Information Communication Technology Policymaking in ESCWA Member Countries
The Workshop on Information Communication Technology (ICT) Policymaking in ESCWA Member Countries (Beirut, 2-4 May 2006) constitutes an activity under the Development Account project entitled Capacity-building for ICT Policymaking, that is being implemented jointly by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the regional commissions of the United Nations, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The Workshop was attended by 26 participants from nine member countries, mainly from the public sector, and covered a number of subjects, including as follows: (a) methodologies for formulating national ICT strategies for development; (b) formulating sectoral policies for an integrated knowledge society; (c) implementing strategies and plans of action; (d) measuring, analysing and evaluating the impact of ICT policies; and (e) designing partnership schemes towards the knowledge society. Additionally, it included country experiences in the area of formulation and implementation of ICT policies and strategies; and discussion sessions related to institutional issues, the economic dimension of ICT policies and strategies, and the partnerships needed among the various stakeholders in the ESCWA region for developing the information society. The Workshop resulted in the formation of an initial network of ICT policymakers aimed at sharing experiences and knowledge in the field of ICT strategies, and their mplementations. Moreover, this network is set to discuss topics and issues of concern for the region through an online forum managed by ESCWA. Furthermore, the participants agreed on a number of recommendations, including developing a mechanism for the implementation of regional projects; identifying models for the formulation of ICT strategies and plans of actions; disseminating best practices and lessons learned in the field of ICT policymaking; harmonizing ICT indicators; and building a regional database for ICT indicators.