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The Digital Opportunities Task Force: The G8's Effort to Bridge the Global Digital Divide

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Abstract

During the past decade, the G-8 countries have discussed a number of issues related to the governance of cyberspace. These issues include (among others): the regulation and taxation of e-commerce, the protection of individual privacy, digital authentication, and the promotion of broadband infrastructure. While these discussions were initiated by the U.S. government, they moved over time in a direction not anticipated by any of the G-8 governments. After the Okinawa Summit, the discussions in the Digital Opportunities Task Force (DOTforce) focused on how to bridge the global digital divide. This paper tracks the history of those deliberations and attempts to explain G-8 policies in this area.
The Digital Opportunities Task Force:
The G8’s Effort to Bridge the Global Digital Divide
Jeffrey A. Hart
Professor
Department of Political Science
Indiana University
Woodburn Hall 210
Bloomington, IN 47405
Email: hartj@indiana.edu
Web: http://mypage.iu.edu/~hartj
Paper originally prepared for a panel on “Explaining G8 Effectiveness” at the Annual
Convention of the International Studies Association, Montreal, Canada, March 17-20,
2004, and revised for a conference on "Security, Prosperity and Freedom: Why America
Needs the G8" at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, June 3-4, 2004. Please do
not cite or quote without the written permission of the author.
Abstract
During the past decade, the G-8 countries have discussed a number of issues related to
the governance of cyberspace. These issues include (among others): the regulation and
taxation of e-commerce, the protection of individual privacy, digital authentication, and
the promotion of broadband infrastructure. While these discussions were initiated by the
U.S. government, they moved over time in a direction not anticipated by any of the G-8
governments. After the Okinawa Summit, the discussions in the Digital Opportunities
Task Force (DOTforce) focused on how to bridge the global digital divide. This paper
tracks the history of those deliberations and attempts to explain G-8 policies in this area.
1
Introduction
The representatives of the major economic powers that comprised the Group of
Eight (G8) began to address the problems of coordinating policies regarding the
governance of cyberspace in the early 1990s.1 The governance issues they dealt with
initially included, among others, the establishment of norms, principles, and rules
regarding the interconnection of computer networks via networks of networks like the
Internet, rights of access to those networks, pricing of access, monitoring of network-
mediated economic transactions, intellectual property protection, taxation of goods and
services delivered via the networks, privacy, security and a variety of other matters
thought to affect the confidence of users. Towards the end of the decade, the G8 turned to
a new issue: reversing the tendencies toward an increasing “global digital divide”
between rich and poor countries. This paper will focus primarily on the last issue, after
setting it in historical context.
One of the key questions addressed here is why the G8 turned from the previous
set of cyberspace governance issues to consideration of how to bridge the digital divide. I
will suggest below that the main reason was the G8’s need to respond to the criticisms by
anti-globalization forces that G8 governance was undemocratic and therefore contributed
to increased global inequality. For this reason, one important way to evaluate the success
of the DOTforce was in terms of its ability to give the G8 a counterargument to the anti-
globalization movement’s claims. More important, however, was the attempt by the G8
to transcend its inherently intergovernmental character by including representatives from
1 I will use G8 to stand for both the Group of Seven (G7) major industrialized countries that met annually at
international economic summits from 1974 through 1997 (the United States, Canada, Japan, Britain,
France, Germany, and Italy) and the Group of Eight (G8) that began in 1998 with the addition of Russia as
the eighth member of the group.
2
“civil society” in its deliberations on the global digital divide. The DOTforce invented a
method called the “multi-stakeholder approach” to do this. Many of the participants in
the DOTforce considered this invention to be a success, but only time will tell whether it
will spread to other issues under G8 purview.
Historical Context
Although originating in the late 1960s in research begun under the auspices of the
U.S. Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), the Internet
emerged in the 1990s as the most important network of networks with the capability, in
principle, to interconnect every computer (large or small) on the planet. While the
ARPANET was built in the 1970s to interconnect military contractors with one another, it
was succeeded first by the NSFNET, which expanded interconnection to university
scientists and engineers, and then by the Internet. Commercial interconnection to the
Internet began in the late 1980s and soon many businesses had shifted at least some of
their activities to cyberspace.2
By the early 1990s, the U.S. government began to ask the rest of the world to
adopt policies that it believed would be conducive to the spread of Internet-based
commercial activity. This was the Global Information Infrastructure (GII) initiative of
the Clinton administration.
One particularly important aspect of the Clinton administration’s GII initiative
was the push for policies of minimal restrictions on e-commerce in order to encourage the
shift of economic transactions to the Internet. According to one official publication, The
2 Jeffrey Hart, François Bar and Robert Reed, "The Building of the Internet: Implications for the Future of
Broadband Networks", Telecommunications Policy, November 1992.
3
Framework for Global Electronic Commerce, there was a danger of killing off the goose
that lays the golden eggs:
Commerce on the Internet could total tens of billions of dollars by the turn of
the century. For this potential to be realized fully, governments must adopt a
non-regulatory, market-oriented approach to electronic commerce, one that
facilitates the emergence of a transparent and predictable legal environment
to support global business and commerce. Official decision makers must
respect the unique nature of the medium and recognize that widespread
competition and increased consumer choice should be the defining features of
the new digital marketplace.3
The Clinton administration called on the World Trade Organization (WTO) to
declare the Internet a tax-free environment and to request the development of a uniform
commercial code for electronic commerce. They asked that there be a WTO effort to
make national intellectual property regimes more consistent and enforceable. A series of
reports were issued to provide background information for these and other related policy
proposals over the next three years.4 The U.S. government was largely successful in
these policy initiatives, although not without generating considerable controversy.
