with new information as of October 19, 2017
A free resource for nonprofit
organizations, NGOs, civil society organizations,
public sector organizations, and other mission-based agencies
Jayne Cravens, www.coyotecommunications.com
UNDP Chief Warns G-8 Leaders of a
Widening “Digital Divide”
21 July 2000
This is text from a statement on the United
National Development Programme (UNDP) web site in the year 2000. You
an archived version of the original on archive.org
United National Development Programme
UNDP Chief Warns G-8 Leaders of a Widening “Digital Divide”
The Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, Mark
Malloch Brown, called on G-8 leaders gathered in Japan this week to help
the developing world take full advantage of the Information Revolution.
Speaking at a meeting of developing country leaders and development
agency heads with G-8 leaders in Tokyo, Malloch Brown stressed that the
world has an historic opportunity and obligation to reach out and help
the poor take advantage of Information and Communication Technologies
Malloch Brown said that while it was true that the Information Gap - -or
digital divide - between rich and poor was vast and growing, ICT and the
Internet offer new hope in areas ranging from health, to education to
business development. "If we fail to act now the Information Gap risks
being widened into an uncrossable gulf that increases global inequality
and leaves the poor further behind," he said. "But if we approach the
matter with the same kind of urgency and application as the commercial
"dot-com" sector, then we have every chance of building a strong, new
wired future that not only includes the world's poor but gives them an
unprecedented opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty."
Malloch Brown lauded Prime Minister Mori for the announcement last
Friday that the Japanese government would pledge $15 billion over five
years in aid as part of a "Comprehensive Co-operation Package to Address
the International Digital Divide." He also thanked Mori for highlighting
the ICT for development issue during the G-8 summit which Japan is
hosting this week. And he singled out UNDP's cooperation with the
Government of Japan in providing technical support for Pacific Island
and African countries.
At a meeting with G-8 leaders in Tokyo this week, UN Development
Programme Administrator Mark Malloch Brown announced that UNDP is
launching a series of project activities that will boost internet
connectivity and access in some of the poorest countries in the world.
UNDP is already helping countries gain access to the digital economy in
places ranging from Estonia to East Timor. The organization supports the
launching of new networks and helps construct policy frameworks for
Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
"At a time when Tokyo has more telephones than all of Africa and Finland
has more Internet hosts than Latin America, the challenge is huge,"
Malloch Brown said. "But the fact is the revolution has only just begun,
and if we can work together, we can work to ensure the end result
provides the world's poor with a stake and a voice in the global
- UNDP is helping undertake a new effort to determine the extent of
"e-readiness" in individual developing countries. Drawing on UNDP's
network of 136 country offices and long-standing, trusted
relationship with governments, it will identify concrete steps
needed to foster and ensure the broader development of domestic ICT
sectors. Recommendations will focus on providing resource support
and technical assistance in removing regulatory bottlenecks and
creating an enabling environment for new public-private partnerships
that encourage the rapid growth of a domestic sector providing
portal, content, local cellular operations and other ICT services.
- UNDP is working on a wide range of innovative applications of ICT
in promoting poverty alleviation and human development. One
particular priority is exploring the potential of using the dramatic
cuts in transactions costs offered by ICT to find new ways of
expanding micro-finance initiatives for the poor, ranging from
credit for small and medium business development.
- Through UN Volunteers, a subsidiary organization, UNDP is
developing Secretary-General Kofi Annan's new United Nations
Information Technology Service ('UNITeS') to train groups in
developing countries in the uses and opportunities of the Internet
and information technology. UNDP will also be taking a lead in
working with the World Health Organisation and other agencies to
establish the Health InterNetwork, linking 10,000 on-line sites in
hospitals and clinics in developing countries to cutting edge
medical information and assistance.
- Another example of country-based initiatives is the work that
UNDP is doing with John Chambers, another attendee at the Okinawa
meeting, and his company CISCO Systems in setting up networking
academies in developing countries, especially in Africa. In
addition, NetAid.org, the innovative website run jointly by UNDP and
Cisco systems, is pioneering new ways to support development
initiatives across the world.
Mr Malloch Brown stressed that the key to moving forward in applying
ICT for development was through strategic partnerships. He noted
UNDP's support of the World Bank's initiatives to build a Global
Development Gateway and move forward on distance learning. And also
stressed that there was enormous scope for new private sector
involvement along the model of UNDP's links with Cisco.
