Background

DEVNET INTERNATIONAL was established and registered in Italy in 1989 as "DEVNET - Development Information Network” with the overall aim of contributing to Third World development through reciprocal communication and information flow, in order to strengthen technical economic cooperation among developing countries, in accordance with the principles laid down by the competent bodies of the United Nations.

 

It was established thanks to the efforts of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) to institutionalise the exchange of technological and trade information among the countries of the South through the creation of an international network of communication specialists.

 

These efforts followed a call by the UN Conference on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (TCDC) of 1978 for a global development information network to catalyse interaction in the technology and trade sectors. This call gave rise to the design and development by UNDP and the UN Fund for Science and Technology for Development (UNFSTD) of the Technology Information Promotion System (TIPS), which DEVNET INTERNATIONAL was created to implement.

 

Through its international activities, DEVNET INTERNATIONAL has come to be recognised as a major agent of transformation in the entrepreneurial culture of developing countries, especially of small and medium-sized enterprises.

 

For more than two decades, in cooperation with agencies of the UN system and the European Commission (EC) and in partnership with nearly two hundred national, regional and international organisations throughout the world, DEVNET INTERNATIONAL has implemented activities to promote the social and economic development of countries in Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America.

 

Support to small and medium size companies

DEVNET INTERNATIONAL has been a pioneer worldwide in the development of technological and trade information systems to create new opportunities for development and business among firms located in developing countries. The growth of ICT technologies has directly affected the competitiveness, growth and profitability of firms based in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America, and enterprises from these regions have participated in programmes executed by DEVNET INTERNATIONAL. To date, some 300,000 small and medium sized companies from developing countries have directly or indirectly benefited from the activities of the TIPS programme, implemented by DEVNET INTERNATIONAL.

 

Capacity-building for development

Education is a key strategy for development, and DEVNET INTERNATIONAL assists people from developing countries build core competencies to find themselves in a better position to succeed in the workplace or start-up their own businesses. Regular ICT-based training programmes on new skills development are provided in both physical and virtual classrooms by experienced trainers under multi-cultural learning environments.

 

Reducing gender inequalities

DEVNET INTERNATIONAL is specifically committed to the efforts of boosting the social and economic empowerment of women in developing countries as a way to reducing gender inequalities. It has been very active on this issue during the last decade, particularly in Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America, working for the development of business channels for women and a better integration of women into the global economy, identifying opportunities to increase their access to labour, credit and new markets. These activities aim to promote women’s transition to good-quality employment, to increase the number of women starting their own businesses, to improve their use of ICT applications and to boost women’s access to essential infrastructure services. Globally, there are some 17,000 women, mainly from the marginalised sectors of society in the countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, who have directly benefited from activities of the Women into the New Network for Entrepreneurial Reinforcement (WINNER) programme executed by DEVNET.