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 Digital Opportunity through Technology & Communication Partnerships

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DOT- COM Technical Advisory Group

First Annual Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Meeting: October 22nd, 2002
As part of the First Annual TAG meeting, eight of the eleven DOT-COM TAG members were able to share their thoughts about the future of ICT for development over the next five years. To see their summary statements or their biographies, click on the links below.

Dr. Vint Cerf:   Biography
Dr. Peter Cowhey:   Summary Statement | Biography
William Kennard:   Biography
Charles Kenny:   Biography
Elliot E. Maxwell:   Summary Statement | Biography
Dr. Michael Nelson:   Summary Statement | Biography

Steve Cisler:   Summary Statement | Biography
Clotilde Fonseca:   Summary Statement | Biography
Dr. Nancy Hafkin:   Summary Statement | Biography
Dr. Don Richardson:   Biography

Dr. Pedro Hepp:   Biography
Dr. Ernesto Laval:   Summary Statement | Biography
Dr. John Mayo:   Summary Statement | Biography
Dr. Linda Roberts:   Biography

Steve Cisler: dot-ORG Click here to visit his biography
For those who care about gaps, the technology gap will grow. Many individuals and organizations in developed environments (and I don't mean just countries but down to the city level in developing countries) will operate on a hierarchy of wants, while the underserved world will operate on a hierarchy of more basic needs. ICT products will be sold as "lifestyle" choices.

The selections they make in developing countries will be quite different. The options available to the poor will be fewer, but there will be progress, more trained people, more sharing of knowledge. It just won't be at the same level as in Washington or London or Singapore. that... free developing countries from U.S. dominance in ICT...

There will be more emphasis on solutions that try to free developing countries from U.S. dominance in ICT, but these will still face major challenges in reaching critical mass. Microsoft will continue to make deals to inhibit the spread of Linux or other open source software. The Simputer, Volkscomputer, the $50 PDA from Sri Lanka, and other hardware from developing countries may not be around in five years, but others will be tried, and acceptance should be greater outside the country of origin.
Huawei, A router company is China is already making a line of products to compete with my home town firm, Cisco, and at one-tenth the price. While not as innovative as Cisco, they are commodifying a certain level of products.

Foundations, government agencies will demand a constant stream of credible success stories if they are to continue funding programs like the dot-com alliance. The unequal power between the donors and the recipients of ICT aid will dictate the goals that constitute a successful project. Mission drift of host country ministries and NGOs will occur to keep support from abroad. However, if DFID's decoupling aid from purchase of domestic products results in more successful projects, the U.S. government may also allow this.

The excitement over unlicensed wireless will continue but be muted somewhat by problems of interference and demands by incumbents and those who paid dearly for licensed spectrum to "control" the ISM bands (as has happened in Buenos Aires and Lagos). The telecom industry depression is not over, and I don't know if the big companies will ever recover from the 3G debacle. It may remain a commercial flop rivaling digital television here in the U.S.

I hope that research will take place in the next five years to measure the net effects of ICT access, training, and jobs on the movement of young people between city and rural areas and between countries. So far, I have seen the Internet pulling people out of rural areas, not giving them a means to stay in areas where it's no longer profitable to farm, mine, fish, or cut timber.

Practitioners in developing countries will continue to surprise us with the innovative solutions to overcome both technical and social barriers, and we have much to learn from them. I am in awe at what they are able to accomplish with few resources and so many problems.

Peter Cowhey: dot-GOV Click here to visit his biography
The most interesting parts of ICT innovation will be driven in unexpected ways by users.
Predicting the future is best left to Las Vegas odds makers. Or, to be more precise, our ability to predict specifics of any interest is pretty limited. But we can make pretty good forecasts about the patterns of future dynamics. So, here are three future patterns to watch.
  1. The most interesting parts of ICT innovation will be driven in unexpected ways by users. The key feature of digital technology is that, with the proper policy and market framework, users of the technology can drive the key innovations. The big telephone companies consistently got digital networking wrong. The future was invented by users in university labs and business who also became "co-inventors" of the technology. Specialized suppliers (like Cisco) popped up to meet the hardware needs generated by their experiments. The exciting part of ICT in developing countries is the opening up of huge new groups of totally new user populations. We don't know what they will want, and that is where the surprise will come.
  2. Whole new ways of reconceptualizing the arts. A general rule of thumb is that every dramatic improvement in our ability to travel and communicate cheaply over long distances has a profound impact on the creative arts. In the early 20th Century European travels in Africa became common enough that the artistic sensibilities of the great African sculptors began to revolutionize art in Europe--as any study of Picasso's inspirations will show. Today, "world music" is a first installment. The movie hit, "The Matrix," represented the conquest of Hollywood action drama by Hong Kong aesthetics. "Anime" is changing animation. And we have yet to dig deeply down into the next realm of cultural influences opened by the penetration of ICT into poorer regions.
  3. New ways of improving "total factor productivity" (the key driver of economic development). ICT largely is confined to big companies, manufacturing, technology firms and finance in the industrial countries. That is, those companies and industries have revolutionized production and distribution and customer relations through ICT. But areas like agriculture and construction, two major parts of developing countries, are nowhere as intensive in their use of information and communications technology. Someday they will be revolutionized in their productivity by ICT, and it may happen first in developing countries.
All of this suggests one lesson for our programs. Evaluation of projects to learn lessons for best practices over time is absolutely critical. Mission managers must have sufficient resources to evaluate outcomes seriously, and be held accountable for their skills in doing so. We are in a "learning by doing" business.

