The Administrator is planning to attend this forum (http://philanthropyforum.org) and BERA requested inputs along four questions.
Here are the questions and the inputs provided.
1. What are ‘big’ opportunities for human development that can be spurred by ICT ?
Given the widespread use of ICTs, specially wireless networks and devices in the developing world, here are now emerging opportunities to:
- harness ICTs to support MDG achievement and MAF countries
- scale-up and replicate successful development initiatives and programmes
- strengthen public institutions while fostering responsiveness, effectiveness and transparency
- deliver basic services to vulnerable populations in new ways and on an affordable basis
- piggyback on local social innovators and entrepreneurs who are taking matters into their own hands and providing local solution to local priorities and issues
2. What is needed to launch them and then what are key steps to bring them to scale ?
- innovative policies that explicitly link current national development priorities with ICT plans and investments (for example broadband plans)
- go beyond the so-called digital divide and instead focus on how ICTs can help close current socio-economic and political gaps
- think nationally but act locally and in concert with local partners and stakeholders
- to scale up, link successful social innovations in health, education, etc. to policy makers who can harness them in effective fashion
- build local government capacity and beef up their resources to attract CSO and private sectors innovators
3. How can IT improve dem governance ?
- “democratization” of access to ICTs, specially mobile networks, are given voice to those who had none before
- networks of stakeholders and citizens using ICTs can now be part and parcel of local policy and decision making processes
- crowd-sourcing initiatives can bring together supply (government) and demand together thus increasing the effectiveness of public investments
- new technologies and solutions are bringing support for Open Government initiatives thus fostering greater accountability
- many developing countries can use new and existing public networks to build bridges between governments and citizens, and foster better
interaction and more trust on all partners
- foster overall participation of people in governance processes
4. What kind of partners and what are their roles ?
- triangular cooperation at the global level: expertise, knowledge sharing, mentoring, etc.
- Harness local enterprises as key partners: local knowledge, community access and trust, local benefits in terms of job creation etc.
- ICT companies willing to do small investments in “high-risk” countries
We also provided a couple of examples from UNDP (Madagascar and Bangladesh)