Government of Bhutan, Ministry of Information and Communications: Annual Report: 2010-2011

Title: Government of Bhutan, Ministry of Information and Communications: Annual Report: 2010-2011
Pages: 38 pp.
Source: Ministry of Information and Communications
Publisher: Government of Bhutan
Date (published): 06/07/2011
Date (accessed): 07/09/2011
Type of information: statistical report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
"This Annual Report of the Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC) in the present format is being produced for the first time although the system of sharing and disseminating such information existed even in the past. The present report provides a general overview of some of the main activities implemented by MoIC and its line agencies during the financial year 2010-2011. Hereafter, this will become an annual feature and even expanded to provide thorough and more detailed statistical information, together with analysis of sector performance during the one year period."

International Experiences With Technology in Education: Final Report

Title: International Experiences With Technology in Education: Final Report
Authors: Marianne Bakia, Robert Murphy, Kea Anderson, Gucci Estrella Trinidad
Publisher: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology
Date (published): August 2011
Date (accessed): 05/09/2011
Type of information: research report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (MS Word)
"In a 2009 speech to education researchers, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan stated, “Just simply investing in the status quo isn't going to get us where we need to go…We’re competing with children from around the globe for jobs of the future. It's no longer the next state or the next region.”  He challenged education leaders to focus on four areas of education reform:

* Adopting rigorous standards that prepare students for success in college and the workforce;
* Recruiting and retaining effective teachers, especially in classrooms where they're needed most;
* Turning around low-performing schools; and
* Building data systems to track student achievement and teacher effectiveness.

To help meet these challenges, the U.S. Department of Education issued the National Education Technology Plan 2010, which includes technology-related recommendations for states, districts, the federal government, and other stakeholders to use in helping to achieve these reforms. In an effort to learn from the experiences of other countries, particularly counties with high-performing education systems, the Department of Education funded this study, International Experiences with Technology in Education (IETE).
The IETE project focused on primary and secondary level education and was conducted in two phases in 2009-10. During the first phase, researchers conducted literature and Internet searches for multi-national data collections. The purpose of the searches was to identify methods, instruments, and available data on key government efforts to integrate information and communications technologies (ICTs) into teaching and learning. In the second phase of the IETE project, available data were updated and extended through a survey and interview of representatives of 21 governments (Exhibit E-1)."

Information policies in Asia: development of indicators

Title: Information policies in Asia: development of indicators
Author: Kavita Karan
Pages: 123 pp.
ISBN: 978-92-9223-362-4
e-ISBN: 978-92-9223-363-1
Source: UNESCO Bangkok Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education
Publisher: UNESCO
Date (published): 26/07/2011
Date (accessed): 29/08/2011
Type of information: report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
"The scope of information policy is broad. For the purposes of this report, information policy can be defined as the collection of policies and strategies that are designed to promote the development of a better-managed information society. These policies include, but extend beyond, those that are concerned with processes, management, promotion and use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). The need for building a knowledge-based society requires significant contributions from its stakeholders – governments, communities, businesses, civil society and international organizations among others. The role of policy makers is critical because it involves an ability to assess the demands of the stakeholders objectively, equitably and cost-effectively, and, above all, create systems of governance that ensure stability, predictability, rule of law, and fair competition that open up avenues for investments from the private sector and international organizations.
Across the Asia-Pacific region there has been a steady development in the information policiesthatsupporttheinformationsector.Thissectorisexpectedtogrow–incrementally in those countries that have been early starters, and exponentially among those who started later – if policies keep abreast of needs. As such, government initiatives are seen in the establishment of information/ICT ministries at the apex level and/or departments in others. In most of the countries of the Asia-Pacific region, the acquisition of technology, creation of infrastructure and improving the quality of human resources are significant engagements, but a lot has yet to be achieved. Lesser-developed countries like Bhutan, Lao PDR, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Tajikistan, among others, appear to be putting together blueprints for the development of information sectors.
It may be noted that despite low levels of socio-economic development and grappling with problems of widespread poverty, social unrest, political instability and economic distress, there appears to be a desire to build and expand information systems/networks in a majority of countries through concerted government policies, infrastructure development and international support.
This report focuses on assessing country information policies on seven broad dimensions in the context of achieving the goals of information-based societies. These cover (a) overall national policies; (b) telecommunications infrastructure and networks; (c) the content and delivery of information; (d) the information industries in the public and private sectors; (e) legal and regulatory frameworks; and (f ) the skills and competencies of human resources – providers and consumers.
The report is divided into two parts where Part I covers three sections. In the first section contains the objectives and methodology of the data; the second focuses on indicators contributing to information policies across seven dimensions; and the third section concludes the report. The report provides an organizing framework that can be adapted to the needs of information policy initiatives in any given national context. The significance and results of such an analysis provide a blueprint for state interventions to promote an information-rich environment, the efficient running of government and other development projects of the country. Part II is on implementing the indicators and some examples of measurement including a questionaire for household access to information given."

