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Photo Cover : © Linda Raftree


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

Acknowledgements:................................................................................................................ 1 Executive Summary......................................................................................................... 1 Introduction ..................................................................................................................... 3 This report: ............................................................................................................................... 4 A strategic approach to ICT for Development .................................................................... 4 Checklist for planning strategic use of ICTs ................................................................. 9 Stage 1: Understanding the context for ICT work .................................................... 15 1.1 The external context:...................................................................................................... 15 1.2 Organisational experience and capacity: .................................................................... 18 Stage 2: Finding a match between priorities and possibilities ................................23 2.1 Rooting the system in local needs and priorities: ...................................................... 23 2.2 Finding good uses for tools and applications: ........................................................... 28 Stage 3: Planning and implementing concrete initiatives........................................ 31 3.1 Carrying out participatory assessments: ..................................................................... 32 3.2 Linking to other development processes: .................................................................. 36 3.3 Technical issues and concerns: ..................................................................................... 38 Stage 4: Building a culture of systematic, sustained and strategic ICT use ................................................................................... 41 4.1 Linking ICT with programmes: ..................................................................................... 41 4.2 Transforming the role of ‘the IT guy’: ......................................................................... 44 4.3 Building expertise of the cultural and social aspects of ICT use: ............................ 45 Additional material ....................................................................................................... 47 Opportunities and constraints for ICT4D in Africa .......................................................... 47 Policies and regulations: the operating environment for ICT4D in Africa.................... 47 Salim’s ICT4D advice part 1: consider both process and passion .................................. 48 Salim’s ICT4D advice part 2: innovate, but keep it real .................................................. 50 Country ICT Briefings ................................................................................................... 53 Ghana ICT briefing ................................................................................................................ 53 Mali ICT briefing .................................................................................................................... 56 Mozambique ICT briefing .................................................................................................... 59 Senegal ICT briefing ............................................................................................................. 63 Uganda ICT briefing.............................................................................................................. 66 Cameroon ICT briefing ......................................................................................................... 70 Kenya ICT briefing................................................................................................................. 74 Plan’s current work on ICT4D in Africa ..................................................................... 79 Summary of Plan’s ICT work: .............................................................................................. 79 Case study: Breaking the silence on violence against children in Benin....................... 82 References ......................................................................................................................85

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.



ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

This report is based on inputs from Plan staff who participated in workshops in Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Senegal and Uganda. Thanks to all of those who participated, and in particular the ICT Managers in those countries for facilitating and reporting on them. It also draws heavily on the work of Mika Valitalo and Linda Raftree who co-developed the workshop and research methodology, provided additional insights and material and participated in analysis of the results. In addition, the report pulls in suggestions and insights of regional ICT coordinator Anthony Makumbi and Deputy Regional Director Programme Stefanie Conrad and other key staff and management.

Executive Summary
This report is part of an ongoing process led and supported by Plan Finland and USA to support country offices in Africa to apply ICTs more strategically and effectively to development goals. A previous research project supported by Plan Finland culminated in the ‘Mobiles for Development Guide’ in 2009I, which aims to inspire and support country office staff to understand the potential of mobile technologies to support and enhance their work. Following the success of this report, key staff working on ICTs in regional and northern offices facilitated a process for country office staff to reflect and plan further, not just on the use of mobiles but on all types of ICT devices and applications. Mika Valitalo, Linda Raftree and Hannah Beardon (consultant) worked together to develop a workshop methodology, which was used by Plan ICT managers in five African countries (Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Senegal and Uganda) to facilitate a process of reflection on the potential of ICTs to enhance their organisations’ programme work and impact on poverty. This report draws on some of the information and ideas emerging from those workshops, as well as background research and interviews with national and regional ICT staff, to provide guidance and recommendations for Plan offices to use ICTs effectively and appropriately. The first section of the report explains the concept of ICT-enabled development, and the reasons why it is important for Plan, and other development organisations, to take on board. With so many ICT tools and applications now available, the job of a development organisation is no longer to compensate for lack of access but to find innovative and effective ways of putting the tools to development ends. This means not only developing separate projects to install ICTs in underserved communities, but looking at key development challenges and needs with an ICT eye, asking “how could ICTs help to overcome this problem?”. The checklist provides 10 key areas to think about when planning for this kind of ICT-enabled development, to ensure that ICT use is both linked to real development needs and priorities, and appropriate to the target group. The rest of the main report draws on observations and learning from the workshops and research to illustrate these issues and provide examples (of both methodologies and experiences), which can help to orient others undertaking a similar planning or assessment process. Finally, there is a section to explore some of the organisational issues involved in making the strategic use of ICT a routine part of Plan’s work. Other information generated through the workshops and interviews, including detail of Plan’s current development work with ICT in Africa, is included as additional material at the end of the report.

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


© Linda Raftree


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

Ever since new information and communication technologies (ICTs), such as the Internet and email, became indispensable tools in cities and offices around the world, people have been trying to work out how to extend their coverage and scope, and apply them to pressing development problems. Many could see a direct link between marginalisation and poverty, on the one hand, and lack of access to information and having a voice on the other. From improving service delivery and outreach, to increasing participation in governance, and enabling people to make better-informed decisions, the potential was clear; however, so were the challenges: accessibility, cost, sustainability and capacity, for example.

ICT for Development is concerned with applying information and communication technologies, including the internet and mobile phones, video and audio, to development goals and poverty reduction. The field is relatively new, since the late 1990s when infrastructure began to expand telecommunications into poor and remote areas and development organisations invested in ‘telecentres’ to provide ICTenabled services to poor communities. In the last few years, with the expansion of mobile networks, the field has expanded and evolved rapidly.

Development organisations and practitioners have puzzled over how to overcome serious challenges of accessibility, cost, maintenance and capacity, and created many pilots to test out applications of ICT, and solutions to the challenges. At the same time, the landscape for introducing and using ICTs was changing fast, and this time not only in cities and offices, but all over the world. This was, or is, the revolution of the mobile phone. Mobile phone use spread first amongst wealthy and highly concentrated populations, but the relatively low cost and simple technology has meant that it is now an indispensable tool, and service, for people everywhere, including rural areas of developing countries. And mobiles are not only useful for making calls or sending text messages, they are increasingly used to access the internet and the range of applications available is growing daily. The revolution of the mobile is a lesson for us all: while we have been hard at work planning how to use ICT to transform lives and communities, the transformation has been happening outside; through a conflux of commercial, social, economic and cultural factors. But the lesson is not to give up and follow the flow, for development is about redressing imbalances of wealth and power which leave some people, communities and countries marginalised and poor. It is traditional market mechanisms of supply and demand – meeting a need – that are leading a communications revolution and creating the conditions for more effective and wide-reaching ICT for Development (ICT4D) work. Development organisations are neither leading, nor in control of, this revolution, but they do have an important role to play to adapt and apply these new tools and opportunities to development goals.

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


This report:
This report is based on a process of reflection and strategic thinking which has taken place in five Plan country offices: Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Senegal and Uganda, with participation from regional level ICT4D coordinators in Africa. Workshops held in each country were an opportunity for staff working on different themes to learn about how others are using mobile technologies and ICT, share their own experiences, and think about how they might apply ICTs to meet their stated goals and objectives. The workshop reports were rich in examples of Plan staff and programmes using ICTs in innovative and effective ways to define and meet their development goals, and also offered ideas and opportunities to expand this work. Much of this detail is available in the additional material at the end of this report. However the main body of the report is structured so as to facilitate future reflection and planning, blending the workshop methodology with the outcomes of analysis to come up with a simple checklist and more detailed tools and examples, to support planning for strategic and appropriate use of ICTs in development projects and, in the longer term, programmes.

A strategic approach to ICT for Development
Plans and progress reports of Plan’s African programmes do not make much mention of the use of ICTs in their development projects. There are a small number of examples of providing ICT equipment or training, such as in Senegal, where Plan has supported a project supplying children’s clubs and schools with computers, games and internet training, or in Cameroon where ICT training was provided for teachers. However, most country programmes do not mention any direct ICT for development work. Radio is the big exception that is widely used to support Plan’s programme goals. The low visibility of ICT4D programming in reports could be due to a number of factors. In some contexts it is certain that the high cost and low accessibility of ICTs, and the supporting infrastructure, including telephone lines and electricity, hamper efforts to employ them for development goals. Lack of experience and capacity to apply ICTs to development goals could be another cause. But it is also possible that our increasing access to and reliance on ICTs in our daily lives means that their use is underreported and overlooked. There are probably many uses of ICT to facilitate and enhance other programmes of work which are not explicitly mentioned in the reports, as well as much potential which remains untapped.

Thinking about: how to use ICT for Dev
There are three key ways in which ICT can be used to help meet key development goals: 1. Directly: This includes any work to improve connectivity, access and capacity to use ICTs, such as telecentres or policy advocacy. 2. Strategically: This involves using ICTs in support of development goals, such as good quality education, protection from violence or participation in decision making. 3. Internally: This is the use of ICT to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the organisation, including communications and monitoring and evaluation.


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

Can it be true that ICTs such as computers and mobile phones are just not used at all? Mention ICT for Development, and people usually think about projects that aim to increase people’s opportunity and capacity to use these tools. It may be that this is not a priority for many Plan offices, and the heavy investment and technical capacity required for this kind of work may explain the lack of specific ICT4D projects in Plan programmes. But ICT does not have to be an end in itself; after all, we are talking about ICT for development. ICTs are very valuable tools that can be applied to many issues and processes underlying development. Of course access and capacity are very important, but it is worth looking at how ICTs are, and can be, employed to reach broader development goals, such as gender equity, protection and education for all. Digging deeper into country progress reports and plans it is easy to spot a great affinity between the goals and processes supported by Plan, and the potential and possibility that ICTs represent.

Thinking about: what to use ICT for
Staff in Mozambique identified different types of uses for ICTs, including: • To collect data: Depending on who from, they may use email or the internet, or cameras, mobile phones and audio recorders • To access information: the internet is commonly used, as are books or computer files. • To communicate: email, mobile phones, radio, internet and social networking applications such as Facebook and Twitter are all used. • To store information: they use computers, email, mobile phones, cameras and audio devices.

Information and communication - central themes in Plan’s work: The details of Plan’s development priorities and objectives vary in different country contexts, but all are rooted in a rights-based approach, which has a strong focus on capacity building, participation and awareness raising. This means strengthening people’s access to information and opportunities to participate in decision making. For example, Plan Uganda does not mention ICT specifically in their progress reports, but much of the work they describe both relies on and strengthens information and communication, including: • Children’s participation • Awareness raising and behaviour change around HIV and AIDS • Sponsor communications • Child rights awareness and monitoring. Similarly, for over twenty years Plan Senegal has been supporting children’s clubs, to allow exchange and dialogue between youth and children. Evaluations have shown that children from the clubs are more aware of their rights, develop faster and are better at implementing their own actions plans and participate in local children’s parliaments and school cooperatives. Plan Mali also supports children’s clubs, who are now being trained to participate in communication with sponsors. The theme of Children’s Day at Plan Cameroon in 2008 was “Children’s participation; let the children be seen and heard”: with the aim of encouraging dialogue between children and adults and including young children in processes of decision-making and democracy.

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


Of course, when you are used to using a mobile phone to communicate, and have adapted your social behaviour to the new opportunities this provides, you are likely to apply this at work as well. At the workshops, Plan country office staff talked about using email, mobile phones, photography, video, radio and other ICTs in their daily working lives. However it seems that more forethought and capacity are required in order to make sure that ICTs are applied strategically and appropriately to enhance the children’s participation and voice, amongst Plan’s other goals. As Anthony Makumbi, the then regional ICT coordinator for Plan in East and Southern Africa said:

Thinking about: the personal benefits of ICT
Senegal staff highlighted a number of potential benefits to using ICT more strategically, for: • Plan staff: ICTs make it easier to do their work, cutting down the need to travel to meetings and enabling the quicker conclusion of projects and processes with better results. Enables better organisation and availability of information, stronger participation and exchange of ideas. The skills encourage professional behaviour and competitiveness, which is motivating. • Partners: For greater collaboration and build up of documentation of lessons and experiences. • Young people: Improves learning and comprehension, knowledge of local and global events, interaction with other young people, participation in the global information society and local and national development.

“After the workshop people were saying ‘we thought ICT4D was about computers but no, it is about leveraging technology to improve the delivery of our projects and services.»


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


Checklist for planning strategic use of ICTs
© Linda Raftree


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

This checklist has been developed based on ideas emerging from the workshop reports and analysis of existing work using ICT in Plan, as well as external resources and frameworksii. The checklist aims to support the design of ICT enabled projects and programmes, to help structure discussion and planning processes. It suggests some key steps for the design process, and some questions to ask in order to ensure appropriate and workable plans. However, there are many ways of using ICT in development and this checklist can do no more than provide pointers to ensure that any design is well rooted and appropriate to the context. What’s more the numbered and linear nature of the checklist, while easy to follow, does not represent the reality of how these types of processes actually happen, and it will need to be adapted and adjusted to fit the context. Each of the points could be a guidebook in itself, and this research has shown that effective and strategic use of ICTs requires not just good planning, but good communication, good awareness of opportunities and a creative approach to problem solving. What’s more, ICTs by their nature are dynamic, and their use needs to be continually reviewed as the context, opportunities and needs change. The rest of this report gives substance to this checklist, providing examples, questions and exercises from the workshops to illustrate some of the challenges and opportunities. The workshop methodology and presentations include many more exercises and questions for identifying how ICT could be integrated into programmes, and are available from Please also send questions or feedback regarding this checklist to the same address.

1 • Context analysis: What is happening with ICT (for development) in the country or region?
A good, up-to-date context analysis will help establish what is possible and affordable in current policy and market conditions, and highlight inequities or potential policy advocacy issues. Analysis of local information and communication contexts by community members, local organisations and government stakeholders should be a routine part of community consultations for strategic planning processes. It is also important to map external stakeholders, including ICT for development projects and networks, and providers of key skills and expertise, to identify potential learning, partners and allies. But it is not all about looking outside, as there is likely to be relevant experience and capacity within Plan in the country or region that could offer important opportunities for learning and collaboration. Often ICT-enabled development work is not reported as such, and important learning and support can be missed if the right questions are not asked.

2 • Defining the need: What problems can ICT help overcome? What opportunities can it create?
The use of ICT in development programmes and projects should be linked to identified needs, goals and development objectives. To find out how ICT could support these, there are various places to start. You could think about: • The big problems being faced by your sector or programme and whether ICT may have a role in overcoming them; • The underlying causes of poverty in the area, or problems in the sector, and how lack of information or poor communication contributes to this;

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


• The information and communication elements of existing work and how ICT might facilitate or improve that; • Social and economic changes happening because of ICTs (such as mobile phones) and the development opportunities this could bring to poor people and communities.

3 • Choosing a strategy: What kind of ICT4D is needed direct, internal or strategic?
ICT for development takes in direct work (ICT access is the project goal), internal (the use of ICT by development organizations and staff) and strategic (the application of ICT tools and applications to enhance development projects and processes). Each will have different challenges, and need different types of technical and training support. Any strategy should link carefully to wider work and processes, both in Plan and in communities, to ensure that they support people’s own efforts to drive development and access their rights.

4 • Undertaking a participatory communications assessment: Who will benefit from this use of ICT, and how?
Development programmes aim to reduce poverty and inequality, so it is essential to understand cultural, social and economic issues which may affect people’s access to ICTs and their intended benefits. Participatory assessments (including gender and power analysis) of communication capacity and information needs will allow the design to be targeted at those who are hardest to reach, informing the choice of technology and identifying capacity building needs. It may be the starting point for an ICT project, helping to define the needs as well as the possibilities and context for work, or it might be done once the needs and basic strategy have been defined. Throughout this checklist there are examples of the types of data and perspectives that the assessment could collect, and more detail is in the report.

5 • Choosing the technology: What ICTs/applications are available to meet this need or goal?
The ideal technology or application may already be out there, and there will always be people in the organisation and outside who can help you find it, or suggest alternatives. Your design might rely to some extent on technology already existing in the community, such as radio or mobile phones, or you may need to purchase and install the whole lot. In either case, when choosing a technology/system as well as functionality, costs (to the organization and the users) and support/maintenance considerations, think about issues arising from the participatory assessment: will poor women, illiterate people, youth, etc. be able to access and control it? Is it compatible with their existing communication patterns and culture? When the ideal solution is not possible because of cost, or because of policies or infrastructure, policy advocacy may become a strand of the project strategy.


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

6 • Adjusting the content: Can people understand and use the information provided for and by the ICTs?
ICTs are technologies that can transmit and process information and facilitate communication. Therefore a large element of ICT enabled initiatives will be the information being shared and communicated. This will be different in each case, for example, if information is being provided to poor farmers, if young people are trying to get messages to their peers, or to their government, or if Plan staff are trying to base their planning on more thorough and up-to-date community information. The important thing is to identify who will be producing and using the information, and whether the format, language and style are appropriate. It is also important to ensure that the instructions for using the system are clear and easy to understand for the target audience, who may not have familiarity with the tools and applications.

7 • Building and using capacity: What kind of support will people need to use and benefit from the ICT, and to innovate around it?
The capacity needs will depend on the system, and include the needs of users as well as the capacity to manage and maintain it. The participatory assessment (see #4) will help to identify the capacity needs of different groups of users, as well as indicate potential partners or champions to embed new skills and communication practices in the group or community. Capacity building for maintenance and management is a great opportunity for developing ownership and sustainability and building up skills and services in the local area that could develop into spin off services and innovations. What’s more, given the challenges in installing and maintaining delicate ICT equipment in remote rural areas, having a blend of local knowledge, creativity and technical skills can keep the project on track.

8 • Monitoring progress: How do you know if the ICT is helping meet the development goal or need?
The main objective of the project or programme should be to meet the identified development goal or need. Monitoring and evaluating this, against the objectives and indicators set in the project, is standard practice. But in this case it is also important to try to understand the contribution of ICTs to any progress made, how effective they have been at enhancing communication and information, and ultimately improving lives, livelihoods and access to rights. Setting both short and long term goals and being clear about assumptions and expectations from the start will provide something to monitor against. The participatory assessment (see #4) could provide information on people’s expectations of the benefits and impact of technology, to inform the monitoring and evaluation strategy.

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


9 • Keeping it going: How can you manage risks and keep up with changes?
ICT4D is wrought with challenges and risks, many of which will be outside of your control. For example, you can invest in equipment, but still rely on service providers for connections and the government for infrastructure. Or you can set up a system, only to find it is superseded by something much more appropriate months later. Some things can be done to minimize these risks, including good research and preparation and prudent choice of technology (and the use of open standards). Regular review and updating of the context analysis, needs and capacity will also help to ensure that new opportunities and partnerships are identified and potential risks avoided or managed. From the beginning, decisions will need to be made about how the system will be paid for, sustained and maintained in the long-term. User charges can result in the exclusion of those who most need support, even if it only amounts to the cost of using their own mobile phone. On the other hand, real ownership and commitment may be both demonstrated and strengthened by the need for user, or community, contributions to keep the system running. Good analysis of ability to pay, the impact of user charges and potential partners (including government) will feed into a realistic sustainability strategy.

10 • Learning from each other: What has been done before, and what have you learned that others could use?
Sharing of learning should be a first and last step of the process, and continual throughout the work. ICT4D is a relatively new, challenging and constantly changing area with a lot of potential to reduce inequalities and support development goals. It is important to know what has been done and draw on past experiences, and there are many networks to support this. It is equally important to document and share the experiences of your project or programme to inform future work in the area.


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


Stage 1:

Understanding the context for ICT work
© Linda Raftree


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

A first planning step for the integrated use of ICTs in development work is a thorough analysis of the context in which they will be applied. This means an analysis of both the opportunities and constraints to using ICT to make an impact on development goals, including available technology and services, infrastructure, skills and support. This analysis will be of both the internal and external environments, locally and nationally. Internally, it means looking at Plan’s experience and any capacity available within the organisation to support planning, decision making and implementation in relation to ICTs. External factors and influences include the policy and market environments, as well as key external stakeholders in the fields of ICT4D, such as ongoing projects, networks and funding partners.

1.1 The external context:
A thorough context analysis is an essential element of good planning, and ICTs are no exception. This means having an up to date understanding of the policy and regulatory context, the market for devices and services, and the field of ICT for development. Analysis of these types of issues, described further in the box (right), enables more focused and realistic planning for the use of ICT in development programmes. The Thinking about: conducting a Ghana workshop report includes context analysis the observation: Before the workshops, participating country offices were sent briefings detailing their “It is important to conduct national ICT policy environment, the state of ICT indigenous research to know markets and infrastructure, and key stakeholders what pertains to our peculiar including regulators, policymakers and ICT for environment and not just development projects and programmes in their swallow all that we are told country. These briefings are summarised and included at the end of this report, and could since what pertains to other serve as a template for this type of context areas may not apply to us.” analysis. The areas of information included are: A broad context analysis is necessary to understand what is possible and identify potential areas for learning, collaboration or campaigning. For example, the state of the telecommunications infrastructure and markets may make an idea workable in one country, but not in another. In some cases it may be necessary to work with, or lobby, policymakers as a first step to making the tools more accessible for development work. However, thorough and participatory local assessments of social and technical issues in Plan: • Work involving a communication/ information aspect • Activities including or supported by ICT • Colleagues with relevant skills and experience External • ICT usage statistics and characteristics • ICT policy and trends • ICT policy actors • ICT4D projects • ICT Institutions • Risks and opportunities

Much of the research into external factors, including policy and other projects, can be started online and followed up through email and phone calls. Internal information can be found in reports, but more reliably through personal contact, meetings or workshops.

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


the communities where ICTs are to be used will always be necessary to inform more detailed planning. Workshop participants identified several factors in the external environment which have an impact on their plans and strategies for using ICT, including:

Thinking about: questions to ask
The Plan Senegal team had lots of questions they wanted to explore before planning any new system: • Human resources: where are the skills, knowledge and gaps? • Material resources: what is available locally and externally and what is missing?

Adding value to the existing picture:
By necessity, ICT for Development is the work of multiple stakeholders, including government departments, private companies large and small, as well as civil society. It takes many different players to provide the legal and regulatory framework, ensure access to the technology and provide services, finance initiatives, develop and share appropriate content and build the capacity of users, as well as entrepreneurs and managers. Development NGOs like Plan need to work out what their own role is in this, which will depend on the context specifics. For example:

• The legal framework: what are the relevant policies and laws? • The risks: what are potential risks of using ICT and how they can be mitigated? • Lessons learned: what are the experiences of other actors in Senegal and beyond, the challenges they have faced and the solutions • The social context: what are the social realities in the operating context which would affect the implementation of ICTs? What knowledge do poor people have which can be the basis for the introduction of new technologies? • The market: what is the supply and demand situation for ICTs? What are the opportunities for resource mobilisation?

