Planning To define goals, Diverse methods A document strategies, and tools may be formulating the engaged used for planning, Information Society resources, according to the model that the timetable, and to criteria defined by country wants to appoint the agents the governmental reach.
in charge for the coordinators, with NISP’s the team of experts.
Illustration 8 shows how the processes and their diverse phases generate products or outcomes.
Illustration 7. Processes and outputs Governmental body or Diagnostic civil servants in charge of Diagnostic Report the NISP Experts Processes Team Analysis Analysis Report Intersectorial and multistakeholder strategy Identification and call for actors National Policy for Information Planning Society Network Experts team composed of consolidated actors a. Expert Team Call and Implementation In order to achieve a high level of effectiveness in the formulation of NISP, the governmental officers in charge of the NISP may assemble an Expert Team (ET) in Information Society or/and its constituent sectors to contribute their knowledge discuss, and systematize the process of definition of goals and strategies, implementation and follow-up on public policy for the Information Society. This group of experts can participate in one or more stages of the NISP development. However, the expert role is fundamental in the first stages, or when a policy adjustment or update is necessary.
Table 5. Expert Team structure The mission Actively support and collaborate with the governmental team to elaborate a proposal for the NISP as well as its implementation, monitoring, and assessment How to choose the All countries, independently of their degree of development, specialists to conform currently count on experts on Information Society: members the ET of government, private consultants, entrepreneurs in the IT sector, academic researchers, and/or NGO representatives who have participated in the WSIS 2003 and processes, representatives who have participated in national and international forums and events on Information Society issues, professors and graduate students who have published papers on these issues, or just specialized people who have a role, as producers or disseminators, in the national IT sector.
Who is an expert An "expert" is someone widely recognized as a reliable source of technique or skill whose ability for judging or deciding rightly, justly, or wisely is accorded authority and status by peers or the public in a specific and welldistinguished domain. An expert, more generally, is a person with extensive knowledge or ability in a particular area of study. The experts who may conform the team should come from diverse disciplines and sectors, in order to provide a wide range of viewpoints The implementation of an ET by the national government will depend on criteria based on answering the following questions:
a. Who will coordinate the ET (national agency, ministry, etc.) b. Will all the social actors (government, academia, private sector, civil society) be participate in equal conditions in the ET c. How will suitable members of the ET be identified The diverse economic and political contexts in each country will help to define the answer to the fist question. Decision makers in the public sector are primary actors for developing the information society in each country. Those representatives are the common denominator and driving force behind the establishment of solid multistakeholder coordination, active political leadership, effective policy changes, and adequate allocation of financial resources and human efforts.
Regarding the social actors, the more they are involved in the creation or updating of an NISP, the more they will respond favorably to its implementation in their respective sectors. The respective roles played by local and regional NGOs, private businesses and consultants, and researchers, are vital in developing the information society. Most countries have implemented multistakeholder ETs, either to create, update, and monitor their NISPs. This is also valid for regions.
Table 6. Integration of the Expert Team Who integrates the Once the national agent or agents that will coordinate the ET experts’ team are defined, the issue of identifying the experts remains.
There are many sources of experts on Information Society in each of the participating sectors:
Directors of governmental agencies related to Information Society issues (ministries or secretariats of telecommunications, science and technology, education, health, etc.) Presidents of national chambers gathering industries of the telecommunications and IT sectors Relevant academics and researchers on Information Society issues (identifiable through universities, national research and development agencies, forums, academic events, etc) Members of significant NGOs working on IS issues (identifiable through their websites, virtual and physical forums, events, etc) How to assemble an Since national governments are to coordinate the NISP, a Experts Team governmental agency or initial group should be the one to summon the experts. This can be done though diverse procedures:
By identifying the experts through previous personal contacts, through virtual or face to face forums and events, or by using the procedure described above.
Through calls addressed to the diverse sectors’ organizations (governmental agencies, private sector, the S&T sector, civil society) so that each sector can choose its representatives Organizing a sensibilization and information event with representatives of diverse sectors to discuss the possibility of creating or updating an NISP How does an Expert Experts Teams can work in different ways. However, a Team work common pattern can be identified, in which the experts (in which the experts what) the following steps are:
1. Establishing a common methodology 2. Reaching an agreement to work together for a given time 3. Agreeing on preparing an outcome (first or second draft of the NISP) 4. Establishing the periodicity of the meetings 5. Establishing diverse working groups according to the chosen methodology (for example, interdisciplinary and multisectorial groups that will work on e-government, eeducation, e-heath, infrastructures, contents, etc.) 6. Deciding how to combine face to face meetings with ICT use (e-mails, wikis, virtual forums, etc.) 7. Working on partial reports (e-government, infrastructures, contents, etc.) 8. Debating the reports 9. Unifying the reports into a first draft 10. Debating the first draft 11. Elaborating a second (hopefully final) draft Example 17. Argentina’s call for multistakeholder partners Multistakeholder partners invitation to participate in the formulation of a NISP In 2008, the Argentine National Office for Information Technology (ONTI) was charged with the formulation of a National Digital Agenda. The ONTI decided to work with partners from the governmental areas, private IT enterprises, the academia and civil society.
