There are different ways in which countries are trying to leverage online media. Taiwan is a great example for creativity and innovation with Web 2.0. It has developed a unilateral initiative called ADOC (APEC Digital Opportunity Center), that aims to reduce digital divide and promote e-business among member economies of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC).
The stated objectives of ADOC are:
- to increase Taiwan's visibility
- to strengthen relations with APEC member economies
Taiwan, because of its unique position in international politics, and China's attempts at reunification, is restricted from participating in most international organizations and also to obtain new diplomatic relations. ADOC is an innovative attempt to by pass all these hurdles and create another opportunity for engagement.
The idea was mooted in 2003 to enhance IT capabilities of ADOC partner member economies (PMEs), and it has made great progress since it was initiated in 2004. Currently it is present in seven APEC members — Chile, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Viet Nam and Thailand — where it has set up 26 ADOC Digital Centers so far. According to the Taiwanese government,
"The ADOC Program has helped build local ICT capacities and implemented training programs."
The website is good and very informative. Currently ADOC is also organizing a blogger's competition in its website. Its also a good way to integrate Taiwan's ICT capabilities in diplomatic initiatives. In fact, there might be a tremendous opportunity for Indian educational institutes to market online educational programs in some developed economies also like United States, where education is prohibitively expensive for a majority.
Nice post. I am in Taiwan, researching its public diplomacy and I am planning on focusing on ADOC as a bit of niche diplomacy.
Thanks Paul. Taiwan is interesting because of its position in the fringes of the international system. Would love to know the findings of your research.
India is doing a bit on its own to reduce the digital divide: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/ET-Cetera/articleshow/6306301.cms
How I would love to see a joint India-Taiwan endeavor to reduce the digital divide. What great a great PD project it would be.
Thanks Paul for this. India has been championing South South cooperation forever now. India has a lot to offer when it comes to knowledge and skills to developing countries. An added advantage is that it is mostly cost competitive. I a sure the opportunities for collaboration are many when it comes to making technology available for most deprived. Stay in touch!
Thought you might like this story on Radio Taiwan International's Soft Power program on ADOC: http://blog.rti.org.tw/english/2010/11/13/soft-power-adoc/
click on the November 13th date on the listen here calendar.
PS: I might be in India as soon as next month. Would love to meet to chat pd over some chai.
Thanks Paul for the FYI. Please do email me when you are in India. Always a pleasure to meet a reader!
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