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Antigua and Barbuda
ICT Focus Areas
Access / Connectivity
Ease of access to information and communications technologies is the foundation for full participation in the modern digital society/economy. It facilitates participation in the global social network formed by the world-wide universal reach of the Internet. Improving connectivity for individuals and communities while providing access to vital transformational information is imperative towards correcting the present imbalance in the use of ICTs, otherwise known as the ‘digital divide’, and to equalizing opportunities across gender, socio-economic status, and regional lines.
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This pillar is essential to developing the requisite skills in order for CARICOM citizens to fully benefit from the Information Society. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can contribute to greater efficiency and better quality in education services, and can facilitate access to broader target groups. A 2009 report by infoDev entitled Survey of ICT and Education in the Caribbean emphasizes that within the Caribbean region, there are opportunities for improving ICT skills to strengthen the employability of youth and the competitiveness of businesses. However “The future of ICT in education in the Caribbean will be determined by the interplay of policy, implementation at the levels of both regional organizations and national education systems, and practice in schools by teachers and students”.
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Children & Youth
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Climate Change Adaptation, eResilience
The use of ICTs in adaption to Climate Change Adaptation is an emerging field of study. The Caribbean is vulnerable to Climate Change and the countries are working on different projects to lessen the vulnerability.
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Cultural & Linguistic Diversity
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Cultural and Creative Industries
The use of ICTs to enable the regions cultural and creative industries is an emerging theme as the region faces global challenges.
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Disaster Preparedness & Response Systems
The main strategic areas to be addressed with regard to the use of ICT by CDEMA CU and Participating States going forward are as follows:
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E-agriculture is one of the action lines identified in the declaration and plan of action of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). The "Tunis Agenda for the Information Society," published on 18 November 2005, emphasizes the leading facilitating roles that UN agencies need to play in the implementation of the Geneva Plan of Action. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has been assigned the responsibility of organizing activities related to the action line under C7. - ICT applications: benefits in all aspects of life - and more particularly on the e-agriculture. In 2006, a multi-stakeholder working group was set up to guide efforts in this area.
For the WSIS Plan of Action click here
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The Promise of ECommerce
The concept of eCommerce is fast becoming advantageous for both vendors and consumers in today’s fast moving and electronically-connected world. For many of today’s businesses, eCommerce is becoming the only option as companies become more and more interested in expanding their operations online. For the Public Sector, the electronic delivery of Government services can bring great benefits; simplified administration, better service and reductions in costs – in a word, efficiency.
The greatest and most important advantage of eCommerce is that its enables businesses or individuals to reach the global market. It caters to the demands of both the national, regional, and international markets, as business activities are no longer restricted by geographical boundaries. With the help of eCommerce even SMEs can access the global market for selling and purchasing products and services. Even time restrictions are nonexistent while conducting business online; eCommerce empowers one to execute transaction 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The rapid growth of eCommerce has pervaded almost every other aspects of business such as; supply chain management, transaction processing, internet marketing and inventory management. And, as eCommerce grows, so will its impact of the economies of the region by reducing inflation through the delivery of goods and services to consumer at a cheaper price and through increased productivity. We are already seeing the impact of eCommerce - according to a study conducted by VISA, eCommerce in Latin America & the Caribbean reached nearly US$22B in 2009 - a 39% increase over the previous year.
Within the Caribbean emphasis is placed on the high cost of, and in some cases, the lack of, telecommunications and internet connectivity in the region; however other major problems to the expansion of eCommerce include security on the internet as well as the high cost for the necessary hardware and software. Additionally, it is not only necessary for the information infrastructure to be developed but this must be supported by the appropriate legislation. Existing laws and regulations that may hinder eCommerce must be reviewed and revised or eliminated to reflect the needs of the new electronic age.
To learn more about the revised treaty on E commerce click here
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Local governments, non-governmental organisations and communities are increasingly realising the need to utilise new information communication technology (ICT) if they are to be sustainable in the information economy. Using ICT in local governance can improve local management and administration, and also lead to greater participation and transparency in local government.
The Caribbean Centre of Excellence for E-Governance is designed to increase knowledge and build capacity in the Caribbean in the use of ICT in governance and government. We welcome your involvement in building this website so that it truly represents the Caribbean.
To learn more about the Caribbean Centre of Excellence for E- Governance click here
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Crucial to development and poverty reduction is improving the health of individuals and communities, strengthening health systems, disease detection and prevention . ICT has the potential to impact almost every aspect of the health sector. In public health, information management and communication processes are pivotal, and are facilitated or limited by available ICT.
