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Bd ict research_desk_study_report_6 Bd ict research_desk_study_report_6 Document Transcript

  • Desk Study of the Research Reports on the Bangladesh ICT Industry Version 1.0 Fokhruz Zaman, Lead Consultant Md. Shakhawatul Islam, Research Assistant Dhaka, Bangladesh 28th August, 2007 Acknowledgements
  • We are grateful to these individuals who despite their busy schedules managed to help us in this desk study: • Mr. Rafiqul Islam Rowly, President (acting), BASIS • Mr. A K M Fahim Mashroor, Director, BASIS • Mr. Monirul Bashar, Business Consultant, Katalyst • Dr. Ananya Raihan, Executive Director, Development Research Network (D.net) • Mr. Birendra Nath Adhikary, Chief Operating Officer, Bangladesh Computer Samity (BCS) • Mr. Tarique M Barkatullah, Senior Systems Analyst, Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) • Mr. Anir Chowdhury, Policy Advisor, PMO/UNDP • Ms. Suparna Roy, PMO/UNDP • Mr. Nurul Amin, Secretary, BASIS • Mr. Shariar Shaams, Program Manager, BASIS
  • Table of Contents Executive Summary.............................................................................................................5 Background..........................................................................................................................9 Desk Report Methodology.................................................................................................10 Desk Report Scope.............................................................................................................10 Limitations.........................................................................................................................10 Overview of the ICT studies..............................................................................................11 Findings from the ICT studies...........................................................................................31 Overall Comments.............................................................................................................45 Recommendations .............................................................................................................50 Conclusion.........................................................................................................................52 References..........................................................................................................................52
  • Executive Summary Bangladesh ICT Industry Associations have long been planning for periodic comprehensive research studies to formulate national strategic ICT roadmaps by reputed international consulting organization(s). The inspiration is largely because of the NASSCOM-McKinsey annual research studies and their success stories in India. The ICT Business Promotion Council (Ministry of Commerce) has recently decided to undertake such research studies for the Bangladesh ICT Industry. Different ICT industry associations in the country are also closely involved in designing the study. It has been felt that before designing the final Terms of Reference (ToR) of that study, it is important to take stock of the already completed studies / surveys carried out by different organizations / agencies during last few years on ICT industry in the country. So, this Desk Study was required. The purpose of this Desk Study was to gather and screen the research reports on the ICT industry, summarize the findings, and make a qualitative judgment on them. In the last 8 to 10 weeks, we contacted government bodies (e.g. BCC), ICT associations (e.g. BASIS, BCS), Development Agencies (like Katalyst, SEDF), NGOs dealing with ICT (D.Net), individual ICT experts and the Internet to look for reports and publications on the ICT industry of Bangladesh. After much persistence, we managed to collect 41 publications through our initial screening. We filtered again and selected 24 research & study reports to do further analysis. This screening was done based on our qualitative judgment and possible alignment to the future Strategic Roadmap for the Bangladesh ICT Industry. The studied reports can be broadly classified into 6 gross categories: Overall ICT Industry, Software Industry, IT Enabled Services (ITES), Human Capacity Development / Human Resource Development (HCD/HRD), ICT Adoption, Telecom Infrastructure. These categories are informal and a bit arbitrary, and we did not follow any formal ICT Industry taxonomy here. We hope that the future in-depth comprehensive research studies will look into this and formalize according to our national priorities and global acceptance. In the beginning, our desk study report provides an overview of the studied reports. Out of the 6 gross categories, we have 5 reports in the first, i.e. Overall ICT Industry category. (i) “Baseline Survey on IT Sector of Bangladesh (BCS, Nov, 2000),” studied the Hardware, Software, ISP & IT Training Companies in Bangladesh, analysed the trend from 1983 to 1999, and provided many statistics. (ii) “Bangladesh in the New Millennium – An IT Power House: Recommendation to the Government of Bangladesh (AABEA Silicon Valley Chapter, SBIT2000 Conference Follow-up Committee, 2001).” It made use of recommendations from numerous discussions among the NRB professionals and feedback from American corporate executives. Five problematic areas were identified by NRBs from the Silicon Valley. (iii) “Policy Brief on "Information and Communication Technology" (CPD, Aug 2001),” detailed the Overall ICT Industry Policy Gudielines for the new govt after the 2001 election. CPD made a Task Force comprising known experts and individuals from the ICT Industry, & Academia. (iv) “BD ICT Policy Review Report 2003” This study was mainly the Review of the
  • recommendations of the task force, 2001. (v) “ICT Sub Sector Study in Bangladesh (JOBS IRIS, 2005)”, was a follow up of 2 seminars organized in 2001 and 2002. We have 3 reports in the Software Industry category. These are: (i) “Export of Computer Software from Bangladesh: Problems and Prospects (JRC Study, September 1997)” ;(ii) “Bangladesh Software Industry Survey Report- 2004 (JETRO)”. The JRC study was based on meetings with exporters and government officials including the BSCIC Electronics Complex, EPB, and also from a knowledge gathering mission in India. The JETRO study did a questionnaire survey on 99 known software development companies and used SWOT analysis; and (iii) “Bangladesh Software Industry & its Dynamics (BASIS, 2005),” gave us an overview of domestic software market; export and import of software; technical skill matrix and workforce dynamics of the industry. The ITES category contains 3 reports: (i) “Elements of a National Strategy for Development of an Information Technology Enabled Services Sector in Bangladesh (CARANA Corporation, Apr 2002)” encompassed two different opinion surveys (ii) “External Market Analysis (CARANA Corporation, 2002)”, where the respondents were from different public bodies, private sector associations, ITES firms, and the sponsors for the study and (iii) Study of e-Commerce in Bangladesh (BEI, May’05) depended on questionnaire based surveys, face-to-face meetings, and phone conversations with officials in 5 export oriented sectors and different government organizations. It began by clearly explaining the concept of e-Commerce. The HCD/HRD category contains 5 reports: (i) The first one is “Human Capacity Development (CARANA Corporation, 2002)”, conducted interviews with officials from different software manufacturing firms, universities, training institutes, and other organizations as direct participants of the ICT industry. (ii) The second report is “ICT Skills Gap Assessment - Public Sector Assessment (JOBS IRIS, 2006).” Interview with government officials were conducted. (iii) The report “ICT Skills Gap Assessment - Private Sector and Academia (JOBS IRIS, 2006)” included a 2-part survey on the academic and private sector human resources environment and skill requirements for ICT in Bangladesh. The respondent universities represented the majority of the student population. (iv)The last report is “Bridging Digital Divide for Rural Youth: An Experience from Computer Literacy Programme (CLP) in Bangladesh (D-Net, 2006)”, where both CLP and non-CLP schools were surveyed. The respondents included students, teachers, head teachers, and guardians. (v) Strategic Plan for Higher Education in Bangladesh: 2006--2026 The ICT Adoption category contains 6 reports: (i) The first report is: “Peoples’ Report on MDG: Bangladesh (D.Net)”, which critically assessed the UN MDG (Millennium Development Goals) and its performance indicators achieved by the BD Govt. (ii) The second report “ICT / ITeS Need Assessment Study (AC Nielsen, 2005)”, followed a two-step survey: (a) In-Depth interview and (b) SME survey. The respondents included different SME verticals. (iii) The next report is “ICT4D Status Report 1.0 (D-Net, 2006)”, which was prepared through numerous meetings with different organizations, desk research along with interviews and field level data collection. There were 5 separate
  • chapters written by 5 separate individuals / institutions. (iv)The final report is: “Final Report on the Law of Information Technology (Law Commission)”, studied about the legal aspects of ICT Adoption, the needed regulatory framework for e-commerce, e-governance, PKI issues, Cyber Laws, and related legal aspects.; (v) Study of e-Government in Bangladesh; (vi) SICT’S Steps towards Good Governance through ICTs: Bangladesh’s E-Governance Strategy The Telecom Infrastructure category contains 2 reports: (i) “Bangladesh Telecom Brief”, briefed overview of the changes, features, and the players in the Bangladesh telecom sector in 2004. The paper was presented in a New Delhi, India Conference. (ii) “Community Access Point or Telecentre Movement in Bangladesh (D.net, Nov’06)” gave a brief presentation of the current telecentre initiatives. Next, our desk study report reveals the summary findings from each of the reports. We can list those under the 6 gross categories: Overall ICT Industry - Definition, implications in the context of Bangladesh, necessities for its implementation, and constraints faced in implementation for e-policy, e-governance, e-commerce and e-HRD; recommendations for maturity of e-policy, e-governance, e-commerce and e-HRD; Under each of the 5 problematic areas discovered in the Silicon Valley conference, the report discussed (i) its necessity, (ii) the roles and responsibilities of the government, RB and NRB in establishing the area, (iii) recommendations by AABEA SV. Software industry - The finance, human resource, infrastructure, and marketing related problems (i.e. the problems impeding growth) and their recommendations for the software industry; the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats facing the software industry. ITES (IT Enabled Services) - The strengths, weaknesses, threats, and recommendations facing the ITES sector; overview of the outsourcing industry and the various factors involved in outsourcing decisions; global trends in e-Commerce; current preparedness of the private sector, the government, and the ICT industry for e-Commerce in Bangladesh; constraints of e-Commerce growth in Bangladesh; recommendations and action-items for industry associations, individual firms, the government, and the academia. HCD / HRD - Assessment of HCD capacity and existing constraints; strategies to reduce / eliminate the constraint; positive developments and recommendations for this sector; study of the gap between the skills of graduates in the ICT field and the skills in demand in the private sector; the current disadvantages plaguing e-government in Bangladesh; recommendations pertaining to Bangladesh’s government HR and to the government; recommendations for collaboration between the academic and private sectors, as well as further recommendations specific to each sector; private sector analysis revealed the
  • market growth and human resources trends; 14 recommendations and 10 future work suggestions were made by judging the CLP. ICT Adoption – The PMDG on ICT is guided by three major components: poverty alleviation, sustainable economic growth, and economic development. The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats facing the ICT sector. Bangladesh stands at 171 out of 180 countries in connectivity & ICT diffusion index. The BTRC must be dynamic in telecom regulations. Telecom Infrastructure - Some constraints/challenges faced by the telecentres in Bangladesh; reasons why building a telecentre network is important; no clear, long-term strategy for sector development; political influence on industry reform proposals; inefficient telephone network. Finally, we have commented on each of our studied reports and also recommended a few of the reports in each of the 6 categories that we have found useful for future reference. We knew that SEDF (South Asia Enterprise Development Facility) had been conducting some rigorous ICT Industry Research for Bangladesh, especially on the Software Industry during the 2003—2004 timeframe. They were also trying to get some famous international consulting firms to help preparing the ICT strategic roadmap for Bangladesh. We consider that all those efforts, artifacts are still very valuable for our ICT Industry and the current desk study. But after repeated mails and phone queries, we could not get any response from the SEDF. We request BASIS, IBPC once again to pursue SEDF to get all those valuable documents for our ICT Industry’s benefits. We also came to know that BCC took several study & research attempts during 1991 – 92. But we could not find those reports from BCC. We request BASIS, IBPC to arrange those studies, and also pursue World Bank to know the detailed Project Status reports of their BDXDP Project which gave special emphasis to the ICT sector. All the research & study reports, done so far for the Bangladesh ICT Industry, largely failed to boost the Industry to our expected levels. In our opinion, the studies & research reports with their islands-like appearances are also partially responsible with all of us (the Study Sponsors and the Industry Participants) for this overall failure. Because, if the studies were appropriately designed, duly followed up by subsequent studies and implemented with pragmatic recommendations in the last 10 years in Bangladesh, then we could observe some specific developments in the ICT industry. The ground realities should also have been reflected in the studies with credible data and further suggestions. Thoroughly researched data, results, and realistic recommendations would encourage industry participants to take these studies seriously. Then they would take those recommendations as the Industry guidelines as well as the strategic themes for the individual companies.
