The ‘Capacity-building and ICT Policy, Regulatory and Legislative Frameworks Support for Pacific Island States’ (ICB4PAC) project focused on Pacific States members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States.
The project addressed the needs of regional organizations and Pacific island States relating to capacity-building in e-readiness, as well as information and communications technology (ICT) policies and regulations. It aimed to harmonize and promote closer collaboration on telecommunication policies, legislation, strategies and regulations, with a view to empowering each country to implement the necessary reforms.
In the Pacific islands, the greatest challenges were the lack of harmonized policy, a legal and regulatory framework in the (ICT) sector and the relevant institutions to incorporate a new framework into domestic laws and regulations. There was also a need to strengthen the relevant human capacities and skills.
Towards a Solution
The ICB4PAC project, implemented by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), aimed to build human and institutional capacity in ICT through a range of targeted trainings and knowledge-sharing activities across the region. It addressed the need to develop competencies in subregional and national ICT sectors in terms of frameworks for policies, regulations, legislation and e‐readiness. It also developed background material for harmonizing ICT market policies. Data were collected through questionnaires, in-person interviews and information-sharing during workshops. The ICB4PAC project was financed by the European Commission and ITU, the latter serving as the executing agency. The data were analysed to inform the outcome documents used by beneficiary countries to implement recommendations.
The project was co-financed by the European Commission and ITU with the latter being the project execution agency. As a result of the project, harmonized guidelines on policy, legislation and regulation were adopted and have since been implemented in beneficiary countries.
The project focused on the countries of the Pacific belonging to the African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (ACP) Group of States.
It addressed the needs expressed by Pacific regional organizations and the Pacific Island States (PIS) relating to capacity building in consistent ICT policies and regulations, and e-readiness. The Project was a response to a request for support and cooperation to promote and implement closer collaboration and harmonization of telecommunication policies, legislation, strategies and regulations within ACP group. This was meant to empower each country to implement the necessary reforms so that the region can reap the benefits of a harmonized ICT regulative landscape.
Countries across the region have different levels of ICT development. More advanced countries have agreed to share their best practices with those less advanced, while also learning from international best practices. At all stages, the ICB4PAC project had to consider the challenging logistics created by the vast distances between countries. The dates of project meetings were therefore determined in close collaboration with regional organizations.
The objectives of the project were achieved resulting in the adoption of harmonized guidelines on policy, legal, and regulation which have since been implemented domestically by beneficiary countries. During in-person capacity-building trainings, countries from the global South shared experiences and jointly contributed to the project’s outcomes. With regard to sustainability, the project received continued support from ITU operational plan activities and benefited from projects financed by ITU and the Government of Australia. It has already been replicated successfully in Africa and the Caribbean. The key to this success is that participating countries must commit to the project.