John Dryden: ICT Mainstreaming and the Quality of Development Cooperation

Notes from the the II Encuentro Internacional TIC para la Cooperación al Desarrollo (Development Cooperation 2.0: II International Meeting on ICT for Development Cooperation) held in Gijón, Spain, on February 10-12th, 2009. More notes on this event: cooperacion2.0_2009. More notes on this series of events: cooperacion2.0.

Innovating in ICT for Human Development
John Dryden, Ex-Deputy Director Science, Technology and Industry. OECD

Main learnings from the OECD in the field of ICT4D:

    OECD’s findings on the benefits of ICTs do not carry over easily to developiong countries.

  • Global initiatives in “ICT4D” have been long on discussion and short on action
  • ICT mainstreaming is indispensible to achieveing MDGs
  • ICT mainstreaming is implicit rather than explicit in the push for “aid effectiveness”
  • The conjuncture is very poor so current prospects do not appear good but there are a few developments that create opportunities both for development co-operation and for ICTs to enhance its quality and effectiveness

ICT in Development Cooperation institutions vs. ICT4D

ICTs in development cooperation

  • ICT aids management and delivery of development assistance
  • ICT “mainstreamed” as part of development assistance: ICTs integrated on what institutions “deliver”

ICT4D

  • All of the above, plus ICT productgion and use to achieve economic growth, development and social welfare.

The Seoul Declaration, 2008

  • Facilitate the convergence of digital networks, devices and services
  • Foster creativity in development, use and application of the Internet
  • Strengthen confidence and security
  • Ensure the Internet Economy is truly global

For developing countries, this means

  • more access to Internet and related ICTs
  • competition
  • use by all communities: local content and language, inclusion
  • energy efficiency

Against the Solow Paradox: there is now evidence on the economic impacts of ICTs:

  • macro-economic evidence on the role of ICT investment in capital deepening
  • sectoral analysis showing the contribution of (a) ICT-producing sectors and (b) ICT-using sectors to productivity growth
  • detailed firm-level analysis demonstrating the wide-ranging impacts of ICTs in productivity

Problems to implant ICTs in developing countries:

  • Barriers of entry and different people needs
  • The relationship between ICT investments and economic growth in OECD countries is complex and uncertain,highly dependent on complementary factors, many of which less apparent in developing countries: power supply, maintenance, skills and literacy, the degree to which society is networked, the extent to which its economy is reliant on services, etc.

The Genoa Plan of Action

  • development of national e-strategies
  • improve connectivity, increase access, lower costs
  • enhance human capacity development, knowledge creation and sharing
  • Foster enterprise, jobs and entrepreneurship

Mainstreaming ICTs

UN ICT Task Force Mainstreaming ICTs for the achievement of the MDGs: ICTs as an “enabler” of development, not a production sector

ICTs should be able to enable donnor coordination: need analysis, non-duplication of efforts and projects, etc.

Debate

Caroline Figueres: is effectiveness only top-down? aren’t we seeing bottom-up effectiveness? A: Yes, of course.

Development Cooperation 2.0 (2009)

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

Peña-López, I. (2009) “John Dryden: ICT Mainstreaming and the Quality of Development Cooperation” In ICTlogy, #65, February 2009. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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