WSIS Draft Declaration of Principles and Draft Plan of Action

The WSIS Draft Declaration of Principles and Draft Plan of Action were uploaded yesterday.

My highlitghts (comments following):

“We are aware that ICTs should be regarded as tools and not as an end in themselves. Under favourable conditions, these technologies can be a powerful instrument, increasing productivity, generating economic growth, job creation and employability and improving the quality of life of all.”
[Declaration of Principles, point 9]

“These targets may be taken into account in the establishment of the national targets, considering the different national circumstances:
a) to connect villages with ICTs and establish community access points;
b) to connect universities, colleges, secondary schools and primary schools with ICTs;
c) to connect scientific and research centres with ICTs;
d) to connect public libraries, cultural centres, museums, post offices and archives with ICTs;
e) to connect health centres and hospitals with ICTs;
f) to connect all local and central government departments and establish websites and email addresses;
g) to adapt all primary and secondary school curricula to meet the challenges of the Information Society, taking into account national circumstances;
h) to ensure that all of the world’s population have access to television and radio services;
i) to encourage the development of content and to put in place technical conditions in order to facilitate the presence and use of all world languages on the Internet;
j) to ensure that more than half the world’s inhabitants have access to ICTs within their reach”
[Plan of Action, point 6]

“E-learning (see section C4)”
[Plan of Action, point 14 – see next highlight]

“Develop distance learning, training and other forms of education and training as part of capacity building programmes. ”
[Plan of Action, point 11-l]

“Activate volunteer programmes to provide capacity building on ICT for development, particularly in developing countries. ”
[Plan of Action, point 11-o]

Seeing this, I think that:

  • There’s still too much weight in infrastructures and capacity building and not in content and services.
  • ICT development is not needs (demand) driven but supply-side driven.
  • e-Learning is not a subject itself (such as e-government or e-health) but just a part of capacity building.
  • e-volunteers don’t (barely) exist as a concept and they deserve little attention while civil society it is said to have a main role in the whole thing

Well, this is just the opposite of my way of thinking.

  • Content and services should focus the whole attention and infrastructures and capacity building be adapted to them
  • ICT development should be (local) needs driven
  • e-Learning is not (only) capacity building but a very powerful means to profit from ICT applications in daily life and bring education (not only training) where before impossible
  • Civil society is mainly all about volunteers and teleworking/e-volunteering is the easiest way to reach each other.

If everyone’s thinking the other way, I wonder where and when did I take the wrong path… :(

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2003) “WSIS Draft Declaration of Principles and Draft Plan of Action” In ICTlogy, #3, December 2003. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
Retrieved month dd, yyyy from http://ictlogy.net/review/?p=40

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