• Working with the government and regulators, as well as the private sector, to ensure that the needs and perspectives of poor and marginalised groups are considered in sector planning, pricing and service provision. • Exploring partnerships with the corporate sector to reach large untapped markets of poor and rural communities. Plan Uganda have some experience of this, for example working with PostBank and mobile providers to find more efficient and effective ways to reach the rural poor. • Working with community groups to build capacity and facilitate linkages between service and users (or needs) and providers and policy makers.

Partnering for real priorities:
The Uganda team noted that there are great opportunities for resource mobilization with ICT companies at all levels. However, a careful balance needs to be maintained to ensure that partnerships with public and private sector initiatives are directly aligned to local development needs and strengthen the role and capacity of the government to deliver. Fundraising teams should base any corporate partnerships in ICT on a strategy, which defines the development objectives and themes the money can support, and identify good targets in relation to the


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

corporate social responsibility aims, and market interests, of corporations. Otherwise there is a danger of missing funding opportunities, or worse being led by the interests of the corporate partners rather than the poor communities.

Finding out what is possible, and what could be:
Part of the context analysis should be the availability of technology, whether the spread (infrastructure), or other issues such as usability and affordability (which will come out more in participatory assessments discussed below). The Mozambique team stated that it is important to map available ICT tools and explore which are appropriate given local constraints, such as lack of electricity and cash. Despite the hype and excitement around the accessibility of mobile technologies to rural communities around the world, they gave a reminder that many are still excluded for various reasons: “Mobile phones are a challenge still. Mobile phone could add costs to the community leaders, and later would not be sustainable. This needs to be looked into to see what kind of solutions we can find.” But recognising the limitations does not mean we should stick within them. Some very basic tools, such as MP3 players, can be used to great effect; challenges are constantly shifting and boundaries pushed back. The Mozambique team were optimistic about the possibilities of introducing new technologies and applications: “This workshop was an eye opener. Technology is not so mysterious. We need to try our best to make technology something simple that can be used by anyone, just like mobile phones, small children can use them. IIf all other technologies could be that simple it would be great.” It is important to look at what is around and leverage available opportunities. Plan Uganda identified several initiatives that could bring down costs and expand opportunities for poor people, such as mobile money transfer services linked to Village Savings and Loans Associations and closed user group services that allow cheap calls within a private network. This may require support at a regional level, and networking of ICT managers across the region to share and compare findings.

Being aware and prepared:
As well as assessing the context for positive opportunities and potential areas of engagement, it is also important to identify the risks and potential changes that could threaten ICT-enabled development work. Those elements of the policy environment which make the use of ICTs cost effective or productive should be analysed, to identify the conditions on which they depend and the risk of changes. This includes the risks inherent in the current policy context, for example the possible risks in promoting citizen’s reporting in a repressive environment, as well as the risks of changes in policy and administration. And as well as the risks inherent in the communications and ICT policy context, there are those related to the technology. Does the price or availability of a service or application depend on the number of subscribers, for example? Will the device become obsolete, after the budget has been used? Forethought and monitoring will enable ICTenabled development initiatives to prepare for and respond to such risks and threats.

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


1.2 Organisational experience and capacity
Identifying where there is experience of using ICTs in the organisation’s work, the lessons that have been learnt and the connections that can be made will help to inspire and inform planning for further strategic use of ICTs, avoid duplication and identify capacity. During the workshops, participants mapped the experiences of their country office of using ICT in their development work. These experiences are summarised in the Additional Material appendix of this report, and can serve as examples and inspiration for future innovations. The examples cover a variety of themes, ranging from the promotion of child rights and participation through to the innovative use of media and arts, campaigning and awareness-raising on key issues, provision of internet access, public awareness of Plan’s work, project learning and data collection, to the routine use of mobile phones to improve communication and cut down travel. Closer examination of some of these experiences has brought out valuable learning, both for replication and adaptation of these initiatives and for planning new ones, as described below. However, as well as the general insights and lessons, an internal context analysis should bring up potential linkages and contacts within the organisation, and identify where there is capacity to support the choices of appropriate technology, as well as installation, management, training and maintenance.

Breaking the silence: supporting responses to child violence in Benin
In Benin it is common that acts of violence against children go unreported, and even when they are reported, responses are often inadequate. Plan Benin is experimenting with the use of text messaging (SMS) and the internet to support reporting of violence against children, and improve both immediate and longer term responses to the problemiii. How it works: Using Frontline SMS, software which allows the sending and receiving of multiple text messages through a computer, and Ushahidi crowdsourcing websites, which can map complex information onto a single webpage, Plan Benin can provide a service whereby people text in a report of violence and it is mapped automatically on the site. The website is monitored by an administrator,

SMS report 

System  administrator  Child  protection  services 

SMS report 
FL  SMS  incident 



SMS report 
Other  stakeholders 


SMS report 



ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

who verifies and organises the response to each case, working closely with local authorities. Linking to local child protection services enables the mobilisation of appropriate medical and social services. And in the longer term collecting and mapping the data will provide evidence for better planning of prevention and response services, as well as awareness raising and campaigning. In this way, Plan hopes to overcome the problems of access, and provide the shelter of anonymity for potential reporters. Adding value to existing services: The system is designed to support and enhance existing public services, as well as NGOs and local partners, and it is hoped that the system will become a public service in the long run. Linda Raftree, Plan’s adviser on social media and ICTs in West Africa, noted that:

“The system reflects real information and communication flows on the ground, the roles of the different actors – including youth – are clear, it can add value to local structures and initiatives, and it could be sustainable and potentially scaled into a national level system in Benin and possibly other countries.”
Building capacity and awareness: An important part of the implementation of the system is building the capacity of local young people to articulate and report on their experiences of violence, of the local social services to respond, and of staff to make the system work. The pilot has involved awareness raising and training for young people to create and upload multimedia content about the situation in their area. During the pilot phase, Plan is working with district authorities to meet the increased demand for services, but is also building evidence and advocating for more public resources to sustain the approach. Supporting local solutions: Although there are many challenges to setting up a system like this where infrastructure and public capacity is weak, the team believes that these are surmountable where the motivation and drive of local people, especially youth, is strong. Local people, community groups and service providers are taking responsibility to make the system work, overcome problems and find solutions to emerging issues. This includes low-tech solutions like patience when internet services are down, creativity when the right kit is not easily available locally, and persistence or flexibility when people do not use the system properly. You can read more about this pilot in the Additional Material at the end of this report.

Registering children for their rights in Kenyaiv
Life can be hard without a birth certificate. You need one to register at secondary school, for social services and insurance, and for international travel. You need one to get married, or to prove your age if you are being forced to marry too young. And communities lose out in other ways: without proper registration, the district does not get its fair share of the national budget because it’s not clear how many people are actually there. Yet birth registration is currently a time consuming and costly business for people in Kwale, Kenya. The current system: When a child is born in Kwale, the family have to tell the village chief or local organisation who then notifies the district civil registration office at their own expense. Although local chiefs and CBOs are allowed to register children locally, certificates must be issued at district level and this must be done by parents in person. Kwale district civil registration office manages all registrations for a population of over half a million, with five staff. Although they have two computers, all records are handled and stored manually and they do not have the capacity to digitise existing records. What’s more, the parents have to travel to the district capital to apply for the birth certificate and again to collect it, which combined with the cost of the certificate itself is off-putting.

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


Adding value to existing services: Computerised systems and mobile technologies can help to make the system more efficient and accessible, cutting down on time and travel for staff of the registration office and local chiefs and CBOs. An initial time investment in creating a functional computer database would cut down on staff time for registration and searching for records. For chiefs and CBOs, electronic means of sending birth registration notifications not only save travel time and money, but also have advantages of data accuracy, checking, speed and the ability to use the data for other purposes such as planning. Plan Kenya has been supporting communities and local partners to enhance the birth registration process, with the support of Plan Finland, the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Nokia. At the same time, the Kenyan government is developing a nationwide web-based civil registration system, to be rolled out this year. Plan aims to develop and test an ICT-enabled local registration system, which could link into this at the national level. Building capacity and awareness: As the existence of underused computers in the district civil registration office attests, the provision of equipment and systems is not enough. Plan will support the roll out of computerised registration systems by building the capacity of stakeholders to use ICTs. At the same time, Plan will work on raising awareness of the benefits of registration and the use of the new system among communities. These experiences and impacts will be documented, and stakeholders networked to support the wider development and replication of decentralised birth registration models.

Young people express themselves, and make themselves heard:
The Youth Empowerment through Technology, Arts and Media (YETAM) projectv aims to help young people develop skills and networks to communicate, participate, educate and advocate on issues that matter to them locally, nationally and globally. Through workshops and activities young people analyse and prioritise key themes and issues. They learn to use arts and media to get their messages across to others in their communities, families, local decision makers and peers. A project website is under construction to share maps, artwork and videos from Mali and the other five participating countries which will enable their voices, and opportunities for dialogue, to stretch even further across the region and the globe. Engaging young people: In Kati District, Mali, around 60 young people are involved in the YETAM project, researching and developing their own opinions on issues important to them, using songs, poetry, theatre, photos and video. These issues include low levels of birth registration, violence at school, female circumcision and the lack of opportunities for young people in rural areas. Plan Mali has supported local teachers to engage with young people on these issues, helping to share information on them through various media, and supporting advocacy efforts. For example: • They developed a short film drama highlighting some of the medical and social implications of female circumcision. • They organized a public performance of drama, songs and poetry, and showed the film. • After the event there was a panel with local authorities at which the mayor made commitments to ensure universal birth registration and stem the flow of out-migration and, astonishingly, the chief proclaimed an end to the traditional practice of female circumcision.


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

Engaging other stakeholders: Bedo Traore, Plan Mali’s child media coordinator, has noted that the participatory and inclusive approach brings challenges, but in the long term engages different stakeholders. Teachers initially felt threatened and targeted by the discussions with pupils concerning violence at school, but over time, “their frustration dissolved and trust began to grow between students and teachers because teachers are discovering another way to teach and discuss sensitive issues – they are behaving as coaches.” Following these discussions, the education authorities have also become more interested in the topics and involved in the project. Seeing the changes: Children, teachers and community leaders have all noticed a change since young people started to speak out about the issues affecting them. They remark on the decrease in acceptability and practice of corporal punishment, as well as female circumcision. One child commented: “In our village, many people practiced circumcision, but now they say they will stop because they have learned from our messages about the harm it causes.” Young people have learned from this experience that participating in decision making and opinion forming is not only possible, but effective, and there has been an increase in young people’s participation in community development processes and meetings. The project, and the increasing participation and articulation of young people, have also enabled Plan staff to respond to issues of concern to youth in their planning.

Lessons learned: integrated ICT can be sustainable
These three examples show how effective ICT can be when supporting local processes and needs, and integrated into existing social structures and services. In Benin and Kenya, Plan is testing the potential of appropriate and accessible ICT, such as mobile phones, to enhance existing services: social protection and civil registration respectively. In these cases the ICT system needs to be built according to the needs, capacity and practices of the users, and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the public system for which they ultimately depend on for sustainability. This kind of system can be a very effective way to strengthen governmental capacity to protect children’s rights, the basis of a long-term, rights-based development process. It also helps to reinforce the information, communication and technology environment for local communities and organisations, increasing the possibility of local ICT enabled innovation. The YETAM project shares some of these characteristics, with ICTs as enablers and the underlying social process as the heart of the project. However, rather than fitting ICTs to specific needs and issues, in YETAM they are used to support young people to research and prioritise issues, and then communicate them, learn more about them and debate them with others locally and globally. In other words, rather than being issue led, this process allows a more ICT savvy and enabled community to grow, and builds their capacity to engage in development planning and implementation of public services and of development NGOs such as Plan. People find their own uses for technology, given the chance to experiment and innovate. By basing their systems on the real information needs and communication practices of the communities they serve, as described further in Stage 3 below, Plan can help to create the conditions for ICTenabled, community-led development processes.

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


Stage 2:

Finding a match between priorities and possibilities
© Anna Liesto


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

Based on the analysis of the types of tools and technologies which are available and practical for the context (Stage 1), the next stage is to define the development goals or priorities that ICT can help to meet. This can be done by taking inspiration from other uses of certain types of ICT tools or applications and identifying areas of work to which these could be adapted (tools first), or the process could be based in an assessment of the development goals which have a strong information or communication element, and the appropriate tools found to fit (needs first). At the ICT4D workshops, Plan staff heard about different ICT tools and applications, and how they have been applied to further development goals. They were then asked to reflect on their own goals and priorities, and identify areas for exploration. This section highlights some of the suggestions and ideas that the participants came up with for using social media and ICTs to improve the quality, reach and impact of their work. From these, it also draws some analysis of some of the key issues to consider in making that match.

Making the most of ICT: needs or tools first?
There is a tension at the heart of ICT for development, and it is right there in the name. For while the development sector increasingly recognises the need for bottom-up planning models, in which organisational decision making is informed by local needs, priorities and capacity, the ICT sector tends to lead with new services and devices which they then offer to their clients. The tension is between putting needs first and finding technology to fit it, or developing tools first and allowing people to access and use them. This may seem clear cut: after all NGOs like Plan do not exist to create and market new technologies, but to help people overcome development challenges. But in fact the tension is not quite so easy to resolve. For, while it is important to root all ICT4D work in development goals and local priorities, it is also important not to be constrained by available or known technology. he nature of ICTs – adaptable to many different uses, rapidly evolving in design and expanding in scope and availability – provides immense capacity for innovation and creativity which may be lost if the goals and plans are too tightly set. There are many examples of organic social change which take place around new technologies, such as the changes in social or working practices that many of us have experienced with the arrival of mobile phones, email or social networking, and the numerous local business and social innovations using mobile technologies in developing countriesvi. But whether ICTs are a tool for meeting a specific development objective, or an asset for a community to generate their own development, the important thing for ICT4D is that it is rooted in, and serves, the D: development.

2.1 Rooting the system in local needs and priorities:
ICTs can enhance Plan’s effectiveness and impact on development in many ways. Starting the planning process with a clear development goal – if possible established in consultation with the participating community – will help to ensure that investments made are linked to people’s own development visions and processes. Anthony Makumbi, Plan’s East and Southern Africa ICT4D Coordinator, suggests that programme unit managers should identify the key issues and

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


problems facing their sectors, and then think about how ICT can help to solve them. For example, if quality is a problem in education, then using ICTs could be employed to deliver teaching materials more cheaply and efficiently. He said: “Ask yourself: What are the causes of poverty and denied rights in this programme area? Is poor communication or access to information partly to blame for this?” ICTs are literally Technologies which facilitate Information and Communication. As Anthony says, by establishing the role (the lack of) information and communication play in causing poverty and related problems, and the role that they could have in overcoming such challenges, the potential of ICTs can start to be unlocked. The fundamental role of information and communication in development problems and processes is dealt with in more detail in the 2009 Plan guide to using mobile technologies for developmentvii, which explains that:

“Good access to relevant information sources and communications media can support people to make informed decisions about their own lives and livelihoods, participate in and influence decisions which affect them and their communities. Effective and good quality development processes are built on strong communication and well managed information flows, to facilitate learning and sharing, networking and coordination. Furthermore, a focus on information and communication media can build local knowledge, identity and voice into a strong basis for equal development partnerships with a range of stakeholders, and at the broadest level enable connections to be made between local experiences and national and international policies and processes.“
The examples of Plan’s work with ICTs in Africa at the end of this report illustrate many of the information and communication aspects of development work. For example, Plan’s work in Benin to gather information on violence against children in communities where they work will not only support the immediate protection of vulnerable children, but also generate awareness, inform programme planning and provide evidence for advocacy and campaigns.

Thinking about: the role of information and communication in development
The workshop methodology includes exercises to identify the information and communication aspects in development goals and programmes. Everyone has experience and examples of how timely, relevant information can make a difference to people’s livelihoods, health, or social lives. Encourage people to share these with case studies, or questions such as: • Have you ever changed your plans because of new information? Or saved time? Made money? • Have you ever received information which has benefited your health? • Have you ever used information on your rights? • Did you ever act on a piece of information and wished you hadn’t? • Have you ever held back information? • Did you ever get a piece of information too late? • Have you ever heard of a piece of information which saved a life? Finally, a tree graphic can be used to explore the factors governing the value of information to people’s lives and livelihoods. Using a drawing of a tree, people can identify the roots of reliable and relevant information, and use branches and fruits to illustrate the different benefits and outcomes.


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

Protecting and reinforcing rights:
Just as ICT is only an enabler of development projects, these initiatives themselves are tools with which to empower citizens and communities to fulfil their potential and access their rights. As the Plan Uganda workshop report notes: “ICTs give communities a platform to give feedback on services rendered and know of services available to them”: essential elements of ensuring good governance and human rights. However, Plan Ghana noted that this is a challenge, given that many government ministries and agencies are not online, and there is a lack of both online information and communication. In line with Plan’s rights-based and childcentred approach to development, the strategic use of ICT should promote people’s sustainable access to their rights and enhance the capacity of duty bearers to fulfil their obligations. The experiences mentioned in 1.2 above show how effective use of ICT tends to support rather than compensate for (or even undermine) existing mechanisms for accessing entitlements and rights. In the cases of SMS reporting of violence against children in Benin or birth registration in Kenya this has meant linking to and supporting public services, and in the YETAM project it means facilitating active participation in development and decision making.

Thinking about: supporting duty bearers
The context analysis and the participatory assessment should provide information on the systems and structures which support people’s access to information on their rights, and communication with duty bearers such as local government or police. If there is a gap, ask first whose responsibility it should be to fill that, and what support is needed from Plan. This will inform the choice of ICTs and the stakeholders who will manage and use them. It may be that advocacy rather than service provision (or both!) is the appropriate long term approach.

Roles Responsibilities Gov’t Private sector NGOs CBOs Schools PLAN






As well as analysing the role of ICT in relation to specific rights, for example education, freedom from violence, or good governance, Plan’s right-based approach will also inform initiatives to increase access to ICTs themselves. Any initiative should support government accountability and services and reinforce other development processes. The above table is one tool to analyse roles and responsibilities relating to ICT access, in order to work out the appropriate role for Plan, and potential allies or partners, to increase people’s access to information and ultimately their rights.

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


Ideas and suggestions:
The workshop groups came up with lots of ideas as to how they could fit ICTs to their development priorities. Some of these ideas are quite well developed and rooted in existing processes and priorities. For example, in Uganda, where there is a policy of free and compulsory universal primary education in place, the quality of teaching remains a major issue. Getting up-to-date, useful and reliable information and teaching materials to teachers, and textbooks to the kids, is a real problem facing the government. Yet, with the decision to roll out the one laptop per child initiative in the country, there is a real opportunity to mobilise ICT as an effective and efficient means to solve these issues. Plan Uganda’s idea to produce and support online libraries and electronic materials, as well as build the capacity of teachers to use and teach ICT, is based on this context analysis.

Thinking about: who could use ICT for what?
Plan Senegal identified several priority groups for rolling out the strategic use of ICTs. • Plan Employees: to improve efficiency and effectiveness. • Plan colleagues in other countries: to share information and communication. • Technical partners: to facilitate the relationship. • Young people involved in projects: To facilitate dialogue with peers and the wider world and improve conditions for learning/development. • Women and children in Weer pilots: to improve health conditions and vaccination planning.

Plan Mali considers child protection to be • Ministry of Education / teachers: the first priority in any investment in using support new teaching methods and ICTs strategically, with the aim of enabling approaches, materials and promotion confidential reporting of this sensitive issue of science and technology. in a similar vein to the work in Benin. The team are considering the possibility of using • Local authorities: to improve the mobile phones, websites and the radio to conditions for development. establish an early warning system of abuse on children and tackle violence at school. Community Development Facilitators and members of the local Child Protection Committee would collect information on reported cases of children being mistreated in schools, households and the community in general, as well as reported cases of sexual harassment, female circumcision, early marriage and other rights abuses. As well as enabling appropriate responses to individual cases, this collection of data on a larger scale would allow for stronger analysis and advocacy, better targeting of child protection interventions and impact assessment of awareness raising and behaviour change campaigns. Because ICT infrastructure can so easily fail in the wake of a big disaster, Plan Mozambique are looking at how it can be integrated into disaster risk reduction and preparedness work, including the development of early warning systems using bulk SMS and community radio. A community radio project will provide information on how to reduce the risk of disasters, as well as other development issues, and encourage dialogue and debate amongst communities at risk. This would link to advocacy and campaigning work with partners such as the national coalition for disaster preparedness. The table below highlights some of the suggestions of workshop participants for the development goals to which they would like to apply ICTs.


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

Theme Education

Country Uganda



Strategy Direct/ strategic

Producing/supporting online CD, internet and electronic educational materials to support the One Laptop per Child initiative. Training teachers to use and teach ICT. School-based ICT labs Data collection on children’s schooling, tracking disabled children through the school system, raising awareness Early warning system and services for confidential reporting of violence against children. Awareness raising, preparedness and early warning system. Data collection and analysis for rates of malaria, HIV/ Aids, maternal and child mortality Promote voluntary counselling and testing for HIV Health outreach (prevention, treatment, information) Planning and monitoring Community Lead Total Sanitation programmes Providing information and marketing support Provide access to banking services Systematic collection of data on sponsored children, village savings and loans associations, gender ratios, youth participation etc Provide qualitative information on development needs and processes for current and potential sponsors Monitoring food security

Ghana Mali

Internet Mobile phone/ FrontlineSMS

Direct Strategic

Child Protection Mali

FrontlineSMS, internet, radio


Disaster risk reduction Health


Community radio, Strategic FrontlineSMS Mobile technologies Internal



SMS, radio, TV


Senegal Sanitation Uganda

Mobile technologies GPS, mobiles

Internal/ strategic Internal


Mozambique Ghana

Mobile phone Mobile phone FrontlineSMS mobile phones

strategic Strategic Internal

Programme/ sponsor information



Video, web, GPS, Internal forum





ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


2.2 Finding good uses for tools and applications:
Alongside the analysis of the types of development work and processes which could be enhanced by ICT, the workshop groups were inspired by examples of different applications of new technologies, including mobile phones, for development ends. Mobile phones, computers, email and the internet are already widely used by Plan staff and partners to communicate and seek information. Many people were inspired by the variety of uses to which applications such as Frontline What is: FRONTLINE SMS AND SMS and Ushahidi have been put, ALL THAT... and came up with many ideas of their own as to how they could use such There are many tools and applications which tools in their work. Older and more can turn ordinary pieces of equipment, such established technologies remain very as laptops and mobile phones, into complex popular because of their familiarity communication systems. Some of those and accessibility. For example one shared at the workshops include: participant from Uganda, Stanley • FrontlineSMS ( is an Opio, suggested the use of radio example of an SMS hub or gateway programming, drama and video to application, to send a large number of text inform, educate and raise awareness messages using a computer and a mobile in communities. Other examples and phone or modem. Messages are sent and ideas include: received using software installed on a • Using mobile phones: The computer which transmits and receives spread of mobile phones means them through the mobile phone network that it is one of the favoured ICTs via the attached phone or modem. for collecting and disseminating • Ushahidi ( is an example information. Most of the workshop of crowdsourcing software, which enables groups found potential uses for bulk many individuals to input data and analysis SMS services such as FrontlineSMS, into a web-based system. For example, it to collect data, for example, on child can map data from text messages onto rights violations, food security and a website to consolidate and visualise nutrition, programme indicators complex information. and education performance. Plan Senegal is considering using • Nokia Data Gathering ( Nokia’s data gathering software to software can be used to create tailored monitor the status of child flood questionnaires and distribute them to victims. Of course the technology multiple mobile phones using a normal can only collect and process the mobile network. Field personnel surveying information, and needs to be part of local conditions can quickly complete the a larger process or system to inform questionnaires and immediately transmit appropriate responses. their findings to a central database. • Using the internet: Internet is not freely available to most of Plan’s community stakeholders, and in most cases does not carry relevant local content. It is considered, however, to be an essential tool for networking and sharing information • Village Diary ( is a platform developed in Cameroon to provide access to digital records of inheritance, social services and legal assistance to the most vulnerable members of society.


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

between Plan staff and peers, and with sponsors and donors. For example, Plan Mali is considering developing an online network and forum for water and sanitation issues. One example of the use of internet for community information is the Village Diary Project, and many workshop reports mentioned following this example to complement existing legal aid projects to protect widows and their children, amongst other uses. • Social media: Plan Senegal was quick to see the potential of social media, including blogs, wikis and podcasts within many of their projects and programmes: to facilitate dialogue between young people and their duty bearers; and to make information on their work available to colleagues, peers, supporters and the general public. Plan Mozambique also plans to use social media tools to strengthen learning and support between peers. • Mapping tools: The Benin example uses Ushahidi to map cases of violence against children, enabling the use of information to trigger immediate responses to abuse, and also raise awareness and inform advocacy. This methodology will also be incorporated into the YETAM project in Mozambique, Cameroon and Kenya to track rights abuses. These offices will participate in training on Open Street Map ( and use of GPS and plan to upload videos and other materials produced by participating youth to an on-line map as a way to engage and inform supporters. From the map, sponsors would be able to find video footage of individual projects and follow progress as it occurs, and be able to interact, encourage others to watch and become sponsors, or even donate online.

© Linda Raftree

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


Stage 3:

Planning and implementing concrete initiatives


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

By this stage the aims and objectives, as well as the potential tools, for the ICT-enabled initiative will have been identified. Though the basic shape of the system is emerging, there is a lot more work to be done, and questions to be asked, to refine the details. Most importantly, participatory assessments with the groups and communities where the initiative is to be carried out will provide crucial information and understanding of the socio-technical context. This means not only who has access to what types of technology, or skills to use it, but also the cultural and social issues which may favour one group over another, or make certain types of ICT more appropriate. There are also a lot of other decisions to be made and issues to consider about the choice, procurement and installation of the technology and associated applications. The workshop methodologyviii included some exercises which could be included in a participatory assessment, and some questions and issues to consider when designing a system. These are expanded in this section, along with insights from the workshop teams.

Thinking about: setting up a new ICT system
These factors, based on reflections in Linda Raftree’s blog about the Benin experience ( highlight some key considerations when setting up a new information and communications system: Building on what exists: It is critical to understand how information currently flows, who communicates with whom, in order to find points where ICT system can help improve that flow. This can also be a catalyst to identify, map out or even adjust that flow. Getting end user input and testing: The initial ideas and designs were shared with local stakeholders, service providers and youth, and many changes were suggested and made. Participation by the local Social Protection Services and Plan’s Child Protection point persons who know how things work on the ground brought us amazing knowledge on who should be involved and who should receive reports and alerts, and at what levels different parts of the system should be managed. Testing SMS with the youth, the team realised that the keyword “HALTE” (necessary to trigger automatic transfer of the report to the Ushahidi map on the website) was being misspelled, and so they adjusted the system to ‘ALT’ to capture alternative spellings being used. Continued monitoring and evaluation: The end goal, to evaluate in the long term, is whether actual levels of violence and abuse go down over time, and what role this system had in that. But as this is a new initiative, it is critical to capture learning for potential scale up and replication. As well as quantitative data on reporting and response rates, verified cases and actual prosecutions or actions taken, the team will be paying attention to issues such as: additional costs to maintain the system; adoption and sustained use by local entities/government; user suggestions for improvement; privacy issues; promotion of the hotline; and factors deterring people at different levels from using the system.

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


3.1 Carrying out participatory assessments:
The user group, or target beneficiaries, for any ICT enabled initiative will be defined in part by organisational capacity and priorities, and in part by the development priorities and processes which it is designed to serve. Participatory assessments will help to inform the details of the plans, ensuring that they meet the needs of those who are easily excluded because of gender, age, language or any other characteristic. People are different, and bring different skills and experiences to bear on their use of technology, and issues such as literacy and gender play a big part in access and control over technologies. For example, while a community may have plenty of access to radio, when you break this down you may find that poor, married women have no control over what is listened to and when. For this reason, strategic use of ICTs should be planned based on a deep and detailed local analysis of access to, control over, and capacity for ICT use. However, it is very difficult to generalise about how they should be done, and with whom, given the almost unlimited range of ICT-enabled initiatives that are possible. ICTs enable communication and connections over great distances, over time-zones, national borders and language barriers, so this group could be any size and could be incredibly varied. Bottom-up planning processes might begin with a participatory assessment and clear target group, and decisions on even the broad objectives and needs to be met based on the outcome. Other projects may be quite well defined, especially those which put tools first, using Thinking about: the participatory assessment to understand the capacity to use the user needs of those who are most information excluded and hardest to reach and adjust Information may be useful, but it may the design to suit them. not be used. It is worth thinking with the The tools and questions here and in the target group/ community about different Mobiles for Development Guideix are factors affecting the perceived usefulness designed to be applied and adapted to of information, such as: different participatory assessments, but • The source: do people trust more will always be necessary which are information from doctors more than specific to the context and design. from websites? newspapers? leaflets? • The format/medium: Does the spoken word carry more weight and credibility than written or taped? • Relevance: what issues are people interested in? • Capacity: Do people have the skills, including literacy, computer skills or language, and equipment to find and understand the information? • Confidence: Do people have the confidence to request and use the information? This usually requires confidence in your own knowledge.

Not just availability: usability
Just because the infrastructure and equipment is there does not mean that people can get to use and benefit from it. Communities are not homogenous groups, and it is usually the most educated, wealthy and well connected who benefit first and foremost from such facilities. For example, the costs of the buying and using ICTs, from radio to mobile phone, has always been a limiting factor which excludes women in many rural settings because


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

their culture does not allow them to handle money. The market will usually take care of people who can afford to pay for products and services, and as a development NGO Plan can ensure that the information and communication needs of those who are not reached by market forces, poor and marginalised people in communities and households, are better met. What’s more, where information services are targeted at a particular group, for example child nutritional information targeted at mothers, this needs to be based on a good assessment of the tools and sources of information that women can access. People in a physical community, such as a village, will share many of the same basic contextual issues, such as policy and infrastructure, and these should be borne in mind when planning (see Stage 1: understanding the context). Virtual FIGURE 2: EXAMPLE OF AN ICT RANKING MATRIX, FROM communities are more diverse, and it is A REFLECT GROUP IN ORISSA, INDIA. important to be aware of differences, and especially the needs of the least-served members. But in any community, different people will have different experience, skills and abilities, so participatory assessments should ask groups of women, men, older, younger, poorest, etc (depending on the target groups) to analyse the accessibility of different ICTs. There are many tools and methods which can be used to facilitate the participation in this analysis of different groups and people. For example, the mapping techniques described in the box on the communications context (below), or the use of graphics such as a matrix to allow different groups to identify and rank different ICTs. One exercise is for a group to list all the types of media and ICTs that they know of and use in relation to different types of communication in a matrix format. They could show different types of communication (spoken, written, images and numbers) across the top axis; and different processes (capture, store, process, share and retrieve) along the side to bring out all the different tools and media they use for each. The matrices could be divided by gender and age to highlight issues of power and control over different types of media and technology. Each box would be filled in according to what women and men, girls and boys can and can’t use, to promote discussion of who has control over different media and equipment or who has the time and skills to access information in different ways. Finally, the different age and sex groups could each create another matrix to rank the different media and ICTs according to factors such as: accessibility; reliability; affordability; and appropriateness. This encourages discussion of accessibility issues such as: language, literacy, cost and control of income, physical accessibility, ease of use, efficiency, etc. It will also allow further investigation, with a strong gender lens, of the types of tools and media people don’t use and the reasons why.

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


Thinking about: the communications context
One exercise that can be used to map people’s existing communication channels and patterns is to develop a systems diagram. Where do people get their information from? Who do they trust, and how reliable are they? Starting with a particular theme in the centre of the diagram, the group should identify the available sources of relevant information – where would/could they go to find out about that issue? What channels could they use to make their own opinions heard? Each source/channel should be drawn or written on a card sized according to importance, and located on the diagram according to accessibility – the nearer to the central theme the more accessible the source is. Arrows can show the direction of links. The example below is from an adult literacy (Reflect) group in Orissa, India. As a follow up the group can discuss the picture, and whether there are any big gaps or distances that need to be dealt with. What are the strengths and weaknesses of different information sources? How could you follow this up to strengthen links or improve the quality of information and communication on the issue?

Not just accessible: useful and beneficial
Even if people can access ICT tools, they are only ever as useful as the locally relevant content available for them to deliver, or the people and services available to communicate with. A good assessment should include the information and communication context, as well as skills, equipment and infrastructure. This might include asking people to map their information flows: where do they get information from regarding health, education and other rights? How reliable and trustworthy are those sources? Is there a difference between men and women, girls and boys? And does where the information comes from, the language it is in, or the format (video, radio, face to face) make a difference to the way it is used? The Mobiles for Development Guide also looks at these issues:

“Social and cultural issues play a big part in how and whether information is accepted and used, and thereby translated into knowledge or changes in behaviour and practice. Information will have a different impact if the source is known and trusted, if the format and language are appropriate, and the receiver has the confidence and capacity to access, interpret and apply it.”


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

The capacity to use and benefit from ICTs includes the basic skills and knowledge required to use the technology, to send a text message or upload a video for example, but goes beyond that. For example, the internet and social media is quite a different culture than face to face or printed word. The fact that anyone can upload anything means that very keen and informed judgement is necessary in order to filter and find useful information, or trustworthy connections. Linda Raftree mentions in her blogx, concerning a workshop in Ghana on the use of the internet, that the group spent a long time discussing the question: ‘Is the internet true?’ They noted that anyone can put information online and anyone else can discuss it. “You can’t believe everything you read, it’s not regulated, so you need to find a few sources and make some judgment calls.” To a large extent, media literacy and information seeking skills come through practice, and it is worth asking participants what skills they have learnt or needed along the way to inform future practice and design. When designing new uses for ICT equipment or applications, you need to start from, and build on, people’s existing practices and skills. This builds in a level of confidence, appropriateness and ownership, which has an impact on the usefulness and sustainability of the system. Participatory methods can be used to facilitate analysis of existing capacity, to understand the context and identify further capacity needs as well as adjustments to the system design. Understanding information and communication flows and capacity, and appreciating the social element of ICT enabled systems, is vital to ensure that solutions are designed with the users’ capacity and habits in mind. But it is also worth remembering to revisit both the context and the possibilities, as people, communities and technology are constantly changing and evolving, and people gain their own experience of what is possible and how things work. Regular contact with users can help to understand how capacity and expectations are changing, and make relevant adjustments where possible.

Thinking about: choosing appropriate technology
When you are examining local information and communication capacity, and unpacking issues such as privacy and accessibility, you may wish to map out the communications resources of the group, village or district – highlighting where there are public and private use telephones, internet, radio, television, newspapers, technical information on different issues etc. This could be done through a guided walk of the area and/or in group work drawing a map and marking on the communications resources. You might also ask: • What assumptions are you making in your project plans about people’s access to and use of ICTs? • How do people use their phones: Are they for individual, family or community use? Who owns and pays for them? Who has access to them? • How does information reach people and especially those harder to reach, for example illiterate, minority language groups or housebound people?

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


3.2 Linking to other development processes:
In some cases much of the capacity may be available in the community, whether virtual or physical, if you look in the right place. Much of the work and analysis already done will have unearthed key strategic partners and allies, Plan colleagues or other organisations that are working on similar issues or have relevant capacity or experience. This will be an essential part of planning, to avoid duplication of effort and identify opportunities for collaboration in the design, monitoring and implementation of the system. Where systems are designed based on identified needs and priorities, the links with other programme or advocacy work may be clear. Furthermore, it is important to situate the initiative within the wider resources, processes and activities of the community, as this will have a great impact on the way the initiative unfolds and the impact it can have. For example, based on the previous analysis of barriers and obstacles to good information Thinking about: linking and communication, a further exercise could map the resources with programmes within the community to help overcome such obstacles. These might The YETAM project uses media be teachers or community development workers who can translate and arts to enable young people information into the local language; traders who travel regularly to to identify and address issues nearby towns where internet kiosks are located; community radio that are important to them. A stations; etc. perfect example of ICT-enabled development, it uses ICT, but deals with programme issues. In one case, however, the project was Learning as we go misunderstood as an ‘IT’ project and given to the IT team to manage. The Sharing learning is a first and last point of the cycle. The context team lacked field and programme analysis and participatory assessments will identify relevant learning, experience and found it very experiences and capacity at the beginning, and mechanisms should difficult to engage and coordinate be put in place to ensure that learning (of staff and participants) with related thematic initiatives is captured and disseminated throughout. There are plenty of and staff. This meant that they networks, both global and regional/national, which can help with missed out on useful experiences, this. Blogging continuously about the process is also a great way to advice, and opportunities for joint engage with others working in similar areas and to share a project’s work, common reporting and progress, challenges and learnings; and it’s often one of the only monitoring. Care should be taken ways to find information about specific initiatives while they are to communicate the thematic and happening and to share ideas and find guidance from others in the programmatic elements of ICTsame field. What’s more, considering the dynamic nature of both enabled projects, and use common ICTs and development processes, the changes in skills and capacity or institutional project indictors as well as technology, mean that the design of ICT systems and and reporting systems. initiatives needs to be regularly reviewed and revised. ICT-enabled development is a very innovative and creative field, and capturing this innovation in a way that can be shared and allow for replication is a real challenge. The process of innovation is not usually linear, and can require a bit of distance and retrospection to emerge clearly as a shareable story. The ALNAP Review of Humanitarian Actionxi has a chapter on innovations, and suggests following a ‘4-Ps model’ to ensure that innovations are used, and planned for. People should be encouraged to look out for, and take note of, any of the four Ps that they develop or observe, which are: Products (which could be technology); Processes (including methods for capacity building, implementation and planning for example); the Position of the organisation and its work


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

Thinking about: overcoming local obstacles
This excerpt from Linda Raftree’s blog ( finding-some-ict-answers-in-benin) shows that creative thinking is a vital skill in designing ICT enabled initiatives.

“Here [at the Nokia Store] we don’t carry the older models, surely you would prefer this nice new one with many cool features and capabilities?” Um, no, actually what we’re looking for is an older, cheaper phone or one of the modems on our list here! We spent quite some time visiting stores and testing modems and phones to find one that worked with FrontlineSMS.
Mobile phones are a complex ecology with many factors – the modem model and autoinstalled programs they come with, SIM cards, etc. – that can trip you up. Plus there is not a lot of standardisation across phones or countries, so what works in one place may not work in another. It’s good to have an additional day for testing things out. We found a solution – the young woman working at the Nokia store in Cotonou was very happy to sell us her used old phone for an exorbitant price…..

in relation to stakeholders; and the Paradigms and attitudes which determine the approach, such as youth participation. Using these as a basis for reflecting on experiences of using ICT will enable colleagues to better report and share learning, and enable the organisation to better realise the creative potential of its staff and stakeholders.

Monitoring development, and ICTs:
One of the key mechanisms for capturing this learning, both to feed into the project and share with others, is the monitoring and evaluation framework. Plan has indicators and methods for assessing progress towards the overall development outcomes, which should be adapted and used. But if ICTs are integrated into development projects and processes, how can you tell whether they have made a difference to the outcome? Specific questions and indicators will need to be incorporated into review processes to get a sense of the contribution of the ICTs to these objectives, the appropriateness of the technology choice, as well as the wider impact of their introduction or use. Indicators of effective use of ICTs should be established at the beginning of a process, where possible with the participation of participants or beneficiaries. Asking what people want/expect to get out of the project, and what value they expect the ICTs and associated services and capacity to add, will provide a strong basis for developing such indicators. For example, if people say they expect to see more reporting of child rights abuses, then this should be an indicator. If they think that using participatory video will help to improve communication with authorities, then this will be the starting point for an indicator. Any increases in use of ICTs would then be linked to the data on those indicators. These expectations and resulting indicators should also include secondary impacts, for example, people may expect the capacity building or experience of using the ICT to improve their livelihoods in other ways. Depending on the ICT tools, components and systems put in place, there may be useful data to be collected on usage, but these indicators should never be taken in isolation from the larger development goals. It is useful to know how many texts have been received to a reporting system,

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


or how many hits on a website, but in ICT-enabled work the use of the technology is not a goal in itself, so this type of data needs to be carefully integrated into wider monitoring systems. For example, to see whether rises in the use of an SMS reporting system are reflected in overall numbers of reports coming in by all different media. In the end, much of the useful learning and insights into how effective and appropriate the use of ICT has been will be gained through qualitative monitoring methods. This will provide information not only on how well the ICTs have been used, but how they have been used and for what... and will bring up the many unexpected impacts and consequences of the introduction of the tool or application. This may mean interviews or focus groups with key stakeholders, and should make sure that the voices and perspectives of harder to reach groups are heard. Depending on the type of project, a wealth of information may be available within the initiative itself, through content and material created or uploaded by participants.

Thinking about: children in the media
One aspect of child protection relates to the use of children’s images and identities in the media. Even if you are working with young people to produce and publish their own material, you should consider the following key points on the use of children’s images and stories: • If the person is under 18 you need the consent of the parents/guardians. Consent forms must be kept securely for future audit or proof purposes. • A child’s real name should not be used in publication or broadcast unless they would get a boost to selfesteem seeing their name in print • The information given about the child should not allow their precise location to be identified • A story should not be published, with or without names or identities altered, if it could put a child, siblings or peers at risk • The best interest of the child comes above all else

3.3 Technical issues and concerns:
It is very difficult to give general advice on technical issues, but the analysis done and information collected in previous phases will provide a good basis for conversations with ICT experts in Plan, or in ICT4D networks and fora. Provided here is a selection of questions highlighted by others who have planned and implemented ICT4D systems before: • Will you need to create new applications, uses or spaces, or can you take advantage of existing ones? What are the tradeoffs? • What kinds of technology are suitable to the user group, and to the environment (for example repairing and finding spare parts)? • How do you expect the investment in equipment and capacity to meet the identified needs, expected impact, benefits and outcomes and what are the measures of success? • What types of expertise will you require to design, test and maintain the system, and how will you fill gaps in your team? • What local processes and organisations might be interested in partnering to ensure that capacity stays and the system is sustainable? • What public services does this system support and how can you ensure that linkages are made? • What financial resources will be needed in the short, medium and long term? • Who are the stakeholders with complementary goals, or overlaps in service or technology provision?


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

• Are there any companies who might be interested in funding or supporting this initiative? • How can you involve local people to provide insights, perspectives and intelligence, and to test and give feedback on the system? • What is happening in the policy and regulatory environment and how might changes affect the initiative?

Data and child protection issues:
Child protection needs to be considered whenever children are involved. Adults and children need to be aware of potential risks and thoroughly discuss how to mitigate them. Mechanisms need to be in place to address any intentional or unintentional harm that could be caused to a child or children. It is essential to check whether the type of information you are dealing with is subject to laws and policies regarding data protection and child protection. This is especially critical if you are collecting information from and/or about children under legal adult age or with sensitive or potentially dangerous areas such as conflicts, elections, health or human rights. It is important to consider whether the information reported or held, or the act of reporting, will pose any risk to people and how this can be managed under the project structure and set up. There are plenty of good resources around on how to do this, available from the Child Rights Information Network (

Thinking long term:
Many of the questions above deal with ownership and sustainability issues: if the project is well linked to real development priorities and public services, and the system adjusts to changing context and capacities, then it should remain either as a concrete initiative, or in terms of increased capacity and participation. It is important to ask what you, and the participants, expect to happen to the project or system in the long term to be able to plan for it, and revisit these expectations for monitoring and planning purposes. It may also be necessary to consider plans for scale up and replication, depending on the success of the initiative or pilot. Making systematic note of learning, including contextual issues, will help to inform the replication of the system in other areas.

Thinking about: ICT system sustainability
Where you are making initial investment in equipment and applications, you will need to consider the long term exit or handover strategy and implications: • Who will manage and run the initiative if you leave? What support will they need? Who will be able to provide that in the long run? • Who will own, manage and care for the equipment? How will it be maintained/ upgraded and sustained, and by who? What future costs are implied and how will they be covered? How can you prevent equipment being taken over by those with more power in the community? • What happens to sensitive or protected data? Who will be responsible and accountable for keeping it safe?

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


Stage 4:

Building a culture of systematic, sustained and strategic ICT use
© Linda Raftree


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

The workshop reports are full of examples of ways in which Plan staff and partners have used ICT in their work, but the potential of ICTs to enhance Plan’s impact still seems to be largely untapped. The various youth media projects are fantastic initiatives that build ICTs into processes of capacity building, analysis and dialogue to enhance youth participation and awareness and respect of child rights. Staff members, partners and communities are taking advantage of the communications tools they have, such as mobile phone and email, to organise, collaborate and coordinate. But there is a large area in the middle that is missing, or at least weak: where ICTs are used to renovate and add value to existing programme work. This middle is missing for a reason: specialist projects can be organised and facilitated by specialist teams, with special funding; and individuals can employ their own knowledge, and even their own mobiles, to improve their personal communications; but to really integrate ICTs with programme work requires organisational structures to be breached. ICT managers need to work together with programme managers, they need to understand each others’ work and needs, and share expertise, in order to support each other and advance together. Yet feedback from this research suggests that there is a tension in their role. In many cases they are recruited to maintain the office equipment and systems, and rarely get to travel to the field. Meanwhile, many programme unit managers are unclear about what ICTs are and how they work, and are too busy to stop and ask. The Mobiles for Development Guidexii, the workshops and this report are part of a process to generate these types of conversations, reflections and questions in Plan offices in Africa (and hopefully beyond). But this should be considered as a beginning, not a one-off process. More strategic use of ICTs – the missing middle – will not happen automatically, with a ‘business as usual’ approach, but will require new relationships and capacity, and time and space for reflection, planning and experimentation. In this section there are some concrete recommendations and considerations in order to systematically and sustainably promote a culture where strategic use of ICTs makes Plan’s work more efficient and effective.

4.1 Linking ICT with programmes:
In order to strengthen the use of ICT to support ongoing programmes of work, and existing development goals and objectives, there needs to be a strong and active link between the staff, and planning processes, of ICT and programme units. The basis of this will be the working relationship, understanding and communication between staff/teams working on ICT and programme units. There also need to be structures and systems in place to ensure that ICT staff can contribute to the planning and strategy processes of programmes.

Fitting ICT to existing problems, and opportunities:
The starting point for ICT-enabled development should be the big problems and challenges facing programme staff. However, this should be informed and inspired by examples of what is possible and what has been done using ICT. Programme and thematic staff should not be thinking ‘How can I use ICT?’, but think first ‘What are the major problems we need to overcome?’, and then ‘How can we start to solve those problems?’. It is possible that ICT will be a big part of that solution, and if so then planning and fundraising for ICT elements can be done as part

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


Thinking about: supporting integrated ICT planning
The Mozambique workshop group stated that it is important to think through how ICT managers can be supported to take a more proactive planning role in their organisations. This might require: • Involving more Plan staff and partners in ICT4D workshops, to increase awareness and buy in. • Regular staff training on new ICT tools and innovations. • Ensuring regular planning and communication meetings of ICT, programme, funding and advocacy staff. • Securing firm commitment and support from managers.

of identification of tools, partnerships, etc which can make the solution work. At the other end of the spectrum, field staff should also be supported to integrate the possibilities and potential of ICT into community planning processes where they exist. Monitoring and evaluation should be conducted to measure the impact, and capture the learning, from using particular new tools. This depends on a good working relationship between programme planning and ICT staff, which requires the support of organizational structures and management, as well as the capacity of ICT staff. In reality, pressure to produce results and keep to plans means there is a tendency to stick with the established way of doing things. Yet to incorporate ICT well into programmes, and all the efficiency and effectiveness benefits that would bring, means thinking and planning, as well as doing, differently. This needs to be an intentional process with management support.

The role of ICT staff should include working with programme staff to brainstorm how ICTs can help them to overcome challenges and meet goals, as this requires knowledge of the policy and operational context, existing initiatives in the country and outside, such as those shared in the mobiles for development report and in the additional material to this report. Maud Tsagli from Plan Ghana sees a great opportunity for ICT staff to contribute to programme planning, working with programme unit managers during annual planning and review processes and review and development of the Country Strategy.

Building common understanding
If Plan wants to make the most out of ICT tools, it needs a good, up-to-date understanding of what is available, what it can do and how it is being used by others. Programme unit managers must take the initiative, and fit ICTs to the goals, processes and contexts of their work. But they will not be able to all gain the expertise and the networks to be able to identify opportunities and solutions themselves. On the other hand, most ICT staff are tied to the office to ensure the security and smooth functioning of office systems, but knowledge and understanding of the real issues for communities and programme staff is important to enable responsive and innovative ideas for how ICT could help. This also helps to ensure that local opportunities for ICT use are identified and built into plans where appropriate. A participant from the Uganda workshop remarked:

“We initially thought that when you talked about ICT you were referring to the computer guys, but our minds have now been opened further on the topic. We’ve learned that ‘ICT’ does not equal ‘computers’. Instead, the term ICT encompasses any technology tool that


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

enables information flow and communication.” Another participant from Mozambique stated: “For some of us who are only NGO workers without formal training in ICT, we get scared, we think of megabytes, how info flies, all those things. But we found that all of us use ICT – our cell phones, our gadgets, the things we use daily, internet, intranet — it’s all part of the ICT jigsaw.xiii”
As the role of the ICT manager expands into programming support, so programme, advocacy and sponsorship staff need to stray over the threshold into the ICT domain. Demystifying the term ICT, and familiarising staff and partners with the tools and applications, is an essential step in order to open up thinking about how ICTs can support their every day work. Staff know about ICTs, they use them, and exposure to new innovations, devices and possibilities should be based on this existing expertise and awareness.

“People need to be informed of something in order to be able to seek further information about it. If we know about available technologies and what they can offer, we will further explore them.”
For example, social media applications, whether blogs or social networking sites, are being used in very innovative ways for advocacy and campaigning, networking and governance. The more people are exposed to this, the more innovative they can be – matching the tools to the problems and needs arising in their programme work.

Some recommendations for bridging the gap
Ongoing efforts should be made for programme staff and ICT staff to familiarise themselves with each others’ work: • ICT(4D) staff should be given inductions and field trips for each of the main programme units and themes, • A regular ICT4D communication, such as an email newsletter or regular lunchtime talk, would be useful to capture the latest innovative practices, pilots and applications to inspire and inform programme staff and spark new ideas or solutions. • Regular training on ICT applications and innovations, as well as question and answer sessions and sites, should be made available to more people in the organization, and to partner organizations, to build more capacity and keep abreast of the latest developments in ICT4D in the country. This would enable them to initiate and design ICT-enabled development programmes and projects. • The workshop methodology developed for this work could be used to raise awareness and spark ideas among a larger range of staff, including field staff and advocacy, sponsorship and fundraising staff. • Small funds for experimental work should be available for collaborative and experimental work linking ICT with different programme units.

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


4.2 Transforming the role of ‘the IT guy’:
It is difficult for the kind of collaboration mentioned above to happen well given the current support role of ICT staff. Regional ICT4D coordinators have been able to develop strategies and pilots, build capacity and share information to inspire a growth in ICT-enabled initiatives. But they need to link to people on the ground who have the time, capacity and mandate to take it forward at national and local levels. ICT staff are hired and trained to ensure the control and security of their IT systems, and it is difficult to see how this role can be compatible with the needs of ICT4D, which requires innovation, creativity, risk-taking and engagement with people at the grassroots to co-design tools and processes, as described in this report. For this to happen, Plan either needs to introduce dedicated ICT for Development staff, outsource to local partners, or enable the roles, capacity and expectations of ICT staff to grow. There needs to be a cadre of staff who both understand the potential and uses of ICTs, and the issues, concerns and areas of work of the different programme units, so that they can provide training and support to colleagues and communities, and help them find solutions to the problems they, and the communities, face. This means that the role of the ICT manager in Plan country offices needs to shift to take into account this organisational need for understanding the context and opportunities for ICT in development programmes, and communicating and planning with their colleagues in programmes to ensure that ICTs are supporting efficient, effective and responsive programmes. his may mean job descriptions, personnel specifications and performance management being revisited, and on the job support, learning resources and training provided to support the ICT staff in this transition, to build their confidence as well as capacity to engage in strategic planning. Pedro Miambo in Mozambique commented that the training had been very useful for him and the Mobiles for Development guide was like a ‘bible’ for this work. ICT staff would also benefit from sustained and facilitated networking and peer support. Or alternatively a new role could be developed in country offices, to bridge the worlds of ICT and development programming. This bridge builder should be a member of, or adviser to, the country office programme team, with a remit to spend time in communities, train local staff, work with staff and local partners, do the demystifying work around ICTs, test and pilot things, keep abreast of the local and national scene and collaborate closely with the IT dept. This could be brought about through a pilot initiative to fund and support community ICT staff member in a small number of country offices to experiment and develop a three-year ICT4D plan. There are some examples from Plan of this type of role being very effective.

Supporting the change in country offices
Much of the innovative work mentioned in this report, including the examples given in section 1.2 above, have an international, or regional focus and have been supported by northern offices and donors. The role of the regional actors such as Stefanie Conrad in the west and (formerly) Anthony Makumbi in the south and east, linking with international colleagues working on ICT such as Mika Valitalo in Plan Finland and Linda Raftree seconded from Plan US, has enabled local processes and priorities to be matched with global trends, innovations and funds. Plan’s northern and regional offices seem to share and collaborate well to maximise their learning and impact, and would be key actors in the development of a culture of ICT-enabled development as suggested in this section. This might include financial, technical, and management support to dedicated ICT4D staff in country offices, as well as a meta-level networking and information role.


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

4.3 Building expertise of the cultural and social aspects of ICT use:
The need for capturing and sharing (and using) learning in this relatively new area of ICT4D has already been stressed in previous sections of this report. However, in order to build a culture of using ICT in Plan’s development work, it is important to develop systems or spaces for consolidating some of the learning, especially from the participatory assessments. The understanding of the cultural and social issues, which affect the implementation of ICTs, is contextual; however, over time trends and insights will emerge from consolidated assessments. One of the workshop participants in Uganda has already begun a participatory communications assessment process in a community where they work. It would be very interesting for Plan to carry out wider participatory research across communities in two or three countries, to look at differences in access to information on key topics and issues. This would help to illustrate the reasons why this type of assessment needs to be done, as well as drawing out common problems, trends and issues in communication capacity and ICT accessibility.

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


© Linda Raftree

Additional material
This section provides more detailed material that fed into, and emerged from, the workshops.


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

Opportunities and constraints for ICT4D in Africa
The opportunities, and costs, of using and experimenting with ICTs depend to a large extent on telecoms policies, taxes and regulation, as well as private sector innovation. In some places a project may be able to spend few resources developing a website or application for a target group to access through their own mobile phones or community internet connection. In others any work on ICT may necessarily be expensive infrastructure work, or policy advocacy to create the conditions where this could happen. Things that work in South Africa, where mobile internet access is widely available, affordable and used, would be impossible to apply in other countries such as Togo or Mali where these types of networks are not yet available. And even beyond mobile phone network coverage is the issue of electricity, which is not easily available in rural areas of most countries. A good analysis of both the policy environment and the different barriers and facilitators to access ICTs, including issues such as cost, literacy, skills and cultural attitudes, is essential to the design of any project. And the analysis should consider differences in access issues between groups of people, for example rural and urban communities, or men and women within a community. Finally, workshop participants from Plan Ghana remind us that we should not start from scratch, but look around for what is already there. For example, in some communities where they work there are information centres with overhead loud speakers connected to a microphone that allow you to reach the entire village. Participatory tools for assessing communication capacity and access to ICTs were shared at the workshops, and are included in this report. In some cases, notably Uganda, participants have already started to adapt and use these tools.

Policies and regulations: the operating environment for ICT4D in Africa
The potential for ICT enabled development is huge, largely because of the spread and growth in the reach and accessibility of ICT tools and services, in particular mobile phones. The main drivers of this growth have been consumer demand, available technology (the improvements in price and usability of new devices), and the services offered and provided. All of this is greatly affected by the regulatory and policy environment; countries whose governments were early adopters and enthusiastic promoters of ICT are those who benefit from greatest coverage and availability of services.

Strong, early promotion of ICTs makes a difference:
In countries with a clear strategy and plan for ICT the coordination, input and confidence of private and NGO partners to contribute to the development of ICT services in the country has been visibly strengthened and enhanced. In Kenya this has been strengthened even further by the active and proactive participation of, and collaboration between, the different non-governmental stakeholders, including private sector, media and NGOs. On the contrary, Togo does not seem to have adopted any coherent approach to or policy for ICT and as such there is very little visible investment of time, resources or thinking to improve the situation, spread (or even assess) the benefits of ICT or reduce the digital divide. This is reflected in the near impossibility of finding information from, or about, ICT in Togo, and the country’s near invisibility on the World Wide Web.

ICT as enabler – or generator – of development
Government policies reflect the overarching political doctrines of the government, and ICT policies are no exception. It is interesting to see that some countries, like Cameroon, Senegal and to some extent Ghana, have sought to capitalise on the opportunities of ICT and position themselves as strongly as possible in the global ‘knowledge economy’. Their policies favour businesses, including large multinational ones, as a means of raising the standard of development of the whole country. Others, such as Mozambique and Uganda, see ICT as a means for accelerating, enhancing and enabling the development of its citizens and communities. Their policies place human resources, government structures, as well as infrastructure, at the service of human development goals. However, in reality the expensive and

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


challenging practicalities of rolling out universal access and sufficient local content are overwhelming, and this vision is slow to be realised.

Good intentions, stark realities:
Even where early, strong policy exists and is put into practice; reality too often compromises the achievement of goals such as universal access, quality improvements or affordability. A series of articles from research carried out by the Association for Progressive Communicationsxiv highlighted some policy contradictions and failures in countries such as Uganda, Senegal and Kenya, especially in relation to liberalisation and privatisation processes. For example, they note that despite the entry of multiple mobile phone operators in Senegal, the state-owned operator, Sonatel, still controls the infrastructure, as well as the fixed line and internet markets, undermining any opportunity for competition to bring down prices and improve service quality. In the case of Uganda, they argue that the state is seeking to maximise revenue from the telecommunications industry, rushing through liberalisation and taxing at high levels, which has meant missed opportunities for increasing accessibility and affordability. Mozambique had an early and well-supported ICT policy process, resulting in very clear strategic linkages between ICT policy implementation and goals of poverty reduction and participation in governance. The vision of the Mozambique government is to deliver public services through e-government, requiring digitisation of government information, as well as training and capacity, citizen access and registration and infrastructure. The 2006-2009 Plan of Action for Poverty Reduction (PARPAII) placed special emphasis on access to information and knowledge as essential means to increase participation and dialogue, and engage citizens in the fight against poverty. However, despite all of this commitment and vision, analysis of the national context in the 2008 progress report from Plan Mozambique suggests that in reality, policy commitments and opportunities for increasing information and participation are falling short of the need:

“There is lack of adequate financial resources on the part of government; not enough room for community participation due to top-down centralization of power by the government; and widespread illiteracy, particularly among women. In general many communities are left without adequate access to their fundamental rights, and duty bearers need to do much more to fulfil these rights.”

Salim’s ICT4D advice part 1: consider both process and passion
August 1, 2010 by Linda Raftree
Salim Mvurya, Plan Kwale’s District Area Manager Plan’s Kwale District office in Kenya has been very successful in building innovative community-led programming that incorporates new ICTs. I had the opportunity to interview Salim Mvurya, the Area Manager, last week, and was really struck by his insights on how to effectively incorporate ICTs into community-led processes to reach development goals and improve on child rights, child protection and governance.

Salim Mvurya, Plan Kwale’s District Area Manager

ICTs and development Part 1: ICT tools for child rights, child protection and social accountability My name is Salim Mvurya, I’m the Area Manager for Plan in the Kwale District. My core responsibility as an area manager is to provide leadership to the Kwale team in both programme issues and also operational issues within the organisation. This week we have been here in a workshop where we’ve been focusing mostly on issues of ICT for development and particularly what we’ve been learning here is the issue of mapping. We’ve also learned Ushahidi. We’ve also learned from our colleagues in Kilifi on mGESA (a local application of mGEOS that Plan Kenya, Plan Finland, University of Nairobi and Pajat Mgmt are developing) and basically we have been looking at this workshop as providing opportunities for using ICTs for development, but more particularly for us in Kwale is the issue of child protection and youth governance.


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

How has Plan Kwale been using ICTs for issues of child rights, child protection and child participation? ICT in Kwale has a bit of a long history and it’s because of the issues on child rights. Kwale has a number of issues. Child marriages, issues of violations of child rights through sexual exploitation, and child poverty. So the efforts to do media started in Kwale in 2003 when we rolled out our first video that was done by children at the time to profile some of the issues of child marriage. But more importantly in 2005, we began to think greatly how we can bring the voices of children to duty-bearers and at time we thought of having a children’s community radio. Because of lack of experience, we were thinking maybe at the end of that year we could launch the radio station. But then it took longer than we envisioned because we needed to roll out a participatory process. Alongside the same time, we had ideas of community-led birth registration which was being done in one community based organization. But later we also thought about looking at how ICT can help us in moving that direction. Then we also had this idea of inter-generational dialogue, where children and youth can sit with duty-bearers and discuss critical issues affecting them, so we began using youth and video there, children and video, and showing those videos in a community meeting where then people could discuss the issues. Alongside the same time we were partnering with various media houses and also rolling out radio programmes where people could listen and also foster some discussions on children. So it’s been a long journey but I think what we are seeing is that we need now to consolidate the gains, the experiences and efforts so that we can have a more strategic approach to ICT for Development and this workshop basically provides us with an opportunity and a platform to think much more. What potential do you see for some of the newer ICT tools for your work in Kwale? I see great potential in some of the tools that have been learned here this week, more particularly to get information at the click of a button from the ground. We could use the tools to map out resources out in the community, to map zones where there are a lot of issues on child protection, areas where we have issues like low birth registration… There is great potential for the tools that we’ve learned here to assist us not only in planning for projects, but in issues of social accountability. For example if you map out the areas where we have projects for Constituency Development Fund you can easily see where we have projects that have been done well but where we also have projects where maybe communities will need to discuss much more with duty-bearers to be able to, you know, foster issues of social accountability. What are your biggest challenges? What mistakes have you made? One thing that we’ve been learning in the process… well, you know sometimes we have ideas that we think can work in the next week, like for example the children’s community radio when we were thinking about it we were thinking that it could take off in about 2 months. But what we learned is that there are processes to be involved. Communities have to be prepared well for sustainability. Children have to be trained, there needs to be capacity building. You have also to conform to government procedures and processes. The same also with birth registration. We thought in 6 months we could send an SMS and get your birth notification, but what we have also learned is that it takes a process. It takes a while. You have to get the government buy in. You also have to work on software, where the government is having a critical input. Because, although it is a pilot, we also think that if it works well then it has to be replicated, so it has to conform with the thinking in government. Also, with the issues of youth and media, one thing that has to be very clear is that you have to get youth who are committed, so you start with a bigger group, and you end up with those who are passionate. So I think it’s very critical when somebody is thinking about ICT for Development that, one, you look at the context: is it relevant to that area? What kind of skills are needed? What kind of processes for sustainability? but also getting the passion. Getting people who are passionate to lead the process is also a very critical lesson.

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


Salim’s ICT4D advice part 2: innovate, but keep it real
August 1, 2010 by Linda Raftree Rate This Salim (left) with Solomon in Kinango community. As I mentioned in my previous post, Plan’s Kwale District office in Kenya has been a role model for Plan on how to integrate ICTs into communityled programming to help reach development goals and improve access to children’s rights. ICTs and Development Part 2: advice for tech community, corporations and development organizations My name is Salim Mvurya, I’m the Area Manager for Plan in the Kwale Development Area. What advice can you give to outside tech people who want to develop something for a place like Kenya? I think that to get an idea externally is a good thing, but that idea has to be blended with grassroots. It has to be contextualized, because there are very many good ideas which may not be appropriate at the community level. So I think my advice, for people who have ideas, who have never been to Kenya or Africa or in the field, is to leave the process to be home grown, so that the ideas that are coming from outside are building on existing issues, so that the ideas are also looking at what kind of skills and what can be done on the ground, and looking also at issues of sustainability. So it’s very important for somebody from outside the country to be sensitive to local conditions, local context, local skills and also looking at putting ideas that can be self-sustaining. What is your advice for corporations who want to support the use of ICTs in development? Corporate organisations who are interested in making a contribution to ICT for development, I think it is important that they foster and have partnerships with grassroots organisations that can really give them the issues because, OK, most corporations are very innovative, but working with grassroots NGOs and civil society that can give them the practical sense of those ideas, I think would be a good thing to do. What is your advice for colleagues trying to successfully integrate ICTs into their programmes? One thing for organisations that are thinking of utilizing ICT is that you need local capacity. Like, if you have a field office, for example, Plan has development areas, in development areas, particularly for Plan, the ICT technical people should also have an opportunity to lead the ICT for development. What I have seen in the few years that I have been trying this is that it requires also the ICT function to be more available to communities. It requires the ICT function to also work around the programme issues that the team is thinking, so it’s not just about looking at systems, looking at computers, but looking at how can all these ICT skills be able to help to develop programmes. How can the ICT function be able to support innovations that are also going to enhance problem solutions at the community level? How can we use ICT to strengthen our interventions in the community? And I must say from experience, that the ICT coordinator for Kwale has been more of a ‘programme’ person, and I think that is why we are seeing all these gains. I remember when we were designing the community-led birth registration one afternoon, we sat together and we were thinking, how can we put all these ideas together and include ICTs in it, so I think it’s about having an ICT function that is responsive to the programme issues on the ground and not necessarily sitting somewhere and looking at software. You know, even designing a software that would be more responsive to what is happening on the ground, like looking at issues of child protection and seeing how can ICT help the response mechanism. Looking at issues of accountability and seeing how ICT can make a contribution to accountability processes in community. So I think that is the kind of ICT that would be appropriate in the field, but also an ICT function that can learn. You know, learning from other people, but bringing the lessons closer home to see what can work, and what can’t work.
Salim (left) with Solomon in Kinango community.


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

Any last advice for development organisations around integration of ICTs? The message that I would want to give to stakeholders and development organisations is that a lot is happening in the world in terms of ICT. Also recognising that development is changing… ICT is providing opportunities for greater advocacy and accountability, and I think getting the interest for looking at all this and trying to say ‘what does this mean for development’ I think is very very critical. The youth constituency is emerging as very critical and they have interest in ICT. I know in Kenya youth have been trying different things, different groups, but I think ICT is providing an opportunity for them to strengthen accountability but also to be able to get skills that they can use as individuals that can also make a contribution in economic development.

© Plan Kenya

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


Country ICT Briefings
As part of the research for the current report, past reports and documentation from 7 countries where Plan is working were examined to find examples or evidence of what the country programmes are currently doing in the area of ICTs and ICT4D.


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

Ghana ICT briefing
Plan Ghana themes involving a communication or information aspect include: • Government education policy highlights the role of ICT as a subject and means of delivery. Improved access to, and quality of, learning and teaching materials is a strategic goal of Plan Ghana. • Groups such as microfinance institutions (and girls’ football clubs) are considered to have an important role as a source of livelihood information.

Specific ICT or media related activities:
• Ghana participates in the YETAM project. • An urban project on child media and ICT skills programme aimed at deprived urban communities was launched with a programme on national television that highlighted the objectives, beneficiaries and the achievements of the project during the pilot phase. • Community sponsor volunteers received training on computers. • There is lots of radio usage: • Radio project in Tumu as part of the Upper West education programme. • Plans to use children’s radio in the monitoring and evaluation of advocacy work. • Use of radio to broadcast market prices for farmer information. • Radio discussions and programmes to popularise information on child birth registration.

