2021 Marketplace

Digitalisation in Times of COVID-19: Identifying Challenges and Finding Solutions through Triangular Partnerships

In the past year, the regulatory measures imposed across the globe in response to the COVID-19 pandemic require flexibility and adaptability. The pandemic sped up the transition to the digitisation era, and simultaneously exposed a digital gap and new forms of social inequality. Digitisation provides a growing set of tools supporting governments and non-state actors in their response to the direct and indirect consequences of COVID-19. In this context, triangular partnerships may help partners to better identify development challenges and create innovative solutions towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

As part of the 2021 virtual GPI Meeting we hosted on 15 September 2021 an online GPI Marketplace on digital transformation. The Marketplace events aim to create opportunities for interaction and matchmaking among GPI members and partners.

This Marketplace brought together more than 50 participants from all regions of the world.

The discussions happened in simultaneous breakout groups, around four specific thematic groups (navigate the tabs below for more details):

    1. Institutional and legal frameworks for mass digital use in countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA)
    2. Global capacity building on digital agriculture for sustainable agriculture and food systems transformations
    3. National deployment of learning management systems
    4. Digital transformation enabling effective development co-operation: Experience of the Knowledge Hub for South-South Cooperation


The GPI, as a hub for triangular co-operation, stands ready to provide assistance as a sounding board of the ideas and connections that emerge from this exercise.

Context:

  •   The West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) was created in 1994 to build a harmonised and integrated economic space in West Africa, endowed with a free movement of people, capital, goods, services and factors of production. The eight member countries of UEMOA are: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. UEMOA covers an area of 3.5 million km2 and has a population of over 120 million.
  •   UEMOA policy in telecommunications aims to broaden population access to high-quality telecommunications and information and communications technology (ICT) services at affordable costs. These objectives can only be achieved within the framework of an integrated telecommunications space.
  •   Faced with these new challenges, the UEMOA Commission commissioned a study to assess the capacity of the regional network to transport the traffic (current and future) generated by the populations of its member states to propose means of securing this network and promoting digitalisation.

 

Challenge:

  •   Week supply and low use rate of digital public services, despite the good presence of digital government bodies

 

Related references and similar projects from South-South Galaxy:

 

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially zero hunger (SDG2), requires more productive, efficient, sustainable, inclusive, transparent and resilient food systems. In the context of the SDGs, digital agriculture has the potential to deliver economic benefits through increased agricultural productivity, cost efficiency and market opportunities, social and cultural benefits through increased communication and inclusivity and environmental benefits through optimized resource use as well as adaptation to climate change.

However, the ‘digitalization’ of agriculture and food systems also poses some challenges. Labour replacement and re-education, the risk of a digital divide between economies, sectors or individuals with differing abilities to adopt new technologies, cybersecurity and data protection are some of the challenges that need to be overcome to exploit the full potential of digital agriculture. The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is committed to assisting governments and partners in bridging multidisciplinary digital divides to ensure that everyone benefits from the emerging digital society. 

An upcoming South-South and triangular cooperation (SSTC) project on digital agriculture aims to contribute to that effort by enhancing the capacities of developing countries on adoption of digital technologies for sustainable agriculture and food systems transformation. Drawing on the experience of developing countries on digital technologies on agriculture, the project will contribute to:

1) policy dialogue and exchange on the importance of digital agriculture;
2) formulation of digital agricultural policies and strategies;
3) enhanced capacity of key stakeholders through training and knowledge exchanges;
4) development of a network of experts on digital agriculture for continued learning and exchanges.

 

Related references and similar projects from South-South Galaxy:

The Chilean Ministry of Education established the Innovation Centre in 2018 to inspire educational communities to generate innovation tailored to the needs of each student, contributing to their learning and development of an active, critical and responsible citizen prepared to face the challenges of the 21st century. Its mission is to support the educational system, promoting innovative solutions to respond to the challenges of people and communities.

The Chilean government is happy to share its experience, successful practices and challenges.

Related references and similar projects from South-South Galaxy:

 

Over the last couple of years, APC-Colombia has worked on tools and methodologies to make all of its work more rigorous and standardized, with the explicit aim of improving its effectiveness. The increased digitization of daily activities accelerated by the pandemic has led us to design a Knowledge Hub for South-South Cooperation, as a strategic bet for strengthening capacities between Global South countries. The Hub has three workstreams:

1. A South-South Cooperation campus, in which Colombia will offer short courses on topics such as the orange economy, disaster risk management and prevention, fiscal policy or environmental sustainability policy.

2. A collaborative space to strengthen the capacities for formulating, implementing and monitoring the South-South Cooperation projects that Colombia has with countries around the world, and

3. A community of practice of South-South and Triangular Cooperation, for a multi-stakeholder audience, that will promote knowledge sharing on topics of interest to the entire Global South through fora, seminars, dialogues and workshops, and will make available a library of documents and multimedia contents for free consultation. This approach will be tested through two pilot communities regarding the following topics:
(i) Quantification of South-South Cooperation, and
(ii) joint cooperation work with Academic institutions.

In putting these ideas to practice, APC-Colombia has faced challenges related to: 

  • •  finding software solutions suitable for the purposes of the collaborative space that can meet specific budgetary conditions, 
  • •  designing workflows to integrate these tools in the daily practice of our team, and
  • •  identifying key stakeholders and documents to give life to the library of documents and multimedia contents of best practices in technical and knowledge exchanges.

 

APC-Colombia appreciates the opportunity to learn from peers that have faced/overcome these challenges, and would especially like to seek partners interested in exchanging information for the library of documents and multimedia contents.

 
Related references and similar projects from South-South Galaxy:

 
 

For any questions, do not hesitate to contact us: GPI@triangular-cooperation.org.

Programme

Opening remarks

    • • Mr Riad Ragueb Ahmed, Acting Director, Regional Cooperation and Integration Department, Islamic Development Bank (IsDB)
    • • Ms Ana Fernandes, Head of Foresight, Outreach and Policy Reform Unit, OECD
    • • Ms Rita Walraf, Deputy Head of Division “Policy issues of sectoral and bilateral development cooperation, emerging economies”, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) – Germany
    •  

Networking and matchmaking
Thematic breakout groups:

    • Group 1: Institutional and legal frameworks for mass digital use in countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA)

Picth: Mr Abossé Akue-Kpakpo, Digital Economy Director, UEMOA
Facilitator: Mr Ulrich Müller, Senior Advisor Innovation, Learning, Knowledge Sectoral Department, GIZ – Germany

    • Group 2: Global capacity building on digital agriculture for sustainable agriculture and food systems transformation

Pitch: Mr Debel Gutta, South-South and Triangular Cooperation Specialist, FAO
Facilitator: Ms Lara Weisstaub, Cooperation Specialist, PIFCSS

    • Group 3: National deployment of learning management systems

Pitch: Mr Sebastián Marambio Cathalifaud, Director of the Innovation Center, Chilean Ministry of Education
Facilitator: Ms Carolina de la Lastra, Kaleido

    • Group 4: Digital transformation enabling effective development co-operation: Experience of the Knowledge Hub for South-South Cooperation

Pitch: Mr Luis Angel Roa Zambrano, Triangular Co-operation Specialist, Colombian Presidential Agency of International Co-operation (APC-Colombia)
Facilitator: Ms Lauren Grubbs, Program Specialist, Digital Inclusion Team,  US Agency for International Development (USAID).

  1.  

Plenary Discussion: Reporting, lessons learned and next step
Facilitator: Ms Carolina de la Lastra, Kaleido

 
 
Multi-Colour Triangles arranged in an S

We bring development stakeholders together to ensure that triangular co-operation initiatives are effective, country-led and involve inclusive partnerships for sustainable development.

Newsletters

Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter