Milestones in ICT for sustainable development

  • 2011•09•23     Macao

    On 19 and 20 September 2011, the UNU International Institute for Software Technology (UNU-IIST) in Macao held its annual board meeting. UNU-IIST board members from different parts of the world, including UNU Rector Konrad Osterwalder, met to review the progress of the Institute′s activities and set directions for future advancement.

    Last year, following Prof. Peter Haddawy’s appointment as Director of UNU-IIST, the Institute rolled out an ambitious five-year strategic plan to pursue a new mission of applying information and communication technologies (ICT) to address problems of sustainable development. UNU-IIST research and activities now revolve around the application of ICT in four thematic areas: education, governance, health and poverty.

    Recent highlights of UNU-IIST programmes include the following:

    • Electronic Governance for Sustainable Development

    With the e-Macao project entering its third phase, the Institute has established an Electronic Government Development Framework to guide a systematic development of electronic governance for public administration. UNU-IIST currently is executing instances of this framework in Afghanistan and Cameroon.

    • Global Research Benchmarking System

    This system seeks to offer an alternative to traditional university ranking systems by providing objective data and analyses to help universities benchmark their research activities in traditional subject areas and in sustainable development. The first results, covering the Asia-Pacific and North America, will be released in November 2011.

    • ICT-Enabled Education for Poverty Reduction

    This programme focuses on the use of ICT to support grassroots capacity building for poverty reduction by enabling extension officers to share their knowledge and create a broad peer-to-peer learning community. UNU-IIST has established a long-term strategic partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Lao PDR,, the first country of activity.

    • Information Engineering and Technology in Health

    This programme addresses challenges in the application of ICT to tackle pressing problems in public health and to reshape its future. UNU-IIST will work with healthcare and IT professional in Macao and China to contribute to the development of a safer, more effective, more  equitable health system.

    • Ph.D. program in ICT for Sustainable Development

    UNU-IIST will launch this new Ph.D. programme in January 2012. This double degree programme with the University of Pisa (Italy), the first of its kind in the world, is designed to educate the future leaders in this field and set a standard for other universities follow.

    For more information, see the press release on the UNU-IIST website.

    Left to right: Prof. Wei Zhao, Prof. Deepak Kapur, Prof. Sharon Dawes (Board Chair), UNU Rector Konrad Osterwalder, UNU-IIST Director Peter Haddawy, Prof. Natarajan Shankar, Dr. Wu Zhiliang (Macau Foundation President). Photo: UNU-IIST.