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History of the Russian e-Development Partnership

The history of the Partnership for Information Society Development (PRIOR) began on 5 June 2000, when the Russian participants of a conference held together with the award ceremony for the winners and finalists of the international contest for the first time heard about an initiative to create an international portal. It was mentioned in the presentation made by Carlos Braga, Director of the Information for Development () Program of the World Bank.

This initiative, which intended to establish partnerships for global Information Society development, originated in 1999 at the World Bank and was later established as an independent organization .

In September 2000, the infoDev announced a competition for the creation of country development gateways which would become independent partners of the global Development Gateway. Over 70 countries have taken part in this tender to date. Of those, 44 received grants for planning development activity, which corresponds to the goals of the Development Gateway: using knowledge and modern information and communication technologies (ICTs) for sustainable development and the reduction of poverty, including informational poverty (also known as information gap, digital divide, etc.).

Russia received such a grant in February 2001 for the implementation of the joint project by the and the company which formed a consortium of partner organizations representing public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

Extensive work to popularize the ideas of Russia Development Gateway (RuDG) and to engage new forces interested in Russia 's e-Development and its implementation was conducted before the opening of the project, which took place on March 1, 2001 . RuDG has been presented at 13 major stakeholder workshops and round tables held in Moscow and Moscow region, Saint Petersburg, Krasnodar, Novgorod, Chelyabinsk, Yaroslavl and Kazan, at two press conferences, at 10 large and medium-size conferences and round table discussions in six cities of Russia and at Rutgers University in the US. The entire audience has exceeded 4,000 people. The negotiations were held with over 40 organizations, representing the government, businesses, sponsors and investors. As a result, 38 organizations became official partners of RuDG already at the preliminary stage.

The main results of the planning stage (March-September 2001) were as follows:

  1. Russia e-Readiness and e-Needs assessment was conducted and an was prepared (MS Word archived document, 509 Kb). The report utilizes the methodology of the Center for International Development of the Harvard University and presents the situation in Russia with the use of the following five main categories of indicators (which are further divided into 19 groups of more specific indicators): informational infrastructure and network access, education with the use of ICTs, the "networked" community, the networked economy, policy on ICTs. Such an analysis was conducted in Russia for the first time. It is based on indicators as of the end of 2000.
  2. The RuDG partnership consortium had been extended to 50 organizations from five regions of Russia ( Moscow , Republic of Tatarstan , St. Petersburg , Chelyabinsk Region, and Yaroslavl Region) as well as the UK and Finland .
  3. Collegiate governing bodies of the project were formed: the Supervisory Board and the Consultative Committee. At their first joint meeting in Moscow on June 4, 2001 , they approved the idea of founding the Russian e-Development Partnership (PRIOR) on the basis of the RuDG partnership consortium.
  4. A working prototype of was created in Russian and in English and officially presented at the news conference in the Central House of Journalists in Moscow on July 30, 2001 (on the same day that the global Development Gateway was launched).
  5. A strategy and a business plan for sustainable development of PRIOR were prepared.
  6. A on the RuDG Planning Phase was submitted to the Development Gateway.

The birthday of PRIOR is November 30, 2001, when authorized representatives of 50 organizations, including 45 organizations from 11 regions of Russia (Volgograd Region, Kemerovo Region, Moscow, Perm Region, Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Republic of Tatarstan, Republic of Udmurtia, St. Petersburg, Stavropol Region, Chelyabinsk Region, and Yaroslavl Region), one organization from the USA, two organizations from Finland and two international IT companies, signed the Memorandum on PRIOR Creation at the Organizational Conference.

The following documents were approved at the Organizational Conference:

A new round of competition of the info Dev program was held in October 2002. Its aim was to support the process of implementing projects prepared at the previous stage. The Russian application, submitted on behalf of the RuDG partnership consortium, was approved during the first round of the competition. The stage of project implementation ended on February 28, 2004 .

The main interim results of this stage are as follows:

The creation of PRIOR and its substantial quantitative growth: hundreds of organizations from many regions of Russia , as well as from Finland , the USA and Ukraine (see PRIOR statistics) joined PRIOR.

  • The formation of independent regional branches of PRIOR: in the Stavropol Region, in the North-West of Russia (including a separate branch in the Kaliningrad Region), in the Tula Region, in South Ural (including a separate branch in the city of Magnitogorsk), in the Republic of Tatarstan, and in the Perm Region, and in Khanty-Mansi autonomous region (Yugra).
  • Involvement of government agencies in PRIOR's projects and engaging of official representatives of federal, regional and municipal authorities in the Partnership's managerial bodies: the Supervisory Board and the Coordinating Board.
  • A clear definition of the mission, goals and objectives, the target audience, and a unique feature of RDG (See the RuDG Editorial Policy); the creation of an updated version of the Gateway Portal and regular content development for it.
  • Positioning of the work on creation of development portals as program events of the Federal Program "eRussia 2002-2010" and the City Program "e-Moscow."
  • Engaging PRIOR's representatives in the task force organized to prepare the concept of the National Strategy "Russia in the Information Age," (Resolution No. 35 of November 18, 2002 by the Minister of RF for Communications and Informatization).
  • Establishment of the as an organization committed to the provision of support for projects and initiatives aimed at the development of an Information Society in Russia.
  • Formation of an initial portfolio of PRIOR projects and starting the work on providing financing for them.
  • Publication and distribution of the PRIOR / RuDG e-Newsletter in Russian and in English and a printed version in Russian with exclusive discourses from Russian and foreign experts on the problems of the Information Society.
  • Preparing and publication of the Russia e-Readiness reports.

In March 2004 the new round of the competition was held, which was oriented towards completing the second stage of the project implementation regarding the creation of the national gateway portals and building partnerships. The competition was organized by the Development Gateway Foundation. The Russian application prepared by the RDF was among the 22 international applications supported by the DGF. The grant of $100,000 will be used by the Foundation for the purposes of reinforcing the effectiveness of the existing network of the portals in Russia and its further expansion.

Last updated: 2007-10-09
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