Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries

Final Report Feasibility Study for an Information Society Program for the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Countries
(Grant Agreement # 1237)

20 January 2005

Project Leaders:
Tina James Kate Wild

Team Members:
Lishan Adam Boubakar Barry Stephen Esselaar Valerie Gordon Taholo Kami Yacine Khelladi Vidya Kissoon Jonathan Miller David Souter

www.trigrammic.com
Cape Town Office Phone/Fax +27 21 790 1327 P O Box 26138 Hout Bay 7872 South Africa jon@trigrammic.com Pretoria Office Phone/Fax +27 12 361 4334 P O Box 72267 Lynnwood Ridge 0040 South Africa tina@trigrammic.com

Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries

TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS..........................................................................................i THE PROJECT TEAM..........................................................................................iii LIST OF ACRONYMS...........................................................................................ix EXECUTIVE SUMMARY.........................................................................................x A. Introduction and Objectives..........................................................................x B. The Development Challenges.......................................................................xiii C. The Proposed ACP ICT Program ...................................................................xiii C1. Program Focus ...................................................................................xiii C2. Program Components............................................................................xiv C3. Program Outputs and Outcomes................................................................xv C4. Program Activities................................................................................xv C5. Target Beneficiaries..............................................................................xv 1. Introduction................................................................................................1 2. Factors Influencing the Design of the EU’s ICT Program for the ACP Countries................2 2.1 The Development Context ..........................................................................2 2.2 Capturing the Lessons for ICT Programs...........................................................3 2.3 Capturing Lessons for ICT Projects and Applications...........................................5 2.3.1 ICT and Gender...................................................................................5 2.3.2 Policy and Regulation..........................................................................6 2.3.3 ICTs, Economic Growth and Poverty.........................................................7 2.3.4 Sectoral Applications of ICT...................................................................7 2.3.5 Broad Lessons ..................................................................................10 2.4 The EU and ICT for Development Programs.....................................................10 3. Identifying the Problems and Opportunities: Findings from the Regional Research..........12 4. Statement of the Problem..............................................................................17 4.1 Challenges.............................................................................................18 4.2 Opportunities for the EU – Strategic choices....................................................21 5. Program Philosophy and Objectives ..................................................................23 5.1 Overall Philosophy..................................................................................23 5.2 Overall Program Objective and Purpose.........................................................24 5.3 Target Beneficiaries ................................................................................25 5.4 Outputs and Outcomes of the Program...........................................................26 5.5 Assumptions and Risks...............................................................................26 6. Program Components ...................................................................................27 7. Program Activities: the Capacity Building Approach...............................................31 8. Program Governance and Management...............................................................32 8.1 Overall Mechanism...................................................................................32 8.2 Management Mechanism............................................................................32 8.3 Management Role and Costs........................................................................34 8.4 Allocation of Funds..................................................................................34 8.5 Selection of Management Agent(s)................................................................37 8.6 Selection of Implementing Agents ................................................................38 8.7 Selection of Projects...............................................................................39 8.8 Timetable for Disbursement of Funds............................................................40 8.9 Program Coherence..................................................................................41 9. Monitoring and Evaluation..............................................................................41

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Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries

ANNEXES Annex I: Annex II: Annex III: Current Donor-funded ICT Programs in OECD and EU Countries Organizations and Specialized Agencies of the United Nations and Other Leading Sectoral Partners The Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) I-III: 1 I-III: 6 I-III: 12

Regional Reports: Annex IV: Regional Report – Africa A. Regional Report: East Africa B. Regional Report: West and Central Africa C. Regional Report: Southern Africa D. List of Contacts in Africa Annex V: Annex VI: Regional Report – Caribbean Regional Report – Pacific IV: 1 IV: 7 IV: 43 IV: 62 IV: 86 V: 1 VI: 1

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He is involved in research activities on Computer Networks and Wireless Telecommunications. Steve Esselaar Currently employed as a researcher at the LINK Centre at the University of the Witwaterrand. Barry led in the last 10 years several regional training workshops on ICT as course director and was national coordinator of Senegal’s Teacher Training Network. In particular. He is a member of Research ICT Africa! (RIA) network where he is involved in research on telecommunication sector performance and tele-access. Lishan contributes to the component of the CATIA program funded by the Department of International Development. trainer and network manager. Early experience was gained at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa. where he helped to establish the first electronic communications nodes in 24 African countries. Currently coordinator for a continent-wide research initiative called the E-Access & Usage Index. He was one of the pioneer "bridge builders" who brought low cost connectivity to Africa in the early 1990s. where he is responsible for research on national policies. As executive administrator. From 1993-1996 he was project officer of capacity building for Electronic Communications in Africa (CABECA). His recent professional experience (January 2003 to the present) is as a Consultant on National E-learning Strategy for the Government of Botswana for the utilization of the European Development Fund.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries THE PROJECT TEAM Lishan Adam An international development consultant based in Addis Ababa and specializing in ICT for development with a focus on Africa. From 1996-2002 he was regional advisor on information technology policy and connectivity where he implemented the African Information Society Initiative and provided advice on ICT applications and development of national and sectoral ICT policies and strategies (including e-learning and ehealth) to over 25 countries in Africa. Boubakar Barry Boubakar Barry is presently acting as Director of the Computer Center and IT Director of Cheikh Anta Diop University. where he researches Internet diffusion and International Cooperation. LINK is developing public policy models that can be used by African regulators to develop ICT markets. he managed several initiatives and projects on ICT in Senegal and Africa. He is Senegal’s focal point for the Regional Information Society Network for Africa (RINAF) and team leader of the “Low Cost Hardware and Software” Working Group. which does research into the telecommunications and ICT regulatory and policy environment in Africa. for “facilitating Low Cost Access to Satellite and Wireless technologies for Internet Access Opportunities Across Africa”. South Africa. global governance and trans-national civil society. He is Associate Professor of Information Science at the University of Stellenbosch. University of Maryland. in co-operation with international institutions like UNESCO and CTA (Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation). He is involved in several activities related to ICT in Senegal and other African countries. This has entailed specific research on the regulatory and policy obstacles to increased telecomms investment in Africa. He is also a member of the ICT and Global Governance Network – Social Science Research Council (US). This focuses on the demand side of ICTs in contrast to the supply-side only analyses typical of most research in Africa. iii . Mr. He is a Hewlett Fellow on ICT at the Centre for International Development and Conflict Management. UK. South Africa. Johannesburg. where he spent 14 years as programmer.

The Strategic Impact of Voice over Internet Protocol on South African Telecommunications Operators.org/books/ictpolsa/). She provides advice on systems to facilitate enhanced functionality of ICT tools related to networking. open ICT learning space to facilitate creative expression and skill building among marginalized rural youth. a participatory evaluation of the Container Project. She was responsible for the design. In addition. for the Economic Commission for Africa's (ECA) post-African Development Forum Summit. She is presently serving as Community Development Expert on an ICT4D Project under the overall responsibility of IICD and the Government of Jamaica/GOJ. with fellow board members.apc. he took up the position of Sales Director at Spitz. multidisciplinary projects in both the ICT and environmental management arena. preparatory papers on ICTs for youth and education in Africa. baseline studies for the CIDA-supported South African IT industry strategy (SAITIS). Part of JSDN’s mandate is to establish and support ICT enabled community access centers and community information networks. gathers tools. JSDN operates through strategic partnerships which ensure knowledge sharing. a high street fashion retailer. Has managed several large. a stronger focus on the black market was developed. Short and long-term contracts undertaken to date have drawn on a wide range of expertise in the management of multidisciplinary projects.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries Steve completed an MBA in 2001. Valerie has recently completed. UNESCO and the World Bank have involved evaluation of an egovernance project. optimum resource use and the availability of appropriate ICT tools for community groups. Tina James An information and communications technology (ICT) specialist with more than twenty years experience in various aspects of ICTs in Africa. promotes and manages the JSDN Ltd’s programs which are geared toward enhancing the capacity of the Jamaican public to use Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to support sustainable development. Additional expertise iv . The company had just been bought out of liquidation and was looking for a high growth strategy to regain its market position. In addition to her management responsibilities with JSDN Valerie has carried out numerous consulting assignments for international donors. Prior to joining JSDN Valerie was Environmental Advisor and Green Fund Coordinator in the CIDA Canadian Cooperation Office in Jamaica. In this capacity she coordinates. and identifies the context within which communities do business and develop as engines of national growth. These include a recently initiated seven-country ICT policy project in Africa (team leader). a community based mobile telecenter facility which provides a self-directed. facilitation of participative processes at community and corporate level. and an in-depth understanding of ICT-related activities in the sub-region. information and resources to support community action. laying the foundations for strong growth in the forthcoming financial year. the preparation and assessment of project proposals and a review of Caribbean options in the context of the Global Knowledge Partnership. strategic planning. After completing his studies. program design. a publication on information policy in Southern Africa (www. with a dissertation titled. collaboration and partnerships among groups. development and management CIDA’s Environmental Program in Jamaica and Belize. Valerie Gordon Valerie Gordon is National Coordinator for the Jamaica Sustainable Development Network Ltd. for UNESCO. Other consultancies for IICD. and a study on regional and national ICT policy support for Southern African countries.

and team member in the FWC Education five-year plan (2004 – 2009). Pioneered the ICT for Development Program at the CSIR. a small NGO dedicated to the implementation of appropriate technologies and participative methodologies for community development in the Dominican Republic. IT for Pacific Island decision makers. His activities in the Pacific are far ranging: from assistance to large-scale farming projects in Tonga and a number of other SMME activities. Culture. for example: • ICT expert and Team Leader for a feasibility study on The future of the ICT regulatory and institutional framework and establishment and development of the Information Society in the Caribbean. management and evaluation in the field of ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) and Sustainable Development. Presently he is Coordinator of “Fundación Taiguey”. national biodiversity strategies. financial management. culture. which developed a technology strategy for ICTs. and the use of ICTs to support entrepreneurs in developing countries. social impact monitoring and evaluation. The latter involved the establishment of a sustainable development network serving 42 island member states. Areas of competency include national ICT policies. In addition he has development a number of Websites.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries includes research on gender and ICTs. As Senior Advisor to the Canadian International Development Research Centre's Acacia Program. Has operated as an independent consultant since 1997. Was appointed by the South African Department of Arts. v . to involvement in strategic ICT development projects. rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa. community telecentres. e-commerce. was responsible for project development and implementation as well as support for strategic planning activities. the Pacific ICT portal and the SIDnet network. and Manager of “El Tiznao”. telecenters. His business experience has included the establishment of a number of enterprises – he is presently the Director of Eco Consult Pacific (Suva) Yacine Khelladi Yacine Khelladi is an economist and international consultant based in the Dominican Republic. knowledge networking and organic agriculture. which addressed the use of ICTs by disadvantaged. prior to which she held various management positions at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa. an experimental organic farm in the south of the Dominican Republic. capacity development. Taholo has extensive experience in training and capacity building – examples include courses in e-commerce. sustainable development. sustainable and community tourism. Recently formed a partnership with Jonathan Miller and Philip Esselaar to form Trigrammic. Served a two-year term on the ECA's African Technical Advisory Committee for the African Information Society Initiative (AISI). identity and community empowerment. universal access. prior to which he completed his MBA (with an e-commerce emphasis) in the United States on a Fulbright Scholarship. He has undertaken a wide variety of consulting assignments. Science and Technology to serve on the ICT working group for the national Foresight initiative. including. He specializes in: project design. He has been involved in a number of strategic consulting activities such as being the strategy advisor to the 2003 PNG Council of Churches General Assembly. • Community Outreach Specialist in the context of technical assistance to the Government of Jamaica for an IDB funded ICT project. Taholo Kami Taholo Kami has been active in the ICT arena in the Pacific since 1997. gender surveys in the Maputo Corridor.

This in turn led to the production and wide distribution of a CD with information for operators. Author of 40-50 refereed and professional publications.Barbados October 18-30 2002 for the Institute for the Connectivity in The Americas (ICA. This work is a part of the Sustainable Development Networking Program (SDNP) initiative. There is an interest in promoting social cohesion in Guyana and a new initiative at http://www. He is the immediate past President of the Computer Society of South Africa (CSSA) and a Past President of the Operations Research Society of SA. which have been worked on include collaboration with government and non-governmental stakeholders to raise awareness of ICT benefits. After being conference facilitator for the British Council sponsored international conference on Building Information Community in Africa in 1999. training plans for staff. General coordinator for the organization of the first ICT Caribbean Regional Consultation . a study into research support for the ICT policy process in the SADC region. This has included working with partners to develop Websites.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries • • • Diagnostic and Design of Community (Eco)tourism Development Plan for the Lakes Area both sides of the Dominican-Haitian border for the bi-national "Transborder Environmental Program". Jonathan Miller Thirty years in the ICT sector. Played a volunteer role in major national projects. and then for many years on the faculty of the UCT Graduate School of Business. government agencies etc. which is currently implementing a planning phase for a Guyana Country Gateway. Recent assignments include work on the South African Electronic Commerce Green Paper.sdnp. Other areas of work include collaboration with civil society groups in Guyana in their own use of ICTs – whether as tools for dissemination of information. Jonathan was contracted to take on a major BICA outcome and founded CentraTEL (www. ICT surveys in Rwanda. drafting an ICT Policy for Namibia. and to examine ways of accessing ICT resources and managing them. an NGO delivering international certification of basic computer skills to South African learners and is on the Board of the Cape IT Initiative (CITI). sharing information and knowledge with the group. Esselaar and Associates in 1998. a project implemented by The Ministry of Agriculture of Haiti and the Ministry of Environment of the Dominican Republic. Vidyaratha Kissoon Vidyaratha Kissoon has had experience with project management in the private sector in Guyana and more recently in working on projects related to ICT use in the public sector in Guyana.org. earning income or to improve administrative efficiencies.centratel. Tanzania and Mozambique. an NGO committed to supporting the worldwide multi-purpose telecentre community. contributing to the ECA Post-ADF99 process and working with the Medical Research Council on the design and development of an HIV/AIDS web portal. an NGO committed to building an ICT cluster in the Western Cape. teaching and conducting research in the ICT sector.gy/csoc is a prototype of information sharing. including the Foresight long range scenario planning study for information and communications technologies and the development of a national policy for the IT industry (SAITIS).com). Jonathan vi . The SDNP initiative has been consolidated into an NGO called DevNet. Setting up the Caribbean ICT stakeholders Virtual Community (CIVIC) and Coordination its Thematic Working Groups for the development a Regional ICT action plan for the Institute for Connectivity in the Americas (ICA). first in research and management positions in IT and Operations Research in the manufacturing and oil industries. With Philip Esselaar formed Miller. Jonathan gained his PhD on the subject of Information Systems Effectiveness. He chairs the Board of the International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL) Foundation. He also remains part of the Caribbean ICT community. The activities. policy and management awareness.

in 1994 and became a Fellow of the CSSA in 1999. Prior experience includes D. As Chief Executive Officer of Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO). She joined IDRC in 1970 as one of the early members of its ground-breaking information sciences division. for DFID and its partners as component advisor in two components of the CATIA program. led CTO’s reconstruction from telecoms sector partnership to international ICT agency. and undertook individual CTO consultancy projects in many countries and regions during that time. statistics and library and documentation activities. in African history. national governments. and codirector of Masters Program in Communications Management (for developing country students sponsored by UK government and Vodafone Foundation through Chevening Scholarships). discussion papers for the United Nations Information and Communication Technology Task Force on e-strategies and the vii . Designed and managed capacity-building programs for CTO and in DFID’s Building Digital Opportunities program (2001-2004). ICT businesses and civil society organisations in Africa. There she was IDRC’s representative on the National Telecommunications Policy Project and was instrumental in the initial design of IDRC’s Acacia program in support of the use of ICTs for community empowerment in Africa. Kate rejoined IDRC in 1995 in its Regional Office for Southern Africa in Johannesburg.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries was elected Computer Person of the Year by the CSSA. for Uganda Communications Commission on impact of Rural Communications Development Fund. Member of UN ICT Task Force Working Group 1 and of European Commission Advisory Group on ICTs and Development. Caribbean and Pacific regions of the Commonwealth. She has also been associated with the UN Economic Commission for Africa as coordinator of its inaugural African Development Forum on the challenge to Africa of globalization and the information society and with the Mozambique Acacia Advisory Committee as it defined the basic elements of a national ICT policy for the country. communication and capacity building strategies. advice to the Ottawa-based Micronutrient Initiative to strengthen the effectiveness of its information. academic and previous work experience in international development. Now consultant and academic specializing in the relationship between ICTs and social and economic development. 1995-2003. In 2002 Kate returned to Canada and is now an independent consultant based in Toronto working on a variety of international projects in the area of information and communication for development. In 1979 she joined the International Labour Office where she was responsible for leading the development of the International Labour Information System and eventually for managing the ILO’s computer systems. regional associations. working closely with global ICT bodies. Recent and current projects include work for JICA and OECD on the relationship between ICT investment and economic growth. Recent consulting assignments have included: leadership of the Global Digital Opportunity Initiative’s project to finalize Mozambique’s National ICT Policy Implementation Strategy. David Souter Twelve years experience in ICT sector. Her work then focused mainly on bibliographic information systems and their role in building resources for decision-making in developing countries. Formed consultancy ict Development Associates ltd in 2003. eight in ICTs and development issues. four years as development policy advisor to the UK Labour Party and five years as head of research for the UK National Communications Union Kate Wild Kate Wild has more than thirty years of experience in the broad area of information and development. Member of editorial committee of info journal and guest editor of its issue on WSIS (forthcoming). Western Cape. for CTO on relationship between ICT access and rural livelihoods.Phil. Currently Visiting Professor in Communications at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland.

