by Franklyn Michael – Programme Specialist, CARICAD M odern technology is contributing significantly to development and service improvement globally. In that regard the CARICOM Heads of Government mandated the development of the CARICOM ICT 4 D Strategy in 2009. It was approved in 2011. The significance of technology is reflected in the brief description of the Strategy provided by the CARICOM Secretariat on its website: The focus of the strategy is on ICT as an instrument for strengthened connectivity and development to foster greater prosperity and social transformation between and among member states, as well as the rest of the world. In CARICOM, there is a continuing focus on mainstreaming ICT activities and developments to effectively contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, particularly those related to income poverty reduction, education, and health, environment and gender equity through:  Creating economic opportunities and contributing to poverty reduction  Managing the processes of providing basic services (e.g. healthcare, education) at lower cost and with greater coverage  Facilitating access to information and the involvement of regional organisations and stakeholders through greater transparency and support to networking at every stage; and  Enhancing the capacity to measure, monitor and report progress on the goals and strategies. Application and Implementation “Recognising that modern technologies have enabled new methods of engagement, knowledge dissemination, participation and consultation. Further recognising the potential of those technologies to reduce inequalities in access to information and services and; recalling the commitments made under the CARICOM Charter for Civil Society, states undertake to optimise their use of technologies to promote openness and accountability, to foster continuously greater cost-effectiveness in their operations, ensure responsiveness to the needs of people as consumers of in the states’ delivery of goods and services and ensure that the public services are adaptive and innovative as the societies they serve develop and evolve. Subscribing states further commit to using all appropriate technological means to establish ongoing systems of consultation which further the participation of people in democratic processes especially the development of policies that directly impact on their lives and well-being.” -- CARICAD 11

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