the local
network, including the contribution of a ground
community.
station, antenna and software for basic electronic
Facilities providing access to ICTs, and the
applications they support, vary considerably. In their
simplest form, they may be limited to providing public
The media production centre will take advantage
Ngara, where seven relief organisations and a
secondary school for girls are based;
• The third is some 8 km from K9 where two
VITA will provide satellite support and
mail-based connectivity. WorldSpace Corporation has
telephone and fax services and be run, for example, by
of telecommunication facilities available at the MCT to
committed to providing, at each site, a container
a local shopkeeper. Telecentres of this type, sometimes
deliver locally produced content for daily radio and
incorporating radio equipment, satellite receiver and
referred to as ‘telekiosks’, tend to be located in more
television broadcast offered by the Bhutan
data terminal to download web-based multimedia
densely populated areas and have an important social
Broadcasting Service (BBS). Combining the media
educational and entertainment content in Kiswahili
and economic role.
production centre and the MCT would enable BBS to
(the local language). The centre, planned as an
offer more participatory programmes, besides using
educational centre for refugee children and for
(shared) offices open to small local businesses and
content based on the regular field visits conducted in
teacher training, will also provide medical information
‘teleworkers’, which are equipped with computers,
central Bhutan. The media production centre is
and will be run by refugees.
printers and photocopiers. Centres of this type generally
expected to eventually introduce local broadcasts
provide access to data networks (e.g. internet) for e-
through its own transmitter. Such broadcasts would
planning include: in Niger, establishment of four
mail and file transfer, to electronic libraries and
include regular ‘Radio Browsing’ programmes to
telecentres around the capital Niamey, to be run by
databases, government and community information
promote rural access to the internet through the Jakar
women’s cooperatives and in the Democratic
systems, market and price information databases,
multipurpose community telecentre.
People’s Republic of Korea, establishing a telecentre
At the other end of the scale are telecentres with
Projects currently in an advanced stage of
environmental monitoring systems and so on. They may
Another pilot project in Tanzania addresses the
also offer facilities and equipment for distance learning
needs of the refugee community, relief workers and the
in Hyangsan County.
and telemedicine, and some may provide the facilities,
local community. The project is implemented in
assessment by the partners involved in their
equipment and training needed to produce (and
collaboration with the Tanzanian government, UNESCO,
implementation. Current assessments point to the fact
receive) local radio and television programmes.
UNHCR, WorldSpace Corporation and VITASAT.
that the projects have considerable social impact.
All MCT pilot projects are subject to continuous
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
63
From MIT to the World Summit on the Information Society
Media Lab Asia:
Innovating for the next Five Billion
or the first time in human history your
through novel sensors, effectors and
location no longer limits your ability to
fabrication tools. Translating the vision of
communicate. From anywhere in the
fine-grain, pervasive computing to rural
F
world – mountain, jungle or city – you can
communities.
now telephone, e-mail and browse the
World Computer – a computer for the
internet using a pocket-sized, battery-
illiterate, for communities, for everyone. We
powered wireless communicator. The UN
are creating computers that transcend these
ICT Task Force has been established to
barriers to bring digital services to everyone.
better understand and utilise these
The design goal of the world computer is a
revolutionary new possibilities.
localised, grassroots interface.
However, current information and
These three technical themes come
communication products are engineered for
together in a fourth initiative that seeks to
developed nations and are often too
find a synergetic combination of technology
expensive or inappropriate for developing
with societal need:
nations. Only by focusing research and
Digital Village – realising Gandhi’s vision
development efforts on making the technology
of a sustainable village through culturally
affordable, useful and universally accessible,
appropriate use of new technologies. Our
will we be able to provide every family on
goal is to create a sustainable digital
earth with access to first-class educational
ecology that maintains traditional values and
material, medical advice, business
community while opening economic and
communications and entertainment. Media
expressive opportunities.
Lab Asia’s role within the UN ICT Task Force is
innovation to villages throughout the world,
to coordinate Asian industry and academia to
combining the creativity of entrepreneurs
through research laboratories that generate
achieve this goal.
with the technical know-how of universities.
and prototype new concepts, and through
Particular challenges in cultivating these
field projects that develop, test and evaluate
renowned Media Laboratory, seed-funding
solutions will include the need to operate in
these laboratory prototypes.
from the government of India, and
many different languages and to support
industrial funding from corporations such
local culture and tradition.
