Earlier this month in Manila, the Philippines Government Department of ICT (DICT) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Internet Society (ISOC) to facilitate the development of its National ICT Ecosystem Framework (NIEF) 2022.
The NIEF 2022 – a successor to the Philippine Digital Strategy initiative from 2011-2016 – will serve as a roadmap for the management and development of national Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the country’s plans, programmes, and projects. NIEF will also serve to promote innovation and development of the ICT sector, encourage collaborative use of ICTs, and promote accessibility, security and sustainability.
Some 67 million people are connected to the Internet in the Philippines today – and a large number are prolific users. The country is a significant market for a number of multinational social media and content providers and has a strong Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry. These facts make ICTs a key area of development and critical for the future of the economy.
The multistakeholder model will help facilitate perspectives from a range of stakeholders, which in turn will help NIEF 2022 to be in tune with what would work best for the people of the Philippines. This collaborative approach encourages inclusivity which will lead to well informed outputs for effective implementation.
Eliseo Rio Jr, Acting Secretary, DICT sums it up well when he says: “This multistakeholder approach allows different actors to interact in synergy, aimed at increasing the country’s rankings in terms of ICT use and development”.
Activities underway as part of the MoU include public consultations and focus group discussions with various sectors. This will be followed by a review of the draft NIEF 2022 ahead of its planned launch towards the end of the year. Subsequent projects and activities under these areas will also be planned using the same multistakeholder approach.
By embracing the multistakeholder model in the development of NIEF 2022 – which will have significant national impact for a number of years – the Philippines is demonstrating regional and global leadership.