National Knowledge Portal

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Keyword National Knowledge Portal

National Knowledge Portal
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A National Knowledge Portal combines three aspects (see Figure 1), all being central for the empowerment of societies:

  1. Knowledge distribution for education, health, governmental information, as well as digital public goods. As an example, the portal may hold courses to acquire digital skills, and handle certificates for the educational sector.
  2. Data governance and innovation of national data is the core for value creation within the country. “Data is the new oil”, this statement of Telenor’s CEO Sigve Brekke demonstrates the value of data, and the need for building the economy around these national data.
  3. Inclusive access to the National Knowledge Portal is an easy way ahead for regulations. License conditions for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Mobile Operators could include the “free access to the National Knowledge Portal” as a prerequisite for a license.
Figure 1: The three dimensions of the National Knowledge Portal for digital empowerment

The argumentation for a National Knowledge Portal is straight forward, given the clear advantages for owning such a portal on a national level. The Portal has the ability to become the driver for societal innovation, based on the ownership and governance of the national data. Through application interfaces to the national data, one can invite for public-private partnerships, both making business on the use of the data, and at the same time enhancing the quality of the data. The re-use of biometrical information in Tanzania for acquiring a SIM card for the mobile phone is one such example. On arrival in Tanzania every visitor is asked for a fingerprint, which is then used as the basis for purchasing a SIM card.

Furthermore, the portal contributes to development of the educational sector, as content for schools and universities can be made available for everyone in the society. Regarding digital health and community involvement in public health, both aspects can be covered through converting health messages into digital health, and making them available through the portal.

Finally, access and inclusion to the portal can be demanded as part of the license conditions for ISPs and mobile operators. As an example, the government in Ethiopia aims at re-using the optical fibre of the high-voltage lines as backbone for school connectivity (SchoolNet) to the regions. Using lightweight protocols, as e.g. provided by the Internet of Good Things , the amount of data used is in the order of 2-3% of the bandwidth of the mobile network, and provided for free for the users. In areas where no mobile broadband (3G, 4G) network is available, or for reaching out to those who are not in the possession of a mobile phone, information spots at schools and villages can be established providing free access to information. The “Non-discriminating access for Digital Inclusion” (DigI) project has demonstrated that such information spots can be operated for as little as 20 USD per month .


Examples of National Knowledge Portals

National Portal of India


Regulations for access to the Knowledge Portal

  • Ethiopia has introduced free access ("zero-rated") access to health and information as part of the COVID-19 response, including EPHI, National Digital Library (NDL), COVID and Ministry of Health pages
Free access to education and health in Ethiopia through zero rating in Telecom Ethiopia network

Contains pages with keyword "National Knowledge Portal".

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