Example research projects
Media Lab Asia’s research programme
Sustainable access in rural India (SARI)
With core participation from MIT’s
These ideas are developed in two ways:
as Tata Consulting Services and Microsoft,
Media Lab Asia is inventing technologies
that respond to the needs of the vast
number of individuals living in Asia, Africa
and Latin America.
Media Lab Asia’s research and
into three technical initiatives:
Bits for All – focusing on viral,
Working with some 50 villages in the
Madurai district in south-eastern India,
Media Lab Asia is collaborating with the
terrestrial wireless systems for rural
Harvard Centre for International
development efforts facilitate the invention,
connectivity. We are exploring new, cost-
Development, IIT-Madras and the I-Gyan
refinement and dissemination of innovations
effective methods of connecting every
Foundation to help villagers obtain economic
that benefit the greatest number of people.
person on earth.
self-sustainability throughout the region. They
Working though our industrial partners,
NGOs and governments, we are bringing
64
Our research projects may be divided
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
Tomorrow’s Tools – connecting the
disembodied world of bits to the real world
are doing this by providing villages with
internet-ready telekiosks that provide much-
needed communication and information
services. Each kiosk is equipped with a PC
(whose interfaces are in the local language,
Tamil), battery-backup power supply,
telephone and wireless internet connection.
After just four months of operation, the
kiosks have already been used for
telemedicine and have helped villagers
process hundreds of e-government
applications. But perhaps the most dramatic
result was the rescue of a key crop for the
village of Ulagapichanpatti, when a picture of
the diseased crop, sent to the agricultural
centre, immediately identified the problem
and provided the formula for a remedy.
DakNet
DakNet provides a creative, low-cost
‘drive-by’ solution for distributing the
bandwidth necessary to make connectivity
Although the data transport provided by
care. To ensure that the handhelds would be
possible even in the poorest countries. A
DakNet is not real-time, a large amount of
used, we worked with the ANMs to design a
hand-held PDA, equipped with a wireless
data can be moved at once and, as a result, it
system that incorporates the local
card, is attached to the back of any vehicle
provides a higher data throughput than other
terminology. Each PDA has a pull-down
that travels through rural villages. Villagers
low-bandwidth technologies. DakNet also
menu, so you just have to recognise terms
queue their internet messages at local kiosks
provides a seamless method of upgrading to
rather than write them.
and when the vehicle gets within range
universal broadband connectivity.
(approximately 500 meters) it automatically
senses a wireless radio link – picking up the
queued messages and dropping off files
addressed to users of that kiosk.
The system can also provide feedback
on diagnoses and treatment to the ANMs in
Kaash
Focused on improving health care in
the field, and reminders that particular
patients are due for inoculation. In the long
rural India, Kaash is a pilot project
term, the PDA will not only be a useful tool
conducted in collaboration with the All-
for collecting and storing health data, but
digital wireless transport. Using long-
India Institute of Medical Sciences. It
also for helping public health officials see
distance wireless links would be more
introduces the use of handheld PDAs into
trends, leading to improved health care for
expensive to maintain and using physical
the public health system, providing them
the Indian population as a whole.
transportation alone would be too labour
to some of the approximately 350,000
intensive. The short-distance wireless link
auxiliary nurses and midwives (ANMs) now
also has the advantage of being able to run
working throughout India.
DakNet is a hybrid of physical and
on batteries. DakNet is scalable and, most
importantly, sustainable.
Kaash’s goal is to make the ANMs more
■
For more information, contact:
Prof. Alex (Sandy) Pentland,
Founding Director, Media Lab Asia
E-mail: [email protected]
efficient and to allow them to provide better
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
65
From the United Nations Conference on Trade
and Development to the World Summit on the
Information Society
UNCTAD and e-commerce
strategies for development
T
he main initiative undertaken by
national e-commerce national strategies.
UNCTAD in 2002 with regard to the
Particular attention was paid to the issue of
activities of the Task Force
developing a participatory approach to
concerns the organisation of a series of
national e-commerce strategy making, as
meetings, held at both the expert and the
well as to regional and global initiatives in
policy-making levels, on the issue of e-
support of developing countries interested
commerce strategies for development. The
in putting in place their own national e-
purpose of these events was, firstly, to
commerce strategies. The participation of
raise awareness about the key role of e-
representatives of both the G-8’s DOT Force
commerce in ICT-enabled strategies to fight
and of the UN ICT Task Force was
poverty and social exclusion. Secondly, the
particularly relevant in this regard.
events aimed to identify policy areas and
specific measures (national and
makers participating in the events organised
international) that can be conducive to the
by UNCTAD was supported by an analysis
creation of an enabling environment for e-
undertaken by the UNCTAD secretariat of
commerce in developing countries. The
the experience available so far of national e-
third purpose of the events was to support
commerce strategies. The issues paper that
national capacity building in e-strategy
summarises the findings of this work, as
making, and lastly, the events aimed to
well as a number of presentations by the
exchange information about national and
participating experts, is available online at
regional experiences and to provide
UNCTAD’s e-commerce website.
opportunities for networking among ecommerce experts of developing countries.
Two regional level events have been
held in 2002 and another two are scheduled
The Expert Meeting on E-commerce
for 2003. The 2002 events were the High-
Strategies for Development (Geneva, 10-12
level Regional Workshop on E-commerce
July) brought together experts from 59
and ICT for Central America and the
countries and 19 international organisations
Caribbean (Curaçao, 25-27 June) and the
and NGOs, including representatives of the
High-level Regional Meeting on E-
UN ICT Task Force. The experts discussed
commerce Strategies for Development, in
the links and interactions between e-
cooperation with UN/ESCAP (Bangkok, 20-
commerce strategies and other aspects of
22 November). Both events also provided
national development strategies.
the opportunity for informal meetings among
Specific policy areas that were
members of the respective regional
addressed included human resources
networks of the UN ICT Task Force.
development, gender aspects of e-
66
The work of the experts and policy-
The conclusions of both meetings
commerce, access and infrastructure and
concerning the priority objectives for the
the legal and regulatory aspects of e-
promotion of e-commerce in these countries
commerce strategies. Experts from all of the
and the instruments to be used to attain
developing regions presented a number of
them are available online. Also available
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
The Trade Point Programme
The Trade Point Programme was created by
UNCTAD in 1992, as part of its Trade Efficiency
Initiative. Its objectives are to increase the
participation of small and medium-sized
enterprises (SMEs), in particular those located in
developing countries, in international trade;
reduce transaction costs; and provide them with
access to the latest information technologies.
In 2000, UNCTAD launched the
establishment of the World Trade Point
Federation (WTPF), which has taken over the
management of the programme. Through a
network of 122 trade information and
facilitation centres, known as Trade Points, the
WTPF assists SMEs in 80 countries worldwide
to trade internationally through the use of
electronic commerce technologies.
The Federation’s website (www.wtpfed.org)
offers well-known services, for example the
Electronic Trading Opportunities system,
including its Electronic Investment
Opportunities and a world company directory.
These services are offered by the Federation
and its Trade Points, or through strategic
partnerships with international organisations
and the civil society.
WTPF is an ideal physical and virtual
platform that is complementary to the work
undertaken by intergovernmental organisations
dealing with e-commerce, trade and
development. It has a direct access to the local
business communities and works closely with,
among others UNCTAD, ITC, UN/ECE, the World
Bank and WTO, as well as leading ICT firms in
the international market through partnerships.
“
Experts from all of
the developing
regions presented a
number of national
e-commerce
national strategies
”
online is the Bangkok Declaration on E-
commerce for Development, which was
adopted as an expression of the political
will of the participating governments to
promote e-commerce as an instrument for
development in the Asia Pacific region.
In a separate effort, UNCTAD’s other
major undertaking in this area was the
preparation of the annual E-commerce and
Development Report, which was released
on 18 November. The report provides
factual information and analysis about the
implications of e-commerce for developing
countries, identifies policy and business
options available to developing countries in
several sectors, and makes some practical
proposals for maximising the contribution of
e-commerce to economic and social
development. Both the 2002 and the 2001
reports are available online.
■
For more information, visit: www.unctad.org
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
67
From the United Nations Economic Commission
for Europe to the World Summit on the
Information Society
The Information Society
in Europe and North America
003 is the year of the Geneva session of the
2
in their various forms – are recognised as important
WSIS. Work at the UNECE has focused,
means of fostering public information, societal
therefore, on the follow-up to the Bucharest
development and social cohesion.
