Financing ICTD: A review of trends and an analysis of gaps and promising practices

In 2004, the Task Force on Financial Mechanisms, convened by the UNDP in response to a World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) mandate, conducted extensive consultations, research, and reviews of information surrounding the role and effectiveness of financial mechanisms to support ICT for development.
According to this report, it represents the Task Force’s best understanding of the broad and constantly changing scope of the ICT sector and the use of ICT in the developing world from a financing and development perspective. The report is clustered into five general categories: Enabling Environment and Policies, Infrastructure, Access, Content and Applications, Capacity development.
Although the report does not look at gender in particular, it highlights several governmental and civil society initiatives which aimed at benefiting women, and calls for more and better coordinated interventions in this area. Among its findings and conclusions, the report states:
1. ICT are rapidly emerging as a vital factor in economic and social development to facilitate innovative and scalable solutions for achieving major development objectives.Women stand to gain by being empowered through access to communication and learning networks.
2. New and innovative projects are being launched every day, and there are numerous encouraging examples of how strategic integration of ICT elements in development agendas can enhance education, health care, governance, business and job development, women’s opportunities, and crisis intervention. There is urgently need coordination and support for “scaling-up” strategies in financing for ICTD.
3. For development practitioners, especially those in the field, the issue of information content is absolutely central to the question of how ICT can be effectively integrated with traditional development programs. In this context, information can play an important role in good governance to support access to public services for women, youth and elderly, and in promoting gender equality through building awareness on women's human rights, training and capacity on strategic use of ICT, ICT as tools for advocacy on social change, networking and information dissemination.
4. Traditional media are also an important component of the development equation, and often a mechanism for delivering valuable content effectively and affordably. Community radio, for example, is being utilized in a number of countries to reach target populations and engage them with information and discussions relevant to their immediate social and economic needs. Women in particular have become a focus of this medium.
Publication date: 
Monday, March 10, 2008
Year of publication: 
2005

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