Guideline of Open Knowledge Environment (OKE) in the Developing Countries China Association for Science and Technology (CAST)

29 September 2011 - A Workshop on Security in Nairobi, Kenya


To review the previous 3-year discussion on the OKE--Open Knowledge Environment in bridging digital divide in the different aspects and angles, such as political, technological, cultural, etc., to develop the consensus on the OKE issue. To brought forth the Guideline of OKE in the Developing Countries. The discussion of the workshop will be focused on the following
 New Technology
 Management
 Innovation
 Capacity Building

China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) will work together with ISC, TGDC CODATA/ICSU, GAID e-SDDC, with the contribution of the experts from Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Guideline of OKE will continue and moving forward, paving the way to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.



A brief substantive summary and the main events that were raised:
On the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) held in Egypt in 2009, China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) organized a workshop of “Open Knowledge Environment (OKE) in Bridging Digital Divide for Innovative Research and Development”. Participants agreed with the conception of OKE proposed by CAST, and confirmed its active role in eliminating the digital divide. The second OKE workshop was held by CAST on the 2010 IGF in Vilnius, Lithuania. Some principles of OKE on Internet Governance and case studies were discussed. The workshop reports received an enthusiastic response, and participants are highly interested in several practical OKE cases, such as sharing the earth observation data, the public digital library, the international cooperation and sharing on mobile communications, etc.
Principles of OKE are fully consistent with the global open access to knowledge movement. Given that they are initiated by the civil society of the biggest developing country. The importance is the same as that of ICT for Development.
The presentations of this workshop focused on the follows:
1 Principles of Open Knowledge Environment for Developing Countries (draft version)
In this presentation, three main challenges for developing countries so far were introduced, in taking advantage of ICT developments to access knowledge:
- Lacking adequate or sufficient access to ICTs and research infrastructure.
- Lacking the mechanism of knowledge integration as a platform.
- Confronting significant barriers to access digital resource.
In order to help developing countries to meet the above challenges better, CAST proposed following principles: building infrastructures with help from governments; integrating platforms by applying new ICTs; improving the sources access to knowledge by capacity building.

2 Open Knowledge Environment in the developing countries – Cooperation between Portugal and the developing countries
In this presentation, OKE Cooperation Portugal – Portuguese Speaking Countries was presented, as a best practical case for OKE in the developing countries.
- Capacity building of technicians to support infrastructure and services.
- Creation of Open Access Repositories (OAR), sharing of mirrors/backup systems and integration of search engines for scientific and educational.
- Access to digital scientific libraries with content from main international publishers.
- Access to large scale scientific voluntary computing.

3 Practical Guidelines of OKE in Developing Countries
From the implementation dimension of OKE, the practical guidelines were demonstrated at the workshop based on the cases experiences in Asia as the following:
Call worldwide and nationwide awareness and resources for establishing an open knowledge environment in bridging the digital divide; Establish Inclusive and Win/Win Strategies and Methodology Among the Partners; Take Development as Priority and Application Oriented in OKE; Development of Joint Actions and joint programs; Training Workshop and Roundtable Mechanism is an important methodology for Capacity Building and New Technology Transformation; Accuracy, Security and Protection of Intellectual Property; Maintenance and Sustainable Development. OKE for disaster mitigation and digital geomuseum were initialed in Asia, the partners from China, Thailand, Japan, Viet Num, Mongolia, Malaysia, as well as CODATA/ICSU, WGISS/CEOS, UNDESA GAID e-SDDC, SCA, APN jointly made these efforts. The OKE will benefit not only innovative research, education in Asia, but also society in the worldwide.

Conclusions and further comments:

Through the panel discussion, the follows were reached:
- Call worldwide awareness for establishing an open knowledge environment in bridging the digital divide for innovative research, education and society.
- Work together for a common understanding in development of the principles of Open Knowledge Environment for bridging digital divide.
- Provide a practical guideline for OKE with cases, especially in practice, experiences and progresses.
- Provide recommendations to the governmental and inter-governmental decision makers for improving an Integrated and Coherence Internet Governance System from local, National, Regional and Inter-Community Scale to Global Scales of OKE in Bridging Digital Divide.

Discussion on Principles of Open Knowledge Environment for Developing Countries in bridging the digital divide will follow up, since so many audience members showed their continued interests. China Association for Science and Technology will work with the partners to continue the discussions. Next time we will mainly focus on Principles of Open Knowledge Environment for Developing Countries on some important areas, eg. emergency, related with most of people in developing countries, and strengthening cooperation with panelists and participants.