The Clinton administration also called for a meeting of the information ministers
of the G8 in 1995 to be held on February 25-26 in Brussels. The main topic of discussion
was the means by which to “encourage and promote the innovation and development of
new technologies, including, in particular, the implementation of open, competitive, and
world-wide information infrastructures.” The conference concluded with the
3 Framework for Global Electronic Commerce (Washington, D.C.: July 1, 1997), p. 2. The document
bears the names of both President William Clinton and Vice President Albert Gore.
4 Marcia S. Smith, John D. Moteff, Lennard G. Kruger, Glenn J. McLoughlin, and Jeffrey W. Seifert,
Internet: An Overview of Key Technology Policy Areas Affecting Its Use and Growth (Washington, D.C.:
Congressional Research Service, updated January 21, 2001), p. 12.
4
identification of a set of pilot projects that would benefit from international cooperation.5
These projects were adopted formally and funded by the G8 at the following summit.
At around the same time, a joint symposium of the Asia-Pacific Economic
Cooperation (APEC) countries and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD) in Vancouver, Canada, addressed “Building the Foundation for the
21st Century.” The APEC-OECD symposium laid the framework for a market-led policy
for infrastructure and service development. The OECD followed up in Turku, Finland, in
1997 with a joint government and business conference on the theme of “Dismantling the
Barriers to Global Electronic Commerce.” In 1998, the OECD held a ministerial
conference in Ottawa on “A Borderless World: Realizing the Potential of Electronic
Commerce.”6 It was at this conference that the members of the OECD agreed to the
Ottawa Taxation Framework Conditions (see below for details). APEC also held follow-
up meetings that focused on using the Internet and information technologies to solve
problems of economic development. These meetings probably influenced later
discussions on bridging the digital divide among the G8.7
The World Bank formed a Global Information Infrastructure Commission (GIIC)
in February 1995 that has met annually since then. The first full meeting of the GIIC
took place in Washington in July 1995. The GIIC was designed to facilitate cooperation
between governments and the private sector in order “to foster private sector leadership
5 G7 Information Society Conference, Information Society Website,
http://europa.eu.int/ISPO/intcoop/g8/i_g8conference.html.
6 The official website for the conference is http://www.ottawaoecdconference.org/.
7 Richard Beaird, “Opening Remarks,” OECD-APEC Forum, Policy Frameworks for the Digital Economy,
Honolulu, Hawaii, January 14-17, 2003, http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/19/56/2492657.pdf.
5
and private-public sector cooperation in the development of information networks and
services to advance global economic growth, education and quality of life.”8
Internet Governance Issues at the OECD
The OECD began to take up issues connected with the Internet and electronic
commerce in the late 1990s. One major effort was connected with the Ottawa Taxation
Framework Conditions of 1998. That agreement set out a variety of principles to be
followed by OECD governments regarding the taxation of the emerging sector. One of
was the idea that taxation should be neutral with respect to conventional and electronic
forms of commerce. The other general principals to be followed were: neutrality,
efficiency, simplicity, effectiveness, fairness, and flexibility. Follow up work on the
Framework was delegated to the OECD’s Committee on Fiscal Affairs.9
There has been substantial debate within the OECD on direct taxes, such as sales
taxes. There a large item of contention is determining taxation rights. Under the OECD
Model Tax Convention, such taxes require the concept of a “permanent establishment,” a
“fixed place of business through which the business of an enterprise is wholly or partly
carried on.”10 Preliminary discussions determined that a web site is not such a permanent
establishment, nor is an Internet Service Provider who hosts the web site.11 Discussion of
this issue is still ongoing in the OECD.
8 GII Commission Inaugural Meeting, http://www.giic.org/events/ann1.asp.
9 Implementation of the Ottawa Taxation Framework Conditions: The 2003 Report (Paris: OECD, 2003),
pp. 11-12. http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/45/19/20499630.pdf.
10 OECD, Report to Ministers, E-Commerce: Implementing the Ottawa Taxation Framework Conditions,
C/MIN (2000) 9, http://www1.oecd.org/subject/mcm/2000/e_comm_ott.pdf.
11 Ibid, p. 3.
6
At the Ottawa meeting in 1998, the OECD ministers reaffirmed “their
commitment to the protection of privacy on global networks in to ensure the respect of
important rights, build confidence in global networks, and to prevent unnecessary
restrictions on trans-border flows of personal data.”12 They agreed to take the necessary
steps to extend the existing OECD Privacy Guidelines (published in 1980) to global
networks. Progress in achieving this goal was discussed at the Paris Forum in 1999 and
the Emerging Market Economies Forum in Dubai in 2001.
The OECD’s Committee for Information, Computer, and Communications Policy
(ICCP) and that Committee’s Working Party on Information Security and Privacy
(WPISP) were given the task of formulating an action plan for online privacy protection.
They focused on the following subtasks:
“Encouraging the adoption of privacy policies.
Encouraging online notification of privacy policies to users.
Ensuring that enforcement and redress measures are available in cases of
noncompliance.
Promoting user education and awareness about online privacy and the
means at their disposal for protecting privacy.
Encouraging the use of privacy-enhancing technologies.
Encouraging the use and development of contractual solutions for online
trans-border data flows.”13
12 OECD, Privacy Online: OECD Guidance on Policy and Practice (Paris: OECD, November 2003), p. 12.
13 Ibid, p. 13.
7
Part of what was going on here was an adjustment of earlier policies regarding trans-
border flows of personal data.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the European governments had moved in the direction of
stronger guarantees for privacy of online personal data than existed in the United States.
Accordingly, they placed rather strict limits on trans-border flows of personal data.
However, the rapid rise of Internet data traffic and e-commerce resulted in a
reconsideration of those earlier decisions. European authorities did not want the EU to be
excluded from the benefits of e-commerce because of overly restrictive privacy
guarantees. In addition, the U.S. government and many U.S.-based multinational
companies strongly urged a relaxation in European privacy guarantees in order to
maximize the potential benefits to all of moving to web-based commerce. Therefore, in
pursuit of greater international harmonization of privacy policies within the OECD, there
was considerable support for greater transparency of national privacy rules and practices.
