Project Title

Case Studies on Indigenous Digital Inclusion 

Project Year

2023   

Project Number

TELWG_202_2023A 

Project Session

Session 2   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Project in Implementation   
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Project No.

TELWG_202_2023A 

Project Title

Case Studies on Indigenous Digital Inclusion 

Project Status

Project in Implementation 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

APEC Support Fund 

Sub-fund

ASF: General Fund 

Project Year

2023 

Project Session

Session 2 

APEC Funding

95,559 

Co-funding Amount

72,000 

Total Project Value

167,559 

Sponsoring Forum

Telecommunications and Information Working Group (TELWG) 

Topics

Telecommunications and Information 

Committee

SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (SCE) 

Other Fora Involved

Digital Economy Steering Group (DESG); APEC Policy Partnership on Science, Technology and Innovation (PPSTI); Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy (PPWE) 

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

 

Proposing Economy(ies)

Australia 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Japan; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Chinese Taipei; United States 

Expected Start Date

01/05/2024 

Expected Completion Date

30/06/2025 

Project Proponent Name 1

Ayelen Snow 

Job Title 1

Policy Officer 

Organization 1

Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts (DITRDCA) 

Postal Address 1

Not Applicable 

Telephone 1

+61 2 61366625 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

ayelen.snowaguilera@communications.gov.au 

Project Proponent Name 2

Clare Spring 

Job Title 2

PO 

Organization 2

Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts (DITRDCA) 

Postal Address 2

Not Applicable 

Telephone 2

+61 473 840 699 

Fax 2

Not Applicable 

Email 2

clare.spring@communications.gov.au 

Declaration

Ayelen Snow and Clare Spring 

Project Summary

Providing an opportunity to exchange ideas on ways to improve Indigenous digital inclusion in the APEC region, this project would see Australia (through TEL and DESG) inviting fellow APEC economies to share case studies on initiatives and policies for digital inclusion, including for Indigenous Peoples as appropriate who are members of remote/regional communities. The project would also seek recommendations from Indigenous participants about best practices. Case studies from across APEC economies, and insights from participants, will be collated in a project report sharing useful actions, resources and recommendations with economies wanting to increase Indigenous digital inclusion.

A review on implementation of recommendations is included at the project’s end. Digital inclusion (including access, digital capability and affordability) can help enable a range of benefits, including, but not limited to, increased employment opportunities and economic connectedness, and improved access to online services such as telehealth and online education.

With help from the APEC support fund, Australia intends to engage an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander consultant to lead delivery of the project.

Relevance

Region

The project seeks to contribute to addressing the Indigenous digital inclusion gap that persists within APEC economies. More than 270 million people who identify as Indigenous live across the Asia Pacific region. Due to historical patterns, cultural ties to ancestral lands and preservation of traditional ways of life, a substantial percentage (estimated between 40% and 70%) live in rural, regional and remote areas. While there are global variations, the portion of remote and rural areas that are digitally underserviced can reach 80%. Improving Indigenous digital inclusion can help enable a range of benefits, including increased employment opportunities, especially for girls and women (La Serena Roadmap), economic connectedness, and improved access to online services such as telehealth and online education.

This project seeks to learn about and share the initiatives and policies being developed and implemented to close the Indigenous digital divide across APEC economies. It will contribute to APEC’s goal of inclusive and sustainable growth by sharing information on policies and initiatives for inclusion, and gaining insights from participants, to inform future actions. Sustained benefits are likely to be achieved if APEC economies are able to adapt and implement project recommendations domestically, and to support this, the project will include a review of implementation.

Eligibility and Fund Priorities
The project seeks funding through the APEC Support Fund. The project demonstrates that it will address the capacity building needs of APEC developing economies by providing best practice solutions and guidelines for Indigenous digital inclusion policies. The project report will be circulated among all APEC economies and a review of implementation will support project impact. It will include lessons learned from each case study showcased. The project will give developing economies the opportunity to obtain, share, strengthen, maintain and develop knowledge regarding digital inclusion for Indigenous Peoples as appropriate, and also relevant to ethnic minority and remote communities. The project will promote the development of abilities, skills and technical know-how to improve digital inclusion policies and regulations.

