i s s u e a r e a s
ICT and Development
Information and communications technologies (ICTs) can contribute to economic and human development. Nations around the world are eager to take advantage of this potential.
At this page, we collect various resources that describe means of incorporating ICTs in development plans.
- A Process for Developing Internet Policy:The Model of the National ICT/Internet Summit - The Case Study of the Kyrgyz Republic [html] [pdf] An important first step is the adoption of a national policy to promote development and application of the Internet and other ICTs. A national ICT strategy is best developed through a consultative process involving a wide range of stakeholders. This principle was demonstrated in the Kyrgyz Republic, where the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and GIPI collaborated with the Government in co-sponsoring a process that included a national ICT strategy "summit." The process leading up to and continuing after the summit provides an important model for digital divide/digital opportunity efforts in other countries.
- National ICT Strategies: Lessons Learned and Framework for Implementation - This is the 3rd chapter of the 2003 edition of the E-commerce and Development Report published by UNCTAD on Nov. 20, 2003. It provides an overview of the main policy areas that should be covered by national ICT strategies and provides suggestions based on lessons learned from previous efforts to implement strategies. It includes a case study on Thailand's ICT strategy.
- Why National Strategies are Needed for ICT-enabled Development, by Nagy Hanna, Senior Advisor on national ICT strategies at the World Bank (April 2003)
- Factors of regional/national success in Information Society developments: "Information Society strategies for candidate countries," by Marc Bogdanowicz, Jean-Claude Burgelman, Clara Centeno, Elisaveta Gourova, and Gérard Carat. See also more detailed reports in the August 2003 issue of the "Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) Report."
- Synthesis of Lessons Learned, report issued by the UNDP. This report includes examples drawn from a number of countries, covering the range of ICT development approaches.
- National Research and Educational Networks in National Development Strategies, by Robert Horvitz, GIPI Manager, Central/Eastern Europe, a PowerPoint presentation for the NATO/CEENet Network Administration Workshop, 22-25 September 2002, Zagreb, Croatia.
- Technology and Economic Development, by Robert Horvitz, GIPI Manager, Central/Eastern Europe, a PowerPoint presentation for the European Foundation Centre, 4 June 2002.
- Creating a Development Dynamic [pdf]
a report for the Global Digital Opportunity Initiative (GDOI), prepared by the UNDP, the Markle Foundation and Accenture, and laying out a framework for the development, prioritization and implementation of national "ICT for development" strategies thatcan generate broader development impacts leading to greater national growth and capacity. Covers the areas of policy, human capacity, enterprise, applications, content, and infrastructure.
- Measuring the Information Economy,
a report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (2002). An extremely valuable report including various data on access to and use of ICTs and on the contribution of the ICT sector to employment growth and trade. Includes individual country and industry-sector databases at: http://www.oecd.org/EN/document/0,,EN-document-570-1-no-1-35663-0,00.html as well as data on perceived barriers to Internet access and use in business.
- Global Information Technology Report 2002-2003 - Readiness for the Networked World, a comprehensive assessment of networked readiness and its effects on economic growth and productivity. As the world experiences an economic slowdown, the Report highlights that the use and application of information and communication
technologies (ICTs) remain among the most powerful engines of growth. The 2003 Report benchmarks the performance and monitors progress in networked readiness of 82 countries.
- "E-Commerce and Development Report for 2002," by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
- Regulation and Internet Use in Developing Countries (May 2003) [pdf] - by using data from a unique new survey of telecommunications regulators and other sources to measure the effects of regulation in
Internet development, finds regulation strongly correlated with lower Internet penetration and higher Internet access charges. More specifically, controlling for various factors, countries that require formal regulatory approval for Internet service providers (ISPs) to begin operations have fewer
Internet users and Internet hosts than countries that do not require such approval. Moreover, countries that regulate ISP final-user prices have higher Internet access prices than countries that do not have such regulations. These results suggest that developing countries' own
regulatory policies can have large impacts on the digital divide.
- Seizing the Benefits of ICT in a Digital Economy, OECD (2003) - using recent data, examines the impact of ICT on growth and outlines what measures governments should take to seize the benefits of ICT. Updates the 2001 OECD Ministerial report The New Economy: Beyond the Hype, which concluded that ICTs have the potential to contribute to more rapid growth and productivity gains.
- Guidelines for Sectoral ICT Policy and Planning [pdf],
The Commonwealth Secretariat, 2001 - Sectoral planning templates developed on the basis of regional workshops held in Jamaica, South Africa, and Malaysia in 2001, designed to assist
policy makers, planners, and other stakeholders in developing sectoral
ICT strategies for national economies. It is envisaged that the templates would be used as a consultative
document in a formally constituted workshop or planning session.
Typically, a group, with specific authority to develop ICT strategies
for a particular sector would convene a meeting of key stakeholders in
the sector. Working with experienced facilitators over a two-three day
period, the planning group should be able to develop a preliminary
draft of a strategy for the sector. This would then be distributed to
a broader cross-section of people for additional input, modification and finalization.
- OECD, Seizing the Benefits of ICT in a Digital Economy (2003)
- Trends of Convergence and Divergence in the Information Economy: Lessons for Developing Countries [pdf], 2004 - Empirical analysis showing that countries that have invested heavily in ICT infrastructure, human capital and innovation tend to have higher productivity levels. Identifies policy lessons for developing countries to catch-up with the more evolved economies. Confirms that liberalization of the telecommunication and ICT sectors has increased investment in the ICT infrastructure in the countries and that competition in this sector has lowered cost of services and increased ICT penetration rates.
- UNDP, ICTs for Development - extensive resources
- ICT-Enabled Development Case Studies Series, by bridges.org and IICD - seeks to illustrate how ICTs contribute to development in Africa. The aim of this series is to help ground-level initiatives imagine the possibilities of what can happen if they use ICTs successfully to overcome development obstacles, and to contribute to the existing body of knowledge on the digital divide.
- Digital Opportunity Task Force - established following the G8 Okinawa Summit in July 2000, developed the Genoa Plan of Action; Implementation Teams have created a wide range of projects in areas such as national e-strategies, access and connectivity, human capacity building, entrepreneurship, and local content.
- UN ICT Task Force - providing overall leadership to the United Nations role in helping to formulate strategies for the development of ICTs and putting those technologies at the service of development and, on the basis of consultations with all stakeholders and Member States, forging a strategic partnership between the United Nations system, private industry and financing trusts and foundations, donors, programme countries and other relevant stakeholders.
- Digital Dividend - identifying and promoting sustainable business models for poor communities. Resources include: Digital Dividend Project Clearinghouse, tracking social enterprises that use ICT to deliver services to underserved communities in developing countries; What Works studies, in-depth analysis of promising projects.
- African Information Society Initiative (AISI), resources on the use of ICTs to accelerate economic and social development in Africa, including national ICT plans.
- Bellanet, an international initiative providing advice and assistance on more effective use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) - a large web site with many links and resources.
- UNESCO Communications and Information Sector - extensive resources on UNESCO programs in all media fields
- The ICT Maps of Africa - a great set of maps by the UN Economic Commission for Africa, showing the status of National ICT plans, Internet connectivity and ISPs, teledensity, and radio coverage.