One the many challenges facing developing countries today is preparing their societies and govern-ments for globalization and the information and communication revolution.Policy-makers,businessexecutives,NGO activists,academics,and ordinary citizens are increasingly concerned with the needto make their societies competitive in the emergent information economy. The e-ASEAN Task Force and the UNDP Asia Pacific Development Information Programme (UNDP-APDIP) share the belief that with enabling information and communication technologies (ICTs),coun-tries can face the challenge of the information age.With ICTs they can leap forth to higher levels of social,economic and political development.We hope that in making this leap,policy and decision-makers,planners,researchers,development practitioners,opinion-makers,and others will find thisseries of e-primers on the information economy,society,and polity useful. The e-primer aims to provide readers with a clear understanding of the various terminologies,defini-tions,trends,and issues associated with the information age.It is written in simple,easy-to-understandlanguage.It provides examples,case studies,lessons learned,and best practices that will help plannersand decision makers in addressing pertinent issues and crafting policies and strategies appropriate forthe information economy. This e-primer is also available online at www.eprimers.org.and www.apdip.net. This e-primer is brought to you by UNDP- APDIP,which seeks to create an ICT enabling environmentthrough advocacy and policy reform in the Asia-Pacific region,and the e-ASEAN Task Force,an ICT fordevelopment initiative of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.We welcome yourviews on new topics and issues on which the e-primers may be useful.Finally,we thank all who have been involved with this series of e-primers-writers,researchers,peerreviewers and the production team.
Chairman (2000-2002)e-ASEAN Task ForceManila,Philippines
Programme CoordinatorUNDP-APDIPKuala Lumpur,Malaysiawww.apdip.net