Nepal ICT Policy Challenges and Opportunity

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1 Workshop on ICT Policy in Developing Countries University of Manchester Nepal ICT Policy Challenges and Opportunity Ranjan Baral Dipu Murti Bhurtyal Forum for Information Technology (FIT) Nepal 25 th March 2010

2 Overview

3 Background IT policy 2000 Place Nepal on global IT map Make IT accessible to general public, creation of knowledge based society/industries Telecommunication Policy 2004 To create favourable environment to make the telecommunication service reliable and accessible egovernment Master Plan 2005 Electronic Transaction act 2008 ADB supported ICT Development Project

4 Policy Action Plan

5 Indicators Teledensity : Fixed Line : 2.98 Mobile: Limited Mobility : 0.95 Internet Subscriber 1,34,014* Internet User 1,34,014 *4 Adult Literacy 56.5 Source: Nepal Telecommunication Authority, UN egov Survey Ranking E-Readiness Web Measure Index Human Capital Index Infrastructure Index E-Participation Index Source :United Nations E-Government Development Knowledge Base

6 Policy Action Plan vs. Result Action An IT park establishment and special incentive to company established on the park including provision of 100% foreign investment in IT enabled Industry An internet node at every district with info-super highway and north-south info-highway On demand telecommunication/electricity shall be provided to IT entrepreneur Capacity Enhancement of University college providing IT courses. Program on computer education to all by 2010 A.D. Free Internet to University and Public school Web site for all Government offices Venture capital establishment with govt. 100 million investment Institutional arrangements IT policy shall be revised in every 2 years Result IT park established. No adequate infrastructure in park. Basic telecommunication services reached to every district. Internet expansion should focused. Nepal facing critical power shortage. Power cut for 12 hrs/day in capital on its peak. No program in supporting ICT education for college. However, private colleges developed their capacity on their own. Only few public School provides computer education. No work carried out. Most of the central level office only have basic web presence. No initiatives by Government. Established NITC and HLCIT but overlapping roles problems for proper implementation. Electronic transaction act decl Not revised for 10 years. Draft presented to cabinet last month.

7 ICT in Development Context The Onion Ring Model Source: Heeks(2005)

8 Putting Key Challenges into Onion Ring Model Political Instability Human capacity Infrastructure Content Attitude & Culture

9 Challenge Tree

10 ICT & Export-led Growth Opportunity or over-ambition? Nepal & India comparison Factor India Nepal Infrastructure Human capacity a Rail network, IT parks, high-speed broadband Large pool, reverse-braindrain Universities IIT & leading institutions Few Power outage English language Widely spoken Limited Small pool, brain-drain Active Diaspora Entrepreneurship, FDI Very few IT-focused Brand and Global trust International clients, highprofile activity. Tourism as established projects brand. Government Policy Political stability Single-window system, land purchase privileges etc. Long history of democratic practice Learning phase, slow decision process. Political strikes halt everyday life.

11 Few Good Initiatives: Language Technology progress (MPP) Nepali Unicode, Dictionary NLP & Speech recognition for Nepali language Localisation of Operating Systems Localised Information Systems Above progress propels the Content Development movement, for telecentres and excluded ethnic and minority groups. Aids in e-government & many sectors

12 ICTs in Nepal in Development Perspective Place of ICT in Tenth five-year National Plan and three-year interim plan. Integrating ICT in primary contributing sectors to GDP. E.g. Tourism, SMEs, Agriculture

13 Recommendations Political leaders and top bureaucrats not aware on dynamics and element of knowledge based society. Training on egovernment, eservices and Knowledge economy. Target beneficiaries should be involved at the policy formulation stage ( policy always undisclosed material before announced) Communication between beneficiary and policy implementers is important for monitoring successes. Policy itself should clearly define the proper independent monitoring ( Important for both implementation and corruption control). Reduce Time lag between the policy formulation and actual implementation. ICT less attractive sector within government (unless there is an opportunity of procurement of hardware/services). Special incentive for ICT workforce within government.

14 Recommendations... Key ICT post based on political appointments. Frequent changes in government results in change of leadership. Key post holders always apprehensive about their job. Ensuring proper responsibility delegation and accountability. People keen to delegate risk. Most egov and ICT4D project hardware driven. More emphasis should be given on Process and Service improvements thru the use of ICT. Focus should be on Quality of Service in Telecom sector. Capacity Building of regulatory body.

15 Bibliography: Butt, D. (2005) Internet Governance: Asia-Pacific Perspectives, UNDP-APDIP, Bangkok. Heeks, R. (2005). Foundations of ICTs in Development: The Onion-Ring Model. DIG edevelopment Briefings, No.4/2005. Manchester: Institute for Development Policy and Management. Accessed Online Feb 28, 2010 from oc Heeks, R. (1999) Software strategies in developing countries, IDPM, University of Manchester, Manchester. ITPF (2002) Policy Recommendation on Electronic Transaction and Digital Signature Act (draft), IT Professional Forum, Kathmandu, Nepal MoEST (2006) egovernance Master Plan, Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, Kathmandu MoEST. (2000) Information Technology Policy 2000, Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, Kathmandu. Regmi, S. (2006) ICT, SMEs and Business Development in the Nepalese Context, IT Professional Forum, Kathmandu, ITPF World Bank (2006) Information and Communication for Development, Trends and Policies, World Bank, Washington, D.C.

16 Thank You!!!

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