November 2002, and on preparations for the
Principle 2. Promoting universal access at
December Summit. The Bucharest Conference has
affordable cost
Pan-European Regional Conference, held in
provided substantive inputs to the WSIS preparatory
An adequately developed infrastructure is the
process. The UNECE played a key role in the
precondition for secure, reliable and affordable access to
preparation for Bucharest and will continue
information by all stakeholders, and for the upgrading of
supporting the preparation for the WSIS in Geneva
relevant services. Improving connectivity is of special
and Tunis, both in terms of intergovernmental
importance in this respect, and should be undertaken by
processes and substantive contributions.
the public and private sectors, acting in partnership.
Community-led development is a critical element in the
The Bucharest declaration
The Member States of the United Nations Economic
strategy for achieving universal access to information
and knowledge. Community access centres and public
Commission for Europe met in Bucharest at the Pan-
services (such as post offices, libraries, schools) can
European Conference on the Information Society (7-9
provide an effective means for promoting universal
November 2002) and agreed on the following set of
access, in particular in remote areas, as an important
principles and priorities:
factor of their development. Moreover, in order to ensure
greater affordability, policy action should aim at setting
Principle 1. Securing access to information and
up an appropriate open and competitive environment
knowledge
Individuals and organisations should benefit from
access to information, knowledge and ideas. Notably,
information in the public domain should be easily
Principle 3. Promoting linguistic diversity and
cultural identity
The information society is founded on respect for,
accessible. Information is the basis of a well-functioning
and enjoyment of, cultural expression. New ICTs
and transparent decision-making process and a
should stimulate cultural diversity and plurilinguism
prerequisite for any democracy. Knowledge is the key
and enhance the capacity of governments to develop
agent for transforming both our global society and local
active policies to that end. Access and contribution to
communities. Public policy should broaden
knowledge and information broaden the contents of
opportunities in providing information for all, including
the public domain and foster mutual understanding
disabled, inter alia by creating content, and thereby
and respect for diversity
redressing inequalities.
ICTs have the potential not only to strengthen the
effectiveness of public service delivery, but also to
involve individuals in shaping government policies.
68
Principle 4. Developing human capacity through
education, training and skills
It is important for governments to develop
Moreover, communications technology is not an end
comprehensive and forward-looking education
in itself, but a means of supplying quality content in
strategies. People should be enabled to acquire the
the information society. In this regard, mass media –
necessary skills in order to actively participate in and
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
“
To realise fully the benefits of ICTs, networks
and information systems should be
sufficiently robust to prevent, detect and
respond appropriately to security incidents
international stability and security and may adversely
affect the integrity of the infrastructure within States, to
Did you know that…?
the detriment of their security in both civil and military
fields, as well as in relation to the functioning of their
economies. It is also necessary to prevent the use of
information resources or technologies for criminal or
terrorist purposes.
In order to build confidence and security in the use
of ICTs, governments should promote awareness in
”
Estonia’s internet host penetration is the highest amongst
Baltic, Central and Eastern European Countries.
90 percent of children between the ages of 5-17 now use
computers in the United States, and the rate of growth of internet
use is currently two million new internet users per month.
Information technology is a formidable tool to achieve
their societies of cyber security risks and seek to
sustainable development as it produces huge environmental
strengthen international cooperation, including the
benefits through use of video conferencing and e-mail.
private sector.
However, experts estimate that in Canada alone, 351 million
computers will become obsolete by 2044.
Principle 7. Addressing global issues
International policy dialogue on the Information
Society at global, regional and sub-regional levels
should promote the exchange of experience, the
Intelligent transport systems promise safer roads and
lower emissions
Only a third of the EU countries’ workforce has ever had
identification and application of compatible norms and
computer training for professional use. Half of this workforce
standards, the transfer of know-how and the provision
uses computers at their workplace.
of technical assistance with a view to bridging
The Hungarian Government has created a consortium of
capacity gaps and setting up international cooperation
public and private actors to help provide PCs and internet at a
programmes, in particular in the field of creation of
discounted rate to 1400 underprivileged families. The
content. Sharing success stories and best practice
programme began in September 2000 and is funded by
experiences will also pave the way for new forms of
Compaq, Matav and Postabank.
international cooperation.