  • Background Bangladesh ICT Industry Associations have long been planning for periodic comprehensive research studies to formulate national strategic ICT roadmaps by reputed international consulting organization(s). The inspiration is largely because of the NASSCOM-Mckinsey annual research studies and their success stories in India. The ICT Business Promotion Council (Ministry of Commerce) has recently decided to undertake such research studies for the Bangladesh ICT Industry. Different ICT industry associations in the country are also closely involved in designing the study. It has been felt that before designing the final Terms of Reference (ToR) of that study, it is important to take stock of the already completed studies / surveys carried out by different organizations / agencies during last few years on ICT industry in the country. So, this Desk Study was required. This desk study has been sponsored by: – Bangladesh Association for Software and Information Services (BASIS) – ICT Business Promotion Council (IBPC) – Katalyst, Bangladesh With the help of the other sponsors, BASIS has now initiated this project and as a pre-requisite it needs to collect all the reports prepared on the Bangladeshi ICT industry over the last 10 years or so. This report is a part of that fact finding mission. BASIS has appointed Mr. Fokhruz Zaman, Co-Founder CTO of Millennium Information Solution Ltd., to conduct the research involved because of his ICT Industry research passion and long experience in the global software development industry. He has brought in Md. Shakhawatul Islam, a BBA student from Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Dhaka University, to assist him with the project. We have collected all the reports and publications that we have come to know about, made a qualitative judgment on them through skimming and separated the more useful ones for further analysis. We tried to evaluate whether a report is well written or not on the basis of its presentation of facts and whether the authors’ judgments were based on facts. We believe in the statement by Charles Prestwich Scott, a British journalist, publisher and politician, that “Comments are free, but facts are sacred.” Once the better reports were separated, we outlined the overview and summarized the findings from them to give the reader a brief outlook of each of the reports. Then we commented on the quality of the studied reports based on the methodology followed in preparing the report and the findings from it. We hope that our study will help unleash more comprehensive research projects in the ICT industry and fulfill the ultimate development goal of this industry.
  • Desk Report Methodology (i) Collect as many reports as possible done over the last 10 years on the Bangladeshi ICT sector from different government bodies, private sector associations, NGOs and the internet. (ii) Study all the collected materials, make a qualitative judgment of them and separate the more useful ones for further analysis. (iii) Summarize the findings from the latter reports and, based on the methodology and the findings, comment on the quality each of the reports. Desk Report Scope In scope – It was in our scope to collect and study only those publications that fulfilled the following criterions: • Involved some fact finding • Required extensive study • Has rich primary and secondary data sources • Qualified in our qualitative judgment. Out of scope – • We were not required to do an exhaustive study on the ICT industry • It was not in our scope to judge the quality of the data collected in the studies • We did not need to communicate with the sponsors, researchers or respondents of each studied report Limitations • Often the reports and the publications could not be easily obtained. We had to knock in some offices for a number of times before receiving any response.
  • Overview of the ICT studies Category: Overall ICT Industry Study / Research ID: BLS_IT_S_BD Title: Baseline Survey on IT Sector of Bangladesh Month: November Year: 2000 Authors: Mr. Kamrul Ahsan, M. Rafiqul Islam Sponsor:The Asia Foundation Reported by: Bangladesh Computer Samity (BCS) Sector/Focus: Overall ICT Industry. Attempts to baseline the overall IT sector status in Bangladesh Methodology Primary Data Collection used Survey Questionnaires, Interviews with ICT Industry Experts; Used the published data from BCS, BCC, and BASIS. Overview Attempted to baseline the Overall ICT Industry in Bangladesh. The research analyzed the Hardware, Software, Internet Service Providers (ISP) and ICT Education & Training companies in Bangladesh from 1983 to 1999. This study took all these 4 categories into account and attempted an in-depth look into their business and business environment. Study / Research ID: BD_NM_R_GOB Title: Bangladesh in the New Millennium “An IT Power House”: Recommendation to the Government of Bangladesh Month: February Year: 2001 Authors: Jahangir Dewan, Munir Ahmed, Zeeshan Khan Sponsor: Not applicable Reported by: AABEA Silicon Valley Chapter, SBIT2000 Conference Follow-up Committee Sector/Focus: Overall ICT Industry. Recommendations from AABEA Silicon Valley Chapter to help Bangladesh gain a foothold in the global IT market. Methodology The recommendations were the results of numerous discussions among the NRB professionals and incorporated feedback from executives of corporate America who have lead several companies and have direct knowledge of the state of the industry. BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 11 of 52 26.aug.07
  • Overview NRBs from the Silicon Valley have identified several problem areas; only five areas were discussed in this proposal: • Resource Development & Planning • Focused Team • Infrastructure • Business Promotion & Marketing • Funding Study / Research ID: BD_ICT_P_RR Title: Policy Brief on "Information and Communication Technology" Date: Jan, 2003 Authors: Professor Jamilur Reza Chowdhury, Professor Muhammad Jafar Iqbal, Dr. Ananya Raihan, and other members of the task force Sponsor: Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Reported by: Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Task Force Sector/Focus: Overall ICT Industry Methodology • Dissection by the stakeholders in a regional dialogue, organized by CPD, the daily Prothom Alo and the Daily Star in Sylhet on August 16, 2001. • The task force members examined the suggestions scrupulously and incorporated only those recommendations, which were not overlapping with already inserted recommendations and were not well argued. • The task force gathered already existing works, prepared by different forum and organizations and also current policy documents as the point of departure. • The task force mainly translated existing academic and applied research and views of different stakeholders into practical policy recommendations, which have been mapped on the proposed framework. • The task force distinguished short term [implementable within two years] and mid term [implementable within five years] action plans to be adopted and implemented by government and other stakeholders. Overview Actions (short and mid terms) and priorities for the policy maker concentrated on the following subject areas under the headings, each of which was discussed in detail below: • A Framework for Policy briefs • Information Infrastructure 1. Regulatory Issues; 2. Universal access; 3. Fixed network development; 4. Mobile network development; BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 12 of 52 26.aug.07
  • 5. Interconnectivity; 6. National telecom policy; 7. Spectrum management and Licensing; 8. Convergence; 9. The Internet; 10. Information Security and Network Reliability. • Human Resource Development 1. ICT Education 2. ICT Training 3. ICT Based Education • Economy and ICT 1. ICT Industry 2. ICT for Business Process Reengineering 3. Human Resources for Automation 4. E-Commerce • Acceleration of Poverty Alleviation through ICT • Universalization of Quality Health Care Services through ICT • Financial Infrastructure 1. Automation of Financial Institutions 2. ICT Based Financial Products 3. Financing ICT Industry • Legal Infrastructure for NII • Efficiency of the Government 1. Access to Government Information 2. Efficiency of Government Agencies 3. Improvement of Government Transparency 4. Online Government Services • Digital Empowerment of Women • Resource Allocation and Fiscal Measures • Institutional Framework for Coordination of Development of NII Study / Research ID: BD_ICT_P_RR Title: BD ICT Policy Review Report 2003 Date: Jan, 2003 Authors: Prof. Jamilur Reza Chowdhury, Prof. Muhammad Jafar Iqbal, Dr. Ananya Raihan, and other members of the task force Sponsor: Center for Policy Dialogue Reported by: CPD Task Force Sector/Focus: Overall ICT Industry Methodology Several Focused Group Discussions (FGD) within the 14 reconvened CPD Task Force members. Took the 2001 Policy Recommendations by CPD Task Force Members as the BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 13 of 52 26.aug.07
  • baseline and reviewed the policy implementations. Revised some recommendations and also added new ones based on the ground realities in 2003. Overview This study is mainly the Review of the recommendations of the task force, 2001; in the Pre-election policy brief prepared by the ICT task Force, 2001 a comprehensive policy document was prepared, which provided 210 broad and specific action agenda under eleven important areas of intervention by the government. The policy brief also suggested the urgency of implementation by mentioning time frame of implementation and potential initiating and implementing agencies. This study tried to make a thorough review of all the prior policy recommendations. In the Policy Report of 2001 the Task Force presented 210 policy recommendations in form of action agenda under 121 broad categories. The Task Force revisited those recommendations and reorganized them under 6 broad categories:  Information Infrastructure  Human Resource Development  ICT Economy  Acceleration of Poverty Alleviation through ICT  ICT and Government  Others Study / Research ID: ICT_SSS_BD Title: ICT Sub Sector Study in Bangladesh Month: May Year: 2005 Authors: Imran Shauket (Country Director), Erika Hoffman-Kiess (Deputy Director) Sponsor: JOBS Reported by: IRIS Center, University Research Corporation Inc. (URCI), University of Maryland Sector/Focus: Overall ICT Industry. A literature review of ICT thinking in Bangladesh Methodology In 2001, JOBS, in partnership with the Ministry of Planning and the Ministry of Science and Technology, coordinated the acclaimed “E-Commerce in Bangladesh: Potential and Policy Priorities” seminar, bringing together all key stakeholders in ICT. At the conclusion of this event, the seminar participants had produced 35 recommendations for capturing the potential of e-Commerce for Bangladesh. In 2002, at the “ICT Policy and Practice – Steps to the Future” seminar, in partnership with the newly expanded Ministry of Science and ICT and the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), those recommendations were revisited and progress was assessed. BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 14 of 52 26.aug.07
  • The recommendations coming out of these two seminars have been combined with those from the secondary literature review; thereby enabling a comprehensive recap of progress made to date and required future steps in all four areas of ICT. While the final list of recommendations is rather long, this report posits that efforts can be concentrated most effectively in the area of e- HRD. Overview • The report discussed the definition, implications in the context of Bangladesh, necessities for its implementation, and constraints faced in implementation for e-policy, e-governance, e-commerce and e-HRD. • The report provided recommendations for maturity of e-policy, e-governance, e-commerce and e-HRD. Category: Software Industry Study / Research ID: E_CS_BD_P&P Title: Export of Computer Software from Bangladesh: Problems and Prospects Month: September Year: 1997 Authors: Prof. Jamilur Reza Choudhury and other members of the committee Sponsor: Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh Reported by: The Committee Formed by the Ministry of Commerce, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh Sector/Focus: Software Industry. Review of the problems and prospects of software export from Bangladesh and formulation of recommendations on promotion of software export. Methodology In the first meeting, the Committee invited some members from private sector software houses involved in exports, so as to draw benefits from their experiences. The Committee held a series of meetings and analyzed data and information collected from various published sources. The Committee sent delegations to India. They visited Mumbai, Bangalore and Calcutta to acquire first-hand knowledge from the leading members of the software Industry of India. A team visited the BSCIC Electronic Complex Building at Mirpur and had discussions with BSCIC officials. The team also visited the newly constructed Tongi-Ashulia Road to carry out an inspection of the possible site for Information Technology Village. Overview BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 15 of 52 26.aug.07