ICT situation in country
ITU 2007 statisticsxv show: • Telephone lines: 1.6 per hundred people as compared to 1.65 in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole. • Mobile subscribers: 32.4/100 as compared with regional average of 23.0 • Internet subscribers: 3.8/100, as compared to 3.23 regionally with 6 computers per 1,000 people. Telephones: World Bank figures show that the rise in mobile subscriptions since 2000 has been steep in the last few yearsxvi, a common pattern in Sub-Saharan African countries. However, Ghana is one of the few African countries that also has sustained growth in land or fixed line subscriptions. The price of these services is lower than the regional average, according to World Bank statistics. Fixed lines increased to 376,509 by the end of 2007, from 248,900 lines in 2001. During the same period mobile phone users rose from 215,000 in 2001 to 7.6 million, bringing the total for fixed and mobile subscribers up from 463,900 to 7,980,552 at the end of December 2007. Telephone penetration at the end of the period was 36.3%. Mobile phone services cover all of the 10 regions in the country. Zain have just joined the established mobile service providers, increasing the quality and number of mobile services. Internet access: While 2007 statistics show that Ghana is ahead of the region in terms of telephone and mobile access, the figures for internet and PC use are way below the average for Sub-Saharan Africa. Internet subscription is estimated at 1.5 million users, while broadband subscribers number just over 13,000. The first phase of the country’s fibre-optic development is complete and this is expected to facilitate the deployment of ICT applications nationwide. Cybercafés are the most important source of internet access in Ghana. In early 2003, there were more than 750 Internet cafés in Ghana, mostly using dial-up. About 90% of these are located in Accra, with the rest in other cities such as Kumasi and Takoradi. Ghana’s Ministry of Communications is constructing 230 Community Information Centres (CICs) to enable people in remote areas to access information on relevant topics such as farming, education and health. Staff in the centres will be trained in ICT skills, and a model for selling prepaid vouchers for fast internet connection is being piloted in some centres. The CICs have also been the focus for nongovernmental and donor support to universal access (i.e. UNDP, IICD and GIFTEL for example). However, there have been some independent ICT4D projects introducing telecentres and computers in community development contexts. For example, the Open Digital Village (ODiV) is like a telecentre project that promotes local

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


community oriented wireless networks, open source and open content technologies and approaches. Winneba and Ibadan are prototype open digital villages, which operate as hubs hosting various activities to engage the grassroots in the communities in their respective communities. They are supported by IDRC through the Meraka Institute and the International Institute forCommunication and Development (IICD) as well as other organisations and projects.

ICT Policy
Independent analysts consider that Ghana was among the first African countries to establish the legal and regulatory framework to enable growth in the ICT sector. The country’s medium-term development plan captured in the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (GPRS I&II) and the Education Strategic Plan 2003-2015 all suggest the use of ICT as a means of reaching out to the poor in Ghana. Since 1990, the Ghanaian government has liberalised the telecoms sector to enable the private sector to increase coverage and improve the quality of services and goods available. The International Institute for Communication and Development state that:

“The Ghana ICT4D process is one of the most documented and most consultative in Africa, and discussion and debates centred on ICT4D are broadcast on radio and television, reported on in the news, and are firmly on the political agenda. The Ghana ICT4D policy has been approved by Cabinet and Parliament, and considerable improvements have been seen in various areas. “
The ICT Policy process, supported by the UNECA, is known as “ICT for Accelerated Development”, applying ICTs to aid Ghana’s development efforts and move towards a knowledge based information society and economy as quickly as possible. The policy document was published in 2003, and details the government’s commitments in relation to ICT for Accelerated Development, approved by the cabinet. It is essential reading to establish to what extent that the policy and programmes are supportive of Plan’s approach to the application of ICTs in support of child centred community development. To find out more or send comments or suggestions contact: policy@ict. . The priority areas of the nation’s ICT4D policy include: • accelerated human resource development; • promoting ICT in education; • facilitating government administration; • facilitating development of the private sector; • modernisation of agriculture; • deployment and spread of ICT in the community; • promotion of national health; • rapid ICT physical infrastructure development; • legal, regulatory and institutional framework; • facilitating national security and law and order. When the policy was developed, half of the telephones in the country were in Accra, while 70% of the population lived in rural areas, with phone lines costing around US$1,000 to install. To overcome these obstacles to access telecommunications services, two national network operators were authorised, including the newly privatised Ghana Telecom and the newly established WESTEL, and financing arrangements to enable the necessary infrastructure development and investment were established. Recent reports show that Ghana is likely to meet, or even exceed, UN MDG targets for telephone lines, mobile phone subscriptions, personal computer and internet use by 2015. Minister of Communications Benjamin AggreyNtim said at the ITU meeting in December 2008:

«In the relative short period since the development of our national ICT vision, Ghana has witnessed appreciable growth in the ICT sector. Telephone subscription has hit the eight million mark, giving a telephone density of nearly 40%,»
Aggrey-Ntim is certain Ghana’s progress in infrastructure development so far will speed efforts to complete its e-governance programme and the establishment of community information centres in all 230 political constituencies of the country. Funding has been one of the major factors hampering the speedy progress of ICT development plan, and the private sector are being urged to invest more heavily in national infrastructure and services. Currently, the key practical focus of the policy implementation process, supported by UNDP and others, include:


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

• e-governance, setting up the appropriate structures and capacity to roll out e-government services and systems; and • access, expanding and consolidating the Community Information Center network. ICTs in Education: In recent education policy reforms, the content of the curriculum has shifted towards the teaching and learning of ICT as well as Science and Technology. A committee set up by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports outlined an ‘ICT in education policy’ framework and produced a policy aiming to promote ICT as a learning tool at all levels of education, and ensure that the appropriate skills and resources are built to enable teaching of and with appropriate ICT. Through the help of various agencies, including Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative (GeSCI), a final ICTs in education policy document was finalised in 2007. In the basic and secondary education sector, a project to set up computer laboratories in all science schools in the country has lead to a significant number of computers being installed across the country. A computer levy is allowed in most secondary schools. The tertiary education sector in Ghana is the most advanced in the deployment and use of ICTs in the country. All the country’s major universities have their own separate ICT policy, which includes an ICT levy for students. This enables students to have access to 24-hour computer labs with broadband connection. However, access is still inadequate and unevenly distributed, with an urban bias and the capacity of teachers to deliver ICT education is still low and there is still resistance to adoption and inadequate skills. Stronger partnerships are needed to implement the policy intentions across the board. The 2007 infodev survey of ICT and Education in Ghana by Kofi Mangesi offers an overview of education related ICT projects and initiatives in Ghanaxvii. MTN-Ghana, the mobile network operator, in partnership with the Government of Ghana has launched MTN ICT learning centres to improve the teaching and learning of ICT in communities. The project involves the construction of ICT learning centres in each of the 10 regions in the country, each equipped with computers and related office equipment, and digital audio-visual equipment. Furthermore, the Ghana Education Service and the education ministry have organised a number of training programmes for teachers to help improve upon their knowledge and skills in ICT. The Global Teenager Project in Ghana offers educational virtual exchange programmes to secondary school students. It was launched in September 1999 with only four schools. Since then, the collaboration has extended to involve over fourteen schools and five hundred students. The primary activity, “Learning Circles”, last for ten weeks each and are run twice a year by coordinators in each participating school. They give participating students the chance to chat with their peers in other countries, and additional activities including school fairs, lectures, debates and symposia, as well as award ceremonies for participating students. ICTs in Health: Healthnet runs two centres in Ghana, to facilitate the flow of information and communication between health services nationally and internationally. The Grameen Technology centre are also developing a Ghana programme for ICT innovation with the Gates Foundation focusing on mobile phone health applications. One application will use mobile phones to feed detailed community-level health information into the District Health Information Management System, saving nurse time and increasing the level of detail available at the district level.

Key ICT for development actors
• The National ICT Policy and Plan Development Committee was set up by the government to develop (through extensive consultations) a national policy and plan that puts ICT at the service of socio economic development. The Chair of the committee is Professor Clement Dzidonu. • The National Communications Authority was created in 1996 to regulate the telecoms sector and promote a stable operating environment, with efficient services and fair competition. The main tasks of the NCA include licensing and regulation of operators and allocation of frequencies. • The Ministry of Communications was created in 1997 to facilitate the strategic development and application of various human, material and technological resources for effective communications throughout the country. The Ministry then embarked on a process aimed at formulating a workable national communications policy for Ghana.

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


• In 1998, the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) supported the Ghanaian policy process, facilitating national ICT Roundtables. These processes generated various pilot projects, as well as recommendations to feed into the policy development. • In Ghana local information exchange, knowledge sharing and networking is coordinated by GINKS – the Ghana Information Network for Knowledge Sharing. The focus of GINKS as a network is to use ICT as a tool for poverty alleviation by facilitating the work of network members and encouraging knowledge sharing on ICT4D. The GINKS network is currently focussing on the health and agriculture sectors, with an emphasis on education and gender issues. • The Ghana Investment Fund for Telecommunications (GIFTEL) is a public private partnership, funding projects including CICs, which promote sustainable advances towards universal access to ICTs for social, economic and cultural development in Ghana. • Providing funds for the development of the national telecoms services, • Building awareness of the benefits of ICT, • Conducting research into the state of ICT in Ghana, and • Promoting universal access and community ICT applications through support to CICs. • The United Nations Development Project (UNDP) support Ghana’s efforts to build capacity to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and middle-income status by 2015, and consider ICT to be central to this effort as an enabler but also by generating economic activity and strength. Institutions: • Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT / Advanced Information Technology Institute (AITI-KACE) • Ghana Information Networking and Knowledge Sharing (GINKS) • Ghanakeyboards works on ICT and Ghanaian languages • Internet Society of Ghana (ISOC chapter) • Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) • Ubuntu Ghanaian Team • Global Teenager Project Ghana Policy analysis resources: • Ghana ICT Policy official website: • APC page for Ghana: • PanAfri wiki page for Cameroon • Economic Commission for Africa – NICI Cameroon

Mali ICT briefing
There are no activities with a clear ICT component, perhaps because of the low level of rural penetration of ICTs, and high cost? However, there is a thematic focus on children’s participation, which includes a strong information and communication element. For example, Plan supports the Mali Children’s parliament and children’s clubs. Children’s clubs are also being trained to participate in communication with sponsors, including using video.

Specific media related activities:
• YETAM • Kids Waves is a radio programme prepared and hosted by children and broadcast nationally by partner radio stations. Plan supports the programme and trains children on radio animation. • Training of journalists working on female circumcision awareness and information.


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

ICT situation in country
Statistics from the ITUxvii are mostly from 2006, with some even earlier. As things change so rapidly in telecommunications, and especially mobile subscriptions, it is worth trying to get more recent data locally. • Telephone lines: 0.4 per hundred people as compared to 1.65 in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole. • Mobile subscribers: 12.6/100 as compared with regional average of 13.5xix • Internet users: 0.6/100 (60,000 or 0.5% of the population as of Sept 2006) as compared to 3.8 regionally with 0.4 computers per 1,000 people, lower than the average for Sub Saharan Africa. Telephones: Mali’s telephone network is at a low level of development. The development of its telecommunication infrastructure is mostly in the urban areas with 69.9% of all lines in the biggest cities. Its telephone density (telephones per hundred people) in urban areas is 1.78 compared to 0.08 for the rest of the country.xx Cellular phone usage has grown tremendously since the 1990s, due in part to the vast and sparsely populated areas in the north and west. Internet access: Internet in Mali is limited because there is no direct access from the sea to a backbone, meaning that Mali must negotiate its access to international networks with its neighbours, Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire. A reliable Internet connection is still difficult to obtain for a reasonable price. There are an estimated 24 private internet service providers. Recently an association has been formed called the Association de Fournisseurs de l’Internet au Mali to represent these providers. Telecentres are still the main means of access in the country in Mali, and in addition to the private companies in cities there are several projects: • CLIC (Community Learning and Information Centers) financed by USAID, which include CLAC (Clubs des Amis du CLIC) to support the management of the Centres – coordinated by Afriklinks. CLICs are community- based telecenters providing information and communication services and locally relevant content to support other USAID efforts in sectors such as education, health and local governance. However, early evaluations showed that only 13% of users were womenxxi. • CMC (Centres Multimédias Communautaires) financed by UNESCO. The UNESCO Community Multimedia Centre Scale-Up Project enables ICT access for villages. 2007 figures there were 23 CMCs where people can access computers, printers, community radio, digital devices, and other services. • TCP (Télécentres Communautaires Polyvalents) managed by the Association des Municipalités du Mali is an ambitious public programme to set up 701 telecentres over the next years to support the newly created local governments (701 municipalities) and to promote development. However, usage statistics suggest that these services are failing to reach women, and with up to three quarters of the population without literacy skills, access falls short of meaningful usage. Radio and TV: Mali has allowed private radio stations to operate since 1994. Foreign, and some commercial, funding have helped to establish 160 FM stations in Mali, though many of those are small community radio stations. Private radio stations are required to be members of URTEL, the radio union Skills: ICT is now used in many sectors in Mali, but a critical lack of trained personnel, in both the private sector and government, has negative impacts on productivity and sustainability of ICT use. There are development partners willing to introduce open source software, which offers real advantages for the country’s sustainable development, but they have difficulties finding local structures that can support this move.

ICT Policy
Malian president Alpha Konaré was one of the early protagonists giving a high priority to ICT4D and it looked like Mali would become an eager implementer of ICT4D projects in Africa. At regional level, Mali was instrumental in identifying good practice and networking public ICT initiatives and strategies. However, at national level, although there has been significant interest and investment from the highest levels of government, and substantial development in the improvement of infrastructure, policy, planning and strategy issues have yet to be addressed. Furthermore, the lack of infrastructure and capacity of human resources and institutions, low levels of private foreign investment and huge geographical distances have hampered the efforts and achievement of ICT for

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


development goals. IICD point out, however, that:

“Although it is very challenging to achieve results in Mali, successful implementation has an enormous impact, simply because there was nothing resembling an information infrastructure before”.
Mali’s National Information and Communication Infrastructure development process was launched in May 2002 and finalised in December 2004. The ICT Policy was adopted by the Council of Ministers and a decree was passed to create the «Agence des Technologies de l’Information et de la Communication (AGETIC)», which has the mandate to implement the NICI plan. The NICI Policy and Plan documents were approved by the Cabinet in June 2005. However, it lacks strong financing and implementation plans and commitments. In 2007 the priority actions were: • Setting up a legal and statutory framework • Developing ICT infrastructure • Education and capacity-building • Health support • Good governance and administrative intranet • Popularisation of internet access and connection of all communities of Mali

Key actors in ICT policy and regulation
• AGETIC (Agence des technologies de l’information et de la Communication) was created to ensure the administration and implementation of national ICT policy and strategic plans. • The Ministère de la Communication is the governmental body responsible for the telecommunications sector. • The Société des Télécommunications du Mali (SOTELMA) was the sole operator in the sector, established by decree of the Council of Ministers, and reporting directly to a Board of Trustees representing key ministries in the country. • UNDP, UNECA and IICD support Mali in developing the ICT policy and strategy.

ICT and education
One of the objectives of ICT policy is to set up an empowering environment for the promotion and use of ICT in education and capacity building for the formal and non-formal sectors. ICT use, access and skills are strongly promoted amongst the youth. ICT is introduced as a school subject in the first years of primary level and the government of Mali have put in place incentives to increase the cyber cafés and internet access. The main constraints to adapting schools to ICT use stem from the slow development of infrastructure and the high cost of ICT materials. A number of actors, including the Ministry of Education, local and international public and private partnerships, and many others, have been working to enhance Mali’s education system. For example, USAID has invested over a billion CFA francs to interconnect 10 sites of the University of Bamako. The University of Montreal works with various partners, including the IIRCA and IDRC to deliver online teacher training. They also work with ROCARE to carry out assessments with schools to understand their ICT needs and capacity. Other notable initiatives in the formal system include: • Cyber Edu: Initiated by the Ministries of Education and Communication, Cyber Edu provides computer labs to enable teachers and school managers to access virtual educational and manage human and material resources. The project involves 10 school groups and three teacher training institutes in the regions of Sikasso and Mopti and the District of Bamako. • School Net Mali: USAID has supported SchoolNet Mali to equip some high schools with computer materials to allow student access and learning, train teachers and students on ICT use, and establish systems to allow exchanges between Malian teachers and students with others around the world. The project partners with the Global Teenager Project Mali, iEARN international and the Malian Association for Linux users. • UNESCO: UNESCO has established an ICT training programme for those working in adult literacy and informal education that aims to improve the visibility of non-formal education and enable them to produce and exchange


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

information across electronic networks. • NEPAD e-Schools Initiative: The NEPAD e-Schools Initiative is part of the e-Africa initiative and aims to provide all African schools with the necessary ICT infrastructure and equipment, trained teachers and appropriate applications and content to ensure that ICTs enhance education and health in Africa. In 2007 there were 6 schools in Mali participating in the demonstration phase of the project. • ICT Development Centre: Supported by IICD and run by ICD the ICT development centre provides ICT skills training for staff of companies, government bodies and non-governmental organisations, as well as university students, health professionals and IT professionals. There is also a social component involving internships and training for students wishing to work in the ICT sector, who can subsequently train other students in grassroots organisations.xxii

References and Links
• NICI policy • TOGUNET is a network for exchanging and sharing information among ICT users for development in Mali. TOGUNET currently has nearly 200 subscribers or members. • Initiatives Mali Gateway «un site dédié à la promotion des initiatives locales de développement du Mali» http:// has information on the status of the ICT policy and implementation. http://initiatives-mali. info/spip.php?rubrique2 • Agetic -

Mozambique ICT briefing
Plan Mozambique’s progress report for 2008 stated that:

“The situation of poverty is exacerbated by weak capacity by both government and communities to overcome the causes and consequences of poverty. There is lack of adequate financial resources on the part of government; not enough room for community participation due to topdown centralisation of power by the government; and widespread illiteracy, particularly among women. In general many communities are left without adequate access to their fundamental rights, and duty bearers, need to do much more to fulfil these rights.”
This is in stark contrast to the policy aims and objectives summarised below. The policy commitments and opportunities for increasing information and participation are clearly falling short of the need. Although YETAM operates in Mozambique, there is no explicit mention of ICT, media or radio in the plans and progress reports. There are activities which include an information and communication element, including the birth registration campaign and sponsor communications, but it seems that there is a wide breach between aspirations of the role of ICT in supporting development and the conditions on the ground for implementing and designing development initiatives. Education is one of the areas where the link between information and participation, rights or development is most explicit. Plan Mozambique recognises this link, and the contradiction with the reality of children out of school, and poor conditions and quality of education. There is no mention of ICT as an enabler, as most of the activities in both health and education are based on construction and setting up. However, it is a great opportunity to make the leap in quality, access and availability through the integration of ICTs into local resources and capacity. Education was and continues to be the key for access to information, for participation, as well to influence the processes that tend to reduce poverty and accelerate development. Even though the knowledge of the link between knowledge and development is widespread, the reality is controversial, where many children as still excluded from the education processes, or, in some cases, subject to bad learning conditions, which compromise the quality of the teaching and learning process.

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


ICT situation in country
According to the World Economic Forum Global Information Technology Report, Mozambique ranks 101 out of 115 economies using the Networked Readiness Index, which measures the degree of preparation of a nation or community to participate in and benefit from ICT developments. World Bank 2006 data shows: • Telephone lines: 0.3 per hundred people as compared to 1/100 in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole. • Mobile subscribers: 11.2/100 as compared with regional average of 13.5. • Internet users: 1.9/100, as compared to 3.8 regionally with 1.4 computers per 100 people. The Infodev report on ICT and education in Mozambique has a useful table of factors that are enabling and hindering ICT adoption in the countryxxiii. These include infrastructure, cost and skills. Telephones: The two mobile providers are Mcel and Vodacom. The country is undergoing a gradual process of privatisation of Mcel and expansion of competition with 95% mobile network coverage in the country. Since passing the new telecommunications law in 2008, the Government and Communications Regulator Authority are working in preparing conditions to licence more operators in fixed telephony service. The Research ICT Africa survey suggests that 1 in 4 people over 16 in Mozambique have a mobile phone or active SIM card. In urban areas this rises to over 50%xxiv. These users spend on average half of their disposable income (over 10% of total income) on mobile services. Internet access: 2006 figures show internet is very expensive, at double the regional average (over 30 US$ per month) and facilities for the general public to use ICT-based services are rare in Mozambique. Those who can access the internet do so via a variety of means: cybercafés, work, educational institution or domestic connections and even via mobile phone. Cost, language and literacy and lack of relevant content are major barriers to those who do have access. To deal with these issues government, donors and NGOs have invested in developing models for community access, which include capacity building and content elements. This has been a major strand of the government and their partners’ ICT for development strategy and include: • UNESCO Community Multimedia Centres integrate community radio and traditional media with ICT and local content. Latest figures available number these at 16, all located in rural communities, with more planned. Provincial Digital Resource Centres (CPRD) are public institutions situated in provincial capitals and provide IT services, management and training for provincial government and civil society. They also act as public information points. The CPRDs also have mobile ICT units to support schools, health centres and remote communities to access ICTs and training. Schoolnet Mozambique is another large scale public programme of ICT access and capacity building, through secondary schools. The government’s ICT strategy recognises that these public access points are insufficient and emphasises the importance of scaling them up to reach all parts of the country. The implementation strategy states:

“Well-defined business models are needed, and subsidy schemes should be considered along with public-private partnerships. In addition, further exploration is needed of innovative combinations of modern digital technologies and low-cost conventional technologies, such as combining Internet access with broadcast radio technology.”
• The Centre for Informatics at the Eduardo Mondlane University runs a telecentres networking and services development programme with a web presence, which seems out of date, but still shows the established projects and evaluations amongst other resources. Radio and TV: Twenty radio and television stations are in operation, including state, private and community owned media. However, a 2002 study indicates that print media only reaches 1% of the population and TV stations are confined to the main provincial capitals. Radio, however, has continued to grow, covering about 80% of the population. Considering the vast cultural and linguistic diversity of Mozambique, local and community radio has become a valuable tool in information and communication for work, for development and public media. There is a community radio network: Fórum Nacional das Rádios Comunitárias (FORCOM) with 60 community radio stations in its database at


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

ICT Policy
The role of communication and information has been increasingly recognised by the Government of Mozambique for its potential to support development and poverty reduction at different levels, including the local. The 2006-2009 Plan of Action for Poverty Reduction (PARPAII) places special emphasis on access to information and knowledge as essential means to increase participation and dialogue, and engage citizens in the fight against poverty. Furthermore, the vision of the Mozambique government is to deliver public services through e-government, requiring digitisation of government information as well as training and capacity, citizen access and registration and infrastructure. Mozambique was among the first countries in southern Africa to adopt a national ICT policy. In May 1998 an ICT Policy Commission, chaired by the Prime Minister, was established by a Presidential Decree, to draft and propose to the Government an ICT Policy and promote the general use of information technologies in the country. In December 2000, following a two-year nationwide debate, and drawing upon the Pan-African effort through the African Information Society Initiative (AISI), an ICT Policy was approved by the Government of Mozambique. In 2002 the ICT Policy Implementation Strategy was approved by the Cabinet and presented to broader stakeholders. The ICT policy was based on research into the informatics capacity of the country, which showed that Mozambique needs to make a great effort to correct urban bias and become part of the global information society. The policy and implementation strategy aim to put ICTs in service of the objectives of the government’s Action Programme for the Reduction of Absolute Poverty (PARPA), in particular supporting literacy and human resource development, providing access to information, and improving administration and governance. A technical implementation unit (UTICT) was established within the ICT Policy Commission to oversee the implementation of strategic projects. The policy also aims to create a strong legal and business environment for the domestic production and dissemination of ICTs. Mozambique is developing a favourable legal environment that promotes private sector participation in the development of ICTs. The ICT strategy recognises the capacity and skills gap, the lack of infrastructure and the need for sector reform in order to provide the facilitative environment for a knowledge society and effective application of ICTs to development of the country. However, it seeks to combine some long-term strategies to overcome these challenges, and some medium term activities within these constraints. One of the main mechanisms for improving rural access are the Provincial Digital Resource Centres (CPRDs) which support rural access through affordable technologies, and link into a wider communication network with linkages to the district level. The strategy identified actions along several lines: • Human resource development (education, curriculum, literacy, training institutions, content development) • Infrastructure • Contents & Applications (including information on HIV and AIDS, science and technology and distance education) • Governance (including health information, digital land records, govnet and state financial records) • Policy & Regulation (capacity building and sector reform) • Enterprise (ICT incubator, and small business support) • Provincial development (telecentres and mobile units) The government plans to invest substantially in eGovernment services and has launched the Government Electronic Network (GovNet)-Pilot to improve public services and increase transparency in the public sector. The pilot has established a common communications platform for the Ministry of Public Administration, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Science and Technology, among others, aiming to give them a unified e-mail system, intranet, and document management system, as well as cost-effective shared access to the Internet. Further work is detailed in the implementation strategy.xxv The Implementation Strategy caused an increase in investment in ICTs and more confidence from external partners/donors. It is clear that external partners are more comfortable with making commitments because there is a strategy in place.xxvi During the life of the policy process various organisational changes came about. The Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology was created. Similarly, the Ministry of State digitalised years ago. And there is no doubt that the ICT policy process has expanded the awareness of the telecom sector and regulator by bringing them into contact with the “attentive public” who tried to get them to understand the needs of citizens who cannot afford or do not have access to ICTs and telecommunications. Constraints and challenges include: • how to demystify ICTs to a mainly rural population, • how to develop the necessary human resources needed for using and managing ICTs in the public and private sectors,

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


• how to roll out expensive infrastructure to provide platforms for using ICTs, • how to best promote innovative and affordable telecommunication solutions, • how to make ICTs provide information that meet Mozambicans’ real needs, and • how to set up a monitoring system which will adequately measure the progresses intended.