UNESCO’s IT program and the International Bureaus for Education’s information initiatives. Earlier advisory experience included a number of evaluation assignments including for UNDP’s SDNP program. viii .Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Kate has wide experience of conceptualizing. evaluating and managing information projects in national and international environments. participation in the KPMG team developing the initial phase of the CATIA project. communications and development. Over the years she has contributed to many reports and publications in the broad area of information.

Caribbean and Pacific countries Asian Development Bank Atos KPMG Consulting Building Digital Opportunities Compact Disk .Read Only Memory Country Indicative Program Council of Regional Organizations of the Pacific Civil Society Organization Digital Opportunity Initiative Economic and Social Council European Development Fund European Commission European Union Geographic Information Systems Global Positioning Systems Information and Communication Technology Information and Communication Technology for Development International Development Research Centre (Canada) Information Technology Millennium Development Goals Non-Governmental Organization National Indicative Programs Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development Official Journal of the European Communities Program Management Unit Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper Regional Indicative Programs South African Development Community Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation Sustainable Development Network Program Swedish International Development Agency Small.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries LIST OF ACRONYMS ACP ADB AKC BDO CD-ROM CIP CROP CSO DOI ECOSOC EDF EC EU GIS GPS ICT ICT4D IDRC IT MDG NGO NIP OECD OJEC PMU PRSP RIP SADC SDC SDNP SIDA SMME SMS TB UNDP UNTFFM USAID USP UWI VSAT WSIS WTO African. Medium and Micro Enterprises Short Messaging Systems Tuberculosis United Nations Development Program United Nations Task Force on Financing Mechanisms United States Agency for International Development University of the South Pacific University of the West Indies Very Small Aperture Terminal World Summit on the Information Society World Trade Organization ix .

The results of this study were presented at a workshop held in Brussels on December 14. the EU contracted infoDev to undertake a feasibility study in the ACP countries and to develop a financial proposal for presentation to the EU and the ACP secretariat. This version of the report reflects the discussion at the workshop and the consultant team’s reaction to it. x . South Africa). gaps and areas of opportunity. In addition. e-mail and telephone discussions were pursued in selected countries where visits could not be carried out. 2004. Mainstreaming implies shifting the locus of decision-making on investment in ICTs from the ICT sector to ‘mainstream’ development actors and institutions. The European Commission will make the final determination about the design of the Program. and the accompanying annexes.the ACP ICT program – should be designed and implemented to address these needs. The purpose. the UN and regional organizations. Suggestions were received from the EU. and Southern Africa. To achieve this objective. with Africa split into three separate studies . and the Pacific (Tonga). East Africa. The emphasis was on finding niches where the ACP ICT program could provide leverage. Ethiopia. Concepts. The study was based on extensive desk research and a process of consultation in the ACP countries. Two international development consultants from Canada and the UK also formed part of the team. with key players in the ICT arena as well as with a number of sectoral experts and ICT specialists working within international organizations. allowing a broader perspective to be gained.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries EXECUTIVE SUMMARY A. The report and financial proposal. The consultant team consisted of a network of consultants based in Africa (Senegal. goal and objectives of the ACP ICT program are set out below. the Dominican Republic). InfoDev in turn contracted Trigrammic to carry out this work. Separate regional reports were produced. the ACP Secretariat and participants who were selected mainly from donor agencies. ideas. the Caribbean (Guyana. present the views of the Trigrammic team on the priority needs identified and on how the new proposed program . The results of both the desk research and the consultations were used to identify ongoing areas of activity. These results were used to shape the proposed ACP ICT program. possibilities and assumptions for the proposed ACP ICT program were tested with those consulted as well as within the consultant team.West and Central Africa. The desktop research covered most countries in the regions. The proposed new program aims to finance meaningful ICT for development initiatives within the current EDF 9 (2002-2007) and to build capacity to more effectively leverage funding from EDF 10 and other bilateral and multi-lateral sources to carry out integrated projects and programs. Jamaica. and where it could support or create synergies with existing or planned initiatives. Introduction and Objectives The European Commission (EC) intends to include within the European Development Fund a program to support the mainstreaming of ICTs into development planning and implementation. An interview framework was designed to guide the activities in the various regions.

Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries xi .

ICT policies and telecommunications policy) To build the capacity of development actors in ACP countries to implement the integration process at national.g.e-strategies and national plans and the production of integrated strategies and manageable implementation plans. capacity building will be in the context of planning e. capacity building across ACP countries .Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries THE PURPOSE Strengthen the capacity of development initiatives to reduce poverty and support achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). academia and civil society. training materials. training tools. and to more effectively leverage funding from EDF 10 and other bilateral and multi-lateral sources to carry out integrated projects and programs To strengthen the enabling environment for the ICT small business sector THE PROGRAM APPROACH Capacity building Mainly at level of public service but processes involve stakeholders from private sector. ICT business) OBJECTIVES To support closer integration between development planning (national and sectoral plans and Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs)) and ICT planning (e-strategies. THE GOAL Mainstream ICTs into national and sectoral policy and planning (agriculture and rural development. action research. education. indicators xii . documentation of best practice. main target audience: officials from ministries of finance and planning and sectoral ministries. sectoral and local development levels. policy analysis. integrated strategy PROGRAM INSTRUMENTS Learning networks. model applications. training – curricula. health. capacity building within focus sectors – key decision makers exposed to ICT tools – design iterative.

Weak linkages between policy. The ACP ICT program must not only respond to lessons learned from recent development experience but must avoid duplication of programs funded by other donors. The program clearly will not exist in a vacuum. C. agriculture and rural development.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries Taken together activities developed within this framework should lead to significant increases in the design and implementation of demand-driven ICT applications and the introduction of services that meet specific development goals. and practical achievements on the ground. A high reliance on donor funding for ICT activities which may encourage donor dependency. Policy and programs are often developed on the basis of assumptions rather than research. also often a reflection of reliance on donors for funding. health and education) in decisions on whether and how to apply ICT to issues of xiii . strategy and implementation. Minimal prioritization within existing e-strategies and ICT policies. Reluctance to recognize the key role of women in reducing poverty and moving towards achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). funds will be made available and proposals sought for the implementation of building activities aimed at exploiting the enabling features of ICTs within mainstream capacity development planning and decision-making.ICT’ development players (in finance and planning. Limited human and institutional capacity and the consequent inability of countries to absorb more resources for ICT initiatives. Unrealistic targets due to lack of integrated resource planning and project management across sectoral and ICT implementation strategies. The emphasis will be on involving ‘non. The Development Challenges The potential of ICTs in development is widely proclaimed but poorly understood. their appropriateness in any given context needs to be proved. The Proposed ACP ICT Program Program Focus Under the proposed program. Policy barriers to the establishment of small ICT businesses. C1. B. As a result there is a mismatch between the rhetoric of international statements and national estrategies. and the Difficulties of measuring the impact of ICT initiatives on development outcomes. in particular in relation to poverty reduction. While there are many examples of successful application of ICTs. The pace of technological change which may make technical solutions obsolete even before funding decisions are made. Its chances for success will be greater if it responds to current development thinking as framed by the MDGs and it builds upon lessons learned during the last decade of ICT for development experience. Successful ICT for development programs face a number of challenges which were identified through the team’s consultation process: • • • • • • • • • • • Little integration between strategies and programs aimed at expanding information and communication technologies and skills and broader development strategies and programs. Tensions between economic and social goals which result in a tendency to work more in urban than rural areas and on technical rather than social solutions.

Mainstreaming ICTs into Sectoral Planning Supporting ICT Small Business The program will stimulate a more demand-driven approach to the design and implementation of ICT programs – with demand originating with development actors and local communities. Demand should originate with local institutions or groups of such institutions from different countries. • To integrate ICTs in sectoral planning in particular in: agriculture. since the context for capacity building will be development planning processes. C2. Component 3. education. and health. 2. Mainstreaming ICTs into National Planning and PRSPS Component 2.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries national and sectoral development. ICT small business sector. 3. systems and applications. private sector and civil society actors will also be involved. All three components will support information sharing and the creation of learning networks both within countries and across ACP countries Mainstreaming ICTs into National and Sectoral Planning Component1. Rather than relying on the ICT sector to drive the definition of ICT strategies. natural resource management. xiv . The consultant team recommends that the available funds be sub-divided into three component areas. food security. Program Components The program will target proposals that build capacity: • To integrate ICTs in national planning. National planning. It is important that officials responsible at this level understand both the potential and the limitations of ICT as a development tool. the program will support the mainstreaming of the information and technology component into the most critical development sectors in order to increase the relevance and value of ICT solutions. as follows: 1. Sectoral planning. Capacity building programs can be single or multi-country. and • Address barriers to the ICT small business sector. including national poverty reduction strategies. Main beneficiaries of the capacity building programs will be public servants at national and local levels but. Mainstreaming implies shifting the main locus of decisionmaking on ICT investment from the ICT sector to mainstream development actors. National planning is the mechanism which addresses broad poverty reduction and economic growth issues and allocates funds inter alia to ICT initiatives of national scope. and rural development.

Engaging small ICT entrepreneurs in dialogue with national and sectoral planners to identify and implement ICT applications and systems to address national development priorities. This will lead to better targeting of ICT resources and more effective outcomes in areas directly related to poverty reduction. health and education sectors. Target Beneficiaries C5. Initiatives will incorporate action research and policy analysis components as required. This will be achieved through initiatives aimed at building capacity to integrate ICTs into broad national planning exercises and into sectoral planning in the agriculture. Removal of policy constraints that limit the establishment and growth of small ICT businesses. C3. the program will deliver: i) Effective and inclusive policy and program development processes that open up opportunities for local community leadership as well as the national planning community to explore the potential and limitations of ICT systems and tools in the context of their own problems and goals.making. Helping small ICT entrepreneurs to recognize ICT opportunities within other sectors. Program Activities The key to achieving the results noted above is to bridge the gap of understanding and objectives between the mainstream development sectors and the ICT sector. Sectoral strategies that draw on relevant ICT strategies and tools. health and education – to identify aspects of their work amenable to cost-effective ICT support and develop strategies to improve the quality of project and program delivery.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries Local small business is key because it is potentially the best instrument for creating locally relevant products and services based on both technology and content or information. To make that happen will require programs targeted at a range of policy xv . In the case of the ICT small business sector. a small proportion of the funds will be made available (10%) and proposals sought for: i) ii) iii) iv) Analysis of existing policies to identify blockages inhibiting the growth of ICT entrepreneurs. An enabling environment for small ICT entrepreneurs to participate more fully in ICT for development initiatives. integrated with national and sectoral development strategies. In addition. Program Outputs and Outcomes In line with the overall goal of the program to build capacity to exploit the enabling features of ICTs within mainstream development planning and decision. The long-term beneficiaries of the national and sectoral planning components of the program are the poor communities who will benefit from more integrated policies and more relevant ICT applications.agriculture. small ICT business stands to gain from efforts to strengthen the enabling environment for entrepreneurship and from the creation of new opportunities in the mainstream development sectors identified above. Most of the program budget (80%) will be invested in national and sectoral planning activities. program managers and practitioners – including those in the mainstream development sectors . Sectoral analysis of national e-strategies to focus resources on high-value achievable goals and targets. ii) iii) iv) These outputs will enhance the capacity of policy-makers. C4.

Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries

makers, program implementers, practitioners and community leaders in traditional development sectors who, along with their ICT colleagues, will be immediate beneficiaries of the programs proposed. The program assumes that beneficiaries at all levels will be found in both governmental and non-governmental stakeholders. The component of the program aimed at improving the enabling climate for small ICT businesses will benefit small-scale entrepreneurs seeking opportunities in the ICT sector and their clients. Within governments, particular Ministries that are likely to be targeted will include: Planning and Finance for Component 1; Ministries of Agriculture, Rural Development, Education and Health for Component 2; and Component 3 will involve close interaction with the Ministry responsible for Industry and Trade. C6. Program Management Structures and Governance

While there are clear advantages in assigning management responsibility to organizations with technical understanding of the development sectors in which proposals are sought, there are also advantages in terms of program consistency and administrative burden in assigning a single agency. Management of the Program will be devolved by the European Commission to one management agent managing all the program components. The management agent will be responsible for the selection of implementing agents.

IMPLEMENTATION STRUCTURE

European Commission & ACP Secretariat

Advisory Committee Management Agent

Implementing Agents

Implementing Agents

Implementing Agents

Implementing Agents

The EuropeAid Cooperation Office of the European Commission will establish a panel to assist in the evaluation of proposals to act as management agent. This panel will include representation from the ACP Secretariat and external advisors with expertise in the selected sectoral areas (agriculture and rural development, health and education) and in the application of ICTs in development. Following selection of the management agents, the panel will continue to act as an advisory committee to support the work of the EuropeAid office and management agents for the duration of the Program. It will review management reports on implementation of the Program

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Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries

submitted by the management agents, with particular attention to results of the monitoring and evaluation component. C7. Costs

The total budget available for the ACP ICT Program is €20million over a period of four years (2005-2009). This budget is sub-divided into three separate budget components, within each of which resources will be focused on the application of ICTs within a specific development sector. The total funding available within each budgetary component of the ACP ICT Program is set out in the following table: Budget Component Component 1: national planning Component 2: sectoral planning Component 3: ICT small business sector Management agent costs (10%) Total Budget €8m €8m €2m €2m €20m

Maximization of potential synergies between projects will be encouraged, resulting in a coherent program which adds value in its totality to the achievement of program objectives rather than a mere collection of individual projects.