  • • The Committee has identified the major problems which are impeding the growth of software industry and has made recommendations for their solution. These are summarized in tables under four functional areas :  Fiscal  Human Resource Development  Infrastructure  Marketing Bangladesh has quite a few inherent strengths which can be used as the launching pad for making this country a potential offshore source of Software and Data Processing Services. Study / Research ID: BD_SISR Title: Bangladesh Software Industry Survey Report- 2004 Month: April Year: 2004 Authors: Not mentioned Sponsor: Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Dhaka Reported by: A & J Consultants Sector / Focus: Software Industry. The current Bangladesh ICT Software Industry, its growth, trends and characteristics. Methodology Target Area: Known software development companies in all over Bangladesh. Survey format: Conducted via enumerators following screening by telephone. Survey target: Software development companies involved in local and export business No. of samples: 99 samples (Registered with BCS and BASIS – 72; Non Registered Software firms – 17) Selection of target companies: Mailed to all companies on BASIS and BCS involved in software development. The survey was carried out by the circulation of a questionnaire to the selected firms in the few weeks of January and February 2004. The questions requested specific answers. Two areas were explored: access to an ICT solution provider and Software development firms. Primary Sources - ICT Solution Provider and Software Development Firms Secondary Sources – Various government organizations, private sector associations, internet and paper media. Overview • The report provided SWOT analysis of the software industry. • This report covered the following topics: BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 16 of 52 26.aug.07
  •  The growth of the software industry, ICT market, total export sales, total imports, total sales of local business and the ICT professionals. All the over-the-years data show a positive trend and needs further encouragement for the good of the economy.  The finance, human resource, infrastructure, and marketing related problems and their recommendations are listed. Study / Research ID: BD_SI_D Title: Bangladesh Software Industry & its Dynamics Date: 2005 Author: Fahim Mashroor Sponsor: BASIS Reported by: Fahim Mashroor Sector/Focus: Software Industry Methodology Secondary Research on prior studies & some updated market data through BASIS survey. Overview Reported the BASIS conducted study results so far. Summarized report with recent data. The market size of the total ICT industry in Bangladesh is estimated to be approximately Tk 1,300 crore per year (excluding the telecom sector). Out of this, the software segment (comprising mostly of customized and packaged software - not including different types of IT enabled services like desktop publishing, multimedia, animation, GIS, data entry, digitization etc.) is estimated to be more than Tk. 200 crore per year. In 2005, BASIS undertook a business focus survey among 152 software companies (including both BASIS member and non member companies) to identify the nature of products/services as well as client segments of the local software companies. Category: IT Enabled Services (ITES) Industry Study / Research ID: E_NS_D_ITES_S_BD Title: Elements of a National Strategy for Development of an Information Technology Enabled Services Sector in Bangladesh Month: April Year: 2002 Authors: Not mentioned Sponsor: USAID Bangladesh IT Enabled Services Project Reported by: CARANA Corporation Sector / Focus: ITES. Review of the market for ITeS and the comparative advantage of the Bangladeshi firms. BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 17 of 52 26.aug.07
  • Methodology The execution of the study involved detailed research involving 2 trips to Bangladesh, as well as a visit to the Philippines to examine their recent success in this market. The study also commissioned two opinion surveys: one of Bangladesh firms, government officials, and NGOs, and the second survey of non-resident Bangladeshis Overview • The factors limiting the growth of Bangladesh in this market • A reasonable strategy for Bangladesh entry into the ITES market includes a number of components • Recommendations for the sector Study / Research ID: E_M_A Title External Market Analysis Month: April Year: 2002 Authors: Clarissa Dimacali Sponsor: USAID Reported by: CARANA Corporation Sector / Focus: ITES. An overview of the outsourcing industry, including the offshore outsourcing market. The opportunities and operational constraints underlining several ITES segments. Methodology Participants in this study included representatives from the GOB Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), the Bangladesh Computer Council, private sector associations such as the Bangladesh Computer Society, Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services, several individual ITeS firms, the JOBS project, and USAID. The group used the following criteria to evaluate the ITeS segments on which Bangladesh could focus its efforts: • Competitiveness Potential  Availability of qualified human resources  Availability of affordable and reliable technology  Supportive policy environment, few policy, legal and regulatory barriers • Economic Impact  Potential to reduce poverty, including creation of new jobs  Potential to grow economy through expansion of total Bangladeshi exports BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 18 of 52 26.aug.07
  •  Potential to modernize portions of the domestic economy through backward linkages that create opportunity for other firms • Potential for successful implementation  Existence of a “champion” or other strong institutional support to undertake initiatives  Relative ease of overcoming policy, legal, regulatory and infrastructure barriers  Availability of government, private sector, or donor resources to support implementation The chosen segments (Data Category: Low, Medium or High Tiers) were defined by the requirements primarily for labor and infrastructure, and the complexity of the process and the value added. Overview This study – • provided an overview of the outsourcing industry, including the offshore outsourcing market; • addressed the various factors involved in the outsourcing decision, including attributes that determine country and company competitiveness; • analyzed several ITES segments in which Bangladesh could compete based on the strength of its current assets that enable the industry, and the severity of constraints present that inhibit growth. Study / Research ID: S_EC_BD Title: Study of e-Commerce in Bangladesh Month: May Year: 2005 Authors: Farooq Sobhan (TL), Mridul Chowdhury (ICT Consultant), M. Shafiullah (Prj Co-ord), Zahid Hossain (Research Faci), Marium Binte Husainy (RA), Shah Imraul Kaeesh(RA), Shahriar Islam(RA), Shahriar Shafiullah(RA), S.M. Mobasser Hussain(RA) Sponsor: The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) Reported by: Bangladesh Enterprise Institute Sector/Focus: ITES. The global scenario of e-Commerce in certain key export-oriented industries and recommendations and action-items for relevant stakeholders for nation-wide e-Commerce implementation. Methodology • Questionnaire-based surveys and face-to-face meetings with representatives from private companies in the following export oriented industries: o Ready-made Garments (RMG) o Pharmaceuticals o Footwear o Frozen food BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 19 of 52 26.aug.07
  • o Handicrafts • Surveys, meetings and phone conversations with officials at relevant offices under the Ministry of Commerce and other relevant government offices which are related to trade, such as Board of Investment (BOI), National Board of Revenue (NBR) and the Bangladesh Bank. Overview • Conceptualization of e-Commerce • Global trends in e-Commerce • Current preparedness of the private sector, the government, and the ICT indstry for e-Commerce in Bangladesh • Constraints of e-Commerce growth in Bangladesh: o Limitation in Supportive Legal and Policy Framework o Low-quality and Expensive Telecommunication Facilities o Customs and Port Clearance o Lack of online Payment System o Lack of Awareness among Businessmen o Lack of e-Commerce Initiatives by Industry Associations o Lack of e-Commerce Initiatives by the Government • Recommendations and action-items for industry associations, individual firms, the government, and the academia Category: Human Capacity Development (HCD) / Human Resource Development (HRD) in the ICT Industry Study / Research ID: H_C_D Title: Human Capacity Development (HCD) Month: April Year: 2002 Authors: Carl Miller Sponsor: USAID Reported by: CARANA Corporation Sector/Focus: HCD/HRD. Assessment of human capacity development (HCD) capacity and existing constraints and proposal of strategies to reduce or eliminate the constraints. Methodology Primary Source: Interviews with officials from different software manufacturing firms, universities, training institutes, and other organizations connected to the ICT industry. Secondary Source: Data accumulated by the ICT Task Force. BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 20 of 52 26.aug.07
  • Overview This research project – • assessed human capacity development (HCD) capacity and existing constraints and proposed strategies to reduce or eliminate the constraint; • provided an overview of the existing HCD and made recommendations. Study / Research ID: ICT_SGA_PSA Title: ICT Skills Gap Assessment - Public Sector Assessment Month: June Year: 2006 Authors: Not mentioned Sponsor: UNDP Reported by: JOBS-IRIS Bangladesh Sector/Focus: HCD/HRD. Examination of the current state of the ICT industry regarding its Human Resources needs and demands. Methodology • This assessment took a case-study approach in order to identify a coherent ICT strategy implemented by another state, which could serve as a potential template for Bangladesh. Pakistan was chosen as the subject for the case study because of its marked geographic, demographic, socioeconomic, and technological similarities with Bangladesh. • Bangladeshi government officials were contacted to assess their HR staffing capabilities and needs. A representative from the Ministry of Establishment was interviewed and provided statistics. • Information gathered was limited, but did prove useful alongside parallel information gathered from case studies of other countries. Overview • ICT developments in Bangladesh’s government and its ICT HR needs. • Analysis of Pakistan’s e-government strategy and how it can be used in case of Bangladesh. • Recommendations pertaining to Bangladesh’s government HR • Recommendations Pertaining to the Government Study / Research ID: ICT_SGA_PS&A Title: ICT Skills Gap Assessment - Private Sector and Academia Month: June Year: 2006 Authors: Not mentioned Sponsor: UNDP BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 21 of 52 26.aug.07
  • Reported by: JOBS-IRIS Bangladesh Sector/Focus: HCD/HRD. Examination of the current state of the ICT industry regarding its Human Resources needs and demands. Methodology In response to the apparent disconnect between ICT human resources supply and demand, JOBS/IRIS and UNDP Bangladesh undertook a two part survey on the academic and private sector human resources environment and skill requirements for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the country. The intention of these surveys was to: 1. Develop baseline data on the skill sets taught by ICT universities and their graduation rates – supply side; 2. Develop baseline data on the skill sets and numbers of ICT professionals required by the private and government sectors – demand side; 3. Determine the nature of any gap between ICT human resources supply and demand and investigate possible causes; 4. Provide actionable recommendations to close the gap between private sector/government needs and academic teaching. • This report relied on surveys, phone interviews, key informant interviews (KIIs) and focus group discussions (FGDs). • The survey was sent to a total of twelve educational institutions: six public universities and six private ones. These institutions produce the majority of the IT workforce in Bangladesh. Sixty percent of the respondents were located in the Dhaka metropolitan area, reflecting the fact that the majority of higher education institutions are situated there. Overview • Analysis of the academic environment in terms of its current situation, the skills gap arising between demand of and supply for IT graduates, graduate statistics, and technology tracks. • Analysis of the private sector depicting the growth and trends of the ICT market, followed by the HR trends. • Recommendations for collaboration between the academic and private sectors, as well as further recommendations specific to each sector. Study / Research ID: SP_HE_BD_06_26 Title: Strategic Plan for Higher Education in Bangladesh: 2006--2026 Month: November Year: 2006 Authors: Strategic Planning Committee (SPC), University Grants Commission (UGC) Sponsor: Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, World Bank Reported by: University Grants Commission of Bangladesh (UGC) Sector/Focus: Education sector / Higher education focus BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 22 of 52 26.aug.07
  • Methodology Mostly secondary data driven. The Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) held several sessions for brainstorming and idea generation to outline the future of Higher Education in Bangladesh. The study scope is: (i) draft an overall vision for higher education and to develop indicative targets for the growth of public and private providers over the next twenty years; (ii) recommend ways in which the quality of higher education can be improved in all parts of the public and private sectors; (iii) review the current legislative framework governing public and private higher education; (iv) recommend options for developing the strategic direction and overall management of the sector; (v) review the forecasts for the provision of higher education and identify the options for funding from all sources; (vi) identify the options for a research strategy for the higher education sector and suggest ways of enhancing capacity to international standards; and (vii) devise a strategy for strengthening the capacity of higher education to contribute to the country's skills in ICT and to use ICT effectively in all its learning and teaching processes. Overview This is the Bangladesh Higher Education Strategic Plan for the next 20 years starting from 2006. Although it covers the overall Higher Education for Bangladesh, but it gives special emphasis for the ICT in Higher Education. It discusses about the current scenario for teaching ICT, vision for ICT in higher education, Strategies and Programmes to be Implemented, Academic Network and Fast Global Connectivity Options, Information Strategies in each institution, Training and Development of Academic Staff, Role of the Colleges, & National ICT Funding. The study tries to devise a strategy for strengthening the capacity of higher education to contribute to the country's skills in ICT and to use ICT effectively in all its learning and teaching processes. Study / Research ID: BDD_RY_E_CLP_BD Title: Bridging Digital Divide for Rural Youth: An Experience from Computer Literacy Programme in Bangladesh Month: Year: 2006 Authors: Ashirul Amin Sponsor: D.Net (Development Research Network) Reported by: D.Net (Development Research Network) Sector/Focus: HCD/HRD. ICT for Development Methodology 10 CLC-equipped secondary schools were chosen for this study to represent the diversity characteristics of the schools that host CLCs. Given the lack of a baseline for the responses of students from the CLP schools, five non-CLP schools were chosen to understand the attitudes and perceptions of students BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 23 of 52 26.aug.07
  • who have not been exposed to the CLP, each one adjacent to an existing CLP school and as similar as possible to them. Survey questionnaires were created in Bangla for students from CLP schools, students from non-CLP schools, CLP teachers, head teachers and guardians. Two focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted with the CLP teachers from all the CLP schools in Mymensingh and Sirajganj. Overview Survey was conducted over four classes of people: Students: Rural and urban familiarity, development of the skill set, and reaction to computers among students were compared on both the grounds before and after the course. The students’ evaluation of the course was also highlighted. The students were also asked how well they used their training in helping others and whether they have raised awareness among non-CLP students about the program. Finally, the students were asked about any limitations and SWOT, they discovered in the training program. Teachers: The teachers were asked questions regarding their reaction to computer, its effect on student behavior, education, and assistance to board exams, the level of enthusiasm about computers among the students. The survey also included the limitations and the operational performance of CLC in the eye of the teachers. Head Teachers: They commented on the effects of CLC on the quality of teaching, effect on enrollment and transfer of students and the impact on school reputation. They also made known the limitation of CLC and their reaction to computers. Guardians: The guardians commented on their reaction to computer, its effect on student behavior, education, how much information their children shared with them regarding CLC, the limitation of the program, and their familiarity to computers. Category: ICT Adoption BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 24 of 52 26.aug.07
  • Study / Research ID: S_EGOV_BD Title: Study of e-Government in Bangladesh Date: April, 2004 Authors: Farooq Sobhan, M. Shafiullah, Zahid Hossain, Mridul Chowdhury Sponsor: The Asia Foundation Reported by: Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) Sector / Focus: Investigate the present state of affairs regarding the introduction of e-Government and the progress made in this area. Methodology • A combination of research tools used in conducting the survey, including questionnaires, telephone interviews, on-site visits, and face-to-face meetings with relevant officials and experts. • The BEI research team visited or interacted with 45 government offices, eight of which have been selected for in-depth case studies. • The factors that were taken into account in evaluating e-Government projects include: (i) ICT Infrastructure, (ii) Government Process Automation, (iii) Citizen/ Business Services, (iv) Management of e-Government Process, (v) Sustainability of e-Government Project, and (vi) Championship from the Top. • The categorization of the selected case studies were as follows: Category 1: Success Stories: projects which have met desired goals Category 2: Semi-Success Stories: projects which have mixed experiences Category 3: Unsuccessful Stories: projects which have failed to meet desired goals Overview • Conceptualization of e-Government o Definition and components of e-Government o Importance of e-Government for Bangladesh • Overview of e-Government in Bangladesh o E-Government at the policy level o Status of e-Government initiatives in Bangladesh • Lessons learned from selected case studies o Success Stories  Ministry of Religious Affairs: Online Hajj Information Management  Department of Roads and Highways: MIS for Project Management and Transparency  Rajshahi City Corporation: Electronic Birth Registration System  Bangladesh Bank: Automation of Internal Processes o Semi-Success Stories  Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Interactive Website  Ministry of Science and ICT: Policy Hub for eGovernment  Parliament Secretariat: Strengthening Parliamentary Democracy through ICT o Unsuccessful Stories BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 25 of 52 26.aug.07
  •  Election Commission Secretariat: The Failed Voter ID Card Project o Summing Up Lessons Learned • Recommendations o Strategic Recommendations o Specific Action Items Study / Research ID: P_R_MDG_BD Title: Peoples’ Report on MDG: Bangladesh Information and Communication Technology Date: June 27, 2005 Authors: Dr. Ananya Raihan, Mahmud Hasan Sponsor: D.Net (Development Research Network) Reported by: D.Net (Development Research Network) Sector/Focus: ICT Adoption / ICT4D, comments on the Bangladesh Government initiatives to achieve the UN MDG (Millennium Development Goals) Methodology Secondary Research mostly based on the CPD studies in 2001 & 2003. Overview This report aspired to link ICT and poverty alleviation and improve the livelihood of the poor and the disadvantaged through technology. The proper policy development and its subsequent implementation for integration of ICT with economic and social activities can make a quantum shift in status of Bangladesh economy. The PMDG for ICT focuses on building a knowledge society, where access to information is one of the key elements for poverty alleviation. This peoples’ MDG is based on policy papers prepared by the inclu- sive stakeholders of ICTs, initiated by Centre for Policy Dialogue in 2001 and 2003. The PMDG on ICT is guided by three major components of development strategies: 1. Poverty alleviation; 2. Sustainable economic growth; and 3. Empowerment. The PMDG on ICT covers the following areas: • Assessment of current scenario • Identification of problems and issues • Description of short term [up to two years] and mid-term [up to five years] agenda • Identification of stakeholders for each agenda and implementation mechanism, where possible The PMDG on ICT emphasizes on concrete policy agenda, which are implementable. Al- though it is very difficult to define implementability of agenda, the PMDG on ICT is guided by the following principles: 1. Leadership BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 26 of 52 26.aug.07
  • 2. Vision 3. Ownership of the agenda 4. Political Consensus 5. Availability of financial resources 6. Availability of human resources Study / Research ID: ICT_ITES_NAS Title: ICT / ITeS Need Assessment Study Date: November 7, 2005 Authors: Not mentioned Sponsor: Swiss Contact Reported by: AC Nielsen ORG-MARG India Sector / Focus: ICT Adoption. The usage of ICT and ITeS services by some of the SME verticals and its implications. Methodology A two pronged methodology was adopted for the study comprising:  Phase I: Depth Interviews – The qualitative issues were addressed through 5 depth interviews in each of the identified verticals. The qualitative issues were further used in developing questionnaire for the SME survey.  Phase II: SME survey – A detailed SME survey was conducted across identified SME verticals through use of semi-structured questionnaire. The study comprised of 2 major components:  Research & Analysis – carried out by ACNielsen, India  Field Survey – carried out by ACNielsen, Bangladesh The entire study was executed in close interaction with KATALYST and BASIS officials with interaction at various stages such as finalizing discussion guide for DI, questionnaire for SME survey, list of SMEs and suppliers of ICT & ITeS to be contacted for the survey. • Survey was conducted on different SME verticals which include stores (grocery stores, book stores, medicine stores, sweet stores, and clothing stores), wholesalers/ distributors, importers and traders, transporters, diagnostic centers, clinics/chamber of doctors, hotels, restaurants, private schools and colleges. • The questions in the survey included title of the main respondent, location and ownership of the establishment, gender and education of owner, number of employees in the organization, annual turnover, annual sales turnover, revenue growth goals, number of customers and suppliers dealt, etc. Overview • Strengths among suppliers of ICT • The weaknesses faced by the suppliers BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 27 of 52 26.aug.07
  • • Key problems faced by suppliers • Recommendations to the ICT sector Study / Research ID: SICT_STGG_ICT_BD_EGOV_S Title: SICT’S Steps towards Good Governance through ICTs: Bangladesh’s E-Governance Strategy Date: May 15, 2006 Authors: SASM Taifur (Project Director, SICT Project) Sponsor: Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh Reported by: SICT, Ministry of Planning Sector / Focus: A compilation of roadmaps for policymakers considering e-Government in Bangladesh as a mechanism for reform. Methodology Objective of this report was to offer concrete guidance to government officials and others, presenting a comprehensive index of e-government models and resources for Bangladesh, focused on success stories in Bangladesh and other developing world. This paper presented a compilation of roadmaps for policymakers considering electronic government in Bangladesh as a mechanism for reform. Collected data on all the completed, and ongoing e-Governance Projects coordinated by SICT. Overview This report is arranged as follows: • Chapter 1 defines the e-Government with benefits, drivers and implementation phases • Chapter 2 describes the current status of e-Government in Bangladesh with some notable e-Government initiatives. • Chapter 3 describes the SICT. • Chapter 4 provides the short description of e-Government projects of SICT that have already been completed. • Chapter 5 provides the short description of ongoing e-Government projects of SICT: Introduction; Problems with the existing system; Scope of the project; Ben- efits to citizens; Improved governance. • Chapter 6 describes cost estimation/budgeting e-Government projects of SICT • Chapter 7 describes the five elements of successful e-Government transformation • Chapter 8 gives the short description of the challenges of e-Government projects • Chapter 9 provides the recommendation to overcome from the challenges of e-Government projects • Chapter 10 lays out the proposed strategy for e-Government in Bangladesh taking into consideration the current status and the Key Success Factors that have been identified. BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 28 of 52 26.aug.07