Capacity Building

The project will support the capacity building goals of APEC by:

-  promoting digital inclusion policies that support sustainable growth and equitable development which can be implemented in the Asia-Pacific region;

- supporting actions to reduce the Indigenous digital divide, and through this to reduce economic disparity;

- sharing experiences, case studies and best practices to improve digital access and the ways this impacts economic and social wellbeing. 

This project is expected to benefit APEC economies with Indigenous populations.

Objectives

he objective of this project is to promote and support the development of Indigenous digital inclusion in APEC economies, including for remote/regional populations. Digital inclusion supports stronger, more resilient communities by bolstering employment opportunities and economic connectedness, and improving access to online services such as telehealth and online education.

Capacity building activities and digital skills building are concrete ways to increase women’s business competencies and encourage their participation in the digital economy and innovation. By taking steps to actively include women, this project will contribute to improving and encouraging gender equality and encouraging Indigenous women’s participation in economic development, which will enhance implementation of La Serena Roadmap for Women and Inclusive Growth.

Alignment

APEC

This project aligns with the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040, specifically the section on Innovation and Digitalization. The project aims to contribute to empowering all people and businesses to participate and grow in an interconnected global economy, by promoting and supporting policies designed to improve digital inclusion for Indigenous Peoples as appropriate. The project will find and share best practices to support the pursuit of structural reforms and sound economic policies which promote innovation, productivity and dynamism. The project will work to implement the Aotearoa Plan of Action (APA), specifically the Strong, Balanced, Secure, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth driver to expand the work on Indigenous inclusion.

Additionally, this project aligns with La Serena Roadmap, specifically, key action A: empowering women and girls through access to capital and markets, and key action D: support women’s education, training and skills development and access in a changing world of work. This project will share best practices to provide capacity building activities and opportunities for digital skills-building, among other core skills, to increase women’s business competencies and encourage their participation in the digital economy and innovation. It will also promote women and girls’ access to ICTs, learning opportunities and digital skills building and training, especially for Indigenous women and women in remote and rural areas.

The project supports goals from the APEC Internet and Digital Economy Roadmap (AIDER) such as achieving universal broadband access, promoting innovation and adoption of enabling technologies and services, enhancing trust and security in the use of ICTs, and enhancing inclusiveness of the digital economy.

Forum

Consistent with the TEL Strategic Action Plan 2021-2025, and the TELWG 2023 Work Plan, the project will:

- promote regulatory and policy environments that encourage inclusiveness, innovation and competition by facilitating a best practices and ideas exchange, which delivers against Priority Area 2.3: ICT Policies and Regulations to Enable Innovation, Economic Integration and Inclusiveness

-  exchange information on the deployment of new solutions to provide access to marginalised and underrepresented groups such as Indigenous Peoples as appropriate, and those in hard-to-reach locations, which delivers against Priority Area

3.1 (DSG/DPSG): Promotion of the deployment of telecommunications/ ICT infrastructure and adoption of emerging digital technologies to support increased access

- promote the availability, accessibility and affordability of ICTs through encouraging APEC economies to consider Indigenous digital inclusion policies, which delivers against Priority Area 3.2 (LSG/DPSG): Increased availability, accessibility and affordability of ICTs support the priorities of the TELWG 2023 including promoting interconnected and inclusive policies to increase and improve digital connectivity.

TILF/ASF Justification

Not Applicable.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs

1) Project Report

The project report (minimum of 20 pages, excluding annexes), will include an overview of Indigenous digital inclusion globally, an analysis of Indigenous digital inclusion in the APEC region, a summary and evaluation of trends and lessons learned from case studies collected by the project contractor, and recommendations for best practices for Indigenous digital inclusion. The report will be an APEC publication. The report writers will actively seek to engage Indigenous participants and women during consultation. Preparing the report will involve:

- desktop research

- consultation, through TEL and DESG, with APEC economy policy officers

- consultation with academia in the APEC region and globally

- analysis and compilation of case studies

- consultation on the draft report through TEL and DESG (expected in July 2024).

