July 2004

Development Gateway Forum:The action points

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This year more than 100 participants attended Development Gateway Forum from 39 countries on June 27 to 28 at the Petersberg center outside of Bonn, Germany.




The Development Gateway, an independent not-for-profit organisation launched by the World Bank, issued a progress report on action items in last year's Petersberg Declaration. In answer to the call to “prioritise local partnerships and applications,” for instance, the Development Gateway's research center in India has advanced 12 applications, including multilingual web searches and low-bandwidth information exchanges. In response to the mandate to link ICT to the Millennium Development Goals, a platform has been developed to allow countries to monitor policies and actions aimed at achieving the MDGs. On the global Development Gateway portal, a network of more than 100,000 development practitioners from around the world are now sharing information, collaborating to improve development effectiveness, and building local capacity and enterprise.

Each year, the Development Gateway Foundation gathers input for the Call to Action at its Development Gateway Forum. The Petersberg Call to Action focuses on improving the use of ICT to enhance development effectiveness, increase transparency in public sector procurement, and help build the local capacity of institutions and individuals to become agents of change. Each year, the elements of this Call to Action are gathered at the forum to help the Development Gateway refine its strategy as it also helps define priorities for the larger ICT community. Some action items, which came out of this year's forum, are as follows:

Development effectiveness
There is a need to improve the information and tools used to achieve development effectiveness. To provide information that is comprehensive, but at the same time useful, in order to avoid information overload and waste. Information has to be “handy” so people can use it easily.

Apply ICT to the Millenium Development Goals
To this end, the Development Gateway has been developing Millennium Development Goals monitoring platforms that is hoped to bring it into use both globally and locally.

Scaling the use of information technologies for public procurement
$1 trillion is spent each year on public goods and services in developing countries

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