The WSIS Gender Caucus (GC) has been asked to integrate MDGs as they discuss internet governance and gender at the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) PreCom III in Geneva.
The joint discussion of the Association for Progressive Communications Women's Networking Support Programme (APC WNSP), African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) and the WSIS Gender Caucus showed that it is important for gender and ICT advocates to embrace MDGs in order to talk in the same language with the government.
Willie Curie, the manager of APC's Communications and Information Policy Programme observed that it is important for the gender advocates to add a physical layer to development by giving out the internet statistics and link them to MDGs, so we can for example see how many women will be actually connected by 2015.
There is a strong link between the ICT agenda for development and MDGs. This linkage is ground enough to justify its inclusion in the gender and ICT advocacy as key cross cutting component. The specific association is seen in MDG number 8 to “develop a global partnership for development” which calls for “cooperation with the private sector make available the benefits of new technologies specifically information and communication technologies”.
MDGs have also impact on ICTs applications in diverse thematic sectors.
In MDG one to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger the role of ICTs is to increase access to market information and reduce transaction costs for poor farmers and traders.
In the goal two on achieving universal primary education ICTs can assist to increase the number of trained teachers through ICT enhanced distance learning initiatives.
The goal three promotes gender equality and empowers women in which ICTs have potential to increase access of poor girls and women to educational and literacy programs specifically.
ICTs can also contribute to the reduction of child mortality as outlined in the goal four, and facilitate the access to remote diagnosis and the cooperation between rural care practitioners and health specialist. As well as they can enhance delivery of basic and in-service trainings for health workers in order to improve maternal health as outlined in MDG five.
The goal six is to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases where among others the ICT role is to promote monitoring and information sharing on diseases and famine.
In relation to MDGs seven - to ensure environmental sustainability, ICTs permit more effective monitoring, resource management mitigation of environmental risks.