In addition to the Ministry of Education, other government agencies have an interest in school connectivity. These other stakeholders should be incorporated into school connectivity plans to ensure coordination and consensus on strategies.
Stakeholders can include government leaders that have called for the policy, as well as government agencies such as the ministry responsible for ICTs, the ICT regulator, the national planning agency or the entity responsible for the management of the Universal Service Fund. In countries with a decentralized educational system, local governments also have a strong interest in school connectivity.
Beyond the governmental actors, the private sector and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can play key roles in advancing school connectivity. Their participation should also be taken into consideration when developing school connectivity plans. The private sector -- particularly service providers and equipment vendors -- are likely to be engaged in the planning, deployment and operation of projects to expand connectivity, regardless of the project structure or funding process. NGOs, meanwhile, are playing leading roles in many countries by implementing projects to expand ICT access in schools. NGOs can provide valuable information to policymakers about what has and has not worked in their experience and potential challenges in replicating or expanding the scale of their programs.
Countries also need to take into consideration the interests and needs of the end users. In addition to school officials, end-user interests also include students and their families, as well as representatives of specific groups that may have special requirements, such as women and girls, indigenous peoples and persons with disabilities.
The participation and contribution of all these key stakeholders can make school connectivity plans more effective and sustainable. It also can increase support from constituent groups that feel they have had a meaningful impact on policy development.
Figure 3‑1: Stakeholders in School Connectivity