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Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries

1. Introduction
The overall purpose of the proposed ACP ICT program is to strengthen the capacity of development initiatives to reduce poverty and support achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Its goal is to mainstream ICTs into national and sectoral policy and planning through a shift in the locus of decision-making on ICT investment towards development actors and institutions. This report first examines the broader development context in which the program will be implemented; it reviews some of the lessons learned from a decade of experience of ICT for development and situates the proposed program within the framework of EU development policy (Section 2). The findings, lessons and problems identified through the regional research are described in Section 3. The program has been designed on the basis of both desk research and extensive consultation within the regions that make up the ACP as well as with development and ICT specialists working within international organizations. Section 4 draws on the global and regional analyses: • To identify the many dimensions of the problem that need to be addressed; and • To propose an opportunity for the EU based on linking ICT efforts firmly into both broad development and sectoral planning and decision-making processes at all levels from community to national. In Sections 5, 6 and 7 the opportunity is translated into program terms. Section 5 sketches overall program philosophy and objectives, purpose, beneficiaries and outcomes and identifies key assumptions and risks. The broad goal of the program is to mainstream ICTs into sectoral and national policy and planning. Section 6 describes the components in which the program will operate: national planning, sectoral strategies (agriculture and rural development, education, health); and the small ICT business sector. It sets out objectives for each component. Section 7 details the types of activities the program will develop in order to achieve its objectives. Capacity building is the main program instrument which will be supported by action research, policy analysis and the application and development of appropriate indicators. Section 8 focuses on all aspects of governance and management and includes proposals for allocating funds and selecting management and implementing agents as well as criteria for identifying promising project proposals. The final section proposes a monitoring and evaluation approach.

1

the Canadian International Development Research Centre’s (IDRC) Acacia initiative was a multi-faceted program addressing policy. work on global development issues and global ICT issues was pursued largely on parallel tracks with little integration between the processes. And it saw the General Assembly endorse the MDGs – time bound measurable targets calling for progress towards poverty. education. health. Achievement of the MDGs will increasingly provide the yardstick against which all development efforts – including ICT for development programs – will be judged. 2 . USAID’s Leland Initiative supported connectivity by building strong partnerships between the public and private sectors. While there was reference in the MDGs to the broad benefits that could accrue from use of the new information and communication technologies. A few organizations led the way in defining programs shaped very much by their own philosophies. It began its work as the boom receded and there were calls for more sober assessments of the potential of ICTs. The end of the decade brought the promise of greater resources for information society initiatives in developing countries from the G8 countries. following commitments made at their 2000 Okinawa Summit. underpinned by the belief that the liberalization of the telecommunications sector and the empowerment potential of ICTs would overcome the major traditional constraints on development (infrastructure and institutional and human capacity) and allow countries to move quickly into an era of greater prosperity. The beginning of the new Millennium saw the first session of the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) dedicated to exploiting the potential of ICTs for development – giving the whole gamut of information and communication for development issues a higher international profile than ever before. A more negative consequence of the enthusiasm was perhaps a tendency to exaggerate the benefits that ICTs could bring and draw attention away from persistent constraints on development. The approach through most of the 90s was essentially experimental. The keyword was leapfrogging. capacity and content issues with a strong research focus. As the decade progressed more and more donors joined the ICT for development bandwagon and governments were encouraged to reform their telecommunication sectors and introduce independent regulation. through its multistakeholder membership.1 The Development Context When the internet burst onto the development scene few donor agencies had a history of addressing information and communication issues as a central component of their development programs. A positive result of the excitement of the 90s was the involvement of stakeholders from civil society and the private sector in ICT for development debates. They demonstrated the challenge of uniting the diverse skills of the telecommunications. Most were initially cautious in their exploration of the opportunities embedded in the new technologies. This mirrors 1 One interesting offshoot of SDNP is SIDSNet – The Small Islands Development Network which looked at the potential of internet technologies to overcome the isolation of small island states particularly in the Pacific. The UNDP’s SDNP – Sustainable Development Network Program – had its roots in the sustainable environment movement that emerged from the 1992 Rio Summit 1. On the wave of the technology boom the wide-ranging G8 Digital Opportunities Task Force was created. These and other programs seeded much valuable activity on the policy and regulatory fronts and in many application areas.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries 2. for example. Factors Influencing the Design of the EU’s ICT Program for the ACP Countries 2. information and development sectors. has added valuable perspectives to the attempts now underway to capture lessons from a decade of experience and identify fruitful avenues for future exploration. The United Nations ICT Task Force. sustainable environment and development partnership goals within a fifteen-year time frame. gender equity. technology.

07. the emerging global information society and economy led to the convening of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva in December 2003. The heightened political awareness of the role that ICTs could play in integrating countries in. The UNTFFM also pinpoints lack of capacity in countries and in donor organizations as a barrier to the preparation and approval of effective ICT programs. The basic objective of the Task Force3 was to identify sustainable ways to ensure the continuation of current trends and innovative approaches to accelerate the use and availability of ICT resources to a wider range of developing countries and to a broader sub-set of the population in individual countries. the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Towards a Global Partnership in the Information Society: Translating the Geneva principles not action – Brussels 13. responding to the challenge to make ICT available and affordable and to spread access to applications. December 22. the need to establish ICT within a supportive development policy environment and the integration of ICT into broad national development and poverty reduction strategies. Although the Task Force report was published only in December 2004 and there was little opportunity for exchange of ideas between the Task Force and the consulting team responsible for this ACP ICT study.2 Capturing the Lessons for ICT Programs 2 Communication from the Commission to the Council. 2004 http://www. or excluding them from.2 One important outcome of the Summit was the creation of a task force to review the adequacy of existing financing mechanisms to meet the ICT for development challenge.int/wsis/tffm/index.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries globally the situation that the consultant team has identified in its discussions at the country level. The EU program proposed here responds to a strong set of imperatives within the Task Force report as well as to the other challenges identified above that have emerged through the last few years of international debate on ICTs and development. the European Parliament. social and political context. the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and other key organizations. 2. In particular the UNTFFM report reinforces the importance of capacity building particularly within the public sector which is the main emphasis of the recommendations of the ACP ICT study.2004 COM (2004) 480 final 3 The Report of the Task Force on Financial Mechanisms for ICT for Development: A review of trends and an analysis of gaps and promising practices. It will expand opportunities for partnership between the worlds of development policy and practice and the ICT sector and support the integration of ICT into national and sectoral planning through the development of collaborative capacity building models that ideally will extend to the level of local decision-making. in the view of the EU. UNDP took the lead on the Task Force in collaboration with the World Bank. A follow up session in Tunis in 2005 provides an opportunity to transform the principles that emerged from the Geneva discussions into visible results – by. there is broad consistency of findings with respect to the implications of the dynamic nature of the ICT sector. It therefore casts its findings and conclusions within a broad economic.itu.html 3 .

8 Internationally.htm www. 7 Education.uneca. has spawned work on new ICT indicators. Building on a growing consensus. OECD and UNDP in 2001 and 2003.unicttaskforce. December 2003 www. Accenture. UN. UNDP. Significant challenges remain with respect to building consensus on agreed approaches and operationalizing the 4 Creating a Development Dynamic – Final Report of the Digital Opportunity Initiative – July 2001. Markle Foundation. Poverty and Development: Learning from Experience – A background paper for the InfoDev Annual Symposium. The result of this series of reviews of early ICT for development programs has been an emphasis within donor agencies on attempts to ‘mainstream’ ICTs into key development sectors. IDRC. World Bank Forums in response to the G8 Dot Force: Digital Opportunities for Poverty Reduction (March 2001). It concluded that ICTs could only contribute effectively to development and poverty reduction as tools of broader strategies and programs for building opportunity and empowering the poor. In practice however there appears to have been little interaction between those developing ICT or estrategies and those engaged in PRSP processes – making the link between the different worlds of development and new technologies has proved difficult. and Integrating ICT in Development Programs (March 2003) Information and Communication Technologies. While there continued to be significant interest in exploring the potential of ICTs for development. The DOI report tackled the issue of whether ICT is a tool best suited to economic or to social development and argued that both economic and social development benefit would derive more from investment in ICT as an enabler of development in other sectors than investment in the ICT sector itself. In Africa Scan ICT – a joint program of UNECA. This conclusion was reinforced by debates in a series of fora organized by the World Bank.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries By the end of the nineties it had become clear that ICT projects were not delivering the expected development benefits. and in particular in trying to establish the impact of ICTs on the achievement of the MDGs.org/aisi/scanict. in particular those designed to address the MDGs through Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs). health. organizations driving the global ICT agenda began to review initial experiences and look for firmer conceptual foundations for their programs. in which the aim is to promote the achievement of sectoral development goals rather than goals defined in terms of distribution of and access to telephones and the internet. was one of the first systematic attempts to capture lessons from a decade of ICT for development work. This interest in mainstreaming ICTs. Kerry McNamara OECD Development Assistance Committee – Donor ICT Strategies Matrix – 2003 Edition. but there has been relatively little emphasis on agriculture or rural development. a report prepared for the World Bank’s InfoDev program 6 highlighted the need for more rigorous analysis of the constraints placed on the lives of poor people by lack of ICTs and called for greater strategic focus on change agents in the communities where projects are located. Creating a Development Dynamic4. the UN ICT Task Force9 (through its ICT Indicators and MDG Mapping Working Party) is leading the effort to define indicators that identify the contribution ICT can make to each MDG.org 5 6 7 8 9 4 . As with earlier assessments the conclusion was that the importance of ICTs in the context of development derives from their role as tools to further the achievement of development goals. UNDP Reports of Joint OECD. December 9-10 2003. enterprise development and government receive particular attention. The Digital Opportunity Initiative (DOI) report. NORAD and the EU – is working to build national capacity to collect and manage key information needed to support growing investment in ICTs and transition towards an information society within the region.5 While some still argued the importance of connectivity as an empowerment tool. discussions reflected an increased emphasis on the value of integrating ICTs as an instrument within broader national development processes.

as the following example demonstrates. New and essentially experimental approaches to measurement will be needed. Engendering ICT: Ensuring Gender Equality in ICT for Development. The study concluded that if gender was largely invisible at the policy level it was unlikely to be dealt with at the implementation stage. The message of the World Bank study is that e-policies and strategies that do not focus on the gender issue are not gender neutral in their implementation – they tend to reinforce existing social and economic structures which inhibit the full participation of women.ca Nancy Hafkin et al. tourism. the social aspects of ICTs (freedom of information.1 ICT and Gender ICT and gender cuts across all other ICT work. privacy. 2. agriculture or other sectors – on a long-term basis. 2. The World Bank recently commissioned a study to examine the extent to which gender considerations were incorporated into Bank-supported ICT policy projects11 addressing telecommunications infrastructure. along with local commitment to. programs. 10 Stephen Browne. Little evidence was found that gender concerns had been taken into account. security) and applications areas (education. pricing. labor. Measuring the impact of ICTs on development outcomes and thus identifying ‘mainstreaming’ best practice will continue to be an important aspect of ICT for development work for many years. health. www.10 For ICT programs this means that they should.3. Foster voluntary learning. Capacity constraints need to be addressed from the perspective of individuals and institutions and of broader needs for social cohesion. 2003. and ownership of. Draft for World Bank. It is impossible to deliver the benefits of development programs whether the specific benefits relate to health. Respond to explicitly stated and clearly understood needs of users. Be locally managed and owned.3 Capturing Lessons for ICT Projects and Applications While the broad reviews cited above have led to a shift in the focus and direction of ICT for development programs lessons have also been learned from more targeted research and analysis. ICTs and Poverty Reduction: two conceptual approaches in A Dialogue on ICTs and Poverty: The Harvard Forum. UNDP. industry). Review of experience has also led to a consensus that the sustainability of development initiatives depends on local human and institutional capacity. through programs designed and funded from the outside. education.idrc. with accent on acquisition rather than on transfer. 2003 11 5 . The increased focus on specifying the contribution of ICTs to concrete sectoral development goals increases also the requirement for mutual understanding between development practitioners and ICT specialists in the search for measurable and replicable solutions to real problems.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries proposed indicators. inter alia: • • • • • Facilitate access in formats and languages that are locally understood. Not be imposed from outside but develop within the context of skills and understanding existing in the context in which they are applied.

policy interventions to promote diversity in service provision (e. 2. The Promotion of Access Development agencies have continued to play a part in promoting access to ICTs with the aim of making at least basic voice telephony more widely available. Development agencies. promotion of telecenters. There is a significant debate about the relative merits of different ICTs in this context (broadcast radio versus telephony versus internet) but also a growing consensus that benefit can be gained by combining them to strengthen local voices and increase local access to information. These build on the restructuring of the telecommunications sector and attempt to exploit the social as well as the economic benefits of the information society. Such interventions are concerned with ICTs per se and the empowerment opportunities they create for citizens rather than with the application of ICTs in development. Interventions of this kind include: support for the development of universal access strategies and other enabling environment changes. It has been particularly popular with development agencies as it is relatively cheap and easy to implement. the importance of gender equity to the achievement of the MDGs needs to be emphasized more than it is at present. but technological change (notably modern wireless networks) has greatly reduced costs and made network deployment commercially viable in most environments. 6 . though this is still an appropriate area of investment for multilateral development banks such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) or quasidevelopmental finance houses such as Actis (formerly the Commonwealth Development Corporation). Support for policy development has extended beyond the telecommunications sector to the wider area of information and communication technologies with the rapid expansion of work on ICT policies and e-strategies.2 Policy and Regulation Investment in Infrastructure Access to basic ICTs (especially telephony and internet) and the opportunity to use many ICT applications require infrastructure. both geographically and within poor and disadvantaged groups.g. estrategies may fail to establish real national priorities but respond rather to opportunities for donor support. have accordingly withdrawn from infrastructure investment. leading to significant oversupply in some areas. in particular telecommunications network infrastructure. including the World Bank and bilateral agencies. etc. liberalization of broadcast radio and of VSAT use).3. even those characterized by low incomes.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries In arguing in favour of ICT programs that take account of the gender dimension. This is expensive. Because they are often externally funded exercises. Interventions in the Policy and Regulatory Framework: an Enabling Environment for ICT Access and Deployment Activities in this area have included extensive promotion of the liberalization/privatization model of telecommunications restructuring and support for the introduction of independent telecommunications regulation. in the belief that this form of restructuring will leverage private sector funding to extend ICT networks.

