ADOC Project converts the Bridging of Digital Divide into Digital Opportunity
III has been responsible for “APEC Digital Opportunity Center Project” (ADOC) since 2003, and has been vigorously fulfilling the leaders’ declaration in Brunei in 2000 and the goals of e-APEC Strategy, which includes tripling Internet access of the region by 2005, enhancing the e-opportunity of APEC economies, converting digital divide into digital opportunity, and assisting APEC economies as well as its citizens to take advantage of Information revolution for the development of new economy. In 2007, the founder of ACER Corp., Mr. Stan Shih, proposed the second stage of APEC Digital Opportunity Center Project (ADOC 2.0) to expand the implementation achievement and maintain its momentum of previous ADOC project. Adopting the cooperation model between private and government, this proposal has been kicked off in 2009 to provide assistance with top priority for woman, children and SME groups to construct the digital capability for the developing economies, allowing the citizen of APEC economies to enjoy the opportunity brought by the ICT technology.
The First Phase of the APEC Digital Opportunity Center (ADOC) Project
To meet the challenges of globalization and the New Economy, APEC Economic Leaders, during their meeting in Brunei in 2000, called for APEC member economies to assist in the developing economies’ capacity building to enable people from urban, provincial and rural communities in every economy to have individual or community-based access to information and services offered via the Internet by 2010. Furthermore, during the 2008 APEC Telecommunications and Information Ministerial Meeting in Bangkok, Ministers set a more ambitious target of guaranteeing universal access to broadband by 2015.
In line with these goals, the APEC Digital Opportunity Center (ADOC) project, an Economic and Technical Cooperation (ECOTECH) initiative, was proposed by Chinese Taipei in the 2003 APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting.
It aims to assist APEC member economies enhance their information and communications technology (ICT) application capabilities and transform the digital divide into a digital opportunity throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
The initiative has three major objectives: to contribute to regional development of digital divide reduction, to strengthen economic relations among APEC members, and to create opportunities in the APEC region for all stakeholders.
- Achievement of the First Phase of the APEC Digital Opportunity Center Project (August 2004-2008)
A self-funded project by Chinese Taipei, the first phase of the ADOC project was launched in August 2004 and concluded at the end of 2008 in collaboration with seven APEC partner member economies (PMEs), including Chile, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand.
From the year 2004 to 2008, 43 ADOC centers in these partner economies were established, with more than 600 PCs donated. These ADOC centers offered training in various areas including e-Commerce for SMEs, Telecenter for rural areas, e-Care Centers for disadvantaged groups, e-Learning Digital Centers for children and women, etc. More than 70,000 people received training and gained the digital opportunities for their businesses, jobs, studies thereby improving their overall quality of life.
The ADOC project provides a wide range of skills training programs to gain ICT literacy, including ICT basic skills, vocational skills training, and e-Commerce. Besides, the project has hosted a variety of ICT related workshops, and has provided e-Policy consultation and ICT usage promotion among APEC PMEs.
The achievements of the project have been well received and recognized by APEC PMEs as well as recorded in APEC meeting statements.
The Second Phase of the APEC Digital Opportunity Center (ADOC 2.0) Project (2009-2011)
In order to build on the foundation of the ADOC project and maintain its momentum, Dr. Shih, founder of ACER computers, proposed a second phase of the project at the 15th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, held in Sydney, Australia in 2007. This proposal was named ADOC 2.0, and it called for an increased cooperation between the private and public sector for the benefit of the entire APEC community. During the second phase of the project, three more PMEs joined to ADOC 2.0’s efforts in narrowing the digital divide. Mexico joined the ADOC 2.0 project as the 8th ADOC PME in 2009, followed by Malaysia and Russia, respectively as the 9th and 10th PMEs in 2010.
The ADOC 2.0 project, in collaboration with the private sector, including NPOs and NGOs, focuses not only on enhancing ICT capacity building by assisting women, children and MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) in the APEC communities, but also on exemplifying the spirit of mobility, affordability, and flexibility to reduce the digital divide and facilitate distance learning.
