WHAT IS ASEANconnect?
ASEANconnect is an initiative born from the ASEAN Telecommunications Senior Officials Meeting (TELSOM)’s Working Group held in Langkawi, Malaysia in July 2002. (TELSOM is a management body in charge of supervising, coordinating and carrying out policies, programs and cooperation activities in telecommunications and information technology fields within the ASEAN region.) The purpose of the working group is to address the issues of Universal Access and Digital Divide within ASEAN
Other than identifying key factors contributing to the digital divide phenomenon within ASEAN member countries, ASEANconnect expertise is shared amongst member countries to assist each other in developing and collating common ICT indicators in order to correctly and adequately measure the digital divide and the way it is changing over time.
Member countries periodically carry out studies to gather data based on the key indicators ASEANconnect has defined to be the baseline for assessing the extent of the digital divide in a nation. Other than serving as a knowledge base for these fixed key indicators, details as well as an analysis of the particular success of initiatives undertaken in each country is shared so as to enable participating countries to learn from what has already been done by other nations.
WHAT DOES ASEANconnect DO?
ASEANconnect promotes access to ICT information and communication technology (ICT) by promoting best practices for sustainable and empowering technology use. We collate information on projects that, taken together, represent a comprehensive approach to the range of problems of the digital divide in ASEAN countries.
This is what we do:
1. Provide information and resources on the digital divide through ASEANconnect.
2. To allow a centralised area where all ASEAN country initiatives can be shared with each other whereby lessons can be learnt about what works best under what circumstances.
ABOUT THE WORKING GROUP ON UNIVERSAL ACCESS AND DIGITAL DIVIDE
The e-ASEAN Framework Agreement signed by the ASEAN Heads of State and Government on 24 November 2000 at the Fourth ASEAN Informal Summit in Singapore aims among others to promote cooperation to reduce the digital divide within individual ASEAN Member States and amongst ASEAN Member States. It also covers initiatives to improve the provision and delivery of services by ASEAN governments using ICT.
The Ministerial Understanding on ASEAN Cooperation in Telecommunications and Information Technology signed by the Ministers gathered for the 1st ASEAN Telecommunication Ministerial Meeting on 13-14 July 2001 in Kuala Lumpur, covers policy development and program implementation to bridge the digital divide within ASEAN by enhancing access to and use of telecommunications and IT.
The Manila Declaration 2002 signed by the Ministers gathered for the 2nd ASEAN Telecommunication Ministerial Meeting on 28 August 2002 in Manila, inctructs TELSOM to implement ICT project to narrow the digital divide between developed and less developed ASEAN countries. Also, to facilitate the transformation of ASEAN into a knowledge-based economy by improving the adoption and usage of ICT products and services through universally accessible ICT networks and competitive and affordable ICT products and services.
Pursuant to the above, the TELSOM Working Group on Universal Access and Digital Divide (WG-UA &DD) was established with the following objectives:
1. To facilitate and promote cooperation in policy development and program implementation on universal access and digital divide in order to increase ICT access and usage in ASEAN;
2. To enhance access, adoption, and usage through universally accessible ICT networks and competitive and affordable ICT products and services;
3. To facilitate the reduction of the digital divide amongst ASEAN Member Countries;
4. To encourage and facilitate the provision of a wide range of government services on-line, facilitate linkages and /or consultations between public and private sector; and
5. To work towards enhancing inter-governmental cooperation by promoting the use of electronic means in their procurement of goods and services and facilitating freer flow of goods, information and people within
* Click here to download the TELSOM Manila Declaration 2002 (.pdf)
* Click here to download the ASEAN Digital Divide Action Plan (.pdf)
* Click to enter the ASEAN DIGITAL DIVIDE DATABASE
* Click to contact us or a member country's representative.