Samoa holds Digital Readiness Assessment Tool Results Workshop

October 2, 2022

Almost one year on from the launch of the Digital Readiness Assessment (DRA) Tool in Samoa, a workshop is held this week to see how the tool has been used and the progress made.

The DRA tool was launched in October 2021 through a workshop, jointly supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT). Relevant participants from both the private and the public sectors attended the workshop to discuss how Samoa can strategically use this tool to assess its digital readiness status. This provided the introduction to the DRA tool and the UNDP Digital Transformation Framework, founded on a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to digital transformation. The first step that Samoa has taken in implementing this framework is the UNDP Digital Readiness Assessment.

From that time until now, a team from the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT), and the UNDP team in Samoa and Singapore, worked on compiling the results of the assessment. The information was gathered from the country level and relative information hubs related to Samoa’s digital developments, and from various reports from different sectors of the economy on digital adoption projects, and information technology support recorded in all sectors.

This week’s Digital Readiness Assessment Tool Results workshop showcases the findings and recommendations revealed in the assessment of Samoa’s development in the digital transformation space, covering the five pillars of digital transformation: (1) Infrastructure, (2) Government, (3) Regulation, (4) Business, and (5) People. These were then measured in terms of the five maturity levels, comprising of Basic, Opportunistic, Systematic, Differentiating, and Transformational. The five levels of maturity are also the five stages of Digital Readiness. The workshop will share the findings with members of the government and at a later workshop business community, and donor partners regarding the areas of close collaboration in strengthening and working on developing Samoa’s Digital Transformation Roadmap in the coming years. It will also provide a platform to see where Samoa did well and what areas Samoa will need assistance in regarding guidance and innovation.

“At UNDP, we believe it is critical to support the national digital transformation efforts of the Government, and that these efforts reflect the needs and aspirations of all Samoans. The recommendations from the Digital Readiness Assessment aim to address the concerns of all regardless of whether you are in government, private sector, academia, etc. This will shape the future of digital opportunities for all Samoans,” said Jorn Sorensen, Resident Representative, UNDP Samoa.

The workshop will be a three-day event from July 27-29 and will focus on an initial plenary discussion focusing on the digital direction and priorities of Samoa, and then explore each of the five pillars – drawing on technical, policy, and strategic expertise from across government on days one and two. The final day will focus on drafting the Digital Roadmap for Samoa’s Digital Development and high-level dialogue.

MCIT leads the Government of Samoa’s digital transformation agenda, ensuring a whole of Government approach through multi-stakeholder collaboration and knowledge sharing. Acting Chief Executive Officer, Susuga Suetena Loia confirms Samoa’s commitment to digitalization. “The Ministry, in partnership with various stakeholders are undergoing major digital developments, not only the infrastructure and technology projects but also developing and revising policies and legislations to align with the Governments Digital Transformation Agenda.”

Samoa, through MCIT, thanks the generous support of UNDP in allowing Samoa to be one of the selected countries where this important tool has been used to provide insight into the status of Samoa’s digital development or digital journey to date. The findings and discussions from this workshop will help change and formulate new policies, regulations and laws that will shape Samoa’s digital future, and add to the current digital developments. The support and research are credited to the hard work of the UNDP team in Singapore, as well as the support from UNDP Samoa, and the continued assistance in the digital transformation space working with the Communications Sector.