Belize has been successful in using ICT to make citizens’ health records readily available across the health system. Using open technologies, and adapting and scaling these to the unique environments of the health care sector, Jamaica has taken the application further and has developed software to solve integrated problems at community/public health levels. The Barbados’ Computerisation of Health Ministry Programme is implementing information systems to support decision-making, information sharing and research in the health system, through a disease management module in primary health care system, a fully staffed health information unit, and a Hospital Information System. The Guyana Enterprise Architecture and Patient Management Information System (PMIS), is a Health Information System that links hospitals and health centres, to facilitate the storing of patient records and epidemiological data across the health administration system.
All the above systems are working separately to achieve similar and somewhat related objectives. As the region in general is yet to incorporate ICT in the delivery of health services to make any marked impact on service delivery, these examples should be used as the basis for a broad region-wide network solution in this regard.
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eLearning, ICT in Education
ICTs in the Education Sector provide tools that are critical in observation, simulation, and analysis and make learning and teaching more effective, while extending educational resources to a larger community.
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Free and Open Source Technologies
The use of free and open source software, and of other technologies which are created using Creative Commons Licenses provide opportunities for the Caribbean. There are different levels of uptake in the region for free and open source technologies.
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ICT and Energy
The Caribbean is committed to looking at ways of investing in renewable energy and the items in this focus area show how ICTs contribute to that work.
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ICT and services sector
This focus area looks at how ICTs are providing new opportunities for existing service sectors and for creating new service sectors in the Caribbea
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ICT and the Environment
ICTs are a powerful tool for civil society and the community at large in protecting environment. But more is needed to streamline ICT work of different groups and communities. Environmental Information Systems (EIS) are the core of contemporary urban environment management systems, and a prerequisite for proper and timely dissemination of information to the public.
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The phrase information and communication technology, or ICT, has become a buzzword when talking about the technology, the applications and the benefits of information and telecommunications in all spheres of endeavour. It is therefore important that as we plan to integrate ICT in all development activities, all stakeholders have got a clear understanding of what is meant by ICT.
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Information Society Statistics/Indicators
Statistical indicators are useful to facilitate performance evaluation and benchmarking for implemented programmes, and for tracking progress in the use of ICTs to achieve development goals. The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Geneva Plan of Action gives emphasis to the need for international and regional organizations to assess and report regularly on universal accessibility of nations to ICTs, with the aim of creating equitable opportunities for the growth of ICT sectors of developing countries.
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The region is involved in the various discussions around Internet Governance. This ICT Focus area will show the work being done to ensure that the Caribbean states are visible and present in the global movements
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Legal / Regulatory
Member states, lack ready access to the policy knowledge and expertise necessary to develop and implement effective ICT strategies at the national level that are key tools for economic and social development. However member states remain committed to the process of modernizing their legal and policy regimes, the expertise required in areas legal/ regulatory framework is often unavailable. This section of the portal offers resources regarding the Legal/Regulatory framework for the CARIFORUM Member states.
The Region is presently benefitting from the ITU/EC project, HIPCAR, that is aimed at harmonizing ICT policies, legislations and regulatory procedures throughout the region. The project is expected to take place in two phases:
Phase 1 – The Regional Development Phase involves the preparation of proposals for guidelines on regional policies, legislations, and regulatory best practices.
Phase 2 – The Implementation Phase, where individual countries are expected to include/adapt the policies, legislations, and regulatory practices to their respective jurisdictions.
The project is currently at the Regional Development Phase. A review of the project suggests that attention should be given to not only harmonization, but also to the enabling power of the regulatory framework in supporting social and economic development.
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Local Content Development
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The CTU advocates the development of a harmonized Spectrum Management Policy Framework for the Caribbean in order to establish an environment of regulatory certainty that would encourage private sector participation and investment in the telecommunication sector and the use of innovative technologies in the provision of advanced services in the region.
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Technology, Research and Innovation
Research in the region has uncovered and exploited some innovation initiatives that should be supported and widened to become truly regional projects. These technology-based enterprises provide hardware, software, and content and/or technology-based services and solutions in key and potential growth sectors – healthcare, education; robotics. The characteristics of these initiatives make them especially attractive as regional projects. Such cross-sector solutions, that are scalable across several sectors and countries, and have already proven the technologies in critical sectors locally and in the international community, should form the basis for developing a regional research and new industry centre.
The WINDS database collects Caribbean institutions and projects carrying on research on Information and Communication Technology, with the aim to present the research excellence in the region to European research communities and at the same time to identify which are the areas of excellence of ICT research in the region.
Registered users in this site are invited to input their organisations and projects in the database to increase their visibility and their cooperation possibilities with Europe. To learn more click here.
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