Global Alliance for ICT & Development

The Global Alliance for ICT & Developement (GAID) is a 2006, United Nations Secretary General approved initiative. The creation of GAID resulted from consensus reached during previous summits about the importance of information and communication technologies (ICT) in achieving the Millenium Development Goals.

The need for a globally inclusive forum to facilitate a cross-cutting approach to the global ICT agenda during UN policy discussions led to the creation of a network-like multisectoral platform. The Global Alliance functions as a partnership and network supported by the United Nations, under the authority of the Secretary-General and the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Geographically, GAID's work structure is based on regional networks: a Regional Global Alliance for ICT and Development Network for Latin America and the Caribbean was launched in February 2008, adding to the regional networks that already exist in Africa and Europe.

GAID's communities of expertise (CoE), which have a thematic focus, address priority areas, including education, entrepreneurship, governance and health. Communities of expertise are results-driven networks called for by GAID that bring together strategic actors in field of information and communciation technologies for development (ICT4D) to tackle specific issues and identify best practices.

Among the CoE, GAID has a Gender, Development and Information Society Policies (GDISP) which examines “the complex relationship between gender, development and information society policies and channel the emerging understanding into policy processes at local, national and global levels”, as the official website states.

The CoE-GDISP is organised as a loose network. It brings together two separate constituencies: organisations already engaged in gender and ICT advocacy and organisations with a history of global engagement in gender, development and rights. This includes existing global, regional and national networks, universities and NGOs, local groups, and donor and multilateral agencies and gender activists.

One of the CoE-GDISP objectives is to provide a platform for a sustained dialogue among this community of organisations on IS issues, in order to develop new concepts and analytical frameworks, and to articulate policy recommendations with respect to gender and development before national and global organisations, such as the United Nations.

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