Workshop on ICT Policy in Developing Countries University of Manchester Nepal ICT Policy Challenges and Opportunity Ranjan Baral Dipu Murti Bhurtyal Forum for Information Technology (FIT) Nepal 25th March 2010 Overview Background Policy Action Plan Key Indicators Policy Action Plan vs. Results ICT in Development Context Challenges Outcomes Evaluation Recommendation Background IT policy 2000 ◦ Place Nepal on global IT map ◦ Make IT accessible to general public, creation of knowledge based society/industries Telecommunication Policy 2004 ◦ To create favourable environment to make the telecommunication service reliable and accessible eGovernment Master Plan 2005 Electronic Transaction act 2008 ADB supported ICT Development Project Policy Action Plan Indicators Teledensity : 27.15 Fixed Line : 2.98 Mobile: 23.22 Limited Mobility : 0.95 Internet Subscriber 1,34,014* Internet User 1,34,014 *4 Adult Literacy 56.5 Source: Nepal Telecommunication Authority, UN eGov Survey 2005 2008 2010 Ranking 126 150 153 E-Readiness 0.3021 0.2725 0.2568 Web Measure Index 0.4000 0.2876 0.1683 Human Capital 0.500 0.5176 0.5820 Index Infrastructure Index 0.0063 0.0119 0.0226 E-Participation 0.0794 0.0227 0.0572 Index Source :United Nations E-Government Development Knowledge Base Policy Action Plan vs. Result Action Result An IT park establishment and special incentive to IT park established. company established on the park including provision No adequate infrastructure in park. of 100% foreign investment in IT enabled Industry An internet node at every district with info-super Basic telecommunication services reached to every highway and north-south info-highway district. Internet expansion should focused. On demand telecommunication/electricity shall be Nepal facing critical power shortage. Power cut for provided to IT entrepreneur 12 hrs/day in capital on its peak. Capacity Enhancement of University college providing No program in supporting ICT education for college. IT courses. Program on computer education to all by However, private colleges developed their capacity on 2010 A.D. their own. Only few public School provides computer education. Free Internet to University and Public school No work carried out. Web site for all Government offices Most of the central level office only have basic web presence. Venture capital establishment with govt. 100 million No initiatives by Government. investment Institutional arrangements Established NITC and HLCIT but overlapping roles problems for proper implementation. Electronic transaction act decl IT policy shall be revised in every 2 years Not revised for 10 years. Draft presented to cabinet last month. ICT in Development Context The Onion Ring Model Source: Heeks(2005) Putting Key Challenges into Onion Ring Model Political Instability Infrastructure Human capacity Content Attitude & Culture Challenge Tree ICT & Export-led Growth Opportunity or over-ambition? Nepal & India comparison Factor India Nepal Infrastructure Rail network, IT parks, Power outage high-speed broadband Human capacity Large pool, reverse-brain- Small pool, brain-drain drain Universities IIT & leading institutions Few English language Widely spoken Limited Active Diaspora Entrepreneurship, FDI Very few IT-focused activity. Brand and Global trust International clients, high- Tourism as established a profile projects brand. Government Policy Single-window system, land Learning phase, slow purchase privileges etc. decision process. Political stability Long history of democratic Political strikes halt practice everyday life. Few Good Initiatives: Language Technology progress (MPP) ◦ Nepali Unicode, Dictionary ◦ NLP & Speech recognition for Nepali language ◦ Localisation of Operating Systems ◦ Localised Information Systems Above progress propels the Content Development movement, for telecentres and excluded ethnic and minority groups. Aids in e-Government & many sectors ICTs in Nepal in Development Perspective • Place of ICT in Tenth five-year National Plan 2002-2007 and three-year interim plan. • Integrating ICT in primary contributing sectors to GDP. • E.g. Tourism, SMEs, Agriculture Recommendations ◦ Political leaders and top bureaucrats not aware on dynamics and element of knowledge based society. Training on eGovernment, eServices and Knowledge economy. ◦ Target beneficiaries should be involved at the policy formulation stage ( policy always undisclosed material before announced) ◦ Communication between beneficiary and policy implementers is important for monitoring successes. ◦ Policy itself should clearly define the proper independent monitoring ( Important for both implementation and corruption control). ◦ Reduce Time lag between the policy formulation and actual implementation. ◦ ICT less attractive sector within government (unless there is an opportunity of procurement of hardware/services) . Special incentive for ICT workforce within government. Recommendations... Key ICT post based on political appointments. Frequent changes in government results in change of leadership. Key post holders always apprehensive about their job. Ensuring proper responsibility delegation and accountability. People keen to delegate risk. Most eGov and ICT4D project hardware driven. More emphasis should be given on Process and Service improvements thru the use of ICT. Focus should be on Quality of Service in Telecom sector. Capacity Building of regulatory body. Bibliography: Butt, D. (2005) Internet Governance: Asia-Pacific Perspectives, UNDP-APDIP, Bangkok. Heeks, R. (2005). Foundations of ICTs in Development: The Onion-Ring Model. DIG eDevelopment Briefings, No.4/2005. Manchester: Institute for Development Policy and Management. Accessed Online Feb 28, 2010 from http://www.sed.manchester.ac.uk/idpm/publications/wp/di/short/DIGBriefing4Onion.d oc Heeks, R. (1999) Software strategies in developing countries, IDPM, University of Manchester, Manchester. ITPF (2002) Policy Recommendation on Electronic Transaction and Digital Signature Act (draft), IT Professional Forum, Kathmandu, Nepal MoEST (2006) eGovernance Master Plan, Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, Kathmandu MoEST. (2000) Information Technology Policy 2000, Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, Kathmandu. Regmi, S. (2006) ICT, SMEs and Business Development in the Nepalese Context, IT Professional Forum, Kathmandu, ITPF World Bank (2006) Information and Communication for Development, Trends and Policies, World Bank, Washington, D.C. Thank You!!!