It is impossible these days to drive around the cities of Gabon without noticing the large billboards promoting internet access at rates that were unimaginable only a few years ago.
This is a wonderful development for Alphonse, a young, 34-year old public-sector professional. WhatsApp, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram are all applications that this ultra-connected young man uses on his telephone for both work and pleasure.
Bhutan is a challenging environment in which to develop commercial agriculture. The country has limited areas for agriculture, and its geography and road conditions make logistics and market access costly. Therefore, commercial agriculture is critical to increase productivity, which will help create jobs and access to more and better food. This can be achieved not only through focusing on high-value products and investing in traditional infrastructure such as irrigation, but also through using information and communication technology (ICT). Based in eastern Bhutan, Mountain Hazelnuts has developed innovative uses of ICT for its commercial agriculture operations.
Around the world today, more and more people have access to water supplies. But making sure that these supplies are sustainable is still a problem. To try and solve this, some new initiatives are using information and communication technologies (ICTs) to try and improve the way that water supplies are monitored and maintained.
The ICT Sector Unit of the World Bank Group is working with the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) and the Ministry of Finance (MoF) of the Federal Government of Somalia to provide a program of ICT Sector Support, 2014-2018. The project development objective for ICT Sector Program (covering Phase 1 and Phase 2) is to contribute towards the process of developing a regulatory framework for the telecommunications sector and building an ICT infrastructure in Somalia.
This assistance is being commissioned in preparation for a potential Phase 3 of the ICT Sector support program. It is concerned with the provision of technical assistance to the Federal Government of Somalia and is supported by PPIAF in order to assist the development of ICT infrastructure. Specifically, Phase 3 will seek to identify necessary reforms to the enabling environment, support project preparation, and build capacity for private sector participation in the development of a fiber optic backbone network, both domestic and international, among other methods, by leveraging sector synergies. Continue reading →
Blog by Tony Verheijen, Dutch national who is currently World Bank Country Director in Serbia, and previously Sector Manager of the Public Sector and Governance department in South Asia. This blog was published on December 15, 2014 on the World Bank website.
“Greetings! Sir, we purchased a property worth 11,000 Euros. We paid a tax for the purchase of 800 Euros and paid a bribe of 400 Euros for property registration”.
Citizens from the Pakistan Province (state) of Punjab – population of over 100 million citizens – send numerous SMS messages similar to this to Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister of Punjab, on a daily basis. Messages are then processed and consolidated feed-back on government services is posted on a public dashboard for everyone to see. But, more importantly, they provide Punjab’s administration (and the Chief Minister himself) with real time data about the delivery, quality, and efficiency of various public services. The key is, of course, that Sharif and his government follow up on the information they gather: fixing service delivery problems where they arise, rewarding bureaucrats for the good work and/or punish them for the lousy one.