NCST/IICD Projects: Initiatives to Apply Information and Communication Technologies to Improving Productivity and Social Upliftment
Since 1998, the National Commission on Science and Technology (NCST) has worked with the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) to promote the usage of Information and Communication Technologies in various sectors. Selected through a round table process, the projects that are currently being implemented by different project partners in the productive sector include:
The Agri-Business Information System (ABIS) managed by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) which aims to provide better access to agricultural information to both producers and users of agricultural production and marketing. The project has so far collected information on producers and buyers, including registries and production and marketing information. The database is accessible through the intranet at RADA’s field offices.
Central and Satellite Agricultural Information Centers is owned by the St. Elizabeth and Manchester Vegetable Growers Association and the Mandeville Weekly newspaper and aims at providing information to farmers in these two parishes through computer technology. Agricultural information centers have been set up and a database-driven website developed.
The Global Teenagers Project, managed by the Jamaica Computer Society Education Foundation, is a network of students around the world and facilitates students’ participation in online training programmes to expand knowledge and interest in other countries. An expansion project, Global Teenager Network Jamaica has started fundraising with the aim of expanding to 60 schools by 2006. The project will include participation in bi-annual international learning circles, development of national learning circles, development of a web page and electronic newsletter by students.
Instructional Technology Institute Project is implemented by the Jamaica Computer Society Education Foundation in partnership with the Joint Board of Teacher Education and the Heart Trust NTA. This project is developing an ICT-based curriculum and training programmes for English, mathematics and ICT training skills for both public and private sectors.
Caribbean Music Exposition (CME) is an internet based marketing company for Caribbean artistes and their music and is owned by CME Conventions Ltd. CME provides a platform for talented young performers in the Caribbean and will focus on e-business opportunities in marketing and promotion as well as uses of digital production facilities. This project also receives support from the Jamaica Tourist Board and Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO).
E-Governance: Projects on e-governance that are currently being developed through the Portmore Municipal Development Committee (PMDC) include the Portmore Tele-city Network to enhance internet access at the community level. Another project developed by the Police and Citizens Associations seeks to use ICTs to improve collaboration between the police and citizens on issues such as legal rights and obligations. The Principals Association in Portmore will focus on ICT applications to promote local education facilities and yet another project aims to strengthen the internal organization of community organizations and their interaction with government agencies.