Terminal Evaluation of Information and Communication Technology for Development Project
The document evaluates a range of projects under the Information and Communication Technology for Development Programme on the basis of their relevance, efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability, and provides recommendations on ICT as instruments of poverty reduction.
ICT and Development
The role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in combating poverty and fostering sustainable development has been the subject of increasing debate and experimentation within the development community. ICTs have been hailed as holding out great hope for developing countries, and have warned of a growing “digital divide” between rich and poor that must be narrowed by concerted action.
UNDP and ICT4D in India
In India, UNDP supports the mainstreaming of ICTs to achieve the country„s national development goals. UNDP's approach is multistakeholder, aiming at innovative, result oriented policy guidance in the support of holistic, cross-sectoral e-development strategies and programmes. Together with Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, Government of India, UNDP has been supporting ICTD pilot initiatives in India since 2004.
Context of the Current Programme
The current UNDP project is a long-term multi-phased programme of support to the national initiatives on eGovernment and eGovernance led by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India, in collaboration with the UNDP. The broad objective of the ICTD project is to make ICTs work for people. The project seeks to demonstrate a range of ICT solutions to alleviate poverty, improve service delivery, enhance women„s participation and promote transparency and accountability in governance. The project includes running pilot initiatives in the areas of e-Government and e-Governance, developing solutions & applications to bridge the digital divide, preparation of roadmaps for e-governance, and documenting success stories, transfer of knowledge and capacity building in the area of e-government.
Themes of Focus and Elements of Interventions The Project focuses on four broad themes of Integrated Citizen Services, Rural Livelihoods, Governance and Women„s Empowerment.
While each of the projects taken up under the above programmes is aligned to the themes mentioned above, each of them also spans the following elements of interventions.
1) Citizen-Centric Service Delivery;
2) Capacity Building;
3) Change Management;
4) Business Process Re-Engineering;
5) Public Private Partnerships;
6) Bridging the Digital Divide; and
7) Knowledge and Experience-sharing.
The key objectives of the project are
1) to demonstrate the use of ICT for improved governance through
sustainable initiatives in delivery of key public services in selected states in areas such as e-procurement, rural development, legal information and the like;
2) to encourage active Business Process Re-engineering efforts to make governance procedures simpler, rule-based, nondiscretionary and transparent, thereby facilitating use of ICT on a sustainable basis and outsourcing of functions;
3) to build Public-Private Partnerships in ICT applications for governance;
4) to develop solutions and applications based on open source and other electronic communication technologies that would improve access to and reduce costs of ICT applications with a view to cover even those areas that now suffer from high access costs, inadequate communications infrastructure and insufficient localised content and media development;
5) to support the formulation of master plans and roadmaps for eGovernance; and
6) to document lessons learnt for horizontal transfer of success stories.