Achievement at a glance
We have successfully transitioned our Partnership from education only to a powerful computer aided decision support and capacity building organization that is concentrating on rapid implementations of SDGs (Goal 17) through “Smart” Hubs” and Pilot Projects. Specifically, we have done the following. FIRST: The SDG Advisor, introduced in the Bahama Conference, has now matured into a powerful tool that allows all 193 countries and all SIDS to implement 12 SDGs. SECOND: The “Center for Rapid Implementation of SDGs Through ICT”, also presented in the Bahama Conference, has now matured into a Global Operation and Decision Support Center for SIDS. THIRD: The ICT4SIDS Hypertension Center is currently being used in the May Measurement Month for Blood Pressure Measurements by the World Hypertension League. FOURTH: We have developed an Entrepreneurship Portal for economic developments and microfinancing for youth in SIDS. FIFTH: We have recently launched a “Smart SIDS” initiative with “Smart Solomons” as the posterchild of this effort. SIXTH: We have integrated all of the aforementioned tools into a highly flexible implementation methodology to support large number of pilot projects. SEVENTH: We have developed a unique hands-on training workshop for “Rapid SDG Implementation” that systematically guides the users to assess their SDG status, evaluate the type of services needed to improve their status, and even launch the needed services through a computer aided planner. FINALLY: The ICT4SIDS work on Smart Hubs has been noticed by IBM, Citibank Foundation, and other UN initiatives such as UCLG.org and the New Urban Agenda. We are currently extending our toolset for the New Urban Agenda. FOR MORE INFORMATION, SEE THE DETAILED PROGRESS REPORT: \r\nhttp://www.ict4sids.com/Documents/Smart-Hubs4SDG-SIDS-Detailed%20Progress-V1-May2017.pdf\r\n
Challenges faced in implementation
FIRST CHALLENGE: The persistent digital divide. Innovative solution approaches based on people-process-technology tradeoffs are needed to ameliorate the digital divide and other unique challenges facing the SIDS. Based on the lessons learned in the last 2 years, we have started focusing on “Smart Hubs” to ameliorate the digital divide in rural and isolated populations. Specifically, smart hubs are supported by powerful portals that provide highly specialized region and population specific services for SDGs and also fully support the vision of widely distributed information hubs as specified in the Samoa Pathway Declaration (Para h, Section 109). These smart hubs must be designed to collaborate with each other for rapid regional growth. Based on our work this year, we feel that carefully designed collaborating smart hubs that serve different populations in rural as well as urban areas can ameliorate the digital divide and significantly accelerate the progress towards the SDGs. SECOND CHALLENGE: Many ICT projects, especially in developing countries, face failure rates of 60-85% due to expensive retries. Smart hub projects are no exception. In response, we have developed a careful methodology, discussed in the attached “Detailed Progress Report”, that is supported by an integrated set of tools to do more (provide more services to more users) with less (time, money, trained staff and risk). This methodology and the associated tools have been improved and enriched successively through the hands-on experience and practical insights gained through more than a dozen pilot projects. At the time of this writing, the first 2 phases of the methodology are practically error free due to sophisticated use of Big Data and artificial intelligence. However, the last 2 phases are still prone to failures. We plan to work on these 2 phases in the future.
As stated previously, we have successfully transitioned our Partnership from education only to a powerful computer aided decision support and capacity building organization that is concentrating on rapid implementations of SDGs (Goal 17) through “Smart” Hubs”. Our next steps are to build on the progress being made in 2017 by pursuing the following directions. FIRST: Get more young people involved and launch more pilot projects that concentrate on SIDS related issues (e.g., climate and Oceans). SECOND: Expand our partnership network by adding more volunteers and pursue funding possibilities by working with Citibank Foundation and other foundations. THIRD: Expand the SDG Advisor to cover more goals (e.g., add Goal14: Oceans, and Goal6: Water and sanitation) and also start offering Financial Advice to the users. In addition, we want to go beyond the current Big Data sources such as World Bank and UN Department of Statistics to provide first rate advice for rapid implementations of SDG, typically within an hour. FOURTH: Expand our computer aided planner to generate location specific solutions, within an hour, for a wider range of SDG-related services for the 193 countries. FIFTH: Expand our Global Operation Center (Dashboard) on the IBM donated machine to provide business intelligence and facilitation of the collaborations between smart hubs. For example, how Nursing Graduates from Tanzania can support Telemedicine Centers in Haiti and Jamaica. SIXTH: Expand our hands-on training workshop for “Rapid SDG Implementation” that systematically guides the users to assess their SDG status, evaluate the type of services needed to improve their status, and even launch the needed services through a computer aided planner. SEVENTH: Expand the ICT4SIDS work on Smart Hubs for the New Urban Agenda by working with our contacts in the UCLG.org.
Beneficiaries: young entrepreneurs who want tangible business opportunities as Hub Masters, students who want to specialize in ICT for better employment opportunities, hypertension patients in remote areas and SIDS officials who want to rapidly implement SDGs in their countries
We are implementing about 13 SDG pilot projects that span 10 countries with a mixture of SIDS, LDCs and others. The objective of our free pilot projects (about 3 months each) is to provide educational and entrepreneurship opportunities for the youth. We are specifically employing local youth as Point of Contacts (POCs) who are given tangible educational and entrepreneurship opportunities in different rural and urban areas around the globe. Specific examples -- FIRST: Our Hypertension Telemedicine Centers, in collaboration with the World Hypertension League, are Currently supporting populations in Haiti. In addition, Seat Pleasant, a small town in Maryland (USA), is forming a Hypertension Hub for small towns in Maryland. SECOND: Young nursing school graduates are being given opportunities to run Hypertension Telemedicine Centers as “Hub Masters”. THIRD: In Tanzania, we launched an educational hub for educating high school teachers in ICT (a highly valued skill in extremely short supply). This hub exceeded our expectations by becoming financially independent in just 2 months because of much higher than expected enrollments (we were expecting 30 students, we enrolled 120 students). FOURTH: The POCs of each hub are required to communicate and collaborate with at least 3 other hubs as part of the training program. They initially exchange educational materials and lessons learned but later start exchanging other vital information such as evacuation procedures in case of a disaster and digital marketing approaches for cottage industries. FIFTH: Even in its formative stages, the collaboration between hubs provides a rich educational source for interactions between different hubs in the same country (e.g., all hubs of the Solomons), collaborations between different countries but on the same topic (e.g., telemedicine hub in Haiti collaborating with the one in Seat Pleasant), and mixtures (e.g., micro-entrepreneurship and micro financing in different countries collaborating with each other).
ICT4SIDS Partnership - Detailed Progress Report: Focus on Smart Hubs for Rapid Implementation of SDGs