World Digital Forum - Low cost ICTs to bridge the digital divide

15 November 2007 - A Best Practice Forum on Access in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil




Speakers :

Daniel DARDAILLER (W3C) danield#&

Francis MUGUET ( ENSTA) muguet#&




Additional Information
Room Alhambra II 10H-11H

FP7 European Union Support Action

The DigitalWorld Forum gathers the foremost experts in the field of
inclusive and accessible ICT and Developing Countries in a context of
Sustainable Development to create a forum where different initiatives
and actors are able to network and to exchange best practices and
success stories in order to deliver development-related ICT research
exploitation and cooperation roadmaps. The project will carry out
specific collaboration actions. The premier goal is to create synergy
between all stakeholders in order to be able to build bottom-up credible
and sound cooperation roadmaps in the field of ICT research, thus
identifying and connecting initiatives at the global level, the regional
level and the local level, identifying common factors and distinctive
traits. With the sound and proven background in European ICT research of
the promoters of the DigitalWorld Forum, it is ensured that existing EU
research will be fully exploited in these contexts. The consortium
partners from the International Cooperation Partner Countries are among
the most respected organisations in their regions for accessible and
inclusive ICT. The real innovation and challenge that is now appearing
on the horizon is the new low-cost dimension. The consortium brings
together a plethora of experience and practical knowledge in the fields
of the latest low-cost initiatives for Accessible ICT.

The project focuses on:

- Laptops: Low-cost laptop technologies where a series of
paradigm-shifts are occurring that promise to change the landscape of
ICT, with a change of scale that will affect not only the “developing
-Mobile phones: Given the level of penetration and usage of Mobile
phones in the Developing World, it is essential to evaluate the
potential of these devices to offer access to ICT at low cost..
-Low-Cost infrastructure (internet access, wifi mesh, content)

A strong focus will be the collaboration with regional and local NGOs
and Developing World constituents (Civil Society, research communities,
local innovators, business organizations,…). The “informal” sector,
consisting primarily of NGOs, plays a significant role in advancing
efforts at building ICT development in Africa and Latin America,
especially with a view to the use of ICT technologies and applications
for dealing with the scope of issues which have become traditionally
associated with NGO efforts: namely, the eradication of poverty; the
social, educational and political empowerment of the disadvantaged or
erstwhile deprived, especially women, children; rural and variously
handicapped persons; education; preventive healthcare and the management
of illness and universal access to basic information and
telecommunications services through innovative and affordable
technologies or modifications of existing ones. The energy and
persistence, which is the hallmark of NGOs, has contributed in no small
way to the plethora of initiatives that are currently ongoing in Africa
and Latin America, including those now embraced by governments and the
formal sector. It is significant that these NGOs are as much indigenous
African and Latin American organizations as regional or international

The DigitalWorld FORUM will actively bring together all the different
stakeholders and ensure a networking effort and dissemination of
information that will create synergies and allow for new models to be
developed and applied in a long term sustainable way.
The DigitalWorld FORUM will elaborate an updated and sound “ICT
cooperation roadmap” that will identify pertinent research actions for
FP7 and facilitate creation and collaborative use of Information and
Communication Technology tools that support sustainable economic
development at the grass-roots and policy-making levels, in conjunction
with the global scientific community and enable EU Policy in this domain
to be actively put forward on a global stage.