Major questions addressed
in the report
- What is the status of the national e-strategies worldwide in 2010?
- What are the approaches/trends in the ICT strategies? How can they
- What is the status of the sectoral e-strategies in particular? Which
common trends can be observed?
- Have national e-strategies been integrated into poverty reduction
- How do the ICT strategies evolve?
The report shows that as of April 2010, 163 countries and territories, that
is, 85.3 percent of all economies, already had some sort of a national e-strategy in
place, while other 13 countries and territories (6.8%) are currently on
their way to formulate and adopt one.
The report emphasizes, however, that there is
still room for improvement of existing plans especially regarding the
strategic orientation and integration of ICT into national development plans
and poverty reduction strategies.
Another identified area for further improvement
is the strategic integration of the potential of ICT in the different
sectors. Obviously, there is a consensus among the stakeholders that policy
areas like health care, agriculture, environment protection and so on could
benefit from ICT use. Therefore, many initiatives and projects are in
implementation. Nevertheless, the formulation of a national sectoral
e-strategy on the basis of these experiences is still lacking in many
countries in order to make use of the full potential of ICT for economy and
Many national e-strategies follow the same
approaches: telecommunication regulation, ICT as driver for economic growth,
innovation and employment and capacity development of ICT professionals.
Common trends are also around the establishment of transactional
e-government solutions, making the national ICT industry globally
competitive, and following the WSIS multi-stakeholder approach.
Infrastructure stays a concern, broadband and mobility are the two major
technological trends governments are addressing. In most strategies, the
private sector plays a crucial role in deploying ICT infrastructure.
Therefore, almost all countries continue their path towards liberalisation,
in order to stimulate the market through competition. Price reductions on
tariffs are another effect expected to arise through increasing competition.
A sense of increasing competition between economies in the ICT sector is
driving national ICT strategies. Many governments are either intending to
benefit from increasing export of ICTs or outsourcing into their own
country, or are trying to protect their position. Issues of intellectual
property rights, international standards and economic regional integration
are therefore becoming more visible in national e-strategies.
Other commonality observed among the studied
e-strategies plans reveals that many countries focus on making their own ICT
industry globally competitive. Well educated and skilled ICT professionals
become therefore a rare good, economies are competing for. Additionally,
confidence and security are still a concern in many national e-strategies.
Governments and other stakeholders obviously agree that they need to take
measures to establish trust in ICT applications. This development is
probably also stimulated by the two most prominent sectoral applications
of ICT, namely e-government and e-business. In these two sectors, sensible
transactions are taking place, and an uptake of usage by citizens and
customers depends on their trust onto these technologies.
One unique feature of the whole WSIS process
has been its multi-stakeholder approach. This successful approach is
followed by most governments also on the national level, involving civil
society, NGOs the private sector, academia, and regional and international
organisations. This approach has been probably so successful because ICT
matter for all aspects of economy and society. ITU will continue to support
its Member Countries in their efforts to elaborate and improve their
national e-strategies and to keep track of the worldwide development in this
Major sources for this report
were the WSIS Stocktaking of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
http://www.itu.int/wsis/stocktaking/index.html, national ICT and
sectoral e- strategies of the Member States and contributions from the five
UN Regional Commissions: UNECA, UNECE, ESCWA, ESCAP, and CEPLAC. The report
focuses mainly on the elaboration of national ICT strategies. The
implementation of these strategies in form of policies, action plans,
initiatives or projects is not considered within the scope of this report.