IDG's work in this area seeks to leverage cutting-edge technologies in the service of development, at the national level, at the level of specific communities and agencies, and at the project level.
IDG can build the competitiveness of ICT industries, assessing and benchmarking to determine which products and services offer a comparative advantage, offering assistance to improve productivity and introduce new services in demand by international and national markets, improving skills in marketing and building linkages to new customers, and helping with access to finance.
IDG has worked to promote the ICT sectors of telecommunications, software development and use of mobile banking and other financial services, as well as introducing more widespread use of ICT in agriculture and manufacturing.
IDG is a pioneer in using ICT for monitoring and evaluation, and for survey work, by using Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) to collect survey answers and other data. This allows for parallel collection of GPS coordinates to pinpoint the geospatial point of data collection, and for rapid collection and aggregation of data, with fewer errors and lower demand on personnel resources.
Recently in Tunisia, the IDG team met with senior advisors at the Tunisian Ministry of Information and Communications Technology to finalize a work plan for technical assistance to the Ministry to draft a new Telecommunications Code and to prepare a Broadband Gap Analysis over the next six months.
In Lebanon, IDG completed a project that entailed drafting a feasibility study and master plan for a Special Economic Zone in Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli, with the intent of facilitating job creation outside the capital city. Targeted sectors include ICT and manufacturing. IDG assessed the Rachid Karami Fairground (RKF) Site in Tripoli for its suitability for development as an ICT and creative industry center that would bring ICT jobs to the region. IDG undertook a comparative benchmarking of telecommunications costs across the Middle East and North Africa and led a market assessment of ICT industry in Lebanon that entailed extensive interviews with firms in software businesses and visits to ICT incubator parks.
IDG completed a corridors development project in Liberia that identified agriculture and non-agriculture investment opportunities along the Buchanan-Yekepa, Monrovia-Ganta and Monrovia - Buchanan corridors. IDG used mobile technology for data collection with Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs). Digital data collection was more efficient than traditional paper-based methods and allowed for collection of data in several formats including GPS, farm size areas and audio/video. Under the Regional Planning component, IDG also initiated the process of digitizing city directories in collaboration with MPEA staff that included contact information and GPS coordinates of businesses, government offices, major schools, and institutions such as NGOs in five cities in Liberia.
In Brazil and Russia, IDG International, in cooperation with ICO, completed a comprehensive project to design innovative strategies to deliver phone services to widely dispersed rural communities and create small business opportunities for entrepreneurs in these areas.