The United States Department of State’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs (EB) announces a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to conduct a series of training engagements and workshops on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) policy, Internet and telecommunications regulation, digital trade, and digital economy policy to appropriate developing country government officials.
These officials will be in positions that enable, regulate, and oversee the telecommunications sector and digital economy in their countries, including for example, telecommunication regulators, trade ministers, and policymakers responsible for communications infrastructure and other relevant policy and regulatory functions.
The purpose of this training program is to: promote U.S. models of ICT and digital economy management; promote the growth and expansion of open, interoperable, reliable and secure communications networks; encourage the adoption digital trade and ICT policies that support long-term, sustainable growth, private sector investment, and developing country self-reliance; improve the resilience and security of communications infrastructure; and create opportunities for increase trade for U.S. businesses.
This training program is part of the Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership (DCCP). The DCCP is a multi-year, global initiative that provides credible alternatives to topdown, authoritarian approaches to internet governance, promotes the deployment of secure, next generation information and telecommunications technology (ICT) infrastructure, and builds the cybersecurity capacity of their partners in order to enable nations to realize the tremendous economic benefits of the digital economy.
Project’s Goals: Provide targeted training by relevant experts from the private sector, U.S. government, and academia to build the institutional capacity of partner countries’ relevant government officials and representatives. This training program is meant to encourage participant government officials to adopt policy and regulatory environments that advance, or are aligned with, U.S. policy priorities to expand America’s vision of an open, interoperable, reliable, and secure internet. The training is also meant to provide government officials with a common lexicon and foundation for engagement with partners or in multilateral fora, such as at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
This training program will provide specialized, technical ICT training to designated officials primarily from developing countries who enable, regulate, and oversee their national communications infrastructure and are responsible for managing and regulating the digital economy. This training program will serve to introduce and explain important concepts in ICT policy and regulation that impact the digital economy of those countries. The training program will be designed to clearly articulate to these officials the benefits of the fundamental pillars of U.S. international information policy: open, interoperable, reliable, and secure communications infrastructure connectivity; multi-stakeholder models of internet governance; pro-competitive, and light touch regulatory frameworks for telecommunications services; open data flows across borders; and risk-based approaches to cybersecurity.
The overarching objective of this training is to help inform and align foreign decision-makers with pro-market U.S. approaches to economic and information and communication technology (ICT) policies, thereby reducing barriers to trade, and creating greater export opportunities for U.S. businesses. In addition, this training should inform and align foreign decision makers with U.S. approaches to secure ICT network deployments, emerging technologies, and cybersecurity best practices to support our shared economic and national security.
The key objectives of this project’s training program include:
- Develop and implement intensive, short (one day to three weeks) training sessions on a range of ICT issues for government officials and/or representatives to encourage strong telecommunications policy and regulatory foundations in developing countries.
- Develop and implement intensive, short (one day to three weeks) training sessions for government officials and/or representatives on preparing for fifth generation (5G) technology, to encourage strong telecommunications policy and regulatory foundations that promote the deployment of secure 5G networks in developing countries.
- Provide in-region trainings to the Western Hemisphere (WHA) region on: secure, open, and interoperable 5G; spectrum management; telecommunications regulation; cybersecurity; data privacy; cloud computing and data localization; broadband connectivity and telecommunication regulation; digital infrastructure policy and other topics to be determined in consultation with EB.
- Provide senior-level, initiation only, U.S.-based, two-week long training programs, targeting participants from the WHA region participants. Themes may include: e-commerce; preparing for 5G; spectrum management; telecommunications regulation; and data management. These 50 participants are included as part of the 250 participant total.
- Award Amount: $1,975,309
- Project Duration: 36 months
- Project Start Date: August/September 2020
- Project End Date: August/September 30, 2023
- U.S. – based non-profit/non-governmental organizations having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS.
- U.S. private institutions of higher education (universities and colleges)
- U.S. public and state-controlled institutions of higher education (universities and colleges)
- Public International Organizations (PIOs)
- For-profit and commercial firms are not eligible to apply in response to this NOFO. No exceptions.
For more information, visit Grants.gov.