The Digital Review of Asia Pacific 2009-2010 was launched in Penang, Malaysia, on June 11, 2009. This is on the eve of the PAN All Partners' Conference, where more than 150 ICT researchers, experts and policymakers are gathering to discuss how ICTs have helped solve development problems and what can be expected of the future. The conference is organized by PAN (Pan Asia Networking), IDRC's (International Development Research Centre) ICT for development (ICT4D) program in Asia.
The biennial Digital Review of Asia Pacific is an independent commentary on the ICT4D state-of affairs and trends and a macro-level time series narrative tool that assesses how the region is performing over time.
This fourth edition features 30 economies and four sub-regional groupings. The chapters provide updated information on ICT infrastructure, industries, content and services, key initiatives, enabling policies, regulation, education and capacity building, open source and R&D initiatives, as well as key ICTD challenges in each of the economies covered.
Policies for managing innovation in the network economy - an important topic for governments in today's fiercely competitive world, are presented in one chapter by Tengku Mohd Azzman Shariffadeen and his co-author, Mahendhiran Nair. Tengku Mohd Azzman headed Malaysia's ICT R&D agency, MIMOS, for 21 years and was involved in setting up new ventures that introduced innovations arising from technology.
Tan Sri Dato' Gajaraj Dhanarajan, Vice-Chancellor of Wawasan Open University, Penang, a leading world expert in open distance learning and also a contributor to DirAP, says "As we look ahead to the future of technology-supported learning in the Asia Pacific region, the challenge will not be the availability, cost, maintenance and versatility of technologies. Rather, the challenge will be about the capabilities, capacities, imagination, and aspirations of our institutions of learning and pedagogues to use technologies to their full potential".
Over 80 authors from across the region and beyond, drawn from government, academe, industry and civil society, have contributed to the production of this compendium, providing a broad perspective on the use of ICTs for human development.