ADOC Newsletter December 26, 2013

ADOC Wins Top Prize at AFACT eASIA Awards

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Digital Opportunity Center (ADOC) project (note 1), which was supported by the Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT), Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), and implemented by the Institute for the Information Industry (III)…

Al Ashriyyah Nurul Iman Islamic Boarding School

Located in Parung, Bogor, north of Jakarta, the Al Ashriyyah Nurul Iman Islamic Boarding School was founded in 1998 by Elder Habib Saggaf, a descendant of the Islamic Prophet Mohammed. Since its inception in 1998, the school offers free admission to the students in a wide range of classes from kindergarten…

Farmers Take Advantage of ICT in Agriculture to Help Eliminate Starvation and Reduce Poverty


Mr. Nguyễn Văn B (Short as Mr. B in the article) was born in 1960. He and his wife have 5 children. All of them are in school. Mr. B works very hard in order to provide enough food to feed the family.Mr. B owns a farmland. He grows rice and vegetables. He also raises pigs. In order to make more production from the crops…

ADOC Wins Top Prize at AFACT eASIA Awards

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Digital Opportunity Center (ADOC) project (note 1), which was supported by the Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT), Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), and implemented by the Institute for the Information Industry (III), won the top prize in the Bridging Divide category at the 2013 eASIA Awards. The eASIA Awards were presented by the Asia Pacific Council for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (AFACT) Nov. 28, 2013 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

The eASIA Awards is a biennial event and was initiated in 2003 by Taiwan when it served as the AFACT Secretariat. The purpose of the awards is to recognize the great efforts made within AFACT community and to encourage experience sharing under the following four categories: trade facilitation, electronic business in the Public Sector, electronic business in the Private Sector, and bridging digital divide. This year, 2013, after a jury written examination, a total of 13 projects in 4 categories entered the finalists. In the bridging digital divide category, 4 projects from 3 AFACT member economies (one from Iran, two from Vietnam and one from Taiwan) were selected as finalists. The ADOC Project and another project shared the third place in the preliminary examination.

Ms. Meili Hsiao, the Director General of International Division at III and also the Secretary General of the ADOC Secretariat, presented in the final competition. The ADOC Project was the winner and won the top prize in Bridging Digital Divide category. The best practice of secure mobile payment for electronic business project, submitted by CyberSoft Digital Services Corp. and recommended by III, also won the top prize in the Electronic Business in the Private Sector category.

The eASIA award ceremony was held in the Rex Hotel Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City on Nov. 29. Dr. Nguyen Manh Quyen, AFACT chair 2013 and deputy director general of Vietnam e-Commerce and Information Technology Agency (VECITA), Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), gave the trophy and medal to Ms. Eva Y. Y. Yueh, deputy director general of IDEAS at III and represented for International Division. “The ADOC Project is not simply giving a person a fishing rod; it teachers him or her how to fish as well,” Ms. Yueh said, adding that in this case the “rod” is the opportunity to employ digital capacity to improve one’s quality of life. It also creates overseas business opportunities for local firms in Taiwan and promotes humanitarian care. Since 2009, the ADOC Project has also served as the platform for public-private partnership. The Acer Inc., AsusTek Computer Incorp., Chunghwa Telecom Co., Ltd., Tzu Chi Foundation, World Vision, and ADOC2.0 Non-Gov. Project Office have participated in the project.

The ADOC will continue to serve as a platform for linking resources, disseminating digital expertise and facilitating knowledge and experience by working with partners to create digital opportunities. As part of effort to localize the ADOC Project, the ADOC Secretariat will assist 101 centers to build their capability to operate independently, nurture sustainable business opportunities and help more people in the world.

 

Ms. Meili Hsiao, Director General of III’s International Division and Secretary General of ADOC Secretariat, displays the Bridging Digital Divide top prize at the AFACT eASIA Awards Nov. 28 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

 

 

Photo of eASIA Awards Taiwan delegation. Mr. Oliver Ho (second from the left) from CyberSoft Digital Service Corp., the Head of Business Development and the Electronic Business in the Private Sector top prize at the AFACT eASIA Awards; Ms. Eva Yueh (center), Deputy Director General in IDEAS at III; Mr. Ethan Hung (fourth from the right), Section Chief from Bureau of Standards, Metrology & Inspection, MOEA; and Ms. Meili Hsiao (third from the right), Director General of International Division at III.