ONTI organized a concentric scheme for involving the diverse actors. It started by inviting governmental officers from diverse national public institutions (Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Ministry of Education, Program of Information Society, among others) to formulate a basic methodology to work on the formulation of the Argentina Digital Agenda (ADA).
Afterwards, Information Society experts and NGO representatives were invited to join the group. Later, presidents of IT enterprises’ chambers and entrepreneurs were invited to work with the enlarging ADA group. Finally, representatives of the science and technology sector, and universities, were involved in the formulation of ADA. The whole Call process took a month. A qualified Expert’ Group was thus conformed.
Governmental officers Civil IT SI Experts; NGOs IT enterprises C&T sector, Academia Source: Authors’ experience as members of the Experts Team Activity 3 is a checklist which allows verification of fullfilment of the tasks linked to the identification and summoning of experts to integrate the Experts Team Activity 3. Verification list expert team VERIFICATION LIST: FORMULATION PHASE.
Expert Team YES NO 1. Have you completed all the required actions to identify the experts 2. Did you apply intersectorial and multidisciplinary criteria in the identification process 3. Did you apply intersectorial and multidisciplinary criteria in the team selection process 4. Have you encouraged them to participate 5. Once you have the team, do they belong to different sectors (intersectoriality) and from different professions (multidisciplinary) 6. Has the global strategy of whom will coordinate the Expert Team been decided in an aware and coherent way 7. Are all the actors going to participate under the same conditions and with the same rights 8. Has this decision taken into account the political and economic context 9. Was the work methodology for the Expert Team defined according to the UNESCO model If not, to which other model Example 18. Strategies of an Expert Team implementation in the Asia Pacific Strategies of implementation of an expert team in the Asia Pacific The role of Expert Teams is mainly to:
Identify the problem areas to be solved though an NISP Identify the goals that the country wants to achieve in Information Society Identify relevant priority areas To identify the participating actors in an NISP To propose a working methodology To establish a timetable To carry on a debate To use the results as inputs in an NISP initial proposal To submit the proposal to the national government To submit the proposal (once validated by the national government) to other social actors, to the national community, and to generate a debate around it To formulate the NISP To devise guidelines for a monitoring mechanism in order to report on the progress of work.
Experts Governmental NISP Actions Team agent Community Source: UNDP, b. Actors Identification and Call One of the essential steps in this strategy is the identification and call of those social actors that, either institutionally or individually, are firmly related to the development of Information Society. Together with the governmental coordinator, and the Experts Team, these diverse actors will participate in different moments of the development of the NISP, and provide their opinions, requirements, and proposals.
These actors are representatives of the private sector, the science & technology sector, the civil society, the media, as well as of the country’s regions, porvinces or states, and of local governments. As when summoning the Experts Team, the call for participating social actors requires to identify the idividuals, groups, organizations and institutions in diverse governmental levels (national, regional, local), the private sector (enterprises, ICT industries), ICT services, the scientific and technological sector (universities, reserch centres), civil society, the media, etc. According to their interest, they will get involved in the NISP process at different stages.
The identification of actors defines those in charge of the process based on their competences and adequacies. This allows for the coordination mechanisms within an institution and between the sectors; and in particular the facilitation of the establishment of strategic alliances based on common interests and shared results.
It is important to bear in mind that the diverse actors’ involvement may change with time and at each of the different stages of the NISP. This is why it is relevant to call for these actors from the beginning of the whole process, since they will leave deep marks in the following phases. It is possible that some of the identified actors that are very active in the first stage of the work vary their positions later due to diverse reasons - economic, political, ideological reasons- or because of their capacity to become involved at different moments of the process.
The actors express their interests at different moments from the development of the public policy, in diverse specific tasks of its implementation and in several management activities that provide support to the attainment of the expected results. In the process, the active actors, according to their interests, assume roles or different responsibilities and, more important still, change with the context because they are learning through the participatory activity.
Procedures to identify social actors Individuals or organizations get involved with the development of a public policy when the topic generates enough interest and strength to generate concrete actions. The following steps may be followed by the civil servants in charge of the NISP, and by the Expert Team:
a) To identify potential actors. The goal is to detect all the possible actors that may be of interest, given their linkage with the topic.
b) To generate involvement with the development of the NISP. According to the interests declared by the diverse actors, they can be associated with given activities in the formulation of the NISP (direct participation in the debates, diagnostics, studies and research, wtritting documents, dissemination, etc.).
c) To determine the prioritary interests. Each involved group may participate in the NISP development phase in which their contributions are most relevant.
d) To map the actors. This methodological tool allows to update and clarify the interests and contributions of each one of the participating actors in the diverse phases of the NISP development.
These procedures allow for the development of an interactive and participative public policy, enabling the coordination to perceive the new alliances and coalitions that will be built between the actors during the development of the process. The information collected while identifying the diverse actors, their interactions, and their interests will also be decisive in the implementation phase,when deciding the distribution of responsibilities.
Activity 4 helps to map out the diverse actors according to the basic NISP scope.
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