ICT in Education
The Ministry of Education’s interest in ICT has undergone a substantial modification and the role of ICTs in education has changed dramatically, due in part to the Implementation Strategy. There are various initiatives to provide training and equipment in schools, for education or wider community access to information, including: • SchoolNet Mozambique started in 1997 with support from IDRC and World Bank. The pilot project worked in 10 secondary schools to provide equipment, training and other resources to encourage schools to use and teach ICT and become centres of information sharing and communication for the community. In 2002 SchoolNet Mozambique was launched was integrated into the Ministry of Education to promote access to ICTs in all of Mozambique’s secondary schools and to establish an education portal and a Mozambican teachers’ network. A technical services centre was established at the Industrial Institute Maputo to refurbish and deploy of second-hand PCs to schools. PC labs had been established in 75 out of 280 secondary schools by July 2006 with an estimated 25 schools connected to the Internet.xxvii • NEPAD eSchools Mozambique. The NEPAD eSchools Initiative is active in several countries and both at primary and secondary level. The first phase of the initiative is a demonstration project to determine needs and challenges in implementation, and identify best practice for large scale implementation of internet connection and ICT access in schools across Africa. This has supported six secondary schools with equipment, teacher training and information for health and education. NEPAD have a dedicated liaison person at the Ministry of Education for SchoolNet Mozambique. • EPCI Working in one secondary school in Inhambane, this project is interesting as it not only equipped the school and trained teachers and managers (with a Research and Information Technology Centre based at the school for public access), but also developed a framework to integrate ICT into relevant issues for learning and application to real situations, including environmental management and translation. Within these subprojects students and teachers conducted research, established partnerships with government and private institutions, and developed products and services in support of the community and the provincial economy. The project developed partnerships with the provincial and district government offices, and the provincial Education Department. The Research and Information Technology Centre trains the future workforce and those aspiring to go on to higher education, as well as civil servants, students, teachers etc. It promotes the use of ICTs through local NGOs and the community. • The Centre for Informatics at the University Eduardo Mondlane (CIEUM) played a pioneering role in introducing ICTs for development in Mozambique. It served as the home for a number of pilot projects during the late 1990s and has evolved as a leading agency in promoting the development of Mozambique’s national ICT policy and implementation strategyxxvii. Recently the CIEUM facilitated the establishment of the Mozambique Information and Communication Technology Institute (MICTI) to address the challenges of skills shortage, postsecondary education and a weak ICT sector. It has several components including learning, research, and technology.

Policy analysis and resources:
• APC page for Mozambique: • PanAfri wiki page for Mozambique • Economic Commission for Africa – NICI Mozambique Mozambique/mozampol.htm • Infodev survey of ICT and education in Africa: Mozambique country report By Shafika Isaacs http://www. • is a discussion forum for civil society on ICT for development in southern Africa, including Mozambique and has a link to the 2009 report on digital inclusion in Mozambique.


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

• has all the information on the national ICT policy and its implementation plans and status. • has some information about telecentres from the network. • UNESCO have information on their community telecentres communication/cmc.htm

Senegal ICT briefing
In terms of the type of social structure that underlies appropriate and effective use of ICTs, Plan Senegal has been working with children’s clubs for twenty years. These constitute the spheres of exchanges and dialogue between the youth and the children and evaluations have shown that children from the clubs show knowledge of their rights, develop and implement their own actions plans, participate in local parliaments of children and school cooperatives. They also run YETAM projects. Computers: Plan Senegal has been supporting a cyber project in Dakar, in Medina Gounass commune, in partnership with the local women’s group and children’s clubs. The project has supplied a children’s club with 6 computers and accessories, provided electronic and traditional games and organised internet training for 25 children’s associations. Children were part of the procurement process. Plan also provided computer equipment and educational materials to schools and children’s organisations promoting the rights of the child through the TELNET project, reaching 7,000 students at primary and secondary levels. Media and communications: The organisation has employed different technologies and media to raise awareness of child rights and enable children’s voices to be heard. For example they organised radio programmes with the participation of 324 children and developed “a dynamic partnership with the community radios and the national radios for that purpose.” Kids Waves has been running since 2005 with RTS, Senegalese Radio Television, and the involvement of community and rural radio stations to be in closer touch with local communities. A TV version of this project is currently being developed. The Going Further project builds on existing music and radio work (Tundu Joor and Radio Guneyi) and explores new ways to use media and ICT to raise awareness about and promote children’s rights. Training has also been provided for children on communication techniques and child rights. They have used radio and other communication channels such as theatre, to promote key behaviours for children’s survival.

ICT situation in Senegal
Senegal has modern telecommunication infrastructure: a completely digitised telephone network and an Internet protocol network covering a large area of the country. The sector already plays a significant role in the economic and social development of the country, comprising 7% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 5.4% in total capital. The will to make communication services one of the vehicles for the country’s economic and social development has been a goal since the mid-1990s. However, the country is still far from having universal access, or sufficient local digital content, to be considered a knowledge society. World Bank 2006 statisticsxxix show: • Telephone lines: 2.3 per hundred people as compared to 1 in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole. • Mobile subscribers: 24.7/100 as compared with regional average of 13.5. • Internet users: 5.4/100, as compared to 3.8 regionally with 2.1 computers per 1,000 people. Telephones: There are three mobile operators, Orange, Tigo and Expresso. Mobile phone subscription rates have shown strong growth and 85% of the country had mobile coverage in 2006, with an estimated 50% of the population subscribing to mobile services (ART figures 2009). Fixed line phones, operated solely by Sonatel, the ex-public company, cover approximately 1,000 out of over 14,000 villages.

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


Internet access: There are 6 internet service providers, including the local NGO Enda, yet the penetration rate at March 2009 was of only 0.45% of subscribers and about 820,000 users, or 6.1% of the population (ART figures). There are over 800 public access points in the country, many private. To overcome the rural access problems, the government is working, with the support of UNESCO, to build community multimedia centres to provide radio broadcast and ICT services. Twenty four CMCs had been established by 2007, giving access to internet, community radio, computers and digital equipment. CMCs are the most important network of community access to ICTxxx. Enda also run Cyberpop centres for access and content development in poor areas of Dakar. IDRC supports these, and other initiatives, and in addition supports national infrastructure development models and studies on rural demand, and the use of ICTs by women’s groups and in schools.

ICT Policy
According to ICT for Development analysts, including IDRC, Senegal is one of the sub-Saharan African countries with the best-developed infrastructure in telecommunications and highest levels of Internet connectivity. One 2002 report claims that:

“Within Sub-Saharan Africa, Senegal is a pioneer in the field of new information and communications technologies. ... In this respect, Senegal brings a unique combination of assets to bear: its geographic proximity to Europe and the Americas; a highly educated population; a vast commercial and financial trade network drawing on a young and energetic émigré population; and a relatively well-developed telecommunications infrastructure capable of providing highly competitive services.” xxxi
However, other analysts note that the Senegalese government have had difficulties coming up with a strategy to couple the use of ICTs with the socio-economic development problems it is facing, with unstable decision-making processes making it difficult to establish a broad and coherent national policy.xxxii Senegal’s ICT infrastructure and actors were already developed before the ICT policy process began in earnest. The process has been very elaborate with international and local support, and implemented by the information and communication technology secretariat at the office of the President. The Acacia programme started operation in Senegal in 1996 and was instrumental in supporting and developing the ICT policy and strategy. Private sector and professionals working in ICT have also been active in spearheading the implementation of ICT programmes through a plan entitled “the ICT Grape”, which aims at harnessing ICTs to reduce unemployment and poverty, increase literacy and access to the healthcare, improve competitiveness and efficiency in government and private sector institutions. The ICT strategy involves the creation of enabling environment to attract investment and innovation, universal access to ICTs by all including young people, harnessing ICTs in health and delivery of other public services, enhancing the capacities of small and medium enterprises and creation of content and building key instruments to advance information and knowledge. ICTs are also central to the accelerated growth strategy of the government, and are a core instrument for delivery of the National Programme of Good Governance. This strategy has, according to APC, worked well in terms of bringing down prices and improving quality of services. Since 2000, with the national strategy for ICT development defined, a new code of telecommunications was adopted and the regulation agency created. Also created were the state data processing agency and a telecommunications ministry. Liberalisation of the sector enabled robust growth in infrastructure of which spare capacity is now available for countries such as Mali. Other policy instruments facilitate the development of its information infrastructure. ICTs are still high on the political agenda, and The State Informatics Agency (ADIE) has brought in legislation on cyber crime, the protection of personal information and electronic transactions to promote confidence and use of ICTs. However, despite such a promising start, and these continued commitments on paper, the current situation does not live up to the promise: young graduates have difficulty finding work and ICT entrepreneurs finding credit. Furthermore, the global financial crisis is having an impact, with many local ICT service providers losing contracts and closing down. By 2008, the priorities for ICT development in Senegal were growth in the telephone market, increasing contribution of the telecommunications sector to GDP, improvements in rural services – total phone coverage by 2010, and the internet as a universal service. However, the APC CICEWA project has found that the de facto monopoly of state-owned operator Sonatel has undermined genuine competition and kept internet connection prices too high for the average Senegalese user, as seen by the closure of many internet cafés and access points. APC point out that, despite the presence of three mobile operators in the country, there is no real competition as all three pass through the same infrastructure, which is controlled by State-owned Sonatel. APC note that: “Since


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

Tigo and Expresso depend on the prices fixed by Sonatel, it is Sonatel that ultimately determines the conduct of the other operators who are also seeking to make a profit, and it is this dependence that essentially eliminates competition.” Sonatel also control the market in fixed telephone and internet, where they are the only operator, reducing the power of the national regulator, ARTP. In reality, according to a local communications expert, “small internet service providers are ... forced to accept the tariff conditions imposed by the incumbent operator. All of the less costly alternative technologies such as voice over internet protocol (VoIP), WiMAX or wireless are prohibited for public use.” Currently, competition is limited to the mobile phone market, but APC suggest that the ARTP should be facilitating and promoting the entry of competitors to the fixed line telephony and internet services in order to bring prices down and increase quality, and for this they need total independence from Sonatel.

Key actors in ICT policy and regulation
• Ministère de la Communication et des Technologies de l’Information, the ministry in charge of ensuring the regulation in the sector of telecommunications and to adopt the suitable reforms. • The Agency of Regulation of Telecommunications (ART) playing the role of referee and regulator and on the other hand creating the conditions for healthy and fair competition between the operators. • The State Informatics Agency (ADIE) works to increase the availability and use of ICTs in government agencies.

ICT and education
Although Senegal’s public officials and government bodies recognise ICT as a powerful engine for progress, it has not yet been integrated into the education sector in any kind of formal policy. However, in its Ten Year Education and Training Program (PDEF), the Ministry of Education envisions promoting information and communications technology for administrative development and the improvement of education. As well as the government, NGOs have been working actively to supply computers to schools. However capacity and infrastructure issues are still key obstacles to achieving these goals. For instance, by 2007, only 38.5% of schools were connected to the electricity network, with a disparity between rural and urban areas, with only 7.9% connected in the district of Kedougou to 100% in Dakar City. As far as internet connections are concerned, 100% of universities are connected, two-thirds of high schools and 10% of junior high schools. However, the computer-tostudent ratio ranges from 1 to 20 at Mariama Bâ highschool of Gorée to 1 to 2,000 at Parcelles Assainies high school. Examples of ICT education projects in Senegal.xxxiii • Between 1998 and 2004 the Senegalese NGO Groupe pour l’étude et l’enseignement de la population (GEEP) introduced ICTs in 20 school-based youth clubs. GEEP became an ICT for development expert and now coordinates Schoolnet Africa, helping to enhance learning with ICTs. Schoolnet Africa has its head offices in the School of Education at the University Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar. GEEP also advised the Senegalese education ministry on its strategy to harness ICTs and the Ministry’s current research in select schools preparing for an ICT rollout in primary education. • The Senegalese Ministry of Education’s Institut national d’études et d’actions pour le développement de l’éducation are collaborating with Université du Québec à Montréal, in Canada to test ICTs as a teaching complement at a pilot elementary school. The aim is to gradually extend new curricula and teaching approaches, in tandem with the government’s curriculum reform and ICT rollout in elementary schools. • Projects such as the Global Teenager Project and the Mtandao Afrika programme support and network youth internet education programmes. Senegal is a youth organisation that aims to help young people use ICT and the internet in particular, in a positive way through training, information and access support through youth internet kiosks. The Nepad e-Schools Demonstration Project is active in six schools in Senegal to provide internet connection and training for staff on ICT teaching materials and resources. • The Canadian International Development Agency funds several projects that focus on the promotion of ICT use among youth and women, the promotion of distance education, and the provision of support to the development of instructional resources.

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


Links and resources:
• Osiris is the observatory on ICT policy and development in Senegal, and has a comprehensive list of publications, research and opinion on the state of play. • APC page for Senegal: • PanAfri wiki page for Senegal • Economic Commission for Africa – NICI Senegal

Uganda ICT briefing
There is no specific mention of ICT, internet or computers in recent Plan Uganda progress reports. However, the themes of Plan’s work in Uganda do have strong information and communication elements, including: • Children’s participation. • Awareness raising and behaviour change work on HIV and AIDS. • Sponsor communications. • Child rights awareness and monitoring. For example, children are designing their own IEC support materials. Another example of a strong communication element, that may be supported by ICT, is the PMTCT Plus project in Mukuju which involved community leaders travelling to visit partner communities in Ireland.

ICT situation in country
While Uganda has a strong policy and public investment framework, supported by well established programmes and capacity of local and international NGOs, infrastructure, capacity and content issues still undermine the achievement of ICT-enabled social and economic development, especially outside of urban areas. World Bank 2006 statisticsxxxiv show: • Telephone lines: 0.4 per hundred people as compared to 1.0 in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole. • Mobile subscribers: 6.7/100 as compared with regional average of 13.5 • Internet users: 2.5/100, as compared to 3.23 regionally with 1.7 computers per 1,000 people. Telephones: Mobile phone growth has been very steep and, by the end of 2008, around a third of the population were subscribed to mobile services – over 8.5 million subscriptions. Mobiles are not only allowing voice and text communication between subscribers, but being offered as public phones where previously there were none, and strengthening access to radio and internet services. Internet access: A 2005 studyxxxv revealed that access to the internet across the entire country is far below what would be expected with the often-praised policy and regulatory environment in Uganda. In 2008 there were an estimated 2.5 million internet users in Uganda. Driving the growth has been the surge in mobile wireless internet access with more than 200,000 active accounts reported by end of December 2008, compared to only 22,000 fixed line internet subscribers (UCC).

«The low level of [internet] utilisation to date is largely attributed to a lack of awareness combined with high costs, limited points of access, lack of content relevant to the needs of the majority of the citizens and the high rate of illiteracy.»xxxvi
The national ICT policy aims to establish the infrastructure necessary to enable connectivity in schools, health centres, agricultural extension units and administrative and commercial centres throughout the country; however, this is still a long way off. According to the Telecommunications Sector Policy Review, there is almost insignificant access to and utilisation of computers and the internet in areas outside the major urban centres. To facilitate rural access, the government established the Rural Communications Development Fund (RCDF)


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

administered by the Uganda Communication Commission, to provide subsidies for access to basic communication services such as telephones, computers and internet for all in Uganda. The Fund has already supported 100 internet cafes, 70 ICT training centres, web portals and internet points, research projects, community telecentres, ICT school labs and health facilities. Furthermore, the private sector and NGOs have made efforts to expand ICT access and services to rural areas. Multi-purpose community telecentres, sponsored by UNESCO and others, have also attempted to bridge the gap, offering a broad range of communication services such as fax, telephone, computer services, e-mail and internet, media services, books and other reading materials, etc. to rural areas. Other initiatives include • CEEWA-Uganda, • Busoga Rural Open Source Development Initiatives (BROSDI), • Community Organisation for Empowerment of Young People in Uganda (COFEY-Uganda), • Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH), • Uganda Development Services (UDS), and • SchoolNet Uganda. Private sector efforts have largely been through the large scale telecommunication operators – Mobile Telephone Network (MTN), Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL), and Celtel. Radio and TV: There are currently 188 radio stations and 35 TV stations on air. Studies, including the field survey done in 1998 to provide background information for the ICT policy, show that Radio Uganda has been the major source of information in Uganda. What’s more, the report “Towards an African E-index” notes that the rapid increase in availability of phone services has had an impact on the relevance and accessibility of radio for all Ugandans:

«The spread of mobile phones has created a synergy with the spread of private FM radio stations, with more than 100 operational stations in Uganda providing near total national coverage in local languages. Where radio used to be a passive tool for development information dissemination, it has become an interactive public tool and discussion forum through the popular phone-in programmes. Daily programmes range from political debates and other topical issues to health issues, agriculture, education, gender issues and the environment.»
Content: The lack of local and relevant digital content is a factor impeding the growth of internet use and penetration across Africa. Furthermore, the PanAfri wiki recognises the lack of appropriate content in local languages as an additional factor.

ICT Policy
Uganda was one of the first countries in Africa to develop a policy on universal access to telecommunications, with what many consider a far-reaching and proactive approach to providing access to ICT for the poor. The national ICT policy development process was initiated in 1998, managed by the Uganda National Council of Science and Technology (UNCST). A 1998 IDRC funded study revealed low coverage and skewed distribution of ICT infrastructure in the country, concentrated in urban areas, especially around Kampala. Private service providers had no incentive and lack the requisite infrastructure, as well as appropriate policy and legislative framework, to cater for nationwide coverage. The maintenance and sustainability of the ICT development initiatives also remained a critical challenge. In 1999 a multidisciplinary ICT policy task force with representation from government and private sector was set up to oversee the formulation of an ICT policy to deal with these challenges. Workshops and policy dialogues also made space for participation from research, training and development institutions, and civil society groups. The National ICT Policy Framework was finally approved in December 2003. This envisions ICT as a tool for: reforming government service delivery; achieving transparency, accountability and credibility; providing effective access to information; broadening public participation and promoting democracy; facilitating research and development; and enhancing competitiveness in the global economy (NRM, 2006). There are three areas of focus in the Policy: • Information as a resource for development; • Mechanisms for accessing information; • ICT as an industry, including e-business, software development and manufacturing.

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


The policy considers categories of information from different sectors, including: health, education, agriculture, energy, environment, business, science and technology. Furthermore, it recognises the potential of convergence so that ICT enhances rather than replaces traditional media. The policy states:

“Although the majority of the population is still dependent on the conventional and traditional information delivery systems, especially radio, new ICT can greatly enhance the efficiency of these systems in delivering development information.”
At the heart of the policy is integration, with ICT as not only an economic objective, but also an enabling factor for other development objectives. The implementation of the National ICT Policy in Uganda therefore necessarily involved various ministries, district and local authorities, development partners and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), as well as the private sector. The cabinet directed all government ministries to create a budget line for ICTs. However, an e-readiness assessment in 2004 revealed that a more focused and coordinated approach to implementation was required. This led to the establishment of an ICT Working Group that tabled a number of recommendations, including the establishment of a Ministry of ICT to address the convergence of ICT and to provide coordination of policy development. This was set up in 2006, although still seems to be finding its feet. Implementation strategies for the policy include sensitisation and awareness creation; ICT capacity development among rural people; building appropriate infrastructure; supporting favourable investment environment; supporting innovative ICT projects; stimulating production, storage, and dissemination of national information; and facilitation of access to public domain information. Progress has been made in a number of areas of the policy, including developing a national backbone, rural access, education, systems integration, and stimulating private sector investment. The government has also removed taxes on all imported ICT equipment. This is gradually reducing the costs of providing ICT services.xxxvii In the 2006 presidential elections, President Museveni included ICTs as one of the key areas for consideration during his new term in office.xxxviii The Rural Communications Development Fund offers subsidies and grants to incentivise private sector development in rural areas, funded by a 1% levy on telecommunication operators’ revenues. It has helped to set up internet access points, training centres and websites, as well as public pay phones and telecentres. According to the APC, teledensity figures have leapt from 12% in 2006 to 22% in July 2008 – half way to the universal service goal of 40% by 2012. However, many argue that high taxes on mobile service providers, as well as the bad management of liberalisation and privatisation of telecommunications, are undermining the purpose of the RCDF, and keeping prices high for the consumer.

Key actors in ICT policy and regulation
• Ministry of ICT. • Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) is the regulator of the communications industry in Uganda. UCC regulates and promotes the developments in the communications industry. • The national ICT Coordination Committee aims to give political guidance to the ICT sector. It includes representation from the offices of the President and Prime Minister, and the Ministries of Communication, Finance, Education and Tourism. • The Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST) coordinate the policy development and implementation processes.

