International Political Economy and Development

Academy of ICT Essentials for Government Leaders

Posted in Economic Growth by DS on January 22, 2010

Module 1: The Linkage between ICT Applications and Meaningful Development
Module 2: ICT for Development (ICTD) Policy, Process and Governance
Module 3: e-Government Applications
Module 4: ICT Trends for Government Leaders
Module 5: Internet Governance
Module 6: Network and Information Security and Privacy
Module 7: ICT Project Management in Theory and Practice
Module 8: Options for Funding ICT for Development

Module 1: The Linkage between ICT Applications and Meaningful Development

Session 1. ICTs and MDGs

  • Progress on the achievement of the MDG targets is uneven. While there are some visible and widespread gains and Asia Pacific is doing better than Sub Saharan Africa, the LDCs still have the region’s highest rates of child and maternal mortality, the incidence of tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS continues to rise, and the region is regressing in environmental sustainability. There are huge data gaps in the Pacific region and great intra-country disparities for example in China and India.
  • There is a need for greater public investment in education and health. ” Poor governance, poor policy choices, corruption and denial of human rights are factors impeding rapid progress.
  • ICTs can be used to facilitate integrated approaches and cost-effective scalable solutions in key sectors of development, such as poverty reduction, education, health care, natural resource management and disaster management.
  • Both old and new ICTs are important tools in development work.
  • However, there is increasing use of digital technologies and the use of the new digital technologies has the advantage of diffused and dispersed democratic production and ownership enabled by technology convergence.

Session 2. The Digital Divide and Promoting Universal Access

The Digital Divide

  • The digital divide and its impact
  • Bridging the digital divide

Promoting Universal Access

  • Telecentres – potential and pitfalls
  • Approaches for Small States – Island States, Land Locked, and Mountainous regions

Session 3. Applications of ICTs in Development – Addressing specific MDGs (MDG 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

Kinds of ICT interventions
Direct interventions
Direct interface between the services and the poor
Indirect interventions
In support of development efforts and projects
Building information and decision support systems
Global evidence shows that ICTs spur economic growth, esp. SMEs
Improve efficiency of internal and external business operations
Provide access to new national and global markets
Increase volumes of demand
Improve inventory management
Reduce wastage and consequently increasing profits

ICTs and Poverty Reduction
There is enough evidence to show that there is a direct connection between investment in ICTs and economic productivity.
The use of ICTs by SMEs has been shown to result in improvements in business practices that reduce communication and transaction costs, assist in inventory management, and provide access to global markets, thereby increasing productivity and profits.
Although economic growth is not a guarantee of poverty reduction, it is essential for sustaining poverty reduction over the longer term.
Direct ICT interventions that address poverty reduction link the poor to markets and market information.
ICTs in Education
ICTs can be used to provide access to schooling and to continuing education, and to improve the quality of education in the classroom.
ICTs can enable networking and collaboration among students and teachers in different schools.
Teacher education is one of the key applications of ICTs in education.
There is extensive use of ICTs for Non Formal Education especially for literacy and general knowledge about health, nutrition and the environment, leading to a better quality of life.
ICTs and Gender Equality
Women face barriers to ICTs similar to any other economic opportunity – poverty, illiteracy, lack of time and lack of relevant content, etc.
However, when technology is placed in their hands, women are able to improve their economic and social status in the community.
Women use technology not just to learn and to generate an income, but also to create women-friendly spaces on the Internet for building up networks to voice and share their concerns and to lobby for gender equality.
ICTs and Health
Major stakeholders in the health sector include people needing health services, especially those with limited access to health care such as rural and marginalized people, as well as health care professionals.
Telemedicine is the most common application of ICTs in health. Telemedicine has been used extensively in many countries of Asia Pacific.
There are several global efforts such as HINARI to support the knowledge needs of health professionals.

Session 4. Applications of ICTs in Development – Addressing specific MDGs (MDG 7, 8)

Session Summary
ICTs and the Management of Natural Resources
ICT-based remote sensing and disaster warning systems have changed the way we understand and respond to weather and climate.
Disaster management is a critical part of a country’s arsenal to address issues affecting the vulnerable and marginalized.
ICTs, Government and Governance
Government consists of a formal superstructure while governance is concerned with outcomes of government functioning.
The purpose of ICT interventions in government is to optimize efficiency while providing citizen-friendly services that encourage greater citizen participation in governance and public affairs.
ICTs and Peace
ICT interventions can be used for building peace, beginning with preventing conflict and later mitigating the effects of large- and small-scale conflicts.

Session 5. Applications of ICTs in Development – Challenges to the use of ICTs in Development


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