Only 37 percent of small companies in September 2002
declared plans to buy either an office computer or a laptop
Priority Theme. E-government: More efficient and
accountable
ICT tools will make policies more accountable and
transparent and will enable better monitoring, evaluation
and control of public services and allow for greater
efficiency in their delivery. Public administration can make
use of ICT tools to enhance transparency, accountability
and efficiency in the delivery of public services to citizens
(education, health, transportation, etc.) and to enterprises. ■
For more information, contact: Romi Chopra,
Assistant to the UNECE Information Society Team
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.
E-mail: [email protected]
70
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
within the next 12 months.
Spain plans to increase the present 5 percent rate of
hotels using the internet, to 75 percent by 2058.
understand the information society and fully benefit from
the possibilities it offers. Individuals should be engaged
Global standards for the global information society
in defining their own needs and in the development of
programmes to meet those needs.
These skills integrate ICT-related specific notions
with broader knowledge, and are generally obtained
UNECE, IEC, ISO, ITU-T side event at the Pan-European Preparatory Ministerial Conference
for the World Summit on the Information Society
How can international standards foster the global policy dialogue on the Information Society
through primary, secondary and higher education,
and the development of a harmonised and stable framework of technologies, best practices and
on-the-job training, but also increasingly through
agreements, recognised worldwide? This was the crux of the question tackled by Mr Ollie
distance learning. Technological change will
Smoot, ISO President elect, and Mr U. Hartmann, Director, Information/Communications,
progressively require life-long learning and
Siemens, at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Pan-European Regional
continuous training by all. Public policy should take
Conference in Bucharest on 8 November 2002.
into account inequalities in access to quality
The World Summit on the Information Society has set out, as its objective, to address the
education and training, particularly in the case of
broad range of questions concerning the information society and to draw up an action plan to
vulnerable groups and underserved or remote areas.
layout a roadmap to bridge the digital divide.
Specific attention has to be paid to the training of
The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Organization for
trainers. ICTs open completely new opportunities for
Standardization (ISO), the International Telecommunication Union – Standardization Department
e-learning. New forms of partnership between public
(ITU-T), and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), will work together to
and private sectors are needed in this field.
ensure that WSIS will raise awareness on the contribution that international standards can make
in addressing global issues in the information society. The four organisations have committed
Principle 5. Setting up an enabling environment,
themselves through a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to avoiding divergent and
including legal, regulatory and policy frameworks
competitive approaches, to eliminating duplication of efforts, to providing a clear roadmap for
To maximise the economic and social benefits of the
information society, governments need to create a
users and to ensuring coherence.
By highlighting the role that international standards can play to foster this international
trustworthy, transparent, and non-discriminatory legal,
policy dialogue on the Information Society, the four organisations hope to promote the
regulatory and policy environment, capable of promoting
development of an inclusive information society that provides access and participation for all,
technological innovation and competition, thus favouring
bypassing all borders, gender considerations and social distinctions.
the necessary investments, mainly from the private
International standards have an ever-greater place in helping to maximise the benefits of
sector, in the deployment of infrastructures and
information and communication technologies for developing countries. Standards simplify the
development of new services.
use of existing and new technologies; focus on interfaces and interoperability; reduce costs and
The information society is, by nature, a global
phenomenon and issues such as privacy protection,
complexity; open markets and foster broader access to products and services; and favour the
emergence of rules and agreements on best practices.
consumer trust, management of domain names,
facilitation of e-commerce, protection of intellectual
property rights, open source solutions, etc. should be
addressed with the active participation of all
stakeholders.
Principle 6. Building confidence and security in the
use of ICTs
To realise fully the benefits of ICTs, networks and
information systems should be sufficiently robust to
prevent, detect and respond appropriately to security
incidents. However, effective security of information
systems is not merely a matter of government and law
enforcement practices, nor of technology. A global
culture of cyber-security needs to be developed –
security must be addressed through prevention and
supported throughout society, and be consistent with
the need to preserve free flow of information.