It quickly became apparent to participants in these discussions that governments
were dependent on private firms to implement and enforce privacy guarantees, since most
OECD countries had privatized to some extent the ownership of data conduits and
personal data storage systems. Accordingly, private firms were invited to participate in
OECD policy discussions. As in other areas of global governance, other private sector
groups and organizations asserted their rights to participate in discussions of privacy. For
example, Marc Rotenberg of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) presented
a plan for integrating “civil society” organizations into OECD discussions of online
privacy matters at the Global Forum on Information Systems and Network Security held
in Oslo, Norway, in October 2003. Rotenberg stressed the importance of going beyond
8
government and private business participation in such discussions because of the need to
foster consumer trust in global networks in order to realize their potential benefits.14
A lot of the activity in this area and in the related areas of authentication
(electronic signatures) and cyber security has been focused on raising consciousness. A
survey of EU businesses done for the European Commission, for example, revealed that
75 percent of companies had no cyber security strategy whatsoever. Spending in this
area was very low and most companies had understaffed information technology security
offices.15 Similarly, many governments were struggling to deal effectively with
problems of consumer confidence posed by viruses, worms, and spam, often with
inadequate resources. It is not surprising, therefore, that international discussions such as
those in the OECD would focus on information-sharing and the pooling of costs in
dealing with these increasingly global problems.
The Global Digital Divide
The Commerce Department issued a report in 2000 entitled Falling Through the
Net: Toward Digital Inclusion.16 This was the first major U.S. governmental effort to
study and document inequalities in access to and usage of the Internet across social
groups. The report showed a trend of increasing usage of the Internet but also an
increasing gap in usage between urban and rural, minority and non-minority groups, and
14 http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/25/19/17842138.pdf.
15 Pernilla Skantze, “European Cyber Security,” presentation for the OECD Global Forum on Information
Systems and Network Security, Oslo, Norway, October 2003,
http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/53/43/17979495.pdf.
16 National Telecommunication and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Falling
through the Net: Toward Digital Inclusion (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2000),
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/fttn00/contents00.html.
9
high and low socio-economic status households. For some variables, such as gender and
income, the gap was decreasing. But the key finding was that “noticeable divides still
exist between those with different levels of income and education, different racial and
ethnic groups, old and young, single and dual-parent families, and those with and without
disabilities.”17
The NTIA report focused mainly on the United States, but it did not take long for
similar studies to appear that highlighted international aspects of the digital divide. For
example, the World Economic Forum launched its Global Digital Divide Initiative
(GDDI) in 2000 “to develop public-private partnerships that would help bridge the gap
between those who have ICT access, skills and resources and those who do not.”18 The
International Labor Organization released a study in 2001 arguing that lack of access to
information and communication technologies (ICTs) on the part of workers in the
developing world denied them access to jobs in the technology sector. The report noted
that access to ICTs without appropriate education and training would not be a sufficient
response to the growing North-South digital divide.19 Similar studies were done by the
World Bank and special agencies of the United Nations.
17 Falling Through the Net, executive summary.
18 World Economic Forum, Global Digital Divide Initiative,
http://www.weforum.org/site/homepublic.nsf/Content/Global+Digital+Divide+Initiative.
19 International Labor Organization, World Employment Report 2001: Life at Work in the Information
Economy (Geneva: ILO, 2001).
The Okinawa Charter
At the international economic summit held in Okinawa and Kyushu in June-July
2000, the G8 adopted the Okinawa Charter on Global Information Society.20 A draft for
this document was prepared for pre-summit discussions with representatives from
developing countries at a meeting in Tokyo just before the summit under the sponsorship
of Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori. The Japanese government wanted the G8 to
go beyond the scheduled discussions of debt relief in Okinawa summit, partly as a
response to the demonstrations against the G8 and the WTO that had taken place in
Seattle in 1999.21
The Okinawa Charter started by stating that ICTs are “fast becoming a vital
engine for the world economy.” It argued that ICTs have the potential to transform
economies and societies because of their “power to help individuals and societies use
knowledge and ideas.” The Okinawa Charter put forward a principle of inclusion in
which “everyone, everywhere should be enabled to participate in and no one should be
excluded from the benefits of the global information society.” It stressed the importance
of governmental leadership in creating an “appropriate policy and regulatory
environment” which included the fostering of competition and innovation in an overall
environment of economic and financial stability. It called for “collaboration to optimize
global networks, fight abuses that undermine the integrity of the network, bridge the
digital divide, invest in people, and promote global access and participation.” The last
20 http://www.dotforce.org/reports/it1.html.
21 Clay Chandler, “Rich Pay Heed to the Poor as G-8 Summit Opens,” Washington Post, July 21, 2000, p.
A19.
paragraph of the preamble to the Okinawa Charter reiterated the G8’s commitment to
bridging the global digital divide.22
The second section of the Okinawa Charter focused on the need to create the right
policy and regulatory environment for ICTs to have a positive impact. The private sector
“plays a leading role” but “it is up to governments to create a predictable, transparent,
and non-discriminatory policy and regulatory environment…” The document went on to
stress the importance of enforcing intellectual property rights and liberalizing
international flows, especially e-commerce. It urged taxation policies consistent with
those pursued by the OECD, “continuing the practice of not imposing customs duties on
electronic transmissions,” and the adoption of interoperable, market-driven standards.
Like the OECD efforts described briefly above, the Okinawa Charter identified privacy
protection, electronic authentication, and security to be important areas for future
discussion.
