Networks for Development : Caribbean Information and Communication Technologies Research Programme

Despite a high level of voice telephony (mainly, mobile phones), Internet access and connectivity are still inadequate in the Caribbean. There is great demand for new information and community technology (ICT) services on the part of the local population and the various knowledge-intensive industries (tourism, financial services, outsourcing). Policymakers have shown interest in the potential of mobile phones as a way of delivering services to the poor. However, progress has been hindered lack of independent, critical, policy-oriented research in the region.

This project will attempt to address the problem in three components.

  • The first component, Caribbean ICT Indicators, will endeavor to provide policymakers with basic indictors of ICT access and usage across the region. Using a common data collection instrument, researchers will investigate a number of core indicators. The survey will include two sets of questions on mobile and broadband access, respectively.
  • The second component, Rethinking ICT Policy and Regulation, will examine policymaking and regulation formulation and their implementation across four jurisdictions: Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States. All these jurisdictions have implemented ICT reforms with varying degrees of success. The recommendations arising from this component will have both national and regional significance in terms of implementation and harmonization.
  • The third component, Mobile Opportunities 2.0: m-Fishery, will explore opportunities associated with the provision of mobile-enabled services to the poor. Given the region's established capacity in community-based management of coastal resources, this component will focus on small-scale fisheries. The sector has expressed keen interest in using mobile phones to deliver services related to resources management, boat safety during weather events and audio training.

The Caribbean ICT Research Programme will include a competition for young researchers and a regional rapid response initiative designed to provide quick, expert advice to regional policymakers, regulators and others in relation to specific areas of interest. The Progamme is expected to constitute a substantial step toward the formation of a regional network of researchers able to accelerate the rise of the Caribbean knowledge economy.

Project ID

105818

Project status

Closed

Start Date

Sunday, November 1, 2009

End Date

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Duration

24 months

IDRC Officer

Perini, Fernando

Total funding

CA$ 808,229

Countries

North and Central America, South America, West Indies, Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago

Program

Networked Economies

Project Leader

Bernadette Lewis

Institution

Caribbean Telecommunications Union

Institution Country

Trinidad and Tobago

Institution Website

http://www.ctu.int

Project Leader

Kim Mallalieu

Project Leader

Marly Livia

Institution

University of the West Indies

Institution Country

Trinidad and Tobago

Institution Website

http://www.uwi.tt

Project Leader

Dr. Hopeton Dunn

Institution

University of the West Indies

Institution Country

Jamaica

Institution Website

http://www.mona.uwi.edu