UN ICT Task Force
In 2001 the United Nations Information and Communication Technologies Task Force was formed to address a variety of ICT4Dev topics. The Task Force held semi-annual meetings focusing on specific themes, including a Global Forum on Internet Governance (UN headquarters in New York, March 2004); a Global Forum on an Enabling Environment (Berlin, November 2004); and a Global Forum on Harnessing the Potential of ICTs in Education (Dublin, April 2005). The UN ICT Task Force's mandate ended on December 31, 2005. A new group, called the 'Global Alliance for ICT and Development', was created to continue much of the work of the UN ICTTF.
In November 2002, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan issued a call for Silicon Valley to create the computers and communications systems that would enable villages to leapfrog several generations of technology and enter the Information Age directly. This would provide the technical basis for WSIS (World Summit on the Information Society) discussions.
World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)
This United Nations initiative held summits in Geneva in 2003 and Tunis in 2005. After Tunis a Plan of Action is being followed, with a ten-year deadline ending in 2015. This parallels the timeframe for the Millennium Development Goals.
Global Alliance for ICT and Development
In 2006, at the end of his tenure, outgoing UN Secretary General Kofi Annan launched the Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID).
It is described as a "multi-stakeholder forum" and a "cross-sectoral platform and forum that will bring together all stakeholders representing relevant constituencies". It includes a large number of persons from the fields of government, development cooperation, foreign policy, finance, the social sector (health, education), regulatory agencies, industry and workers' associations, producers and consumers of ICT, the media, non-governmental organisations, community social organisations, foundations, scientific, academic and ICT communities and "individuals providing advocacy and oversight on Information Society issues and implementing programs addressing the United Nations' MDGs Millennium Development Goals."
GAID is led by a steering committee, with Intel's Crai Barrett as its chairman.
It also has a Strategy Council, a set of high-level advisors, and a "champions' network". The Global Alliance for ICT and Development held its first meeting on June 19 and June 20, 2006 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
GAID Global Forum 2010 was organized in partnership with the Government of Abu Dhabi on 5-6 December 2010.The theme for 2010 forum was "ICT for Achieving the MDGs : Moving from Advocacy to Action" and was attended by the members from governments, private sector, civil society and international organizations. Archived Videos from the Forum are available on the GAID website ( www.un-gaid.org ) or GAID Global Forum 2010
Asia Pacific Development Information Programme and International Open Source Network
The United Nations—through its various organisations such as the United Nations Development Programme's Asia Pacific Development Information Programme (APDIP) -- has brought out a number of publications. Many are published with shareable content licenses. Specifically in the field of Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS), the International Open Source Network (IOSN) has been an active player.
UNDP-APDIP publishes two series of e-primers, namely the e-Primers for the Information Economy, Society and Polity and the e-Primers on Free/Open Source Software. The former series details the concepts, issues and trends surrounding the information economy, society and polity. It intends to raise awareness and help policy makers and planners understand the relevance of information and communications technology (ICT) for development, by explaining technical jargon in simple terms. The latter series serves as an introduction to various aspects and dimensions of FLOSS, with country case-studies. It aims to raise awareness on FLOSS issues and support capacity building efforts.
The International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
The IDRC is a Canadian governmental agency (crown corporation) that has a very broad programme which includes many small to mid-sized ICT4Dev projectsThe IDRC is also one of the major sponsors of the telecentre.org movement.
The One Laptop per Child Project and 50x15
OLPC is a high profile project initiated by Nicholas Negroponte. Several large companies are members of the organisation including MIT and chip manufacturer AMD. It had a wide open source community. The aim is to produce laptops cheaply enough to provide them to every school child in the world. Through its bold and controversial aim, the project has generated much exposure for ICT4Dev in general.
The 50x15-project is a similar worldwide project, offering low-cost computers from a variety of manufacturers.
Computer Aid International
Founded in 1998 Computer Aid International is a not-for-profit organisation that facilitates the practical application of ICT4Dev solutions to social development challenges. Computer Aid provides resources and project management inputs to projects in focal areas for ICT4Dev that include eLearning, eInclusion, eHealth and rural connectivity. Current initiatives include the promotion and training of the open learning platform Moodle in Africa universities; development of FLOSS software for blind and visually impaired users; telemedicine projects for rural hospitals; advocacy around eWaste and a wide variety of school initiatives. Computer Aid is perhaps most well known for having provided over 160,000 professionally refurbished PCs to educational institutions and not-for-profit development organisations in more than 100 different developing countries.
Inveneo is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in San Francisco with focus on ICT4Dev mostly in Uganda.The organization developed thin client called Inveneo Computing Station, which is similarly to Linutop 2 based on a reference design ION A603 mini PC by First International Computer and runs AMD Geode CPU. Inveneo also helped to set up a communication system for relief workers after Hurricane Katrina.Jamais Cascio, a co-founder of WorldChanging, featured Inveneo in July 2005.
International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD)
The International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) is a non-profit foundation that specialises in ICT as a tool for development. It was founded in 1996 by the Dutch Ministry for Development Cooperation to help developing countries in their efforts to overcome the digital divide. IICD works in the sectors Education, Livelihoods, Health and Governance.
IICD works closely with public, private and not-for-profit partners in Africa and Latin America. It brings a wide variety of local stakeholders together – teachers, farmers, health workers, local government officials and civil servants - to help formulate and implement their own ICT-supported development policies and programmes. This includes market price information systems for farmers; ICT centres for rural economic development; telemedicine to bring specialist medical knowledge to isolated areas; ICT-enabled learning materials to improve the quality of teaching.
The ICT4D Collective and Multidisciplinary Centre for ICT4D at Royal Holloway, University of London, was initiated in 2004 and is a group of people committed to undertaking the highest possible quality of research in the field of ICT4D, and making the results of this available freely to the global community. The Collective works primarily in the interests of poor people and marginalised communities, wherever they may be found. The Collective works in partnership to undertake research, teaching (undergraduate and postgraduate) and consultancy relating to the appropriate and sustainable use of ICT for development.