October 2005

Develop global partnerships for development

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The Millennium Development Goal 8 focuses on developing global partnerships. The key target is to develop an open, non-discriminatory trading and financial system, which deals comprehensively with the debt of developing nations. Community action and voluntary action are two key ways in which we can accelerate the process of development and to effectively, innovatively and creatively use the diminishing development funds. Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) can also play a key role in enabling this.

telecentre.org, Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP), i4d, SDC, UNDP's ICTD Programme and others have come forward to work on an issue that attempts to document telecentre networks. When efforts are concerted and energies are pooled, there are synergies created, collaborations nurtures and collective action results in a more efficient and valuable service to the community at large. This is a stated goal of poverty reduction, development and bridging the divide that exists as we enter a new phase of a global information society.

Multi stakeholder partnerships (MSPs) between governments, the private sector, NGOs and multilateral institutions have become increasingly prominent internationally as a means to address the more intractable challenges of sustainable development and poverty reduction. At the same time, the potential of new Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) as a catalyst to poverty reduction efforts is also receiving increasing attention, particularly in the context of the World Summit for the Information Society (WSIS).

How can institutions and pilot initiatives move from the scale of experimentation to scale up for impact on societies? This is possible by building new alliances and forming support networks. However, there are few documented examples of truly effective partnership practice that focus on the use of ICTs for Development (ICT4D) and poverty reduction. We are very pleased to be able to focus this issue on Telecentre Networks from different regions of the world and to highlight some of the key partnerships like the Mission 2007 whose zeal and impact can already be felt by the alliance's growing membership not only in numbers but also in the diversity of the stakeholders. Like Mission 2007, there are other emerging networks in Africa and South Asia (Sri Lanka in particular), as well as interesting experiences from Latin America that we share with the readers of i4d.

We look forward to completing the series on MDGs with our final issue of the year focusing on HIV/AIDS and other diseases in December, and to actively participate in Tunisia in the second phase of the World Summit on Sustainable Development in mid-November.


Ravi Gupta

ravi.gupta@csdms.org

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