# # #
You can see an archived version of the
UNITeS web site here.
You can read more about NetAid
I also have a list of Initiatives
to Related to Bridging the Digital Divide or Building Digital
Literacy in the Developing World or Globally in 2002.
for purchase as a paperback & an ebook
Completely revised and updated, & includes
lots more advice about microvolunteering!
Published January 2014.
Various United Nations
offices have launched initiatives to promote the use of computers,
feature phones, smart phones and various networked devices in
development and humanitarian activities, to promote digital
literacy and equitable access to the "information society," and to
bridge the digital divide. This web page is my effort to track UN
Tech4Good / ICT4D programs, from the oldest through 2016. My goal
is to primarily to help researchers, as well as to remind current
UN initiatives that much work regarding ICT4D has been done by
various UN employees, consultants and volunteers for more than 15
years (and perhaps longer?).
Volunteer Groups / ICT4D Volunteers
A listing of organizations and groups that promoted and placed
tech volunteers - both defunct initiatives and current ones.
Assignments for Tech Volunteers
There are a variety of ways for mission-based organizations to
involve volunteers to help with short-term projects
relating to computers and the Internet, and short-term
assignments are what are sought after most by potential "tech"
volunteers. But there is a disconnect: most organizations have
trouble identifying such short-term projects. This is a list
of short-term projects for "tech" volunteers -- assignments
that might takes days, weeks or just a couple of months to
- One(-ish) Day
"Tech" Activities for Volunteers
Volunteers are getting together for intense, one-day events,
or events of just a few days, to build web pages, to write
code, to edit Wikipedia pages, and more. These are gatherings
of onsite volunteers, where everyone is in one location,
together, to do an online-related project in one day, or a few
days. It's a form of episodic volunteering, because volunteers
don't have to make an ongoing commitment - they can come to
the event, contribute their services, and then leave and never
volunteer again. Because computers are involved, these events
are sometimes called hackathons, even if coding isn't
involved. This page provides advice on how to put together a
one-day event, or just-a-few-days-of activity, for a group of
tech volunteers onsite, working together, for a nonprofit,
non-governmental organization (NGO), community-focused
government program, school or other mission-based organization
- or association of such.
History of Nonprofits & the Internet
The Internet has been about people and organizations
networking with each other, sharing ideas and comments, and
collaborating online. It has always been interactive
and dynamic. And there were many nonprofit organizations who
"got" it early -- earlier than many for-profit companies. So
I've attempted to set the record straight: I've prepared a web
page that talks about the
early history of nonprofits and the Internet. It focuses
on 1995 and previous years. It talks a little about what
nonprofits were using the cyberspace for as well at that time
and lists the names of key people and organizations who helped
get nonprofit organizations using the Internet in substantial
numbers in 1995 and before. Edits and additions are welcomed.
Abroad (especially for Westerners)
An in-depth look at the different kinds of volunteering
abroad, with extensive information on what a person would need
to do and study to become a viable candidate for long-term
volunteering gigs where the volunteer does NOT have to pay his
or her own travel and accommodations, such as the PeaceCorps
virtual volunteering into a corporate employee volunteer
program (a resource for businesses / for-profit companies)
Virtual volunteering - volunteers providing service via a
computer, smart phone, tablet or other networked advice -
presents a great opportunity for companies to expand their
employee philanthropic offerings. Through virtual
volunteering, some employees will choose to help organizations
online that they are already helping onsite. Other employees
who are unable to volunteer onsite at a nonprofit or school
will choose to volunteer online because of the convenience.
- Women's Access to
Public Internet Access, a resource I developed
through research & experience to support the development
of women-only Internet centers/technology centers/etc., or
women-only hours at such public Internet access points, in
developing and transitional countries.
- Lessons from
Some key learnings from directing the UN's Online
Volunteering service from February 2001 to February 2005,
including support materials for those using the service to
host online volunteers.
Virtual Volunteering Guidebook
for purchase as a paperback & an ebook from Energize,
Disclaimer: No guarantee of accuracy or suitability is made by the
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The art work and material on
this site was created and is copyrighted 1996-2017
by Jayne Cravens, all rights reserved
(unless noted otherwise, or the art comes from a link to another