【Note 1, ADOC Project】

The APEC Digital Opportunity Center (ADOC) Project is an Economic and Technical Cooperation (ECOTECH) initiative first proposed in 2003 by Chinese Taipei at the 11th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Bangkok. The mission of ADOC Project is to narrow the digital divide among APEC member economies and enable the development of digital economies to cope with the challenges of globalization.

Since that time, ADOC has cooperated with ten ADOC partner member economies (hereinafter PMEs) to take concrete steps to address the digital divide issue including Chile, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam. ADOC Project has worked with the local governments, education institutes, industrial and business associations and non-profit organizations etc. to set up 101 ADOC centers. As of Oct. 2013, more than 540,000 trainees have been benefited. 2,600 SMEs have started their businesses and 4,000 drop-outs and street kids have been benefited through the programs.

There are many languages in the 10 PMEs. To overcome the language barriers, the ADOC Project develops 6 languages (English, Spanish, Thai, Vietnamese, Russian and Indonesian) in common teaching material with digital format. The distance to 10 PMEs is far away and it across 16 time zones. The staffs in the ADOC Secretariat have to stay up late, for instance, meeting at 11 P.M. online in order to catch the local partners 10 A.M. in Peru. The ADOC Project works with 300 local partners in 10 PMEs to bring computers, training material, and know-how. The ADOC Secretariat assists the local partners to manage the centers and provide digital training programs to serve disadvantage groups (e.g. women, children, aged people, drop-outs, refugees, SME owners, visual impaired people, handicaps, etc.).

【Note 2, AFACT】

The Asia Pacific Council for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (AFACT) is a non-profit, non-political, voluntary and independent organization since 1990. AFACT aims to support in the Asia Pacific region policies and activities, especially those promoted by UN Centre for Trade Facilitation and E-business (UN/CEFACT). Its focus is to facilitate international transactions, through the simplification and harmonization of procedures and information flows. Its member economies include Afghanistan, Australia, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, R.O.C., Thailand, Vietnam etc.

Al Ashriyyah Nurul Iman Islamic Boarding School

Located in Parung, Bogor, north of Jakarta, the Al Ashriyyah Nurul Iman Islamic Boarding School was founded in 1998 by Elder Habib Saggaf, a descendant of the Islamic Prophet Mohammed. Since its inception in 1998, the school offers free admission to the students in a wide range of classes from kindergarten to college level. Offering an excellent education for free has attracted students from all over Indonesia, including orphans and children from destitute and broken families.

Once Elder Habib was asked how many students in the school first started, he smiled and held one finger, “One, just one student, that is how we got started,” Currently there are more than 6,000 students enrolled in the School. If faculty members and staffs are included, there are about 7,500 people to feed each day.

The Tzu Chi Foundation built its friendship with the Al Ashriyyah Nurul Iman Islamic Boarding School in 2003, when the Chinese Taipei donated 50,000 tons of rice to Indonesia. The Tzu Chi Indonesia Branch was assigned to distribute the rice to those who needed the most. Bachtiar Chamsyah, who is the Indonesian Social Minister, is familiar with both Tzu Chi and the financially strapped boarding school. He recommended Tzu Chi donated some of the rice to the school. Since then, the friendship between Al Ashriyyah Nurul Iman Islamic Boarding School and Tzu Chi gets broader and deeper.

In addition to rice donation, in June 2010, Tzu Chi cooperated with the ADOC Secretariat and set up an APEC Digital Opportunity Center in Al Ashriyyah Nurul Iman Islamic Boarding School. The students can take computer training courses and learn the skills in the school. More than ten thousand people be benefit through ADOC training program.

Farmers Take Advantage of ICT in Agriculture to Help Eliminate Starvation and Reduce Poverty

Mr. Nguyễn Văn B (Short as Mr. B in the article) was born in 1960. He and his wife have 5 children. All of them are in school. Mr. B works very hard in order to provide enough food to feed the family.

Mr. B owns a farmland. He grows rice and vegetables. He also raises pigs. In order to make more production from the crops, Mr. B always looks for better solutions so he can increase the revenue.

