Commonwealth organisations working in in the area of information and communication technologies include COMNET Foundation for ICT Development, Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) and Commonwealth Partnership for Technology Management (CPTM)
‘Alfir’ Reggie Miller Street, Gzira GZR 1541, Malta
COMNET Foundation for ICT Development (COMNET) is an independent Foundation whose mission is to help realise the transformational potential of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for development among Commonwealth and other developing countries. Established in the mid-1990s, COMNET is a joint initiative of the Maltese Government and the Commonwealth Secretariat. The Foundation’s major thrust is to facilitate the sharing of experience and capacity-building. Activities in the recent past have included assistance in the development of national ICT strategies, telecommunications regulation and e-government services, through training and consultancy projects.
Activities: Today, the Foundation’s principal focus is the Commonwealth Connects Programme (www.commonwealthconnectsprogramme.org). COMNET is also the Commonwealth Secretariat’s lead partner agency tasked with building a contact network, developing a repository of Commonwealth ICT assets, nurturing links with donor agencies and co-ordinating projects under the aegis of this programme.
The Connects Programme is a vehicle for technology and knowledge transfer in areas such as e-government services, telecommunications regulation and related activities having a bearing on national, social and economic development.
COMNET has also been entrusted with the lead of the Commonwealth Internet Governance Forum (CIGF; www.commonwealthigf.org). The purpose of this initiative is to inform and engage stakeholders on public policy issues relating to internet governance. Recent CIGF initiatives reflecting the priorities of participants have been the compilation of resources on child protection online.
COMNET is the Secretariat of the Commonwealth Cybercrime Initiative (CCI), a multi-stakeholder initiative that works through a range of international specialist organisations, such as to provide member states with the requisite capacity to combat cybercrime by way of legal, technical, human and institutional expertise (https://commonwealthcybercrimeinitiative.org). The initiative advocates a holistic, ‘deep-dive’ approach to capacity-building and has a pilot project running in Africa with several new projects scheduled to launch in 2013.
Online resources and publications: Commonwealth Connects (www.commonwealthconnects.net); Commonwealth Connects ICT Assets Database (www.connectsdatabase.org); Commonwealth IGF Blog (www.commonwealthigf.org)
64-66 Glenthorne Road, Hammersmith, London W6 0LR, UK
The CTO is an international development partnership between Commonwealth governments, non-Commonwealth countries, businesses and civil society organisations. It provides the international community with effective means to help bridge the digital divide and achieve social and economic development, by delivering to member organisations unique knowledge-sharing programmes in the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the specific areas of telecommunications, IT, broadcasting and the internet.
Officers: Secretary-General: Shola Taylor
The Executive Committee of the CTO consists of the chairperson and two vice-chairpersons elected by the full member countries, the immediate past chairperson, the chairperson of the CTO’s Programme for Development and Training, two representatives elected by the ICT sector members and the Secretary-General.
Activities: Since its creation in 1901, the CTO and its predecessor organisations have been at the centre of continuous and extensive ICT development programmes, providing funding, co-operation and assistance. Over the last two decades alone, the organisation has delivered more than 3,500 bilateral and multilateral ICT capacity-building projects together with policy, regulatory and operational expert assistance. The CTO actively promotes partnerships between governments, businesses and other stakeholders to accelerate poverty reduction and fulfil the global development agenda for ICT in education, agriculture, health, governance and commerce. In the last two decades, the CTO has offered training and expert assistance to some 35,000 ICT professionals. Every day around the world, CTO delivers more than 120 hours’ worth of expertise and training to its members and partners involved in developing, deploying, using or promoting ICT in some form. Every year, the CTO holds around 10 international conferences across the Commonwealth on topical ICT themes such as Rural Connectivity, e-Governance, Digital Switchover and Cybersecurity. The CTO also provides consultancy services on a wide range of areas from strategic planning to universal access and carries out research on topical subjects such as local content, applications and value added services.
Publications: Annual Report; research reports
CPTM Smart Partners’ Hub, 63 Catherine Place, London SW1E 6DY, UK
CPTM is an independent Commonwealth co-operative framework among governments/private sector created to provide advisory services to Commonwealth countries, for national and regional socio-economic transformation. CPTM is the successor to CCGTM, a Commonwealth Secretariat programme initiated in 1984 by the then Commonwealth Science Council. Its mission is to enhance national capabilities for the creation and participation in wealth through sound technology management, using smart partnerships. Members comprise Commonwealth governments, public and private sector organisations, and individual professionals (academics, civil servants, business and trade union professionals among others).
Foundation: CHOGM, New Zealand, 1995
Officers: Chair: Tan Sri Datuk Dr Omar bin Abdul Rahman; Chief Executive: Dr Mihaela Y Smith PJN KMN
Activities: Each year CPTM develops a portfolio of co-operative Smart Partnership activities, delivered in Commonwealth countries. This includes tasks such as enhancing National Visions and inclusivity initiatives for quality and standards, finance and technology. The main focus for 2013 is ‘Leveraging Technology for Africa’s Socio-Economic Transformation’, the theme for the 21st Global Smart Partnership Dialogue in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The national, regional and international Smart Partnership Dialogue Programme brings together government leaders, private sector, media, labour and civil society in a unique, informal and inclusive interaction to intensify the delivery of National Visions. The Smart Partnership approach applied to national priorities emerged as a unique platform for CPTM, enjoying unprecedented support from Heads of Government, the private sector and labour organisations.