ICT kiosks and sustainablility. Better understanding of causal pathways and more precise data … are needed. These network externalities and complementary factors are substantially less evident in the poorer developing countries.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries 2.4 Sectoral Applications of ICT ICTs and Education The education sector has always been eager to apply new technologies to the learning enterprise. Harvard University. WIEGO. in Connected for Development.17 Programs have been mounted within countries (SchoolNet Namibia). June 2003 Télécenters au Sénégal. DAC Network on Poverty Reduction .ICT and Economic Growth in Developing Countries. Evidence of impact on educational outcomes is scarce.fr/textes/enjeux/g-zongo/g-zongo. open economic structures capable of supporting innovation.to assess changes in educational outcomes and the ability of students to find opportunities for employment. Information describing project results has tended to be more promotional than analytical15. regionally (SchoolNet Africa) and globally (the E-Schools initiative supported by the UN ICT Task Force). capital for investment. Conclusion. which suggests that more caution should be applied to prevailing assumptions that ICT investment will necessarily lead to economic growth. The World Bank Group. This is difficult to prove firstly because of the lack in research of a standard definition of ICTs and secondly because it is not easy to disentangle the impact of investment in ICTs from other investments.mpl. www. business development or further education.3. ICT Task Force Series 4. “the variety of ICT initiatives and the link between them and different dimensions of poverty are sufficiently complex that we simply do not know whether the digital revolution has reduced or exacerbated poverty overall or for specific groups of poor people. Experience to-date suggests a need for long term studies – integrated within school connectivity programs .”16 2.3 ICTs. The demand for a stronger poverty and MDG focus in ICT programs will be accompanied by a requirement for more effective measurement of impact. Global ICT Department. 12 OECD. http://ariane.org/aidsweb/ 13 14 15 16 17 7 . but that it is highly dependent on network externalities (and so on the initial scale of connectivity) and on complementary factors (such as the availability of an educated workforce. and propensity to adaptation in business practice).world-links.ca www. In the South it was conceived as a way not only of delivering cost effective education but also of building skills in the broader community and empowering girls. p225 Marty Chen. There is anecdotal evidence of the success of some community access or telecenter initiatives – particularly those managed by the private sector – in creating income opportunities in rural areas 14 but an evidence based link is more problematic. Has the Digital Revolution Reduced Poverty or Exacerbated it? in A Dialogue on ICTs and Poverty: The Harvard Forum. The same is true for programs that promote ICT tools to support small-scale entrepreneurs.htm Akhtar Badshah. DCD/DAC/POVNET(2004)6 Contribution of ICT to Growth.idrc.ird. Economic Growth and Poverty The macro-level case for ICT for development rests on the thesis that ICTs promote productivity and economic growth and enhance the social and economic welfare of individuals and communities. Recent OECD work 12 (echoed by work within the World Bank13) shows that a connection can be demonstrated in industrial and more developed countries. Internet connectivity in northern schools has grown quickly. 2003.3.

The gaps need to be measured and reduced by building greater understanding across implementation and design teams. 18 19 E-government – an e-primer – UNDP 2003 Richard Heeks. 2003 http://idpm. One recent study suggests partial or total failure rates of e-Government projects of 85%. But e-governance is complex.ac.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries With the expansion of connectivity at all education levels come: • • • • Demands for new approaches to teacher training. 18 Government can be a role model for good citizenship. E-governance applications often progress through a number of phases – A recent Handbook published by InfoDev and the Center for Democracy and Technology identifies three: • • • Publish which provides access to government information without the requirement to travel to government offices or negotiate with officials. resources. by proceeding step by step it may be possible to obtain more positive results than those cited above if civil servants and ICT specialists can communicate effectively with each other to identify problems and design solutions. There is a long history of donor support to the computerization of government processes to improve efficiency and accountability but the internet introduces a new dimension of communication between citizen and government and enhanced service delivery opportunities. and Sustainability challenges related to the cost of connectivity and of replacement computers. Demands for more participative. University of Manchester. it involves the redesign of back-office processes that support service delivery and often cut across different government departments. Interact which offers citizens the opportunity to communicate with their representatives and comment on government processes. research-based learning approaches. IT systems experts don’t understand government).shtml 8 . political will and more active citizenship. and Transact which allows users to conduct business on-line. These and other issues indicate that school connectivity must be seen as part of a total education strategy and not as an intervention that can be isolated from mainstream educational planning and financing. ICTs and Government – e-Governance The use of information technology within government is important not only as a way of improving efficiency and service delivery but also for the increased transparency that it can introduce into government decision-making and the additional channels it can offer for communication between citizens and the different levels of government.uk/publications/wp/igov/igov_wp14.19 Fortunately it also offers a diagnosis and steps that can be taken to overcome major design and implementation problems. The gaps between objectives and outcome result often from the limited knowledge on the part of all those involved of the total picture (bureaucrats don’t understand systems and technology. data exchange and networking.man. All phases require planning. The need for expanded bandwidth to support collaborative research. Most eGovernment-for-Development Projects Fail: How Can Risks be Reduced? IDPM. UK.

Traditional medical practice and local knowledge of the pharmaceutical properties of plants is not well represented. Agriculture. the effectiveness of these initiatives may have been limited by the imbalance between information derived from developed and developing countries in the global medical knowledge base. which often cross national borders. Rural Development and the Management of Natural Resources Given the overwhelmingly rural nature of most poor countries this sector has provoked relatively little interest on the part of the ICT community. populations and physical infrastructure.fao.21 That there are innovative and cost effective health initiatives in developing countries is witnessed by the forthcoming issue of the British Medical Journal that will focus its November 13. While this process may be politically fraught. SACI is too new to show results yet. email lists. 2004 issue on developing country interventions that show promise for the developed world. While clearly of benefit. Many relevant ICT applications in health have focused on linking practitioners in developing countries to international information sources and expertise through internet connections. They rely on increasingly detailed satellite imagery to map resources. Mapping is often a prerequisite for the establishment of ownership through land registries or other tools. Ways can be found with ICT support to ensure that such information is also communicated to those who can apply it in the developing countries. While spatial systems are useful for micro-level planning they also have regional application and may be particularly useful in disaster response (drought. www. 20 www.org/waicent. ICTs and Health While there have been experiments with sophisticated tools for remote diagnosis in poor countries these have been difficult to sustain because of high connectivity costs and problems of maintenance. the major public health challenge in many ACP countries. once ownership has been assigned it can provide the means through which communities and individuals can access the additional resources required to underpin new development initiatives.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries ICTs. In particular there is little evidence of a sustained effort to identify ways in which ICTs can be deployed in the fight against HIV/AIDS. increasingly. 21 9 . hand held computers. International efforts have focused on access to information and the provision of internet access to rural development projects.org An exception is the joint UNDP/Microsoft Southern Africa Capacity Initiative (SACI) which seeks learning center applications that can help offset the capacity lost through the AIDS pandemic. floods). Within rural health care circles there tends to be more interest in communications (telephones and e-mail) for the exchange of information and advice. CD-ROMs and.20 This has been paralleled in some cases by the development of web sites in national agricultural and fisheries departments and research institutions – but there are few ICT-based programs that target the rural poor and the extension workers charged with providing them with information support and advice. Geographic information systems (GIS) are powerful tools for the management of natural resources.enrap. than on telemedicine based on more sophisticated technologies that are difficult to maintain and of use to only a handful of highly trained professionals. Nor is information that could be used to address major public health problems by providing support to health practitioners particularly in rural areas.

2. externally driven applications are not. UN Task Force on Financial Mechanisms (UNTFFM). There is anecdotal evidence of success – in Africa in particular in connection with the marketing of handicrafts and products and services targeted to the Diaspora. Geneva. 22 23 E-Commerce and Development Report 2002. It brought greater coherence to EU development aid by specifying a clear focus on poverty reduction (and. trade and humanitarian policies. and E-strategy processes have not led to a real prioritization of applications in terms of the development sectors likely to contribute most future benefit. on the MDGs). UNCTAD/SDTF/ECB/2 Crocker Snow Jr.5 Broad Lessons Overall the experience to-date with ICT applications in development sectors has tended to relatively small experimental projects. E-commerce growth is not as fast as the overall growth of internet use – it is limited by low credit card use.g. by interpretation. professionals and practitioners.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries ICTs and SMMEs Early approaches to ICT for small business focused on building capacity to incorporate automation of processes into business planning models designed to serve mainly local markets. practices and cultures and therefore respond only in a limited fashion to the needs of poor communities. The arrival of the internet (and subsequently a variety of e-commerce models) allowed even small businesses to think in terms of reaching global markets.23 2. poor transport and logistics and the cost and quality of internet connectivity. They are not embedded in local communities. and ensuring complementarity with the development policies of member-states and with other multilateral agencies. experience has demonstrated that: • • • • National e-strategies and national plans and poverty reduction strategies are only very loosely linked at best. encouraging greater coherence with EU political. 22 In general. E-commerce is growing in developing countries including in the small-scale business sector.4 The EU and ICT for Development Programs The ACP ICT program must not only respond to lessons learned from recent development experience but must also fit with existing EU policies and programs. locally conceived. lack of products and services adapted to local markets. demand-driven initiatives are working – probably because they reflect a concrete understanding of the environment in which they are functioning. and key global ICT initiatives presently underway e. UNCTAD. Tip-toeing across the Digital Divide. The 2000 Communication on Development Policy (COM(2000)212) established a clear philosophy for European development policy.3. It also established clear principles giving ‘ownership’ of programs to national partners. Special Report for the UN ICT Task Force 10 . ICT applications are not well integrated into sectoral strategies and therefore are not always responsive to the needs of sector policy makers.

Their approach focuses in particular on the application of ICTs in ‘mainstream’ development sectors. Institutional capacity building. The Commission’s 2001 Communication on ICTs and Development (COM(2001)770) places the role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) within this broad development approach. including EU member-states. rural development and the environment. education. recognizing that ICTs provide an important tool for more efficient and effective aid delivery and that they have a significant impact on social and economic development. and five crosscutting themes: • Good governance. Regional integration and cooperation. education. some development agencies have also put significant effort into supporting the development of positive enabling frameworks for ICT. • Gender equality. the European Commission has particularly emphasized four areas of ICT activity: ehealth. human rights and the rule of law. and the EUMEDIS Program in the Mediterranean region. Alongside this ‘mainstreaming’. Food security and sustainable rural development strategies. targeted action will be required if progress is to be made on the MDGs. The European Union has established ICT partnership programs with a number of developing regions – in particular the Asia-IT&C Program in the Asia/Pacific region. including the achievement of the MDGs. Support to macroeconomic policies. and health are the sectors where expanded.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries Within that broad focus it identified six priority areas:24 • • • • • • Trade and development. These programs emphasize the building of sector relationships between their regions and the EU. The EU approach to the role of ICTs in development is consistent with that increasingly adopted by other bilateral and multilateral donors. These sectors were identified as important areas for increased ICT investment based on their 24 Areas in bold indicate overlaps with the proposed ACP ICT program 11 . • Human and institutional capacity building. Transport. agriculture and poverty reduction. the @LIS Program in Latin American and the Caribbean. notably through the restructuring of the telecommunications sector and the development of national ICT policies and strategies. focusing especially on their potential to support delivery of outcomes in health. Agriculture. e-learning. In its documentation to the World Summit on the Information Society. These priority areas and cross-cutting themes address broad development policy. good governance and the rule of law. The ACP program under consideration here will complement these regional programs by focusing on what can be achieved by institutions in ACP countries themselves rather than through their partnerships with EU country institutions. • Effect on poverty reduction. • Environmental sustainability. e-governance and e-business. In seeking to frame a program for the EU the consultant team faced the challenge of applying the limited funds available for ICT in EDF 9 strategically to leverage much more substantial funding in EDF 10 – funding that would go beyond a demonstration of the potential of ICTs for development to deliver an effective ICT contribution to poverty reduction and the achievement of the MDGs across the ACP countries as a whole.

their insights. national and regional ICT policy processes. which is outlined in detail in Sections 5. The difficulty of identifying sectoral experts with the necessary knowledge of ICTs became a key challenge. Lists of those consulted are also included. Experts were drawn from the ICT sector. Identifying the Problems and Opportunities: Findings from the Regional Research Section 3 aims to synthesize the key development priorities and initiatives in the ACP countries. including within the key development sectors: agriculture. West and Central. 6 and 7. But the 20 million euros available in EDF 9 will not be sufficient to support strategic investment and build a foundation for future programming across all these sectors unless the program is given a very specific focus and approach. It will • Complement the programs of other donors none of which focus on the integration of ICT strategies. government and parastatal institutions. ACP-wide approaches to human and institutional ICT capacity. universities. The overview provides pointers to some of the key foci that have been used to guide the development of the ACP ICT program. Produce agreed strategies (national. The ACP ICT program will be unique in the emphasis it gives to national planning and sectoral ICT capacity building as a critical tool for mainstreaming. Local innovation and entrepreneurship in the ICT sector itself will be needed to effectively marry ICT potential to local development reality – hence the need for support to local ICT entrepreneurs through the reduction of bureaucratic barriers to the initiation of local ICT businesses. health. and Southern Africa.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries importance to development and to the MDGs. education. which is discussed from Section 4 onwards. rural development and natural resources. 12 . Food security and rural development are EU priorities. If ICTs are to be mainstreamed into development thinking and decision-making these sectors will provide the acid test of success. from WSIS in 2004.the development of a new generation of professionals conversant with ICTs but whose core activities are not in the ICT sector. • • 3.VI provide detailed reports from each of the ACP regions – three studies for Africa – East. NGOs and a few regional and international organizations. education and business development are WSIS priorities. estrategy developments and projects currently being implemented. framed around the MDGs. The consultations did not attempt to cover all ICT projects funded by donor agencies or national governments but rather to build on snapshots of the situation captured through desk research. with EU support. Annexes IV . Lay the foundation for coordinated. highlighting what is obviously an important need in future program development . the Caribbean and the Pacific. and health. These areas of focus are consistent with the EU concerns and those that emerged. The synthesis is based on inputs from key players in the ACP countries who were asked to talk about the challenges and opportunities as they saw them . sectoral and potentially also at the local or community level) which can be submitted for funding. PRSPs. (see Annexes I and II on the ICT programs of donor organizations). assumptions. concerns and aspirations regarding ICTs at the country and regional levels.

peoplefirst.sb prioritization of overlapping activities. Little of this thinking has however made itself visible in the poverty reduction strategies of many countries. cybercafé in Honiara and a network of The lack of liberalization of the telecommunications market continues to be the major priority across the regions. connectivity between government ministries. This limits the possibilities for applications in areas such as health and education. particularly for those in rural areas. b) Infrastructure email stations hosted in provincial clinics. The inadequacy of existing universal access policies. teledensity is still among the lowest in the world and the current performance indicators hide the huge divide in telecomms penetration in rural and urban areas. It aims to facilitate point-todelivery on well-intentioned policies that could have point communications between a helped the poor. and the lack of capacity or will to penalize those who do not deliver on such obligations has resulted in little movement to improve access to telecommunications for poor and rural communities. and separate streaming of sectoral and ICT policy processes. web sites. lack of synchronization and Network. The lack of telecommunications infrastructure is regarded as a priority issue in all ACP countries. That in turn has resulted in a poor record of power. or other accessible and secure public facilities. The use of new technologies. payroll systems. resulting PFnet uses an email system connecting in sub-optimal utilization of human resources and underfourteen remote island locations in the Solomon Islands. regulators have been exposed to capacity building initiatives to strengthen the requirements for independent regulation. community schools. The development of universal access policies and strategies is receiving attention as part of the overall ICT policy frameworks. c) e-Government Good progress has been made in terms of the development of e-government strategies. The continued high level of national telecommunications costs. In many ACP countries. and financial management systems. and some privatization has been achieved. It also develops PFNET a popular website that is being promoted as a development portal.g. the lack of monitoring and reinforcement of universal access obligations where these exist. This applies particularly to the availability of connectivity outside urban areas. in remote rural areas and small islands. Less has been done on directly improving government services 13 . Radio programming for the poor still remains the most practical option for providing access to information to the poor in both urban and rural environments in many ACP countries. The lack of emphasis on ‘old’ technologies such as radio should not be underestimated and requires more attention. Many governments now have web sites and some have moved ahead in implementing various components of e-government systems e. particularly wireless. Examples can be drawn from the recent hurricane disaster in the Caribbean where radio often remained the only viable medium. few have however taken cognizance of poverty reduction requirements. remains a problem and pricing structures are not always transparent to the user. and solar them. Exclusivity periods for many monopoly operators are ending.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries a) Policy and Regulatory Frameworks Most of the countries in the ACP region are at various stages of developing national ICT policies and e-strategies. short-wave radio. The result has been a disjuncture between the goals and objectives of the Solomon Islands – The People First various ongoing processes.net. with most at an early stage of the publish/interact/transact model. Likewise many of the PRSPs have not integrated ICTs into their plans. has reduced the costs of infrastructure deployment in most areas. www. Using a simple exploitation of synergies and commonalities between computer.

