CONNECT A SCHOOL CONNECT A COMMUNITY INITIATIVE
An ITU flagship initiative endorsed by the UN Secretary General during the 2009 ITU World TELECOM Youth Forum, this initiative aims to connect all primary, secondary and post-secondary schools to ICTs by 2015 (a target set by world leaders at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) held in 2003 in Geneva and in 2005 in Tunis). Connect a School, Connect a Community is a public-private partnership which not only promises to bring broadband Internet connectivity to schools in developing countries around the world, but these same connected schools are able to serve as community ICT centres for disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, including women and girls.
In 2010, ITU helped countries like Mauritania, Nicaragua and Tanzania to develop their National School Connectivity Plan, as well as assisting with related pilot projects.
(For more information on the modules and training materials developed within the “Connect a School” Initiative see: www.connectaschool.org
specialized initiative within ITU’s more encompassing Global Cybersecurity Agenda. The global Child On-Line Protection (COP) initiative aims to tackle cybersecurity holistically, addressing legal, technical, organizational and procedural issues as well as capacity building and international cooperation. Through this initiative, ITU is taking the next steps to develop a cybersecurity strategy for youth and children everywhere.
Since 2001, ITU has organized a Telecom Youth Forum, alongside the ITU-TELECOM events. Traditionally, this Forum has provided young people from around the world the opportunity to participate in high level discussions, helping them understand the nature and potential of the global communications industry and encouraging many to embark upon careers as engineers, policy-makers and business people in the ICT industry.
One of the projects developed by ITU, as a follow-up to the 2003 ITU-TELECOM Youth Forum, was a dedicated Youth Forum Alumni Network Platform, which allowed Youth Forum alumni to share their knowledge, experiences and views around ICT. Renovated and newly launched in 2011, this collaborative network will continue to facilitate a global dialogue between ITU and the Youth Forum alumni as well as between the alumni themselves.
Stemming from a need voiced by young people themselves, ITU developed a “Basic Course on Emergency Telecommunications”, aimed specifically at youth. Providing basic knowledge of emergency situations and the role of ICTs, this course enables young people to make a positive contribution in preventing or mitigating disasters. The course is freely available in all six (6) UN languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish).
ITU-D developed in 2008 a statistical report on use of information and communication technology by young people to measure use of ICT by children and youth (including by gender and disabilities), as a follow-up project to the ITU Youth Forum 2006. The publication is jointly produced by the ITU-D/ Youth Programme and ITU-D STAT and enable users and analysts to have a better perspective on the evolution of the digital divide among youth and children. Need for this publication also arose from ITU’s recognition of the important relationships between ICT use and young people including the role of ICT in enhancing the development of children, and the contributions that young people can make to the development of an inclusive Information Society (World Summit on the Information Society, Tunis Commitment, articles 24 and 25).
This will enable ITU member states and sector members to monitor developments and to prepare a roadmap for actions and projects that would facilitate young people’s integration into the Information Society. The report was distributed to ITU member states and is freely available on the ITU website.
Well aware of young people’s particular vulnerability online, ITU created a specialized initiative within ITU’s more encompassing Global Cybersecurity Agenda. The global Child On-Line Protection (COP) initiative aims to tackle cybersecurity holistically, addressing legal, technical, organizational and procedural issues as well as capacity building and international cooperation. Through this initiative, ITU is taking the next steps to develop a cybersecurity strategy for youth and children everywhere.