In the past, like most of the farmers in the same village, Mr. B learnt the latest farming skills, strategies and crop information from reading the articles and books, listening to the radio and watching TV. However, most of the information was often outdated. It was really frustrating to Mr. B. He asked for support from the officials in the local agriculture department. But he was disappointed. Therefore, Mr. B wondered, “Is there a better way to get up-to-date information?”

In 2005, the ADOC Project started its work in Vietnam. One of the purposes in the ADOC Project is to narrow the technological gap in Vietnam so anyone can find digital opportunity through information technology anywhere and anytime. After years of work, the ADOC Project came to Quang Tri Province, set up a computer center and provided training courses that are available for the women, farmers and small and medium business owners.

Most of the farmers like Mr. B were not familiar with computers and Internet. When they first heard about the ADOC Project can help them search for latest research regarding farming and raising animals, most of them questioned if learning computer would help their work and if it is necessary to learn the new technology. Only a few people believe the new technology will bring positive effects.

As time goes, more and more people use computers. Some farmers, like Mr. B, started to take computer training courses in the ADOC center. Helping by the instructors, Mr. B learnt how to use computers and access Internet step by step. The information and knowledge Mr. B found online does help his work and the production.

Mr. B, who grows watermelon this year, is proud of the harvest he has had this year. The watermelons grew up smoothly and produced well. Those packed in the containers have been sold by the traders. He said, “In the beginning, I was not sure if using computer to find solutions would help my work. After taking the training courses in the ADOC center, I am benefited by using computer to look for information. … Just sitting in front of the computer and clicking mouse to find all kinds of information, such as farming machine, agriculture, healthy issue about crops, … etc,  the information I can find online are mostly up-to-date. Now, I am confident to search the information I need through Internet.”

Listening to the radio, watching TV, and reading books used to be the way farmers receive farming information. With a computer and accessing to the Internet, farmers like Mr. B can find the up-to-date information immediately. If proper words are given to the search engine, the results will be returned shortly and most of them are useful and more applicable. In addition, the skills Mr. B learnt in the ADOC center, he can also apply them to find information other than farming, such as pest control for the watermelon plants, etc. Mr. B also looks for the information for raising animals, like pigs and cows. The family has a better income and life has been approved.

Some farmers who see the success Mr. B has in farming, come to Mr. B and would like to learn from him. Mr. B is willing and kindly sharing his knowledge and experience in using computer and searching information on the Internet. All the farmers take the training courses in the ADOC center, apply the knowledge learning from the Internet in their farm and the productivity gets approved. This is a good example of bridging digital divide and finding digital opportunity – help improve household economics and get out of poverty.

ADOC Newsletter December 20, 2013

ADOC Cluster Project in Cusco

Cusco offers many natural, organic and high quality products. Alpaca fiber and Andean grains are two of them.There was a time that the small and medium entrepreneur (SME) owners sold the alpaca fiber and Andean grains by themselves. But the business was not as good as expected…

UNSYIAH-ADOC center in Indonesia

Syiah Kuala University is one of the leading universities in Southeast Asia in the development of science and technology, producing quality graduates and high moral values and ethics. In December 2010, Syiah Kuala University joined the ADOC Project and became one of the local partners in Indonesia…

Nookan Chansri is blessed by the ADOC Training Program in Thailand

My name is Nookan Chansri and I have owned a small shop for several years in Khon-Kaen, Thailand. I did not receive much education, especially in the field of ICT. Most of my life, my only concern was finding ways to earn a living for my family…

 

 

 

 

ADOC Cluster Project in Cusco

Cusco offers many natural, organic and high quality products. Alpaca fiber and Andean grains are two of them.

There was a time that the small and medium entrepreneur (SME) owners sold the alpaca fiber and Andean grains by themselves. But the business was not as good as expected. Therefore, when the idea of establishing business clusters was brought out by the ADOC Secretariat and PROMPERU, it gave the SME owners a second chance to collaborate with others, work together and brainstorm for new business strategies. Supporting by the ADOC Secretariat and PROMPERU, Agro industrial products (based on Andean grains, coffee and cocoa) and alpaca textile confections were chosen to become clusters and run as the pilot project in 2013 in ADOC Project.