The remainder of the document reaffirmed the commitment of the G8 to bridging
the global digital divide and suggested ways of working with other international
organizations and private sector groups to achieve this goal. In the final pages, the
Okinawa Charter announced the decision of the G8 to establish a Digital Opportunity
Taskforce (DOT Force) to respond to the needs of the developing countries. The
Okinawa Charter became the foundational document for a G8 effort that was to begin in
2000 and end in 2003 with the creation of a number of pilot programs, reports, and policy
dialogues meant to advance the state of art in applying ICTs to development concerns.
22 Okinawa Charter on Global Information Society, http://www.dotforce.org/reports/it1.html.
The DOT Force
After the Okinawa Summit, forty three teams from organizations representing
governments, the private sector, non-profit organization, and international organizations
were assembled to “identify ways in which the digital revolution can benefit all the
world’s people, especially the poorest and most marginalized groups.”23 The first
meeting of the DOT Force was held in Tokyo on November 27-28, 2000. The meeting
was chaired by Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Yoshiji Nogami. A schedule was
established for the preparation of a report prior to the next international economic summit
in Genoa. The report, to be finished by May 2001, would be drafted with the help of the
World Bank and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). It would deal with
the issues discussed in the Okinawa Charter and would be “action-oriented.”24
The report that resulted, Digital Opportunities for All: Meeting the Challenge,
concluded that “when wisely applied, ICT offer enormous opportunities to narrow social
and economic inequalities and support sustainable wealth creation, and thus help to
achieve the broader development goals that the international community has set.”25 It
proposed four areas for action:
1. fostering policy, regulatory, and network readiness;
2. improving connectivity, increasing access, and lowering costs;
3. building human capacity; and
23 Digital Opportunities for All: Meeting the Challenge, Report of the Digital Opportunity Task Force
(DOT Force) including a proposal for a Genoa Plan of Action, May 11, 2001,
http://www.dotforce.org/reports/DOT_Force_Report_V_5.0h.html.
24 First Meeting of the Digital Opportunity Task Force (dot force) (Summary), November 30, 2000,
http://www.library.utoronto.ca/g7/dot_force/summary-nov-00.html.
25 Digital Opportunities for All, p. 3.
4. encouraging participation in global e-commerce and other e-Networks.26
The members of the DOT Force went so far as to assert that “the basic right of access to
knowledge and information is a prerequisite for modern human development.” The
enthusiasm for using ICT as the primary vehicle for this was palpable in the report’s
verbiage.
The report went on to discuss and summarize the UN Millennium Declaration and
the related Development Goals, which included, among other items, reducing the number
of people living in extreme poverty by half between 1990 and 2015. It stressed the
potential utility of using ICTs to reduce global inequality but also the need to put “in
place the appropriate infrastructure,” which “is a multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder
task.” The report referred to the need for governments to work together with non-profit
organizations, private firms, and international organizations. The report claimed that the
DOT Force was the first G8 initiative to take this idea seriously. This emphasis on multi-
stakeholder participation was no doubt partly a response to the criticisms of the so-called
“civil society organizations” about their lack of access to decision-making in the G8, the
WTO, and the World Bank/IMF systems.
The report did not ignore the difficulties of the tasks it recommended the G8 to
undertake. It included discussions of the problem of general skepticism about the
potential role of ICTs in development, opposition to using ICTs to enhance transparency
and thereby reduce corruption, and the possibility of negative reactions to the effects of
ICT diffusion on employment patterns. It called for fresh thinking on these matters and
for a search for best practices on a global basis. The report concluded with nine “action
26 Ibid, pp. 4-5.
points” that later were called the Genoa Plan of Action. The Plan of Action was fully
endorsed by G8 leaders at the Genoa Summit in July 2001.
The G8 was led by Italy in 2001 and Canada in 2002. The governments of the
two countries were given the responsibility to facilitate the work of the DOT Force after
the Genoa Summit. The DOT Force implementation teams proposed a number of new
projects in the following seven areas:
national e-strategies
access and connectivity
human capacity building
entrepreneurship
ICTs for health
local content and applications
global policy participation
These projects and the subprojects associated with them would continue beyond the life-
span of the DOT Force itself, mainly via a hand off to working groups of the newly
created UN ICT Task Force (see Appendix II for a listing)..
The DOT Force prepared a final document entitled Report Card: Digital
Opportunities for All that was published in June 2002 in time for discussion at the G8
summit in Kananaskis.27 This report asserted that the “multi-stakeholder approach of the
DOT Force now serves as the model for other global ‘ICT for development’ initiatives
27 Digital Opportunity Task Force, Report Card: Digital Opportunities for All (Ottawa: DOT Force, June
2002), http://www.dotforce.org/reports/documents/64/General-Report_e.pdf.
that follow in its footsteps.”28 With the conclusion of the Kananaskis summit the DOT
Force officially ceased operations.
Evaluating the Effectiveness of the DOT Force
The DOT Force was certainly effective in terms of the metrics devised by John
Kirton to evaluate the overall effectiveness of other G8.29 It generated lots of paper, there
were many attendees of meetings, and there were a number of substantial financial
commitments on the part of the G8. But its main accomplishment seems to have been
experimenting successfully with a different way of operating. Unlike previous G8
initiatives, the DOT Force consciously employed a “multi-stakeholder” approach, in
which government officials worked together with representatives of private firms, non-
profit organizations, and international organizations to write reports and propose new
projects to be funded by a combination of governmental, intergovernmental, and private
sources. The fact that the OECD appears to be adopting such an approach in dealing with
e-commerce issues is not a coincidence.
It is probably too soon to evaluate the effectiveness of the DOT Force projects,
but they at least had the appearance of originality and careful thought that is not always
characteristic of development projects. Another hopeful sign was the tempering of the
ambitions of a few overly enthusiastic advocates of ICTs and the replacement of
unrealistic notions with more realistic ones. A particularly poignant example of this is
the Community Access Centers Network (ADEN) sponsored by the French government.
28 Ibid, p. 2.
29 John Kirton, “Evaluating the Effectiveness of the G8,” paper prepared for delivery at the annual meeting
of International Studies Association, Montreal, .
