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Ecuador ICT4D Resources

1. ICT Policy layout written in 2007 in English by Valerie Betancourt from GIS. Note: This is an analysis and lay out the policy, the White Paper, but I am unable to find an online link of this specific document in Spanish or English. The White Paper Was written by CONATEL in 2006.

2. CONATEL and SENATEL wrote the White Paper in collaboration with each other.

3. Case Study: Conserving Ecuador’s Mangroves with ICT’s, project by C-CONDEM, and the project has already gone through a phases and is currently in independent continuation with GIS.

4. GIS analysis of policy (linked above), ITU’s National e-Strategies for Development Global Status and Perspectives Report 2010

5. There were certain thing that were pretty easy to find for Ecuador, but this was mostly broad statistics and information. My biggest struggle, however, was not necessarily finding information, but finding current information. I really did not find much after the year of 2007 or 2008, making it difficult to evaluate the current ICT situation of the country.

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Final Wrap Up

 I think the most important lessons to be learned in ICT have to do with monitoring and evaluation, and the willingness to admit failure and be flexible in project planning.

 Personally, I have learned the value of listening to the community, and using relevant participants instead of ideas form the funders or implementers of the project. It’s so much more important to listen to what the community wants and needs than to just go in and implement your own idea of how to fix a problem. Community involvement and constant research and needs assessments are so important to evaluating the success of projects and being able to modify them to become successful. Also, redefining what success means within ICTs is important- it should be more about the value of the qualitative results than just the numbers and figures on paper. 

The most useful concept we’ve looked at in my opinion has to be crowdsourcing, and the idea of using everyone’s knowledge combined together to create a solution to a problem. If people looked more at all the available resources out there to work with ICT4D instead of just what’s trending or popular, there could be much more effectively combined efforts to solve problems and implement projects. I think an additional topic that would be great to learn about more in this course would be how to create successful and effective monitoring and evaluation systems using the technologies we’ve discussed, and how they can be integrated in technology projects. 


Kenya ICT4D Resources

1. National Information and Communication Policy,published by the Ministry of Communications in 2006 National Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Policy by the Ministry of Information and Communications (2006) 

2. http://www.information.go.ke

3. The case study I examined was that of a project called eLimu, who delivered tablets and educational software to schools in Kenya in 2012. http://e-limu.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=27&Itemid=51

4. External Resources

https://www.infodev.org/infodev-files/resource/InfodevDocuments_409.pdf

http://www.researchictafrica.net/publications/ICT_Sector_Performance_Reviews_2010/Vol%202%20Paper%2010%20-%20Kenya%20ICT%20Sector%20Performance%20Review%202010.pdf

Internal Resources-

http://www.cck.go.ke/regulations/downloads/ICT_policy_guidelines_July_2013_FV3_-_5th_July_2013.pdf

5.  It was relatively easy to find quantitative data on Kenya’s ICT usage, because there is a lot of statistical data available, however this does not give an extremely accurate picture of what the average Kenyan’s ICT usage looks like. More reports and case studies would be helpful, although the data available is a good start.


Argentina ICT4D Resources

Post Title: [COUNTRY NAME] ICT4D Resources

Post Content:

1. Status of ICT Policy Development. Country Report Argentina. http://www.pro-ideal.eu/drupal/sites/default/files/D5.1_Status_of_ICT_policy_development_Country_report_Argentina.pdf. It was last updated in 2011.  Written in English.  It was created and published by pro-ideal.edu.

2. See above.

3.  http://svacademia.com/indices/digital-economy-ranking/

http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Documents/publications/mis2013/MIS2013_without_Annex_4.pdf

http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Documents/publications/mis2012/MIS2012_without_Annex_4.pdf 

http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict/publications/idi/

http://www.bnamericas.com/news/telecommunications/ict-development-index-2013-latam-winners-and-losers

http://www3.weforum.org/docs/GITR/2013/GITR_Chapter1.1_2013.pdf

4.  All relevant websites and sources are in listed in the links presented above.

5.  It was relatively difficult to find information regarding ICT Development progress in Argentina because the country lacks a unified, agreed upon report.  There are organizations, as the ones presented above that are not affiliated with the government that have goals to track the progress of ICT use and implementation in Argentina starting in 2011.


