This paper will cover the interaction between global policy and law, ICT, and ECD. Global policy will be defined and application will be discussed. Policy in terms of law will be discussed as well. This paper will cover information technology and how it can aid in economic development, as well as how ICT influences all sectors. The intersection between these sectors is also mentioned.
GLOBAL COMMUNCATIONS POLICY DEFINITION AND APPLICATION
Global policy focuses on the global process and sets of processes, that create interregional flows and networks of activity and interaction, and the new framework of multi-level policy making by public and private sectors, which involves and transcends national, international, and transnational policy regimes. Global policy can be applied anywhere, or, in any setting. These policies impact the public, private, and civil sectors, and often intersect between them. Global policy is an important part of the ICT community. Drake and Wilson (2008 p 1) state, “The burgeoning use of global electronic networks and related ICT is widely recognized to be one of the defining features of contemporary world affairs.” Global policy is extremely critical in managing global networks; there are several different areas to be considered, including implementation, governance, and maintenance. Shapiro (1999 p 3) states, “Anything that can be digitized-encoded as a stream of bits-is information.” ICT can be almost anything, and are structured into almost every aspect of our daily lives, specifically here in the US. Electronic networks and ICT shape our social processes and interactions daily. Global policies can be applied at multiple levels to significantly impact networking; this could be in terms of collaboration, interaction (business and social), and, not inclusively, e-commerce. For example, a new partnership has formed between AT&T, IBM, Symantec, and others, to pursue a security standard for IoT devices. Bishop (2017) states, “There is a fragmentation in the standards that exist today in the industry.” Global policy standards are necessary in order to create a smoothly flowing system between various areas and users.
GLOBAL POLICY AND LAW
One way global policy can be implemented is in terms of law. Laws are important for global regulation, and implementation, among other things. Law has typically been the province of the nation-state whose courts and police enforce legal rules. Until recently, international law has been weak by comparison, with minimal effective enforcement powers. Globalization is changing this by creating new global legal institutions and norms. Business law is globalizing at an increased rate- nations are agreeing for standard regulations, rules, and practices (GPF, 2017). Also, policy makers are creating rules on a global scale for bankruptcy, intellectual property, banking procedures, and other types of corporate law. A number of these rules and regulations are imposed by governmental bodies. However, according to Shapiro (1999 p 313), ”The government does more than just impose regulatory rules as a way of promoting competition and innovation. The government can affirmatively finance, endorse, and adapt technologies to speed their widespread use.”
ICT FOR ECONOMIC COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
The international policy environments for ICTs and international development have historically been distinct. Decisions made by governing bodies were primarily technical. However, concern has been increasing since the late 1990’s about the lack of participation by developing country stakeholders. This concern stems from 2 areas – a belief that ICT is significant in social/economic development, and that, internationally, that decisions about developing countries will depend significantly on their participation in decision making processes (Drake 2008 p 249).
ICT can have a significant impact on social/economic development in several ways. Some of these include reducing transaction costs and improving productivity, immediate connectivity in areas, they provide a substitute for more expensive communication/interaction methods (such as travel), and offer the ability to channel a variety of knowledge and information. ICTs also provide a way to obtain otherwise unavailable goods and services, and widen market scope.
One of the major ways in which ICT can help ECD is through direct job creation. The ICT sector is one of the largest employers in the US. IT jobs are expected to grow 22% by 2020, which equals approximately 758,000 jobs nationwide (Kvochko, 2013). Another important way ICT contributes to ECD is through GDP growth. One notable reason for this increase is e-commerce, or buying and selling goods through online market places. Kvochko (2013) claims that, “A 10% increase in broadband penetration is associated with a 1.4% increase in GDP in emerging markets.” Emerging markets are another form of economic development helped by ICT, in the form of new services and industries. A variety of public services are offered online and through the use of mobile apps. The app industry is constantly generating new applications for any number of services. Also, the transition to cloud computing is becoming a key trend for modernization.
This leads to workplace transformation. J. Gillette (2017) states that, “A good professional is always looking for a good workplace.” Workplaces are starting to evolve with the use of ICTs, particularly through the use of “microwork” platforms. These platforms help divide jobs up into small components that can be outsourced to contractors. This allows employers to greatly cut costs, while still allowing companies to find qualified workers. Some of these platforms are developed by companies like eDesk and Amazon. ICT has also helped entrepreneurs start up, and aids in accessing things like best practices, legal information, and marketing/investing resources.
In terms of business and innovation, ICT plays an important role. In OECD countries, more than 95% of businesses have an online presence (Kvochko, 2013). ICT tools help companies focus business processes and improve efficiency. They also offer new ways to reach customers, market share, etc. For example, social media provides a powerful marketing tool.
SECTORS AND ICT FOR ECD
ICTs have an impact on every sector; public, private, and civic. In the public sector, ICTs can help through the development, management, and upkeep of government websites, such as state, transportation, and education and health services. This is especially beneficial for those who may not have had access to those resources previously (i.e. poor or rural areas).
Within the private sector, there are several ways in which businesses can help expand ECD through the use of ICT. Companies can create jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities, grow inter-firm relationships, enable technology transfer, build human capital and physical infrastructure, and generate public revenue for governments. They can also offer a variety of goods and services, and expand economic opportunity by creating shared value, or value for both the business and society.
One obvious interaction between the private and civic sectors are business initiatives that support the community, like Starbucks’ pledge to hire veterans and immigrants, or Suez’s Clean Water For All initiative. When looking at the civic sector, a large part of that includes Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). These are non-governmental institutions and organizations that manifest the interest and will of the citizens. Drake and Wilson (2008) state, “Civil society can bring substantial and recognized added value to the negotiations process with special expertise, knowledge, and linkage to the people on the ground.” ICTs can be used by CSOs to raise their profiles, follow current developments and legislation in their areas, manage organizations efficiently and easily, securely maintain user information, monitor finances, learn who uses their services and how to expand scope, offer online support communities, and cut costs. Social media can be used to collaborate, interact, and influence perception.
These sectors all interact, through laws, government employee and civilian interaction, business and community initiatives, and much more. For example, more recently law enforcement departments have been creating webpages and using social media sites as a way to influence community perception, and to interact with the civilian community members.
In conclusion, there are several ways that policy and law, and ICTs, impact economic community development. Governmental bodies, businesses, and communities can use ICT and standardization in the technical arena (through policy and law) to interact with each other and advance the ways in which we communicate and collaborate. These collaborations will ultimately allow for smoother flowing communications between sectors and during the use of ICT on a global scale. Networking, marketing, information, and services will be more efficient and easily available.
Drake, W. & Wilson, E. (2008). Governing global electronic networks: International perspectives on policy and power. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Shapiro, C. & Varian, H. (1999). Information rules: A strategic guide to the network economy. Boston, Harvard Business Press.
Gillette, J. E. (2017, Feb 21). Class discussion.
Global Policy Forum. (2017). Retrieved from: globalpolicy.org
Kvochko, E. (2013). Five ways technology can help the economy. World Economic Forum. Retrieved from: www.weforum.org/agenda/2013/04/five-ways-technology-can-help-the-economy/
Bishop, V. (2017, Feb 21). New security alliances. PoliSee Digest. Vol 3. Ball State University