  • Study / Research ID: ICT4D_SR_1.0 Title: ICT4D Status Report 1.0 Month: October Year: 2006 Sponsor: Not applicable Reported by: Ananya Raihan & Suporna Roy of D-net Hakikur Rahman of SDNP Bangladesh Munir Hasan & Ragib Hasan of BDOSN & Bangla WikiPedia AHM Bazlur Rahman & Golam Nabi Jewel of BNNRC K.A.M Morshed of UNDP Bangladesh Sector/Focus: ICT Adoption. Localization/open content development, telecentre movement, access/infrastructure, community radio development and e-Governance in the context of Bangladesh. Methodology The methodology of this report followed a series of communication and information exchange with different organizations, desk research along with interviews and field level data collection. As this was a living document and different chapters were contributed by different lead organizations, the methodology has been to facilitate this process and to let these organizations prepare the basic draft, which then again was reviewed by other individuals/organizations. Overview The chapters included: • Access and infrastructure issues: context Bangladesh • Community Access Points or Telecentre Movement in Bangladesh • Community Radio: Ready to Launch in Bangladesh • E-Governance: Bangladesh Perspective • Localization and Open Content Development in Bangladesh Study / Research ID: FR_L_IT Title: Final Report on the Law of Information Technology Date: Jan, 2007 Author: Justice A.T.M. Afzal, Justice A.K.M. Sadeque, Justice Naimuddin Ahmed Sponsor: BASIS Reported by: Bangladesh Law Commission Sector/Focus: ICT Adoption. Legal Issues in ICT BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 29 of 52 26.aug.07
  • Methodology Secondary Research Driven. References used: UNCITRAL Model Law; (Indian) Infor- mation Technology Act, 2000; (Singapore) Electronic Transactions Act, 1998. Overview In order to facilitate electronic commerce, there was a need for a legal framework and also for legal changes. In 1996, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) adopted Model Law on electronic commerce known as the UNCI- TRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce. This Law Commission report tried to address the following issues: 1) Applicability of the Act; 2) The “Functional Equivalent” approach; 3) Electronic documents and electronic contracts; 4) Electronic governance; 5) Electronic signatures; 6) The technology for electronic signatures; 7) Liability and risk allocation in a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI); 8) Procedural aspects of PKI; 9) Contraventions; 10) Cyber Regulations Appellate Tribunal (CRAT); 11) Information technology offences; 12) Investigation, search and seizure; 13) Limited liability of Network Services Providers; 14) Cyber Regulations Advisory Committee; 15) Amendment/ repeal, etc., of related enactments. Category: Telecom Infrastructure Study / Research ID: BT_B Title: Bangladesh Telecom Brief Month: April Year: 2004 Authors: Ken Zita Sponsor: Network Dynamics Associates LLC Reported by: USTDA South Asia Communications Infrastructure Conference, New Delhi, India – April 21-23, 2004 Sector/Focus: Brief overview of the changes, features, and the players in the Bangladesh telecom sector. Methodology Desk study based Article writing approach. Overview • A brief timeline of the changes occurring in the telecom sector is provided. BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 30 of 52 26.aug.07
  • • Several significant initiatives have been initiated by BTRC which are discussed in details. • Features of the Bangladesh telecom market. • An overview of the players in the telecom sector. Study / Research ID: CAP_TM_BD Title: Community Access Point or Telecentre Movement in Bangladesh Month: November Year: 2006 Authors: Dr. Ananya Raihan, Suporna Roy Sponsor: D.Net (Development Research Network) Reported by: D.Net (Development Research Network) Sector/Focus: A brief presentation of the current telecentre initiatives Methodology Status Reporting approach. Overview The telecentre movement started in August 2006 and it had the following programs or institutions working for its success: • Gonokendra: Centre for Community Development • Amader Gram Learning Centre (AGLC): Community Database for Development • Internet Learning Centre: School Based Telecentre • Youth Community Multimedia Centre (YCMC) • RTC (Rural Technology Centre) • GHAT: Rural ICT centre (RIC) • Community Information Centre (CIC): A Profit-oriented Model • ‘Pallitathya Kendra’: Focusing Access to Information for Poverty Alleviation Findings from the ICT studies Category: Overall ICT Industry Baseline Survey on IT Sector of Bangladesh (BCS, Nov 2000) This baseline survey collected data on 4 types of ICT companies in Bangladesh. These are: 1. Hardware companies, 2. Software companies, 3. ISP companies, 4. ICT Education & Training companies. It found some interesting trends of companies being setup in BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 31 of 52 26.aug.07
  • Bangladesh since 1984. A large concentration of new ICT ventures appeared during 1997 – 2000 period in Bangladesh, linking to the ICT boom in the global market. The market size, HR growth, annual turnovers are also mentioned in this survey report. It is observed that software development and IT training business were on the rise at that time period. Bangladesh in the New Millennium “An IT Power House”: Recommendation to the Government of Bangladesh (AABEA Silicon Valley Chapter, SBIT2000 Conference Follow-up Committee, 2001) AABEA SV would like to help in whatever way the esteemed Bangladesh government deems appropriate in these targeted tasks. Here’s a summary of the recommendations in five areas. Resource Development & Planning: • Establish concrete result-oriented guidelines governing current commercial IT courses • Develop educational programs focused towards market needs with up-to-date curriculum • Set up resources for industry best practices such as quality certification and project management • Commission government IT projects to give local developers valuable experience • Establish Industry partnerships for academic offerings and co-op programs • Teacher training and utilizing NRBs for technology training Focused Team: • Set targets for exporting IT professionals and revenue goals for out-sourced software development • Set up a dedicated team consisting of members from the Govt., RB and NRB • Set up a dedicated IT ministry Infrastructure: • Partner with industry giants such as CISCO, AT&T to build infrastructure and software technology parks attractive to customers • Extend the opportunities of IT to the masses by building publicly available IT resource centers • Improve communication infrastructure directly connecting to the Internet • Strive for over-all socio-political and bureaucratic improvements to attract and retain overseas high-tech investment • Deregulate Telecommunications Business Promotion & Marketing: • Establish Silicon Valley and overseas presence to lobby multinationals to invest in Bangladesh BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 32 of 52 26.aug.07
  • • Promote our capabilities by creating appropriate marketing materials and a strong web presence • Guide Bangladeshi companies to pool their resources in expensive overseas sales and marketing efforts • Conduct Business conferences, seminars and industry summits in appropriate areas • Partner with globally renowned consulting houses to build reputation Funding: • Fund education initiatives by hiring teachers from overseas, education funding & student loans • Provide rewards and recognition for NRBs who bring their company business to Bangladesh Policy Brief on "Information and Communication Technology" • The regional forum has provided substantial number of suggestions to be incorporated in the policy brief. • As a whole the regional consultation was very successful and majority of the suggestions were very much thoughtful and reflect the peoples’ perspective. • Along with the system component wise discussion the regional consultation revealed several other issues, which also deserve attention. • The regional consultation revealed concern about the political commitment and steps to make the parliament center of all political and economic activities. • In certain issues detailed policy agenda have been formulated. BD ICT Policy Review Report 2003 Recommendations addressed by the Government Policy Area No. of Recommendations No. of Recommendations Addressed Information Infrastructure 81 9 Human Resource Development 43 2 ICT Economy 46 7 Acceleration of Poverty Alleviation through ICT 11 0 ICT and Government 21 3 Others 10 0 Total 210 22 BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 33 of 52 26.aug.07
  • Share (Per cent) 100 10.48 ICT Sub Sector Study in Bangladesh (JOBS IRIS, 2005) • Despite the constraints Bangladesh faces in adopting ICT, many partners including USAID, under the JOBS Project, have been able to provide state-of-the-art practical support in the areas of policy (e-policy), governance (e-governance), trade (e-commerce) and human resource development (e-HRD). • The introduction of a comprehensive, ICT-focused, educational campaign would make it possible for the country to become a source of high value, skilled ICT workers, boosting the remittance levels, and offering opportunities to untold numbers of Bangladeshi citizens. • According to the “The Global Information Technology Report 2004-2005” Bangladesh is ranked 100 out of 104 countries on network readiness. Category: Software Industry Export of Computer Software from Bangladesh: Problems and Prospects (JRC Study, September 1997) Some of the advantages that Bangladesh possesses as a potential offshore client are: • A substantial size of educated and easily trainable unemployed youth force, with ability to read and write English. • The skilled NRBs can be encouraged to return back to the country and/or collaborate with Bangladeshi entrepreneurs. • Increasing number of graduates in Computer related subjects. • A large number of overseas Bangladeshi students studying in Computer related subjects. • Availability of a wide range of Hardware platforms. • Reasonable skills exist in different operating systems, programming languages, and RDBMS. • Bangladesh offers a very attractive low wage level. Bangladesh Software Industry Survey Report- 2004 (JETRO) SWOT Analysis Software Industry: Strength BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 34 of 52 26.aug.07
  • • Presence of skilled workforce • Cost value proposition • Convenient time gap between Japan and ours • Government incentives in terms of Tax and other benefits Weakness • Inappropriate governing laws and legislations • Lack of proper exposure to international markets • Infrastructure issues (Electricity, Telecommunication etc.) Opportunity • More and more firms are outsourcing their ICT related functions to companies in South East Asia • With the ever increasing development of the global ICT sector demand for ICT services is always present • Untapped market in terms of supply perspective • People are more willing to learn English / Japanese / French Languages • Enthusiastic, young and energetic university graduates are willing to learn and they work hard for better future. • Collaboration of NRBs with Bangladeshi entrepreneurs Threat • Neighbor nations are capturing our share of the international market of the outsourced services. • Competition is no longer restricted to any particular zone, but taking place at a global scale. • Our skill personnel base face redundancy in the face of the ever developing ICT services. Bangladesh Software Industry & its Dynamics (BASIS, 2005) Though in terms of market size, the software sector does not feature along with the top few sectors of our economy, but because of the strategic importance of this sector in national development, this industry has always been regarded as one of the priority sectors of the economy. However, till now the sector’s potential has not been utilized to its fullest capacity. The country’s software industry has conceivably reached a level where it is prepared to provide important value to other sectors by making them more efficient and more productive. It is now up to those sectors to bank on the value enhancing opportunities created and offered by the software industry. Only then this industry can redeem itself for the development of the nation. BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 35 of 52 26.aug.07