Clotilde Fonseca: dot-ORG Click here to visit her biography
...move from connectivity to connectedness.
  • Next five years - not much change unless challenge and agenda are defined.
  • Review issues like cost of technology ands question whether it is cheaper especially because standards are constantly going up.
  • Have to overcome conception of development as linear process; Need to invest in human capacity in new ways, can't wait for all preconditions to be satisfied. See key investments to help people leapfrog.
  • Beware of using power of technologies to do things of the past (get rid of old paradigms) Which interventions are really meaningful for change? We keep looking through the future through the rear view mirror. We're still doing the things of the past (with the new technology).
  • Have to grab opportunity of digital technologies - much more than the Internet, and there are wonderful things that can be done without being on-line.
  • Move from information to knowledge-based culture. Need information, but provide with skills that allow understanding and use of information that is becoming available.
  • Take people-centered approach and move from connectivity to connectedness.
  • Evaluation - impact identification - not enough sensitivity to identify the unexpected consequence.

Nancy Hafkin: dot-ORG Click here to visit her biography
Turning information into action: We have been focused on infrastructure and access because this is the sine qua non of any use of ICTs in developing countries or anywhere else. In the next five years, when more infrastructure solutions emerge and access becomes easier and less costly, the focus will move (not away from but to include) more clearly the process and the outcomes.
Too often we think that ICT for development is a matter of INFORMATION DELIVERY. One of the major defining characteristics of poverty is isolation and absence of resources. Information is a resource; access brings end to isolation and availability of information resources. If only we can get the information to the people who need it [we say], that will essentially solve the problem. But the equation is a lot more complex than that. The problematic is how to turn information access and information delivery into information use, knowledge, action, individual and institutional transformation and social change.
...turn information access and information delivery into information use, knowledge, action
The old problem was how to get the packet over there. The old model was: if you send it and they get it, ICT for development has happened. New paradigm: What was sent? Who sent it? Who got it? Did they want it? Did they understand it? What did they do with it? Five years from now we will be less sanguine about this essentially one-way process. There will be more emphasis on content development at the local level and horizontal information sharing rather than one way "information pouring."

Technologies: we'll return to the concept of appropriate technology-use what works. Not the concept of the 'seventies that if a tractor was appropriate in North America, then a hoe was appropriate in Africa . . . but rather appropriate in the sense of what works. If online communication remains a problem in rural Uganda, then try CD-ROMs. If PCs are too expensive and direct current dependent, try hand-held computers. Simputer and open source. Falling cost VSATs. If it works and does the job, use it.

Combinations of new technologies with more traditional ITs- e.g. Internet with community radio. Technology doesn't have to be state-of-the-art to present digital opportunity.

Continuing refinements of the concept of universal access through public access- rented mobile phones with Internet capability, mobile Internet vans [or bikes], kiosks. And local languages, information intermediaries and information-based businesses.

Emphasis on social and contextual analysis of technology and technology diffusion. Macro assessments don't do it. We have to know who needs what, who is getting what, who isn't getting what and why. The patterns that emerge in such analysis are the clues to the correctives that need to take place. The keyword is inclusion. Gender analysis and sex-disaggregated data are a big part of this. This analysis should take place before projects hit the ground.

Killer apps: ICT for development- to me its greatest value is as a tool for empowerment, a leveler of the playing field. It gives the resource poor a chance at the resources they have never had. But it doesn't happen automatically. Huge efforts are needed to make ICT a tool for empowerment, as opposed to a tool for further enrichment of the already enriched.

