IER report 2010 presented by Prof. Souter


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Official UNCTAD presentation of the Information Economy Report 2010 'ICTs, Enterprises and Poverty Alleviation' presented by Prof. David Souters on Thursday 14 October 2010 in The Hague, the Netherlands

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IER report 2010 presented by Prof. Souter

  1. 1. INFORMATION ECONOMY REPORT 2010 ICTs, Enterprises and Poverty Alleviation Presentation in [VENUE], 14 October 2010 David Souter UNCTAD Consultant EMBARGOEMBARGO The contents the Report must not be quoted or summarized in the print, broadcast or electronic media before 14 October 2010 17:00 GMT.
  2. 2. Reducing poverty a major challenge • 1.4 billion people live on less than $1.25 per day • Most poor are in Asia • Sub-saharan Africa has highest poverty rates • MDG1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger • 17/10: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty Distribution of poverty, 2005 People living on less than $1.25 (PPP) a day (millions) Source: UNCTAD, based on data from PovcalNet of the World Bank.
  3. 3. Technology should be better leveraged in meeting the MDGs New technology-based solutions that did not exist when the Goals were endorsed can and should be leveraged to allow for rapid scaling up. The most important of these technologies involve use of mobile telephones, broadband Internet, and other information and communications technologies. ” “ Source: Report of the Secretary-General, 12 February 2010, A/64/665.
  4. 4. Informational dimension of poverty • Poor people often lack access to vital information, for example about: – market price information – income-earning opportunities – weather forecasts – what pesticides and fertilizers to use – health – disaster risk reduction • Lack of information greater vulnerability
  5. 5. Focus of the IER 2010 • Trends in affordable access to different ICTs • Direct use of ICTs in enterprises – Different industries – Subsistence-based and growth-oriented enterprises – Value chain stages • Direct involvement of the poor in the ICT producing sector – as workers or entrepreneurs – ICT manufacturing – ICT and IT-enabled services – Large/medium vs. small/micro enterprises
  6. 6. Mobile revolution is reaching the LDCs bringing interactive connectivity for the first time Source: ITU World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators database. Penetration of selected ICTs in Least Developed Countries, 2000-2009 (per 100 inhabitants)
  7. 7. Some unfinished business remains Half of rural population in LDCs lack access to mobile signal Source: ITU.
  8. 8. New applications and services emerging • Voice-based services – helplines, agro-messages • SMS services – Election monitoring (Ghana) – Earthquake relief (Haiti) • Mobile money services – E.g. M-PESA, M-Paisa, Wizzit, GCash • Mobile micro insurance (Kilimo Salama, Kenya) • Rural health applications
  9. 9. More mobiles than bank accounts in LDCs Source: Data from ITU and CGAP. Mobile subscriptions and bank accounts per 100 inhabitants, selected LDCs, 2009
  10. 10. Affordability is key South Asian model attractive to low-income mobile users Source: Idea, MTN, Orascom, Portugal Telecom and Zain operating reports. Average revenue per mobile user, selected LDCs and India, 2009 (U.S. dollars) Attractive features for low- income users: - Long period for inactivity - Per-second charging - Nationwide tariffs - Low denomination recharge - “Friends and family”
  11. 11. Exploit the diversity of ICTs • ICTs – Mobile telephony – Fixed telephony – Personal computers – Internet – Broadband – Radio • Different features – Costs – Skills requirements – Power needs – Functionality – Access Each technology has its pros and cons to meet different user needs Opportunities for combined solutions
  12. 12. ICTs in enterprises can help the poor Preliminary evidence across sectors and countries • Cases cited in report – Dairy farmers in Bhutan – Grain traders in Niger – Fishermen in India and Ghana – Women weavers in Nigeria – M-Paisa in Afghanistan – Micro-enterprises in Mumbai – Handicraft in Viet Nam – And more… • Most important effects – Reduced information search and transactions costs – Improved communications within supply chains with benefits for individual enterprises and improvements in overall market efficiency • Preference for mobiles – Affordable access – Easy to use – Two-way communication – Serve basic needs
  13. 13. The poor and the ICT producing sector Some find new livelihoods in changing ICT landscape • Cases cited in report – Sellers of airtime in Bangladesh, Ghana, Uganda – SIM card sales in the Gambia – Mobile entrepreneurs in Venezuela – ICT micro-enterprises in urban slum in Mumbai – ICT manufacturing in China – Social outsourcing in India – And more… • Key findings – Micro-enterprises have large involvement of poor; exposed to risk and volatility – ICT manufacturing concentrated; but significant effects in China – High skill requirements a barrier in case of outsourcing, but second-order effects – “Social outsourcing˝ new development tool? – More attention needed to e- waste problem
  14. 14. Ecosystem for policies to reduce poverty via ICTs and Enterprises Source: UNCTAD and Emdon.
  15. 15. The Policy Challenge How to bring more benefits to the poor from ICTs in enterprises 1. Expand mobile coverage in places with no mobile signal 2. Make services affordable – learn from South Asia 3. Focus more on ICT adoption at low levels of economic activity and sophistication, incl. for subsistence enterprises 4. Make interventions more demand-driven – needs of enterprises differ by size, industry, location and skills 5. Assign greater role to mobile solutions in policy interventions 6. Work in partnership with development partners, private sector and civil society 7. Feature ICTs in poverty reduction strategies and UN Development Assistance Frameworks (UNDAFs)
  16. 16. The policy challenge is to take full advantage of the significant improvements in connectivity in ways that bring benefits to the poor. This task is far from complete. ” “ Source: IER 2010 Preface
  17. 17. Thank you! The Information Economy Report 2010 can be downloaded free of charge at