Infopoverty Programme - ICTs for Development
The University of Oklahoma has started the Infopoverty Institute together with OCCAM in 2002 for the organization of the anual Infopoverty World Conferences as well as for the development of relevant actions. The University of Oklahoma has agreed to continue its cooperation, coordination and collaboration with OCCAM overall.
OCCAM (Observatory for Cultural and Audiovisual Communication) was created by UNESCO in 1996 with the mission of fighting poverty through the use of ICT. It arises from the notion of the great development registered over the last ten years in
comunication technologies; communication is a fundamental factor for social, economic and cultural development.
Open communication can be one of the strongest means to fight poverty in rural areas as well as in less developed countries, and a guarantee of the respect of human rights and the affirmation of democratic values within society.
In 2003 OCCAM was formally associated to the Department of Public Information of the United Nations. Its President is Mr. Pierpaolo Saporito, former CICT UNESCO chairman, its Vice President is Mr. Gerardo Zepeda Bermudez, former Minister of Science and Technology of Honduras.
OCCAM is an NGO affiliated to ECOSOC and among others it is charged of addressing poverty through the use of ICT and e-services. OCCAM sent a delegation to the World Summit on the Information Society, sponsored by the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland in December 2003. The world assembly adopted a resolution to connect the world's villages to the Internet by the year 2015. OCCAM is a charter office within the United Nations charged with addressing information
poverty throughout the world. The annual Infopoverty World Conference brings scholars, government officials, program staff and vendors together to develop plans and strategies to address this goal of worldwide connectivity.
The Infopoverty Institute is heavily involved in the dialogue among these groups. Each group must continue to reach out to the broader public - students, civic leaders, famlies, educators and local government officials - to heighten the awareness of the need for connectivity and to increase the number of people working toward universal connectivity.
The next step in connectivity is to deliver content. That is, to deliver messages that will lead and assist citizens with the lowest income to improve their living conditions. Within the overall goal and commitment to connectivity, the Infopoverty Institute intends to focus attention on the importance of developing and using information and content suitable for access by Internet connection to empower local countries and regions to impact sustainable development in the areas of health, education, water safety, economy and all quality of life areas. Such a message coordinated with other applied content areas must reach the world.