As the ICT sector goes through a period of transformation, in terms of converging networks and services and powerful new applications, GICT is helping governments, and more generally, the public sector, to design and implement ICT development policies through a broad range of instruments and public-private partnerships, with emphasis on several key areas:
Advising governments on sector policies; sequencing of reforms; market structure; competition; laws and regulations; license design; radio spectrum management; privatization of government-owned telecommunications companies; restructuring and reform of incumbent postal operators; removal of barriers to investment; and other issues, primarily in the telecommunications and postal sectors. This work emphasizes the transition from largely public and monopolistic markets to dynamic, competitive, private-sector-led market structures. It also involves development of strategies for broadband deployment.
Strengthening Regulatory Structures
Supporting the establishment and strengthening of independent regulatory agencies covering the ICT sector, as well as the design and enforcement of pro-competitive rules and regulations (including interconnection and tariff regimes) to promote investment, network development and competition; restrain incumbent monopoly power; and protect consumers.
Internet, Convergence, and e-Strategies
Assisting governments and regulatory agencies to address a new generation of regulatory issues in the context of convergence in communication networks and the significance growth of broadband and Internet connectivity. Advice may be provided on policy matters arising from the Internet and the convergence of telecommunications, computing, and broadcasting. This includes national information infrastructure strategies, regulatory frameworks, information policy and security.
Facilitating the design of policies, regulatory instruments, and institutional arrangements that promote private sector investment in the delivery of telecommunications and ICT services to remote and rural locations. This includes the deployment of high-speed national backbone and last-mile broadband infrastructure networks.Where there are market failures and gaps, the World Bank also provides financing on a competitive basis to leverage private sector investment and extend services to un-served or under-served areas. The World Bank also supports regional connectivity initiatives that improve information infrastructure links between countries and to global infrastructure networks, and activities that provide access to information and government services in rural and remote areas through community tele-centers, information kiosks, post offices, and schools.
Providing technical advice and investment support for the design and rollout of e-government solutions and applications. These include policy, regulatory and legal aspects, institutional frameworks, IT architecture and interoperability standards, shared infrastructure and services, training and change management, e-government applications and innovative funding arrangements including public-private partnerships. Support is also provided for project design, implementation and procurement of e-government delivery channels, information kiosks, community service centers and mobile service delivery platforms.
IT-Enabled Industry Development
Providing technical advice and investment support for development of the IT and IT-enabled services industry. Such support includes assessment of competitiveness in the industry, and implementation of strategies to enhance competitiveness—through policy, regulatory and legal advice in areas including data privacy and intellectual property issues; institutional capacity building for market intelligence and investment promotion; development of IT Parks, incubators, shared technology infrastructure; skill development programs; quality enhancement; and funding schemes for local industry; and technology tracking initiatives.
Postal development includes the modernization of the entire postal sector and the transformation of public postal authorities into market oriented and financially viable businesses. The Bank regards the postal sector as a critical part of a country's information and communication infrastructure and recognizes the important role of modern postal systems in the 'new economy'.
We disseminate ICT-related information to key internal and external audiences through our operations as well as through a help-desk, newsletters, best-practice notes, and other publications. We also organize and conduct learning activities such as clinics, seminars and workshops, to strengthen ICT project management skills and the quality of operations in the sector.
The financial instruments available include:
- Investment loans and credits to finance goods, works and services in support of sector development
- Development policy loans and credits to provide quick disbursing budgetary assistance in support of sector reform programs
- Project guarantees to mobilize private sector financing and
- Grants through Trust Funds, the International Development Association and the Institutional Development Fund for technical assistance and investment financing.