To me the killer apps are service delivery applications such as e-government and distance health (not just telemedicine, which is a highly specialized high bandwidth application), - a panoply of health and health-information related applications, with emphasis on communicable disease, water and environment, and distance education, with emphasis on basic education and non-formal education. Too much of what currently passes for distance education is only remote delivery to those already enrolled at the highest levels of formal education.

E-business (ICT-enabled business): The presently Indian-dominated phenomenon of outsourcing will increasingly penetrate new areas, particularly areas of Africa where English is the language of instruction. The jobs will be the reward for graduating from (for countries that adopt enabling as opposed to disabling communications policy). This is e-business for countries that get their act together in both ICT policy and education policy.

But it is going to go beyond educated workers to the big development challenge: to women in the informal economy- where the majority of people by gender and by mode of economic organization work. We haven't figured it out yet, but it is coming and it will make a huge difference in the empowerment business that we have all been talking about.

Partnership- we need more sharing of information and collaboration among others with similar objectives among the multilaterals bilaterals, ngos and foundations. The challenge is too big and the resources too few to risk duplication and overlap.

Ernesto Laval: dot-EDU Click here to visit his biography
  • Most of us dream of deep transformations in relation to development. In education these deep transformations imply - for example - that students are really able to understand what they read (which is not happening now).
  • Most of us also dream of how technology might help to achieve such transformations. How could we have new teaching and learning approaches, or communities organized for promoting their local development?
  • In the future I see an obvious increase in the penetration of new technologies. More schools and communities will have access to computers, Internet and mobile devices and more teachers and students will be trained in the use of such tools.
  • BUT I also see that the transformations we dream of will not take place:
    • Schools will have computers, Internet and technology but the teaching and learning problems will not be solved.
    • Communities will have telecenters, but the local community will have not transformed their main activities because of that.
Deep transformations require time and planning for the long term...
  • Deep transformations will not take place because most of us will not be addressing the real and complex problems that require a transformation: which involves several key actors, is a process that requires time and planning for the long term, and requires a focus on the actual implementation in the long run, and not just the initial initiatives to promote adoption.
  • After five years we will have achieve a first stage in this process of transformation (technology will be available) and we will recognize that a second stage is required. Most of us will begin to think about this second stage.
  • What is the challenge for those involved in DOT-COM? To focus mainly in the first stage allowing technology to be available? Or to think also on the second stage and the problems to be solved for deep transformations to take place once technology is available?

John Mayo: dot-EDU Click here to visit his biography
There was an encouraging degree of overlap, mutual understanding and support reflected in the project overviews presented by the three lead agency representatives and their associates in the morning session. By the same token, the questions and reactions of the TAG as well as other members of the audience underscored the need for the Alliance partners to continue planning, implementing and evaluating projects in coordinated and mutually reinforcing ways. Three critical dimensions of the project - connectivity & networking, constituency building, and content development - were evident to me in the DOT-COM documents and in the morning's presentations.
...imperative that the gate keeping roles of teachers and principals be appreciated
Enhanced connectivity & networking across a broad spectrum of development agencies and applications are among the Alliance's core objectives. In their commitment to network and Internet literacy, Alliance partners also must recognize the tendency of new information technologies and services to exacerbate existing socio-economic gaps, at least in the short term. If the project is to realize the democratizing and pluralistic development objectives articulated by Dr. Meyer in his introductory remarks, and in so doing increase the participation of previously isolated and/or disenfranchised groups, there must be a commitment to gap closing measures within the Alliance and its partner groups. Such measures could include the provision of information services to previously underserved groups, cross-subsidies of various kinds, and concessionary user rates for local NGOs. If properly promoted and documented, such commitments could serve as models for national and international development agencies concerned with communication policy.

For the Alliance to achieve its objectives, constituency building will have to occur on an on-going basis and at various levels, among both public and private organizations. It is likely that social marketing strategies also may be required if grassroots organizations are to utilize new regional and local information services. The success of such services must be based in turn on clearly articulated needs and priorities. With regard to dot-EDU programs, specifically, it is imperative that the gate keeping roles of teachers and principals be appreciated. Will new communication services be adequately understood, implemented and maintained by such groups? Have they received the necessary training and technical support necessary to adopt technology-based or assisted pedagogies within their classrooms on a continuing basis? Lacking such support, it is likely that even the most innovative and powerful programs will wither over time.

