ICTs and Sustainable Development in the Caribbean


Track Chairs:

Evan Duggan, University of the West Indies,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Paul Golding, University of Technology, Jamaica,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Track Description:

The small island developing states of the Caribbean are prone to potentially adverse economic, social and environmental factors that have threatened their development. Many of these countries have staked optimism on the diffusion of information and communications technologies (ICTs) to enable economic and social progress. Although some Caribbean countries have obtained high rankings in global indices related to their ICT infrastructure, there is debate on whether the application of ICTs has brought the expected benefits of advancing national priorities and enabling development goals.

The major objective of the ICTs and Sustainable Development in the Caribbean track is to promote analysis of this situation by researchers in the Caribbean and within the extended Caribbean Diaspora.  In this conversation, we hope to expand a much needed body of research that will help to identify impediments to the effective application of indigenous, business and government applications of ICT in sectors critical to the development of economies in this region, and provide insights that may guide appropriate interventions to advance both regional and national deployment of ICTs to achieve global competitiveness and sustainable development.

Minitracks:

ICT as an Enabler for MSMEs

Arlene Bailey, University of the West Indies, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

The Caribbean region is home to many micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) of diverse origins and forms. The success of this group is critical to the development of the region. However, challenges faced in the effective use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to enable the development of these enterprises, can present impediments to their success. Investigations of the approaches that have been utilized, their outcomes, and the potential for future development of MSMEs through technology usage are key areas for focus in this mini-track. Authors are welcome to submit papers on key issues, opportunities and challenges related to the use of ICTs in MSMEs in the Caribbean context.

Suggested areas include:

Opportunities and challenges for ICT usage by Caribbean MSMEs
ICT support for expanding the global reach of Caribbean MSMEs
Theoretical perspectives on ICT usage by MSMEs
Policy issues related to adoption of ICTs within MSMEs

ICT in Sectors Critical for Transformation

Lila Rao, The University of the West Indies, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

In the Caribbean, certain sectors are considered to be critical to the transformation of the economies of the countries of the region. While there is a general sense that ICT is one of the most significant forces in this transformation, there is a lack of understanding of its role and impact in addressing specific issues in particular sectors. These sectors include, but may not be limited to Government,Education, Agriculture, National Security, Healthcare, Sports, Tourism, and Culture.

This mini track will analyse and clarify the role and potential impact of ICT and provide advice as to how Caribbean countries can build and adopt relevant ICT solutions that address the critical issues in these sectors.

Mobile ICTs for Service Delivery

Maurice McNaughton, University of the West Indies, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Mobile communication technologies in combination with the Internet, offer developing countries new, cost-effective and scalable solutions to address the perennial access challenges associated with the Digital Divide. In the Caribbean, as with other emerging economies, access to mobile phones is growing dramatically especially amongst those at the base of the economic pyramid, providing a new and powerful channel of communication, access to information and service delivery for previously excluded individuals and communities.  Examples of emerging opportunities include:

The extension of e-Government services to traditionally marginalized groups using the mobile phone
The delivery of mobile financial services as a catalyst for greater financial inclusion
Location-aware services that can enhance service delivery in public transportation, tourism and agriculture
Increased efficiency and effectiveness of Government-to-person (G2P) payments in support of social transfer programs (eg. Conditional Cash Transfer programs)

This mini track provides an opportunity for Caribbean researchers to examine both the technological as well as socio-economic considerations, appropriate uses and implications of these mobile technologies for advancing indigenous innovations and enhanced service delivery that may enable growth and development.

Opportunities for Underutilised Technologies and Strategies

Gunjan Mansingh, University of the West Indies, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Knowledge Management, Business Intelligence, Free and Open Source Software and Cloud Computing have immense potential for improving decision making and organizational performance and providing cost-effective, customer-focused applications and processes. In the Caribbean region these technologies and strategies are not being used nearly enough despite their potential contribution to sustainable development.

This mini track provides an opportunity for Caribbean researchers to enrich understanding of the potential benefits and appropriate uses of these technologies and for advancing indigenous innovations that may help to stimulate growth and development.