South Africa mobile Internet usage soars to 39%

Title: South Africa mobile Internet usage soars to 39%
Source: IT News Africa
Date (published): 10/08/2011
Date (accessed): 10/08/2011
Type of information: article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
"The Mobility 2011 research project, conducted by World Wide Worx and backed by First National Bank (FNB), reveals that 39% of urban South Africans and 27% of rural users are now browsing the Internet on their phones.
The study excludes “deep rural” users, and represents around 20-million South Africans aged 16 and above. This means that at least 6-million South Africans now have Internet access on their phones.
The most dramatic shift of all, however, is the arrival of e-mail in the rural user-base and its growth among urban users. There has been a substantial shift among the latter, with urban use rising from 10% in 2009 to 27% at the end of 2010. While the percentage growth among rural users is lower, the fact that it was almost non-existent a year before means the 12% penetration reported for 2010 indicates mobile e-mail becoming a mainstream tool across the population."

The Little Data Book on Information and Communication Technology 2011

Title: The Little Data Book on Information and Communication Technology 2011
Author Editor:
Pages: pp.
ISBN: 978-0-8213-8248-6
e-ISBN: 978-0-8213-8447-3
Publisher: World Bank
Date (published): 22/06/2011
Date (accessed): 09/08/2011
Type of information: book
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
"The impacts of information and communication technologies cross all sectors. Research shows that investment in information and communication technologies is associated with such economic benefits as higher productivity, lower costs, new economic opportunities, job creation, innovation, and increased trade and exports. Information and communication technologies also help provide better services in health and education and strengthen social cohesion.

The Little Data Book on Information and Communication Technology 2011 charts the progress of this revolution for 213 countries around the world. It provides comparable statistics on the sector for 2000 and 2009 across a range of indicators, enabling readers to readily compare countries.

This book includes indicators covering the economic and social context, the structure of the information and communication technology sector, sector efficiency and capacity, and sector performance related to access, usage, quality, affordability, trade, and applications. The Glossary contains definitions of the terms used in the tables."

Top Ten Opera Mini users in Africa

Title: Top Ten Opera Mini users in Africa
Source: IT News Africa
Date (published): 31/07/2011
Date (accessed): 01/08/2011
Type of information: article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
"The “State of the Mobile Web Report” by web browser company Opera Software puts a spotlight on the African region. Here are the top trends in Africa for mobile handsets and usage of the Opera Mini mobile web browser, which is used by 72% of all mobile web users in Africa.

The top 10 countries using the Opera Mini browser in this region are Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Zambia and Morocco.
Some numbers: From June 2010 to June 2011, page views in the top 10 countries of Africa increased by 187%, unique users increased by 184% and data transferred increased by 199%.
Growth rates in Africa: Zimbabwe and Morocco lead the top 10 countries of the region in terms of page-view growth (4964.8 % and 1598.4 %, respectively).
Zimbabwe and Ethiopia lead the top 10 countries of the region in growth of unique users (4483.3 % and 989.5 %, respectively).
Zimbabwe and Morocco lead the top 10 countries of the region in growth of data transferred (3449.7 % and 1385.9 %, respectively).
Zimbabwe leads the top 10 countries of the region in page views per user, with each user browsing 713 pages on average each month.
Among the countries of Africa, the most popular sites include Facebook, Google, YouTube, Yahoo and Wikipedia."

Gartner: mobile payment market is growing slower than expected

Title: Gartner: mobile payment market is growing slower than expected
Source: Gartner, Inc
Date (published): 21/07/2011
Date (accessed): 27/07/2011
Type of information: press release
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
"Worldwide mobile payment users will surpass 141.1 million in 2011, a 38.2 percent increase from 2010, when mobile payment users reached 102.1 million, according to Gartner, Inc. Worldwide mobile payment volume is forecast to total $86.1 billion, up 75.9 percent from 2010 volume of $48.9 billion.

Despite these strong growth projections, Gartner analysts said the mobile payment market is growing slower than expected.