The vision of the ADOC 2.0 project is to reduce digital divides in the APEC region by enabling people to overcome limitations due to age, gender, health, social status or educational attainment, and to enjoy the 4A (anytime, anyone, anywhere, anything) benefits of digitalization.
ADOC 2.0 continues to focus on four main areas: development of digital and resource centers, ICT capacity building and training, ICT advocacy, and ICT trade promotion and facilitation.
- Development of Digital and Resource Centers
Establishing digital opportunity and training centers is one of the more important tasks for the ADOC 2.0 project. These centers not only emphasize the enhancement of digital literacy but also promote many programs related to ICT training and advocacy.
- ICT Capacity Building and Training
We recognize the fundamental importance of capacity building in order for economies to be truly able to harness the benefits of ICT. Thus ADOC 2.0 continually conducts ICT training programs covering subjects such as basic computer skills, PC refurbishment and troubleshooting, e-Commerce, and Mandarin e-Learning courses.
- ICT Advocacy
ICT promotion and advocacy is a vital step that all economies must take on their path to develop the digital economy. ADOC 2.0 thus organizes events and activities to promote and advocate the adoption and use of ICT.
- ICT Trade Promotion and Facilitation
Since trade plays a crucial role in economic development, the ADOC 2.0 project organizes ICT trade facilitation events to promote trade and to introduce some of the latest ICT developments.
ADOC 2.0’s Features
ADOC 2.0 possesses the MOVER features, namely Mobility, Openness, Vocational, Enabler, and Remote services.
Fulfilling Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
- Bringing MOBILITY to the Centers
Establishing training centers has been one of the most important tasks for ADOC project from the beginning. With this ideal in mind, the ADOC 2.0 project introduces the concept of the ADOC 2.0 Digital Hope Train by establishing Mobile Digital Opportunity Centers (M-DOCs) to train people who have little access to the existing training centers. So far, ADOC, in cooperation with the private sector, has established 2 Mobile Digital Opportunity Centers in rural areas in the Philippines and one more to benefit communities surrounding the forest of Sumatra, in Indonesia. Mobility enables active outreaching approaches and creates more digital opportunities for people with greater needs for ICT-related training.
Further planning is under way on how to expand the network to cover more areas in the APEC PMEs and realize the goal of E-for-Equality-for-All in the APEC community.
- Creating an OPEN Cooperative Platform for the Public and Private Sectors
One of the key features that distinguish the first phase of the ADOC project with the second phase is that ADOC 2.0 has strived to narrow the digital divide by stressing the need for increased collaboration from the private sector. Acer, ASUS, Chunghwa Telecom, and Institute for Information Industry (III) are some of the organizations and NGOs that have joined hands with ADOC in its cause to bridge the digital divide.
- Increasing VOCATIONAL Training at Centers
Vocational skills trainings are essential for helping all members of the APEC community to gain a competitive advantage and advance in their careers and studies, and ultimately increase their income levels. ADOC 2.0 Centers offer a variety of vocational training programs, such as PC refurbishment and troubleshooting courses, which provide tools to help out-of-school kids find positive alternative sources of income as a means to a better life.
Furthermore, the ADOC 2.0 project is making increased use of handicap-enabled system access and applications to help the visually impaired improve their lives, learning levels, communication skills, and careers. In 2009, in cooperation with the private sector, ADOC established a computer training center for the visually impaired in the Philippines. This center not only provides a model that integrates ICT to the learning experience of the vision impaired, but it is also an example of corporate responsibility initiatives resulting in increased employment opportunities for the visually impaired.
- Promoting the Use of ICT as Innovation ENABLER
The ADOC 2.0 project actively brings ICT applications to members of the APEC community. ADOC 2.0 focuses on inculcating basic knowledge and skills and making sure that trainees fully understand ICT applications. ADOC 2.0 has introduced a series of web-based applications and events, such as blog contestsstarting last May 2011. These events encourage the participants to share their experiences and apply their skills, integrating ICT into their daily lives. ADOC 2.0’s ICT promotion through events such as the ADOC 2.0 Workshop, ADOC 2.0 Exhibition and ICT Road-Show,aim to increase the interests and awareness of APEC member economies that wish to explore new ideas for bridging the digital divide.
- Bringing REMOTE Services to Centers
The ADOC 2.0 project’s training courses have expanded from narrowly-focused ICT-related subjects into subjects of major interest in local communities. ADOC 2.0 has launched Mandarin e-learning courses by integrating available teaching resources in Chinese Taipei. Through remote services, distance and time differences are eliminated, and the high costs associated with classroom-based training are minimized. In addition, the ubiquity of remote learning and the live, interactive teaching approaches used benefit all learners.
CSR has emerged as an increasingly important issue in the global business community. The ADOC 2.0 project exemplifies the spirit of CSR and helps advance sustainable development by combining the resources from various stakeholders, including government agencies, ICT enterprises, and non-profit organizations. Through close public-private partnership, a “best practice” model for APEC will be established by synergizing the various resources and strengths of sponsors. The project aims to enhance capacity building in ICT primarily by assisting women, children, MSMEs, groups with special needs, and those living in remote areas.
ADOC 2.0’s Work for 2011
- Establishing New Centers:The ADOC 2.0 Project’s efforts to bridge the digital divide within the APEC communitywill continue throughout 2011. This year, the project plans to establish 18 new ADOC centers in strategic locations at various PMEs, providing much needed education and skills to more than 50,000 people (at least 1/3 of them will be women). These centers will be equipped with over 450 new computers, facilitating access to ICT and offering training programs to communities who previously had no access to such facilities. During the month of May, ADOC established a total of 5 new centers in Russia, Indonesia, Mexico, Chile and Peru, bringing the number of ADOC Centers to 74.
- Continuing to Support Existing Centers: Computers and peripheral devices at existing ADOC centers will be revamped to ensure that the learning experience provided to trainees is given using the most modern technology, with full support of the latest applications in the market.
- Trainer’s Training:In 2011, more than 200 local trainers will be trained in several PMEs. Trainers’ Training program will cover a wide variety of subjects including Mandarin e-learning, Network Application and Management, e-Commerce, and PC Maintenance. After completing their training, trainers compile teaching materials in their local languages and assist in the planning of ICT training courses in their communities, effectively transferring this knowledge to hundreds of trainees.
- ADOC 2.0 Workshop 2011:The ADOC 2.0 Workshop is one of ADOC’s flagship international events held every year in
Chinese Taipei. The event features the participation of representatives belonging to 10 APEC PMEs, as well as 6 keynote speakers coming from various APEC economies. Together, they will explore the current situation, specific challenges, and share innovative ideas on how to improve opportunities available to women, children, and Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) within the APEC community.
- ADOC 2.0 Exhibition 2011:The ADOC 2.0 Exhibition will be held simultaneously with the ADOC 2.0 Workshop 2011. Through the ADOC 2.0 Exhibition, ADOC will be able to disseminate the mission of this project, share the experiences that it acquired, and present the project’s accomplishments so that other interested economies can copy or build up from this model, and implement it in their own economies.
- ADOC 2.0 ICT Road Shows:ADOC 2.0 ICT Road-Shows will be held in Southeast Asia and South America during June and August, respectively. The ICT Road-Shows aims promote trade and introduce the latest ICT developments at APEC PMEs, by bringing together local entrepreneurs and organizations from several PMEs with 15 ICT companies form Chinese Taipei.
- ADOC 2.0 Blog Contest 2011:The ADOC 2.0 Blog Contest 2011 is a great opportunity for trainees to show the world their newly acquired ICT-related skills and promote the use of ICT via internet applications. PMEs will be invited to participate in this activity starting in June. Economy Champions will be selected before October, providing examples on how ICT is benefiting those who attend the training at the ADOC centers.