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August 2015, Issue 22
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Monthly Newsletter

Participants at A4AI's USF Workshop in Myanmar on July 27 deliberate over what they want out of a universal service fund. Photo credit: A4AI

A4AI Convenes Myanmar Stakeholders to Debate Universal Access Strategy & Draft Action Plans

Following the launch of its engagement in Myanmar in March 2015, A4AI returned to Yangon on July 27-28 to organise a universal service fund (USF) workshop and host a meeting of the A4AI-Myanmar Coalition. The workshop examined the topic of “establishing a multi-stakeholder-based USF” with key experts Parvez Iftikhar, former CEO of Pakistan’s USF, and Rohan Samarajiva, founding chair of LIRNEasia, sharing best practices and lessons learned from their respective countries and from the region.   

Myanmar is in the very nascent stages of establishing its universal access strategy and only beginning to think about the structure and operations of its future universal service fund. To support this process, A4AI’s workshop aimed to raise awareness of the concept of USF as one of the many strategies for achieving universal access and allowed all stakeholders to share their wants and concerns in an open forum.

Building on the USF workshop, the July 28 coalition meeting allowed stakeholders -- including representatives from MCIT and Ministry of Finance, operators Ooredoo and Telenor, telecoms industry associations, and civil society organisations -- to more closely examine the challenges around the priority issues that the coalition has chosen to tackle and begin drafting their work plans.

Working groups were able to meet and brainstorm the activities they will implement around their respective issues:

  • Universal Service Fund: its establishment and management
  • Data collection, research and analysis
  • Infrastructure deployment and sharing
  • Taxation and tariffs

Some of the proposed activities include drafting recommendations for a policy framework and the establishment of a USF, creating a consolidated network deployment map, proposing standards and procedures for infrastructure sharing, creating a comprehensive taxation and fiscal map of the ICT sector, and recommending standards and indicators for ICT data collection in the country.

You can view all presentations and documents from the events on our country webpage

A4AI-Mozambique Coalition Submits Official Recommendation to National Statistical Office for Better ICT Data Collection

On July 7 and 8, A4AI (in partnership with Cetic.br and SIITRI) convened a second workshop on ICT research and methodology in Maputo, Mozambique, where workshop participants reached consensus on a handful of key questions that need to be updated or developed for use in the 2017 census and national household surveys, including questions intended to measure how many households have access to ICTs and broadband, and how frequently they use them. 

The group submitted their official recommendations to the national statistical office (Instituto Nacional de Estatistica – INE) last month.

The inclusion of ICT usage questions in the 2017 census and other surveys in Mozambique will enable overall research in the ICT sector to improve and contribute to the development of evidence-based policies that support economic growth across other sectors in the country.  Additionally, the data will enable the effective monitoring and evaluation of developments in the sector.

You can read more about the 
outcomes of the workshop on our blog

Photo caption: Participants in Mozambique review feedback from the workshop's group sessions.
Credit: A4AI

In this issue: 

Membership & Research UpdateMember Feature Engage with A4AI
We're Hiring! Check out our new job posting on our webpage: http://a4ai.org/get-involved/job-opportunities/ 

Membership Update


We are excited to announce that the United Nations University Institute on Computing and Society (UNU-CS) has joined A4AI as a public sector member. 

UNU-CS is a new research institute at the intersections of ICTs and international development. Located in Macau SAR, China, UNU-CS focuses on the key challenges faced by developing societies through high-impact innovations in computing and communication technologies.



Staff Update

 
A4AI Appoints Kojo Boakye as its Deputy Director 

A4AI is pleased to announce that Kojo Boakye has been appointed Deputy Director of A4AI, effective immediately. Kojo steps into this newly-created role from his current position as A4AI’s policy manager. As Deputy Director, he will continue to spearhead A4AI’s policy work, while taking an active role alongside A4AI’s Executive Director Sonia Jorge on international advocacy efforts, strengthening partnerships at the national and regional levels, and overseeing the operations of the Alliance’s national coalitions.
 

Calling All Members Attending IGF 2015

 

As we begin prepping for this year's Internet Governance Forum, taking place in João Pessoa, Brazil on November 10-13, A4AI wants to know if you will be attending to help us in our planning for meetings and events. 
 
If you think you will be in Brazil for IGF this year, please fill out this quick Google form and let us know: http://goo.gl/forms/9RC62bJk54
Engage with A4AI! 
Upcoming Events 

All members are invited to attend our presentations, panels, and forums. If you are interested in scheduling a meeting with our team at any of the below events, please e-mail emilie.yam@webfoundation.org.  
September 6-8

The African Internet Governance Forum

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 
*A4AI staff are scheduled to attend


September 14-16

Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation Forum 2015

Nairobi, Kenya
*A4AI Deputy Director Kojo Boakye will be attending


September 15-16 (Tentative)

A4AI-Dominican Republic Coalition Meeting & Workshop (hosted by A4AI)

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic


September 22-23

NigeriaCom Conference 

Lagos, Nigeria


September 22-25

Meetings of the ITU Expert Groups on ICT Household Indicators & Telecommunication/ICT Indicators

Geneva, Switzerland
*A4AI Research Manager Dhanaraj Thakur will be attending. 
September 24

Meeting of the UN Broadband Commission's Working Group on Broadband & Gender


New York, USA
*A4AI Executive Director Sonia Jorge will be attending. 


October 6-7 (Tentative)

A4AI-Mozambique Coalition Meeting & Workshop (hosted by A4AI)

Maputo, Mozambique


October 19-21

Transform Africa

Kigali, Rwanda
*A4AI will be organizing two of the main sessions. 


October 21-22

Stockholm Internet Forum 2015


Stockholm, Sweden
*A4AI will be participating. 








 
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