  • Category: ITES Industry Elements of a National Strategy for Development of an Information Technology Enabled Services Sector in Bangladesh (CARANA Corporation, Apr 2002) • The factors limiting the growth of Bangladesh in this market include:  The high costs of telecommunications  The small domestic market for IT related services also limits training and experience of local workers in order to gain expertise in higher value-added ITES.  The need to build overseas awareness of Bangladesh as a potential ITES provider  Lack of confidence among potential buyers about the ability of Bangladesh firms to deliver a high quality product • A reasonable strategy for Bangladesh entry into the ITES market includes a number of components:  Target segments of the industry where Bangladesh has a comparative advantage, but remain flexible in the search for growth prospects.  Improve the deficiencies of the Bangladesh IT industry to make it more competitive.  Market the sector well to overcome the unfamiliarity of the market with Bangladesh products. • Recommendations for the sector involve  building the productive capacity of the local IT industry,  reducing costs and improving efficiency,  creating an environment favorable to entering this sector, and  marketing the potential contributions of Bangladesh IT firms. The report also specifies the people and the institutions who/which can enforce these recommendations and the results that we can expect from doing so. External Market Analysis (CARANA Corporation, 2002) • Bangladesh meets just the Basic Requirements in terms of telecommunications infrastructure, labor costs, and government policies. • Low labor costs and the supply of semi-skilled, production-oriented labor are key advantages for Bangladesh. • Opportunities also exist in niche geographic areas such as the European market. • Constraints facing the Bangladeshi firms include the high costs of telecommunications, the small domestic market for IT related services also limits training and experience of local workers in order to gain expertise in higher value-added ITES, and the lack of awareness and/or negative image of Bangladesh as a country. BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 36 of 52 26.aug.07
  • Study of e-Commerce in Bangladesh (BEI, May’05) • Vast scope for development in the B2B sector. • E-mail has become prevalent among many export-oriented companies, while quite a few have also implemented customized software for internal business process automation to facilitate trade. • Over the last 5 years, several B2C portals have been launched in Bangladesh, mostly targeting expatriate Bangladeshis. Category: HCD/HRD for ICT Human Capacity Development (HCD) (CARANA Corporation, 2002) • Positive developments:  ICT task force in conjunction with private sector defining skill sets required, enrolment numbers and projected demand in conjunction  Private sector making recommendations on required curriculum  Some minimal internships / co-operative education opportunities supported by private sector  Training institutions offering international vendor certification courses  Some franchise training institutes providing internationally recognized curriculum, some ISO9000 certified (caveat concerning quality of instructors)  Private sector providing on the job training (OJT) in line with their needs  TechBangla facilitating NRB train the trainer sessions • The major constraints to HCD growth in the targeted areas (lower and mid range skill level) are:  Lack of qualified instructors  Inadequate telecommunications infrastructure for high teledensity and internet accessibility to build basic computer literacy and distance learning applications  Need for improvement in computer labs and other educational infrastructure (broadband internet applications etc.)  Primary/secondary education programs for future generations. • Recommendations were proposed that can be implemented in the short term and the long term. It was also mentioned that who will be participating in the implementation process and what the probable consequences are. BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 37 of 52 26.aug.07
  • ICT Skills Gap Assessment - Public Sector Assessment (JOBS IRIS, 2006) • There is a gap between the skills of graduates in the ICT field and the skills in demand in the private sector. The government of Bangladesh is not currently employing significant numbers of ICT professionals. • The government lacks an ICT career track within its ranks, and ICT professionals within the government have little capacity for upward mobility, salary increases and other advancement opportunities comparable to those within other career tracks. • e-government services that are being developed at the divisional, district or upazila level are stand-alone projects which are not integrated into a cohesive national system. • Virtually all the e-Government projects suffer from inadequate advisory, management and maintenance support. In view of this, the Government should give high priority to establishing a unit within or outside government that will provide these services and they will have to be paid salaries higher than the typical government rate. • Based on the case study of Pakistan and on its analysis of the current state of affairs in Bangladesh’s ICT development, JOBS-IRIS Bangladesh made the following recommendations: Recommendations pertaining to Bangladesh’s government HR: 1. Execute an intensive study to determine the status of ICT in all branches of government 2. Develop a centralized platform to coordinate ICT-related activities, and introduce an attractive ICT career track 3. Create an autonomous decision-making body within the Support to the ICT Task Force Program Project (SICT). Recommendations Pertaining to the Government 1. Establish a comprehensive e-government strategy 2. Promote top-level championship 3. Place more priority on training needs and content a. Review and update basic IT training courses for new entry civil servants b. Build up capacity at the Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) to ensure it has the capability to offer more advanced, customized training. ICT Skills Gap Assessment - Private Sector and Academia (JOBS IRIS, 2006) • There is the continued necessity of a highly skilled human resource pool in Bangladesh’s ICT sector. Skilled human resources are currently in high demand and short supply. ICT graduates are not gaining the skills required by the private sector, and due to the rapid growth and changing nature of the sector, this disparity will increase further in the future. BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 38 of 52 26.aug.07
  • • If academia and the private sector synchronize their efforts and each play a role in minimizing the gap between them, leveraging their core competencies as partners, they can produce the necessary skilled, internationally-competitive ICT workforce, which can in turn sustain and expedite economic growth. Strategic Plan for Higher Education in Bangladesh: 2006--2026 (UGC, Nov 2006) A country-wide survey was conducted in July-August, 2005 to assess the ICT Higher Education among Private Universities, Public Universities, Private Colleges operating under National University, Public Colleges operating under National University. Out of 53 Universities, 39 were offering ICT degrees. Among private colleges, 20 colleges have permissions for offering ICT degrees, but they can not offer the courses due lack of students. 4 Public universities only offer Ph.D. degrees, but 92% colleges offer Bachelor’s degree under the National University. 38 Private universities offering ICT degrees have Internet out of the 39. The university websites are not regularly updated. Major lacking in project works before getting a degree among most of the Private Universities. Bridging Digital Divide for Rural Youth: An Experience from Computer Literacy Programme in Bangladesh (D-Net, 2006) The findings and the conclusions based on the survey were listed under the 4 classes: students, teachers, head teachers, and guardians. Based on the findings of this assessment, suggestions made by various stakeholders involved in various facets of planning, managing and running the CLP, and the implications of the findings themselves, various recommendations were made. This study provided us some basic understandings, and is more of a baseline from which we can go further to ask more relevant and penetrating questions to gauge the performance of the CLP. The 14 recommendations and 10 future work suggestions may contribute positively to the further development of the program. Category: ICT Adoption Study of e-Government in Bangladesh, (BEI, April 2004) • Top-level political will and bureaucratic commitment is the single most important factor that has tipped the balance toward success or failure. • Resources should not be wasted on projects that lack necessary ownership and commitment among relevant senior-level officials. • Future initiatives should focus on identifying and supporting self-selecting e-Government champions, rather than imposing or artificially injecting projects at the instance of external institutions, including donor agencies. BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 39 of 52 26.aug.07
  • • The most successful projects are those that have emphasized the development of usable and practical software applications to automate internal government processes and to provide services more effectively using ICT systems. • The Government of Bangladesh should take steps to ensure that ICT is purchased in "packages" that include application/software development, hardware, networking/connectivity, capacity building, change management for users, and the process and procedural changes that must accompany a new system. • The Government of Bangladesh does not have the necessary support structure to manage and maintain ICT systems in government. As an interim solution, the Government should give high priority to establishing a unit within or outside government to provide advisory, management, and maintenance support services and allocate sufficient funds for them to carry out these functions. • Another significant limitation to the current system of making ICT-related policies, priorities, and strategies is that these functions are relatively centralized. • For sustainability and strategic planning of e-Government, it is essential for the Government to establish partnerships with the private sector. Peoples’ Report on MDG: Bangladesh (D.Net, June 2005) For developing a set of policy agenda a system approach has been applied and a frame- work has been proposed for elaboration of individual components to address thereby. In the proposed framework, national information infrastructure [NII] should be considered as basic infrastructure to bring dynamism and competitive advantage in all sectors of the economy as well as to harvest long run benefit through quality education and healthy na- tion building process. The components of the ICT based economic development frame- work which are stemmed from the development of the NII are: • Human Resource Development: ICT education, ICT training, and ICT based edu- cation; • ICT based economy: ICT industry with its export potential, business process reengineering through ICT, human resource development for business automa- tion, and ecommerce; • Acceleration of poverty alleviation through ICT; • Universalization of quality health care services through ICT; • Financial and Payment Infrastructure: automation of financial institutions, ICT based financial products, and financing ICT industry; • Legal infrastructure of the NII; • Efficiency of the Government: access to government information, efficiency of government agencies, improvement of transparency of the government, online government services; • Digital empowerment of women; • Resource allocation and fiscal measures; and • Intuitional framework for coordination of development of the NII. BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 40 of 52 26.aug.07
  • ICT / ITeS Need Assessment Study (AC Nielsen, Nov 2005) • Strengths among suppliers of ICT include: strong sales and service, competitive pricing and providing training / maintenance / upgradation services free of cost, customer relation, domain expertise and project management. • The weaknesses faced by the suppliers include: lack of marketing efforts or quality of marketing efforts with available marketing team, difficulty in getting financial support, and lack of negotiation skills. • Key problems faced by suppliers:  Receipt of payment  Financial support from investors  Getting skilled manpower for marketing  Competition from individual ICT providers  Scattered market, so don’t know whom to contact  Changing scope due to customers not being clear about their needs  Unfair needs by the customers (like customized s/w at Tk.10,000)  Customers cannot compare product and pricing due to limited or low knowledge • Recommendations:  Awareness needs to be created among customers about ICT and the benefits one can achieve from investment in ICT.  Improved payment mechanism which requires financial support for suppliers.  HR support is required to suppliers for getting right kind of sales staff.  Suppliers should offer complete software solution to the SMEs rather than providing individual software.  Curb on practices of individual suppliers or rather form a consortium by such suppliers. SICT’S Steps towards Good Governance through ICTs: Bangladesh’s E-Governance Strategy (SICT, 15 May 2006) Goals/Objectives Action Taken Organizations Responsible National Policy for e-Governance - SICT has been formed under Planning Division - MoSICT has included e-Governance in National ICT Policy 1) ICT Task Force 2) MoSICT 3) BCC 4) Planning Division Legal Framework - Copyright/ IPR laws - ICT Act - ICT Act in process of being approved 1) MoLaw 2) MoSICT 3) BCC Training/ Awareness Creation/ Motivation of - BCC provides advisory services for computerization in govt. offices 1) PACC 2) PATC BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 41 of 52 26.aug.07