ICTs can potentially be used for purposes that are
inconsistent with the objectives of maintaining
“
Public policy should take into
account inequalities in access
to quality education and
training, particularly in the case
of vulnerable groups and
underserved or remote areas
”
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
69
From the United Nations Information Technology Service to
the World Summit on the Information Society
UNITeS:
In partnership with universities
T
he United Nations Information Technology
professors and researchers to undertake
Service (UNITeS) is working to build a Global
assignments in developing countries through
Network of Universities in support of UNITeS
and ICT4D (Information Communication Technologies
UNITeS related to thematic applications of ICT.
• The generation and identification of volunteering
for Development). The creation of this network
opportunities by UN Volunteers Programme Officers
provides expanded volunteer human resources and
(in more than 70 countries and more than 140
knowledge resources for developing countries.
UNDP Country Offices), as well as other partners in
In December 2002, UNITeS received a Global
Junior Challenge 2002 award for its University
Volunteer Network. In addition, item 10 of the UN ICT
Task Force action plan focuses on the need for
the field, that could involve students, professors,
researchers and faculty from partnering
Universities, to be coordinated by UNITeS.
• The creation of an online environment for delivery
partnerships between leading training institutions and
of the online training/learning packages for ICT
universities and community-level ICT4D programmes,
volunteers offered by the universities, in
and cites UNITeS as a key avenue for involvement of
coordination with UNITeS. The delivery of these
university volunteers by such organisations.
packages can take place within the Spanish
The common thread among all UNITeS
network of universities within Universitat Oberta de
collaborating universities is that they are interested in
Catalunya (UOC), one of the leading online
taking action to narrow the digital divide. Collectively,
universities and a collaborating institute with
and using the UNITeS mechanism, they endeavour to
allow the maximum possible number of qualified
UNITeS.
• The development and contribution of course
volunteers – students, faculty and staff – to be
material in ICT4D (Information Communication
productive in serving ICT capacity-building needs
Technologies for Development).
expressed in developing countries, under a wellmanaged initiative.
University ICT volunteers, through UNITeS, have
Students, faculty and staff at partnering
universities are also encouraged to engage in online
already served in Botswana, Bosnia & Herzegovina,
volunteering activities to support organisations
Ecuador, Honduras, India, Jordan and Kosovo on a
working in and for developing countries, as part of the
variety of capacity-building ICT projects. Read more
NetAid Online Volunteering service managed by UN
about their activities on the UNITeS web site
Volunteers.
(http://www.unites.org/html/projects/completed.htm).
University volunteers through UNITeS should:
The partnership with universities through UNITeS
involves:
• Be engaged in the last year of undergraduate
degree, or engaged in post graduate and/or PhD in
• The partnering universities launching or having
already created credit-bearing service learning
any field of study, or have completed such.
• Have strong ICT-related skills, particularly in
courses for students involved in UNITeS ICT4D
applying these skills to project management,
initiatives.
capacity building, health, education, agriculture,
• The partnering universities creating or having
already created a sabbatical programme for
community support, HIV/AIDS, or another area of
human development.
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
71
• Have a strong commitment to see tasks completed
and documented, and to report regularly on
progress and activities.
• Have an excellent written and spoken command of
English, as well as Spanish and/or French.
• Have experience working in a multi-cultural
environment, and have excellent interpersonal
communication and presentation skills, with cultural
sensitivity and tact.
• Have volunteer experience at any level, particularly
with high-poverty or low-literacy populations, and a
strong belief in volunteer ideals and volunteerism as
a fundamental element of community projects.
• Possess maturity to face sometimes difficult
situations during field assignments in developing
countries.
No university volunteer should apply directly to
UNITeS. To be a volunteer within the University
framework, UNITeS must already partner with the
University where the candidate is based. We
encourage students, faculty and staff at universities,
particularly those in developing countries, to let their
offices of international studies or career development
know about the UNITeS initiative, and to view the
UNITeS partnerships and collaboration guidelines
(visit http://www.unites.org/html/unites/partner.htm).
