|The implementation of internationally agreed development goals in SIDS, in particular the Mauritius Strategy of Implementation (MSI), the Barbados Programme of Action (BPoA), and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has been assisted by the Small Island Developing States Network (SIDSNet). |
Established in 1997 as a direct follow-up to the 1994 Barbados Programme of Action (BPoA), the primary goal of SIDSnet is to support the sustainable development of SIDS through enhanced information and communication technology (ICT).
SIDSNet responds to several critical challenges faced by small islands including (1) remoteness, isolation and geographic dispersion, (2) poor connectivity and data management, particularly through ICT, (3) limited human and technological capacity, and (4) the need for greater international recognition and assistance in reducing SIDSí economic and environmental vulnerability. SIDSNet has been a valuable tool for linking remote and isolated SIDS, where the technical expertise, education, and knowledge sharing facilitated by the site enhances the possibilities for improving welfare and reducing poverty through innovation, expanded national capacity, and the better use of scarce resources.
SIDSNet was designed to significantly improve SIDSí use of ICT in support of their sustainable development. Through the website, affiliated countries could maintain contact with each other for the purpose of sharing information on best practices in the priority areas such as health, conservation, education, freshwater and sanitation, tourism, and human resource development. The network also seeks to facilitate the virtual exchange of expertise through the SIDS Technical Assistance Programme (SIDSTAP), which is a roster of experts whose information to be made available through the site. SIDSNet will serve as a clearinghouse for data, information, expertise, UN decisions and resolutions, and current events relevant to island development. SIDSNET has also been proposed for use as the portal to and home for the University Consortium of the Small Island States (UC-SIS), which was endorsed at the 2005 Mauritius International Meeting.
SIDSnet is undergoing a complete redesign and revitalization as part of a new project generously funded by the Government of Spain, entitled Capacity Development through Education for Sustainable Development and Knowledge Management for Small Island Developing States. The project will redevelop SIDSnet, creating a much-needed central knowledge management system to facilitate information sharing and collaboration.