ICT4SIDS Partnership – Connecting Small Islands

NEW YORK 16 March, 2018 – Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are a major component of development worldwide and the issue of access to ICT is especially important for small island developing States (SIDS), many of which are facing connectivity challenges.

One initiative helping to facilitate better connectivity in small islands is the ICT4SIDS partnership.  The partnership was announced at the Private Sector Partnerships Forum – the precursor to the SIDS Global Business Network Forum – in 2014 on the margins of the SIDS Conference in Samoa. The partnership helps support small islands in utilizing the latest digital innovations for implementing the SAMOA Pathway, the dedicated programme of action for SIDS, as well as the Sustainable Development Goals.

Since 2014, the ICT4SIDS partnership has been focusing on innovative approaches for SIDS in areas including:  smart hubs for low cost but high impact SDG services, an ‘SDG Advisor’ that helps countries assess their SDG indicators and computer aided planning for location specific solutions.  The partnership is premised on the idea that the SAMOA Pathway and SDGs can be rapidly implemented in an integrated manner through a set of collaborative smart hubs at local levels for: health, education, public safety, public welfare and other vital sectors.

Among several examples, the ICT4SIDS partnership has been working on the Smart Solomons project with the aim of transforming the Solomon Islands into a smart island by 2020 through using the latest thinking in people, processes and technologies. The Smart Solomons project may well benefit from a new submarine cable scheduled to enter service in 2018. Up until now, Vanuatu has been the only Pacific Island least developed country (Solomon Islands is one of five least developed countries in the Pacific) connected to undersea fibre-optic cable.

Going forward, the ICT4SIDS partnership is pursuing specific areas including maintaining a focus on low cost but high impact services, such as hypertension and educating school teachers on ICT, refining its computer aided implementation methodology based on lessons learned, encouraging young entrepreneurs from diverse regions to become “smart hub masters” and expanding the number of participants and collaborating scenarios where small smart hubs collaborate with larger hubs for economic development and improved public service.

To learn more about the ICT4SIDS, visit: www.ict4sids.com

Photo: Tom Perry / World Bank / Flickr

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