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Monday, May 23, 2016

PH Bags International Award for Project on e-Employment


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The Tech4ED Project of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) won the prestigious World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) 2016 Prizes under the e-Employment action line.

The Tech4ED Project, which stands for “Technology for Education to gain Employment, and to empower Entrepreneurs towards Economic Development”, seeks to provide access to ICT enabled services and relevant content to marginalized communities via a single platform.

The photo above shows Tthe WSIS Prizes 2016 Champion trophy held by (from right) Ms. Cheryl Ortega,Project Manager and FOO Cluster Director for Luzon Cluster II; Ms. Bettina Quimson, Head of eSociety; and Ms. Maria Teresa Camba, Cluster Director, Mindanao Cluster I. The Tech4ED Project of the DOST-ICT Office was named champion in the e-Employment action line.

According to the ITU, the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs), 18 projects were hailed “WSIS Prize Champions” out of 70 nominees from around the world. ITU Secretary General Houlin Zhao announced the prize for the Tech4ED Project during the WSIS High-Level Opening Segment in Geneva International Conference Centre (CICG). “ITU and its WSIS partners strongly believe in the critical importance of ICTs in achieving the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals,” Zhao said.

Photo shows (third from left) ITU Secretary General Houlin Zhao with Tech4ED Project Manager (left) Ms. Cheryl Ortega, Cluster Director, Luzon Cluster II; Ms. Maria Teresa Camba, Cluster Director, Mindanao Cluster I, and Ms. Bettina Quimson, Head of eSociety, during the WSIS Prizes 2016 Awards Ceremony held at the Geneva International Conference Centre (CICG) in Switzerland.
“Through the Tech4ED Project, we aim to uplift people from the cycle of poverty, reduce inequalities, expand opportunities for decent work, and accelerate the achievement of inclusive, sustainable economic growth,” said Head of eSociety, Bettina Quimson, whose team is spearheading the Tech4ED Project.

Tech4ED Centers in rural and under-served areas aim to create more self-reliant communities through access to connectivity, communication, information, knowledge and vital government services. As of early 2016, a total of 163 operational Tech4ED Centers across the Philippines have benefited over 4,000 users belonging to sectors such out-of-school-youth, senior citizens, entrepreneurs, overseas Filipino workers, persons with disabilities, students and educators.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to the Tech4ED Project are: end poverty in all its forms everywhere (Goal 1); ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all (Goal 4); achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls (Goal 5); and, promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all (Goal 8).

The WSIS Prizes 2016 trophy is proudly held aloft by Ms. Bettina Quimson, Head of eSociety, DOST-ICT Office. The Tech4ED Project was among the 18 “WSIS Prizes Champions”, which are outstanding projects with the most votes and the best reviews by the members of the Expert Group.
“The WSIS Prizes recognize all players in the effort to improve global connectivity, from governments and global ICT companies to grassroots NGOs leading innovative ICT-oriented projects at the local level. All of these stakeholders are equally vital to the success of the WSIS Process,” Zhao said.

An open online voting process for the awards engaged over 245,000 stakeholders from different countries. A total of 311 projects were nominated for the 2016 contest, reflecting both the prestigious nature of the award and the growing importance of ICTs in national development strategies.

The WSIS Project Prizes is an international contest developed in response to requests from WSIS stakeholders to create an effective mechanism to evaluate and recognize individuals, governments, civil society, local, regional and international agencies, research institutions and private sector companies for outstanding success in implementing development-oriented strategies that leverage the power of ICTs.

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