As many people already know, in 2000 at the beginning of the Millennium, the United Nations held a summit in New York and adopted the United Nations Millennium Declaration and agreed that the world’s leading developed countries should work together to decrease world poverty. Each of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) had different targets to reach by certain deadlines, the final deadline being in 2015. The different MDGs range from general poverty and education to health and environmental issues, as well as a Global Partnership. While the MDGs are created as a way for the United Nations and countries to follow a set plan of action there are no rules on how to approach these goals. National organizations, local or national government as well as non- profit organizations create projects throughout the world as an attempt to help reach these millennium goals.
In Tim Unwin’s chapter 5 of ICT4D:Information and Communication Technology for Development, he discusses the strategies and policies necessary for ICT4D to be successful in developing countries. He differentiates strategies being the “strategic approach to the use of ICTs in development” and ICT policies being “used to refer to the implementation of policies geared to specific issues” (Unwin 150). He explains how e-strategies and how ICTs can work to help further improve the development goals. While he discusses ICT strategies and policies in different regions of the world, one that he played special attention to was the Asian- Pacific region. The UNDP’s Asia Pacific Development Information Programme was created in 1997 to “improve access and application of ICTS for social and economic development” (Unwin 152). While Unwin and the UNDP explain that ICTs are an important tool in the development of a nation especially in relation to some of the MDG goals such as Universal Education.
In the Case Study: ICT and education strategies in the Pacific written by Michael Trucano, he discusses the many challenges that the small islands of the Pacific would face while trying to improve access to networks and computers to local schools. The Pacific Islands are affected by a variety of environmental issues that sometimes threaten to put certain islands underwater. However the potential that ICTs can help improve these challenges as well as Education has become an interest for the government agencies in these islands. Computer access is very expensive and because of the islands geographic remoteness Internet access is very poor. However, education policymakers want to make ICTs more accessible to education services in order to improve training as well as “building stronger ties”. One initiative that was created in 2001 is People First Network (PFnet) of the Solomon Islands, which sets up an e-mail system that provides access to remote areas. This project is an example that shows that although there may be some challenges within ICT initiatives, improving access can further improve education and help diminish illiteracy rates, provide education in all remote areas of an Island, and provide proper training and activities for teachers. The use of ICTs is indeed very useful for the Millennium Goal of approaching Universal Education and e-strategies should be approached the right way in order to overcome the obstacles.