The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), which took place in Geneva in 2003 and in Tunis in 2005, determined the key principles to harness the potential of ICTs and to build a people-centred, development-oriented and inclusive Information Society. Among the Summit’s outcomes, more than 2500 projects were launched to meet the objectives of WSIS, records of which have been maintained by ITU in the WSIS Stocktaking Database.
For ten years, the WSIS Stocktaking process has served as a global repository for collecting and reporting on ICT-related projects fostering implementation of the WSIS outcomes. More and more entities, in cross-cutting sectors and in different countries, have been taking part in the WSIS Stocktaking exercise with a view to sharing best practices.
The WSIS Stocktaking Report 2014 will be released on 9 June 2014 on the eve of the WSIS+10 High-Level Event in Geneva, 10-13 June 2014.
The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Stocktaking Report 2014 highlights projects and initiatives aimed at implementation of the WSIS outcomes, details of which were provided in response to ITU’s official call for updates and new entries. It bears witness to the scale of the efforts made by numerous stakeholders, including governments, the private sector, civil society and international organizations, towards building the information society and bridging the digital divide. The progress made has been achieved thanks to multi-stakeholder collaboration in achieving the WSIS goals.
Since 2003, in line with the Geneva Phase of WSIS, the elaboration of national e-strategies has become an important issue on the world’s agenda, with the aim of improving the quality of life for all and providing citizens with access to information and public services. Governments are taking outreach initiatives by launching promotional campaigns and awards designed to raise awareness about the value of ICTs in society and to encourage citizens to use government e‑services. Infrastructure and broadband are essential prerequisites if people are to benefit from a range of e-services such as e-learning, e-health, e-agriculture, e-environment, e‑commerce and many others. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is committed to achieving universal access to broadband connectivity. Globally, mobile-broadband penetration will reach 32 per cent by end 2014.
Governments across the world remain committed to building e-government strategies, programmes and plans at the national level with the aim of providing the most appropriate responses to citizen and government needs. Through government-to-government (G2G) interaction, the exchange of information between governments transforms government services into effective and efficient mechanisms. Citizen- and business-oriented projects and initiatives provide one-stop government-to-consumer/citizen (G2C) and government-to-business (G2B) services by creating government contact points and call centres, setting up national emergency numbers and modernizing notarial systems. Customer service has been improved thanks to the development of online platforms and portals through which citizens can access public services around the clock.
ICT applications can enhance the business environment by reducing expenditure, facilitating payment methods, optimizing supply chains, securing document and data exchanges, strengthening logistics and procurement management and promoting local production.
Community centres and telecentres are being implemented in order to ensure free access to ICTs and information anytime, anywhere, with rural areas as a primary target to ensure the digital inclusion of their populations.
Capacity building and ICT literacy are essential for building an inclusive information society. ICTs are being increasingly integrated into education and training at all levels. In some countries, adult illiteracy is still an enormous challenge, particularly in rural and underserved areas. In many countries, in response to the fact that 2 billion people worldwide will be aged 60 or over by 2050, investments are increasing in ICT literacy for older persons. New opportunities have been created to provide ICT education for citizens in rural areas through specially equipped vehicles, notably trucks and buses, designed to travel around the country, targeting rural areas. Training is increasingly available for women and girls, with the aim of engaging them with ICTs and increasing the number of women in ICT careers.
We encourage you to refer to the full version of the WSIS Stocktaking Report 2014 to find out more about achievements of stakeholders in WSIS.
We take this opportunity to invite you to the publication release followed by presentations from Nigeria, Rwanda, UAE, Oman, Cuba, and Bangladesh about their achievements in the implementation of the WSIS outcomes.
On behalf of the WSIS team, we would like to thank all stakeholders who have contributed to the WSIS Stocktaking Database this year and responded to ITU’s official call for updates and new entries.
By: The WSIS Team