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Information Society and Technologies (IST)

ARC Fund is an active player in the efforts to shape the institutional framework and policy environment for information society development in Bulgaria. It has been a champion to several public-private partnerships supporting the country's transition to information society, such as the Internet Alliance for Economic Development, Bulgaria Development Gateway and the UNDP-led ICT-for-Development coalition. The public policy and advocacy initiatives supported by ARC Fund and its ICT analyses and studies have informed and influenced the national policy-making in the area of information society. ARC Fund has also implemented numerous awareness and public outreach campaigns, and several pilot e-projects which have demonstrated the practical uses of ICT for democratic governance, NGO empowerment and e-business promotion, among other areas. ARC Fund has been a strong advocate for reforms in the regulatory framework of telecommunications and information society by drafting legislation and organizing high-level forums, expert workshops, and international conferences. It has published a number of books, analytical reports, educational brochures, and newsletters on some of the most topical issues of Bulgaria's information society policies.

As a key component of its IST-related activities, ARC Fund regularly monitors and assesses the penetration and usage of new information and communication technologies, and their impact on Bulgarian society. This monitoring is done in partnership with the Vitosha Research agency, and by an inter-disciplinary IT Group which involves several experts in sociology, economics, business administration, software engineering, mass media, and law. The group's main analytical product is the e-Bulgaria report. Its thematic interests include also e-development (ICT for development), e-government, ICT competitiveness and gray economy in the ICT sector. The group also works on regulatory issues, with a recent focus on safeguarding public and user interests, particularly as regards illegal and harmful content disseminated online and spam.

Publications & Resources

E-Bulgaria Report (2005, in Bulgarian)

E-Bulgaria Report (2004)

Bulgaria: ICT Infrastructure and e-Readiness Assessment (June 2002)

Study: Benchmarking municipal e-government websites (Nov. 2004)

Study: Anti-spam policies, regulation and international best-practice (Dec. 2004)

Brochure: Open Source Software (Jan. 2005)

InfoSociety Newsletter (in Bulgarian) - a bimonthly electronic newsletter and quarterly print version co-published by ARC Fund's InfoSociety Promotion Office and Bulgaria Development Gateway

Bulgarian InfoSociety portal - ARC Fund's thematic portal site dedicated to IS policies, research, publications, etc. (in Bulgarian)

ICT4Development - thematic portal on the Bulgaria Development Gateway

Major Events

27-28 March 2002, 3rd Regional Information Society Forum on "e-Development in Southeast Europe", Sofia

2-3 June 2000, Southeast Europe e-Commerce Forum, Sofia

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