Small islands
and e-resilience

Issue no. 71
April 2013



In this issue

ICTs are transforming life in small island communities, bridging the gap created by geographic isolation. Improved ICT infrastructures, better and more widespread internet access, and high mobile penetration are accelerating the exchange of knowledge and information, and improving service delivery in a variety of sectors, such as health, education, agriculture and business.

Mobile innovation on Caribbean islands

The Caribbean Mobile Innovation Project aims to help mobile app innovators in the region bring their mobile apps, services and content to the market and build growth-oriented startups into successful enterprises.

Towards Caribbean e-agriculture

Despite high mobile penetration in Caribbean developing nations, using ICTs for business activities is still an obstacle for many smallholders in the agricultural sector.

Disaster risk management

Bringing together a wide selection of information and tools that supports stakeholders and communities to prepare for and manage natural disasters in the Pacific.

An ICT-based development framework

An appropriate development framework helps overcome the physical boundaries that limit small islands’ capacity to conduct economic, political and social transactions.



'A more diverse range of social media and integrated technologies are likely to be used in programmes as internet capacity and peoples’ technical know-how improve.'

Anju Mangal (SPC)
and Jacqui Berrell (UNDP).



'The starting point for any government that wants to adopt ICTs is a national ICT strategy which is directly linked to that country’s national development goals'

Tony Ming, strategic and policy advice, Commonwealth Secretariat.



PestNet is a free, email-based question-and-answer forum designed to provide information for farmers, researchers and extension agents on appropriate plant pest control measures.


Small Island Developing States Policy and Practice, a reporting service by the IISD, facilitates the exchange of experience among small island states, keeping its subscribers informed with summarised updates on the policy and practice of sustainable development.

Fiji Makete is a buying and selling platform for mobile phones, launched in early 2013, that allows farmers to access information about market pricing for their cash crops. It provides information on prices, sellers and buyers, products and registration processes.

Micro-mapping with smartphones for monitoring agricultural development
This 2013 conference paper shows how people can use a simple and intuitive smartphone-based system to assess agricultural areas such as fields or ponds by pinpointing their exact location.

SIDSnet is a tool for information sharing for Small Island Developing States Policy and Practice. A knowledge management platform, it focuses on decentralised content management and stakeholder engagement, filling gaps in data availability on sustainable development.

LifeLines Mobile Phone Q&A
Since 2006, this ICT-led helpline programme provides farmers with expert answers to their agricultural queries on their mobile phones. The answers are all delivered by voice rather than text to avoid the literacy barrier.

e-agriculture in ACP countries
This background report reviews the general state of e-agriculture policies and strategies in selected ACP and non-ACP countries. It contains desk research that was developed in preparation for the 2013 ICT Observatory meeting.

The Vanuatu National Advisory Board on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction is the island’s web portal for the latest information on the government’s climate change actions. Frequent updates offer easy access to project documentation, a directory of experts and web resources.

Wireless for Communities W4C uses low-cost Wi-Fi-based equipment and unlicensed spectrum to empower under-served communities. The project offers training on wireless mesh technology and studies the impact of deploying a wireless mesh network in a cluster-based environment.

Digital islands
Led by bloggers, digital entrepreneurs and social media groups in Papua New Guinea, a Pacific digital generation has emerged that is playing an increasingly influential role in society, promoting political and social change. This analysis provides an overview of the ICT landscape in the Pacific.