UN flies ICT development flag

The Digital Opportunity Initiative – a collaboration between Accenture, the Markle Foundation and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – has released a report demonstrating the critical role that information and communication technologies (ICT) can play in helping developing countries to enhance the lives of their citizens.

Creating a Development Dynamic lays out a strategy for developing nations to work with developed countries, and the private and non-profit sectors, to generate sustainable development and achieve a range of social goals in education, welfare and so on.

At the G8 summit in Genoa, leaders of the G8 nations focused on how to work with developing countries to meet vital human goals. The report draws on extensive case studies from a range of countries to demonstrate the critical role ICT can play in meeting these development needs. It recommends the adoption of a strategy that addresses the inter-related elements of infrastructure, human skill development, entrepreneurship, sound government policies and the development of local content and applications.

The report encourages the G8 leaders to continue their commitment in this area. Developing countries do not face an “either/or choice” between ICT and other development priorities like health and education, it says.

For example, since regaining its independence, Estonia has pursued a concerted strategy to produce a modern telecoms network, low connectivity costs, high rates of computer literacy and a highly educated and skilled workforce.

Similarly, South Africa’s IT Strategy Project is harnessing the power of ICT to create new economic opportunities while meeting its commitment to social equity, political empowerment and improved government services.

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