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Institute for Connectivity in the Americas  

At the Quebec City Summit of the Americas in April 2001, leaders recognized the importance of promoting information and communication technology (ICT) to improve social and economic development and made a commitment to narrow the digital divide. Institute for Connectivity in the Americas (ICA) plays a unique and important role in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) by bringing together stakeholders from different sectors to implement strategic networks and scale up innovative technology initiatives. ICA fulfills a critical role in the LAC region by facilitating the coordination, collaboration, and sharing of efforts across countries for a number of key projects.

In 2007, ICA started its second phase with the support of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). In this new phase, ICA will focus its support on the use of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) as a tool to enhance democratic governance and health conditions in the Americas region. Additionally, ICA will continue working on issues related to the role of ICTs in education and certain aspects of economic development.

Mission
 

The Institute for Connectivity in the Americas (ICA) is a hemispheric organization that promotes the implementation of innovative uses of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for development. We strive to connect the Americas by co-funding projects, enabling partnerships, and supporting knowledge creation and capacity building. Connectivity is about bringing people closer together, using both digital and traditional communication technologies, to strengthen existing networks and create new o­nes.

Objectives

Through applied research in knowledge creation, capacity building, and awareness-raising among relevant stakeholders in the LAC region, ICA will contribute to:
  1. Fostering the use and appropriation of ICTs to promote entrepreneurship and employment; improve education and heath services and access to them; and strengthen democratic governance to promote more equitable socioeconomic conditions.
  2. Better understanding of both the positive and negative impacts of the adoption and use of ICTs on low-income and vulnerable communities, as well as gender differentiated access to ICTs, particularly among the most disenfranchised women and girls.
  3. Supporting the development of solid ICT initiatives and processes to promote sound public policies and the development of appropriate technologies that respond to the needs and living conditions of those most affected by inequities in the region.

Background

The Third Summit of the Americas - 20-22 April 2001, Québec, Canada - called on member countries to use information and communication technologies (ICTs) to build networks, share ideas, and establish more effective partnerships between government and the private sector to enable them to participate more fully in political, social, and economic development.

As one of Canada's contributions to the 2001 summit, ICA was created and provided with seed funding. ICA builds on the success and experience of the Connecting Canadians and Canada's international development and ICT programs. ICA was among the institutions in the Joint Summit Working Group created to provide the necessary support to carry out the mandate of the Summit of the Americas. ICA’s report on this work is available in Achievements of the Summits of the Americas: Institutional Contributions.

More about Summit of the Americas

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Institute for Connectivity in the Americas
IDRC funds researchers in the developing world so they can build healthier, more prosperous societies
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