|Information and Communication Technology for Development in the Pacific Agriculture|
|Wednesday, 14 March 2012 14:15|
The ‘Framework for Action on ICT for Development in the Pacific’ (FAIDP) was formulated in response to the call from Forum in Cairns (August 2009) for the Pacific Plan Digital Strategy to be reviewed and updated. This direction reaffirmed the continuing importance of ICT as a tool for development in the region and further supports the ICT Ministers’ Wellington Declaration: ‘We recognise that information and communication technologies (ICTs), while not an end in themselves, have a key role as a basis for economic development, while also promoting and enhancing social cohesion, cultural enrichment and environmental conservation’.
The ICT Ministers recognised that ‘While the Pacific region faces a number of obstacles to the effective deployment of communications and other infrastructure, we acknowledge that the region also stands to benefit enormously from the effective use of ICTs’. FAIDP outlined a new approach to developing and improving ICT services to support development and governance and improve the livelihoods of communities in the Pacific region. It acknowledges that national ICT policies and plans and an integrated coordinated approach are the principle means for ICT to contribute meaningfully to sustainable development. FAIDP was endorsed by Pacific Regional ICT Ministers in Tonga, in June 2010 and further acknowledged by the Pacific Forum Leaders in their 2010 Vanuatu Communiqué.
These efforts could also contribute to more informed policy decisions in PICTs. PNG commented on communications being difficult due to terrain, and the use of expensive HF radio had changed to cheaper mobile phones. The ever changing nature of ICTs meant that PICTs had to keep up despite limited resources. SPC said 80% of telecentres fail due to financial constraints, thus necessitating a monitoring and evaluation phase in the ICT Framework to address the issue of sustainability.