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Multistakeholder Partnerships in ICT4D


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Partnerships for development have become increasingly important for implementing ICT4D initiatives. But despite at least 15 years of such activities, organizations keep reinventing the wheel, and there is little agreement on the real benefits that such partnerships can offer.
Join GBI and special guest speaker Tim Unwin, as we explore:
• what makes ICT4D partnerships successful,
• how they can be designed for
maximum impact,
• how they have evolved, and
• when alternative arrangements
would be more effective.
Featured Speaker
Tim Unwin, CEO of Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization

Published in: Technology, Business
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Multistakeholder Partnerships in ICT4D

  1. 1. Multi-stakeholder partnerships forICT4D: in whose interest?Reflections for USAID, 27th March 2012 Tim Unwin Chief Executive Officer CTO
  2. 2. No-one ever enters a partnership without interests!© Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation
  3. 3. Outline •  Context •  Origins of PPPs •  Why partnerships and ICT4D? •  A move to MSPs •  Key success factors •  Defining interests •  Will partnerships really deliver better development outcomes in ICT4D?© Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation
  4. 4. Context •  Rural development, ICTs, learning, Critical Theory… •  Imfundo: Partnerships for IT in Education (Africa) •  World Economic Forum’s Partnerships for Education initiative with UNESCO •  Systematic review for DFID on impact of ICT4D partnerships (2011) •  GEI review (2012)© Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation
  5. 5. Origins of partnerships: Public and Private •  A new world order: economic growth and liberal democracy –  Following the overthrow of the Soviet Union •  UK Private Finance Initiative 1992 –  Investment by private sector in public infrastructure –  Risk sharing by states with the private sector •  A European phenomenon –  1990-2009 1340 PPPs •  Why should this not also work for ‘development’? •  MDG8 target (f) – ICTs and partnerships© Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation
  6. 6. Early ICT development partnerships Most were indeed Public-Private –  Imfundo’s origins •  Under-theorised –  Many had little understanding of conceptual issues •  Little empirical experience –  Most kept reinventing the wheel (and still do!) •  Private sector actively urging engagement with governments •  WSIS 2003 and 2005 –  First major UN summit with substantial private sector engagement© Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation
  7. 7. These background factors have had lasting effects on ICT4D partnerships© Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation
  8. 8. Why partnerships specifically in the field of ICT4D? •  Complexity of ICT4D initiatives –  Need different skills sets o  Technical o  Development •  Most government officials lack understanding of technical aspects of ICT4D –  Thus require private sector capacity •  Private sector driver of globalisation –  Business solution for sustainability •  Formalising role of WSIS© Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation
  9. 9. Two extreme models: circular and linear© Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation
  10. 10. Circular: sustainability of the partnership IBLF and Ros Tennyson© Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation
  11. 11. Linear: focus on development impact World Economic Forum’s GEI by Tom Cassidy© Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation
  12. 12. The move towards multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSPs) •  Some attempts to ‘impose’ a one-size fits all model –  But growing recognition that this is not appropriate •  PPPs widely seen as –  Failing to deliver in practice –  Concerns over coalition of interests between the private sector and the state (Martens, 2007) •  The role of civil society –  Central to effective ICT4D implementation •  Increased attention to MSPs –  And PPP now often used for contractual arrangements© Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation
  13. 13. Martens’ (2007) eight risks of partnerships •  Influence of business in shaping political discourse •  Risks to reputation – choosing the wrong partner •  Distorting competition •  Fragmentation of global governance •  Unstable financing •  Dubious complementarity •  Sensitivity – governance gaps remain •  Trends towards elite models of governance© Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation
  14. 14. DFID systematic review: success factors 1.  Local context and local stakeholders involved 2.  Clear intended development outcomes 3.  Scalability and sustainability focus from start 4.  Key importance of –  Trust –  Honesty –  Openness –  Mutual understanding –  Respect 5.  Supportive wider ICT environment© Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation
  15. 15. DFID systematic review: challenges with process •  Remarkably few good evaluations •  Diversity of methodologies causes great difficulties in comparing evaluations •  Very few baseline studies –  It is extremely difficult to say anything about impact •  Much “wish-fulfillment” –  Very difficult to detect wider impact and unintended consequences •  Success criteria vary for different partners –  Re-emphasises concerns with “interests”© Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation
