Agenda and Speakers

 

Day 1
(10 September 2009)
Session 1: Access to ICTs and the Internet
Session 2: Broadband policy and development
Session 3: Mobile banking
Day 2
(11 September 2009)
Session 4: Cross border co-operation and security
Session 5: Green ICTs for development
Session 6: ICTs for education

 

Day 1 - 10 September 2009


9:30-10:30       Opening remarks and welcome

  • Eckhard Deutscher, Chair of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC), OECD
  • Tim Kelly, Lead ICT Policy Specialist, infoDev/World Bank of behalf of Mohsen Khalil, Director, Global Information and Communication Technologies (GICT), World Bank (presentation)
  • Keynote issues overview: Richard Heeks, Professor of Development Informatics, University of Manchester, UK (presentation)

10:30-11:00     Coffee break


11:00 -12:30    Session 1 – Access to ICTs and the Internet

Improving access to communication networks in developing countries is a driver for their overall economic and social development.  Over the past decade a greater reliance on the market, in many low-income countries, has made owning and using a telephone increasingly affordable and accessible. The number of mobile subscriptions around the world now exceeds four billion and developing countries account for two-thirds of that number.  This has assisted in the creation of new sources of income and employment as well as encouraging innovation aimed at meeting local requirements. On the other hand some key infrastructures may not exist or be underutilised. More than half the countries in the world do not have an Internet Exchange Point (IXP) where local traffic can be exchanged and, as one consequence, face relatively high charges for transiting this traffic through the developed world. This session will explore areas critical to further growth in communications access in developing countries. 

  1. What are the main barriers to the development of Internet and ICT access in developing countries? What are the key policies to support access to ICTs and how can the coherence of these polices be improved? In particular, what is the role of poverty reduction strategies and donor policies and co-ordination?
  2. What are the respective roles for stakeholders in ensuring expansion of communications access, including in the areas of policy and regulatory best practices?
  3. What lessons can be learned from the success of the wireless industry in respect to its ability to provide services to people with the most limited economic means and to support innovation directed toward their needs? Will models based on online advertising revenues be effective in meeting the cost of content and service provision in developing countries?
  4. What are the key sectors that need further support in capacity development?   How can governments and donors support IXPs in service development most efficiently? How does international connectivity affect the cost and performance of Internet access? Why is IPv6, the new version of the Internet protocol, important for developing countries?

 

Chair:

Laurent Gille, Télécom ParisTech - SES/CNRS - LTCI

 

Speakers and Discussants:


12:30-14:00   Lunch break


14:00-16:00   Session 2 – Broadband policy and development

The number of broadband subscribers around the globe, on either fixed or mobile connections, is likely to exceed one billion for the first time during 2009. This means that the vast majority of Internet users now enjoy speeds at least four times quicker than ordinary dial-up connections, making many new applications possible. Furthermore, the performance/price of broadband connections is continuing to double every 12-15 months on average, which suggest that broadband technology is still at the start of its growth curve. Broadband networks can be a general purpose technology enabler, bringing innovation and growth to many sectors of the economy. In particular, they provide an ideal service delivery platform to link suppliers directly with customers.

From the perspective of development policy, broadband poses some interesting questions for developing countries and for policy coherence more generally:

  1. What level of infrastructure competition is optimal? Does the trend towards higher-speed networks threaten to recreate natural monopolies? Conversely, does pressure on incumbents to unbundle the local loop reduce incentives for fresh investment, for instance in fibre optics?
  2. What is an appropriate role for government? The early broadband pioneers, such as the Republic of Korea or Singapore, benefitted from an active government role in broadband promotion, both on the supply and demand sides. Now, broadband is being taken up in national economic stimulus packages, notably in the US where some US$7 billion has been set aside for rural broadband. Should developing countries follow a similar path or leave broadband promotion to the market?
  3. Are mobile and fixed-line broadband substitutable? In developed countries, broadband has tended to grow first in fixed line networks (e.g. through DSL, cable modem and fibre networks) and only later on mobile networks (e.g., 3G, 4G and WiMAX). But most developing countries have many more mobile users than fixed line ones. Is it viable to develop a national broadband strategy based on a mobile platform?

 

Chair:

Vince Affleck, Director of International, ITU-T and OECD, OFCOM and Chairman of the OECD Working Party on Communication, Infrastructure and Services Policy (CISP)

 

Speakers and Discussants:


16:00-16:30   Coffee break


16:30-18:00   Session 3 – Mobile banking

 

Several billion people in the developing world have very limited or no access to any form of financial services. Increasingly mobile phones are being used as a channel for money transfers or to buy and sell products and services. This is providing affordable financial services for the first time to many people, with extremely limited means, while at the same time offering them greater security and efficiency than traditional alternatives. The pace of developments is uneven across different countries perhaps reflecting the disruption which attends innovation is not always welcomed by all stakeholders and lessons can be learned from those countries with the most successful roll-out of services. At the same time, the convergence of communications and financial services has brought into play separate regulatory authorities whose practices may need to be examined for overall coherence in meeting policy objectives.  This session will explore areas critical to further growth of access to financial services in developing countries using ICTs. 