particularly those requiring the transmission of high-resolution images. Natural disasters such as drought. Information technology also creates powerful new opportunities Satellife / Healthnet for public participation in sustaining agricultural and other (Uganda) The Faculty of Medicine of primary production. particularly in rural areas. on the rural poor and the flow of information between handheld devices and researchers and farmers. environmental issues and their policy implications and credit facilities is vital to the lives and livelihoods of the poor.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries to the public. The recent Asian tsunami disaster illustrates well the consequences of the lack of warning systems. economic and human systems and processes. and the use of handheld-devices and short messaging systems (SMS) to provide market prices to rural farmers. Anecdotal evidence suggests that some Indian villages with functioning telecenters were able to warn citizens and urge evacuation. organizing. land planning and management of disaster relief efforts have not received much attention. particularly to remote rural villages with few telephones and less internet access. Farmer Uganda. and form a basis for environmentally sound decisions. The high cost of broadband has also constrained the types of projects that can be undertaken. computers to relay medical e) Health information to the Ministry of Health headquarters. despite the large majority of the populations in most ACP countries dependent on these activities for their livelihoods. ICTs present opportunities for compiling. prices. 14 . The area of traditional medicine is virtually ignored and needs to be incorporated into health information delivery systems. at a more been experimenting with the general level. markets. mudslides and other natural disasters. radiology. But disaster management initiatives that leverage ICT applications for weather forecasting. Rural Development and Environment Little emphasis has been placed on ICT in agriculture and fisheries. for example telediagnostics projects in Senegal and the northern Pacific Islands. in collaboration with associations and support services such as extension agents also SatelLife/Healthnet and the need information to provide technical assistance on farming International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has techniques and resource management. However. A number of telehealth projects have been successfully undertaken. Generally these have been small in scale and limited by capacity. inputs. commitment and funding constraints. Some pilot projects have been undertaken. floods and hurricanes are common throughout the ACP countries. there are a few ICT programs that explicitly focus use of mobile networks. relevant and practical solutions for underserved communities. weather conditions. There tends to be limited recognition within egovernment programs of the need for the restructuring of back-office processes and for planning across government ministries. Simple systems may include. for example the use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) for fisheries management. for example. diagnosis) and more on simple and affordable. Healthnet has also made significant investments in facilitating sharing of knowledge among medical professionals by establishing mailing lists. the use of cell phone messaging systems to help HIV patients manage medication schedules as is used in South Africa for tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. d) Agriculture. synthesizing and gaining access to massive amounts of data on environment and in understanding the interrelatedness of environmental. It is now well established that information on crops. The requirement in the area of health – reinforced strongly particularly in the African regional studies – is for less emphasis on costly and sophisticated projects (telesurgery. and reducing risks of disastrous floods as Makerere University in well as wildfires.

Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries f) Education The education sector has been the focus of many projects throughout the ACP regions – SchoolNet initiatives proliferate.int/english/tratop_e/inftec_e/inftec_e.wto. a particular problem in the Caribbean. e. It has: trained more than 20000 students. South Africa.htm 15 . The impacts of zero tariffs on equipment and software in some countries. g) Enterprise Development E-commerce and the use of ICTs in enterprises has been low. USPnet enables direct satellite links between the three country campuses of USP and nine USP centers in the remaining member countries.g. although many have not moved beyond the pilot phase and most have not moved beyond ICT literacy training and access to the internet (in limited cases).25 Several countries report the establishment of incubator centers to promote small business. to be followed by implementation in secondary schools. a dedicated VSAT telecommunications network funded by the Governments of Japan. The EDUCONS Project (Suriname) EDUCONS.g. an educational network. largely due to the costs of IT equipment and limited access by small enterprises to appropriate ICT training. an online campus offering courses in education.g. All include the promotion of ICT businesses within the ambit of the incubators. the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa. Tertiary institutions have been the target of a number of donor-driven initiatives e. with the emergence of numerous private sector institutions in countries such as Kenya. It has set up a network of 22 Knowledge Centres in schools and community centres throughout the country. In addition some countries specifically make reference to the development of ICT literacy e. Others such as Uganda and Kenya are planning such centers. for example Jamaica and Mozambique. was started in 2003 as a partnership between the private sector. which is developing a curriculum for ICTs for teachers. and developed educational material for the agricultural sector in collaboration with the Minister of Agriculture. government and education. 25 http://www. Incubators are also seen as a mechanism to retain scarce ICT skills in the country. Mozambique. This will make it very difficult for any schoolnet project to move beyond being merely a series of pilots and being included as a budget item in national education programs. The University of the South Pacific (USP) has established USPNet. Few ACP countries are as yet signatories to the Declaration on Trade in Information Technology Products (ITA). Most national e-strategies make explicit reference to programs of ICT in education and there are interesting examples of educational programs in the regions. Education at the tertiary level is a particular challenge in the Pacific where islands are widely dispersed. has resulted in increased computer use and understanding of software to support business practices. Uganda. but interviews and observation show that the psychological influence of ICTs on young people is overwhelming. Many schoolnet projects are operating outside the existing ministries of education and few have taken the step of adopting successful pilots as a springboard for large-scale implementation through their ministries. Tanzania and Mauritius. together with the 12 USP member countries. New Zealand and Australia. The impact of ICT education on job creation in the region has not yet been investigated. which aims to improve access as well as provide content to selected African universities and the African Virtual University. Uganda. established STUDINET. teachers and government workers in the use of ICTs. Distance learning initiatives have received particular attention in the Caribbean and Pacific regions.

and the absence of gender dimensions from policy. was frequently cited as a major limiting factor in delivering on project objectives. providing new job opportunities for the more than 500 000 inhabitants of Korogocho. universities and the work force. 16 . agriculture and education. planning and decision-making. This includes ICT literacy education in schools (and among teachers). the Caribbean and the Pacific work is underway to build regional frameworks to support the development of an ICT sector and the expansion of the use of ICT tools through a mix of activities. As a sustainable and community-based project it engages the youth of Korogocho in productive income generating activities while fostering the recycling of environmental waste. a shantytown outside Nairobi. and little to show. to a lack of critical mass of those with technical and project management skills. banking and trade facilities and market size. resulting in unspent donor and government funding. particularly in the areas of health. Both South Africa and Mozambique are examples. The critical role of women in poverty reduction is not taken as a point of departure in the design of ICT programs anywhere in the countries surveyed. i) Empowerment of Women Although a number of very effective internet-based women’s networks function in Africa there is still a concern at the lack of broad-based initiatives aimed at the empowerment of women. But many countries have included ambitious ICT sector components their ICT strategies without taking account the limitations of infrastructure. j) Links with Regional ICT Programs and Proposals In Africa. Women are rarely targeted for special programs of ICT training or offered small business opportunities. Governments have found it difficult to retain skilled ICT professionals in the face of competition from the private sector. The key component to the Wikyo Akala Project is its Ecosandals. in of Capacity deficiencies in ICTs range from lack of understanding of the strategic value of ICTs among decision makers in the public and private sector. These are aimed usually at the harmonization of regulations and standards and by increasing the market size for ICT products and services. particularly those with a deep knowledge of ICTs.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries Some countries have targeted the development of SMMEs across various sectors but also specifically within the ICT sector. Frameworks are at different stages of development and it is not always clear how quickly they can be put in place. for example on the Grameen model. The lack of human resources. The lack of suitable financing often limits the abilities of SMMEs to undertake new developments. h) Human Capacity Wikyo Akala’s Online Business (Kenya) The Wikyo Akala Project uses discarded rubber tires to make sandals. This has implications for successful implementation of e-government projects. This is much less of a concern in the Caribbean where women traditionally play a stronger leadership role although there is not much evidence there either that women are appropriating ICTs to their own ends. and strengthening the ICT knowledge base in governments. The lack of project management and implementation skills has resulted in an inability to deliver on policies and strategies that have not taken into account the limited skills pool. support for new and planned distance learning and e-learning initiatives. The ACP countries are scattered with projects that have been unable to deliver.com Web portal. which has proved to be widely popular throughout Africa and abroad. although MTN in Uganda has recently introduced this model and appears to be having success with it.

This is at the root of the sense that ICTs have not delivered their promise. many teachers who are exploring new pedagogical approaches and an increasing number of information services connecting health professionals. The research undertaken by the consulting team has identified a number of common challenges (which are sometimes also opportunities) that seem to face a wide range of ICT initiatives. COMESA is the location of a regional program for East Africa the development of which was also requested by the EU. Statement of the Problem There is no question that there are many positive ICT experiences in many development contexts. ePacifika is a UNDP/Government of Japan project supporting the development of national ICT strategies in 14 countries of the region. As it moves forward it will facilitate the sectoral initiatives that will be supported through the EU ACP program. these experiences tend still to be relatively isolated and the results anecdotal with few examples in the rural sector. However. These are discussed in more detail in 4. Because successful experiences have not been taken to scale. This program focuses on strengthening the various components of the ICT sector and building its capability to work effectively with governments and the broader population to design and deliver policy reform to extend infrastructure and reduce costs. An ITU project is supporting reform of telecommunications legislation in most countries. They lead to the conclusion (sketched in 4. While the various analyses of ICT and development experience highlighted earlier in this report have certainly increased understanding of how to relate ICT to good development practice there is a need for more learning about how to integrate good ICT practice within large-scale national programs to improve the delivery of agricultural skills and capacity.as does this present study . A regional Pacific Islands ICT Policy and Plan was developed by the Council of Regional Organizations of the Pacific ICT Working Group and endorsed in the 2002 Pacific Forum Communications meeting. they have not managed to address the needs of the large rural population in developing countries. Regional programs did not emerge prominently in the interviews and generally these appeared to be seen as separate and even disjointed in some cases from national activities. In the Pacific. health and education services. There are many connected schools. These two programs are likely to be mutually supporting. although minimally so.which takes the MDGs and poverty reduction as its main starting point but also includes proposals related to ICT business activity. A similar program is housed within SADC but because of its very limited capacity it has difficulty analyzing and securing approval for program and project proposals.2) that the EU can maximize its contribution to ICTs 17 . The original intention of the ACP ICT program was to provide additional support for program activities alongside the existing and planned regional and national programs. Annexes 4 – 6 include references to regional activities.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries The Caribbean Information Society Program developed through an EC feasibility study is at the proposal stage – it reflects an economic perspective but addresses sectoral planning and capacity building . The program was intentionally designed not to focus on regional initiatives but rather on ACP-wide activities that would enhance ongoing projects and programs. 4. This is an area of concern that could be addressed through the strategies developed within the proposed program which should identify regional linkages.1 below. These initiatives need to be recognized in the projects proposed for funding under the EU ACP ICT program – particularly those that include components aimed at the integration of ICT plans within national Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers or national development plans.

It constrains development in all sectors. and deepening the knowledge of existing ICT experts through a variety of learning. This can be partially attributed to the proportionately larger investment by donors. b.1 a) Challenges The skilled resource pool is very limited Lack of both human and institutional capacity is widely acknowledged to be both a cause and a symptom of poverty. will result in better local ownership of programs – widely recognized to be a key indicator of success. The expansion of donor activity into ICT for development and the trend towards mainstreaming of ICTs in traditional development sectors have put considerable pressure on scarce skills in countries. drawn from other sectors as well as from the ICT sector. b) The lack of absorptive capacity in developing countries The counterpart to limited capacity is the difficulty of absorbing additional resources for ICT programming. and national governments. Lack of micro-planning skills at the community level to ensure projects are implemented.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries for development in ACP countries by building closer links between national and sectoral development planning and ICT activity along a multiplicity of dimensions. This has created a situation in which countries have difficulty in absorbing funds that are available for the application of the new technologies. 18 . Unrealistic policies. including ICTs. who from within those sectors can achieve the required objectives of mainstreaming ICTs. The need for a ‘generational’ vision within countries. and projects that are unable to spend the financial resources allocated to them. The ACP regions are scattered with projects and programs that have not delivered on their implementation objectives. and c. One of the challenges of the new program will be to develop an expanded pool of human ICT resources. Throwing more funding at the development of ICT programs will have little effect if the human and institutional capacity to absorb new funds for ICT programs is unavailable. The most frequently cited reasons are: a. Both specialized ICT skills and more generic planning. Building human resource capacity cannot be achieved in three to five year cycles but has to be viewed as a long-term objective that is likely to span the project lifetime of more than one typical donor funding cycle. ICT initiatives have not delivered anywhere near the expected outcomes in relation to the investments made. mentoring and internship arrangements. Developing sectoral leadership with a solid knowledge of ICTs and their benefits. Not enough attention is paid to growing a new generation of leaders. c) Policy does not translate well into successful implementation The consultations undertaken for this study highlighted the growing frustration at the country level with the inability of governments to move from policy formulation to strategy implementation. project management and implementation skills are in short supply. widening the circle of individuals and institutions involved in ICT. 4. on policy processes and strategy formulation versus implementation. This was the common cry from decision makers as well as from those working at the grassroots level. The lack of emphasis on developing strategic project management skills capable of implementing such strategies. one that views capacity building over a 10 – 20 year cycle is far more likely to see positive results.

so that pilot projects can be conceptualized within a broader framework. The excitement and potential of the new technologies has not always been shared by those in other sectors. etc. as does the ability to develop ‘bigpicture’ thinkers who are able to streamline and prioritize implementation requirements arising from such integration. f) National economic growth priorities and social benefits are seen as conflicting priorities Economic growth is usually concentrated in urban areas and ICT projects have tended to focus on urban and peri-urban areas. The design of many of these projects is often lacking in thought given to systemic mechanisms required for up-scaling e.the rather dismal failure of many of the telecenter pilot projects that dotted the African continent in the late 90’s would be a good example. the role of ICTs has increasingly moved towards that of being an enabler of development priorities. Many pilots never seem to move beyond being good (or bad) pilots . prioritization. More recently. Donor programs and projects working in the ICT area have tended to focus their attention on ICTs as the core activity. Bilateral and multilateral agencies have started moving towards positioning ICTs as a crosscutting theme in their sectoral programs. rather than the end itself. leading to a technology-push focus. supporting educational institutions to provide training. 19 . implementing agencies with the capacity (human. often because of the insurmountable difficulties of getting access in rural areas. financial and management) for large-scale implementation. Increased levels of collaboration with the ICT private sector may deliver the technology solutions required to address development priorities.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries The balance of funding support needs to start tipping towards better development of implementation skills. Mainstreaming of ICTs will lead toward improved service delivery in national focus areas such as health. Planning ICT-enabled projects requires large-scale thinking and planning from inception. the need for higher levels of policy integration becomes paramount. HIV/AIDS. ICT policies and sectoral policies lack integration.g. in many ways a more difficult challenge than support for policy development. thereby earning more income for his family. e) Sectoral and ICT policies are not integrated Telecommunications policies. The outcome has been that many of the potential applications that could benefit other sectors have not been taken up with nearly the enthusiasm one would have expected. This has given rise to the perception that ICTs are more likely to be a driver for economic growth rather than a tool to promote social equity. government budgets showing line items for implementation. decision-making and resource allocation. despite evidence of major leveraging capabilities through the use of ICTs. is likely to see the increased money in his pocket as a mechanism for ensuring better education and health care for his family g) Refocusing on ICTs as an enabler rather than a core activity The push for ICTs has been driven largely by the ICT community. When working at the community level these tensions may be artificial and the boundaries between what constitutes economic growth and what is defined as social benefit become porous – a poor farmer who is able to sell more bananas. With the increased mainstreaming of ICTs into sectoral implementation. etc. d) The ‘pilot study’ syndrome – lack of macro-systemic approaches The review of ICT initiatives in ACP countries reveals a large number of ongoing and completed pilot projects that were never conceived beyond the pilot project phases. human rights. leading to inconsistencies at national levels in goal setting. education. a means to an end.