“In developing markets, despite favorable conditions for mobile payment, growth is not as strong as was anticipated. Many service providers are yet to adapt their strategies to local requirements, and success models from Kenya and the Philippines are unlikely to be translated to other markets,” said Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner. While developing markets have favorable conditions for mobile payments, such as high penetration of mobile devices and low banking penetration, this is no guarantee of success, unless service providers adapt their strategies to local market requirements.”
Gartner expects Short Message Service (SMS) and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) to remain the dominant access technologies in developing markets due to the constraints of mobile phones. Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) will remain the preferred mobile access technology in developed markets, where the mobile Internet is commonly available and activated on the phone. Mobile app downloads and mobile commerce are the main drivers of WAP payments, and WAP will account for almost 90 percent of all mobile transactions in North America and about 70 percent in Western Europe in 2011.

Money transfers and prepaid top-ups will drive transaction volumes in developing markets. These are seen as the "killer apps" in developing markets, where people value the convenience of sending money to relatives and topping up mobile accounts. This is most obvious in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, where these two services will account for 54 percent and 32 percent of all transactions in 2011."

3G Breaks India’s Bandwidth Bottleneck

Title: 3G Breaks India’s Bandwidth Bottleneck
Source: TeleGeography
Date (published): 19/07/2011
Date (accessed): 24/07/2011
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
"Fixed broadband services in India have grown at a steady, but unspectacular, pace since their introduction in 2003. Providers had signed up 11.5 million subscribers at the end of Q1 2011, up 31 percent from a year earlier. Nevertheless, Indian broadband penetration stands at only 5 percent of households. In contrast, 34 percent of Chinese households have broadband access.
While India’s fixed broadband growth is plodding along, data from TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database reveal that 3G mobile subscribers are growing at a breathtaking pace. The number of customers signed up to third-generation mobile services skyrocketed 400 percent between March 2010 and March 2011, reaching 12.2 million. This growth is particularly impressive in light of the fact that 3G services were only introduced in 2009, and 3G service has only become widely available from multiple providers in recent months. Indeed, growth has accelerated as 3G coverage and competition has increased, with subscribers increasing by an astonishing 73 percent in the first quarter of 2011."

See also:
In India, Broadband means a 3G connection, By Om Malik,

ICT and Economic Growth: Evidence from Kenya

Title: ICT and Economic Growth: Evidence from Kenya
Author: Richard Heeks
Source: ICTs for Development
Date (published): 26/06/2011
Date (accessed): 06/07/2011
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
"Do ICTs contribute to economic growth in developing countries?

In the 1980s, Robert Solow triggered the idea of a productivity paradox, saying “You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.” And for many years there was a similar developing country growth paradox: that you could increasingly see ICTs in developing countries except in the economic growth data.

That is still largely true of computers and to some extent the Internet, but much less true overall as mobiles have become the dominant form of ICTs in development. In particular key studies such as those by Waverman et al (2005), Lee et al (2009), and Qiang (2009) have demonstrated a clear connection between mobiles and economic growth and/or between telecoms more generally and economic growth. They all address the “endogeneity” problem: that a correlation between telecoms (indeed, all ICTs) and economic growth is readily demonstrable; but that you then have to tease out the direction of causality: economic growth of course causes increased levels of ICTs in a country (we buy more tech as we get richer); you need to try to control for that, and separate out the interesting bit: the extent to which the technology causes economic growth."

Mobile Phone Use in West Africa: Gambian Statistics

Title: Mobile Phone Use in West Africa: Gambian Statistics
Author: Richard Heeks
Source: ICTs for Development blog
Date (published): 30/01/2011
Date (accessed): 31/01/2011
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
"This entry reports findings from a survey of nearly 400 mobile phone users in The Gambia conducted by Fatim Badjie, who recently participated in Manchester’s MSc in ICTs for Development.

Its findings fall into six main areas:
Ownership and Costs
Mobile Usage
Availability and Issues
Impacts and Benefits
Male-female differences
Locational differences
My commentary would be that, overall, this is a reminder of how mature the mobile market is getting in Africa with very high rates of ownership, very high rates of usage, and signs of movement beyond basic calls/SMS: at least 15% going online via their mobiles, at least 13% using video/conference calls. With roughly one-third saying they use mobiles to make or get money, it looks like quite a valuable financial tool: so embedded that nearly fourth-fifths of users couldn’t imagine life without it, including some who see mobiles as a “necessary burden”."

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