In April 2013, the partnership between ADOC and PROMPERU worked together as consultants and started the cluster establishment in Cusco. The cluster project started with identifying the weakness of the enterprises interested in the work. The major work in 2013 was to develop management skills by providing trainings programs in the international commerce and ICT management. In the cluster project, the textile SME owners also learnt to work with different partners, for instance, the fashion designers, according to weakness being identified, in product development.

The results of the cluster project running in 2013 were exposed on October 28 to 30 during the Cusco Andean Fashion Week, where the textile Cluster was able to show their work in a showroom, and the agro industrial to make contact with international buyers at the “SUREXPORTA 2013” business round.

The cluster project in both textile and agro is an ongoing work. The consulting team will focus its work to train the SME owners to manage their own web sites including uploading contents, editing websites and adjusting the web pages to meet their own needs. Hopefully with the new tools, the SME owners will have more opportunities to develop skills to attend the international market.

UNSYIAH-ADOC center in Indonesia

Syiah Kuala University is one of the leading universities in Southeast Asia in the development of science and technology, producing quality graduates and high moral values and ethics. In December 2010, Syiah Kuala University joined the ADOC Project and became one of the local partners in Indonesia.

The ADOC center at Syiah Kuala University, which is called UNSYIAH-ADOC e-Learning Center, is located on the 3rd floor of the UNSYIAH-TAIWAN ICT Center. The aim of the UNSYIAH-ADOC e-Learning Center is to bridge the digital divide in Aceh by facilitating local Information Communication Technology (ICT) capacity building. The Center provides ICT training programs and related activities for trainees such as SMEs, women, children and disadvantaged groups.

Nookan Chansri is blessed by the ADOC Training Program in Thailand

My name is Nookan Chansri and I have owned a small shop for several years in Khon-Kaen, Thailand. I did not receive much education, especially in the field of ICT. Most of my life, my only concern was finding ways to earn a living for my family.

Two years ago, a neighbor told me about the computer training course in the ADOC center at the CAS and recommended me to be involved. I used to think that I was too old to learn about technology, but eventually I decided to join the course because it was free and offered in the weekends.

In the beginning, it was hard learning how to interact with PCs. But the instructors were patient and helped us feel comfortable using them. I realized that I needed to learn how to use computers in order to benefit my business. One of my instructors suggested me to learn MS Office, which enables me to manage inventory of my shop, for instance.

Today, thanks to my instructors and the ADOC Project. I am proud of myself. I have been able to use the information and skills they taught me and put them to good use in my small shop. Whenever I have time, I even reviewed the lessons I took in the ADOC center at home on my niece’s computer!

Transforming Digital Divides into Digital Opportunities

Along a busy Peruvian street, outside of Lima, a small cement building buzzed with new computers, internet connection and the excited chatter of all ages—children, young adults, and the elderly.

“I’ve never touched these things because we had no access here before,” said Ismenia Begazo Pizango, a mother who sews handicrafts.

A teacher leaned over to show her how to set up an email account on Hotmail, and within minutes, Ismenia was connected to the digital world.

After taking the computer and internet training courses at the APEC Digital Opportunity Center (ADOC) in Peru with partner Mujer y Sociedad (MyS), located in Lima, Ismenia was able to start her own company with several friends, sewing custom-made blankets and sheets out of fleece.  She now uses the internet to promote her brand beyond her village.

“The digital life was unusual at first,” recalled Ismenia. “But it has given me opportunities I never even dreamed of.”

Ismenia’s connection to the digital world is part of the APEC Digital Opportunity Center (ADOC) initiative launched in August 2004, led by Chinese Taipei.  This initiative is under APEC’s Economic and Technical Cooperation (ECOTECH) projects, which help promote development with equity. With over a hundred centers in 10 APEC economies offering information technology (IT) training, the APEC Digital Opportunity Center (ADOC) is focused on transforming digital divides into digital opportunities throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

“The digital divide is a social issue, it is a form of technological inequality separating those that have access to computers and the internet and those who do not,” explained Ms Meili Hsiao, Secretary-General of the APEC Digital Opportunity Center (ADOC) Secretariat in Chinese Taipei.

