Proposal to Create a Global Services Trust Fund and International Coalition for Global Information Infrastructure in Education and Healthcare

February 15, 2000

Click here for the original (with photos) of this version created by Peter T. Knight of Knight & Moore, Washington, DC.

Education and healthcare are basic needs, fundamental for human development. The main goal of the proposed Fund and Coalition is to expand educational opportunities and improve health in developing countries by enabling these countries to:
  • Make full use of electronic distance education and telemedicine.
  • Participate actively in data-intensive and media-intensive exchanges with both developed countries and other developing countries.
  • Participate interactively and fully in joint research, professional development, and knowledge-building activities with institutions and organizations in other countries.

To do this, steps must be taken to:

  • Reduce the cost of broadband connectivity to a level poor countries can afford.
  • Create policy and regulatory frameworks conducive to the development of sustainable distance education and telemedicine programs.
  • Establish high-quality applications in sufficient developing country sites to demonstrate technical feasibility, increase demand, and build support for more extensive use of such technologies in developing country contexts.

The first draft of this proposal was developed by Dr. Takeshi Utsumi, Chairman of the GLOSAS/USA and presented at the International Workshop and Conference on Emerging Global Electronic Distance Learning (EGEDL'99) held August 9th - 13th, 1999 at the University of Tampere, Finland. The conference conclusions included a recommendation to work for the establishment of the Fund and the Coalition. Subsequently a working group was formed at a meeting held at the Pan American Health Organization to further develop the proposal and include policy conditionality. This proposal was prepared by that working group composed of Peter Knight (Knight-Moore Telematics/CDI), Frank Method (UNESCO), and Lane Smith (USAID). Helpful comments were received from Carlos Braga, Michael Moore, and Joseph Pelton. Bruce Ross-Larson provided editorial assistance.

A special version of the proposal was prepared for presentation at the Founders' Conference of the [Arthur C.] Clarke Institute for Telecommunications and Information (CITI), held on 5 February 2000 at INTELSAT headquarters in Washington, DC.

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