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AI for Good Global Summit

Smart Village

Accelerating the real impact of the Sustainable Development Goals for people in rural areas. Based on an integrated approach to digital development, the Smart Village model enables accelerated impact on multiple SDGs – such as health, commerce, education and agriculture – by increasing last-mile access and making sure that the right digital solutions reach the people. Deploying a common integrated SDG platform comprising of a select number of reusable ICT Building Blocks allows the integration of multiple digital solutions to be applied in high priority development areas across different sectors – addressing country and user-needs. This might include the development of digital services in areas such Health, Education, Agriculture, Finance, Commerce.

The smart village platform is a multi-stakeholder, cross sectoral solution that showcases how to cost-effectively accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in remote areas through an integrated development and technology platform model. Through this model governments can aim at increasing the efficiency, security and effectiveness of public services while reducing their cost, promoting transparency and good governance, enhancing traceability of transactions, and data exchanges, among others.

ITU is collaborating with the Niger Agence Nationale pour la Société de l’Information (ANSI), as well as other UN agencies and stakeholders to support the smart village initiative in Niger, which launched in 2018, to drive sustainable rural development in agriculture, commerce, education, finance, and health.

After its piloting in Niger, the smart villages model is now being implmented in a range of other countries in different regions of the world as part of a broader ITU-led Smart Villages and Smart Islands initiative.  

​The unprecedented global COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the vital importance of digital networks and services to economic resilience and the continuity of essential public services like education and healthcare. The Smart Village Blueprint was piloted in Niger and has been conceived as a practical tool for establishing smart villages, contributing to the implementation of the Niger 2.0 Smart Villages project, which aims at providing broadband infrastructure to improve Internet access in rural and remote areas. ITU's Smart Villages project comprises a locally led, integrated, and holistic approach to providing access to digital services to all citizens of rural communities, with the integration of digital technologies serving as a crucial enabler of equitable, qualitative and efficient delivery of SDG-related services for all.