15th May 2010. The report “National e-Strategies for Development: Global Status and Perspectives, 2010” by the International Telecommunications Union, provides a high-level update and an overview of the progress countries have made in their effort to develop national e-strategies, ICT strategies and sectoral e-strategies, analyzing as well the extent into which ICT have been incorporated into poverty reduction strategies and other national development plans. In order to provide a broad analysis of ICT strategies, this report describes strategic approaches of national e-strategies and provides three examples of national ICT strategies, detailing their evolution over time.
The purpose of this report is to address the following questions:
• What is the status of national e-strategies worldwide in 2010?
• What strategic approaches or trends can be identified in current Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) strategies? How can they be explained?
• What is the status of sectoral e-strategies in particular? Which common trends can be observed?
• Have national e-strategies been integrated into poverty reduction strategies?
• How have ICT strategies evolved over time?
This report uses three related concepts that need to be distinguished: An ICT strategy is a general plan on how to bring a society and its economy forward through the use of ICT; sectoral e-strategies, on the other hand, break down the general ICT strategy into policies for specific sectors, such as health, education or administration. Sectoral strategies are called “e” for electronic, followed by the name of the area the strategy applies to, for instance, e-health, e-learning or e-government. Together, ICT strategies and sectoral e-strategies constitute national e-strategies,3 which is the super-ordinate concept.
The report identifies at least 161 economies (84 percent) that have already met the WSIS target of having a national ICT strategy in place by 2010. It also indicates areas where existing national e-strategies could be improved, such as their strategic orientation and their integration into national development plans and poverty reduction strategies. Based on the analysis of sectoral e-strategies, the report also emphasises the need for more comprehensive sectoral e-strategies that take full advantage of the potential ICT have for the economy and society. Finally, the appendix provides the reader a comprehensive list of national ICT strategies developed by ITU Member States.