My first day at the World Bank found me flying to Moscow to participate in the Open Government Conference.
In preparation for the February 28 ICT Solutions Day, the World Bank ICT team is piloting a crowdsourcing initiative to develop innovative ICT-enabled solutions for client countries.
Africa is advancing by leaps and bounds in adoption and use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the private and public sectors. A new report, “eTransform Africa”, shows how innovations that began in Africa – like the use of dual SIM card cellular phones or using mobile technologies for remittance payments – are now spreading across the continent and beyond.
Ensuring that backbone telecommunications networks are widely accessible, of good quality, and delivered efficiently and competitively is critical to boosting productivity and international competitiveness in the MENA region. They are major determinants of production costs and speeding up affordable access to broadband Internet will ultimately result in higher employment, growth, and improved living standards.
Open Government is increasingly perceived as a new paradigm for ICT-enabled government transformation offering a number of instruments for improved governance, transparency and innovation. Ulyanovsk Oblast of Russia has already made substantial progress in e-government, IT industry development and IT literacy, and has taken practical steps that have made it an early leader in Open Government initiatives in Russia, as recognized in a study published in May 2012 by the Russian Institute of the Information Society.
A growing trend towards digitization, digital storing, processing, and managing of information, as well as the spread of electronic devices and electronic communication lead to generation of high volumes of data. “Big data” collected from sensors, mobile devices, and computers create new opportunities, as well as new challenges for the way organizations operatee.
The international community has been witnessing a drastic reduction in the diplomatic representation of governments and international organizations around the world. Strong international actors, such as Germany, France or the United Kingdom, as well as countries with less “firepower” on the global stage, have been closing down embassies, consulates and other types of foreign representations for various reasons. In light of this trend, virtual diplomacy has emerged as a possible alternative to the regular way of doing diplomatic business.
What would you give up to continue using your mobile phone? For most of the six billion mobile subscribers around the world, the sacrifice might be measured in terms of a marginal loss of privacy, or of time.
Interview with Wonki Min, Senior ICT Policy Specialist, on the influence of high-speed Internet on job creation