  • Goals/Objectives Action Taken Organizations Responsible Government Officials - BCC provides training to government officials, citizens at six divisional Headquarters - SICT organizes informal e-Government awareness sessions - BCC is the process of setting up BKIICT - BCC is undertaking ranking of private training institutes - Planning Commission has seven training labs 3) MoSICT 4) Planning Division 5) All other ministries ICT Infrastructure in Government - MoSICT has proposed a project to provide computers, IT human resource and broadband to 38 ministries - SICT has taken up e-Governance projects in 10 ministries - PMO has established its own VSAT communication facility - BCC has established its own VSAT and has provided broadband Internet to government, private and incubation center - Planning Division has linked PMO, Finance Division and Planning Commission and 6 other ministries - Many ministries have individual projects 1) MoSICT 2) MoPT 3) Planning Division Use of ICT in Government - Some government institutions have taken e-Government initiatives to automate processes and work flows - SICT is in the process of implementing pilot e-Government projects in several government institutions 1) All ministries Maintenance of IT Systems in Government - Some government agencies have permanent IT HR - MoSICT has proposed a project for creation of a central pool of ICT professionals - SICT is in the process of creating of CeGI - a central maintenance unit - BCC has taken an internship program for computer science graduates All ministries BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 42 of 52 26.aug.07
  • Goals/Objectives Action Taken Organizations Responsible Funding/ Sustainability of e-Government - National ICT Policy mentions 2% of ADP for IT, but it is not implemented yet 1) MoFinance 2) MoPlanning 3) All ministries ICT Infrastructure across the Country - Link with Submarine Cable to be established by mid-2005 - DDN will connect entire country - All analog systems have been converted to digital - VoIP has been legalized in principle - VSAT license fee has been reduced - Cost for international telephone calls has been reduced dramatically - BCC has distributed computers and accessories to more than a thousand schools across the country, including training of teachers 1) MoPT 2) BTRC ICT Standardization Issues - Bangla Keyboard has been standardized by BCC - BCC has taken a program for registration and ranking of all private training institutes - BCC has proposed a program for ranking of all software companies 1) MoSICT 2) BSTI Public Access to ICT - ICT Act to be passed in Parliament soon - Cyber cafes are available in all major towns - BTTB to introduce GSM to lower cost - Fixed line telephone have been opened up for private investment All ministries ICT4D Status Report 1.0 (D-Net, 2006) Despite huge growth of inter-regional Internet bandwidth in Asia (6% in 1999 to 35% in 2005), Bangladesh falls under low access criteria with 0.18 point at the Digital Access Index 2002. Enactment of National Telecommunications Policy in March 1998 and Bangladesh Telecommunications Act in 2001, establishment of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission established in January 2002, introduction of National ICT Policy in October 2002 and ICT Act in 2003, and very recent legalization BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 43 of 52 26.aug.07
  • of VoIP, however, are several milestones of the nation that improvises along the access and infrastructure management from a very rudimentary stage. Much to be done to upgrade the access index from 0.336, connectivity index from 0.010 and ICT diffusion index from 0.173, where Bangladesh stands at 171 out of 180 countries. Staying at 164 in 1997, 1998 and 1999 though the ranking was slightly improved in 2000 at 163, but it declined at 171 in 2001 and stayed there till 2004. Enactment of ICT Policy and Act are not necessarily brings sufficient preconditions for ICT access and infrastructure development at the grass roots. Kenya is an example. They couldn’t attain at any satisfactory level, despite introduction of ICT policies at the national level. Rather, subsequent interventions at the bottom level with prescribed action programmes are desirable to achieve real success. India is reshuffling its ICT policies since 2005 to reach out the common mass. Singapore, Japan and South Korea in this region are the leaders in achieving success in implementing strategic ICT initiatives at all levels. In recent years, Vietnam is taking off. To offer real benefit of ICT to the under-privileged communities, short-medium-longer term action based target-oriented initiatives need to be put on the table. Time is not far away when current sub-marine link will be absorbed by the domestic requirement, and the nation should not be put into wait for another decade to find another link to the outer world. Final Report on the Law of Information Technology (The Law Commission) The Bangladesh Law Commission proposes the short title, as following: “1. Short title, extent and commencement.- (1) This Act may be called the Information Technology (Electronic Transaction) Act, 20---------- . (2) It shall extend to the whole of Bangladesh and, save as otherwise expressly provided in this Act, also to any offence or contravention thereunder committed outside Bangladesh by any person. (3) It shall come into force on such date as the Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint. “2. Application. - (1) Nothing in this Act shall apply to- (a) a negotiable instrument as defined in section 13 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 (Act No. XXVI of 1881); (b) the creation, performance or enforcement of a power of attorney; (c) a trust as defined in section 3 of the Trusts Act, 1882 (Act No. II of 1882); (d) a will as defined in clause (h) of section 2 of the Succession Act, 1925 (Act No. XXXIX of 1925) and any other testamentary disposition by whatever name called; (e) any contract for the sale or other disposition of immovable property, or any interest in such property; (f) the conveyance of immovable property or the transfer of any interest in immovable property; and (g) title-deeds of immovable property; BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 44 of 52 26.aug.07
  • (2) The Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, modify the provisions of sub-section (1) of this section by adding, deleting or amending any class of transac- tions or matters.” Category: Telecom Infrastructure Bangladesh Telecom Brief (USTDA South Asia Communications Infrastructure Conference, Apr 2004) • There does not appear to be a clear, long-term strategy for sector development that is supported by the central government. • Industry reform proposals appear to be subject to changes in the political tide • A significant portion of the existing telephone network is comprised of vintage switches and aging copper transmission facilities in desperate need of replacement. • Today in Bangladesh it is estimated that more homes are connected with Cable TV than telephones. Cable networks are however typically low-tech, broadcast-only neighborhood systems. Community Access Point or Telecentre Movement in Bangladesh (D.net, Nov’06) The telecentres in Bangladesh are faced with some constraints/challenges: • Technical constraints and sustainability • Reliable connectivity • Secured infrastructure • Access to information services Building a telecentre network is important for a number of reasons. Overall Comments Category: Overall ICT Industry • Baseline Survey on IT Sector of Bangladesh (BCS, Nov 2000) – It was a pioneering study on the IT sector as a whole. There was a great need for such surveillance on the industry and this study was a praiseworthy attempt. The sad truth BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 45 of 52 26.aug.07
  • is that the inclusion of this study is not observed in other subsequent studies, which shows the lack of follow up studies on the Bangladesh ICT industry. • Bangladesh in the New Millennium “An IT Power House”: Recommendation to the Government of Bangladesh (AABEA Silicon Valley Chapter, SBIT2000 Conference Follow-up Committee, 2001) – This recommendation report has been prepared after a meeting held between the AABEA -SVC representatives, SBIT organizers and delegates from Bangladesh at Silicon Valley, the heart of the world's technological universe. This was a work of some very talented and highly spirited NRBs trying to help the country. The report was very qualitative in nature and it lacked objective facts and pragmatic projections about the future of the Bangladesh ICT Industry. But it could serve as a good historical reference as an output of some highly inspirational sessions of some very accomplished and emotional Bangladeshis. • Policy Brief on "Information and Communication Technology" (CPD Task Force, Aug 2001) - CPD showed its research muscle in this quite comprehensive study report. Although quite a number of policy items looked very broad (“blue-sky” type), but it was the artifact of some very talented and motivated people. The action agenda items were mostly items of wishful thinking, which were not supported by ground research data. We hoped to see some thoroughly researched data on the Bangladesh ICT Industry as the rationale / backdrop of those policy suggestions. The report could also take the BCS Baseline Study 2000 into account and could accept or challenge some of their data or findings. • BD ICT Policy Review Report 2003 (CPD Task Force, Jan 2003) - This review report looked very thorough and quite professional. It clearly mentioned the prior policies designed by the earlier CPD task force in 2001 and tried to track each item with the 2003 timeline. This sort of surveillance is very important for our ICT Industry. The re-categorization of the earlier 210 action items was very essential. But we did not find their adopted criterion for the broad categorization. We also expected to see more follow-up studies (almost yearly) after this 2003 report! • ICT Sub Sector Study in Bangladesh (JOBS IRIS, 2005) – It can be regarded as a follow-up to the 2 seminars conducted in 2001 and 2002. This report also assisted the reader by commenting that e-HRD is the topic that requires our attention. Category: Software Industry: • Export of Computer Software from Bangladesh: Problems and Prospects (JRC Study, September 1997) – The committee did some traveling abroad, had a number of meetings with people related to the software industry, and studied various publications. This translated to them having received a comprehensive perspective on this industry both home and abroad. This was a milestone research in our ICT industry, which created BASIS, and some other good things like Govt Tax Holiday, ICT Intern scholarships, etc. Subsequent research could carry forward the analysis and findings from this seminal research. BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 46 of 52 26.aug.07
