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Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships for Bridging the Digital Divide – Draft Chairman’s Report

This WSIS Thematic Meeting had two purposes: to showcase successful multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSPs) from around the world and to develop a method of monitoring the digital divide through a composite “digital opportunity index“ (DOI). Attributes of successful MSPs are: willingness to share the risks and benefits through a true partnership; diversity of competence and cultures among partners; and sustainability, scalability, and replicability of initiatives (such as the GrameenPhone Village Phone initiatives in Bangladesh). Community-based access to ICTs is a common element in MSPs around the world. Barriers that MSPs face include integrating differences among partners and cultures and financing initiatives moving from the pilot to program phase. The Free, Low-cost and Open Source Software (FLOSS) development is noted to be promising. The DOI would provide an internationally agreed upon statistical tool for benchmarking the objectives, goals, and targets of WSIS action plans. Creating a global template by building quality ICT infrastructure in a developing nation as a pilot program was suggested.
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