Content development also is likely to remain a major challenge for the Alliance, and especially the dot-EDU component, throughout the project. To increase access and boost student achievement in a wide variety of settings, multi-channel learning systems will have to be developed. The temptation simply to "download" or adapt at minimal cost off-the-shelf learning packages in such situations may be compelling. It must be avoided, however, unless enough time and resources can be provided to demonstrate the efficacy of imported methods and materials in unfamiliar circumstances. At the same time, DOT-COM's sponsors, in Washington and in the field, must recognize the time and financial challenges involved in designing local language materials for digital delivery and use. To achieve such objectives, the Alliance should determine how best to strengthen materials development capacities within local universities and teacher raining institutions.

Elliot Maxwell: dot-GOV Click here to visit his biography

The Internet ... represents profoundly democratic values and provides an extraordinary environment for innovation and participation.
At the network level, we should still strive to foster competition. But this has to be done with a recognition that the incumbent network operators are, and are likely to remain, the dominant players for at least the next five years. Efforts at reform will create inroads but change will come slowly--but must be pursued for all the reasons we have embraced competition in the industrialized world.
While competition policy focuses on the network operator we should also strive to carve out areas where new technologies can be protected, and where their disruptive effect can be encouraged. Safe harbors where they can be protected from domination by the incumbent. These technologies include wireless, particularly new unlicensed services such as those based on 802.11b, and the Internet as embodied in VoIP.

This suggests that we need to spend more time advocating the development of the Internet infrastructure as opposed to focusing only on the telecom infrastructure. And it means attention to creating an "open" environment--open standards, open source software, open access to networks, open spectrum. We should be seeking to create a networked society rather than a society with a more robust telecom or IT sector.

We're still in an early stage of this development, having been frustrated by the slow pace of the development of competition in the telecom sector. The learning stage will take some time but we need to harvest the lessons that we've learned in the industrial world and not simply prescribe what we've done to our target countries. That means more evaluation and reflection than we've often done, and more attention to the specific country conditions. I'd expect that the end result will also be that we go beyond the specific country to think regionally. Wisdom and insight are scare commodities and we need to gather the best of a region to work together and support one another.

Some thoughts beyond the network level. I've already mentioned open source software as a vehicle that has important local effects in stimulating the IT sector and reducing software cost and customer capture. The growth of content in languages other than English will also have an important impact and we should be encouraging the development of culturally appropriate content. One obvious source of content is government-related information--which should help make government more transparent and change the relationship between the government and the citizenry--to say nothing about the possible benefits in health, education etc.

The learning stage I mentioned applies to old folks like me. But kids are growing up in a new electronic environment. They will see this environment as natural. They will see the world with new eyes. Focus on helping them learn how to take these insights and change the world. And pay closer attention to the broader question of user driven innovation and the viral growth of services now made possible by the Internet.

As we try to effect change we have to ask whether we are making the best use of these technologies. We don't want to diminish our changes of success by failing to take advantage of what we're preaching.

As we try to affect change, we have to ask whether we, and the projects we are supporting, are making the best use of the technologies we are championing. We don't want to diminish our chances of success by failing to take advantage of what we're preaching. That openness is something which we should be attempting to propagate and defend around the world.

Michael Nelson: dot-GOV Click here to visit his biography
Internet revolution less than 5% complete
  • Can do anything you want as long as you have a good buzzword or bumper sticker.
  • Internet revolution less than 5% complete; new technologies are there and should promote these to Missions and host country governments.
  • Do what market is not doing. Don't recreate what cyber cafes and ISPs are doing. Competence and training is critical.
  • New applications like PDAs and VoIP need to be promoted plus open source (e.g. Apache) - not just cheaper but better. - PDA technology really important, wireless LAN, VoIP, most important is development of open source software - Linux, Apache, GRID computing.
  • Leverage / partner: use existing infrastructure like cyber cafes.
  • ICT community needs to bring together all information created so we can go beyond anecdotes and develop lessons; work with Canadians etc to tie the pieces together.
  • Change the DOT-COM name. It's confusing and we should connect it more with development.

Member Biographies

Dr. Vint Cerf
Dr. Peter Cowhey
William Kennard
Elliot E. Maxwell
Dr. Michael Nelson
Steve Cisler
Clotilde Fonseca
Dr. Nancy Hafkin
Dr. Don Richardson
Dr. Pedro Hepp
Dr. Ernesto Laval
Dr. John Mayo
Dr. Linda Roberts

Dr. Vinton G. Cerf
Vinton G. Cerf is senior vice president of Internet Architecture and Technology for WorldCom. Cerf is the co-designer of the TCP/IP protocol, the communications protocol that gave birth to the Internet and which is commonly used today. In December 1997, President Clinton presented the U.S. National Medal of Technology to Cerf and his partner, Robert E. Kahn, for founding and developing the Internet.