business. learning. including the EDF Complex and lengthy administrative procedures and slow turn-around times of multilateral program activities. The consultations with key experts strongly reaffirm the need for the donor community to reflect on its ability to work more collaboratively on ICT projects and programs. k) Rural urban migration ICTs have the potential to reduce distance and connect remote areas to global networks which can be used for communication. j) Complexity in multilateral programs. What is needed is a stronger emphasis on ongoing project evaluation – from project inception – to allow opportunities for adjustment as projects unfold. 20 . in their role as manager of family resources. m) Creating ownership for monitoring and evaluation There is a huge gap in most ICT programs with respect to monitoring the operations of projects/programs. learning.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries h) The fast pace of change in ICTs The pace of change within the ICT world is such that the amount of time that elapses between program design and implementation becomes a critical success factor – this is particularly true with respect to programs that recommend specific hardware or software solutions in service delivery models. By moving the monitoring and evaluation function from the donor/development context towards national programs. are problematic for dealing with projects that intend to benefit the poor and that need to deal directly with communities in alleviating poverty. i) Lack of effective donor collaboration To make effective use of scarce capacity and increase absorptive capacity donors need to take seriously the need for coordinated and mutually supporting approaches so as not to fragment the resources that are available in country. evaluations are carried out on the basis of limited data and information. The skills capacity in many ACP countries – from the proposal development stage through to project implementation – will struggle with the heavy administrative burden required in EU programs. including the EDF. communication and joint enterprise in rural areas to stem the tide of migration to cities that are increasingly crowded and difficult to manage. problem solving. and so forth. and provide little information about project impacts. Because monitoring systems are not conceived as an integral part of project implementation. Most monitoring and evaluation has been post-project and mainly for the benefit of donors. l) Giving prominence to women as key constituents Women. and must ensure their inputs into consultation and design processes. In the north access has enabled many individuals and businesses to migrate to rural areas and carry out the same work as they did in the city. Any significant reduction in poverty through the application of ICTs must give prominence to benefits accruing to women. The challenge in the developing world is the reverse – to use ICTs to help generate opportunities for income and employment. there may be a stronger likelihood of ownership by national governments and other local stakeholders and a greater likelihood of creating learning opportunities through the project life cycle. are key to reducing poverty.

health and education.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries 4. development professionals and academics. if. sectoral and subsectoral planning– in combination with its focus on capacity building this will improve the record on implementation. The private sector has shown itself willing to invest in infrastructure if there is a market for its products and services – and the boundaries of that market. While the consulting team has identified mainstreaming ICTs into key development sectors through national and sectoral planning as its program goal and capacity building as its main instrument. for example. By shifting ICT applications planning into the development sectors the chances for conceptualizing pilots as part of system-wide solutions will increase. the EU could lay the groundwork. development-led operator in the ICT field in ACP countries. decreasing the risk of stand-alone pilots with little chance of large-scale implementation. it could also respond to national planning to expand communications in rural schools and health centres that could meet educational and health needs. to recognize and promote ICT applications in health. the 21 • . The proposed program will operate at the level of national.2 Opportunities for the EU – Strategic choices The proposed ACP ICT program aims to build on the EU tradition of supporting development programs in ACP countries and to complement National and Regional Indicative Programs. The program aims to increase the capacity of policy makers. the ACP program could respond. This will facilitate the delivery of National (Country Indicative Programs – CIPs) and Regional Indicative Programs (RIPs) agreed through the European Development Fund and reinforce the enabling function of ICTs. legitimate questions may be raised as to what the program leaves out: why it does not respond to needs for the expansion of communication infrastructure through investment in networks and policy and regulatory tools or why it does not propose actions in other development sectors. by focusing public funds on building capacity to apply ICT to meet sectoral needs. even in the post-boom years. education. On infrastructure: • The proposed program does not turn its back on infrastructure but suggests that infrastructure proposals need to be rooted in development needs. At the same time it will exploit the commitments of the ACP countries to design and implement meaningful ICT strategies to meet their development challenges. the ACP ICT program will enable the EU to become a more effective. agriculture and rural development that will contribute to poverty reduction. The relatively long cycles of EDF funding offer opportunities for generational approaches to ICT programming and capacity building that offer greater chances for sustainability than the shorter cycles of many donors. to play a key role in enhancing co-ordination and consistency among the many different actors. the national poverty reduction strategy paper called for a Grameen-type micro credit program to connect rural communities through mobile telephone networks. have been pushed further and further into poorer and more remote regions. through potential EDF 10 programming. with a significant focus on programs responding to the needs of people in rural areas. The EU itself will benefit from enhanced coordination in the delivery of demand-oriented ICT applications in key areas of social and economic development. it could meet broader community needs. where the majority of ACP populations reside. for example in the area of early warning and disaster management. By focusing on building the capacities of countries to mainstream ICTs in national planning and in the key sectors of agriculture and rural development. Through the ACP ICT program.

Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries • program will expand the user base and the market. there is relatively little investment in ICTs in the health sector and scope for many record keeping initiatives that could have a major impact on public health. about the contribution of ICT. without a user base publicly funded infrastructure may well be a white elephant. agriculture and rural development have been particularly neglected by the ICT community. there are global development benefits to be gained from progress in these sectors and unexploited opportunities for sharing information and experiences. regionally and across regions. while there is more activity related to ICT in schools there is still much work to be done to integrate ICTs into teaching and learning processes on a national scale. There would be significant risk of duplication if it sought to do so. the program proposed here allows for activities that involve groupings of ACP countries defined by program interest rather than geography. The scale and scope of EU funding – even under EDF 10 – cannot add significantly to the availability of communications infrastructure across all the ACP regions. the consultant team did not believe that the EU should concentrate on issues and institutions already receiving significant support while the need for ICT capacity in the development sectors was so evident. • • On regional programs: • The terms of reference of the study excluded a primarily regional focus which other EU programs offer. On the choice of development sectors: • The team believes that the sectors identified are the priorities in terms of the MDGs. 22 . USAID. The sectors identified are major deliverers of government services and will offer opportunities for the exploration of e-government and e-commerce approaches. and ITU are among the organisations promoting policy and regulatory reform and related capacity-building programs. the World Bank. On policy and regulation: • DFID. and increase the chances for local and international private sector investment. The focus within the sectors identified is not on discrete ICT for development projects but on capacity building in the context of strategic planning processes which lay the foundation for future investment.

Some of the ‘old’ technologies recognize this reality. was designed to fit the needs. The internet. It has increasingly been adopted in urban centers in developing countries and serves to link all regions into an increasingly global economy. Systems and services rooted elsewhere will either not be used or be used under duress – they will constrain rather than enhance the very considerable skills that enable poor communities to survive and develop under extremely challenging circumstances. Information and communication processes do not sit on top of other activities but become integral to them and influence their future shape and direction. 23 . telecenters that failed because they did not provide services needed by their clients are just some examples of such failed projects. and education departments for example. The ACP ICT program proposal elaborated further in the remaining sections of this report gives weight to developing ICT planning capacity at the national and sectoral levels. transparent processes into public administration – the management of agriculture. Because national plans address poverty reduction and define the boundaries of sectoral activities the program will operate at the intersection of national planning and national e-strategies. of individuals and institutions in northern industrialized societies. for example. In this case. health. In combination with connectivity they can also be effective in grounding applications of the new technologies in the real needs of rural communities so that there will be fewer examples of projects that have not met their objectives because they were designed without taking account of local reality. bridges need to be built between ICT specialists. through community programming on radio and TV. They can play a major role in areas where connectivity is unavailable or unaffordable.1 Program Philosophy and Objectives Overall Philosophy The internet has been compared to the printing press: it is a revolutionary instrument capable of generating fundamental change in the way societies function and organize themselves. But if ICT tools and systems are to play a similar role outside urban communities in the south they must be designed on the basis of a thorough understanding of the processes they are to serve – processes that originate in rural and often remote communities. 5. The need to reflect reality is not limited to community-based projects.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries 5. Schools with computers that don’t work because there are no local sources of maintenance. databases that are not used because the information they contain is in an inaccessible language. and extend the capabilities. particularly. and the technologies that support it. government administrators and sectoral specialists. It is just as important to the effective design and implementation of large-scale institutional projects which attempt to introduce automated. and sectoral strategies.

training materials.g. indicators 24 .2 Overall Program Objective and Purpose THE PURPOSE Strengthen the capacity of development initiatives to reduce poverty and support achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). training tools. ICT policies and telecommunications policy) To build the capacity of development actors in ACP countries to implement the integration process at national. training – curricula. academia and civil society. sectoral and local development levels. model applications. education. capacity building will be in the context of planning e. and to more effectively leverage funding from EDF 10 and other bilateral and multilateral sources to carry out integrated projects and programs To strengthen the enabling environment for the ICT small business sector THE PROGRAM APPROACH Capacity building Mainly at level of public service but processes involve stakeholders from private sector. health. policy analysis. integrated strategy PROGRAM INSTRUMENTS Learning networks. capacity building within focus sectors – key decision makers exposed to ICT tools – design iterative. documentation of best practice. ICT business) OBJECTIVES To support closer integration between development planning (national and sectoral plans and Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs)) and ICT planning (e-strategies. THE GOAL Mainstream ICTs into national and sectoral policy and planning (agriculture and rural development. action research.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries 5. capacity building across ACP countries through structured analysis of e-strategies and national plans and the production of integrated strategies and manageable implementation plans. main target audience: officials from ministries of finance and planning and sectoral ministries.

Within governments. practitioners and community leaders in traditional development sectors and their colleagues with ICT expertise. The component of the program aimed at improving the policy climate for small ICT businesses will benefit small business people seeking opportunities in the ICT sector and their clients. Education and Health for Component 2. program implementers. - - - 5. and benefit from. To make that happen will require programs targeted at a range of policy makers. 25 . Rural Development. build ICT understanding within the development planning community – from local level up to national policy makers. and o At the level of key problem areas within sectors where ICTs are likely to have a major leverage impact – farming practices. Meaningful initiatives are those that: o Build strategies that draw on ICT applications to support development goals. health and education. for example. research networking. Support closer integration between planning for development and planning for information and communications o At national level. Its overall goal is the mainstreaming of ICTs in development: the effective application of ICTs within development through collaborative planning and strategy development.3 Target Beneficiaries The long-term beneficiaries are the poor communities who will benefit from more integrated policies and more relevant ICT applications and services – originating in businesses as well as the public sector. The program assumes that beneficiaries at all levels will be found in both governmental and non-governmental stakeholders. and Component 3 will involve close interaction with the Ministry responsible for Industry and Trade. and o At sectoral level – in agriculture and rural development. particular Ministries that are likely to be targeted will include: Planning and Finance for Component 1. planned ICT for development initiatives through o Identifying and addressing policy barriers o Creating increased opportunities for growth of small ICT business. Strengthen the enabling environment for small ICT entrepreneurs to contribute to. led by sectoral specialists and supported by the ICT community. Specifically the program will: Finance meaningful initiatives in ICT for development within the current EDF. HIV/AIDS. Strengthen the capacity of development actors in ACP countries to formulate strategies incorporating ICTs for proposal to EDF 10 and other funding agencies o Within the framework of national or sectoral plans or plans for community development. Mainstreaming implies that the responsibility for decision-making on ICT investment is located within mainstream development sectors and the institutions responsible for national planning and poverty reduction strategies.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries The purpose of this program is to strengthen the capacity of development initiatives to reduce poverty and support the achievement of the MDGs. Ministries of Agriculture. and o Build sectoral understanding within the ICT community and engage ICT specialists in the search for solutions to problems within development sectors.

agriculture.4 Outputs and Outcomes of the Program At the level of the ACP countries: • Active international networks (decision-makers. The desired program outcome is sustainable capacity for ICT decision-making in national and sectoral policy and planning communities. An increased number of sectoral specialists capable of leading projects and programs that apply ICT to strategic goals and application needs in the sectors. Political climate in project countries is conducive to broad-based. Policy makers will buy into the micro-systemic approach to ICTs and implementation. Sectoral development strategies that establish ICT priorities on the basis of sectoral demand. planning and implementation of the project. language and vision. as well as in civil society organizations. serve as models for other countries and are ready for funding by EDF 10. sectoral and ICT specialists. Specific outputs for national development policy. Capacity building keeps pace with the inflow of new funds for projects. Women at various levels are involved in the design. health and education are: • • • • • • PRSPs that capture the enabling features of ICTs and can serve as models for other countries and that can be funded by EDF 10. educational and agricultural government departments and services at all levels. academics) exchanging information and good practice on capacity-building and mainstreaming. An increased number of ICT specialists working within health. Capacity building will translate to meaningful actions in mainstreaming ICTs in development. For small ICT business. Ability to engage local level leaders in dialogue to assess the potential of ICTs in meeting local and sectoral needs. 5. and decisionmaking with respect to. Networks of sectoral specialists addressing ICT issues and influencing policy – involving all stakeholders from local to national level. bottom-up and topdown involvement. Increased involvement of local level actors and women in the design of. and particularly into the PRSPs and the EDF 10 program activities. ICTs for development. The growth of the small ICT business sector to provide solutions to ICT problems identified through the integration of ICTs into sectoral planning. results will include: • • Identification of policy issues constraining small ICT business and strategies for overcoming them through policy change.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries 5. Funding cycles keep pace with the speed of technological change. Mainstreaming ICTs in all key areas identified in PRSPs will be addressed in the medium and long term. planners.5 • • • • • • • • • Assumptions and Risks Willingness of sector specialists to enter into dialogue with the ICT specialists and vice versa – to find common ground. 26 .

Mainstreaming implies shifting the main locus of decision-making on ICT investment from the ICT sector to mainstream development actors. managers and implementing partners at national and local levels in ACP states. ending with specific project activities that engage directly with policymakers. 6. Mainstreaming ICTs into Sectoral Planning Supporting ICT Small Business The program as a whole will be made up of individual projects within the three components. and it will be a priority for the management agent to ensure that this objective is achieved. However. Component 3. It will document experience and establish mechanisms for sharing information and good practice and will 27 . three program components are proposed: Mainstreaming ICTs into National and Sectoral Planning Component1. Program component 1 will support integration at the national level and an ACP-wide knowledge base and information-sharing network on the integration of e-strategies into national planning. Program Components The program objectives need to be achieved through an efficient and cost-effective management and delivery chain. within each component – and across them .Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries • Regional experience sharing between countries and among a set of countries in the ACP regions will be achieved. planners. The program activities need to enhance the ability of beneficiaries to address the development needs of the poor (as expressed in the MDGs and in the Commission’s Communications on Development Policy and on ICTs and Development). It will be the vehicle through which the program as a whole makes a coherent contribution to development within each target sector. To meet the overall goal of mainstreaming.important synergies will arise. Mainstreaming ICTs into National Planning and PRSPS Component 2. and the extent to which project selection enables these synergies to be realized will be an important measure of the program’s success. Component 1: National Planning and National Poverty Reduction Strategies This component will attempt to assess the state of the art within ACP countries with respect to the links between national development planning (including national poverty reduction strategies) and national e-strategies. It will examine the extent to which planning and financial decision-making communities (within local as well as national government) are equipped to take advantage of the benefits of ICTs to further development ends. rather than being a collection of unrelated individual projects.

