About iNeSI

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What is iNeSI?

Introduction

iNeSI is part of a national strategy to reduce the lack of e-skills in the country and the impact this has on equitable prosperity and global competitiveness.

iNeSI is a South African government initiative, under the Department of Communications, aimed at providing an enabling environment for a coordinated response to the challenges posed by the rapidly-expanding capacity, mobility, convergence and affordability of new information and communication technologies ICTs) and their impact on South Africa’s competitive position.

iNeSI leads in the creation of key e-skills development strategies, solutions and practises within South Africa. It is a national catalyst, collaborator, facilitator and responsive change agent in the development of SA – within the context of national goals and within a worldwide evolving information and knowledge-based environment.

The intention is to benefit the total population by harnessing ICT for equitable prosperity and global competitiveness. iNeSI focuses primarily on four components:

  • evidence-based research
  • teaching and learning
  • innovation
  • a monitoring and evaluation framework

The strategic priorities of the Medium Term Strategic Framework
  1. Speeding up the growth in transforming the economy to create decent work and sustainable livelihoods.
  2. Massive programme to build economic and social infrastructure.
  3. Comprehencive rural development strategy linked to land and agrarian reform reform and food security.
  4. Strengthen the skills and human resource base.
  5. Improve the health profile of all South Africans.
  6. Intensify the fight aginst crime and corruption.
  7. Build cohesive, caring and sustainable communities.
  8. Pursuing African advancement and enhanced international cooperation
  9. Sustainable resource management and use.
  10. Building a developmental state including improvement of public services and strengthening democratic institutions.

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Aligning to national policy

Following are the aims of iNeSI in terms of national policy:
  • International level: To position South Africa for global competitivenes.
  • Country level: To provide the base for increasing equitable prosperity in our society within the contest of a developmental environment.
  • Individual level: To embed technology into people's lives so that it can be used as an effective tool to improve the work environment, collaboration, ways of working etc.

iNeSI's mandate supports South Africa's commitment to:

  • The New Development Plan - Vision 2030
  • The Medium Term Strategic Framework 2009-2014 (MTSF)
  • the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs)
  • the World Summit on Information Society goals (WSIS, 2005)
  • South Africa's endorsement of the strategic intent of NEPAD

iNeSI also supports the goals of:

  • The Department of Communications
  • The Department of Higher Education and Training's National Skills Development Strategy 2010
  • The Department of Basic Education
  • The Department of Science and Technology
  • The Department of Rural Development and Land Affairs
  • The Department of Public Service and Administration
  • The Diagnostic Report 2011 of the National Planning Commission

iNeSI scope

iNeSI focuses on South Africa and Africa. However, there are global partnerships and a particular emphasis on the developing world.

Focus of iNeSI

iNeSI focuses primarily on four key components:
Evidence-based research South African-based research - Previously, policy was informed by international research. There is a need for South African-based research such as: specific e-skills needed (the current supply and demand), how to unlock these and accompanying business skills.

New research approaches - iNeSI develops and facilitate new research approaches that address the broad socio-economic needs of the impact of ICT.

Policy development - Research and policy development is a core function of developing a citizenry for the information society or knowledge economy. This process of reflection and renewal is central to the vision of being responsive, flexible and innovative.
Teaching and learning Filling e-skills gaps - The intention is to identify the gaps, shortages and mismatches in course content (in relation to the demand for ICT and ICT-related skills and competencies across organisational boundaries) and to respond to future needs. This will result in filling e-skills gaps through embedding e-skills in the currriculum in a targeted manner with the economy. It is done through broad consultation with iNeSI's stakeholder community to research and the experience of leaders and innovators in the field of ICT and e-education and training, research and policy development.

Collaboration and aggregation - Collaboration and aggregation is key so that service providers of e-skills are aligned to national priorities, do not duplicate content and work in a collaborative framework. This will result in targeted greater impact. A great deal of money is already being invested in ICT education and training by business, academia, government and civil society. Currently, the provision of e-skills is delivered by a range of uncoordinated efforts across education, government, business, and civil society funded by private service provider models, government support contributory schemes, donor agency support free access schemes.

Leverage existing resources - The goal is to leverage existing ICT education and training expertise, infrastructure and courses. iNeSI collaborates with existing national and international institutions, civil society and private corporates, where they partner with the Institute in various ways(such as contributing to new curriculum planning, course development and course presentation).

Accredited programmes - There is a mix of accredited programmes, both for up-skilling and re-skilling. Some of the content is self-generated and some comes from partners but aligned to iNeSI partners.

Appropriate and innovative approaches - iNeSI looks for appropriate and innovative ways to address systemic problems and other ineffiencies and weaknesses in achieving learning success. Examples: finding ways to identify entrants with potential that do not have the normally required entrance qualifications; supporting under-prepared students, and introducing work-integrated learning and practical components into programmes.
Innovation Essential for knowledge production - Innovation is essential to the production of knowledges and the development of a nation, particulary in terms of its global competitiveness.

Innovation application factories - These allow for the development of localised applications for learning, effective service delivery and new opportunities (such as within creative industries) to support the local socio-economic needs of the country. They are attached to the provincial e-skills knowledge production and coordination hubs. The factories leverage from the research output produced by the hub and are also part of the curriculum and training agenda, allowing post-graduate students to work, develop and test. The factories bring partners in education, business, civil society and government together to share resources (intellectual and financial) to address real problems facing South Africa. They operate as a space where interested parties, such as communities and business, can assist in assessing the viability of and developing relevant applications. The intended impact of the innovation application factories is the development of appropriately skilled talent with experience, as well as applications that may generate high-growth ICT enterprises.

Focuses on new and innovative ways of thinking - iNeSI focuses on new and innovative ways of thinking, channeling innovation through business, global partners and universities in its multi-stakeholder collaborative network. It has also created the first national collaborative research network focusing on e-skills (ReSNES) that feeds evidence-based research into policy. Further innovative strategies include the development of a South African first-of-its-kind virtual network for e-skills.
Monitoring and evaluation framework New tools - The focus is on developing new tools to measure impact and focus effort to increase equitable prosperity and global competitiveness.

Aggregation - The monitoring and evaluation framework aggregates the uptake of technology within society, consistently addressing the opportunities highlighted betwween supply and demand of e-skills. Monitoring and evaluation are set within the framework of the MTSF goals, the MDGs and supporting the local needs of an ever-evolving information society and knowledge-based economy.