UNDP/Motorola Mobiles for Human Development Report

mobiles4hdThe report has now been published online by UNDP and can be downloaded here.

I also placed a copy here just in case the previous link is unavailable.

Below are the conclusions to the report which I wrote a few months back. They still hold their own ground.

Conclusions and way forward

The analysis of our sample has shown the complexities of mobiles for development work in two key developing regions, Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as in developed countries. While our data as not obtained in a fully random fashion, its sheer volume as well as the attempt to study data vis-a-vis four core development areas, has provided critical insights in terms of work being done by the various actors -and gaps that will need to be addressed by development practitioners, social

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Saudi Arabia National Open Source Software Policy

Seems this process has been going on for a while now (see previous blogs on the subject), but this time around I am told the policy will be approved by the national government early next year. The original text is now in Arabic so I will not be able to comment directly but our friends at KACST sent me an English version which I used to furnished the comments below.

I hope this time around we will reach the goal line. Comments follow.

1. Vision and mission. Vision is where you would like to be in say 10 or 20 years. Mission is what do we have to do to get there.

2. In this context, the vision is then to have a solid, innovative and competitive national software industry/sector that ensures technological independence while also addressed national and international priorities and

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Proposal for Social Innovation and Development, Colombia

We pitched this proposal to the social innovation of Colombia’s Ministry of ICTs. Seems however their approach to the issues is more supply driven and technology focused. We will see…

Innovación Social para el Desarrollo Humano


La última década ha sido testigo de la rápida difusión de las TICs a nivel global, en particular de las tecnologías móviles que, de acuerdo a datos recientes, están ya en manos de 4.5 mil millones de personas. Dicha difusión, sin precedentes en la historia de tecnología, ha creado nuevos canales de información, comunicación e interacción, así como nuevos mecanismos de gestión en red donde actores que comparten principios y metas comunes pueden interactuar fácilmente para promover sus objetivos.

De igual manera, la rápida penetración de la tecnología

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This was my third ICEGOV meeting and I can tell you I felt lots of deja vu.

In the interim, UNU’s e-government unit has moved from Macao to the beautiful city of Guimaraes, Portugal, which the Portuguese call “the city where Portuguese culture was born”. Indeed, they have secured solid institutional support from the Government of Portugal.

This time around I was invited as co-chair of one of the 6 thematic sessions ICTGOV had this time around. The session was entitled e-governance and Sustainable Development and was essentially comprised on three sub-sessions, each taking place a different day. The first session was an overall introduction to the subject. The second was the paper session where selected papers previously reviewed and approved by UNU were presented. And the last one summarized

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Pakistan Technology and Strengthening Democracy Meeting

I was invited to speak at this meeting thanks to the elections team in New York who furnished my name to the Country Office in Pakistan. I had attended a similar meeting in Guadalajara, México, in April 2013. With the support of our office in Mexico City,  a book (actually two books, one in English and one in Spanish) was published containing some of the key papers delivered at the gathering. This was not bound to happen in Islamabad, though.

The Pakistan meeting had an interesting mix of electoral practitioners, social innovators, ICTD experts and parliamentarians and political party representatives. While the first day was focused on an overall introduction to the subject and social innovation (which seemed a bit odd to me), the second day, which proved the be the most exciting, concentrated

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Pakistan Interview: Champions for e-gov

I gave the following interview to a local business newspaper during my mission to Pakistan. The interview is expected to be published in December.
“E-governance needs Champions from within Ministries”
Raul Zambrano, Senior ICT & Governance Policy Advisor, Democratic Governance Group, UNDP HQ

BR Research: You have previously worked in Pakistan. How was the e-governance situation like back then and how is it now?
Raul Zambrano: It was back in 1993 when UNDP launched an initiative called the Sustainable Development Networking Programme (SDNP) that aimed at bringing access to development content via new technologies. Working with out local office here in Islamabad and using local expertise and human resources, we set up email nodes in four cities including Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi

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Briefing Note on Cybersecurity and UNDP’s Take

Briefing Note on Cybersecurity and Cybercrime


At its 17-18 October 2013 meeting, the CEB endorsed the paper “Towards a UN-wide framework on Cybersecurity and Cybercrime.” The CEB agreed to form a Steering Group on Cybersecurity and Cybercrime consisting of the Executive Heads of UNDP, UNESCO, UNODC, UNEP, ITU and the Chairs of HLCP and HLCM.

A support group of Subject Matter Experts for the Steering Group was also formed with Paul Raines, BOM, and Raul Zambrano, BPPS, representing UNDP. The paper produced by the working group was reviewed and modified by the HLCM and HLCP to present the current paper, “UN System Internal Coordination Plan on Cybersecurity and Cybercrime.”

The CEB discussion will focus on the following five topics which comprise the final paper that should

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BTOB: Cybersecurity Capacity Building, EUISS

I attended the above mentioned meeting hosted by the EU Institute for Security Studies, based in Paris. This was the 2nd meeting on the topic organized by EUISS. The initial meeting took place back in March this year. The main takeaways of this session are here.

EUSIS prepared a concept note for the meeting, building on the notion of scenarios. My initial reaction to this was not that positive as the scenarios seem to ignore: a) The global nature of the issue; and b) The unevenness of Internet penetration around the globe. It also seems to take a particular approach to capacity building which is more akin to technical cooperation.

Below are my detailed comments.

1. Cybersecurity is yet another example of a classical global public good which transcends nation-states and demands global coordination

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OGP Commitments

OGP has asked UNDP to put in writing the commitments it can make to support the initiative in developing countries. Here is what we submitted.

One sentence summary (140 characters)
Supporting multi-stakeholder participation in open government processes that foster inclusive governance in developing countries.

Detail of Pledge
Please be as specific as possible in terms of number of countries, different issues, financial commitments, etc.

Participation, transparency, and accountability are three core pillars of UNDP’s democratic governance portfolio of programmes and projects worth over 1 billion USD. These same pillars are also central to OGP’s vision and mandate. In this context, the work UNDP is undertaking in developing countries is already supporting OGP outcomes, but gaps do

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OGP meeting in NY, GA 2014

The Administrator has been invited to speak at the upcoming OGP meeting at the UN GA next week. Here are the draft remarks which also serve as an update on OGP.

The OGP shines for being a unique multi-stakeholder initiative that has established a platform that anchors governments and civil society as equal partners. Engagement between these partners has already resulted in the joint development and implementation of national action.

The rapid growth of the OGP to over 60 countries in less than 3 years indicates that governments and the people increasingly realize that democratic governance is critical to achieve long term sustainable development.

We also know this from consultations we have conducted to ensure that the post-2015 development agenda. To date, 5 million people all

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