Information sharing and learning networks will be created to support and grow these professionals. video and audio recordings and computer generated graphics and presentations. Rural applications of ICT help farmers to market products at the best possible price through the provision of information. and To expand understanding within planning and financial decision-making communities throughout ACP countries of the value of ICT strategies and tools. Many of the countries in the ACP regions are vulnerable to natural disasters exacerbated by changing weather patterns. services and tools that enhance their negotiating position. The internet is only the latest of a long line of technologies which has included radio. and b) the integration of national development strategies into planning for the ICT sector. television. education. particularly at the secondary and tertiary levels – at least in environments where schools and universities have access to electricity and connectivity. Targeted efforts will focus on developing a new breed of development professionals capable of leading projects and programs incorporating ICT applications. Education Educators – and those managing education systems – have long explored ways in which technology can help open up more effective and imaginative learning approaches. for example. and health and will be defined by sectoral actors. Objectives • • • To establish an ACP-wide information sharing and learning network (or set of networks) on the integration of ICTs into national planning and relevant capacity building strategies and approaches. Specific capacity building initiatives will be undertaken in the three sectoral focus areas – agriculture and rural development. They may also increase options for local income generation. 28 .of trends. ICTs can help map and build understanding – at both national and local levels . Education. Educators also recognize that ICT skills are an increasingly important requirement in many jobs: current and future generations of school age children in the developing world will be at a disadvantage if their schools cannot provide basic ICT training.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries identify promising strategies to address the ICT capacity deficit within planning and finance decision-making communities. Health The overall objective of this component is to integrate ICTs into national and local sectoral development through demand-driven interventions. robust communications networks and services can mitigate their consequences. Component 2: Sectoral Strategies: Agriculture and Rural Development. Agriculture and Rural Development The regional studies indicated that agriculture is a relatively neglected sector from an ICT perspective – although there are many relevant tools for the management of agriculture. in deforestation and soil quality that leave countries particularly vulnerable to natural disasters.. To undertake research and analysis to support mechanisms for: a) the integration of ICTs into national development planning. Educational leaders and practitioners in both the industrialized and the developing world have been attracted by the power of the internet to expand learning horizons. forests and fisheries and the marketing of their products. In addition.

understanding what the technologies can contribute in realistic terms is a task for educational practitioners and administrators – and perhaps also for students.g. 29 . e-strategies. The program will support initiatives that examine and explore ways to introduce educational planners and administrators to the potential of ICT to expand the geographic and conceptual boundaries of education. Education • To integrate ICTs into education policies and strategies and to ensure synergies between these and other policies e. There is no similar model for improving the delivery of health care through the networks of rural clinics which are at the front line of health care delivery. in intent if not in reality. planning and implementation. • To make a realistic assessment of the potential of ICTs to enhance achievement of development objectives and to design and implement appropriate agricultural and rural development projects and programs based on this assessment. Health ICT initiatives in the health sector – as has been demonstrated through the regional studies particularly in Africa – are often linked to internationally funded hospitals and research centres which are located for the most part in urban centres. The potential of ICTs in education is vast but so are the legitimate competing demands for investment in the sector. Specific Sectoral Objectives Agriculture and Rural Development • To integrate ICTs into national or local or district-level agricultural and rural development initiatives through demand-driven interventions to build capacity for policy. with the networked school model in education. as is the case. ICT policies. Distance learning techniques are used to link the campuses of the University of the West Indies and the University of the South Pacific – it is a particularly important tool in the Pacific because of the vast distances separating the Pacific Islands. Applications have tended to test sophisticated diagnostic tools and applications more than simple tools for helping health practitioners perform their jobs more effectively in the rural clinics that are the source of health care for the majority of most ACP country populations. for example. Within rural health care circles there tends to be more interest in communications (telephones and e-mail) for the exchange of information and advice than on telemedicine based on more sophisticated technologies that are difficult to maintain and of use to only a handful of highly trained professionals. The program will support initiatives that build the capacity of health practitioners to identify their information and communication needs and articulate them in ICT terms in public health strategies. While there have been experiments with sophisticated tools for remote diagnosis in poor countries these have been difficult to sustain because of high connectivity costs and problems of maintenance. Health applications of ICT have not tended to produce models intended for wide popular use and for replication throughout the health system. • To create networks of agricultural and rural development specialists addressing ICT issues and influencing policy – involving all stakeholders from local to national and regional levels. • To develop an increased number of agricultural and rural development specialists capable of leading projects and programs incorporating ICT applications.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries School networking projects at the secondary level are underway in many ACP countries but they are not generally embedded in the programs of educational ministries.

government. • To develop mechanisms for removing policy obstacles that inhibit ICT entrepreneurs from growing their businesses. through research and analysis. education and agriculture – through various means such as pilot projects. so the demand for ICT services should increase. from strategic to microproject levels. to determine the areas where blockages exist that inhibit the growth of the ICT small business sector. • To assess the potential of ICTs in achieving health development objectives and to design and implement appropriate projects and programs based on this assessment. education and health sectors. The mainstreaming of ICTs into sectoral development will depend in large part on the ability of local entrepreneurs to identify and exploit opportunities to develop ICT-based products and services to respond to needs in the agriculture. 30 . Component 3: The ICT Small Business Sector The development of the small ICT business sector is an integral part of the development of sectoral strategies incorporating ICTs. To create new networks of education professionals who interact with ICT professionals to promote the development of demand-driven ICT solutions. The ACP ICT program will actively encourage the development of new economic opportunities alongside those that will create social benefit. planning and ultimate implementation of ICT projects within the other two components. The program will support initiatives that help bureaucrats understand the importance of reducing barriers to entrepreneurial development in the ICT sector.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries • • • To develop a critical mass of education professionals able to bring ICT skills and perspectives into policy planning and implementation. and the health. Health • To integrate ICTs into national health development initiatives through demand-driven interventions. As deeper awareness is raised within sectors. • To develop an increased number of health professionals and practitioners capable of leading projects and programs incorporating ICT applications. involving all stakeholders from local to national and regional levels. education and agriculture sectors to develop new networks and partnerships. This will require an active and supportive role from government in creating the necessary policies to ensure that small (local) business is favored in any ensuing ICT implementation projects. This approach will also encourage the retention of ICT skills in rural areas through the creation of new possibilities for the small ICT business. education and agriculture / rural development. opportunities for new jobs will be created alongside development initiatives. the establishment of incubator centers. Through active targeting of the ICT small business sector. There needs to be a clear policy and strategy focus to ensure that small ICT entrepreneurs are involved in the development. • To create networks of health specialists addressing ICT issues and influencing policy. • To stimulate dialogue among the ICT sector. This component of the program is strongly linked to Components 1 and 2. Objectives • To review the existing policy environment. the development of new technologies to address the needs emerging from health. • To create opportunities for the ICT small business sector in the areas of health. To assess the potential of ICTs to enhance achievement of development objectives and to design and implement appropriate educational development projects and programs based on this assessment.

Capacity building programs can be single or multi-country. These plans could include proposals to stimulate small ICT business. Strategic ICT Skills . Within each of the three components. academics. Implementation of workshops within PRSP processes. is limited both within national planning communities and within the sectors identified as priorities. Likewise the ability of key ICT players to understand mainstream development objectives and engage with key sectoral players is limited. private sector and civil society actors will also be involved. benefits and impacts of various ICTs and ICT applications. leaders in health. involving players across and between various levels of decision-making. Demand should originate with local institutions or groups of such institutions from different countries. and engage with key ICT players. Integrated planning skills so that decision makers can develop implementable and realistic plans incorporating ICTs into development initiatives. health and education sectors. They may also include formal processes for incorporating ICT applications and systems within professional education programs in the agriculture. funds will be made available and proposals sought for the implementation of capacity building activities aimed at mainstreaming ICTs into development planning and decision-making. education and health. agriculture. The capacity building programs proposed for funding may incorporate research components which help governments document ICT processes and measure their impact on poverty. This should particularly emphasize skills required to manage and implement large-scale projects. sectoral or local decision-making processes and then proposed for funding to EDF 10 and/or other appropriate sources. Capacity building needs to focus on: • • • • • Negotiating skills so that all players (from community leadership upwards) can contribute equally to the dialogues. Actions • • Identification of target groups (national planners. Where feasible the outcome of the capacity building activity will be plans that can be fed into national. Program Activities: the Capacity Building Approach The capacity to understand ICTs. education. 31 . Main beneficiaries of the capacity building programs will be public servants at national and local levels but since the context for capacity building will be planning processes. Capacity building has therefore been identified as the main program instrument that will be used to achieve the objectives identified in Section 6 for the three program components. including national and local government and community leadership. and academic institutions supporting national and sectoral planning activities.Understanding of the types.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries 7. Project management skills to improve the level of design. and ICTs) and the design of appropriate awareness raising or skills-based programs. maintaining and actively using learning networks involving national. Alliances of public service commissions and regional universities to expand knowledge and training on the ICT for development link can also be a promising avenue for exploration. sectoral and ICT players. Establishing. planning and implementation of programs and projects which will incorporate ICTs. understanding the information elements and information intensity of the activities and processes within the relevant sectors.

project levels. Generic negotiating skills to level the playing field so that local and community leadership can contribute meaningfully to the dialogue on the contribution of ICTs.g. Develop curriculum and training materials for use in tertiary institutions to support integrated ICT/national/sectoral planning – this could take the form of formal training as well as shorter courses for decision makers. Develop mechanisms for including appropriate project management skills. The following sections of this report. Sectoral awareness within the ICT sector to enable the identification of development application opportunities. community leaders. Tertiary institutions capable of delivering relevant training to support integrated ICT / planning. 8. ICT skills in the three key sectors and the development of a new generation of professionals able to integrate ICTs effectively into their sectoral activities. 8. are concerned with the mechanisms and processes required to deliver significant outcomes along these lines with the resources available for the ACP ICT program (€20million over four years).1 Program Governance and Management Overall Mechanism Recommended objectives for the ACP ICT program are set out in Section 5.including policy makers. 8. etc. The Program provides resources to build capacity within key development sectors . Outcomes Capacity in: • • • • • • • Exploiting ICT strategies to support national and sectoral development goals. through demonstrations. Overall management of the ACP ICT Program will be undertaken on behalf of the European Commission and the ACP Secretariat by an external management agent responsible for the selection and oversight of implementing agencies and projects within the three budgetary components. showcasing of successful projects. and development and ICT professionals . Various project management skills – from strategic to micro-planning.2 above. within ICT and sectoral training programs.2 Management Mechanism The management mechanism for the ACP ICT program must fulfill the following objectives: 32 . which are elaborated in the associated financial proposal.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries • • • Incorporation of programs within public service training departments that builds increased awareness of the contribution of ICTs to strengthening management and service delivery e. This should have immediate impact in implementation of existing EDF 9 resources but should also have lasting impact on the capacity of both ICT and mainstream policymakers to develop more strategic future initiatives that take advantage of ICT potential in mainstream development areas – including initiatives to be included in EDF 10 Country and Regional Programs and initiatives supported by other bilateral and multilateral institutions. hands-on training. from strategic to micro. Utilizing ICT applications focused around opportunities identified by the sectors.in the search for solutions to real problems.

selected by competitive tender. 3.whether governmental. It must facilitate rapid disbursement of funds to implementation level. This management agent will have responsibility for the allocation of funds to implementing agents and individual projects. It must ensure efficient and equitable allocation of funds in conformity with EU procurement rules. or that this is likely to attract the interest of such agencies. The establishment of a program management unit (PMU) within the European Commission. One or more bilateral development agencies of EU member-states. enable the program to benefit from the experience and established expertise and resources of the management agent selected.6 below. It must minimize expenditure on overheads by both management and implementing agents and maximize the value of available funds used for program activity. 2. by contrast. One or more outsourced management agents other than trust funds . The following options were considered for overall program management: 1. It must be accompanied by effective monitoring and evaluation procedures. Appointment of an external management agent. private sector or civil society . A combination of the above. The consultant team does not believe that the establishment of a program management unit within the Commission would be the most effective way to deliver the objectives set out in Sections 5 and 6 above. b. Outsourcing of overall program management to one or other of the following: a. would allow the project selection process to begin immediately after selection of the management agent. Establishment of an internal PMU would require recruitment and training of new personnel. The consultant team therefore recommends that overall management of the ACP ICT program should be outsourced to one external management agent. and facilitate ACP involvement in the management process.5 and 8. The consultant team also does not believe that significant benefits would arise from the outsourcing of program management by the European Union to a member-state bilateral development agency or agencies. Recommendations and options concerning the requirements for and selection of both management agent and implementing agents/projects are discussed in Sections 8. One or more trust funds established in accordance with EU agreements with the United Nations and/or the World Bank. c.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries • • • • • It must provide mechanisms that will enable the efficient selection of projects and implementation agents that meet overall program objectives. intergovernmental. 33 . with inevitable delays in implementation of the program.

e. the Caribbean and the Pacific). as early as possible in the four-year program delivery period. Managing a process for the selection of implementing agents and projects consistent with EU procurement requirements.3 Management Role and Costs The consultant team has considered the appropriate level for management costs within this program. at one point in time. Any regional allocation of funds within the ACP ICT program would need to be justified in relation to relevant RIPs. the consultant team recommends that the whole budget managed by the management agent should be disbursed in one tranche. Disbursing funds to implementing agents for project delivery. The funds available (€20 million over four years) are relatively small.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries 8. For this reason. Allocation of funds to specific thematic areas of ICT for Development activity (such as health. and Reporting on the program to appropriate bodies with the EU (the ACP Secretariat and the EDF Committee). to keep management costs to the minimum necessary to be consistent with effective program design and management and the fulfillment of EU procurement requirements. both in the context of the European Development Fund and in comparison with those in other EU ICT partnerships with developing countries (such as the @LIS and Asia-IT&C programs). It is important. Regional program planning is already underway in the ACP countries: 34 . €2million). Allocation of funds to specific stakeholder groups (such as the private sector and civil society). through a single project selection process. Monitoring and evaluating project and program delivery as appropriate. therefore. The role of the management agent will consist primarily of: • • • • • Establishing procedures for the selection of implementing agents and projects which are consistent with those described in Section 8 of this report. The proposed ACP ICT program aims to support projects that may involve a number of countries but would not necessarily be regional in scope. and to be fully consistent with them and with any regional ICT-related activity undertaken through them. education or agriculture and rural development).4 Allocation of Funds The consultant team considered the following options for areas of focus for the ACP ICT program: • • • • Allocation of funds to specific regions within the ACP (such as Southern Africa. Regional activities funded by the European Development Fund (EDF) in ICTs or any other development sector most logically belong within the Regional Indicative Programs (RIPs) agreed between regional organizations and the European Commission. Allocation of funds to cross-regional groupings (such as ‘small island states’ or ‘countries emerging from conflict’). The consultant team therefore recommends that the budget for management agent costs should not exceed 10% of the funds available (i. 8.

