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Thursday, 09 September 2010 12:37

G@id - Using Infor Technology to Reach Mdgs By 2015

By Eryn Bailey

NEW YORK, September 9, 2010 (Media Global) - The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) convened from 1-2 September 2010, to discuss G@ID, the role of Global Alliance of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) and Development in accomplishing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.


With five years left to reach the eight goals agreed upon by UN Member States in 2000, G@ID offers a new approach to actualizing these global objectives in a timely manner.


Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon approved the work of G@ID to create a web program for use on the MDGs in September of 2006. Ban is now the Honorary Chair of G@ID, helping to advance an agenda that will bring aid relief into the digital age.


The chair, Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, met with delegates from across the information and technology (ICT) sector to discuss the use of a web interface, the Matrix, which could help to achieve the MDGs via an interactive exchange of ideas on project management in various regions of the world.


The Matrix acts as an interactive web forum that provides country-specific information on best practices, strategies, and project management with respect to MDGs. The system will be accessible to governments, nonprofits, and other aid relief organizations.


Cautionary tales and best practices can be shared by users, which will prevent new relief efforts from repeating mistakes while providing tips on how to adequately service a particular region effectively.


Moctar Yedaly, Head of Telecommunications & Posts Division of the African Union Commission, told MediaGlobal , "A platform to share best practices in aid administration doesn't yet exist. This program will allow for programs to share ideas on the most effective methods of development that have worked in various parts of Africa, that could potentially be successful in other areas of the continent."


Yedaly specified that the distinction between hosts and owners of this potentially powerful tool will need to be identified. Precautions regarding security and safety must be set in place before the Matrix is released as a global forum on aid relief.


Such technology presents concerns for developing nations that have limited access to internet and few trained individuals in ICT. Training programs will be executed to ensure that end users are capable and ready to use the program to its fullest extent.


In order to ensure that the Matrix addresses the mission behind every MDG, measures must be taken to include the empowerment of women and the role of youth in its implementation. The Matrix interface should include key information on action plans that are gender and age specific.


Juan Fernandez Gonzalez, Advisor at the Cuban Ministry of Information and Telecommunications, told Media Global, "Cuba has almost already fulfilled MDGs. Our interest is to collaborate with other countries. Maybe we can contribute with projects and the Cuban experience can be of value."


Gonzalez's suggestion is particularly important when considering Latin America and MDGs. Though circumstances vary across Central and South America, program development strategies that were fruitful in Cuba may translate to other populations with similar concerns.


Questions remain regarding the Matrix's capabilities of successfully reaching all MDGs. While it may be instrumental in identifying areas of need, tackling the MDGs in a tangential way will not be actuated by the Matrix. Providing primary education, improving maternal health, and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases, remains a task to be taken on by working bodies in government, non-profits and the private sector.


By definition, the Matrix, as presented by G@ID, is the eighth MDG: developing a global partnership for development. Its execution will mark the next step in uniting international parties in the pursuit of saving the world.


G@ID is a giant step towards progress that necessitates the commitment by actors on all levels to maintain its fundamental mission, meeting MDGs by 2010. A clear vision and purpose for the tool is essential to safeguarding massive amounts of information from being used improperly.


With careful monitoring and consistent program management, the Matrix will revolutionize collaboration across countries and continents.



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