Spain releases US$ 816,000 for IFAP projects
Thanks to funds now released by the Spanish Government, four projects of UNESCO's Information for All Programme (IFAP) can now begin. All four projects deal with e-governance in Latin American countries.
E-Government and e-Governance are complimentary concepts adopted by the public sector to increase the use of information and communication technologies with the aim of improving information and service delivery to citizens and to stimulate citizen participation in the decision-making process and making governments more accountable, transparent and effective.
The four IFAP projects , for which a total amount of US$816,000 from a Spanish Funds-in-trusts are now available, deal with different aspects of e-government and e-governance: "E-government Model for World Heritage Cities"; "Establishment of an E-Governance Network for Local Administrators in MERCOSUR Countries"; "Participation of the National Archives of Chile and Archives of Ministries in the Electronic Governance Project"; and "ICT for Improving Local Governance: Capacity and Community Building for Local Administrators in Latin-America".
The first project "E-Government Model for World Heritage Cities" includes the development of an e-government programme for the three World Heritage cities Quito (Ecuador), Cartagena de Indias (Colombia) and Cuzco (Peru). Through an effective e-government system the local governments will be able to facilitate access to information, and strengthen the freedom of expression and the democratic character of the government. It is also expected that e-government will facilitate the preservation of goods on the World Heritage list. This project will provide a conceptual e-government model to be adapted by other World Heritage Cities.
The project, "Establishment of an e-Governance Network for Local Administrators in MERCOSUR Countries", seeks to create a multimedia communication and information network, permitting municipal governments, communities and civil society organizations of MERCOSUR to better access information relating to their communities. The network will provide a platform for enhancing the information exchange with respect to municipal processes and for strengthening the collaboration between local governments and the civil society. It shall connect the MERCOCIUDADES web more strongly by facilitating interaction between the 123 cities.
The third project "Participation of the National Archives of Chile and Archives of Ministries in the Electronic Governance Project" aims at strengthening the information system of the National Archives of Chile. Through closer interaction with the Archives of Ministries, the National Archives of Chile seeks to provide the community with better access to political, administrative, judicial and historic information.
The goal of the fourth project, "ICT for Improving Local Governance: Capacity and Community Building for Local Administrators in Latin-America", is to raise awareness and strengthen capabilities of persons working in local governments regarding the use of ICT for improving local governance. The project is based on the concepts and trainings components of the transversal UNESCO programme "Information and Communication Technologies as tools for Improving Local Governance", which aims at promoting the use of ICT tools in municipalities in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean to enhance good governance and to reinforce social cohesion and local democracy.
UNESCO's Information for All Programme (IFAP), under which the projects are being implemented provides a framework for international co-operation and international and regional partnerships. It supports the development of common strategies, methods and tools to build inclusive, open and pluralistic Knowledge Societies and to narrow the gap between the information rich and the information poor. IFAP contributes to the fulfilment of UNESCO's mandate to contribute to "education for all", to the free exchange of ideas and knowledge, and to improve the means of communication between peoples.
The Intergovernmental Council for the Information for All Programme meets for its fourth session from 20 to 22 March 2006 in Paris.
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