the consultant team does not believe this suggests that funding for the Caribbean should be separated out from the overall ACP ICT fund. Some of the characteristics of the Pacific region. 3. The consultant team does not recommend allocating funds specifically for stakeholder groups.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries • • • A program has been proposed within the Caribbean Regional Indicative Program which is consistent with the objectives set out in Section 5 above. A good case could be made for such allocations in principle. and would 35 . design and delivery of activities that make use of ICTs for development. could be sought on this option. which aims to build capacity in the planning. National planning. though it would be more appropriate for it to be undertaken through the Regional Indicative Program than through this ACP ICT Program. The consultant team considered the option of allocating a small proportion of the overall ACP ICT fund specifically to the Pacific region. programming. The consultant team similarly does not believe that they offer a strong case for the allocation of the ACP ICT program on a regional basis within Africa. Some ICT-related activities are also being undertaken within the context of African RIPs. as the EDF partner for the Pacific Regional Indicative Program. suggest that this region would benefit from a similar regional focus to that encompassed in the proposed Caribbean program. such as ‘small island states’ or ‘countries emerging from conflict’. particularly its 'small island states' character.e. where the cross-regional groups in question have strongly distinctive characteristics and where individual countries would benefit from a cross-regional approach. The sectors chosen as focus areas for this program – agriculture and rural development. There is also a risk that the small scale of Pacific ACP partners may result in the region generating relatively few proposals for activity within a program covering the entire ACP group. with the aim of either a) implementing activities already established as priorities by Pacific ACP countries. i.are fundamental to human development and poverty reduction. Although it is important to ensure that all stakeholder groups are included in projects funded through the program the consultant team believes that this is better achieved through multistakeholder activities than through projects directed at individual stakeholder groups. The health and education sectors have already been the subject of significant ICT4D initiatives. ICT small business sector. It is important that officials responsible at this level understand both the potential and the limitations of ICT as a development tool. within and beyond the ICT sector. The components will also support information sharing and the creation of learning networks across all ACP countries. should this be approved. and together they represent a substantial proportion of the objectives set out in the MDGs. these are less obviously comparable to the objectives spelt out in the ACP ICT program than is the proposed Caribbean regional program. However. The consultant team considered the possibility of allocating funds to cross-regional groups with particular requirements. 2. as follows: 1. The views of the Pacific Forum Secretariat. while project proposals in the Caribbean region need to be assessed in the light of this regional program. However. The consultant team recommends that the available funds should be sub-divided into three component areas. health and education . National planning is the mechanism which addresses broad poverty reduction and economic growth issues and allocates funds inter alia to ICT initiatives of national scope. or b) financing a study comparable to that recently conducted in the Caribbean and subsequently implementing projects identified by that study. Sectoral planning.

management and administration (60%) (divided pro rata according to scale of budget for each component) Collaboration between implementing agents / set up learning networks and mechanisms for dialogue among project implementers (10%) Monitoring and Evaluation (20%) Total 36 Budget €200 000 €1 200 000 €200 000 €400 000 €2m Budget €8m €8m €2m €2m €20m . Much less attention has been paid to the enabling framework for small businesses using ICTs or operating in the ICT sector. The consultant team does not believe that it would be possible to add significantly to this area of activity with the funds available for this program. particularly ICT-based enterprise. and that there would be significant risk of duplication if it sought to do so. The consultant team believes that it would be advantageous to focus a smaller proportion of resources on the third component: employment generation and entrepreneurship. licensing. and therefore recommends that this should form the fourth sectoral allocation of funds within the program. and on the development of the enabling policy and regulatory framework required for this. including donor funding. Well-targeted ICT4D initiatives in this sector could therefore have a significant impact on the quality of life of many of those states' most vulnerable people and communities. including policy and regulatory questions affecting the costs of hardware and software importation. but provides income and employment to a majority of households in the majority of ACP states. The following overall allocation of available funds is recommended as follows: Sectoral allocation National planning. business taxes. particularly one in which wider understanding of sectoral problems and ICT potential was shared between sectoral and ICT policymakers. requirements for setting up a new business. etc. Much international attention.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries benefit from a more integrated sectoral/ICT approach to program and project development. within the ICT sector itself. mostly focused on the establishment of competitive telecommunications markets and the deployment of new technologies in telecommunications infrastructure and access. The consultant team believes that significant impact could be achieved in enhancing the capacity of policy frameworks to promote successful local small enterprise. Agriculture and rural development has seen much less extensive ICT4D activity. has been and continues to be directed towards telecommunications policy and regulation in ACP countries. through projects focusing in this enabling area. including an ACP-wide information sharing mechanism Sectoral planning ICT small business sector Management agent costs Total Management costs could be distributed as follows: Budget component Management of procurement / Invitations to Tenders (10%) (EU selection of management agents) Project selection.

Understanding. In-house monitoring and evaluation capability.4 above. and Wide geographical reach across the ACP regional groups. education. or 2) By appointing another outsourcing body. as well as in relation to their proposed management structure and costs. Any management agent will be required to demonstrate: • • • A record of high-quality and expeditious program management.e. Establishing a trust fund with a UN or World Bank agency may have administrative simplicity provided that the terms of any trust fund could be agreed quickly. and The commitment of the management agent to the program focus on the integration and mainstreaming of ICTs rather than on the promotion of ICTs in development. ICT small business sector).Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries 8. Expertise and experience in project selection and management. but not necessarily specialist understanding. of ICT-related issues. The consultant team considers the legal status of the management agent to be less important than the following three factors in determining where management responsibility should be allocated: • • • The ability of the proposed management agent to meet the criteria set out above. through a process of competitive tendering. but the range of organizations available as potential management agents would be less diverse than with option 2). Demonstrated commitment to poverty-focused development and delivery of the MDGs. in the case of proposed sectoral management agents. The consultant team recommends a process for the selection of a management agent which would allow for selection of the best option in terms of program delivery from either category of potential management agent. either a trust fund/funds or an alternative outsourced management agent/agents 37 . The capacity to extend program reach beyond national to district and local level. The balance of advantage between options 1) and 2) is narrow. • • • • • • Potential management agents should be assessed against these criteria. The European Commission could appoint a management agent either: 1) By establishing a trust fund with one or more United Nations or World Bank agencies. An understanding of and expertise in poverty-related development in general or. which should fall within the 10% budget ceiling described in Section 8. of poverty-related development in the relevant sector (health. i. The timescale within which selection of a management agent could be completed and the management agent could initiate the selection of implementing partners and projects. to intergovernmental organizations as well as other organizations including private sector and civil society organizations.5 Selection of Management Agent(s) The consultant team recommends that the single management agent should be selected primarily on the basis of its broad developmental expertise and the range of its geographical coverage within the ACP group. agriculture and rural development. Proven capacity to work with diverse stakeholder groups and in a multi-stakeholder context.

Proposals may be made by individual organizations or by consortia of organizations. that processes and procedures for project selection designed to meet the objectives set out in Section 5 above are built into the terms of reference issued to management agents. It would be desirable. will engage ministries of trade and industry on ways to eliminate obstacles to small ICT entrepreneurship. that they should be expeditious. The same principles for the selection of implementing agents and projects will apply in all three budgetary components of the ACP ICT Program. apart from its focus on building capacity to address sectoral ICT needs from a private sector perspective. procedures used by the organization managing the trust fund that are judged to be consistent with EU procurement requirements. This panel will include representation from the ACP Secretariat and external advisors with expertise in the sectoral areas covered by each budget component and in the application of ICTs in development. and therefore none should be delayed because others are not yet ready. Management agents and their subsidiaries are not eligible to submit proposals to implement activities. These issues are discussed further below. The capacity building programs in Components 1 and 2 will have mainstreaming as their goal. This will give greater focus to the program and to proposals submitted by potential implementing agents. the European Commission and the management agent(s) should be integral to the program management structure. The quality and focus of this process will be crucial in determining the quality and value of the ACP ICT program as a whole. The consultant team recommends that the management agent should invite potential implementing agents to make proposals in one or more of the proposed components. will be conceived within a strategic planning context and will incorporate action research and policy analysis as appropriate. The consultant team considered options for the process of selecting implementing agents and projects compliant with EU requirement procurements. Proposals may relate to groups of countries or to single countries. therefore. it is important. 8. dialogue between the ACP. and will be evaluated on an equal basis. It is the consultant team's understanding that these must be consistent with those that would be implemented by a project management unit within the Commission or. It is essential.6 Selection of Implementing Agents The management agent will need to distribute funds to implementing agents and projects through an invitation to tender process which is consistent with EU procurement requirements. the consultant team recommends that the terms of reference should define with precision the areas and types of activity that should be eligible for selection and funding of implementing agents and projects. and for monitoring and evaluation. for these processes to be simultaneous.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries Irrespective of the legal status of the management agent selected. Finally. It will also form an advisory committee to support the work of the EuropeAid office and management agents during the duration of the Program. should a trust fund act as a management agent. but not essential. 38 . the requirements for ensuring program balance and synergy (between regions and different project types). The EuropeAid Cooperation Office of the European Commission will establish a panel to assist in the evaluation of proposals to act as management agent. Component 3. however. The consultant team recommends that separate tendering processes should be undertaken to identify potential implementing agents and projects within each program component.

Proposals that engage stakeholders from all levels of government. programs. Proposals that demonstrate understanding of and engage with a wide range of ICTs. ACP institutions and skills for capacity building on ICT application within national and sectoral planning. schools of education) to build awareness of sector professionals of benefits and limitations of ICT tools • Analysis of current situation with respect to the integration of national plans. Proposals that bring together involvement from groups of countries where synergies can be derived from such cooperation (for example. inter-country trade. education and local authorities for the development of training materials and the establishment of planning processes to support mainstreaming of ICTs into community level rural development • Curriculum development for mainstreaming of ICTs – to be used in various ACP tertiary institutions (medical schools. mechanism for monitoring on an ACP-wide basis and recommending appropriate capacity building approaches • Analysis of sectoral strategies to develop integrated sectoral plans incorporating appropriate ICTs in support of MDGs • Analysis of specific barriers in enabling environment for smallscale ICT-entrepreneurs. Proposals based in ACP countries and led by organizations based in ACP countries. etc). countries within a single region or countries with common characteristics such as small island states. and Proposals to enhance the capacity of planners. management and implementation between mainstream development professionals and ICT expertise. private sector organizations. Proposals that will leverage learning opportunities in support of improved planning capacity.7 Selection of Projects The invitation to make proposals should be addressed to governments. sectoral and ICT professionals and the ICT small business sector to develop more effective initiatives. academia and civil society. academic and research institutions and other relevant bodies. Illustrative Examples of Possible Projects • ACP-wide network sharing information on tools. multicountry mechanisms established for addressing constraints • Analysis of best practice sustainable business models for bringing the ICT small business sector into ICT for development initiatives Preference should be given to: • • • Proposals that build on existing processes and institutional activities and focus on developing future strategies. including traditional ICTs such as broadcast radio. Proposals that demonstrate a high degree of responsiveness to local needs and enable local communities to participate effectively in sectoral discussions and policy development. and Proposals that demonstrate ongoing internal monitoring and evaluation activities in support of improved project implementation and learning.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries 8. civil society organizations. • Alliances among public service commissions and regional universities to develop curriculum materials and programs of workshops and seminars to support learning in ACP countries on the integration of national plans and estrategies – identification and implementation of ‘best practice’ plans • Collaboration among ministries of health. poverty reduction strategies and e-strategies in ACP countries and identification of approaches to building integration capacity within planning processes. Within the broad framework of: • • Mainstreaming that implies priority to projects initiated within the development community. • • • • • • • • 39 . the private sector. Proposals that are sensitive to the requirements of gender representation and involvement. planning. and identifying sectoral opportunities. Proposals that encourage small ICT entrepreneurship by identifying and resolving policy blockages. Proposals that directly promote and enhance dialogue related to policy development.

and it is particularly important therefore that ICT projects are delivered as close as possible to the point of design. Implementation stage 2: selection of implementing agents and projects This process will be completed by the end of June 2006. The following timetable is therefore recommended for the disbursement of funds: Overall program design: agreement on overall program design by the European Commission and the ACP Committee of Ambassadors This process should be completed by the end of March 2005. In order to ensure reasonable scale for individual projects but also to encourage diversity and competition between different types and locations of activity.8 Timetable for Disbursement of Funds If the program is to have maximum value. it is important that the funds available are disbursed quickly and at the lowest management cost consistent with procurement requirements and effective program management. (If not. Experience in other ICT and ICT4D programs has shown the importance of ensuring that projects are selected and implementation begun quickly if they are to fulfill program objectives. the consultant team recommends that proposals be considered that require financial resources in the range €250 000 to €1 500 000. This process will be completed by the end of June 2005. 8. 26 The consultant team believes that anything that can be done to shorten this cycle will increase the effectiveness of the program 40 . undertaken as soon as possible following selection of the management agent(s).26 Pre-implementation phase: agreement of financial proposal. health and education. Implementation stage 3: project implementation and delivery This will take place between June 2006 and March 2009. Rapid change in technology and use of ICTs can make project design obsolete over a relatively short period of time. Implementation stage 1: selection of management agents This process will be completed by the end of December 2005. Proposals may be made by individual organizations or by consortia of organizations. Management agents and their subsidiaries are not eligible to submit proposals to implement activities.g. planning. then subsequent dates below should be deferred by the period by which this process is completed later than March 2005). The consultant team has recommended that the funds available through each management agent should be disbursed through a single tranche of responses to a single tendering process. Proposals may relate to groups of countries or to single countries. and will be evaluated on an equal basis.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries Preference will be given to proposals where the team leadership is comprised of individuals in ‘non-ICT’ sectors e. finance. agriculture and rural development.

stakeholder involvement and thematic structure: that it will be a collection of discrete projects. it might make sense to devolve some of the responsibility for identifying impact assessment indicators and frameworks to the implementing agencies since no single agency is likely to have enough deep understanding of all sectors covered by the program and the context in which they operate. sectoral or any other level. It will provide an opportunity for the ACP implementing agencies to learn from each other. Such an outcome would be sub-optimal. and the frameworks for implementing them within those sectors. the dynamic process of learning and project adaptation will generate a significant body of knowledge around the impact of ICTs in the sectors concerned and on the lives of people living in poor. however. structured and equitable use of the funds available. 41 . and to adapt their programs as a consequence. 9. This will allow for the sharing experiences. The implementing agencies have to demonstrate their ability to incorporate ongoing as well as summative monitoring and evaluation into their project activities. This requires strong emphasis on monitoring. in short. Role of the Managing Agent in Monitoring and Evaluation The management agent will assume responsibility for coordinating electronic learning networks across the various project implementation agencies. evaluation and impact assessment as part of both project design and management. Candidate management agents should be able to demonstrate monitoring and evaluation capabilities and will be responsible for setting the performance indicators for the sectors for which they are responsible. Given one management agent. and management agents should seek to ensure that project selection results not only in the selection of high-quality individual projects which will have significant impact in themselves.9 Program Coherence There is an obvious risk that a program made up of projects derived solely from responses to an open invitation to tender will lack coherence. coordination and balance . The outcome of the project selection process should be a coherent program rather than a collection of individual projects. but also in a balanced equitable distribution of available resources and in maximization of potential synergies between projects. for example. Evaluation is not a summative process – it must be an integral part of the planning and ongoing operations of the project. The management agent should. rural communities. It should also be able to connect national project implementing organisations to national and regional work on ICT indicators led. connect to the international effort led by the UN ICT Task Force to identify indicators to measure the contribution of ICTs to the achievement of the MDGs. by IDRC’s ScanICT program.in terms of regional equity. rather than a program which makes coherent. documentation and communications. Monitoring and Evaluation Evidence from research undertaken in preparation of this proposal suggests that there is a very weak information base in many of the countries covered for planning for ICT interventions at the national. as might the possibility of adding to the program’s overall impact in achieving the objectives described in Section 5 above through cooperation and partnership between projects and implementing agents. It thus contains the potential to contribute to poverty alleviation and the MDGs. Potential synergies between projects might also be lost.Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries 8.

will be required to incorporate an internal monitoring and evaluation framework that can be used to determine impact assessment during the lifetime of the projects for which they are responsible. as part of their proposal development. 42 .Final Report: Feasibility Study for Information Society Program in ACP Countries The management agent will retain responsibility for coordinating the monitoring and evaluation activities of the implementing agencies and ensure that impact assessment frameworks will adequately provide the learning required within and between the ACP ICT program components. Role of the Implementing Agents in Monitoring and Evaluation The implementing agents.

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