Though information technology (IT) is increasingly touted as an effective tool through which governments may enhance their development efforts, to date, many IT-related deployments have remained in a pilot stage, which does little to aid governments in understanding macro-level IT policy approaches to confronting development challenges. To address this shortcoming, this article presents a unique nationwide initiative: Macedonia Connects, a multipartner, scaled IT-for-education project wherein every school in the country was equipped with both computers and wireless Internet connections and through which the Internet was made available to citizens across the entire country. A number of policy-related aspects of the project are identified and discussed, including the predeployment training of teachers in IT adoption, the equality of technology and training provision across the entire country, the long-term focus on the part of all stakeholders in terms of outcomes, and the business model employed in the public–private partnership. Although it is too early to discuss long-term outcomes, there are many aspects of this case that will be applicable to governments and practitioners alike in future IT-for-development endeavors. Some of Macedonia's neighboring states have already indicated interest in following this model.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/lhosman/14/