Other non-governmental actors include:
• IICD are managing or supporting projects in the sectors of education, good governance, health and livelihoods, including training, rural health data and information management programmes, ICT maintenance facilities for rural areas, and the Agricultural Research and Information Network (ARRIN). • I-Network Uganda is a national network acting as a platform for sharing knowledge and information on applying ICTs. One of its programmes, DistrictNet, focuses on providing public information using ICTs • The Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) aims to promote the use of ICTs by women and women’s organisations, and hosts the secretariat of the women’s caucus on information society for Uganda.


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

ICT and education
As it adopts ICT in education, Uganda faces the same challenges as most developing economies – poorly developed ICT infrastructure, high bandwidth costs, an unreliable supply of electricity, and a general lack of resources to meet a broad spectrum of needs. However, with the rapid emergence of wireless network capacity and the growth of mobile phones, the context is changing. The Ministry of Education and Sports is taking steps to coordinate ICT development and has allocated resources to support implementation of its ICT strategy. In its Review for 2005-2006, the Ministry listed the following achievements: • Over 300 teachers have been trained. • Three generators and 300 computers have been provided to NEPAD e-schools. • Software and upgrades for 6,000 desktop computers already in schools have been procured. • Preferential rate agreements with Uganda Telecom for voice and data connectivity have been secured. • Work has started on introducing ICT into the teaching and learning process in primary and secondary schools. The Education Ministry has approved a curriculum for ICT Training for Secondary Schools, and a limited number of schools are offering ICT Training. These schools are being equipped under various programmes, including the Schoolnet and ConnectEd Projects. However, the ICT policy points out that only a very small percentage of Secondary Schools offer ICT Training, and in almost all cases the facilities are inadequate for reasonable hands-on experience. At Makerere University, the Institute of Computer Science provides high-level academic training in the field of computer science to Computer Science specialist students. The Global Distance Learning Centre at the Uganda Management Institute hosts similar facilities. Examples of ICT education projects in Ugandaxxxix There are many projects working at small, local or national (and even international) scale to improve facilities, services and capacity of ICT in education. For example: • Uconnect is a non-profit NGO that aims to advance public education by using ICT to improve the quality and efficiency of communications. Activities focus on providing computer connectivity and training for schools and providing ICT training to officials of rural districts. More that 225 schools have benefited to date and 22 district offices have been connected to the Internet. Multi-sponsors are involved such as telecom, hardware, learning software, transportation, and internet provider companies. • The British Council has launched Connecting Classrooms, a project to link schools in Uganda to other schools in Africa and the UK. The project is aimed at coordinating ICT, science, vocational skills, global citizenship, and cultural science in the schools. • SchoolNet Uganda supports educators and learners by providing pedagogical and technical expertise and advice, infrastructure and human resources, coordination, training and capacity-building, and developing local and international partnerships.

Policy analysis and resources:
• APC page for Uganda: • PanAfri wiki page for Uganda • Economic Commission for Africa – NICI Uganda uganpol.htm

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


Cameroon ICT briefing
Themes relating to communication and inclusion are front and centre in Plan Cameroon’s programmes. PLAN Cameroon Day 2008 theme was “Children’s participation; let the children be seen and heard”: encouraging dialogue between children and adults and to initiate young children in the process of decision-making and democracy. During the day children put questions to government, including one question put to the Minister of Communications showing concern about ICT: “Nowadays, we observe the improvement of new technology; however, several children and other populations in remote and enclave areas are excluded from this modern technology. What does the Ministry envisage for the information of these populations?” In the ‘Building Relationships and Resource Mobilisation’ component of their work Plan Cameroon have a strong focus on child-sponsor communication; ensuring communities manage their own portfolio through communication committees, with a strong dimension of informing about and debating local development priorities and activities.

Specific ICT or media related activities:
• 35 education inspectors and head teachers received training on ICT and in particular the education management information system and school evaluation • Sponsoring a radio programme: contracted the Cameroon Radio Television Corporation (CRTV) to broadcast the programme ‘I am a child but I have my rights too’ over provincial and private radio stations. Provided a 5-day training for radio hosts and representatives of local NGOs in charge of monitoring the project and involved youth in monitoring through listening clubs. • Local newsletters and sponsor communications, as noted in their annual report: “More children from Esse are now writing articles and drawings for the “EYEKE-Y’OR” and “Planète Jeune” magazines. Sponsorship communications have become a tool for development education in Esse”. • Involvement in YETAM.

ICT situation in Cameroon
ITU 2007 statisticsxl show: • Telephone lines: 0.79 per hundred people as compared to 1.65 in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole. • Mobile subscribers: 24.45/100 as compared with regional average of 18.28. • Internet users: 2.23/100, as compared to 3.23 regionally with 3.9 computers per 1,000 people. Cost is still a major barrier for both telephone usage and computer usage for the majority of Cameroonians, with the costs of equipment, subscriptions and calls relatively high and, proportionate to most people’s income, prohibitive. Telephones: World Bank figures show that the rise in mobile subscriptions since 2,000 has been steep in the last few yearsxli, a common pattern in Sub-Saharan African countries. Meanwhile the rise in internet and PC use is slow but steady. Cameroon has two mobile operators, MTN and Orange, both operating GSM coverage (Cameroon was one of the first countries in the region to provide GSM coverage). Internet access: There are 12 internet service providers, including Camtel, ICCNET and Creolink, but there are wide disparities in internet access, in terms of income and location. Mobile internet is available from at least two providers. Though there is less than one PC per hundred people, and over 60% of institutions have no computer meaning that most people cannot access the internet at work, the internet is available through cybercafés, concentrated in Yaoundé. However, telecentres are spreading throughout the country due to government, NGO and private sector initiatives. For example: • The government is introducing telecentres offering phone, internet and money transfer services, in rural areas throughout the country funded under the HPIC agreement. The objective is to have close to 2000 telecentres in the country by 2015 to attain the millennium development goals, supporting education, health, livelihoods


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

and entertainment in rural areas and reducing rural flight. However in 2007 the ministry reported that the project was slow to get off the ground and past pilot phase.xlii • Local company which provides wireless broadband in Yaoundé and Douala, is working on extending its network of cybercafés nationwide, linking to the internet via satellite technology or optical fibre where available. • The ADEN project of the French government is funding and providing software for telecentres throughout francophone Africa, and has three public access to the internet centres currently operating in Cameroon.xliii Radio and TV: CRTV runs 33 public radio broadcast stations, at least one in each province, and 2 production stations per province. The ICT policy document states that land reception limits actual coverage to about 60% of the country. They also run 33 public television stations broadcast from Yaoundé reaching about 85% of the country. There are also 3 private television operators running 5 TV stations and several cable television operators, of which 16 have applied for licenses, the vast majority operating illegally. There are 37 private radio broadcast stations, mostly located in the big urban centres of Yaoundé and Douala. There are no private stations in the Adamaoua and South provinces. 29 community radio stations were set up under an agreement with ACCT in 1996, providing radio services by and for rural populations. However, these are very unevenly distributed. Content: The ICT policy paper notes that Cameroon does not have a developed “infostructure”, that is to say there is not a culture of making national or local information or data available on databases, which could make the internet more useful for domestic purposes. “The practice of information gathering, processing, preservation and dissemination in usable formats to other users is uncommon in Cameroon. As a result, Cameroon has no data banks or information systems that can be consulted by citizens and enterprises.” However two exceptions that it notes are: • the Integrated System for the Management of Public Finances (SIGEFI) • the Integrated System for the Computerised Management of State Personnel and Salaries (SIGIPES) Only 10% of Cameroonian institutions have a website.

ICT Policy
Independent analysts consider that the government of Cameroon have failed to support ICT growth with appropriate policies, and in fact point to missed opportunities to turn the country into an engine for growth in the regionxlv. They were ranked 179 out of 206 countries by the ITU. As things stood in 2008, reported in the National ICT Policy document: • The public telecommunications network is obsolete and lacks the necessary capacity. • 15% of the country is still out of national communications coverage despite the satellite relay. • Cameroon has no Internet Exchange Point that can enable local service providers to exchange traffic without relying on transnational infrastructure. • There are many digital disparities between urban (Douala and Yaounde) and rural areas. • The infrastructure for gathering, processing and disseminating information is still rudimentary; • There is no strategy for enabling the country to develop all ICT-related sectors including production. In 1995, Cameroon began to restructure their telecommunications sector, establishing the Telecommunications Regulation Agency (ART) to promote competition between operators. Between 2002 and 2008, 123 network operating licences were awarded, including around fifty for internet providers, but the quality of services is still poor, and prices of all but mobile calls within networks are still out of reach for most Cameroonians. Cameroonian NGO PROTÉGÉ QV note that “less than 2% of Cameroonians have a fixed-line telephone, because of an inadequate supply of lines (175,000), the degraded state of the infrastructure, administrative red tape and high installation costs”. The cost and availability of internet services has also suffered from inadequate infrastructure and lack of competition. The regulator, ART, was set up by the government to manage competition, monitor services and protect consumers. Managed by the Ministry of Telecommunications, PROTÉGÉ QV argue that it does not have the authority, resources or – crucially – the independence to fulfil this function, and regulate fairly between private operators and the public supplier, who have the monopoly on developing new infrastructure. Furthermore, regulation does not currently cover cross-border connections and online business and transactions, leaving an area of growing economic significance ambiguous, opening private sector loopholes and losing opportunities for new products and services.

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


The APC Communication for influence in Central, East and West Africa (CICEWA) project has found that the high cost and low quality of communication services have paved the way for illegal mobile phone and internet providers to emerge, dodging the high cost of licensing, and passing down the savings to their customers. While this allows Cameroonians to find cheaper services, it also means there are no quality guarantees, and results in a loss of tax revenue and license fees for the government. Meanwhile, the licensed operators and the regulator are not able to guarantee or fund universal access. In 2000 the process of creating the National Information and Communications Infrastructure (NICI) plan was launched, with the support of UNDP. This is a tool of the UNECA which is applied across the Africa, and resulted in the publication in 2004 of the “Plan National des Infrastructures de la Communication et de l’Information du Cameroun (NICI) 20042015”xlvi. This plan identifies 10 priority areas: agriculture; human resources; e-commerce; e-government; education; health; ICT services; infrastructure; tourism, environment and natural resources; youth and gender. In 2002, in response to a lack of coordination of different organisations working on the national ICT policies and strategies, and the resulting lack of direction and vision, the government set up the National Agency for Information and Communication Technologies (ANTIC). ANTIC deals with infrastructure, regulation, capacity and security issues. Their plans and strategies are set out in the “National Policy for the Development of Information and Communication Technologies”xlvii. This includes a summary of the current legal and policy framework, the different actors and lines of accountability, as well as plans and strategies, and would be essential reading for any advocacy work on ICT or social media policies and investments. The NICI was handed over officially to ANTIC in April 2006 for submission to Government. Key actors in ICT policy and regulation • The Agence de Regulation des Telecommunications (ART) is Cameroon’s telecommunication regulatory body, established in July 1998 by the Telecommunication Act. • Responsibility for ICT policy rests with the Comité Interministériel composed of representatives from the ministries of communication, telecommunications, higher education, education, economy and finance, foreign relations and the Prime Minister’s office. There are also various technical thematic committees. • The Sub-Regional Development Centre for Central Africa (SRDC-CA) is the UN ECA’s sub-regional arm charged with supporting sub-regional electronic information exchange networks of economic experts, civil society organisations, NGOs and the private sector. • Institutions involved in ICT training are: • The Département d’Informatique of ENSP; • The Faculté des Sciences at the Universite de Yaounde; • The Institut Universitaire de Technologie in Daoula and Bandjoun. • The Laboratoire d’Electronique et Traitement de Signal of ENSP has been behind the establishment of the Connectivity Information and Training Centre for Internet (CITI-CM) with financial support from InfoDev, ORSTOM, UNITAR, ACCT and local companies.

ICT and education
In terms of education, in the NICI plan document the government commits to the following: • Modernise the educational system through the introduction of ICTs in schools • Introduce ICT application training modules into national universities • Prepare a sectoral ICT policy for the educational sector • Train teachers in the use of ICTs • Equip all schools with ICT facilities • Multiply resource centres for teachers and students • Establish distance training facilities • Provide support for the production of ICT teaching materials There is an inter-ministerial committee working on ICT for education, and a commitment to introduce ICT courses into all levels of the public education system. However, the ICT Policy document notes the level of knowledge and skill relating to ICT and the knowledge society is still very low, even compared to other low-income countries. While higher educational establishments are better equipped and prepared, and virtual resources are being


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

developed at this level, schools are still poorly equipped. There have been several initiatives by NGOs and donors, including the Canadians, French and Islamic Development Bank, including the construction of multimedia resource centres with internet access in 16 public schools. But most primary and secondary schools are without multimedia resources and the great majority of children leave school without having had any exposure to ICT use. For instance about 44% of pupils drop out of school before completing the primary level, while less than 4% get into the higher education cycle. Where ICTs are available their use is still very basic. For instance most of the websites are static, providing no interactive services to users and some with obsolete content; virtual absence of didactic materials, management and guidance systems. Examples of ICT education projects in Cameroonxlviii The Cyber Education Project aims to use ICTs to support training in secondary and technical schools and in higher education (universities). For more information: The project includes establishing multimedia resource centres, training teachers and monitors, connecting schools to the internet, establishing learning resources and distance training for teachers. As a result, 60,000 students have access to computers compared to 10,000 in 2001. According to the ministry of Education, 80% of government secondary schools have computer rooms and two-thirds have computer labs. SchoolNet-Cameroon SchoolNet-Cameroon (ISC) is a non-profit organisation that enables young people to use the Internet and other new technologies to engage in collaborative educational projects. ISC facilitates collaborative projects where communities of learners collectively develop on-line content related to school curriculum. It provides training to teachers in the integration of ICTs across the curriculum. Currently, it is seeking to sign an agreement with MINESEC and plans to distribute 200,000 computers to Cameroon schools. SchoolNet also works in collaboration with ROCARE, the African Teachers Network (ATN), and the UNDP in the framework of the Tokyo International Conference for African Development-Information Technology Project. For more information: and The ROCARE Project ROCARE (Réseau Ouest et Centre-Africain de Recherche en Education) is a professional scientific, non-political, and non-profit association of teachers and lecturers of West and Central Africa. It aims to promote African expertise to positively influence educational policies and practices. ROCARE developed a regional study on the integration of ICTs in education in West and Central Africa, and individual national studies. ROCARE Cameroon also published a book on the integration of ICTs in education. For more information: PROTÉGÉ QV E-learning Initiatives PROTEGE QV (which means promotion of technologies that guarantee environment and a better quality of life), is a Cameroonian NGO created in 1995. It aims to promote individual and collective initiatives to induce rural development, to protect the environment, and to improve the well-being of the community. Some of their projects have been financed by Global Knowledge Partnership, the World Bank, the French Cooperation in Cameroon, the United States Embassy, the Japan Embassy, and the Commonwealth, including: • Open Nkam e-learning: business training for women by women using traditional ICTs and radio based training for women entrepreneurs to support them in setting up small businesses • The Upper Nkam Women Opened to the Challenges of Innovations in ICTS: a project that introduced 150 women to data processing on computers • Small Business Training for Women in Cameroon 2005: An ongoing project using a standardised multimedia CD geared to reinforce the capacities of women involved in small businesses • A radio programme entitled “Woman and The Pride of Her Being” at Radio Fotouni to sensitise and share knowledge with the targeted women through radio messages

Policy analysis and resources:
• APC page for Cameroon: • English: • Français:

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


• PanAfri wiki page for Cameroon • Economic Commission for Africa – NICI Cameroon • CICEWA Institutions: • Ecole Nationale Supérieure Polytechnique de Yaoundé (ENSPY) (computer engineering) • Institut Africain d’Informatique (IAI), Cameroon • Associations: • RESCATIC - Réseau de la Sociéte Civile Camerounaise pour la promotion des TIC group/RESCATIC/

Kenya ICT briefing
Kenya is a regional centre, and leader, in ICT4D initiatives. The latest progress reports from Plan Kenya do not specify any ICT4D activities, although themes of participation and awareness raising are central to much of the work. The Harnessing ICT for Community Health Project was implemented by Plan Kenya in partnership with AfriAfya. The project applies ICT and multimedia to facilitate equal and universal access to quality health and development information. The 2007 mid-term evaluation of the project showed that this type of activity is relevant to Plan’s approach and objectives:

“In all Plan’s programmes and projects, the child, its views, needs and rights are put at the centre and communication is crucial in achieving this. The project is an effort to provide relevant, practical health and other development information to the communities, mostly through the school model at Primary and ECCD levels... All the Plan Kenya members of staff interviewed were agreed that the project is relevant to their mandate and congruent to their activities in the community.”
The evaluation recommends that :

“Plan Kenya should consider the possibility of extending the ICT project with AfriAfya as the use ICT for development in the marginalised areas is a fairly new concept that that is taking root slowly.”
Furthermore, the 2008 progress report makes mention of work in Kisumu using ICT to link schools with the United Kingdom.

Mobile advocacy and campaigns:
The Plan Kenya web page mentions that “as part of the Learn Without Fear campaign to end violence against children in schools, we have launched an SMS campaign where children who have been violated can receive help.” The progress report notes the successful lobbying for a telephone helpline service for children and youth who are the victims of violence or abuse. Since 2008, Childline, via the toll free helpline number ‘116’, has been accessible countrywide in Kenya via mobile phones, offering counselling and referral for children and their families.

Using media for development:
The use of video, radio and magazines to enhance child participation and give children a voice, in relation to child protection, including • Radio programmes for children to share their experiences of post election violence and advocate for peace, • For example, “Sauti ya Watoto”, a Swahili phrase meaning “The Voice of Children” are radio programmes broadcast by the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation. There were also forty one (41) broadcasts of children’s Radio


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

Programmes that were previously aired on community radio. • Children’s video highlighted issues of concern for children, from their perspective - as identified, scripted and acted by them. • YETAM – if they were not mentioned in the internal docs do they not go here or would you be adding things you know they are doing also? There is also UBR. They may be doing some GIS work also....

ICT situation in country
As a traditional transport and communications hub for East Africa, Kenya has become a leader in communications in Sub-Saharan Africa, with amongst the best rates of literacy, school enrolment, internet access and coverage and services for mobile phones, for example. World Bank figures for 2006xlix show:l • Telephone lines: 0.8 per hundred people as compared to 1 in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole. • Mobile subscribers: 17.7/100 as compared with regional average of 13.5. • Internet users: 7.6/100, as compared to 3.8 regionally with 1.4 computers per 1,000 people. Telephones: There are four mobile phone operators; Safaricom and Celtel have been joined in late 2008 by Telkom Kenya and Econet Wireless. An increase in mobile penetration to 43.6% of the population is attributed in part to the new competition, which has reduced the costs of mobile use considerably, but also to availability of low denomination top-up cards. The competition is also broadening the available pricing structures, and has resulted in a stark increase in voice calls, and reduction in the use of SMS. 83% of the country now has mobile network coverage. Internet access: Whereas the number of internet users is increasing, it is doing so much slower than mobile phone use, hampered by high prices and poor infrastructure. The Kenya telecoms regulator state on their website that:

“Internet penetration is low and way behind the penetration of other communication services (e.g. mobile) despite liberalization efforts; and there is general lack of information on the Internet service penetration, its impacts and factors that influence its development and diffusion.”
The costs of Internet services have remained high in comparison to the income levels of Kenyans, there is very little local content to invoke demand, as internet service providers have focused on access rather than services and applications. People are increasingly turning to mobile and wireless internet connections, and fixed dial-up internet services are not as affordable as mobile internet or even SMS services according to the KCC survey from 2007. Only a small percentage of educational institutions are connected to the Internet and these are mainly higher education institutions. Most internet subscribers are commercial businesses. In general, 80% of the internet business serves customers in Nairobi. There are over 80 licensed cybercafés throughout the country. There is the usual mix of private, public and NGO supported telecentres across Kenya, for example, the Arid Lands Information Network manages community knowledge centres, known as Maarifa centres. The centres play a catalytic role in offering appropriate information and documentation of local Most recently, the government are looking at supporting local entrepreneurs to set up ICT and media centres in low access areas, with a mixture of loans, bandwidth guarantees and relevant content – i.e. online government services and national information portals. One of the anchor projects of the National ICT Board is the creation of Pasha Centres, a combination of cyber-café and training centre. It is expected that 63 of these centres will be opened by 2011, the simplest providing basic services but more advanced centres with a full range of training, access and entertainment facilities.lii Pasha centres are designed to reach rural areas that have not yet got connectivity. The services include different types of training, video, cheap internet phone services, media facilities and government e-services such as the payment of taxes online; legal and constitutional information; and digitised land and vehicle registrations. These centres are set up by entrepreneurs funded by loans from a government revolving fund, building on the success of other information services such as Safaricom’s M-Pesa mobile banking service, which has over 7,000 agents across the country. A national information portal has been launched to provide relevant digital content for Kenyansliii, and the initiative is partnered with Cisco, Google and Microsoft. Radio and TV: 18% of household had a television set in 2006. There are hundreds of licensed radio stations, and several television stations, across the country, many of which are local stations or community radio.

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


Content: The Communications Commission of Kenya’s internet market studyliv recognises the importance of relevant content for driving internet use, and notes that the lack of relevant digital content is one of the main factors hampering growth in the market. For example, the study states: “The availability of locally relevant content drives internet growth the world over. For example, when the Ministry of Education released the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education results via the web in March 2007 the internet traffic increased drastically.”

