Nepal ICT Policy Challenges and Opportunity

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					                 Workshop on
       ICT Policy in Developing Countries
           University of Manchester

Nepal ICT Policy Challenges and

                        Ranjan Baral
                     Dipu Murti Bhurtyal
        Forum for Information Technology (FIT) Nepal
                      25th March 2010
   Background
   Policy Action Plan
   Key Indicators
   Policy Action Plan vs. Results
   ICT in Development Context
   Challenges
   Outcomes
   Evaluation
   Recommendation
   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
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
 Infrastructure Index                 0.0063         0.0119       0.0226

 E-Participation                      0.0794         0.0227       0.0572
 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
Venture capital establishment with govt. 100 million   No initiatives by Government.
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

   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
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
 • 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
 ◦ 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
 ◦ Reduce Time lag between the policy formulation and actual
 ◦ ICT less attractive sector within government (unless there is an
   opportunity of procurement of hardware/services) . Special
   incentive for ICT workforce within government.
   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.
   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
   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!!!