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Capacity-building on ICT policymaking


Recent studies have indicated that there is an urgent need to build and strengthen the capabilities of developing countries and countries with economies in transition in the areas of ICT for development. Decisions about ICT made at both the national and international level often have major and far-reaching implications for these countries. While international scholarships and grants have partially addressed some of the challenges faced by these countries, capacity building and awareness-raising on ICT for development at the national level remains generally fragile.

The establishment of a network of South-based ICT policy experts and the articulation and implementation of a broad-based cooperation among institutions of the UN system could effectively overcome these weaknesses. A number of relevant institutions and independent ICT researchers and policy experts currently exist in a many developing nations and in countries with economy in transition, but their work requires promotion, nurturing and linking with the appropriate institutions on the demand side of the equation.

The Division for ECOSOC Support and Coordination (DESC) is the institutional host of the UN ICT Task Force, which can offer a global platform for the development and legitimisation of a South-based network of experts. The Task Force members, its open-ended Working groups, its five Regional networks and its Panel of Advisors and other participants (G-8 DOT Force networks, WEF, the World Bank, European Commission, GKP, GBDe, ICC and other private and non-profit sectors organizations) provide a very rich pool of resources and expertise that would be tapped.


Build capacity among policymakers, private sector and civil society actors of developing countries and countries with economy in transition for the development and implementation of national ICT policy and regulatory frameworks and national e-strategies, through promoting more informed, broad-based and effective participation of representatives from developing nations in regional and international ICT agenda-setting and decision-making; strengthening the integration of ICT in development programs at both the local and international levels; and increasing awareness and understanding of the potential and policy implications of ICT for development among government officials, private sector representatives and civil society actors

Expected accomplishments:

  • Enhanced capacity of national Governments to develop and implement effective and sustainable national e‑strategies built on the principles of national ownership and requirements, including through South-South cooperation and knowledge-sharing on effective integration of information and communications technologies into development policies and strategies
  • A matrix of linked networks of information and communications technologies-for-development actors in developing nations and countries with economies in transition, creating a knowledge platform for positive spill over and multiplier effects on policy-making, analytical and applied skills in various sectors of the economy and society
  • Systematic and meaningful participation of representatives of developing countries and countries with economies in transition in global, regional and subregional information and communications technologies decision-making forums and bodies
  • Integration and application of information and communications technologies into the transition process, especially as regards public sector reform to support trade and enterprise

Implementation status:

As of 31 December 2006, the project had implemented four capacity-building regional seminars on ICT policy-making for officials from developing countries. Studies on ICT policies of selected countries in Western Asia and the Caribbean were conducted and advisory services in two countries completed. The project also supported the participation of several developing country officials to a meeting of the Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID) and to the regional consultation meeting on eLAC2007. It contributed to the development of online facilities and organized two online workshops, on E-Government and Digital Arabic Content Industry for policy-makers from Western Asia. In Africa the project contributed to the development of ECA's existing online facility, African e-Learning Initiative, which provides online workshops to African policy-makers on ICT for development. It also contributed to the development of ECLAC's Virtual Dialogue Initiative (www.eclac2007.info), a long-standing online facility for policy-makers in Latin America and the Caribbean.

As a result of the above activities under the project, target groups of officials engaged in national policy-making in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Western Asia and Central Asia have been created. Members of these target groups received focused capacity-building training. Interaction among these regional target groups, and between them and relevant international organizations, have also been facilitated.