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UN Launches e-Collaborative Hub for ICT for Development and Capacity Building

e-Co Hub has been designed and developed by APCICT as a place for online convergence of like-minded individuals and organizations working to strengthen capacities in the use of ICT4D. It seeks to provide knowledge resources on different aspects of ICT4D and make available an interactive space for sharing knowledge and experiences on ICT4D capacity building.

The United Nations Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development (UN-APCICT) launched their e-Collaborative Hub for ICT for Development and Capacity Building (or e-Co Hub) at the OECD Ministerial Meeting on the Future of the Internet Economy. e-Co Hub seeks to address the need for an online platform for policy makers, educators and practitioners to share and acquire relevant and current knowledge resources on information and communication technology for development (ICT4D) issues.

Many countries in the Asia-Pacific region face a widening digital divide, i.e. between those who have access to information and technologies and those who do not, and also between those who are able to successfully use ICTs and those who cannot. At the same time initiatives to strengthen the capacities of policy makers and citizens in using ICT for social and economic development are limited and ad-hoc.

A contributing factor to this situation is the lack of an effective and coordinated mechanism to share and acquire capacity building resources such as training materials, guidelines, handbooks, case studies and audio-visual learning kits. In the Asia-Pacific regions, there is no dedicated network and platform for policy makers, educators and practitioners to share experiences and knowledge, and collaborate in developing and delivering quality training to promote innovative synergies towards the advancement of ICT4D.

e-Co Hub has been designed and developed by APCICT as a place for online convergence of like-minded individuals and organizations working to strengthen capacities in the use of ICT4D. It seeks to provide knowledge resources on different aspects of ICT4D and make available an interactive space for sharing knowledge and experiences on ICT4D capacity building.

The birth of the e-Co Hub came about from survey results, meetings and consultations with APCICT member and associate member countries. The general consensus was that there is a need to establish a network of training institutions, educators, academics and researchers working to develop and effectively deliver ICT4D capacity building initiatives. As a result, a Digital Partnership Network (DPN) was established and launched by APCICT on 8 October 2007, and members of this network can now take advantage of the e-Co Hub to find relevant resources, share their own resources, or review existing resources in the e-Co Hub. Members can also use the e-Co Hub to build partnerships and collaborate in updating/customizing training materials, delivering them, and sharing lessons learned in managing capacity building initiatives on ICT4D to improve lives, reduce poverty and empower people.

e-Co Hub is also fundamental in supporting APCICT’s Academy of ICT Essentials for Government Leaders Programme (Academy) that consists of a core ICT4D curriculum with eight modules, targeted primarily at policy makers, project managers and educators, that can be delivered face-to-face or as online self-study courses on APCICT’s online distance learning platform - APCICT Virtual Academy (AVA). AVA, is scheduled to be completed and launched in the fourth quarter of 2008.

In this context, the e-Co Hub aims to build bridges between trainees and trainers, and enhance the learning and teaching experience. For trainers, this is the place for finding ICT4D resources; sharing experiences; mentoring future leaders in ICT4D; and contributing to the community of ICT4D capacity building. For users of the Academy, the e-Co Hub provides a platform for accessing relevant resources, engaging in discussions with experts and other learners, and discovering solutions.

The e-Co Hub also aims to promote lifelong learning among users and trainers working on a range of ICT4D issues affecting the lives of people in developing countries, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. Whether you work in government, for an NGO, a university, an international organization or in the private sector, there is probably something in the e-Co Hub for you.

Related Links

e-Co Hub

About e-Co Hub

Digital Partnership Network

Academy of ICT Essentials for Government Leaders

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