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Development Overview
Official Aid Economic Infrastructure

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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

 
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.

 

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4. Best Practices

A. The project for Strengthening IT System of the Ministry of Education in Cote dIvoire
This project was mainly implemented to improve the partner country’s lack of data base updates on teacher and student records caused by civil wars, to build network and a groupware system between the Ministry of Education and local education offices and to provide equipment and to transfer technology. In particular, a groupware system for managing education was applied to this case to focus on enabling information communication technology-based educational administration, in addition to previous efforts to build a computer network among different government organs in developing countries. Despite lack of understanding about e-government and limited information communication infrastructure, this project successfully provided a turning point for the government of Cote d’Ivoire to realize the importance of e-government. At the same time, the Ministry of Education endeavored to implement the project in a stable manner through such efforts as using its own budget to buy additional generators and computers.
 
[Figure 4-1] The Project for Strengthening IT Sytem of the Ministry of Education in Cote d’lvoire

  • This projected made possible to build an education administration database on teachers and students. The project established a network between the Ministry of Education and local education offices, provided equipment and transferred technology.

 
B. Project for building Intranet for the Improvement of Information Technology in Education Sector in El Salvador
El Salvador’s Ministry of Education is attempting to strengthen its educational capacity by applying information communication technology based on the government policy of the“National Education Plan 2021”.

The electronic processing of information in education is being implemented by installing in public schools second hand computers received through aid and donation. However, the program experienced problems because the second hand computers did not properly function. Realizing the importance of building a technological support center, the Ministry of Education and Centre for Mechatronics (ITCA) in El Salvador requested KOICA’s assistance. As a result, KOICA implemented the “IT Support Project for Education Sector” which provided the systems needed to effectively operate the center. These included a warehouse management system to oversee the computer repair center and warehouses for parts and products.

Through this project, it became possible to track the history of donated computers and manage inventory of parts, making it easier to predict demands and improve overall work efficiency. In particular, the number of national public schools supported by the recipient organization increased from approximately 700 to 1,500 with more ripple effect expected in the future as a result of the project.
 
[Figure 4-2] Project for Technological Assistance to El Salvador’s Education Sector

  • The project provided the systems needed to effectively operate the center, including a warehouse management system to oversee the computer repair center and warehouses for parts and products.

 
C. The Project for the Establishment of a Morocco-Korean ICT Competency Development Center
Starting in 2006, the Moroccan government has invested a total of approximately USD 120 million over three years to implement a “Generalization of IT in Education” (GENIE) project. The project supplies IT to educational curriculum by providing computers to schools across the country and building multi-media education centers. As part of the GENIE project, the Moroccan government planned to educate teachers so they could utilize IT tools in the classroom. To accomplish this, Morocco requested the assistance of the Korean government.

The Project for the Establishment of a Morocco-Korean ICT Competency Development Center worked to enhance the ability of teachers to utilize computers in the classroom. The project goals include the electronic processing of data in education and improved quality of education services. This project provides support for facilities in building the Centre Morocco-Correen de Formation en TICE (CMCF) for IT education for teachers. It also includes technological support, invitation for training, support for developing web pages and contents and deployment of specialists to increase IT applicability. The Moroccan Ministry of Education considers the CMCF an important institution that will steer local education for teachers in the future. This project produced positive cooperation between KOICA and Moroccan officials.

From December 2009 to January 2010, the director of the GENIE program and the head of the CMCF Center held local seminars on the GENIE program to introduce KOICA’s contribution to CMCF and map its future role. Furthermore, this case was used to establish promotional centers and produce promotional materials as a model case for promoting KOICA projects and enhancing understanding about ODA.
 
D. Project for the Establishment of National Vocational Qualification Certification System
Realizing the need for a national system to certify vocational qualifications, the government of Kazakhstan established the Republican Centre for Confirmation and Recognition of Qualification (RCCRQ) which oversees the related institutions and operations. Kazakhstan saw Korea’s advanced vocational training evaluation and licensing systems and requested assistance in building a National Vocational Qualification Certification System. They are currently in the process of building the Center for National Vocational Qualification Certification System.

KOICA dispatched experts in the related field in five stages to carry out research on developing and applying institutions for effective establishment and management of National Vocational Qualification Certification System in Kazakhstan. In addition, to promote effective delivery and dissemination of research and consultation results, KOICA held workshops and invited core workforce in the project to Korea for training with the aim of acquiring the capacity to run and implement evaluations and licenses.

Through this project, KOICA contributed to fostering an accredited skilled workforce as well as concretely establishing the National Vocational Qualification Certification System. KOICA also established foundations for evaluation through gradual improvement of institutions, thereby strengthening Kazakhstan’s industry. It is also expected that employment will expand for the accredited skilled workforce. This project was also meaningful because it built upon KOICA’s previous projects to expand and strengthen support for institutional capacity building related to vocational training. According to the project effectiveness evaluation carried out in 2010 after the completion of the project, the categories for examination expanded greatly from 12 to 125. Results also indicated the number of people applying for the exams increased from 362 to 110,000 people, demonstrating that the system took root and has become widely used.
 
[Figure 4-3] KOICA’s Computer-Based Qualification Test in Kazakhstan

  • The national qualification system that KOICA built enabled a computer-based test, allowing for effective testing across the large territory of Kazakhstan. The program has expanded so that it was able to produce an accredited workforce that can meet the needs of domestic industrial demand. The number of people applying for the exams increased to 110,000.


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