Small Island Developing States, COVID-19 and Digital Technology
By: PFMConnect Ltd
In their recent article on small island developing states (SIDS) David Fellows and John Leonardo discuss the digital technology challenges SIDS face as they implement their response to COVID-19 and outline cost-effective collaboration actions SIDS could undertake.
SIDS and the digital technology challenge
The authors note that the challenges across the SIDS are not identical and that the virus demands a minimisation of personal contact for which the absence of good quality, low cost digital communication leaves many SIDS poorly prepared. There are many specific digital applications of relevance to SIDS that could be utilised.
Good quality digital communication requires fibre-optic broadband cabling to support business use and homeworking. Digital technology skill development is also essential to help SIDS adjust to the current situation.
Towards cost-effective solutions
Most SIDS would benefit from a higher standard of affordable digital communication supporting improved digital service delivery.
There could be much to gain from cost-effective collaboration between SIDS for the purposes of sharing and developing, for instance:
(i) an understanding of the economic and social impact of COVID-19 and ways of mitigating these effects through digital communications;
(ii) market-shaping policies and practices for increasing the availability of digital communication at an affordable price; and
(iii) strategies and programs to support the provision of expertise in digital technology and its use by business, public services and the general public.
Such an initiative, whether on a global or regional basis, could include SIDS, development agencies, the digital service industry, other private sector partners and potentially the Commonwealth Small States Centre of Excellence.
This article can be found in full at: https://blog-
About David Fellows and John Leonardo
David Fellows is an accountant who has worked extensively in UK local government, the Cabinet Office as an advisor on local government reform and as an international development PFM advisor. He was a leader in the application of digital communication to UK public sector service delivery. He is a director of PFMConnect. John Leonardo is an international development PFM advisor having extensive experience of working with SIDS. He is also a director of PFMConnect.
PFMConnect Ltd is dedicated to improving public financial management (PFM) and public service governance with a particular interest in international development. The company has a range of non-financial expertise to complement its PFM core and promotes the use of digital technology to improve public service delivery and citizen engagement.