UN Works with Mongolia to Close the Digital-Divide

Over 50 senior Mongolian government officials received training this week from the United Nations on the use of information and communication technology (ICT) to promote the landlocked country’s development.

The officials - heads of departments and agencies in government ministries- learned during a three-day workshop, which ended today in Ulaanbaatar, the use of ICT as a tool for development, and the link between ICT and the Millennium Development Goals.

The workshop was organized by the United Nations Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development (APCICT), in partnership with the Information and Communications Technology Authority of Mongolia (ICTA), the World Bank and INTEC Co., Ltd. It also marked the first national roll out of the Academy of ICT Essentials for Government Leaders, a flagship training curriculum developed by APCICT.

The course had been customized to use case studies, discussion topics and group exercises that specifically related to Mongolia ’s needs and policies. All the training materials were prepared in both English and Mongolian and the entire session, including group discussions, was simultaneously interpreted.

"I am very glad to participate in the Academy because it provided a unique opportunity for different government ministries to come together to exchange views and gain better understanding of ICT for development,” remarked Turboid Bat-Orgil of the Mineral Resources and Petroleum Authority of Mongolia. “We discussed the challenges we face and came to a common understanding on how to further develop Mongolia through the use of ICT.”

Hyeun-Suk Rhee, Director of APCICT, observed that Mongolia had made ICT a national priority since the establishment of ICTA in 2004. Changes have been made to the legal and regulatory framework for ICT and the e-Mongolia national programme has been developed to make it easier to connect the majority of the country to the Internet in a cost-effective manner.

“The adoption and integration of the Academy as part of the country’s strategy to build ICT capacity is a crucial element in developing an inclusive and people-centred information society in Mongolia ,” said Ms. Rhee.

The Academy is an eight-module training programme designed to help equip policymakers with essential knowledge and skills to embrace ICT as a means for national development. The courses cover subjects ranging from the link between ICT and development to e-government applications. Mongolia ’s Academy of Management , founded in 1924 as the first higher educational institute in the country and trains more than 1,500 government officials every year, announced at the workshop that it will offer a Continuing Education Programme with all eight Academy modules, starting from March 2009.

APCICT has been working closely with over a dozen regional and national training institutions across Asia and the Pacific to customize, translate and deliver the Academy that take national needs and priorities into account. For more information about the Academy , please visit http://www.unapcict.org/academy

About UN-APCICT: A subsidiary body of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and located in Incheon, Republic of Korea, APCICT aims to strengthen the efforts of the member countries of ESCAP to use ICT in their socio-economic development through building human and institutional capacity for ICT.