Prior to rejoining MCI in 1994, Cerf was vice president of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI). As vice president of MCI Digital Information Services from 1982-1986, he led the engineering of MCI Mail, the first commercial email service to be connected to the Internet.

During his tenure from 1976-1982 with the U.S. Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Cerf played a key role leading the development of Internet and Internet-related data packet and security technologies.

Cerf served as founding president of the Internet Society from 1992-1995 and as the chairman of the Board from 1998-1999. He is a fellow of the IEEE, ACM, American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.

Cerf holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Stanford University and Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from UCLA. He also holds honorary Doctorates from the University of the Balearic Islands, ETH in Switzerland, Capitol College and Gettysburg College.

Dr. Peter Cowhey
Peter F. Cowhey began serving as Dean of the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS) at UC San Diego in July of 2002. He also continues to serve as Director of the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC), a UC system-wide, multi-campus research unit dedicated to mobilizing the expertise of the University to address major issues of international relations.

His major fields of research are international political economy, comparative foreign policy, and international relations theory. In 1994, Cowhey took leave from UCSD to join the Federal Communications Commission. In 1997 he became the Chief of the International Bureau of the FCC where he was in charge of all policy and licensing for international telecommunications services, including all satellite issues and licensing for the FCC. Prior to becoming Bureau Chief he was the Commission's Senior Counselor for International Economic and Competition Policy. His current research includes the political determinants of foreign policy, the reorganization of the global communications and information industries, and the future of foreign trade and investment rules in the Pacific Rim.

Cowhey's extensive research and writings on international telecommunications markets and regulation have been supported by such research institutes as the World Bank, the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Enterprise Institute, the Brookings Institution, the Markle Foundation, and the Twentieth Century Fund. His books include: The Problems of Plenty: Energy Policy and International Politics; When Countries Talk: International Trade in Telecommunications Services (with J. Aronson); Managing the World Economy: The Consequences of Corporate Alliances (with J. Aronson); and Structure and Policy in Japan and United States (co-edited with Mathew McCubbins). He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

William E. Kennard
As chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission from November, 1997 to January, 2001, William E. Kennard presided over the FCC at an historic time. During his tenure, he shaped policies that created an explosion of new wireless phones, brought the Internet to a majority of American households, and resulted in billions of dollars of investment in new broadband technologies. At the same time, he implemented bold new policies to bridge the digital divide in the United States and around the world.

As FCC chairman, Kennard promoted the benefits of competition and deregulation worldwide. He pioneered an innovative Development Initiative to assist countries in the developing world to participate more fully in the global information infrastructure. Through this initiative, Mr. Kennard signed the first partnership agreements on behalf of the FCC with ten countries on four continents to share U.S. regulatory experience with emerging regulatory authorities.

Kennard served as general counsel of the FCC from 1993 until his appointment as chairman. Before joining the FCC, he was a partner and member of the board of directors of the law firm of Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand, in Washington, D.C.

Kennard joined The Carlyle Group, a private equity firm, in May 2001 as a managing director in the global telecommunications and media group. He was formerly senior fellow at the Aspen Institute, Communications and Society Program, in Washington, D.C. Mr. Kennard is a graduate of Stanford University and Yale Law School.

Charles Kenny
Charles Kenny, a US national, joined the World Bank in 1996. He is a senior infrastructure economist in the Global Information and Communications Technology department of the World Bank and IFC. He works on a number of projects related to telecommunications, posts and broadcasting policy and investment, including coordination of the bank's information infrastructure activities in Afghanistan and Kenya. He also coordinates a departmental research and analysis program.

Prior to his appointment in GICT, Mr. Kenny was an author on the 1999/2000 World Development Report and an analyst in the Development Economics Division of the World Bank, where he researched the causes of economic development.

Mr. Kenny has MAs from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (in International Economics) and London University's School of Oriental and African Studies (in Development Studies). He holds a BA in history from Cambridge University. He has published papers and book chapters on issues including the role of information and communications technologies in development, the impact of reform in the telecommunication sector, the 'digital divide,' what we know about the causes of economic growth, the link between economic growth and broader development, and the link between economic growth and happiness.

Elliot E. Maxwell
Elliot E. Maxwell advises public and private sector clients on strategic issues involving the intersection of business, technology, and public policy in the Internet and E-commerce domains. He is a Fellow of the Center for the Study of American Government at Johns Hopkins University and a Distinguished Research Fellow of the eBusiness Research Center of the Pennsylvania State University.

