Wednesday, 27 October 2010 - Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), 27 October 2010 - Inaccessibility to readily available online information and communication technology (ICT) resources is not an issue for the Pacific Islands region anymore.

The launch of 'e-Pacific Island Countries' (e-PIC) yesterday by SPC takes Pacific communities one step closer to ICT development with the availability of useful ICT information on this online portal.

The launch took place at the SPC-organised 40th meeting of the Committee of Representatives of Governments and Administrations (CRGA), which is being held in Noumea, New Caledonia from 25 - 29 October 2010.

'This is a timely initiative as it contributes to addressing the ICT data gaps that were identified by the review of the Pacific Plan Digital Strategy and further highlighted by the newly endorsed Framework for Action on ICT for Development in the Pacific. The portal also provides a platform for engaging the various ICT stakeholders to ensure ICT initiatives are relevant, sustainable and have a positive impact on the lives of Pacific people,' Dr Jimmie Rodgers, Director General of SPC, said.

Mr. Siaosi Sovaleni, ICT Outreach Coordinator at SPC's Economic Development Division who led the development of this important portal, gave a demonstration of its usefulness to the delegates at the CRGA meeting.

'Resources uploaded to the portal will be categorised based on the seven themes of the endorsed ICT framework ensuring its relevance to endorsed priorities in the framework. In addition, all the resources will be tagged, which will make it easier to find appropriate information and resources,' explained Mr Sovaleni.

The development of e-PIC has been possible with funding assistance from the European Union (EU) through the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP Group) under the ICT Access for the Poor project.

The portal is expected to generate a significant increase in the dissemination and exchange of relevant information and knowledge amongst regional and international ICT agencies and the Pacific Island governments and communities. The portal will have country profiles, downloadable documents, forum, register of ICT professionals and policy makers, photo and video gallery, and ICT vacancies. The documents on the portal will include policies, legal and regulatory documents, publications, news items, as well as educational and research materials.

'e-PIC' has extended its scope to include resources for other projects such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Project on Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) for Inclusive Growth and Poverty Reduction.

The idea is to adopt an online 'one-stop-shop' resource centre for PICs to minimise duplications and maximise utilisation of resources.

The portal will be managed by SPC's Pacific ICT Outreach (PICTO) Programme from its Suva regional office.

To access the portal, click on: