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Chennai Statement on up-scaling pro-Poor ICT policies and practices

ICTs can make a difference in poverty reduction. The lessons learned around the globe demonstrate the great potential of CTs enhancing empowerment, opportunity and security. This potential contrasts with the overall modest impact of ICTs on the MDGs. Untapped opportunities exist for scaling up poverty reduction using ICTs. At the grassroots level, the capacity of community structures should be built upon and enhanced. The basic requirements for successful up-scaling of poverty reduction through ICTs are: <ul class='square_dot_ul' class="square_dot_ul"> <li>an enabling ICT policy environment; </li> <li>conducive conditions for poverty reduction; </li> <li>appropriate technology choices; </li> <li>mobilisation of additional public and private resources.</li> </ul> This is an excerpt of the Chennai Statement which has been released end of January 2005. Upon invitation of the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), development practitioners and policy makers met in Chennai, India, from 17-19 November 2004, for a workshop to review experiences in Asia and Africa in the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for poverty reduction. In order to provide an input into the preparatory processes of the World Summit of the Information Society (WSIS), Poverty Reduction Strategies and the Millennium+5 Summit, the participants decided to compile some key conclusions and recommendations in a statement. The purpose of the Chennai Statement is to stimulate the ICT debate from a clearly poverty-focused perspective.

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    Chennai Group http://www.gersterconsulting.ch/docs/Chennai_statement.pdf