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   Table of Contents  
Executive Summary
Acronyms and Abbreviations
1. Introduction
2. Strategic Framework - Introduction
--> Strategic Framework - Main Areas of Focus
--> Startetgic Framework - The Arab ICT Strategy
--> Strategic Framework - Action Lines
--> Programmes - Programme Details
4. Projects
2. Strategic Framework - Introduction

This chapter sets out a comprehensive strategic framework that aims to create adequate indigenous capabilities for harnessing information and knowledge, so contributing to building the information society and enhancing development in the region.  The framework is made up of several components, chiefly a set of partnership programmes in ten main areas for action that constitute the main pillars for supporting the development of a sustainable information society (see figure I).  Each area identifies a set of objectives associated with a number of high-impact strategic actions lines entrenched in regional realities.  The areas identified in the strategic framework are derived from the Global Plan of Action and serve the seven axes of the Arab ICT Strategy.

 Figure I.  General layout of the strategic framework

            Source: ICTD, ESCWA.

The proposed areas of actions intersect with the partnership programmes in such a way that each programme has one or more dominant areas of focus.  The programmes are discussed in detail in chapter three.  The programmes supplement the areas of action with well-defined endeavours and aim to trigger partnerships and induce the interactive participation of stakeholders.  Similarly, each programme will include a number of projects which are the building blocks for developing the information society.

Two complementary approaches have been followed in the process of selection of proposed projects.  The first approach was that followed by the Task Force on Implementation of the Arab Telecommunications and Information Strategy that resulted in six priority regional projects, in the advancement of the implementation of which Arab governments are urged to cooperate.  This approach was based on a scoring process and priorities set by the Council of Arab Telecommunications and Information Ministers.  The other approach, derived from the partnership scheme, enables stakeholders to contribute and participate in building the information society.  The projects considered in the second approach are not necessarily a priority for governments, even though most projects have specific national components.  The implementation of these non-prioritized projects is contingent upon satisfying a number of criteria known as “implementation upon maturity” and elaborated in chapter 4.  These two approaches for including projects in the RPoA are complementary in that they allow governmental discretion while providing the needed flexibility to incorporate additional projects by other major stakeholders, whether local, regional or international.

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