Other items to be considered are how national policies link resources to results. Does the national / local government use evidence of performance of similar programs to inform budget decisions What tools is the national / local government using to have performance data fed into resource allocation processes Only provided with this information will civil servants and experts groups be able to determine budget allocation to the NISP’s activities.
Establishing timetables A timetable or schedule is an organized list, usually set out in tabular form, providing information about a series of arranged events or activities, in particular the time at which these activities are planned to take place. A timetable establishes organization, visibility, feasibility and credibility to an NISP’s plan of action. The NISP’s timetable will have to be set with realistic criteria, taking into consideration the staff charged to carry on the activities, the available budget, and the detected urgencies to achieve the settled goals.
Given the fast pace of technological innovation, it is relevant to define the activities that will be developed in the short, medium and long run. Activity 11 provides some examples on how to organize a timetable.
Activity 11. Indicative Timetable GOALS TASKS INDIVIDUALS OR SCHEDULE INSTITUTIONS IN CHARGE i.g: Achieve Implementing National Agency of January 2010 – February 70% of access WiFi Information Society to the Internet. connections in National Chamber of all the urban ICT Enterprises settlements above inhabitants.
Provide Provide National Agency of February 2010 – January personal personal Information Society; portable computers to Ministry of Education computers to all school the entire children, to all educational the teachers in system, in the nacional order to educational encourage e- system, and inclusion. train all teachers in the educational use of computers by year 2012.
Improve the Implement a National Ministry of March 2010 – June productivity, Software Economy competitivity Strategic Plan. Chambers of ICT and Its activities enterprises internacional are oriented Universities and S&T integration of towards the centres national ICT improvement Enterprises clusters enterprises, of productivity based on and partnerships, competitivity of the creation of the ICT new bussiness industries and models, and enterprises, to other triple the initiatives. exports in the next 3 years, and to have at least enterprises that invoice more than US$ million per year by Encourage the Implementation National Ministry of March 2010 – June development of of the first call Economy small and and granting of Federation of SMEs medium a prize: Cultural production enterprises Entrepreneurs centres that link the in culture and Chambers of ICT production of new enterprises cultural technologies in Universities and S&T contents to the 2010. centres use of new Incubation of a digital maximum of networks, such five companies as the Internet, mobile telephony, or digital TV Dissemination After the final new policy approval by the appropriate structures, the next step is to plan and implement a broad communication and distribution strategy. The dissemination of an NISP depends mainly on the political vision of each government and of the involved actors.
However, since an NISP is a public policy, citizens have the right to be informed about it and to comment on its contents. As mentioned in the previous point, NISPs can be published in different formats, such as paper form or online formats ranging from PDF files uploaded at a governmental website (or each involved actors website), to videos, to CD Roms.
The NISP should be disseminated not only among Information Society experts, but also among the citizens, through traditional media (newspapers, TV) and through the Internet (using all the potentials of Internet 2.0).
The first step to disseminate an NISP is to organize press conferences to present the new initiative to the massive media. The public presentation of the NISP, as well as the organization of citizens’ forums, will greatly contribute to the populations’ sensitization to Information Society issues. It is important to prepare tools and formal channels to catalyze the feedback and comments in order to enrich the work.
2.4.4. Outcomes Illustration 12. Outputs National Policy for Information Society Output A National Policy for Information Society can give birth to a variety of products or outcomes. Since we refer to EXPLICIT policies, these products will probably be documents treating the issue in diverse degrees of extension and depth. Some of these documents may also express a previous step or a proposal to be discussed before arriving at the actual NISPs.
The first reports can take diverse forms and feature diverse authorships. They can be a set of reports written by the diverse sector’s representatives, coordinated by a government’s official. Or they can be charged to experts in the Information Society area, who will put together the diagnostics on the state of Information Society in the country, plus the concepts expressed by all sectors in the discussions and debates, and the derived recommendations.
For example, Uruguay produced its Recommendations of Goals and Objectives for Uruguay’s Digital Agenda 2007-2008 for Information and Knowledge Society (Rivoir and Rios, 2007) in July 2007. This document, written by two experts, proposed goals, objectives, responsible individuals or entities for each goal, and indicators to measure their achievement. This was an intermediary outcome.
The final version of Uruguay’s Digital Agenda, 2008-2010 (AGESIC, 2008), declares that “The present version of Digital Agenda (ADU 08-10), was presented by the National Agency for the Development of the Electronic Management Government and Information Society, and approved by the Advisory Council of the Information Society. It is structured around the objectives: access, fairness and inclusion; productive development; electronic government; creation of capacities and knowledge; institutionalization and normative frame. It includes the goals to be reached during the 2008-2010 period. Is is from the mechanisms of pursuit that the forms of updating for future will have to be derived, not only for the contents, but for the development of the modalities of the agenda”15. This final outcome - extremely precise in its outcomes, individuals and organizations responsible for its implementation, and time schedules- was extensively publicized in national and international media.
The NISP main outcome, generally called the action plan, is a detailed planning and implementation document that accompanies a National ICT Strategy. Before the first outcome and the definitive action plan, a consultation round may take place among Information Society experts, governmental members and representatives of the private, science and technology, and civil society sectors, or local authorities in the diverse country’s provinces or states, on a specific interim report. The final report or action plan can therefore collect and integrate the diverse opinions of the different sectors and local authorities.
