Act Now Alliance for Capacity Building

ActNow Alliance
ICT for Development Opportunities
A Non Profit Civil Society Alliance

“We, the representatives of the peoples of the world, (...)
declare our common desire and commitment to build a people-centred,
inclusive and development-oriented Information Society,
where everyone can create, access, utilize and share information and knowledge,
enabling individuals, communities and peoples to achieve their full potential
in promoting their sustainable development and improving their quality of life,
premised on the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations
and respecting fully and upholding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), Declaration of Principles, Geneva 2003

The document sets out the purpose, objectives, and actions of the Act Now Alliance, an Alliance of Non-Profit Associations and other actors of Civil Society interested in using ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) and their applications.

The idea of theAlliance was born from the experience of collaboration that some Non-Profit Associations fostered within the MediaSpace project, with ESA and Alcatel Alenia Space and the interactions with UNESCO and ITU, for the utilization of ICT applications via satellite by non-profit organizations around the world.

1.     ICT and Development

1.1.   Meeting Global Development Challenges

The information revolution presents a concrete opportunity for development. The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)[1] recognized that ICTs play a key role as “enablers” for sustainable development and for the reduction of poverty as set out in the Millennium Development Goals.

The ICTs should not be seen only in terms of their economic potential, but as a platform that can help the construction of an equitable global information society in order to achieve goals of individual and collective development.

1.2.   Strategic Factors for Development

ICTs can offer a specific contribution for development in many sector of the human development [2] and through their generic and transformative power can make a difference in a number of crucial areas.

For example ICTs can facilitate:

-    Reduction of Poverty: offering an efficient, adaptable and sustainable way for the distribution of goods, services and information to people, governments and businesses.

-   Dissemination of Initiatives: with the dissemination of investment and development initiatives, both in terms of planning, implementation and monitoring, and in terms of increasing accessibility to services.

-   Participation of Civil Society: with the strategic involvement in the debate and in the formulation of state policies of a vast number of participants, from the social sector to local enterprise, civil society and researchers, political analysts and journalists, students and teachers.

-   Good Government: by improving efficiency, transparency, responsibility and participation in process of government.

-   Efficacy of actions: by increasing the efficacy of aid by facilitating the coordination of the various participants involved and the sharing of information and knowledge.

The positive potential of ICTs cannot be expressed in an automatic way: the ICTs need to be firmly aligned with and anchored in broader development and poverty reduction strategies.

Only by bringing together all actors – governments of developed and developing countries, the private sector, civil society and international organisations – can ICT be scaled up to unleash their full potential for development.

2.     ActNow Alliance

Act Now Alliance is an Alliance of Non-Profit Associations and of other members of Civil Society interested in collaborating in using ICTs and their applications for the development in line with the Millennium Development Goals [3], in a search for peace, dialogue and universal fraternity.

2.1.  The spirit

The Alliance would be a tool for partnerships between Alliance’s associations and between associations and governmental agencies and the private sector in order to support and increase access and use of digital services as a means of social development.

The Alliance is based on an agreement among participating organisations: it is intended to be a facilitator for its members, not a centralized point of activity and would not interfere in their autonomous and independent action.

The Alliance is particularly attentive to sustaining the direct cooperation between Organizations in the South.

2.2.  Objectives

The Alliance aims to supporting and increasing the dynamic cooperations among members of Civil Society in order to create new opportunities in the development and use of digital networks and services in order to:

2.3.  Working Projects

The Alliance projects are oriented to:

Linking  requests/necessities/projects

Creating a dynamic cooperation among organizations

Creating cooperation dynamics with private sector

3.     Alliance Actions

In order to realize the objectives, the Alliance works in the following actions:

3.1. Sharing

ICT Resources and Tools

In order to provide a direct contact with existing experiences that allows access to the know how accumulated in the following sectors:

ICT best practices

Description of applications contexts of the actual solutions implemented.

ICT capacity building in the countries of intervention

Models of sustainable development

ICT Projects and infrastructures

Partnership

3.2.  Activities

When appropriate, the Alliance can begins specific activities of integration of programs of the NGOs already in existence and in response to specific necessities, with the help of joint actions with perspectives of development of long-term goals in order to contribute to the development of standardized tools of true global communication, at low cost, as enablers of the missions.

Resources and Tools

ICT “capacity building”

ICT Projects and infrastructures

Partnership with:

Working groups

Financing

revised 18 gennaio 2008


[1]     See: www.itu.int/wsis/promotional/outcome.pdf
[2]     WSIS Geneva 2003: Plan of Action - C7
[3]     The “Millennium Development Goal “ (www.developmentgoals.org) are:
                 1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
                 2. Achieve universal primary education
                 3. Promote gender equality and empower women
                 4. Reduce child mortality
                 5. Improve maternal health
                 6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
                 7. Ensure environmental sustainability
                 8. Develop a global partnership for development