Putting the Summit Agenda into Action

The Institute for Connectivity in the Americas is a Canadian contribution to the common goals supported by hemispheric leaders at the 2001 Summit of the Americas. It builds on the success and experience of the Connecting Canadians strategy and Canada's international development and information and communications technology (ICT) programs.


The Institute will support the Summit themes of strengthening democracy, creating prosperity and realizing human potential through the use of information and communications technology. Programs supported by the Institute will enhance the ability of people in the region to participate in an increasingly knowledge-based society.


Located in the International Development Research Centre in Ottawa (IDRC), the Institute will be guided by a hemispheric advisory board made up of representatives from governments, non-governmental organizations, business sectors and academic communities.

Canada will provide a contribution of $20 million to the Institute in this fiscal year. The Institute will actively seek contributions for complementary funding and partnerships from other governments, foundations, multilateral and regional institutions, including the Organization of American States, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Pan-American Health Organization, the World Bank and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, and others in the private sector and civil society.

Priority Themes

The Institute will support initiatives that respond to specific Summit objectives, including:

  • strengthening democracy and good governance, promoting human rights (including justice and the rule of law), labour and the protection of children, and development of civil society;
  • creating equitable economic development;
  • managing environmental issues and disaster assistance;
  • promoting social development, including health and education
  • promoting gender equality;
  • enhancing cultural diversity, including protecting the traditional knowledge and cultural practices of Indigenous peoples; and
  • the goals expressed in the Summit statement "Connecting the Americas."


The Institute will support programs that connect the hemisphere. Examples of initiatives that could receive funding include those that:

  • Support a network of national institutions. Linking institutions such as those involving human rights, elections, justice, including mutual legal assistance, law enforcement, health, and labour, could result in the creation of a system of information sharing and the development of best practices.
  • Establish a network of hemispheric experts to exchange scientific and technological information, lessons learned and risk-reduction strategies in responding to natural disasters.
  • Link cultural institutions in a way that will promote understanding of linguistic and cultural diversity, including through the use of new media, television, film and the recording and literary industries.
  • Connect communities. Through exchange programs, communities in the Americas can apply for funding to use ICTs for community development. Lessons learned in the development of programs such as Canada`s SchoolNet, Community Access Program, Computers for Schools and Smart Communities would allow countries to develop and implement these programs more quickly.
  • Connect youth of the hemisphere. Funding could be granted for programs like NetCorps Canada International that seek to increase the number of internship placements for youth with ITC skills in member countries of the Organization of American States (OAS), as well as provide training for countries interested in establishing their own programs.


To be considered for funding, project proposals would conform to several guiding principles. Proposed projects must come from developing countries; must have partners in the government, NGO, business or academic communities; and must support existing local or regional strategies for connectivity. Costs would be shared among partners, must show concrete results, must be sustainable after the project has been completed, and have the ability to be replicated in other communities.


  [Documents for Quebec City Summit/Quebec/tracker.htm]