A good example is Portugal’s Livro Verde Para Sociedade da Informaao (Green Book for Information Society; MIS, 1997). Approved by the Portuguese Cabinet in April 1997, the Livro Verde, elaborated by the Commission of Information Society of the Ministry of Sciences of Portugal, includes a series of political measures, studies the social and legal implications, and aims to illustrate experiences carried out in the public administration and the Portuguese companies that participate in the Information Society (state, schools, companies, labor market, industry, national infrastructure, research and development), with the purpose of obtaining their integration in this new way of social and economic development, in which the acquisition, collection, processing, transmission and distribution of information plays a central role in all the activity of today’s world.
The objective of this Livro Verde, which comprises a “National Initiative for the Information Society”, is to lead the development of action plans that allow benefiting from the new knowledge availability – a consequence of the information revolution and its associated tools. At the same time, this book tries to lead a strategic thought that allows defining a way to implant Information Society in Portugal so that the announced measures can be http://www.agesic.gub.uy/Sitio/descargas/Agenda%20Digital%20del%20Uruguay%200708.doc.pdf. The translation from Spanish is ours.
applied by the government, after its approval by the competent organisms. In order to give the fullest diffusion to these measures, a web page was created so that the document could be read in either soft or hard copy.
a. Writing the NISP Action Plan An action plan is a specific method or process for acheiving the results called for by one or more objectives. It proposes outcomes within specific time frames, and operates within limited and defined resource envelopes. It also defines coordination arrangements for implementation of an NISP.
Writing the action plan means to explain in a coherent and easily understandable way all the steps that have been taken up to that moment: the needs to have an NISP, the basis on which the NISP is formulated, the objectives, goals, strategies, activities, responsible staff, and timetables, among others.
Generally the NISP report covers the following items.
Vision Mission Departure context Goals Strategies Activities Since the NISP will be read by a variety of people, including political decision makers, civil servants, technicians, civil society representatives, academics, entrepreneurs, and laymen, it is advisable to keep the style and language readable and understandable for all types of readers.
A policy may also contain the following optional elements:
1. Reference to other relevant policies and procedures 2. Examples to illustrate the working of the policy 3. Where in the policy “hierarchy” the policy fits, i.e. how it interacts with other policies 4. Enforcement mechanism and appeal process (if applicable) 5. Exceptions to and exemptions from the working of the policy 2.5. Implementation phase The implementation phase is the moment to put into practice the guidelines, the assigned budget and the activities planned in previous phases. The main tool at this stage is the political will to support the proposed goals, and to encourage the maintenance and streghtening of the established alliances between the multiple participating stakeholders.
Illustration 13. Implementation stage Implementation stage Implementation of the NISP Evaluation Illustration 14. Implementation phase components 2.5.1. Inputs for the implementation phase The implementation phase gathers all the aspects related to the implementation of the NISP as planned in the elaboration stage, through a set of instruments and actions. In this phase, the implementation does not depend so much on the civil servant or governmental bodies charged with the construction of the NISP, nor on the experts team, but on the government and other social actors.
Illustration 15. Implementation phase inputs Tip 3. The implementation actions differ in each policy or strategy Choosing or creating a body (an agency or organization) to carry out the policies and strategies proposed by the NISP. This organization is usually coordinated by the government, but it includes multisectoral stakeholders: enterprises, universities, NGOs, etc.
Establishing goals and beneficiaries: Goals are the reason for the policy to exist; the beneficiaries are the individuals, communities and organization that will benefit from the NISPs implementation.
Plannig actions and activities to achieve the goals, concrete programs and projects, as priority areas: e-government, e-health, cybersecurity, etc.
Legislation changes to make the NISP proposal feasible.
Illustration 16. Implementation phase processes 2.5.2. Fast-Track Initiatives Some procedures (Findlay, 2007) advise starting the implementation of the NISP with iniciatives or projects that can be developed in the short run and that will show the stakeholders, the financial sources, and the citizens, the efficacy of the NISP. However, every national environment requires different implementation steps. In the case of deciding on fast track iniciatives or projects, it is sensible to start with concrete, uncomplicated projects, which can be easily carried out.
• Implement early • Demonstrated momentum/results • Non complex projects • Have a visible impact with citizens • Support with promotion and awareness Fast-Track Projects often include:
e-Government Portal Community Access Centres Computers for Schools ICT related legislative amendments 2.5.3. Full Implementation After the actors responsible for the NISP implementation have proved their efficacity and involvement, it is time to proceed to the full implementation of the policies and strategies.
The requirements of full implementation are the following:
• Strengthened Governance model • Detailed Project Planning • Project Management/Integration • Project staffing • Streamlined procurement/contracting • Financial management 2.5.4. Implementation Phase Outcomes New or updated legislations on Information Society The solidification of parts of the NISP, through concrete initiatives and projects, or of the full policy, over a given period of time The nomination of control agencies for monitoring and assessment Communication of the NISP to the population, in order to obtain citizens’ involvement Illustration 17. Outputs of the implementation phase 2.6. Follow-up phase The assessment or control is the method through which governments and society may judge the real worthiness or credit of governmental (or multistakeholder) actions. Many countries are concerned about measuring the effective impacts of a NISP. The evaluation process implies a systematic examination of the NISP’s objectives and its results, that is to say, an analysis of the distance between the effective results and the expected results.
Illustration 18. NISP follow-up, monitoring, control and adaptation.
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