Lessons Learned

This semester, we talked a lot about what organizations and governments should not do in developing ICT policies and strategies or where these organizations/governments failed in implementing these strategies. And in our last class, we discussed a lot of the reasons for this failure, some included the “top-down” approach, the “one size fits all” method and lack of transparency. But the most salient lesson I learned, or the most all-inclusive lesson, was about communication and I learned it from Laura Walker Hudson’s TechChange video.

Hudson discussed her history in development work and why there are so many failures and challenges to implementing ICT4D. From the video, I started to understand why some people in developing countries are reluctant to use new technology or incorporate new ideas in development, whether that be with simple SMS messages to alert farmers about crop sizes or weather updates or a crazy, new technology that promises to fix every problem. These people need to be interacted with and communicated with properly in order to implement ICT policies that will actually better their lives and improve development. Too often, organizations or social entrepreneurs go into a new environment, guns blazing, and expect to be able to institute change without consulting enough of the local community. Or they simply just do not have an idea of what the people actually need and just provide them with a technology or idea that was successful in another country and another culture. Hudson really impressed upon the important of face-to-face interaction in implementing new information and communication technologies and in our world of smartphones and instant messaging, personal communication is often lost.

 


Côte d’Ivoire ICT4D Resources

 National ICT Policy/Plan/Strategy

NICI, National Information Communication Infrastructure, is Côte d’Ivoire’s national ICT policy and was launched in 1999. The final plan was approved by the Council of Ministers in July 2000 and targeted the development of an integrated and comprehensive national strategy through 2005. The policy was written in French with a title of “Plan de développement de l’Infrastructure Nationale de l’Information et de la Communication 2000 – 2005” and many government agencies worked together on the project, including the Ministries of Agriculture, Education, Economy and Finance, Health, Commerce, Planning and Development and the Prime Minister.

 

Government Resources

In order to ensure that this project was implemented properly and future ICT development projects, the Côte d’Ivoire government established a Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. This link provides information on the National Assembly of Côte d’Ivoire, which oversees the passing and implementation of laws and programs in the country.

 

External Resources

UNECA, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, provides some invaluable resources on the West Africa sub-region as well as Côte d’Ivoire itself. A journal published by UNECA in 2007 does not provide any information on Côte d’Ivoire but it has some important material about various national ICT policies and e-strategies adopted by various West African countries. This is applicable to my country because the Côte d’Ivoire might need to do more and copy the lead of their neighbors in developing their ICT policies.

 

ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States, was also a useful tool in gathering information for my country and learning about the economic developments in the region. The webpage provides some good knowledge on how the member states are developing economically and how they are using communication and information technology to do this.

 

Lastly, American University provides a lot of resources on the landscape of information technology in Côte d’Ivoire, including pages on the national ICT policy, e-commerce, e-government, the IT sector and telecommunication developments.

 

Notes

The resources that were provided on the class page were sufficient enough in providing information and rankings on ICT policies. But specific information, because Côte d’Ivoire is a francophone country and does not have a strong ICT sector, was hard to come by. The fact that their most recent national ICT policy available online is from 2000 shows that the country lags behind in ICT developments and therefore it was quite difficult to find the proper resources for this.


ICT4D Spring 2014 – Lessons Learned

Reflecting on this course, I can’t help but think that the class, and ICT4D itself, isn’t quite what I expected.  Every other class I have taken in my college career that discussed technology has painted it as an amazing tool, and that there was never enough of it. It was a go-to problem solver. Problems with technology or its appropriate use were never touched upon, and that is the perspective I had at the beginning of the semester.

Now, having learned so much about technology’s role in development, I have to say that that perspective has drastically changed. Before, I had never considered technology as being ‘appropriate’ or not. Of course technology was appropriate! It was innovative, sleek, and multifunctional. It was always relevant and acceptable. But walking away from the class, the biggest thing I think I’ve learned is that technology is not always the answer, and that there can be negative consequences if it is not used appropriately. Giving laptops to every child in a school in a developing country means nothing if we don’t also give those children the proper set up to use them. Who will teach them how to use the computers? Who will fix them if they break? How will they charge their batteries? Simply dumping technology into developing areas is not the answer, and I can clearly see that now.

I’m in no way saying that technology hasn’t completely changed the development landscape, but with its rise has come new challenges to consider. Using it wisely means more resources for more people, but if it is not monitored and used carefully it can have a myriad of negative consequences. This is a lesson I wish I had learned earlier and is something I will definitely be using in my future.