It is expected the report will be finalised in August 2024.

2) Capacity Building Workshop at TEL69

This one-day workshop (8 hours) will take place during TEL69 in the second half of 2024. The purpose of the workshop will be to:

- present the case studies and the project report, including the case studies’ analysis of trends and lessons learned and recommendations of best practices made by the report

- deepen participants’ understanding of the capability and infrastructure required in building better connectivity for Indigenous populations.

The rough workshop agenda is as follows (noting this is subject to change):

1. Expert speakers x3 (30 mins each) (1.5 hours)

2. 15 min morning tea break

3. Expert speakers x3 (30 mins each) (1.5 hours)
4. 1-hour lunch break
5. Project contractor presents case studies and findings, including trends and lessons learned and recommendations for best practices (45 mins)

6. Panel session with contractor and expert speakers + Q&A session (1- hour)

7. 15 mins afternoon tea break

8. Break out interactive session for participants to talk about lived experiences and discuss how recommendations could be implemented in their own economies. One participant to present what was shared from each group at the end of the session (1 hour)

9. Contractor gives closing address and workshop wrap-up (30 mins) 

The workshop will be a panel discussion and Q&A sessions. The format of the meeting is subject to TEL 69 hosting outcomes. 

Project overseers will encourage delegations to support Indigenous representation by actively seeking to include Indigenous participants/speakers/experts at the workshop. Project overseers will also actively seek to have 50% of participants/speakers/experts be women. 

Workshop attendees will be asked to fill out a post-workshop survey following the workshop. Results of the post-workshop survey will be conducted within a week of the workshop to allow maximum receipt of response from participants. The result of this evaluation shall be reported in the Completion Report.

3) Review of Implementation of Recommendations Report

This report (minimum of 7 pages, excluding annexes) will review the implementation of recommendations in APEC economies. The report will not be an APEC Publication. Preparing the report will involve:

- following-up with participating economies to understand the impact of the report

-conducting and analysing a survey of participating economies

- consultation on the draft report, through TEL and DESG (around May 2025).

The paper will include a brief overview of the project and recommendations, and will report on the implementation of recommendations that have been taken up in APEC economies, as well as reporting on any lessons learned in the progress.

Report writing will take place between January and April 2025.

Outcomes
1) Enhanced knowledge and information on policy, processes and behaviour/attitudes around digital inclusivity for Indigenous peoples. This outcome will be measured through evaluation of the post workshop survey.

2) Increased skills and networks for Indigenous project participants, which will assist them to access future work opportunities. This outcome will be measured through evaluation of the post workshop survey.

3) Improved access to online services such as telehealth and online education and increased economic connectedness, especially of girls and women. This outcome will be measured through a review of implementation of recommendations.

Beneficiaries

Participants will consist of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander project leader, APEC economy representatives including policy makers from relevant domestic agencies, Indigenous stakeholders and advocates, and experts in policy and academia from APEC economy universities and research institutes.

The project would benefit from the participation of all APEC economies with Indigenous populations. For academia and policy advisors, the project overseers will seek to create a culturally safe environment for Indigenous participants, including through data anonymity where requested, and respecting the right of participants to oversight of the collection, ownership and application of their data.

Overseers will also actively seek insights and lived experiences from workshop participants and from case study consultation participants to inform the project, including participants from Indigenous marginalised groups such as women, people with disability and young adults (18 to 24), as well as people from remote and regional communities.

Dissemination

Publications for this project will include one written output ‘Project Report’, as an APEC publication and will be available on the APEC website.