  16. 16. Partnership challenges: evidence from the GEI •  Ensuring long-term sustainability •  Underestimating difficulty in reaching common goals and activities •  Balancing the different interests of the stakeholders •  Determining the levels of contribution from each partner •  Identifying the resources needed •  Co-operation between private sector and national bodies is needed •  Monitoring and evaluation often left to the end© Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation
  17. 17. Reflections from the GEI •  The need for high-level leadership •  The role of a partnership broker –  Trusted and neutral –  Knowledgeable about development outcomes •  Must start with agreement on intended development outcomes •  Central role of government ministries •  Effective project management •  Adequate resourcing •  Consistent strategy and flexible delivery •  Effective internal and external communications© Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation
  18. 18. In whose interest? •  Private Sector –  Markets and sales –  Innovative ideas and labour –  Influencing geopolitical agendas •  Governments –  Financing and risk reduction –  Getting re-elected •  Civil Society –  Raising international profiles –  Delivering on needs of supporters •  Bilateral donors and international agencies –  Delivering on development agendas© Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation
  19. 19. If development outcomes are achieved, does it matter if benefits are unevenly distributed?© Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation
  20. 20. Resolving partnership interests •  Transparency throughout –  Especially in interests •  Built around resource supply and demand framework •  Shared agreement on development objectives from the very beginning •  Clear allocation of financial resources •  Managing expectations© Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation
  21. 21. Discussion© Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation
  22. 22. Exemplification of benefits (supply) and needs (demand) framework© Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation
  23. 23. Towards a Multi-Stakeholder Partnership model Demand Supply partners: each has a partners niche role Govern Local Private Bilateral Civil Internat- -ments private sector donors Society ional sector agencies Contributions Expectations© Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation
  24. 24. The types of partner Demand Supply End Local Partners Funding Private Sector Civil Society Research International Beneficiaries agencies Organisations Institutions Organisations Local National and regional Multilateral and Companies Community action Universities; Global communities; governments; local bilateral donors; providing groups; non- consultancies; organisations people w ith private sector; local International hardware, governmental knowledge such as disabilities; civil society Financial software, organisations; providers; UNESCO; GeSCI; teachers; health organisations; religious Institutions; networking, voluntary innovators UN ICT Tas k workers; learners groups Charitable content, organisations; Force foundations infrastructure, international media advocacy and organisations relief agencies; religious groups© Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation
  25. 25. Contributions and benefits •  Partnership contributions –  Human resources –  Physical ICT resources –  Social networks –  Infrastructures –  Financial contributions •  Partner benefits –  Corporate identity –  Networking opportunities –  Economic returns –  Research and development opportunities© Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation
  26. 26. Human resource contributions Demand Supply End Local Partners Funding Private Civil Society Research International Beneficiaries agencies Sector Organisations Institutions Organisations Partnership Contributions Human resources § Knowledge § Technical support § Expertise in § Staff skilled § Expertise in § Generic § Expertise in of relevant § Indigenous ‘development in delivery of research ICT and demands knowledges ’ practice technology practical skills ‘development’ § Linguistic § Cultural sensitivity § Procurement § Media skills activities § Knowledge § Expertise in skills § Linguistic skills expertise § Project § Local of delivery of § Cultural § Labour § Advisory manage- knowledge information educational sensitivity § Capacity building capacity ment skills and networks and initiatives § Labour skills § Network § Knowledge of resources § Lobbying § Knowledge engineering development § Teaching expertise of relevant skills practices and capacity health and § Training § Project building skills educational expertise management § Monitoring initiatives § Research § Linguistic and and skills evaluation develop- § Advocacy skills ment skills skills § Staff § Staff § Staff secondment secondment secondment § Technical support© Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation
  27. 27. Corporate Identity Benefits Demand Supply End Local Partners Funding Private Civil Society Research International Beneficiaries agencies Sector Organisations Institutions Organisations Benefits of Partnership Corporate Identity § Opportunity § Raised § Opportunity § Delivery on § Delivery on § Increased § Opportunity for international profile to deliver on Corporate core mission international to deliver o n enhanced for local core mission Social and to reduce visibility core mission visibility of businesses and to reduce Environment poverty § For some, to reduce poverty organisations poverty al through ICT opportunity poverty agendas § Through Responsibili activities to deliver on § Through local local ty targets commitment partnerships partnerships § Raising to helping to helping to brand Knowledge ensure ensure identity for All relevance relevance international and and ly sustainability sustainability § Visible contribution to a country’s economy© Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation