Presented by Oleg Petrov, Senior Program Officer, Transport & ICT, World Bank and Saki Kumagai, Social Development Specialist, World Bank
“World Development Report 2016: Internet for Development” is similar to other major developmental reports being produced by a panel of economists and sector experts. The reports developed with such efforts go for global consultations and are presented in annual meetings of the World Bank in Washington in the month of October. We have done many reports on minor behavior, contact behavior, gender inequality, climate change, etc. It is for the first time that the World Bank has done any report on Internet, ICT or eGovernance.
There are certain focus areas of the report as to what is the impact of the Internet on the economic growth, social economic opportunity and efficiency of public delivery system, and that is the first big question. The second is how business people and government sector are impacted from the Internet. We generally discuss these two questions when we talk about ICT-enabled solutions and activities. Another important question is about policy reforms in complimentary sectors like Health, Education and Governance.
ICT is not just an enabler or tool; it is rather an environment, it is a dimension of our life, and if we don’t use it appropriately, it is possible that we can miss about 90 percent of opportunities. It should, therefore, be fully explored.
The report should not be looked at with a backward approach. Although there shall be some lesson from the past, too much backward looking leads to losing opportunities and take development away from innovation. So, this report is being developed with the perspective of taking the best analysis from the past experiences versus the trances in the future. By the time the report will be published at the end of 2015, there will be very fast movement of technologies. Capacity building is another important factor to be initiated and kept into this report, especially, skill development of IT professionals those who are serving and play a pivotal role in developing ICT infrastructure across the globe.