  1. To what extent is the expansion of mobile telephony likely to lead to the expansion of access to appropriate financial services in developing countries? Which models of mobile payments are emerging in developing countries? How can Governments use such developments in the delivery of their own services? What roles can be envisaged for mobile phone operators, developers and manufactures of payment systems, regulatory and standardisation bodies and service providers?
  2. What are the opportunities for enabling less expensive and more secure international remittances? What regulatory questions are raised by such services and is there coherence across the roles and responsibilities of sectoral regulatory authorities in the developed and developing world? Why have some governments decided to limit the level of competition such platforms can provide to traditional alternatives?
  3. What are the public policy and regulatory elements of an enabling environment for the mobile financial services sector? What specific regulatory issues arise, such as remote customer due diligence requirements and access to the payments system? What impact does the campaign against money laundering have on mobile remittances and are there coordination failures/ policy coherence issues?

 

Chair:

Michael Trucano, Senior ICT Policy Specialist, World Bank

Speakers and Discussants:


Day 2 - 11 September 2009

 

9:00 -10:30  Session 4: Cross-border Co-operation and Security

The globally interrelated nature of the Internet means that the policies and practices adopted in any country have the ability to affect the security and stability of network use in any other. In this context the development of a culture of security which benefits all users around the world, and the funding of expenditure necessary to sustain that environment, will be particularly challenging for the next several billion Internet users.  Using examples of malicious activities that impose costs on users in developing countries, this session will explore how stakeholders can support capacity building, developmental and cross-border co-operation to build a global culture of security. 

  1. How does malware impose additional costs on users developing countries?  Are coherent policies and practices in place to prevent or minimize such developments?
  2. What are the factors for successful cross-border co-operation? As the global reach of the Internet increases, how is cross-border regulatory enforcement co-operation evolving? In which areas is there sharing of good practice among stakeholders? What is the role for informal networks that link the relevant stakeholders including in developed countries?
  3. Given that many people in developing countries will gain access to the Internet for the first time through wireless networks what might be the security implications compared to fixed networks?

 

Chair:

Anne Carblanc, Principal Administrator, OECD Working Party on Information Security and Privacy (presentation)

 

Speakers and Discussants:

 

10:30-11:00   Coffee break


11:00-12:30   Session 5: Green ICTs for development

Developed and developing countries face escalating environmental challenges including climate change, improving energy efficiency and waste management, addressing air pollution, water management and scarcity, and loss of natural habitats and biodiversity.

  1. How can the Internet and the ICT and research communities help tackle environmental challenges in developing countries through more environmentally sustainable models of economic development?
  2. What are developments in and likely impacts of emerging environmentally friendly technologies, equipment and applications in supporting programmes aimed at addressing climate change and improving energy efficiency (e.g. in buildings, transport systems, energy grids and energy management)?
  3. How can a life-cycle perspective in ICT product design and policies reduce the e-waste dilemma in developing countries?
  4. How can policy be developed and implemented so that it meets the twin goals of improving environmental performance while underpinning growth and jobs?

 

Chair:

Graham Vickery, Principal Administrator, OECD Working Party on the Information Economy

 

Speakers and Discussants:

  • John Houghton, Professorial Fellow at Victoria University's Centre for Strategic Economic Studies (CSES) and Director of the Centre's Information Technologies and the Information Economy Program, Australia  (presentation)
  • Nim-Kwan Cheung, Chief Executive Officer, Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI), Hong Kong SAR, China (presentation)
  • Catalina McGregor, Founder and Chair of the Cabinet Office CIO/CTO Council Green ICT Delivery Group, United kingdom (presentation)
  • I. Vijaya Kumar, Chief Technology Officer, Wipro, India

 

12:30-14:00   Lunch break


14:00-16:00   Session 6 – ICTs for Education

The Millennium Development Goals target universal primary education and the elimination of gender inequality in education by 2015 at the latest. The greater use of technology, especially information and communication technologies (ICTs), in schools can accelerate this goal and help to prepare students to participate in the information society. Several developing countries have established ambitious targets for the roll-out of computers in schools. For instance, the government of India has launched a programme to roll out basic ICT infrastructure in all secondary schools by 2012 and to supply at least 2-3 computers in every primary school with electricity. But doubts remain as to the priority that should be afforded to technology relative to other educational needs, for teachers, for textbooks, for premises etc. For the development community, these issues raise a number of dilemmas with regard to elaborating coherent strategies:

  1. Does the one-to-one model, as espoused for instance by the one laptop per child initiative, represent the best strategy for developing countries, or is this an unattainable goal in a world where scarce resources should be focused on shared facilities?
  2. What are the real costs of ownership of computers in schools (e.g., taking into account also teacher training, software, maintenance etc) and is the hardware component being oversold?
  3. How can the impact of computers in schools be measured, in terms of educational attainment?
  4. What role should ICT skills play in the core curriculum and what skills taught now will still be relevant in ten year’s time?

 

Chair:

David Souter, ICT Development Associates

 

Speakers and Discussants:


16:00-17:00    Concluding session