ADEN would create shared access points to the Internet in Africa in public locations and
with local community associations as partners. To deal with the many interruptions in
power and telephone services and the high cost of connectivity in Africa, these access
points would employ a technology utilizing short bursts of interconnection for storage of
information most likely to be needed at the access point.
Similarly, a passage from the part of the report card summarizing the work of the
human capacity team shows how their collective thinking about how to apply e-learning
technologies in the developing world influenced (mostly for the good) the technological
enthusiasts among them:
The team realizes the need for a more adjusted and differentiated view of the
potential associated with the implementation of ICTs in low-income
countries. It is also aware of excluding vast majorities from this potential.
Meeting these particular needs should enable a more fruitful discussion with
critics who perceive the issue – in light of the often overwhelming problems
of hunger, water scarcity, and physical threat – as a diversion from basic
development needs. It should also, and more importantly, foster sustainable,
bottom-up developments and applications that take advantage of basic and
enhanced ICTs to improve the living conditions of all citizens.30
The entrepreneurship team was different from the others in asking for $32 million
from the G8 governments to create a DOT Force Entrepreneurial Network (DFEN). The
DFEN would focus on financially supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises
engaged in ICT activities in the developing world. The DFEN was renamed Enablis in
2002 after it received CAN $10 million (about US $6.6 million) in funding from the
Canadian government. It is sponsored in addition by three private firms that were
involved in the entrepreneurship task force of the DOTforce: Accenture, Hewlett-
30 Ibid, p. 4.
Packard, and Telesystem. Enablis planned to set up a regional office in South African in
the fourth quarter of 2003, with two satellite offices in Africa by the end of 2004.31
Conclusions
In conclusion, the DOT Force demonstrates the potential effectiveness of the G8,
especially relative to other international regimes, in creating solutions to collective
problems. The main problem that the DOT Force has solved to date is providing an
answer to critics of the tendency of intergovernmental organizations like the G8 to
exclude participants from “civil society” – that is, private firms, nongovernmental
organizations, and other social groups. As to how the various DOT Force projects will
do in bridging the digital divide, only time will tell. Nevertheless, the new collaborative
approach is bound to be more successful that the purely intergovernmental approach
because it permits the G8 to tap directly some of the best ideas of participants in ICT
markets and of potential aid recipients.
31 See the Enablis web site at http://www.enablis.org.
Appendix I. Composition of the DOTforce
List of members, alternates, contact persons
ITALY
Government
Mr. Vincenzo SCHIOPPA
Diplomatic Advisor to the Minister for
Public Management
Ms. Verena Wessely
Assistant to Mr. Schioppa
Mr. Nicola FAVIA
Senior Economist
Prime Minister’s Office,
Department of Economic Affairs
Ms. Claudia OGLIALORO
Senior Economist
Prime Minister’s Office,
Department of Economic Affairs
Private Sector
Mr. Vincenzo MONACI
Entrepreneur
Commissioner of Communications
Authority
NPO
Mr. Domenico SINISCALCO
Professor of Economics, University of
Turin
Director, Fondazione Eni Enrico MATTEI
Mr. Federico RICCIO
Researcher and Project Leader
Fondazione Eni Enrico MATTEI
Ms. Alessandra POME
Researcher
Fondazione Eni Enrico MATTEI
CANADA
Government
Mr. V. Peter HARDER
Deputy Minister of Industry
Mr. Richard BOURASSA
Director of International Affairs
E-Commerce Branch, Industry Canada
Mr. Richard SIMPSON
Director General, e-Commerce
Industry Canada
Mr. Tony ZEITOUN
Senior Advisor
Knowledge for Development Initiative
Policy Branch - CIDA
Private Sector
Mr. Charles SIROIS
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Telesystem Ltd.
Mr. Paul LAMONTAGNE
Managing Director
Telesystem Ltd.
NPO
Ms. Maureen O'NEIL
President
International Development Research
Centre (IDRC)
Mr. Richard FUCHS
Director, ICT for Development
International Development Research
Centre (IDRC)
RUSSIA
Government
Mr. Oleg PLAKSIN
Assistant to the Russian Sherpa
Private Sector
1
Dr. Igor AGAMIRZIAN
Advisor & University Relations Manager,
Microsoft Research Limited
NPO
Mr. Michael YAKUSHEV
Russian Union of Internet Providers
FRANCE
Government
Mr. Alain LE GOURRIEREC
Ambassador, Special Assistant for
Information Society,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Bertrand DE LA CHAPELLE
Head of Mission, New Technologies
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Gilles BREGANT
Secretary General
Mission for Digital Economy
Ministry of Economy, Finance and
Industry
Private Sector
Mr. Thierry BRETON
Chairman and Managing Director,
Thomson Multimedia
Mr. Didier HUCK
Vice President
Research & Innovation,
Product Development & Partnership
Thomson Multimedia
Ms. Isabelle Loupot-Denis
General Manager
Research & Innovation, Partnership
Thomson Multimedia
NPO
Ms. Valerie PEUGEOT
VECAM
Ms. Florence DURAND
VECAM
UNITED STATES
Government
Mr. Kevin J. MARTIN
Special Assistant to the President
National Economic Council, the White
House
Ms. C. Anne PENCE
Special Assistant to the Under Secretary
for Economic, Business and
Agricultural Affairs, Department of State
Mr. Andrew WEINSCHENK
Director for Information Policy,
Economic and Business Bureau,
Department of State
Private Sector
Ms. Carleton FIORINA
Chairman, President & CEO
Hewlett-Packard Co.
Mr. Gary FAZZINO
Vice President, Government & Public
Affairs
Hewlett-Packard Co.
Mr. James F. MOORE
World e-Inclusion Program, Hewlett
Packard Co.
