Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Getting On Board: Promoting E-Government Via Bus

E-government has many wonderful benefits for citizens in promoting transparency of activities, troves of information, and new ways to participate as well as to express opinion. Citizens, however, must first be equipped with the access and skills to take advantage of e-government. And for that, UNESCO's Information for All Programme (IFAP) are urging people to get on the bus.

All this month, citizens in Quito may take chivas, popular Equadorian buses, from busy neighborhoods to public Internet access centers called cybernariums. These cybernariums will hold training workshops of 25 people each that will focus on explaining and promoting e-government services to spread the word about what is available for the community.

Radio and television spots will additionally promote awareness of the initiative; the population of focus will consist of secondary school students, leaders of organizations or neighborhoods, and housewives.
This initiative is part of UNESCO's IFAP "E-government Model for World Heritage Cities" project, which is sponsored by the Spanish government. The cities of focus are Cartagena de Indias (Colombia), Quito (Ecuador), and Cusco (Peru).
Projects like this and others regarding Latin American e-government promoted by the Spanish government and UNESCO certainly have tremendous potential for change on a global level. For more information, see UNESCO's e-government news as well as the World Bank's e-development publication.

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