[Telecentres] Civil society statement on financing - WSIS Prepcom 2, Geneva

Piyoo Kochar Piyoo at ITforChange.net
Mon Feb 21 11:24:27 GMT 2005

Statement read to WSIS2 plenary on financing the information by the
Association for Progressive Communications, Bread for All, CRIS, Instituto
del Tercer Mundo (ITeM), IT for Change and the Gender Caucus

17 February 2005

We believe that the TFFM was not adequately representative of civil society
in its composition, nor sufficiently consultative in its process. Civil
society needs a larger role in the ongoing deliberations on developing the
WSIS position on financing.


We believe that the following principles need to form the basis of any
discussion on financing the information society.

1.  Information and communications networks are a global public good

We believe that financing the information society should be based on the
principle that information and communication is a global public good. This
is particularly true for the extension of network infrastructure in
developing countries and to all excluded populations, women and men,
everywhere. The value of global information networks increases for ALL users
as more national networks and individual users are added.

2.  Centrality of the role of public finance

We recognise that private investment is an opportunity on a scale that in
many ways is unique to ICD (Information and Communications for Development).
However, private investment cannot displace the central role of public
finance in a core development area like ICD.

While encouraging the role of private investment in meeting the goals of
ICD, the limits of the market in reaching these goals must be recognised.

Public resources need to be mobilised at local, national and international

3.  The role of community driven and owned initiatives

The potential of community driven and owned ICD initiatives and networks, to
contribute to sustainable development and social empowerment, especially
women’s empowerment, should be explored and integrated into financing


1.  We urge that a commitment to the central role of public resources in
implementing the Geneva Plan of Action be included in section 11 of the
Political Chapeau, referring to resource mobilisation.

This commitment should also find concrete expression in all sections, of the
operational part, especially in chapter 2 concerning financial mechanisms.

2.  A specific reference to regional backbone infrastructure in Africa
should be added to point c) under paragraph 22 of the Operational Document.

3.  Three proposals from conclusion 3 of the TFFM report should be noted in
section 24.. These relate to:

-          The “Establishment of a ‘virtual’ financing facility to leverage
multiple sources in support of identified investment objectives in key

-          The “Creation of a mechanism for coordinating research and
analysis into enabling policy environments”, and,

-          The “Development of a ‘rapid response‘ policy and regulatory
support mechanism to intervene in support of short-terms ICT policy sector

Based on these proposals we recommend the formation of a Global ICD Policy
and Financing Facility to:

-          assist developing countries utilise existing financial mechanisms
for ICD more effectively

-          provide policy information, advice and capacity building to
developing countries without conditionality

-          explore new financial mechanisms to support ICD; mechanisms that
avoid diversion of existing funds. Such mechanisms could consist of a global
tax, voluntary or compulsory, and contributions from commercial internet
domain name holders

Such a facility should be established and operated on a multi-stakeholder

3.  Regarding the DSF we propose that the DSF be endorsed as a targeted fund
supporting ICD in cities and towns

It should be:

-          governed and operated on a multi-stakeholder basis

-          located in Africa

-          clearly focussed in its objectives and the scope of initiatives
that it supports

-          adopt the principles of free and open source software, open
standards and open access

We commit to working in active partnership with all other stakeholders in
overcoming the challenges of financing an equitable information society.


For more information on the documents from the proceedings at WSIS Prepcom
2, http://itforchange.net/WSIS/prepcom-2.php


Piyoo Kochar
IT for Change, Bangalore
Bridging Development Realities and Technological Possibilities
T: +91 80 2665 4134
E: Piyoo at ITforChange.net
W: www.ITforChange.net

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://mailman-new.greennet.org.uk/pipermail/telecentres/attachments/20050221/50dd8ed9/attachment.htm

More information about the telecentres mailing list