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Innovation in ITU-D Study Groups

Innovation in BDT

Following the reorganization of the BDT in 2011, an Innovation and Partnership Department was created. Part of the rationale behind this restructuring was that innovation has risen to the top of the policy and business agenda for many organizations — including industry, governments, academia and other institutions around the world. There is a widespread and growing recognition of the important contribution that innovation plays in fostering socio-economic growth, particularly in the context of access to and use of information and communication technologies (ICTs).
Innovation can also play an important role in improving BDT processes, products and services for the better satisfaction of the ITU’s membership. It is in this context that the BDT Director requested that a review be undertaken of ITU‑D Study Groups to consider how their functioning and outputs could potentially be further improved — particularly in the context of the preparatory process for the next World Telecommunication Development Conference, which will take place in early 2014.




Innovation Challenge

Part of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau‘s Innovation Strategy is to undertake what we call Innovation Challenges. Our definition of an Innovation Challenge is to gather a multi-disciplinary team and using innovation protocols, examine a specific product, service or activity and hopefully propose an improved approach. The innovation protocol we use for innovation challenges is Design Thinking​.
For the first BDT Innovation Challenge, we chose the topic “How can we improve the functioning and outputs of ITU-D Study Groups?”. More detailed information on this Innovation Challenge can be found in the Report of the ITU-D Study Group Innovation Challenge.
During the 2012 innovation exercises, participants identified a large number of issues and problem areas that were impacting the work of Study Groups and that even may be preventing the ITU-D from achieving ideal results. The number of issues and problem areas identified confirmed the timeliness of undertaking a review of Study Groups, particularly in the context of the opportunities available for improvement in the context of preparations for WTDC-14.
Reports gathering information and recommendations from the 2012 innovation exercises are being compile. Some initial information can be found in this document. Additional material will be posted shortly.





Next Steps

The BDT Director’s vision for the ITU-D Study Groups is as a value-adding knowledge platform and capacity building mechanism for ICTs ― a place where new ideas and best practices from around the world are brought and where creative and useful guidelines are produced. As ITU-D Study Group activities are entirely contribution driven, the inputs provided to the Study Groups are not only fully available and accessible to the entire membership, but the outputs of the Study Groups are shared entirely through the innovative proposals put forward by the membership. With these initial innovation exercises for the ITU-D Study Groups, the BDT Director wants to uphold the important role that the Study Groups can continue to play, and ensure that the work of the ITU-D Study Groups is even more relevant and that the outcomes are increasingly useful and practical for the membership. The BDT would like to continue receiving input from the membership on how we can together innovate and find ways to be more efficient and effective in our work.
Submit your input using the online form available here or send an e-mail directly to ITU-D Study Groups Secretariat at