Universities partnering (or in the process of):
• George Mason University
(Pioneer university in this innovative initiative)
• Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain
(with 19 Spanish universities, members of the
Spanish network of universities in support of UNITeS)
• Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain
(advanced process)
• Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
(advanced process)
• Universitat Bonn (advanced process)
• Kwansei Gakuin University of Japan
(advanced process)
• University of Benin, Nigeria (first contact)
■
For more information, visit:
http://www.unites.org/html/projects/Universities.htm
72
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
“
In December 2002,
UNITeS received a Global
Junior Challenge 2002
award for its University
Volunteer Network
”
From UNESCO to the World Summit on the
Information Society
UNESCO’s international initiative
for community multimedia centres
NESCO’s international initiative for community
U
multimedia centres (CMCs) promotes
community empowerment and addresses the
digital divide by combining community broadcasting
with the internet and related technologies.
The CMC programme offers a global strategy for
addressing the digital divide in the poorest
communities of the developing world and also
among countries in transition. The CMC opens a
gateway to active membership of the global
knowledge society by making information and
communication the basic tools of the poor in
improving their own lives.
In order to avoid the trap of seeking a
technological fix that overlooks the need for welladapted implementation, community radio can be an
invaluable relay for ongoing efforts to ensure that
ICT provision is responsive to local needs, such as
education and health.
The current development paradigm, which has a
At its most basic, the CMC offers the simplest
portable radio station, a single computer for internet
browsing wherever possible, e-mail and basic office,
framework of reference that is built on the concepts
library and learning applications. At its most
of sustainable, endogenous and human
developed, the CMC is a major infrastructure, offering
development, has been emphasising the importance
a full range of multimedia facilities, functioning as a
of community-driven development programmes. The
distance learning, training and informal education
community multimedia centre can be used as a
centre, linking up to the local hospital for telemedicine
vehicle for taking this process one step further, by
applications, downloading and printing national
enabling the members of a community to become
newspapers for local circulation, and so forth.
recognised actors in the process of developing
knowledge. The metaphor of ‘giving the poor a
A CMC gives radio listeners access to online
information by the use of:
voice’ becomes a concrete reality when the poor
have a public voice quite literally, on-air and online.
This participation in both medium and message,
Radio browsing of the internet
A programme in which the radio presenters gather
pivotal to both individual and community
information in response to listeners’ needs and
empowerment, fills a link often missing in the
queries from reliable sites on the internet, and put it
development process. The combination of a
on CD-ROMs or other digital resources. During the
grassroots public platform with access to
programme, the presenter visits these pages of
information highways promotes the public debate
information on the internet with a local expert (for
and public accountability that are essential for
example, a doctor for a health question). Together,
strengthening democracy and good governance.
they describe, explain and discuss the information
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
73
directly in the languages used by the community.
Radio browsing is already used in Sri Lanka, Bhutan
and Nepal. It has demonstrated radio’s potential for
overcoming language barriers to access, discuss,
select and assimilate information available in a limited
number of languages on the internet. Moreover, being
a participatory radio programme, ‘Radio browsing of
the internet’ has taken into account the desires of
rural communities to assimilate knowledge
collectively, as opposed to the prevailing modality of
individual access to internet.
Community databases for development
These utilise the capacity of the community
collectively to produce knowledge and to package
and disseminate it in an appropriate manner to meet
the immediate needs and priorities of the community.
The first CMC project was the pioneering
Kothmale Internet Project in Sri Lanka. Its pilot radio
browsing programmes have been replicated in Nepal
and Bhutan. CMC projects are now also being
developed in the Caribbean and Africa (for example,
Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Niger, Mali, Burkina
Faso, Benin, Senegal). A network of CMCs is now
being developed in Sri Lanka and two more CMCs
are planned in Bhutan.
UNESCO is the designated champion agency for
the worldwide global knowledge partnership (GKP)
component in this area, which involves UN agencies
such as ECA, FAO, the ITU, UNDP, UNFPA and the
World Bank as well as bilateral development agencies
and international NGOs.
■
For more information, contact:
Stella Hughes, UNESCO
The Communication Development Division,
Communication and Information Sector
E-mail: [email protected]
74
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
“
The CMC programme
offers a global strategy
for addressing the digital
divide in the poorest
communities of the
developing world and
also among countries in
transition
”
From the United Nations fund for International partnership (UNFIP)
to the World Summit on the Information Society
UNFIP:
Facilitating the Millennium Development Goals
A
cting as a facilitator between the
UN system and corporate and
foundation partners, UNFIP assists
in the development of innovative
programmes and projects to achieve the
Millennium Development Goals, with
special attention to Target 18, which
states: “In cooperation with the private
sector, to make available the benefits of
new technologies, especially information
and communication technologies.”