  • • Bangladesh Software Industry Survey Report 2004 (JETRO) – The report provided us with a lot of data about the industry trend. But there were some dilemma about the findings: (i) The respondents were highly reluctant to provide the data regarding annual turnover, sales and employee compensation. Thus the accuracy of those figures is questionable. (ii) The research recommendations were too generic. The survey should have included an FGD to gather more valuable information from the entrepreneurs themselves. Because the respondents may not feel comfortable enough to answer to the enumerators or the respondents may not have taken the survey very seriously. On the other hand, the enumerators may not have recorded the results in the most accurate manner. • Bangladesh Software Industry & its Dynamics (BASIS, 2005) - This summary report serves as a good snapshot of our software industry. We think the data needs to be updated regularly to make it as current as possible. Products / Service category range statistics need some thorough review and solid research challenges for the betterment of our software industry. Category: ITES: • Elements of a National Strategy for Development of an Information Technology Enabled Services Sector in Bangladesh (CARANA Corporation, Apr 2002) – It was thoughtful of CARANA Corporation to survey the NRBs who could contribute well to the growth of the Bangladeshi IT industry. There was statistically significant respondent population for the surveys which makes the study extensive and useful. The success story of Philippines was used as a case study approach and it served as a standard. • External Market Analysis (CARANA Corporation, 2002) – The study was conducted well. All the important topics regarding ITES were covered. But there could also have been a survey of the offshore importers of ITeS. Thus we could have better known about the actual needs, rather than depending on our subjective judgments. • Study of e-Commerce in Bangladesh (BEI, May’05) – The study was successful in clearly explaining e-Commerce to the reader. It focused on only 5 significant export oriented sectors in Bangladesh and did not consider the remaining sectors. The reasons for exclusion was not clearly mentioned or not very convincing. The recommendations and action items were modeled around international studies, but were not implemented in due time. BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 47 of 52 26.aug.07
  • Category: HCD / HRD: • Human Capacity Development (HCD) (CARANA Corporation, 2002) – A major portion of the report was based on subjective judgment rather than hard data. The survey should have included a questionnaire, with option left for recording some facts and figures. • ICT Skills Gap Assessment - Public Sector Assessment (JOBS IRIS, 2006) – It was a good idea of taking the case study approach in order to identify a coherent ICT strategy. It helped us to predict the implications of our potential actions. Even though interviews took place with the Bangladeshi government officials and various other case studies were consulted, the report lacked a comprehensive field study on the trainers or the training institutions. • ICT Skills Gap Assessment - Private Sector and Academia (JOBS IRIS, 2006)- It was a very well conducted and comprehensive survey, with the respondents covering a great portion of the ICT student population. Different communication options were used to ensure effective fact finding from the respondents and generating ideas in different sessions. • Bridging Digital Divide for Rural Youth: An Experience from Computer Literacy Programme in Bangladesh (D-Net, 2006) – D-Net took to themselves to survey non-CLP schools because there was no baseline to judge the CLP schools. Thus they ensured that their judgments were not made out of thin air. They conducted FGDs with teachers which was a more feasible option than doing FGD with the students or their guardians. • Strategic Plan for Higher Education in Bangladesh: 2006-2026 – This study is supposed to be the strategic paper for the next 20 years Higher Education roadmap in Bangladesh. Although an overall vision for higher education and some indicative targets were developed, but the study still lacks the rigor to become an effective Strategic Plan for next 20 years in Bangladesh. As we know, any effective strategy needs to be based on the concrete Organizational Capacity, and needs to have clear mapping between the Core Competence / Synergies, Structural Positioning, Process Execution, Competitive Advantage and finally the Economic / Financial Benefits. We could not find any evidence where all these parameters were met in this Strategic Plan for Higher Education in Bangladesh. It is very essential to devise a strategy for strengthening the capacity of higher education to contribute to the country's skills in ICT and to use ICT effectively in all its learning and teaching processes for our global competence. This study touched upon this issue mostly giving some wishes and objectives. Category: ICT Adoption: BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 48 of 52 26.aug.07
  • • Study of e-Government in Bangladesh, (BEI, April 2004) – This study explored 8 e-Governance projects in Bangladesh. It took e-Governance projects from successful, semi-successful, and failure cases. We found this approach quite useful to assess the e-Governance status in Bangladesh. This study gave high importance on the “Lessons Learned” from each case. Thus even the semi-successful and failure cases become very important and pertinent sources of learning to implement e-Governance successfully in Bangladesh. • SICT’S Steps towards Good Governance through ICTs: Bangladesh’s E-Governance Strategy (SICT, 15 May 2006) – It was a very comprehensive study on the e-Government status in Bangladesh based on the e-Governance projects carried out under the SICT project. There were 55 case studies consulted. This gave us a wider view of the challenges faced by e-Governance in Bangladesh and the benefits that can arise from it. The study should have provided more real life examples when pointing out the challenges faced by the different entities of e-Government. • Peoples’ Report on MDG: Bangladesh (D.Net, June 2005) – A quite critical analysis on the Government’s MDG implementations. Discovered some “reverse logic” in Governments’ arguments for the lack of implementations of several stated MDGs. Also discovered flaws in the overall ICT topics in the MDG and different non-contextual parameters like Teledensity & other ICT indexes from our country & people perspective. • ICT / ITeS Need Assessment Study (AC Nielsen, 2005) – ACNielsen took a commendable approach in preparing this report. Their depth interviews served in making it possible for the SME survey to be valuable. The respondent population accounted for nearly all the SME verticals in the economy. Thus this report covered almost all economic sectors in judging their ICT / ITES needs. • ICT4D Status Report 1.0 (D-Net, 2006) – This report was an effort to check our ICT status for the country’s overall development. Different expert authors made different chapters who have been working on their relevant areas. This was a quasi-objective report. Authors reporting their own actions may have biased the facts often subconsciously! • Final Report on the Law of Information Technology (The Law Commission) – A good attempt to formulate the ICT act in Bangladesh. Good review on the UNCITRAL Model law, and also the (Indian) Information Technology Act, 2000; the (Singapore) Electronic Transactions Act, 1998. We hoped to see some phased implementation plan in this very important report. The PKI & related technology & admin issues also needed to be clearly spelled out in this document. BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 49 of 52 26.aug.07
  • Category: Telecommunications Infrastructure: • Bangladesh Telecom Brief (USTDA South Asia Communications Infrastructure Conference) – The report could have focused more on the telecom sector of Bangladesh itself and less on the historical background, demography, economy of Bangladesh. • Community Access Point or Telecentre Movement in Bangladesh (D.net, Nov’06) – The report was successful in depicting the movement by briefly discussing about the programs conducted by D.net. But it has the danger of being biased as the authors are reporting their own works. Recommendations Recommended reports After some analysis and small group discussions, we are recommending the following reports to be ear-marked and critically analyzed further: Overall ICT Industry (i) Base Line Survey on IT Sector of Bangladesh (BCS, Nov’00) (ii) CPD Policy Briefs in 2001 & its review in 2003 Software Industry (i) Export of Computer Software from Bangladesh: Problems and Prospects (JRC Study, September 1997) (ii) Bangladesh Software Industry & its Dynamics (BASIS, Jan 2007) ITeS – IT Enabled Services (i) Elements of a National Strategy for Development of an Information Technology Enabled Services Sector in Bangladesh (CARANA Corporation, Apr 2002) (ii) Study of e-Commerce in Bangladesh (BEI, May’05) HCD / HRD (i) ICT Skills Gap Assessment - Public Sector Assessment (JOBS IRIS, 2006) (ii) ICT Skills Gap Assessment - Private Sector and Academia (JOBS IRIS, 2006) (iii) Strategic Plan for Higher Education in Bangladesh: 2006--2026 ICT Adoption (i) ICT / ITeS Need Assessment Study (AC Nielsen, Nov 2005) (ii) Study of e-Government in Bangladesh BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 50 of 52 26.aug.07
  • (iii) SICT’S Steps towards Good Governance through ICTs: Bangladesh’s E-Governance Strategy Telecom Infrastructure (i) Bangladesh Telecom Brief (USTDA South Asia Communications Infrastructure Conference, Apr 2004) Things To Do We urge the future researchers of our ICT Industry to give ample time in their literature survey of all the relevant research reports and to critically analyze the earlier findings and recommendations. We felt limited by our scope for not doing that here. Still we gave some qualitative remarks mostly out of gut-judgments, and some prior experience with some of these research studies. We sadly noticed that quite a number of researchers merely gave the “same” or “similar” facts, analysis, and recommendations of earlier research, without the clear reasoning or mentioning the earlier research papers properly. They did not try to advance the earlier findings and recommendations of their prior researchers. To avoid such pitfalls in the future, we strongly recommend the following actions: 1. Hold in-depth interviews, like FGD (Focused Group Discussion) sessions or KIIs (Key Informant Interview) with all the available researchers, respondents, and sponsors of the earlier research reports. 2. Set up online forums focusing on the Bangladesh ICT Industry Research Reports’ discussions. 3. Hold regular, well advertised seminars with experts having good background in ICT Industry research. 4. Use online survey questionnaires extensively for any future ICT Industry Survey to allow the researchers to survey large number of respondents very quickly. 5. Encourage more ‘parallel reports’(like those published by CARANA Corporation during April 2002, which addressed different perspectives of the ICT Industry in parallel, i.e. the Demand Side, the Supply Side, etc), since they will be effective in providing a comprehensive holistic outlook of the industry. 6. Encourage or mandate researchers to explicitly mention the names of the respondents to boost readers’ confidence. 7. Create an online database, and a physical hard-copy library database for all the ICT Industry Associations containing all the reports done on the Bangladesh ICT industry. Optionally, buy and store other related significant international ICT research reports. Encourage the ICT Industry associations to promote research culture in the local Industry and also earn from selling research reports. BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 51 of 52 26.aug.07
  • Conclusion We were not expecting to find so few good reports being published on the Bangladesh ICT Industry. It seems that majority of the research agencies’ efforts are solely dictated by the amount of donor or sponsor funds. Also there is the question of data-credibility, which is more visible in case of studies where the respondent population was inadequate. We also observed sporadic pattern in the Bangladesh ICT Industry research activities. After 1997, there is a big time gap with other reports. Besides, that 1997 JRC report was not mentioned and not critically analyzed in the other research papers. We sadly noticed that quite a number of researchers merely gave the “same” or “similar” facts, analysis, and recommendations of earlier research, without the clear reasoning or mentioning the earlier research papers properly. They did not try to advance the earlier findings and recommendations of their prior researchers. We tried to give some recommendations in the earlier section to avoid such pitfalls in the future. We wish we could hold in-depth interviews, like FGD sessions or KIIs with all the available researchers, respondents, and sponsors of the earlier research reports. But that was not possible (also not in the scope) of this Desk-Study type report. From this Desk Study, we can conclude that for any study to carry value, there needs to be follow up studies by carefully using, analyzing, and even challenging earlier research findings. As the famous quote goes, “Plans are useless, Planning is priceless”; so is the case for past research reports and the research activities based on those. We also conclude that there should be regular research studies and improvements on previous research papers. Only then we can do any real good for our ICT industry. References 1. BD_ICT_Research_Desk_Study_Project_Tracker.xls – the Spreadsheet containing the collected and screened research reports. 2. And all the reports mentioned in the above Spreadsheet. BD ICT Research Desk Study Report Page 52 of 52 26.aug.07