C/o GeoPartners Ventures
NPO
Ms. Zoe BAIRD
President, Markle Foundation
Ms. Julia MOFFETT
Managing Director, Markle Foundation
UNITED KINGDOM
Government
Mr. Richard MANNING
Director-General, Department for
International Development
2
Mr. David WOOLNOUGH
Assistant to the Director General,
Department for International Development
Mr. Keith YEOMANS
Department for International Development
Private Sector
Mr. Vernon ELLIS
International Chairman, Accenture
Ms. Elizabeth PADMORE
Director, Policy & Corporate Affairs,
Accenture
Dr C P (Kit) Burdess
Policy and Corporate Affairs
Accenture
NPO
Ms. Anuradha VITTACHI
Director, OneWorld International
Foundation
Mr. Peter ARMSTRONG
Director, OneWorld Online
GERMANY
Government
Dr. Eike ROEHLING
Director General for Technology and
Innovation Policy,
New States of the Federal Republic of
Germany,
Federal Ministry of Economics and
Technology
Mr. Michael LEIBRANDT
Deputy Head of Section
Federal Ministry of Economics and
Technology
Mr. Michael RUEGNER
Federal Ministry for Economic
Cooperation and Development
Private Sector
Dr. Friedrich FROESCHL
President and Chief Executive Officer
Siemens Business Services GmbH & Co.
OHG
Mr. Gert E. BIELEFELD
Vice President
Seimens Business Services GmbH & Co.
OHG
NPO
Dr. Joachim VON BRAUN
Director, Center for Development
Research
University of Bonn
Mr. Dietrich MUELLER-FALCKE
Researcher, Center for Development
Research
University of Bonn
JAPAN
Government
Mr. Yoshiji NOGAMI
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Kaoru ISHIKAWA
Deputy Director-General, Economic
Affairs Bureau,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Yasuhisa KAWAMURA
Director, IT Cooperation Division,
Economic Affairs Bureau,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Ms.Yukiko MATSUDA
IT Cooperation Division, Economic Affairs
Bureau,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Masato USUI
IT Cooperation Division, Economic Affairs
Bureau,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Mr. Hiroshi Matsumura
Director, International Economic Affairs
3
Division,
Trade Policy Bureau
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
Mr. Tetsuo YAMAKAWA
Director, International Policy Division
Ministry of Public Management, Home
Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications
Private Sector
Mr. Taizo NISHIMURO
Chairman, Toshiba Co., Ltd.
Mr. Takashi WATANABE
Group Manager, International Relations,
Industry Cooperation Division, Toshiba
Co., Ltd.
NPO
Prof. Shumpei KUMON
Executive Director, Center for Global
Communications (GLOCOM)
Mr. Izumi AIZU
Center for Global Communications
(GLOCOM)
Mr. Adam PEAKE
Center for Global Communications
(GLOCOM)
EUROPEAN COMMISSION
Mr. Robert VERRUE
Director General, Information Society,
Mr. Paul VERHOEF
Head of Unit, International Affairs, DG
Information Society
BOLIVIA
Mr. Rodrigo Xavier ARCE JOFRE
Project Head, Unidad de Fortalecimiento
Informatico
BRAZIL
Mr. Eduardo Tadao TAKAHASHI
General Coordinator, Information Society
Program Task Force
Mr. Guilherme DE AGUIAR PATRIOTA
Head of Science and Technology
Division,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Dr. Maria Ines BASTOS
International Cooperation Coordinator,
Brazilian Information Society Program
EGYPT
Dr. Raafat Abdelbaky RADWAN
Chairman, Information & Decision
Support Center of the Cabinet of
Ministries (IDSC)
Ms. Effat EL SHOOKY
Vice President
Regional Information Technology and
Software Engineering Center (RITSEC)
INDIA
Mr. Vinay KOHLI
Secretary, Ministry of Information
Technology
INDONESIA
Dr. J.B. KRISTIADI
Deputy Minister for State Administrative
Reforms
Mr. Aizirman DJUSAN
Assistant Deputy Minister for
Administrative Reforms
Mr. John WELLY
Vice Chairman,
Indonesia Telecom Association
4
SENEGAL
Ms. Ndeye Maimouna DIOP
Technical Advisor
Ministry of Culture and Communication
SOUTH AFRICA
Mr. Andile NGCABA
Director-General
Department of Communications
Mr. Mark SHUTTLEWORTH
Chairman, HBD Management Services
Ms. Ingrid PONI
Office of the Director-General
Department of Communications
Ms. Lyndall SHOPE-MAFOLE
Embassy of South Africa, Paris
TANZANIA
Eng. August B. KOWERO
Ministry of Communications and
Transport
Mr. David SAWE
Director of Management Information
Systems,
Civil Service Department, President's
Office
Mr. Simbo NTIRO
e-Think Tank Tanzania
ITU
Mr. Roberto BLOIS
Deputy Secretary General
Mr. Hamadoun TOURE
Director, Telecommunications
Development Bureau (BDT)
Mr. Pierre GAGNE
Chief, Policies, Strategies
and Financing Department, BDT
Mr. Tim Kelly
BDT
OECD
Ms. Sally SHELTON-COLBY
Deputy Secretary-General
Mr. Steve CUTTS
Principal Administrator,
Office of the Deputy Secretary-General
Mr. Brian HAMMOND
Head, Reporting Systems Division
Director for Development Cooperation
Mr. Dimitri YPSILANTI
Principal Administrator,
Directorate for Science, Technology &
Industry
UNCTAD
Mr. Jean GURUNLIAN
Director UNCTAD/SITE
UNDP
Mr. Mark MALLOCH-BROWN
Administrator
Mr. Denis GILHOOLY
Senior Advisor to the Administrator,
Director, ICT for Development
UN-ECOSOC
Ambassador Martin BELINGA-EBOUTOU
President of ECOSOC
Mr. Sarbuland KHAN
Director, Division for ECOSOC Support
5
and Coordination, DESA,
United Nations
Mr. Sergei Kombalev
Division for ECOSOC Support and
Coordination, DESA
Mr. Johan SCHOLVINCK
Division for ECOSOC Support and
Coordination, DESA, UN
UNESCO
Mr. Alain MODOUX
Assistant Director-General,
Communication and Information
WORLD BANK
Dr. Mamphela RAMPHELE
Managing Director
Mr. Mohsen KHALIL
Director, Global ICT Department
Mr. Emmanuel FORESTIER
Manager, Policy Division, Global ICT
Department
WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM
Mr Klaus SCHWAB
Founder and President
Mr. Claude SMADJA
Managing Director
Ms. Julianne LEE
Project Manager
GLOBAL BUSINESS DIALOGUE on E-
COMMERCE
Dr. Yong-Kyung LEE