UNFIP has played a facilitating role in
bringing Cisco Systems Inc. into a strategic
partnership with the United Nations. Since
the announcement of the partnership, Cisco
Systems, UNDP, the United Nations
Volunteer programme (UNV), the United
Nations Information Technology Service
(UNITeS) and the United States Agency for
International Development have been
working together to train students for the
internet economy. This has been achieved
by establishing the Cisco Networking
Part of a government-supported project to teach women non-traditional skills, a woman learns to operate a computer in
a secretarial training programme in Nouakchott.
Rapid desertification and continuing drought has exacerbated the rural exodus of nomads and peasants in Mauritania.
The result, ‘kebbas’ or shanty towns with inadequate health, school and water-supply infrastructures and infant
mortality rates as high as 257/1000 live births, twice the national average. UNICEF cooperation includes programmes to
reduce infant, child and maternal mortality, improve health and nutrition, and promote family food production, education
and the advancement of women.
Academy Programme in countries that
suffer from poverty as well as from weak
human resources and economic
institutions. The Cisco Networking
Academies Programme has expanded to
33 of the 49 least developed countries
and has established 100 academies. In
2002, 5500 students – 25 percent of
which were female – had access to the
cutting-edge IT curriculum.
UNFIP also facilitated the Digital Bridge
to Africa meeting that was organised with
the UN ICT Task Force, Digital Partners,
Gruppo Cerfe and UNIFEM on 12 July 2002
at the United Nations. Over 100 participants
attended including leading members of the
“
UNFIP has also served as a close partner to
UNIFEM for the development of the Global
Advisory Committee, which is comprised
mainly of African IT entrepreneurs who
advise on strategic partnerships to bridge
the gender digital divide
”
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
75
African diaspora and representatives from
technology corporations, foundations and
non-profit organisations. The meeting
explored ways in which the combined
knowledge, experiences and resources of
the public and private sectors could be
harnessed to effect positive and sustainable
“
UNFIP has been instrumental in raising
awareness about the role of Wi-Fi as an
avenue for bridging the digital divide
change in Africa. Results included the
official launch of the Digital Diaspora
Network – Africa (DDN-A), a non-profit
organisation that seeks to promote
development in Africa. In addition,
African women through innovative uses of
AfricShare was established as a resource
information and communications
and knowledge-sharing facility to match
technologies. The partnerships build on
innovative projects with mentors from the
existing experiences and successful IT
DDN-A network, and the Social Fund for
ventures undertaken in Africa by African
Africa was inaugurated to provide financial
women from the diaspora.
support for ICT entrepreneurial activities in
the region.
UNFIP is currently facilitating a similar
The next meeting of the UNIFEM Global
Advisory Committee will include the ICT
Task Force, UNFIP and UNDP
meeting for the Caribbean diaspora in order
representatives. It will convene in Kampala,
to contribute to the promotion of digital
Uganda in March 2003 with the
opportunities in the region. Led by the ICT
representation of Ugandan government
Task Force and UNDP, the meeting on
officials and non-governmental
‘Bridging the Digital Divide for the
organisations (NGOs).
Caribbean’ will be held at the United
In addition, UNFIP has been
Nations on 24 January 2003. The meeting
instrumental in raising awareness about the
has been organised with the support of the
role of Wi-Fi as an avenue for bridging the
CARICOM Permanent Missions to the
digital divide. UNFIP’s contribution has
United Nations and the CARICOM
included articles and speeches, developed
Secretariat, and facilitated by the Caribbean
in cooperation with the Office of the
American Chamber of Commerce.
Secretary-General, to provide a better
UNFIP has also served as a close
understanding and appreciation of how Wi-
partner to UNIFEM for the development of
Fi could be used to provide fast, and maybe
the Global Advisory Committee, which is
free, access to the internet.
■
comprised mainly of African IT
entrepreneurs who advise on strategic
partnerships to bridge the gender digital
divide. The programme seeks to empower
76
C H A L L E N G E S A N D PA RT N E R S H I P S
For more information, visit: www.un.org/unfip
”
Challenges and Partnerships
Secretariat of the UN ICT Task Force
One UN Plaza
10017 New York, New York
www.unicttaskforce.org