ICT Policy
Kenya was a leader in developing ICT policy and legislation, but recent events have changed the context for policy and legislation. The East African Marine Cable (TEAMS) system was launched in Kenya in June 2009, bringing broadband connections to Kenya, and heralding a new converged communications landscape. The Kenyan ICT policy was developed via a multi-stakeholder process, coordinated by the Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet). A number of civil society organisations and private sector players, including media, were instrumental in establishing the network, after lobbying for broader participation and better coordination of the Kenyan ICT policy process. At first the key issues were universal access and breaking the monopoly in telecommunications service provision, as well as the integration of ICT into the national economic development programme. Civil society played a significant role in the development of ICTs by creating awareness, training, and introducing ICT services in the early 1990s. Through the Kenya WSIS Civil Society Caucus, with a secretariat based at the Arid Lands Information Network, civil society was able to lobby in a coordinated way in the policy development process. The private sector lobby was also organised, through TESPOK, and these two lobby groups joined into a multistakeholder network, KICTANet, in 2004. The National Rainbow Coalition launched an official draft of the country’s ICT policy in 2005, and KICTANet coordinated civil society, private sector, media and development partners’ input into the process, organising workshops, seminars, email debates and local forums, to collect and share comments on the policy with the government. The network worked with the Ministry of Information and Communications, the NCS, the CCK to finalise the ICT policy. As a result, the ICT policy represents a broad consensus reached between the different stakeholders on most issues. The final document was approved in 2006 and implemented through the Information and Communications Bill 2006, and a Media Bill and Code of Conduct for broadcasters. The policy is based on a long-term vision for the ICT sector as contributor to socioeconomic development, and sets out to redefine of the roles in the sector, with clear responsibilities for policy, market regulation, resolution of conflicts and the operation of services. The private sector is considered the key investor in the ICT sector with profit its main incentive. The Government withdrew as an investor through the privatisation of the telecommunications service provider. However, despite the multi-stakeholder networking and consensus building, there is still a need for greater, more active participation of the NGO and CSO (Civil Society Organisation) sector in ICT policy, as noted in the GIS Watch article:

“Civil society’s engagement with the policy processes has not been as active as the private sector’s. And while a few CSOs engaged in the ICT sector have managed to articulate the complexities of interactions between ICTs, poverty reduction and development, and have managed to link ICTs to human rights and social justice, these organisations are not adequately represented. There is also a need for civil society to engage in more outreach and mobilisation activities to include CSOs that work in sectors other than ICTs. Currently there is a culture where many CSOs feel they are not part of a process or do not need to act on ICT issues because they are not directly involved in the sector. NGOs working in areas such as agriculture or human rights still do not recognise how ICT policy impacts on their”
Kenya’s amended Communications Act (2008) includes new regulatory mechanisms for controlling online, as well as print and other media, content. The controversial Section 88 gives the Minister of Communication powers to search broadcasting stations and seize communication equipment, intercept and disclose communications between people, and to intercept postal articles. The regulator, the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), has been given the power to revoke licences and impose fines. APC note that “The exact implications for online content are not yet clear, and just how the new legislation will affect broadband and everything that can be piped down fibre, including television, has not been spelled out.” Beyond the ICT policy itself, in the country’s Economic Recovery Strategy (2003-2007) the government identified key ICT-related goals. These include: • investing in adequate ICT education and training; • reviewing the legal framework to encourage the adoption and use of e-commerce;


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

• implementing tax reductions and tax incentives on software and hardware to make them affordable to microenterprises and low-income earners; and • establishing an inter-ministerial committee to incorporate ICT into government operations. The government also published an e-government strategy in 2004 that aims to use ICTs to “transform government operations and promote democracy” (Government of Kenya, 2004).

Key actors in ICT policy and regulation
The Kenya Communications Act No. 2 of 1998 unbundled the Kenya Postal and Telecommunications Corporation (KPTC) into five separate entities: • The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) is the independent regulatory authority for the communications industry in Kenya. Its role is to license and regulate telecommunications, radio and postal services in Kenya. • The National Communications Secretariat (NCS) serves as the policy advisory arm of the government on all matters pertaining to the information and communications sector; • The fixed-line operator, Telkom; • The Postal Corporation of Kenya (POSTA); and • The Communications Appeals Tribunal. Set up in February 2007, the Kenya ICT Board has a four-fold mandate that encompasses: marketing Kenya as a business process outsourcing destination; advising the Government on the development of the ICT sector in the country; providing skilled capacity for the achievement of ICT projects for development; and managing key ICT projects, such as the Pasha centres.

ICT and education
Kenya has a sophisticated ICT in Education Strategy and Implementation Plan. It is embedded in the national ICT policy and was developed through a consultative process with stakeholders. The plan has costing estimates, time lines with measurable outcomes, and specified lead agencies. Support is widespread. The national ICT policy states that government will encourage “…the use of ICT in schools, colleges, universities and other educational institutions in the country so as to improve the quality of teaching and learning.” The policy suffers constraints in terms of human capacity and infrastructure deficits in the country, but counts on strong collaborative support. Some of the other key partners are: • The Network Initiative for Computers in Education (NICE), a consortium of NGOs involved in ICT in the education sector, and other NGOs are implementing partners of the strategy. • The Kenya ICT Trust Fund was formed in 2004, with the aim of spearheading ICT initiatives in education, to facilitate public-private partnerships that will mobilise and provide ICT resources to Kenyan public schools and community resource and learning centres.

Policy analysis and resources:
• ICT Board • Ministry of Communicaiton and Information option=com_content& task=view&id=239&Itemid=370 • Information portal • Kenya Communications Commission (CCK) • APC page for Kenya • PanAfri wiki page for Kenya • KICTAnet

© Plan Kenya

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


Plan’s current work on ICT4D in Africa
This section is based on information pulled from country programme plans and progress reports, as well as information from the workshops, where participants mapped their current work using ICTs.


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

Summary of Plan’s ICT work
Promoting child rights and participation through media
In West Africa, Plan has developed strong work using radio to raise awareness of child rights and the responsibilities of children and adults to protect and uphold them. “I Am a Child but I Have Rights Too” is a weekly radio programme produced and broadcast by public, private and community radio stations in nine West African countries: Burkina Faso, Guinea, Togo, Mali, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Benin, Niger and Cameroon. The programmes include plays and sketches produced by children and actors, interviews, debates and competitions. Stories promote the right to go to school, access clean drinking water, good health, protection from violence and so on. For example, Plan Cameroon partnered with Cameroon Radio Television Corporation to broadcast the programme, and provided training for radio hosts, local NGOs and young people for both contributions and monitoring of the programmes. Kids Waves, another weekly child rights programme broadcast on radio stations across the region, has developed out of this work. These programmes are prepared and hosted by children, allowing children and young people across the region to express themselves and provide entertainment whilst raising awareness of child rights and the associated responsibilities. Plan Mali supports the programme and trains children on radio animation. In Senegal Kids Waves runs in collaboration with the national public broadcaster as well as a number of community and rural radio stations to be in closer touch with local communities. A TV version of this project is currently being developed there too. Youth Empowerment Through Arts and Media (YETAM) seeks to give youth the skills and tools to communicate about issues impacting on their lives and engage in the community development process and beyond. The project operates in Senegal, Mali, Cameroon, Rwanda, Kenya, Ghana and Mozambique. Using mapping, participatory video, visual and performing arts, young people aged 12-18 work in teams to identify and analyse issues that affect their lives, produce arts and media about them and develop local action plans to raise awareness and support to resolve them. In YETAM, arts and media are a starting point to raise issues and youth viewpoints with community, district and national leaders and the public, and to advocate for change. The materials produced by young people are posted on the web so that the public can learn more about issues and get involved. In addition to the more traditional arts and media, YETAM trains youth on new technology including mobile technology and applications, internet, social media, Flip cameras, video production, editing and digital mapping. These social media components are key to allowing young people a space in global debates and to enter directly into dialogue. In Mozambique, Plan is looking for ways to link YETAM to other ongoing projects and processes, such as the child savings project, and sexual reproductive education for primary level two. In Cameroon, integration with a project with the Baka in the North is being considered also. The Going Further project builds on existing music and radio work in Senegal to explore new ways to use media and ICT to raise awareness about and promote children’s rights. Training has also been provided for children on communication techniques and child rights. They have used radio and other communication channels such as theatre, to promote key behaviours for children’s survival. Plan Ghana also have several other projects promoting greater communication with and between young people, including ‘Girls Making Media’ project, Tumu Radio which is part of the Upper West region education programme, and the ‘What’s Up Let’s Talk’ TV project. In East Africa, Plan Uganda have been using radio talk shows to raise awareness of child rights issues, including one on orphaned and vulnerable children, and one on gender-based violence. Plan Kenya, in addition to their work with YETAM, supported a radio series “Sauti ya Watoto”, meaning “The Voice of Children”, broadcast by the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation as well as radio programmes for children to share their experiences of post election violence and advocate for peace.

Campaigning and awareness raising
As part of the Learn Without Fear campaign, many Plan country programmes in Africa are using ICTs to overcome barriers of reporting violence against children and abuses of children’s rights. Plan Benin staff are piloting the use SMS reporting (using FrontlineSMS) and digital mapping and crowdsourcing (using Ushahidi) to strengthen reporting, tracking and response

Crowdsourcing means bringing the ideas and inputs of lots of different individuals together in one place. Typically it is used to refer to online spaces, such as Ushahidi (, which brings data sent from individuals’ mobile phones onto maps and webpages to show an overall picture or analysis.

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


to violence against children at local and national levels. The campaign in Senegal organised a demonstration, and provided people with materials such as CD-ROMs and magazines to raise public awareness of the impact of violence at school. In several countries, Plan has supported helplines for children to report and talk about violence and rights abuses. In Kenya, Plan worked with the government and Childline Kenya to establish a free 24-hour helpline for children to report violence. The most common forms of violence reported are neglect, physical abuse and sexual violence. In Mozambique, a toll-free line has been set up to report cases and offer counselling and referral services. The helpline service is also the basis for policy advocacy and campaigning for anti trafficking and domestic violence laws. Efforts are currently ongoing to bring mobile operators onboard to ensure free access through mobile networks. Such helplines have also been supported by Plan in Uganda and Senegal.

Providing access to important information
In Tororo, Uganda Plan has been working with partners to improve young people’s access to information on sexual and reproductive health. Plan provide equipment, technical support and training for young people to use the internet to access information and empower themselves to better manage their reproductive health. Plan Kenya runs a similar project, in partnership with AfriAfya, called “Harnessing ICT for Community Health”. The project applies ICT and multimedia to provide access to quality, relevant and practical health and development information, mostly through Primary and Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) schools. In Ghana Plan use the radio to ensure that farmers have access to the latest prices for their crops and in Uganda Plan support the use of ICTs to improve farmers’ access to reliable weather information.

Supplying computer equipment and training
In partnership with the local women’s group and children’s clubs, Plan Senegal has been supporting a cyber project in Medina Gounass commune, Dakar. The project has supplied a children’s club with 6 computers and accessories, provided electronic and traditional games and organised internet training for 25 children’s associations. Children were part of the procurement process. Plan Senegal also provided computer equipment and educational materials to schools and children’s organisations promoting the rights of the child through the TELNET project, reaching 7,000 students at primary and secondary levels. In several countries, Plan collaborates with ICT capacity for the education system. Plan Cameroon has provided ICT training for basic education inspectors and head teachers, with specific focus on management of education information and school evaluation systems. Plan Senegal is providing ICT equipment for the district education directorate to enable better management of children’s information. Plan Ghana, despite their reliance on radio for information and communication work, are now piloting an ICT telecentre approach linked to school resource centres. Notwithstanding the serious drawbacks such as connectivity costs, sustainability, maintenance, and literacy, this is considered important not least because ICT is part of the curriculum. Children are learning about ICT without equipment, only seeing computers in books. The pilot ICT centres are used by schools during the day and then for training and internet cafe use for a small fee in the afternoon/evening. It is hoped that in this way they may pay for themselves in the long run.

Enabling feedback and learning
Plan Uganda provided funding, technical support and internet connectivity for the Partners in Learning Project, which links communities in Uganda (Mbula) and Ireland to exchange knowledge and learn from each others’ experiences. In Cameroon, Plan supports the development of local newsletters, with the participation of young people, to share information and also to report to sponsors. The progress report states that “Children are writing articles and drawing for the “EYEKE-Y’OR” and “Planète Jeune” magazines. Sponsorship communications have become a tool for development education in Esse”. As part of the YETAM project, blogging has also started by youth and partners.


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

Gathering data
Senegal is one Plan office using a global online system called ChildData with digital cameras, to collect, organise and store data, making it more accessible to staff and reducing the use of paper. They have also used the existing computer systems to connect and enable sharing of documents between programme units and central functions. They also use mobile phones and cameras to collect data for sponsorship, situation analyses and monitoring and evaluation purposes.

Communicating Plan’s work
For example, Plan Ghana have produced video documentaries about their work for broadcast on national television, including a recent documentary on village savings and loans associations and a TV programme produced to share the objectives, beneficiaries and achievements of a pilot urban child media project. Some sponsorship staff have also been using their mobile phones to collect and share information for sponsors. Plan Senegal also pointed out the use of mobiles and cameras to document events and learning. Plan Uganda also mentioned using video to document and share good practice for their own research.

Organising and staying informed:
In all Plan offices staff have access to computers and the internet, and in many cases this is considered a base for connectivity in communities. Plan staff use their mobile phones to organise their work and connect with stakeholders and local leaders, keeping abreast of developments and organising meetings. Senegal staff noted that this saves them a lot of time and enables closer communication, but there are many setbacks, as not everyone has a mobile phone, people can have difficulties reading text and, ultimately, the culture respects and responds to physical presence much more than telephone conversations.

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


Case study: Breaking the silence on violence against children in Benin
Commonly in Benin, acts of violence against children go unreported. In a culture where elders are to be respected and obeyed, it is difficult for children to report abuses – especially where they fear reprisal and stigma, lack of interest or ineffective responses. Difficulties in communication and access to relevant authorities, and lack of awareness or political will to motivate appropriate responses, undermine further attempts to increase reporting. Even when violence against children is reported, national response and judicial systems in many countries don’t do a good job of addressing it. Plan Benin are experimenting with the use of SMS and websites for reporting, mapping and responding to child violence, to help overcome the culture of silence which surrounds violence against children. It is hoped that, considering young people’s growing access to mobile phones, the provision of an anonymous, impersonal and rapid reporting mechanism will help to overcome this problem and make it easier for children to speak out.

How does it work, and what does it do?
Under the new system, anyone that experiences or witnesses violence against children can send a text message from their mobile phone to a special number, and through an application called Frontline SMS1 this event will appear on a map on the website of Plan partner Ushahidi2. Children can also choose to email the website and upload audio or video themselves, giving more substance to statistics and better understand attitudes towards violence. Plan Benin has trained young people to use video and audio to document violence and to take testimonials from other youth and community members, to generate dialogue around the causes and practices of violence. These materials, uploaded to the website, can also enable young people to connect and share their realities, challenges and accomplishments with others outside their communities. The website will be carefully monitored by a trained administrator, who will verify each case. The website administrator, with support from government and local partners, will ensure that children who report abuse are referred to appropriate support by the relevant institution. SMS can alert local authorities quickly and help improve response. For now, Plan staff are managing and administrating the system as well as acting as liaison points to ensure timely responses to reported cases. When a case reported in a particular community, Plan staff for that community and child protection services, as well as the local police, are automatically alerted. These authorities have the mandate and training to verify the cases and provide follow up. However, the aim is that eventually the system will be managed by national public authorities, with support from a range of government agencies and NGOs working to protect children. But the aims of the system are wider than the tracking and responses to individual cases of abuse and violence. It is also hoped to be an advocacy and awareness-raising tool. The idea is that the more people report cases of violence against children, the more information is available, and the more analysis is possible on the scale and nature of the problem. Youth groups, Plan and partners will be able to use the statistics gathered to raise awareness of the severity of the problem, and advocate for the necessary resources to prevent and deal with it. Mapping is a visual tool that children and youth can use to advocate for an end to cultural practices that allow for violence against them. And the awareness itself may promote greater vigilance and reporting, reducing the incidence of violence and ensuring that those suffering abuses are quickly given the care and support they need.

Connecting and supporting people to stop violence against children
While the Plan system of mobiles connecting to a website is itself new, it connects to existing structures and mechanisms for reporting violence against children, rather than replacing or undermining them. In this way it seeks to improve access to, bolster and connect up the existing system, strengthening public social services to ensure legitimacy and sustainability. Linda Raftree, Plan’s adviser on media and ICTs in West Africa, noted that: “The system reflects real information and communication flows on the ground, the roles of the different actors – including youth – are clear, it can add value to local structures and initiatives, and it could be sustainable and potentially scaled into a national level system in Benin and possibly other countries.”

1. www.frontlinesms. com Frontline SMS is software that allows you to use your laptop or PC and mobile phone for two-way group messaging - sending and receiving text messages from a large number of people. It has been used by NGOs and CBOs around the world for communication around a huge variety of themes and issues. The website includes some case studies to set your imagination and creativity going. 2. Ushahidi has used similar systems to map violence during elections in Kenya, in South Africa, Gaza and Pakistan, to monitor elections in India and Sudan and keep track of aid efforts in Haiti.


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

Working closely to complement and support public services, including the Ministry of Family and Child Protection Services, is important to ensure that there is sufficient capacity to deal with the increase in reported cases of violence. Putting in place a system like this raises the expectations of young people that their concerns will be listened to, and that reported cases will be dealt with. But if there is not the capacity to meet increases in demand for these services, people will be disillusioned and may decide not to bother again. During the pilot phase, Plan is working with district authorities, but in the long run the use of the information to advocate for more resources is considered a more sustainable approach. The young people participating in the initial workshops were also clear about their role, and responsibility, within the system, which is encouraging for sustainability and ownership. It is important that they defined their roles themselves, so that they are willing and interested, and ensuring that it is culturally acceptable and safe for them. They wanted to work to: • promote the SMS number for violence reporting, • take testimonials from youth and community members on the situation of violence, • carry out radio and poster campaigns against violence, • lead educational sessions in schools and communities on violence and the SMS service, • approach local leaders and decision makers to engage them in the campaign, and • provide orientation and support to potential users of the system. They will also monitor and feedback to the team how the system is working– what are the challenges children and youth face in reporting by SMS, how can they be resolved, and what other factors should be considered.

Taking responsibility, and finding ways to make it work
There are many challenges for making ICT systems and programmes work where infrastructure is poor. Many people who wish to report may not have a phone, or credit. The electricity may be down, creating problems uploading to the website. And in the case of Benin, it was difficult to find a phone suitable for running frontline – not because they are out of date but in fact quite the opposite - they were too modern! However, none of these problems were considered insurmountable. For people to report incidents they need access to a mobile phone – with credit. Though Plan Benin is talking to mobile operators and government about getting a freephone number set up, young people who were consulted about the usability of the system acknowledged that there is always a way to do it: borrow a phone or ask a friend for help. As Anastasie Koudoh, the regional coordinator for the programme pointed out: “This is not only happening here in one community or one district. This is a problem that we all share, and we all have a responsibility to do something about.” Internet connections and electricity supplies are always a challenge, and usually out of our hands to control, but with some workarounds like using mobile internet as a backup, and a degree of patience, the system did work under local conditions. The Ushahidi system is being managed from two Plan district offices with good internet connections, but it may be more of a challenge when it is passed to local authorities to manage.

Capacity to use, and develop, the system
The scope and usefulness of the system itself depends a lot on the capacity of administrators to use and develop it creatively, and overcome glitches and problems. Staff members are starting to see the potential for their work, whether to follow up on individual cases or use sorted and aggregated data. There is a lot more learning to be done on how to get the best out of Frontline SMS and Ushahidi, including exploration of existing add-on functions, to try to meet these needs. The team are currently looking into how the status of individual cases and incidents can be tracked and closed, with information about how it was resolved. As the system is being rolled out, the team are finding more problems. Many users try to call instead of text the number, or request a call back, perhaps because of literacy issues or because they are used to calling not texting into helplines, and they may expect to talk to a live person. Many are not using the keyword “ALT” in their text messages, meaning that the information is not being automatically mapped onto the Ushahidi site. Other messages are too vague to be able to identify and find the victim, and many people are not following the suggested format. However, the team feel that this will improve with time, and more sensitisation work.

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


Protecting victims, witnesses and data
One very thorny problem is the conflict between the need for privacy and protection of victims and witnesses of violence on the one hand, and the need to raise awareness and share information on the other. Of course there are tried and tested ways of dealing with and resolving this conflict, but these require good understanding of the laws on data protection, the needs of victims and witnesses, and the operation of the system. Linda Raftree describes the challenge thus: “Can we capture all the information that comes in, yet scrub it before publication on Ushahidi so that it doesn’t identify the victim or alleged perpetrators, yet keep it in a file for the local authorities to follow up and respond? And a second challenge: If everyone knows everything that happens in the community, how can we ensure privacy and confidentiality for those who report?” While the first issue is a question of looking into the functionality and potential of the system to enable some information to remain private, the second requires sensitivity and careful facilitation. Project staff are consulting with children and youth to identify ways to ensure confidentiality at the community level.


ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.

i - The Mobiles for Development Guide is available here: research/mobiles-development-how-mobile-technologies-can-enhance-planand-partners-work-africa ii - A selection of frameworks for designing and implementing ICT for Development projects is included in Tuulia Virhiä’s 2010 Masters’ dissertation: “Design Framework for Sustainable Mobile Services in Developing Countries”. iii - For more information and insights on the project and process see: http:// iv - For more information and insights on the project and process see: http:// v - For more information and insights on the project and process see: http:// or the virtual village website: vi - For examples, see Plan’s Mobiles for Development Guide(Beardon 2009) vii - The Mobiles for Development Guide is available here: research/mobiles-development-how-mobile-technologies-can-enhance-planand-partners-work-africa viii - Many of these exercises were adapted from the Reflect ICT methodology, available here: empowerment_or_exploitation.html ix - x - xi - xii - xiii - See the relevant blog post from Linda Raftree: http://lindaraftree.blogspot. com/2009/10/its-all-part-of-ict-jigsaw-plan.html xiv - See xv - xvi - xvii - xviii - xix - World Bank Mali ICT data at a glance xx - Survey of ICT and Education in Africa: ICT and Education in Mali by Babacar Fall xxi - «Selected Snapshots of the 12,000 CLIC Clients» newsletter/article.php?article_id=113 xxii - xxiii - Factors Influencing ICT Adoption from survey of ICT and education in Africa: Mozambique country report By shafika Isaacs Document.419.pdf xxiv - xxv - xxvi - Lessons learned from the Mozambique ICT policy process. xxvii - For more information on Schoolnet Mozambique documentos/brochura.pdf and on the current status of Schoolnet: www.mec. xxviii - For more information: or xxix -

ICT Enabled Development: Using ICT strategically to support Plan’s work.


xxx - TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html xxxi - New information and communications technologies: challenges and opportunities for the Senegalese economy by Gaye Daffé and Mamadou Dansokho, 2002 xxxii - Olivier Sagna, Information and Communications Technologies and Social Development in Senegal: An Overview (httpPublications)/63CFC0D257A25E5980256B81005E2C17?OpenDocum ent quoted in IT landscape in Senegal website. xxxiii - From ICT in Education in Cameroon Briefing paper xxxiv - xxxv - Tusubira et al (2005) xxxvi - (Towards an African e-Index) quoted in PanAfri wiki xxxvii - women and ICT in Uganda xxxviii - Global Information Society Watch Uganda report node/606 (Wougnet) xxxix - From ICT in Education in Uganda Briefing paper xl - xli - xlii - africa/CAMERON.PDF xliii - See xliv - xlv - Gillwald, A. (Ed.) (2005). Towards an African e-Index. Household and Individual ICT Access and Usage in 10 African Countries. Johannesburg: The Link Centre. xlvi - xlvii - xlviii - From ICT in Education in Cameroon Briefing xlix - l - CCK statistics 2008/09 li - lii - liii - liv - lv -

Founded over 70 years ago, Plan is one of the oldest and largest children’s development organisations in the world. Plan is active in 66 countries worldwide including 48 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas to promote child rights and lift millions of children out of poverty. Plan is independent, with no religious, political or governmental affiliations.

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