Intel has been developing this paper for the last few months and is now seeking endorsement from major development organizations. The paper is supposed to be out next week.
I have been in touch with Intel on this since August last year and have provided an initial set of comments that were not added to the earlier versions of the draft. Since they are eager for UNDP support, Intel sent me the latest draft earlier this week which I then heavily edited. The document sent back to them is here: Intel BB White Paper UNDP inputs.
I also sent this written comments:
1. Taxation: calls for reducing taxation on hardware etc. (which BTW are not really new) should be handled carefully. Most poor countries have a very low tax revenue base and thus have few resources for public investments, specially if one is asking them to invest in poor and under-served areas. Tax revenues should be thus be increased somehow (as most people do not really pay taxes). So call for reducing ICT related tariffs should be accompanied by calls to rationalize existing tax systems. This issue is particular important for Africa and LDCs for example.
2. There is almost no reference to having citizens and stakeholders as part and parcel of the development of all these policies and initiatives. This is even more feasible today if we think of innovations such as crowdsourcing, etc. Involving stakeholders from the very beginning ensures that supply will match demand and thus increased the effectiveness of both public and private investment.
I have yet to hear back from Intel on my inputs…