The Internet Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the open development, evolution and use of the Internet and the Philippines’ Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) announced the launch of the National ICT Ecosystem Framework (NICTEF). This information and communications technology roadmap demonstrates how governments can engage citizens and other stakeholder groups in policymaking.
President Rodrigo Duterte has said that NICTEF will “make industry development inclusive, create more jobs, empower the marginalized, promote transparency and accountability in government and bolster confidence in our economy.”
The framework – a successor to the Philippine Digital Strategy initiative from 2011-2016 – will be a living document whose plans, programs and projects will be updated periodically as the government continually considers comments from all sectors of society and other indicators and results. In particular, sub-committees will be created to more effectively respond and cater to the needs of the countryside. Updates will be made available on the framework’s website.
“Through NICTEF, DICT and the Internet Society, along with the principal contributors and subject matter experts, we are showing the Asia-Pacific region how vital participatory governance is in this part of the world. The strong sense of collaboration focused on bridging the digital gap makes NICTEF a truly living document,” explained Eliseo Rio Jr, Acting Secretary, Department of Information and Communications Technology.
The framework recognizes the interdependent roles that government, businesses, and civil society organizations play in the digital ecosystem, emphasizing that inclusive and transparent processes are more likely to produce workable outcomes and support from users.
The DICT describes the framework as key to developing a knowledge society designed to “maximize the benefits of open governance, magnify the advantages of industry applications and multiply the opportunities of skills development”.
The launch of the framework comes after the DICT and the Internet Society signed a Memorandum of Understanding in July 2018 to use the multistakeholder approach not only in the framework’s development, but also implementation. Several training workshops were given to civil servants to broaden their understanding of the principles that underpin the architecture and continued evolution of the Internet.
Rajnesh Singh, Chief Regional Director for Asia Pacific, Internet Society, said, “The Philippine Government’s commitment to following the multi-stakeholder model in the development of NICTEF is an exemplary approach and is a model best practice for other countries to consider in their policy development processes.”