Chairman and CEO, Korea Telecom
Freetel
Dr. Joo-Young SONG
Vice-President, Internet Business, Korea
Telecom Freetel
GLOBAL INFORMATION
INFRASTRUCTURE COMMISSION
Mr. W. Bowman CUTTER
Managing Director, Global Information
Infrastructure Commission(GIIC)
Mr. Robert G. ROGERS
Executive Director, Global Information
Infrastructure Commission
DOT FORCE SECRETARIAT
Mr. Bruno LANVIN (World Bank)
Executive Secretary
Mr. Kerry Stephen McNAMARA (World
Bank)
Mr. Raul ZAMBRANO (UNDP)
Ms. Radhika LAL (UNDP)
OBSERVERS
Tokyo plenary
Mr. Amerendra NARAYAN
Deputy Executive Director
Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT)
Mr. Rajiv KUMAR
Senior Economist, Economic Analysis &
Research Division
Asian Development Bank (ADB)
Dr. Emmanuel C. Lallana
Executive Director, e-Asean Task Force
Cape Town Plenary
Ms. Mavis Ampah,
Executive Secretary, African Connection
Secretariat
6
Siena Plenary Mr. Duncan PRUETT
International Confederation of Free Trade
Unions
Source: http://www.dotforce.org/reports/DOTForce_membership.html.
1
Appendix II. New Projects Begun or Supported by DOT Force
Acronym
Name
Nature of Project
OKN
Open Knowledge Network
Sharing of knowledge about economic development
and particularly about how to facilitate local content
creation for the Internet
DFEN
DOT Force
Entrepreneurial Network
Startup funding of SMEs in ICT development in the
developing countries (not funded yet?)
ADEN
Community Access
Centers Network
French project for community access to the Internet in
Africa
CATIA
Catalyzing Access to ICTs
in Africa
British project for community access to the Internet in
Africa
Telecenter
Infomediary/Help Desk
Africa-based on-line technical help for developing
countries in other regions
Health InterNetwork
Information sharing for health workers and
professionals in the developing world (World Health
Organization funding proposed)
CAR Project
Edu-telecenters in Malawi, Kenya, Uganda, and
Zambia to educate people about HIV/AIDS
Twinning Promotion and
Facilitation through ICT
Sharing of information about best practices in dealing
with the AIDS/HIV pandemic worldwide
IeDRN
International e-
Development Resource
Network
Information sharing on e-government issues for
developing countries
GDOI
Global Digital
Opportunities Initiative
Technical assistance to governments of developing
countries to improve representation in international ICT
policy forums (funded by the Markle Foundation)
Source: http://www.dotforce.org/reports/documents/ 64/General-Report_e.pdf.
... This led to a number of documents and declarations by multi-lateral agencies that both set the discourse for the propagation of ICT4D projects and also initiated funding for them. These declarations included the 1998 World Development Report by the World Bank (Staff, 1998), the agenda created by the Digital Opportunities Task Force of G8 countries in 2000 (Hart, 2002), the Millenium Development Goals in 2000 (Assembly, 2000) and the policy documents prepared by the World Summit on the Information Society meetings held in 2003(Heeks, 2008. ...
Article
Full-text available
ICT for development ( ICT4D) research seeks to examine the social and economic changes in developing countries brought about by the deployment and use of ICT. This intent of ICT4D research parallels that of the critical research paradigm in IS, since both focus on transformation and change. The overall goals of this paper are to( 1)understand the extent of critical research in ICT4Dand ( 2)propose an approach, the“strong critical” approach, to conduct critical research in ICT4D. The proposed approach is based on the writings of two social theorists, Arturo Escobar and Gayatri Spivak, and consists of four concepts– the nature of the post-colonial state, provenience or local history of the ICT phenomena, the influence of the Washington Consensusand the issues of representation and subjectivity of subaltern subjects. A review of ICT4D papers showed that only about 20% follow the critical research approach. In-depth reviews ofeight papers that follow the critical approach showed that the“strong critical” lens can enable a deeper and richer analysis. The main contribution of this paper is in addressing a gap in the ICT4D literature about theorizing in the context of developing countries. The paper also reveals, through in-depth reviews, the value of the strong critical approach.
... 7 G8 stands for the Group of Eight, whose members are United States, Canada, Japan, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Russia (which joined in 1998). 8 For a discussion on the legacy and benefits of DOT Force, see Hart (2004). ...
Chapter
The global digital divide, denoting the patterns of uneven distribution of information and communication technologies (ICTs) worldwide, emerged as a constant concern during the last two decades. Going beyond the minimal requirements of physical connectivity, it points to an underlying concern of digital inclusion differentials of citizens in developing countries, the so-called “information poor.” This chapter aims at addressing this with reference to the international institutional structures and their current efforts. After assessing the categories of people that are affected the most by the digital gap and the range of opportunities available to them in the context of globalization, special attention will be given to the overlapping concerns shaping the international agenda with regard to ICT adoption. The creation of international bodies such as Sustainable Development Networking Programme (SDNP), Digital Opportunity Taskforce (DOT), and Information for Development Program (InfoDev) will be discussed together with the redefinition of the digital access problem as a ”universal service” and the emergence of specific endeavors for reducing global digital inequalities.