“There is a close relationship between poverty and the digital divide. For example, developing economies account for 40 percent of the world’s population and yet of the 242 million internet users worldwide, only 5 million, or about two percent, are in developing economies,” continued Ms Hsiao.

The APEC Digital Opportunity Center (ADOC) project leverages the advantages of Chinese Taipei’s information and communications industry to help other APEC member economies and vulnerable segments within the APEC community access IT skills.

In 2004, Chinese Taipei contributed more than USD 10 million, in collaboration with seven APEC member economies, including Chile, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Viet Nam and Thailand who also provided funding and in-kind contributions for establishing local centers in their economies.  Since then, three more economies—Mexico, Malaysia and Russia—have joined.

Over the last nine years, ADOC Centers have trained over half a million people throughout the APEC region, and almost half are female.

“I believe we train more women because many are very driven, and like Ismenia, are interested in starting their own business,” said Ms Cynthia Fiorentini, the APEC Digital Opportunity Center Coordinator for Peru.

 “The MyS Center, where Ismenia was trained, was a partnership with Mujer y Sociedad, a non-profit organization focused on helping women improve their lives,” added Ms Fiorentini.

As Ismenia’s story shows, digitization can boost economic growth and income.  According to Booz & Company, information and communications technologies have boosted world economic output by USD 193 billion over the past two years and created 6 million jobs.  Using a Digitization Index (from zero to 100), Booz & Company found that an increase of 10 percent in a country’s digitization stimulates a 0.75 percent growth in GDP per capita.

Bringing more people into the digitization fold could help raise millions out of poverty. 

For Jomar Lalata, a young man from the Philippines, the APEC Digital Opportunity Center did just that. Jomar grew up in a poverty-stricken family in Navotas, a fishing port north of Manila, where his parents struggled to put food on the table.

“I was not able to continue my education because there was not enough money for tuition,” said Jomar. “Without further education, I had no hope for a good future.”

Fortunately, Jomar was able to attend a course on computer training offered at an APEC Digital Opportunity Center in Navotas, through a partnership with ZOTO, a local urban community non-profit organization.  After the training, he was able to find a job at Makro, an international mini-mart chain.

“Now I’m able to earn enough to cover my needs and support my family,” said Jomar. “Without the knowledge in computers, I was hopeless.”

The APEC Digital Opportunity Center in the Philippines was formally launched in 2005, working closely with the ADOC Secretariat in Chinese Taipei. Today, they currently have ten ADOC Centers around the Philippines, many in rural areas.

 “We average twelve trainings per year at a given Center with about fifteen participants in each class,” said Ms Angelita Nicolas, Project Manager of the ADOC Partner Office located in Quezon City, the Philippines.

As part of its second phase to strengthen self-sustainability, the APEC Digital Opportunity Center Secretariat in Chinese Taipei has also established 21 partners, including large corporations such as Microsoft, Intel, Acer Foundation and Chunghwa Telecom Co. Ltd. For example, this December, Asustek Computer Inc. recently donated 150 tablet computers to be used in Peru, Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia on mobile ADOC Centers that will serve mountainous or remote communities.

Moreover, ADOC Centers are also going beyond individuals and assisting in IT training for specific industry clusters in rural areas. ADOC is currently piloting two small and medium enterprise (SME) projects in Malaysia and Peru to establish value-added business clusters by leveraging information and communication technologies.  The SME cluster workshops bring together local governments, universities and SME businesses to provide training courses in software, internet access, e-commerce and e-marketing targeted at that particular industry.

“So far, the pilot SME IT training cluster projects include food processing and tourism clusters in Kedah, Malaysia and textile and food processing clusters in Cusco, Peru,” said Ms Hsiao.

“These pilot projects and the many personal stories, like Jomar and Ismenia’s, reveal the substantive benefits of the APEC Digital Opportunity Center project,” added Ms Hsiao.

“We are not only bringing technology into the borderlands and the farthest frontiers around the world, but also improving the life and living standards of ordinary people.”

ADOC Centers in the Philippines, Courtesy of ADOC Partner Office, the Philippines

For more information and to find out how your organization can get involved with the APEC Digital Opportunity Center:  http://www.apecdoc.orgClick here to watch video.


This article was first published on APEC official website.