UN Set to Boost the ICT Capacity of CIS Countries

To mark the start of a series of capacity building workshops on information and communication technology (ICT) essentials for policymakers in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and other Russian-speaking countries, an official launch event will be held at Tajikistan Hotel in Dushanbe, Tajikistan from 30 September to 2 October 2009. The event is co-organized by the UN Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development (APCICT), and the Central Asian Research and Education Network (CAREN), and hosted by the Tajik Academician Research and Educational Network Association (TARENA).
Zukhurov B.S., Vice Minister of Transport and Communications RT; Rakhimov F., Vice Minister of Education; and Safiev Khaidar, Adviser of the President on ICT Issues in Tajikistan will preside over the launch. Fifty to sixty participants are expected, including senior government officials from the CIS, several diplomatic missions, UN agencies in Tajikistan, representatives from the research and education community, and the Europe Aid Cooperation Office, as well as other organizations such as the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation.
As CIS countries transition to open market economies, increasing access to ICT and its use for social and economic development is high on the agenda. Policymakers are indispensable in creating and sustaining the type of environment that promotes the effective use of ICT for development. These ICT training opportunities targeted at policymakers are part of the “Academy of ICT Essentials for Government Leaders” (Academy) Programme, a flagship initiative of APCICT. The Academy includes a comprehensive curriculum on ICT for development and more than a dozen partners that are working with APCICT to roll out the Academy at the national level throughout Asia and the Pacific.
Despite the challenges of overcoming the digital isolation of landlocked countries, difficult terrain and dispersed populations, ICT infrastructure has developed rapidly in some CIS countries and people’s access to ICTs such as computers and mobile phones continue to grow steadily. APCICT, a subsidiary body of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), is committed to addressing inequalities in ICT access and capacity, particularly in “countries with special needs.”
“APCICT has strongly supported the Russian Academy as part of its mandate to promote regional cooperation between CIS countries and build cohesive alliances among the UN system, governments, the private sector and civil society towards an inclusive and sustainable information society,” said APCICT Director Hyeun-Suk Rhee.
Eight core modules of the Academy curriculum have been translated into Russian by the National Information Technology Center (NITC) of Kyrgyzstan. The launch event will be followed immediately by an inaugural Academy training workshop. The second and third day of the event will be held at the Tajik Technical University.
This training workshop will be led by Russian-speakers who have undergone APCICT’s training of trainers programme. They and invited experts will present case studies from the CIS countries to enhance the relevance of the training content and depict the benefits of ICTs in a context familiar to the audience, thus facilitating concrete understanding of the subject matter.
Additionally, from 5 to 7 October 2009, the first national Academy workshop in Kyrgyzstan will be conducted by NITC. As part of APCICT’s efforts in promoting South-South cooperation, an expert from the Intec Company in Mongolia will help deliver this first Academy workshop. Intec has been involved in conducting two national Academy workshops in partnership with the ICT Authority and the Academy of Management in Mongolia.
Both training workshops in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan will focus on Modules 1 (linkages between ICT and the Millennium Development Goals) and 2 (ICT policy and governance) of the Academy.
UN-APCICT - http://www.unapcict.org The United Nations Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology (UN-APCICT) is a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), established with a membership identical to that of ESCAP and is 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.