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Capacity Building and Development


Summary of "ICT Skills in Small Island Developing States: ICT Capacity Building, Economic Opportunities, and Brain Drain"


Dennis Redeker and Ingmar Sturm


  • Focus: Analyzing the role of ICT skills and capacity building in Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and their influence on economic opportunities and migration trends.
  • Context: Increased Internet access and its potential to create new employment and reverse out-migration trends in SIDS.

Key Themes

  1. ICT Skills and Economic Opportunities:

    • Hypothesis: Higher ICT skills may lead to greater economic opportunities in SIDS, similar to trends in developed countries.
    • Research Objective: Examine the link between individual ICT skills, participation in capacity-building activities, and perceived economic opportunities.
  2. Brain Drain and ICT Skills:

    • Concern: Higher ICT skills might encourage migration to seek better-paid employment abroad, contributing to brain drain.
    • Research Questions: How do ICT skills and capacity-building activities affect perceptions of job and salary prospects and the intention to migrate?


  • Survey: Conducted in five Pacific SIDS (Fiji, Micronesia, Palau, Samoa, Tonga) targeting 16-35-year-olds.
  • Analysis: Explored relationships between ICT skills, capacity-building participation, and economic opportunities/migration intentions.


  1. ICT Skills and Economic Opportunities:

    • Mixed evidence on the impact of ICT skills on perceived job availability and salary sufficiency.
    • In some cases, higher ICT skills and training were associated with perceptions of insufficient salaries.
  2. Migration Intentions:

    • Contrasting results in different SIDS: In Palau, higher ICT skills correlated with less likelihood of emigration, while in Tonga, the opposite was observed.
  3. Digital Divide:

    • Gender and urban-rural divides in ICT skills, with lower skills reported by women and rural inhabitants in most surveyed SIDS.

Policy Implications

  • Necessity for tailored ICT capacity-building strategies in SIDS, considering gender and geographical divides.
  • Potential for ICT skills to shape economic opportunities and migration trends, but further research and strategic planning required.


  • Highlighting the complex interplay between ICT skills, economic opportunities, and migration in SIDS, the study underscores the need for targeted policy interventions to maximize the benefits of ICT capacity building.