... Primacy is accorded to digital inclusion as the preeminent goal despite the diversity of communication ecologies and infrastructural resources in telecenter contexts. Many telecenter initiatives ground their legitimacy in international, inclusionary statements and charters such as the Okinawa Charter on the Global Information Society (Government of Japan, 2000) and the G-8's Digital Opportunity Task Force (Hart, 2002). ...
Article
Telecentre initiatives run by non-profit agents are largely understood as critical access points for digital inclusion. By the same token internet or cyber cafés viewed merely as commercial sites fall outside the purview of non-profit initiatives promoting e-literacy. From a contextual study of 'small' internet cafés in urban and peri-urban Maharashtra, India, we report localization of information and communication technology (ICT).Here, internet technologies localize, find survival niches and in many cases, serve as initiation nodes for first time users. The paper introduces a variety of context specific and commercial immersions of ICT services as part of everyday commerce. We argue for-profit spaces like i-cafes equally contribute to digital immersion in 'information poor' contexts. 'Non-developmental' (read commercial) spaces successfully use ICTs, sustain businesses, generate regular clientele and adapt to local demand. Here, ICT technologies involve and initiate all those who access them at suitable and affordable prices. Can i-cafés do what telecentres supposedly do? In this effort and from a perspective of commercial adoption of ICTs we try to open up debates around telecentres as privileged sites of digital inclusion.
... Nations often envision ICTs as powerful instruments enabling democratic, accountable, and transparent public sector-civil society transactions by providing privileged access points in rural communities. Among key players in India, there is a widespread belief that ICTs will support economic and social development by facilitating participation in global markets, promoting political accountability, improving delivery of basic services and enhancing local development opportunities [29,32,33] World charters of development bodies [23,39,40,42] believe in ICTD as an agenda for digital inclusion in a bid to empower underprivileged communities. That said, a growing body of research examines the mutual shaping of ICT use in everyday life and users' self-understanding of these [5,8,26,28). ...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we present results from an anthropological study of everyday mobile internet adoption among teenagers in a low-income urban setting. We attempt to use this study to explore how information about everyday ICT use may be relevant for development research even if it is largely dominated by entertainment uses. To understand how ICT tools are used, we need to study the spaces users inhabit, even if these spaces are dominated by mundane, non-instrumental and entertainment-driven needs. The key here is for ICTD discourse to situate insights from anthropological studies (such as this one) within an understanding of what drives a specific user population to adopt technologies in particular ways. Clearly there is a link between context and use, and understanding this may be invaluable for development research. Adopting a narrow development lens of technology use may miss the actual engagements and ingenious strategies marginal populations use to instate technologies into their everyday.
... Primacy is accorded to digital inclusion as the preeminent goal despite the diversity of communication ecologies and infrastructural resources in telecenter contexts. Many telecenter initiatives ground their legitimacy in international, inclusionary statements and charters such as the Okinawa Charter on the Global Information Society (Government of Japan, 2000) and the G-8's Digital Opportunity Task Force (Hart, 2002). ...
Article
Full-text available
Telecenter initiatives run by non-profit agents are widely believed to be critical access points for digital inclusion. By contrast, Internet or cyber cafés are generally viewed merely as commercial sites, thus falling outside the purview of non-profit initiatives promoting e-literacy. From a contextual study of Internet cafés in urban and suburban Mumbai and in peri-urban small towns of Maharashtra state, India, we report on the localization of information and communication technology (ICTs), including how Internet cafés ferret out survival niches and how they often serve as reasonably priced initiation nodes for first time users. This article discusses a variety of context specific and commercial instances of ICT services as manifest in everyday commerce. We argue that for-profit spaces like Internet cafés make a major contribution to digital immersion in information poor contexts and that these so-called non-developmental (read commercial) spaces successfully use ICTs to sustain businesses, to generate regular clientele and to adapt to local demand. In an effort to open up debate around telecenters as privileged sites of digital inclusion, the functions of Internet cafés are then compared and contrasted with processes and behaviors associated with telecenters.
Conference Paper
Development in agriculture is essential to boost up the economy of Bangladesh. Several Govt. and non-govt. organizations already have taken some initiatives to ameliorate this sector by imposing the ICT where mobile communication is the most useful and applicable technology. It is noticeable that mobile applications play vital roles to exchange information among the farmers, service providers and the market people as well. Though a few number of farmers currently aware of these apps, visual and graphical information, instant problem solving by exchanging image via mail and mms, database creation, storage, all of these criteria made the apps more grantable to the people. This paper investigates 47 mobile apps in two sectors of agriculture, land crop, animal farming for the people of Bangladesh. Based on the investigation, two apps provide Internet of Things (IoT) services at present. Some tables have been provided in this paper to show the grouping of the selected apps based on their service category. Graphical visualization has also been presented to indicate the frequency of downloading of the apps and their respective ranking.
Chapter
Since 1991, when the world wide web (WWW) was first made available to the public, it has revolutionized the way the global community engages each other economically, politically, and socially. Its impact has been historically unprecedented. While the availability of and access to the WWW appears to be ubiquitous, it is not. The expansion of this marvelous information communication technology (ICT) has not penetrated certain areas of the world resulting in a “digital divide.” This chapter discusses this digital divide. It first defines the term and then it moves to discuss the origins of the term. From there, the chapter moves to present concrete evidence of how the digital divide has negatively impacted the global community. Finally, it names and evaluates the efforts of different organizations and agencies to resolve the digital divide. It concludes with a prospectus on the future challenges of information communication technology vis-à-vis the digital divide.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any references for this publication.