Workshop materials will be disseminated in electronic format by email. After the Workshop, these materials will be stored onto the APEC Meeting Document Database. The target audience for these publications will be APEC economies and APEC TEL project participants. There is no intention to sell outputs arising from the project report. The purpose for recording will be for notetaking by the PO.

Gender

Please see Project Proposal posted in Supporting Document folder.

Work Plan

Please see Project Proposal posted in Supporting Document folder.

Risks

Please see Project Proposal posted in Supporting Document folder.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Please see Project Proposal posted in Supporting Document folder.

Linkages

It will build upon the work of Chinese Taipei’s TEL project Driving the Digital Transformation and Capacity Building for APEC Indigenous Peoples through i-Tribe Free Outdoor WiFi, which aimed at promoting the installation and accessibility of digital infrastructure and building ICT capacity; and on Peru’s Digital Economy Steering Group (DESG) project Study on Barriers and Opportunities in Using Digital Technologies to Provide Services for Older Adults in Poverty Condition in APEC Economies, which focused on digital inclusion for elderly people, but with many findings relevant to all communities experiencing limited access to digital technologies.

To promote cross fora collaboration, the project will:

-  include DESG, Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy (PPWE) and Policy Partnership on Science, Technology and Innovation (PPSTI) representatives in the consultation process to prepare the research paper and the case studies in the interim project report

- encourage universal broadband access and the enhancement of inclusiveness of the internet and the digital economy, consistent with the priorities of the DESG encourage Indigenous women’s and girls’ economic empowerment through advocating for skills and capacity building and Indigenous women’s and girls’ inclusion in innovation and technology, consistent with the five pillars of the PPWE

- facilitate dialogue and create opportunities to exchange views and share knowledge and experience on technology policy among APEC member economies, consistent with the goals of the PPSTI.

Sustainability

Through its recommendations, the project will continue to have impact after the APEC funding is finished through informal drop-in sessions designed to carry forward the outcomes of the project to check on the progress of APEC economies and to give advice on developing programs for Indigenous Digital Inclusion.

Project Overseers

Ayelén Snow Aguilera is a Policy Officer in the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts. She has been an APEC TEL focal point since the end of 2022. Prior to starting in her current role, Ayelén assisted with delivery of the Regional Connectivity Program, a grants program funding place-based telecommunications infrastructure projects.

Clare Spring is an Assistant Director in Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts. She has been an APEC TEL focal point since April 2021. Clare took part in TEL’s 2021 Terms of Reference Drafting Group; her first TEL meeting was TEL63 (a virtual meeting hosted by New Zealand in August 2021).

Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

Not Applicable.

Waivers

Not Applicable.

Are there any supporting document attached?

Yes 
Attachments
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Version HistoryVersion History

Project No.

Project Title

Project Status

Publication (if any)

Fund Account

Sub-fund

Project Year

Project Session

APEC Funding

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

Sponsoring Forum

Topics

Committee

Other Fora Involved

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

Proposing Economy(ies)

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Expected Start Date

Expected Completion Date

Project Proponent Name 1

Job Title 1

Organization 1

Postal Address 1

Telephone 1

Fax 1

Email 1

Project Proponent Name 2

Job Title 2

Organization 2

Postal Address 2

Telephone 2

Fax 2

Email 2

Declaration

Project Summary

Relevance

Objectives

Alignment

TILF/ASF Justification

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Dissemination

Gender

Work Plan

Risks

Monitoring and Evaluation

Linkages

Sustainability

Project Overseers

Cost Efficiency

Drawdown Timetable

Direct Labour

Waivers

Are there any supporting document attached?

hdFldAdmin

Project Number

Previous Fora

Secretariat Comments

Reprogramming Notes

Consolidated QAF

Endorsement By Fora

PD Sign Off

Batch

Forum Priority

Committee Ranking Category

Committee Priority

PDM Priority

Priority Within Funding Category

Monitoring Report Received

Completion Report Received

PMU Field 1

PMU Field 2

PMU Field 3

On Behalf Of

Proposal Status

Originating Sub-Forum

Approval Status
Attachments
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