Regional ICTs Workshop

 Incorporating ICTs into the Regional Development Agenda: Using E-Government Systems as the Driver
Conference for Regional Policy-Makers and Advisers

September 30 & October 1, 2008

Conference Centre

Caribbean Development Bank





Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have been clearly identified as being able to play a key role in development and poverty reduction.  Specifically, ICTs help to promote economic growth; expand economic and social opportunities; make sectors, markets, institutions and governments more efficient and responsive; and make it easier for the poor to obtain access to resources and services and have their voices heard in the decisions that shape their lives.

But ICTs can only become an effective tool for development and poverty reduction if they are an integral part of the broader, more comprehensive national development and poverty reduction strategies and programmes.  Such ‘mainstreaming’ of ICTs for development is a proven and effective approach to harnessing the full potential of ICTs in achieving sustainable development and in meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The donor community, development agencies and their developing country partners are making a concerted effort to effect this integration of ICTs into the development agendas.  Experiments and initiatives to use ICTs to combat poverty and promote economic growth and sustainable development in developing countries have proliferated in recent years.  These efforts have been rooted in the recognition that information and knowledge – quickly accessed, properly adapted and broadly shared – are key drivers to economic growth and social opportunity. 

A very effective approach and driver to ‘mainstreaming’ ICTs for development and to transforming the digital divide into a digital opportunity is e-government, that is, the adoption and use of ICTs by Governments in their management and provision of services.  Government agencies interact with citizens, businesses, other arms of government, and non-governmental organisations and thus the impact of e-government systems can be very far-reaching.  ICTs deployed by governments can serve to effect better delivery of government services to citizens, improved interactions with business and industry, citizen empowerment through access to information and more efficient government management.  The resulting benefits are empowered citizens, improved governance and accountability, increased transparency, greater convenience, revenue growth and cost reduction.

The Caribbean Development Bank, in collaboration with other development partners, hosted a workshop for senior policy-makers and advisers to sensitise them to the importance of mainstreaming ICTs into the development agendas and to the benefits to be derived from deploying e-government systems.

This two-day workshop was designed for policy-makers within the Governments of the Borrowing Member Countries of CDB and for policy advisers within CDB to help them to:

  • build awareness of the importance of mainstreaming ICTs into the development agenda, and the tremendous potential for stimulating economic growth and poverty reduction;
  • highlight the impact of e-government systems as a driver to ICT adaptation;
  • identify the approach and structure necessary for effective implementation of e-government systems in the Caribbean;
  • share information and experiences on e-government development in the region and elsewhere and to identify some best-practices; and
  • determine a programme for collaboration so as to eliminate repetition of errors; ensure compatibility for sharing and integration; and reduce costs by taking advantage of economies of scale and other cost saving approaches.

The benefits expected from the workshop were:

  1. a better appreciation of the role of ICTs in national and regional development;
  2. a better understanding of the requirements for effective planning and implementation of e-government systems; and
  3. a plan of action for accelerating e-government development in the Region.

Report and Presentations

Report on Deliberations and Recommendations

  • Day 1 – Presentations

Building Information Societies and Knowledge Economies

  • Presentation: National Development Strategy and National ICT Strategy Integration: Meeting MDGs and WSIS Declaration – Mr. Neil Pierre, ECLAC
  • Presentation: The Importance and Objectives of e-Government – Mr. Adam Montserin, CARICAD
  • Showcase 1: (a) The Cape Verde e-Government System; (b) Processes and Strategic Considerations – Mr. Helio Varela, Cape Verde Islands
  • Showcase 2: (a) Singapore Government e-Government System; (b) Lessons to be learnt in Implementation – Ms. Hooi Ling LIM, Singapore
  • Showcase 3: e-Government in Support of Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction: The Korean Experience – Mr. JI, Un-Jong, South Korea
  • Showcase 4: e-Government Systems in support of: (a) Revenue Generation: Land Registries and Secured Transaction Registries – The Canadian Experience; (b) Efficient Public Expenditure Management – Ms. Elaine MacEachern, Canada

Day 2 – Presentations

Approach to e-Government Development and Implementation

  • Showcase 5: Using ICTs to Improve Revenue Generation: Income Tax System, Jamaica – Mr. Lorenzo Grant, Jamaica
  • Presentation: (a) The e-Government Leaders Network from Latin America and the Caribbean (RED GEALC); (b) The Inter-American Government Procurement Network – Mr. Miguel Porrua, OAS
  • Presentation: Priority Considerations in Implementing e-Government Systems (Structure, Change Management, Process Re-engineering, etc.) – Mr. Alex Attard, Malta
  • Presentation: e-Government Capacity Building: The Canadian Experience – Mr. Ramesh Gupta, Canada
  • Panel Discussion: Partnerships for Promoting e-Government – Identifying Financing and Collaborating with Regional and International Organisations – CARICAD; CIDA; EU; IDB; UN/ECLAC; UNDP; CDB; CKLN; ITU