It has been widely recognised in the Pacific region that effective use of ICT is crucial for socio-economic development and good governance. Therefore, ICT capacity building activities are being carried out under the ICT Access for the Poor project for parliamentarians and relevant staff providing support services to parliaments.
The goal of the workshop was to train the staff of the Legislative Assembly in the use of ICT to improve their effectiveness and efficiency in providing support services for parliamentarians. The Clerk of the Legislative Assembly has also requested similar training for members of parliament. That training will be conducted later in the year.
The Clerk, Fepuleai Atila Ropati, identified the lack of ICT capacity as a major challenge for staff of the Legislative Assembly of Samoa. He said that the training would assist in addressing this challenge, helping build staff understanding and knowledge of ICT as well as raising awareness of benefits and risks of ICT.
The content of the training was based on the ICT training needs of staff as identified through an ICT survey. Hence, the training focused on using application packages such as Microsoft Word, Google (Internet) and Microsoft Outlook (email) and were delivered at a beginner’s level.
Two groups of 10 staff members attended the first training workshop. The Clerk was among the attendees not only to learn but to lead by example, encouraging staff to learn and use ICT to improve their productivity.
Under the EU-funded ICT Access for the Poor project, SPC also donated two new computers, a printer, two uninterruptable power supply (UPS) and necessary peripherals to the Parliament of Samoa.
According to the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Agafili Patisela Eteuati, these computers will be set up in the Members of Parliament (MPs) library for their use. At the moment, only MPs who are Cabinet ministers have a computer each in their offices. Other MPs share the ICT facilities set up in the library.
The Deputy Speaker also highlighted the need for computer training for MPs to strengthen skills and knowledge in the use of ICT. SPC was requested to conduct ICT training to build confidence of MPs in using the facilities available for their use.
An integral aspect of the project is to improve understanding among MPs of the key role of ICT in driving economic development, while also promoting and enhancing social cohesion, cultural enrichment and reducing vulnerabilities of rural and remote communities. This initiative will ensure that the region benefits from members of parliament championing the development of ICT in the Pacific.
For more information, please contact: Tanielu Aiafi, ICT Outreach Officer, SPC, Suva, Fiji (email: