Author: Mikhail Doroshevich
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the Information Development Programme (InfoDev), the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, and the Belarusian Information Fund have published their report on ICT Infrastructure and E-Readiness Assessments in the Republic of Belarus. The InfoDev-sponsored E-readiness assessment has been carried out by Belarusian experts in the framework of a Grant # ICT 015 scheme.
According to the report, the defined Belarus Networked Readiness Index is 3.19, which gives the country a ranking of 61 out of 76 countries. Other parameters were indexed as follows: network use component - 65th; unabling Factors component index - 51st; network access - 67th; information infrastructure - 67th; hardware, software, and support - 63rd; network policy - 73rd; business and economic environment - 66th; ICT Policy - 76th; networked society - 51st; networked learning - 66th; ICT opportunities - 66th; social capital - 26th; networked economy - 65th; e-commerce - 64th; e-government - 72nd; and general infrastructure - 47th.
The survey also states that Minsk is the leader in the ICT development sphere, and that higher educational institutions have more opportunities for e-learning than secondary schools. Furthermore, the report also says that the scope of ICT application in country's economy is very small.
Belarus has a developed telecommunications infrastructure, but because of the high cost of access to the internet, people with lower incomes are underserved.
Taking into consideration the results of the survey, the Belarusian government plans to update its E-Belarus programme and to develop an action plan on the basis of the e-readiness assessment recommendations.
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