The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has partnered with non-profit advocacy group Internet Society to launch the National ICT Ecosystem Framework (NICTEF).
The ICT roadmap, its purveyors said, demonstrates how governments can engage citizens and other stakeholder groups in policymaking. It was formally unveiled at the Richmonde Hotel Eastwood on Wednesday, February 21, with private and public representatives present.
The NICTEF is envisioned to “make industry development inclusive, create more jobs, empower the marginalized, promote transparency and accountability in government and bolster confidence in our economy.”
The framework – a successor to the Philippine Digital Strategy initiative from 2011-2016 – is expected to be a living document whose plans, programs, and projects will be updated periodically as the government continually considers comments from all sectors of society and other indicators and results.
In particular, sub-committees will be created to more effectively respond and cater to the needs of the countryside. Updates will be made available on the framework’s website.
“Through NICTEF, DICT and the Internet Society, along with the principal contributors and subject matter experts, we are showing the Asia-Pacific region how vital participatory governance is in this part of the world. The strong sense of collaboration focused on bridging the digital gap makes NICTEF a truly living document,” said DICT acting secretary Eliseo Rio Jr.
The framework recognizes the interdependent roles that government, businesses, and civil society organizations play in the digital ecosystem, emphasizing that inclusive and transparent processes are more likely to produce workable outcomes and support from users.
The DICT described the framework as key to developing a knowledge society designed to “maximize the benefits of open governance, magnify the advantages of industry applications and multiply the opportunities of skills development”.
The launch of the framework comes after the DICT and the Internet Society signed a Memorandum of Understanding in July 2018 to use the multi-stakeholder approach not only in the framework’s development, but also implementation.
Several training workshops were given to civil servants to broaden their understanding of the principles that underpin the architecture and continued evolution of the Internet.
“The Philippine government’s commitment to following the multi-stakeholder model in the development of NICTEF is an exemplary approach and is a model best practice for other countries to consider in their policy development processes,” said Rajnesh Singh, chief regional director for Asia Pacific at Internet Society.
“We’re honored to have been able to contribute to the development of this framework that will guide the development of the Philippine digital ecosystem — and lay the foundation for all sectors to benefit from the use of ICTs and the Internet,” he added.