From 1998 until 2001, Mr. Maxwell served as Special Advisor for the Digital Economy to U.S. Secretary of Commerce William Daley and U. S. Secretary of Commerce Norm Mineta. In this position he was the principal advisor to the Secretary on the Internet and E-commerce. He coordinated the Commerce Department's efforts to establish a legal framework for electronic commerce, ensure privacy, protect intellectual property, increase Internet security, encourage broadband deployment, expand Internet participation, and analyze the impact of electronic commerce on all aspects of business and the economy. He was deeply involved in the development of E-government activities and was a founding member of the U.S. Government Interagency Working Group on Electronic Commerce.

After leaving the government, Mr Maxwell was Senior Fellow for the Digital Economy and Director of the Internet Policy Project for the Aspen Institute's Communications and Society Program. The Communications and Society Program focuses on the impact of communications and information technologies on democratic institutions, the economy, individual behavior, and community life.

Previously, Mr. Maxwell worked for a number of years as a consultant and as Assistant Vice President for Corporate Strategy of Pacific Telesis Group where he combined business, technology, and public policy planning. He served at the Federal Communications Commission as Special Assistant to the Chairman, Deputy Chief of the Office of Plans and Policy, and Deputy Chief of the Office of Science and Technology. Mr. Maxwell also worked for the U.S. Senate as Senior Counsel to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Activities.

Mr. Maxwell graduated from Brown University and Yale University Law School. He has written and spoken widely on issues involving the Internet, electronic commerce, telecommunications, and technology policy. His most recent work, Rethinking Boundaries in Cyberspace, written with Erez Kalir, has just been published by the Aspen Institute and is available at

Dr. Michael R. Nelson
As Director of Internet Technology and Strategy at IBM, Mike Nelson manages a team helping define and implement IBM's Next Generation Internet strategy. His group is working with university researchers on NGi technology, shaping standards for the NGi, and communicating IBM's NGi vision to customers, policy makers, the press, and the general public. He is also responsible for organizing IBM's involvement in the Global Internet Project, a coalition of 14 telecom and computer companies working to address key Internet issues.

Prior to joining IBM in July, 1998, Nelson was Director for Technology Policy at the Federal Communications Commission. There he helped craft policies to foster electronic commerce, spur development and deployment of new technologies, and improve the reliability and security of the nation's telecommunications networks.

Before joining the FCC in January, 1997, Nelson was Special Assistant for Information Technology at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy where he worked with Vice President Gore and the President's Science Advisor on issues relating to the Global Information Infrastructure, including telecommunications policy, information technology, encryption, electronic commerce, and information policy.

From 1988 to 1993, Nelson served as a professional staff member for the Senate's Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space, chaired by then-Senator Gore. He was the lead Senate staffer for the High-Performance Computing Act.

Nelson has a B.S. in geology from Caltech, and a Ph.D. in geophysics from MIT.

Steve Cisler
Steve Cisler is a librarian and telecommunications consultant who has been involved with community networks since 1986. In the 1990's while at Apple Computer, Inc, he made grants to libraries and communities that were building Free Nets and other community networks. He convened two community networking conferences, Ties That Bind, in 1994 and 1995, that brought together networkers from the United States, Great Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Mexico, and Germany. He headed a project as Apple to free up unlicensed wireless spectrum (5 GHz band) for public use.

In 1996, Cisler helped found what is now the Association For Community Networking, and since then has been active in the rural United States and in Latin America to help grow community-based ICT projects.

Cisler has worked with indigenous groups in the Americas and Asia on issues related to connectivity, cultural content, and language revitalization. He has written guidebooks on connectivity and "sustainability" in developing country projects. His main goal is to see groups sharing common goals working across traditional boundaries.

Clotilde Fonseca
Ms. Clotilde Fonseca is a founding director of the Costa Rican Educational Informatics Program created in 1988 in Costa Rica by the Omar Dengo Foundation and the Ministry of Public Education, a program that has reached over one million children and teachers during its first decade of work. She has been Executive Director of the Omar Dengo Foundation from its founding in 1987 to 1994 and from 1996 to present.

Fonseca has also been Executive President of the Costa Rican Social Assistance Institute, the national institution in charge of antipoverty programs (1994-1995). At present she is also a member of the Advisory Board to the Minister of Science and Technology and of the Advisory Board of the State of the Nation Project, and of the Hemispheric Advisory Board of the Institute of Connectivity for the Americas established by the Government of Canada.

