The Power of ICTs for local empowerment
ART-ISI@MED is an Initiative, developed by UNDP office in Geneva, under the ART GOLD programme, capitalizing on the existing innovative framework which uses the local/subnational approaches to address MDGs achievement. The initiative was launched by UNDP in 2009 and joined Center for CMI platform in 2010.
ART-ISI@MED is designed to support and contribute to the capacity building of local public policy makers and economic actors in the Mediterranean region. Through the use of Information and Communication Technologies, the Initiative is providing innovative tools and ways to address the planning, the implementation and the monitoring of sustainable development policies at the local level.
Through this initiative the UNDP and the CMI are addressing the digital divide between Africa and Europe and are leveraging new technologies to facilitate and accelerate the improvement of livelihoods and the creation of opportunities for people living in poverty. Through ICTs, communities are leapfrogging development processes to improve public service delivery, improve the quality of education and expand the labour market by plugging into the world.
UNDP’s strategic plans and programmes leverage and often depend on ICTs to support national policies for decentralization, building the capacities of local actors to plan, implement and monitor local development strategies. Since the dawn of the current millennium, and with the World Summits on the Information Society (WSIS Geneva 2003 and WSIS Tunis 2005), UNDP has taken a particular interest in harnessing ICT4D to help transform the expanding digital divide into a digital opportunity. With its experience in 177 countries, UNDP is working to stimulate the enabling environment, catalyzing applications and innovative projects on the ground to bridge the information gap and bring everyone into the global economy.
ART-ISI@MED services lines
ART-ISI@MED supports local players and communities in their use of ICT networking, knowledge sharing and capacity building in these areas:
- ICT for strategic urban planning: (i) Using ICTs, information systems in general and Geographical Information System (GIS) in particular, for strategic urban planning, land and resource management and monitoring of local services and local resources, and (ii) Offering computerized public administration and improved service delivery to citizens
- ICT for economic development: Targeting youth employability and access to labour markets, job creation, income generation, and local small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in poor areas to better seize market opportunities
- ICT for community empowerment: Fostering Diaspora and migrants’ engagement, social inclusion and cross cultural youth involvement through social media
Two countries were selected to implement first-phase pilot programmes in 2009 to July 2012. This phase was devoted to finalizing the concept and piloting the Initiative with the implementation of the first ART-ISI@MED ICT4D projects in the Region de l’Oriental in Morocco and in the Al Fayhaa Union of Municipalities in the North of Lebanon.
The second phase started in May 2012. The aim is to consolidate and capitalize on the results and outcomes of the projects implemented in Morocco and Lebanon. These will be rolled out to other cities/regions in the countries of implementation (from the city of Oujda to the City of Chefchaouen in Morocco) and transferred to sub-Saharan countries (e.g. Gabon, Senegal and Mauritania) and other Mediterranean countries (e.g. Tunisia and Syria) using the South-South and triangular cooperation mechanisms.
- Harnessing the Power and the Potential of ICT for Local Development: A Practical Handbook for Local Mediterranean Policy Makers - Arabic version - French version
- Final Report on the ART-ISI@MED Launching and training Workshops 2012, Beirut, Lebanon - May, 30-31, 2012
- Materials of the ART-ISI@MED Launching and training Workshops, Beirut, Lebanon - May, 30-31, 2012 - (Coming soon)
- Agenda of the ISI@MED STRATEGIC WORKSHOP 2010, "Territorial approach to Development and Democratic Governance through the use of ICTs" November 30, December 1st, 2010
- Harnessing the power and potential of ICTs for local development March 8, 2012, UNDP
- Press release: "New partnerships reach across the Mediterranean to bridge the digital divide", December 1st, 2010