Information Security and Privacy
The world we live in today is inter-connected and fast-changing, largely due to the rapid
development of information and communication technologies (ICTs). As the World EconomicForum fittingly states, ICTs represent our “collective nerve system”, impacting and connecting
every fabric of our lives through intelligent, adaptive and innovative solutions. Indeed, ICTs
are tools that can help solve some of our economic, social and environmental challenges, andpromote more inclusive and sustainable development.
The increased access to information and knowledge through development of ICT has thepotential to significantly improve the livelihoods of the poor and marginalized, and promote
gender equality. ICTs can serve as a bridge connecting people from different countries andsectors in the region and beyond by providing more efficient, transparent and reliable meansand platforms for communication and cooperation. ICTs are essential to the connectivity thatfacilitates more efficient exchange of goods and services. Success stories from Asia and thePacific region abound: e-government initiatives are improving access to and quality of publicservices, mobile phones are generating incomes and professional opportunities for women,and the voices of the vulnerable are louder than ever through the power of social media.
Yet, the digital divide in Asia and the Pacific is still seen to be one of the widest in the world. Thisis evidenced by the fact that the countries of the region are placed across the whole spectrum of the global ICT Development Index ranking. Despite the impressive technological breakthroughs
and commitments of many key players in the region, access to basic communication is still notassured for all.
In order to complete the bridging of the digital divide, policymakers must be committed to further
realizing the potential of ICTs for inclusive socio-economic development in the region. Towards
this end, the Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development (APCICT) was established as a regional institute of the United Nations Economicand Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN/ESCAP) on 16 June 2006 with the mandate
to strengthen the efforts of the 62 ESCAP member and associate member countries to use ICTin their socio-economic development through human and institutional capacity development.APCICT’s mandate responds to the Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action of the WorldSummit on the Information Society (WSIS), which states that: “Each person should have theopportunity to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge in order to understand, participateactively in, and benefit fully from, the Information Society and the knowledge economy.”
In order to further respond to this call to action, APCICT has developed a comprehensiveinformation and communication technology for development (ICTD) training curriculum, the
Academy of ICT Essentials for Government Leaders
. Launched in 2008 and based on strong
demand from member States, the
presently consists of 10 stand-alone but interlinked
modules that aim to impart essential knowledge and expertise to help policymakers plan andimplement ICT initiatives more effectively. Widespread adoption of the
programmethroughout Asia-Pacific attests to the timely and relevant material covered by these modules.