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Information Technology Access For Everyone

Technology's Power to Transform

As of 2003, it has been estimated that fewer than 10% of the world’s population has basic Internet access – resulting in a world of “digital haves” and “have-nots.”

New models of collaboration are urgently required to accelerate these efforts related to digital access and inclusion. Recognizing this opportunity, leading IT and Telecoms companies and organizations launched the IT Access for Everyone Initiative (ITAFE) during the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2004.

Executive summary of conclusions

Contrary to the popular belief that internet access would provide only email, chat and general entertainment content to younger citizens at the Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP), it was proven that young people clearly prioritize employment-related, health-related and educational services.

An eco-system approach is required to deliver these services in an economically sustainable manner. This involves multiple partners from the Public Sector, NGO community and Private Sector having to collaborate. Government , the NGO community and the private sector provide and harvest substantial value for differing reasons:

1) Government is most able to impact multiple areas of the ‘ecosystem’.

2) Community-based NGOs are the most able to link the true needs of the target low income communities with the digital inclusion channels.

3) The private sector plays a critical role. Not only does it provide critical complementary assets and know how, but it also provides services and funding models that can be paid for in relatively untapped markets.

Objectives and detailed outcomes

Objective: Develop a global benchmarking study focused on Digital Inclusion globally to learn from the successes and failures of prior efforts in this area.
Outcome: ITAFE has surveyed over fifty ICT projects in developing and emerging countries. Approximately two dozen of those fifty were then selected for in-depth analysis. The key insight obtained was that a robust eco-system solution should be designed and the right business model established for its long term sustainability. The ITAFE Global Benchmarking Study (PDF; 57 pgs; 6MB) is the summary of that research.

Objective: Develop a strategic framework and methodology that utilizes a market based “ecosystem” approach to accelerate digital inclusion efforts in the developing world.
Outcome: ITAFE succeeded in developing a strategic framework to deliver life improvement services to low income communities with an economically sustainable business model.
The ITAFE Strategic Framework Summary is the summary of the framework, the supporting research and analytical tools built.

Objective: Based on the business case, develop & test prototype solutions that can prove the eco-system concept in Brazil.
Outcome: Partnering with Brazil’s largest education foundation, Fundação Bradesco, the ITAFE pilot successfully offered a job training service and job search application to test the viability of a market based eco-system approach to digital inclusion.
The Brazil ITAFE Pilot Report (PDF; 24 pgs; 1MB) documents the pilot results and key learnings.

Today ITAFE leaves an up-and-running digital inclusion programme in São Paulo, supported through initiative members’ sponsorship and Fundação Bradesco’s management.

Initiative Leaders: Accenture, AMD, Cisco, Dell, Intel, Philips Electronics

The following organizations have pledged significant financial resources to the initiative:
Institute for Connectivity in the Americas, BMC Software, Ingram Micro, Synopsys, VeriSign

The following organizations have or are contributing their resources and time to assist the initiative:
Fundação Bradesco, DiamondCluster, Tritone, Global Learning Ventures, Digital Vision Fellowship Program at Stanford University, MobileMedia, Salvetti & Lombart, Research International, Recherche, ABAFilmes

For further information please contact:

Simon Mulcahy
Senior Community Manager, Information Technology Industries

Related links

    Session summaries
  • Information technologies
  • Bridging the digital divide
  • Getting the most out of the networked economy

    Forum links
  • ITAFE Video: (100MB; please wait to buffer)
  • ITAFE Global Benchmarking Study  (PDF; 57 pgs; 6MB)
  • ITAFE Brazil Executive Summary  (PDF; 24 pgs; 1MB)
  • E-learning Initiative
  • Financing for development

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    Last updated: 7 April 2006
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