콘텐츠 바로가기
로그인
컨텐츠

Category Open

Development Overview

tutorial

Overview of Korea’s development experience

home

Development Overview
Official Aid Economic Infrastructure

Print

Economic Infrastructure

Aid for information communication technology

Information Communication Technology
 
1. Overview

The advent of an internet-based digital economy quickly impacted the development of various information communication technology and infrastructure. The information communication industry is not only a central engine of national development, but also powerfully impacts people’s lives. The gap between countries in terms of development and dissemination of information communication technology leads to a gap in national competitiveness and development in all areas, including economy and society. Therefore, strengthening competitiveness in the information communication field is a goal for developing countries. KOICA utilizes Korea’s technology knowledge to aid developing countries with low access to information, thereby helping to relieve the information gap in international society.
 
2. Performance

KOICA’s information communication project started in 1991 with the “E-Communication Research Center Project”in Columbia. As of 2010, approximately 100 projects have been implemented. Projects of this nature were implemented intermittently in the 1990s, but increased rapidly in the 2000s. The sizeable progress of the information communication sector had a large impact on the development demand of developing countries. In 2010, KOICA ran 18 information communication projects in 16 countries (12 new projects, 6 continuing projects) with the budget of approximately 20.8 billion KRW. By region, there were 6 projects in Asia, 5 projects in Middle and South America, 5 projects in Africa, and 2 projects in the CIS region. Forty-five percent of new projects are focused in Asia.
 
3. Strategy and Institutional Improvement

The implementation of information communication technology brings out a fundamental change in terms of government operation and service to people. The improvement of human resources and industry in the information communication sector is crucial for the progress of developing countries because it serves as the force behind progress. In order to successfully implement projects in the information communication sector of developing countries, the following needs must be met: ① Understand the developing country’s electric and communication infrastructure; ② Select technology transfer and aid after considering the development level of the country’s information communication sector; ③ Acquire the budget and manage human resources systematically in the short-term to ensure sustainability of projects and develop the country’s information communication sector policy and institutions in the middle and long-term.
Only thorough understanding about the country and its region can ensure a project’s success. This is a prerequisite that applies to all aid projects, not just in the information communication sector.
KOICA is preparing to transform from a sector-centered system to a region-centered project program system by considering the direction and major sectors specific to each partner country. In addition, the information communication sector, previously considered as an aid sector, will be re-categorized as a kind of crosscutting issue area used as a tool for increasing aid effectiveness to heighten the degree of project completeness. Accordingly, the information communication sector will be a vehicle for effectively solving the priority issues that developing countries face such as education, environment, health, and administrative institution. This will contribute to improving the quality of aid, while at the same time heightening Korea’s standing and national brand in the international community as an information communication expert.

KOICA’s projects in the information communication sector was implemented based on the three major strategies of fostering human resources, building e-government and disseminating applications of information communication technology.
 
[Figure 3-1] The ICT Sector Strategy
The ICT Sector Strategy
 
First, a workforce trained in information communication technology and the creation of employment in related areas lead to development. In recognition of the importance of fostering an information communication technology-savvy workforce in developing countries, KOICA focuses on supporting projects and centers for information communication technology education to expand the educational infrastructure needed to disseminate basic and advanced knowledge in the information communication sector. In addition, by supporting teachers and building educational curriculums, which are necessary educational infrastructure, KOICA shares Korea’s advance information communication technology related education methods. This results in strengthening the educational capacity of teachers and students, vitalizing the economy, and assisting in social development.

Second, KOICA helps the governments of developing countries transform into governments that can provide quality administrative services by increasing the efficiency and transparency of administration through the establishment of e-government. KOICA supports e-government in various directions, taking into consideration the country’s needs and level of information communication infrastructure. More specifically, for countries with no information communication institutions, KOICA assists them in acquiring the foundation for government-level information communication institutions by supporting the “establishment of information communication master plan.”This allows information communication institutions and a standard environment for computerization to be established. For countries with limited information communication infrastructure, KOICA helps to systematize administration, enabling productive management of organizations through the establishment of information communication infrastructure. For countries that already have basic information communication institutions and infrastructure, KOICA implements projects aimed at improving public services to the people through electronic procurement and tax systems.

Third, KOICA acknowledges that establishing information communication infrastructure and education is important to improve access to information communication. This should be paired with the dissemination of information communication technology that can keep up with fast-changing technological advancement. In relation to this, KOICA contributes to the advancement of information processing technology across both the economic and the social level of developing countries. It also heightens the quality of life by supporting projects in areas with high system installment, such as computerization of libraries, remote medical treatment, and e-commerce.
The establishment of an organization responsible for information communication project implementation and application of Information Strategy Planning (ISP) is among the institutional improvements that were made. Through reform, the IT project team was created, providing overall assistance in the relevant sector in 2001, while adopting the ISP system in 2002. This improved the specialization of project design at the project development level by using the strategic project development know-how of the private sector.

Planning projects requires time and specialist human resources. They must prepare the foundations for field research, give technical consultation on local needs and systematically organize and analyze research results. Accordingly, to increase the completeness of project planning in the information communication sector, KOICA adopted ISP, information strategy master plan and system of private enterprises. ISP in the information communication sector was applied at the pre-survey and implementation negotiation stage of new projects starting from 2004. It contributed to the improved quality of projects through partnerships with the private sector and consultation on specifications such as the scope of project assistance, equipment used and details on the system itself. Eventually, it expanded and developed into a system for project planning in other sectors.

Source: Korea International Cooperation Agency. 2011. 20 years of KOICA 1991-2010, Translated by Institute for Development and Human Security, Ewha Womans University. Seoul.