Fonseca is the author of the book Computers in Costa Rican Schools and of many academic and general interest articles in the areas of education, technology and socio-economic development. Among the more recent are "Computers in Education in Costa Rica: Towards an Innovative Approach for the Use of Computers in Schools" in Spanish (UNICEF 1999), "The Computer: A New Door to Educational and Social Opportunities" (LCSI, Canada (1999, "Rethoric vs. Practice: An Analysis of the World Summit on Social Development" in Spanish (1998) and "Educational Challenges for the Education of Poor Urban Youth" in Spanish and English (UNICEF-HABITAT 1998). More recent publications include "Innovative Teachers" (March 2001) "Myths and Goals on the Uses of Information Technologies in Education" (September 2001), and "Aprendizaje y Tecnologías Digitales: ¿Novedad o Innovación?" (2002).

Fonseca holds a Master in Public Administration, with emphasis on Education and Technology Policy, from Harvard University where she was granted a Luscius Littauer award for academic leadership. She also has a "licenciate" degree in English Literature by the University of Costa Rica and has done graduate work in mass communication at the University of Navarre, Spain. Ms. Fonseca has been professor at the University of Costa Rica, where she has also done research. Fonseca is particularly interested in the democratic uses of new technologies, and in the use of digital technologies for the development of talent, creativity and cognitive skills.

Dr. Nancy J. Hafkin
Dr. Nancy J. Hafkin has been working to promote the development of information and communications in Africa over the course of more than twenty-five years.

Hafkin spearheaded the Pan African Development Information System (PADIS) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) from 1987 until 1997. She then served as Team Leader for Promoting of Information Technology for Development, of the Development Information Services Division of ECA (UN) from 1997 until 2000, where she was Coordinator of the African Information Society Initiative (AISI), the African governments' mandate to use ICTs to accelerate socio-economic development in Africa.

Hafkin also served as a facilitator in establishing the Partnership for Information and Communication Technologies in Africa (PICTA), a coordinating body of donor and executing agency partners in support of the AISI. She headed a number of early efforts at electronic connectivity in Africa, particularly through the Capacity Building for Electronic Communication in Africa project, 1993-1996 (CABECA) and the organization of major conferences including the Regional Symposium on Telematics (1995), Global Connectivity for Africa (1998) and the first African Development Forum: Challenges to African of Globalization and the Information Age (1999).

Hafkin has a long history of work on gender and development issues. In 1976, she co-edited Women in Africa: Studies in Social and Economic Change (Stanford University Press). From 1976-1987 she worked as Chief of Research and Publications at the African Training and Research Centre for Women of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia). In 2000 the Association for Progressive established an annual Nancy Hafkin Communications Prize competition. In 2001 she co-authored Gender, Information Technology, and Developing Countries, (digital version can be found at commissioned by USAID.

Hafkin is now working as a consultant on gender and information technology. She has a Ph.D. in African history from Boston University.

Dr. Don Richardson
Don Richardson is Director of the TeleCommons Development Group of ESG International, a Canadian company focused on public consultation, communications, and environmental programs. Richardson is a communications expert with many years of experience in participatory community development, working primarily in rural and remote communities. More recently he has directed the public consultation components of a variety of projects in large urban centers, including a Brownfield remediation for residential development in downtown Toronto, where the neighboring community had full input into the planning and design.

Richardson has been involved in global initiatives to promote universal access to information and communication technologies (ICTs), and has gained an international reputation for his work in the application of ICTs for social and economic development: e.g. agricultural information systems; distance education; tele-health; and community development.

Projects include:
  • A multi-stakeholder communication processes surrounding a large scale ($10 million) telecom infrastructure and application project involving First Nations communities in Northern Canada;
  • The Electronic Networking for Rural Asia-Pacific (ENRAP) Project, assessing the communication needs and potential Internet application for rural and agricultural development projects in the region;
  • A Rapid Market Appraisal for a rural telephone system in West Africa;
  • A telecommunication needs assessment for the State of Arizona;
  • Consultation on the design of a number of agricultural information and extension systems;
  • A telecenter pilot program in Thailand; and
  • A multi-media evaluation of the Grameen VillagePhone in Bangladesh.
Richardson has also served as a senior consultant to national and global organizations for ICT planning, telecom regulatory and policy review, and Universal Access initiatives. These include:
  • Communication for development advisor, for the World Bank, providing guidance for the integration of communication components within large scale infrastructure projects;
  • Communication Advisor for the Social Action Programme Communication project (SAPCom) in Pakistan;
  • Facilitator for the articulation of telecommunication and economic development vision among rural and agricultural stakeholders in the Province of Ontario;
  • Assistance with preparation of government policy papers and rural stakeholder engagement for a village telephone and telecommunication infrastructure project in the Philippines; and
  • Consultant to FAO for the development of a Virtual Extension and Research Communication Network for the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture.
He is a member of the G-8 Dot Force Advisory Committee for Global Universal Access of the Government of Canada.

