State of ICT policy development and linkages withAgriculture in ACP countries24 – 25 April, 2013CTA
Background• Communication Action Plan (1999)• Pacific Islands ICT Policy and Plan (2002)• Pacific Plan Digital Strategy (2005)– Further endorsed by Forum ICT Ministers in 2006 :Wellington Declaration• Cairns Communique– Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) commissioned areview– SPC led the development of the framework• Pacific Regional ICT Ministers (2010 Tonga)– Endorsed the Framework for Action on ICT forDevelopment for the Pacific
Transferring Pacific ICT Outreach functions of SPCto University of the South Pacific (USP)• In 2012, the Independent External Review team conducted a review ofSPC. One of their recommendations was to transfer the function of SPC’sInformation and Communication Technology Outreach to the Universityof the South Pacific.• Earlier this year, SPC and USP signed a letter of agreement regarding thetransfer and integration of specific functions of SPC’s work programmeinto USP’s. USP has undertaken to develop and strengthen Pacific ICTOutreach activities, including countries and territories that are not USPmembers but are members of SPC, subject to resource availability. USPwill also provide updates through yearly reporting to the USP governingcouncil and Pacific ministers for communication. The letter of agreementis consistent with the role of the Council of Regional Organisations of thePacific (CROP) and its guiding principles of improving service.
USP – lead role• USP will take a lead role as chair of the ICT working group of the Council ofRegional Organisations in the Pacific, commonly known as CROP agencies.• This working group spearheads the Framework for Action on ICT for Developmentin the Pacific, recognising that ICT plays a critical role in the efforts of countries tomeet the Millennium Development Goals.• For those countries’ continued development it is critical that vibrant and market-driven ICT sectors are established. For your information, the Pacific Islands ForumSecretariat, in collaboration with SPC, commissioned a review of the Pacific digitalstrategy early in 2010. This strategy is an initiative under the Pacific Plan topromote economic growth, sustainable development, good governance andsecurity in Forum Countries.
Framework• Vision– Improved livelihood of Pacific communities througheffective utilization of ICT• Goals– Pacific Island nations to recognise and utilise ICT as anessential tool for socio economic sustainable development,good governance and security;– ICT be a national priority• Outcomes– Access to affordable ICT– Efficient and effective utilization of ICT for sustainabledevelopment
The status of PICTs is paramount and aregional framework cannot overridenational or territorial decisions. Thisframework will be guided by nationalpolicies and implementation plansThe status of PICTs is paramount and aregional framework cannot overridenational or territorial decisions. Thisframework will be guided by nationalpolicies and implementation plans
Themes• The successful implementation of the framework isdependent on the support and commitment of PICTs,development partners and other stakeholders;• The themes categorized the ICT priority areas and reflectcommonalities; and• The themes have been structured so as to provide a rationale,long-term objectives, key priorities, targets and milestones,policy objectives and regional strategies for 2011-2015.
ThemesFor each THEMES:• Expected Outcome• Rationale• Long-term objectives• Key priorities• Policy objectives and strategies for 2011-2015• Targets and milestones
Themes1. Leadership, governance, coordination and partnerships - strongleadership and appropriate governance mechanisms are needed toensure that the benefits of ICT are fully realised and wouldcontribute to the livelihood of Pacific Islanders.2. ICT policy, legislation and regulatory frameworks - the importanceof having a strong and effective policy and regulatory framework tocreate an enabling environment that promotes fair competition.3. ICT Human Capacity Building -the importance of investing in humanresource development in the ICT sector4. ICT Infrastructure and Access - most PICTs have poor infrastructure,including in ICT and energy.
Themes5. International Connectivity- high cost of internationalcapacity continues to be a major issue for PICTs6. Cyber security and ICT Applications1. cyber security is essential as nations become moredependent on ICT and it grows more pervasive inpeoples’ daily lives2. ICT can promote greater transparency and moreefficient, effective and accessible services5. Financing, monitoring and evaluation - the importanceof ensuring a coordinated approach to financing the ICTsector and of having a robust monitoring and evaluationframework
ICT Applications• ICT can promote greater transparency and more efficient, effective andaccessible services.– technologies such as mobile phones promote greater transparencyand more efficient, effective and accessible services.– ICT applications can assist the priority sectors such as health,agriculture and education through e-learning for affordableprofessional development, tele-health for affordable and accessiblehealth services– e-Agriculture for affordable access to market and information
Status of national ICT policiesCountry National ICT policy adopted Communication MarketAdopted Evaluation(Review)Draft prepared Open Market SeparateRegulatorCook Islands Fiji Kiribati RMI FSM NauruNiuePalau PNG Samoa Solomon Is. Timor LesteTonga TuvaluVanuatu Total 6 1 3 7 6
Country Sector Ministry StakeholderCommitteeOther RemarksCook Islands National ICT CommitteeFiji IT Advisory CouncilKiribati Ministry of Communications, Transport and TourismRMI Ministry of Transportation and CommunicationFSM Department of Transport, Communications andInformationNauru Department of Transport and TelecommunicationsNiue Niue Island Information, Technology &Communication and Development Council (NiDC)Palau National ICT Policy Task ForcePNG Interagency ICT TaskforceSamoa National ICT Steering CommitteeSolomon Is. ICT Working groupTimor Leste ARCOM (Sector regulator)Tonga Ministry of Information and CommunicationsTuvalu Ministry of Communications Transport and TourismVanuatu Ministry of Public Infrastructure and UtilitiesTotal 7 7 1Institutional arrangements for the development of national ICT policies in the PICs
The role of ICT in Agriculture and Rural Development• When we think of development, we should not only relate it to technology and it should notjust be about information. It should promote a discussion:– Information and knowledge exchange– People– Content• e-agriculture is "an emerging field” as referred by the United Nations which means we canstill redefine what e-agriculture• 2 area of focus:– Practice – how can we use ICT to develop collaborative approaches and implementactivities focusing on good practices and success stories in agriculture and ruraldevelopment– Policy -- how can we have an impact on food security by developing ICT policies andstrategies?
Heads of Agriculture and Forestry• The concept of e-agriculture was explained at the HOAFS meeting but with thenotion that it’s still an evolving field• In 2010, the officials of the Head of Agriculture and Forestry Services:– Acknowledged that ICT is an important tool that can contribute to thedevelopment of the Agriculture/Forestry and rural development sector;– Noted the ‘Framework for Action on ICT for Development in the Pacific inassisting the agriculture sector’ and SPC LRD ICT initiatives– Endorsed that the Land Resources Division will need to work withdevelopment partners and key stakeholders to develop a regional ICT foragriculture, forestry and rural development project
ICT for agriculture, forestry and ruraldevelopment• SPC worked on a proposal and submitted it to FAO Pacificregional office• Ad hoc activities and worked closely with partners such asCTA, FAO – Bangkok, EU, UNCTAD, ITC Geneva etc– Proposal outlined initiatives such as “promote informationsharing through the use of ICTs”– Promote market information systems --- using sms services– Create a query based system – LRD helpdesk system– Develop a website/portal to promote the work of SPC and LandResources to stakeholders and development partners– Youth and ICT in agriculture competitions
Country initiatives• With very little resources, we work with countries like Vanuatu toadvise them on e-agriculture activities. National ICT policy hasincorporated ICT for agriculture• Unfortunately, there’s not enough funds nor resources to workwith the rest of the countries• Online consultation• Difficult to work with national counterparts because of the lack ofcoordination between the ministries
Next steps?HOW CAN PARTNERS SUCH AS FAO AND CTAASSIST MEMBER COUNTRIES AND REGIONALORGANISATIONS?