Dr. Pedro Hepp
Pedro Hepp is Professor of Education and past Director of the Instituto de Informática Educativa at the Universidad de La Frontera in Chile. He was formerly National Coordinator of Chile's groundbreaking Enlaces Project - one of the first Internet applications to education in Chile. Launched as part of the 1992 educational reform, the Enlaces network now reaches more than 90 percent of the nation's schools.

In July of this year, in recognition of his pioneering work with Enlaces and in other educational technology applications, Hepp was awarded the prestigious 2002 World Technology Award for Education from the World Technology Network. In WTN's words, this award is "to honour those innovators who have done work recently which will have the greatest likely future significance and impact over the long-term... and who will likely become or remain 'key players' in the technological drama unfolding in coming years."

Hepp's particular professional interests are ICT policies for developing countries and technology education. A civil and electrical engineer, Dr. Hepp holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science.

Dr. Ernesto Laval
Dr. Ernesto Laval has worked during the last 12 years in the field of ICT in Education, particularly in the design and implementation of the Chilean National program for ICT in primary and secondary schools Enlaces Network.

Laval is one of the directors of the Instituto de Informática Educativa at the University of La Frontera in Chile, and member of the board of directors of Enlaces Network at the Chilean Ministry of Education.

In the recent years, Laval has been in charge of the design of the Chilean initiative of ICT in rural schools, and currently is working as a senior consultant in the design of the Chilean Strategy for Literacy and Numeracy in primary schools. At the Instituto de Informática Educativa, he has been director of the areas of Education, Distance Education and Pedagogical Practices.

Laval performed his graduate studies in Computer Science (Catholic University of Chile) and Education (Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol, UK).

Dr. John Mayo
John Mayo is Dean of the College and Professor of Communication at Florida State University. From 1984-94 he served as director of FSU's Center for International Studies (part of the Learning Systems Institute). His teaching and research interests include: international and development communication, the diffusion of innovations, and distance learning.

Mayo has directed R&D projects in El Salvador, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Peru and Nepal. He has served on the editorial boards of the InternationalCommunication Association's (ICA) Journal of Communication and Communication Theory. In 1999, Mayo produced Witness, a video documentary, in collaboration with the Lawyers' Committee on Human Rights.

Mayo received his A.B. in Politics from Princeton and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Communication from Stanford. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Colombia from 1965-67 and a Fulbright Lecturer in Chile in 1972, the final year of the Allende Government.

Linda G. Roberts, Ed.D.
Linda G. Roberts directed the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology from its inception in September 1993 to January 2001, and served as the Secretary of Education’s Special Adviser on Technology. Roberts developed the first National Technology Plan, launched five new technology programs for the Clinton Administration, and increased the Federal technology budget from less than $30 million to over $900 million annually. She is presently a Senior Adviser to several leading technology companies. She is a Trustee of the Board of the Sesame Workshop (Sesame Street) and a Trustee of the Education Development Corporation. In addition she serves on the Boards of Directors of Wireless Generation and Carnegie Learning.

Smithsonian magazine called Roberts, America’s advocate for educational technology at the highest levels of government. While Director of the Office of Educational Technology, Roberts championed the development of the E-RATE, a $2.25 billion program to bring the Internet and advanced telecommunications to the Nation’s schools and libraries. Through national conferences and special projects Roberts supported research and international efforts to advance the effective use of technology.

Roberts has visited schools and universities across the U.S. and keynoted at more than 150 state, national and international education conferences, and traveled to Brazil, Chile, Finland, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, and the United Kingdom promoting innovative and effective use of educational technology.

Roberts is the recipient of many awards, including the Smithsonian Computer World Award for Leadership in Education, the ISTE Pioneer Award, the Federal 100 Award, and the U.S. Distance Learning Association’s Eagle Award. Roberts also served on the George Lucas Educational Foundation Board of Advisers.

Before joining the Clinton Administration, she was a Senior Associate at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, where she directed three landmark studies: Power On! New Tools for Teaching and Learning; Linking for Learning: A New Course for Education; and Adult Literacy and Technology: Tools for a Lifetime. She is a former elementary school teacher and reading specialist, university professor and Academic Dean. She also served as an adviser to the Children’s Television Workshop, during the development of Sesame Street and The Electric Company. She holds a B.S. from Cornell University, an Ed.M. from Harvard University, and an Ed.D. from the University of Tennessee.

For more information, please contact

Siobhan Green, Information & Dissemination Coordinator, DOT-COM Alliance
Tel: +1 202 884 8948

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