Michael Trucano

policy advice and thought leadership on the strategic uses (and misuses) of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in education around the world

Mike Trucano is the World Bank's Senior ICT and Education Policy Specialist, serving as the World Bank's focal point within the education sector on issues at the intersection of technology use and education. He leads the World Bank's related analytical work under its flagship Systems Approach for Better Education Results research initiative as it relates to information and communication technologies (SABER-ICT). At a working level, Mike provides advice and support to education projects around the world supported by the World Bank seeking to utilize ICTs in the education sector in various ways.

Over the past 15 years, Mike has been advisor on, evaluator of, and/or participant in, educational technology initiatives in over 40 middle and low income countries.

Current areas of focused activity and attention include: ICT/education policy development; the use of mobile phones in education; assessing the impact of technology use in education; 'new economy skills for Africa'; the development of national ICT/education agencies; child Internet safety; and low-cost 'ICT devices'.

The World Bank EduTech Blog

Mike is the principal contributor to the World Bank's widely read and influential EduTech blog (http://blogs.worldbank.org/edutech). His essays and posts on the World Bank EduTech blog have been collected into four separate volumes, available for free download.

Popular posts from the World Bank EduTech blog include:
[-] Worst practice in ICT use in education
[-] Ten things about computer use in schools that you don't want to hear
[-] Textbooks of the future: Will you be buying a product ... or a service?
[-] Ten trends in technology use in education in developing countries
[-] Crowdsourcing, collaborative learning or cheating?
[-] Education & Technology in 2025: A Thought Experiment
[-] School computer labs: A bad idea?
[-] Laptops for education: $10, $35, $100 and points in between (but not above!)
[-] Searching for India's Hole in the Wall
[-] Educational technology and innovation at the edges
as well as pretty much anything written about the use of mobile phones.


Mike is a frequent public speaker on the use of ICTs in education around the world, and on ICT use for development (ICT4D) purposes more broadly, and has been quoted in publications from The Economist to The Guardian to The New York Times. He also regularly serves as a 'master of ceremonies' or moderator at conferences and industry events, including the annual global symposium on ICT and education in Seoul, and has helped organize a number of FAILFaires, exploring how can people and organizations can more openly talk about, and learn from, 'failed' projects and initiatives, in the hope that sharing lessons from 'failure' might make 'success' more likely in the future. As part of his official duties, he co-chairs the World Bank's internal cross-sectoral thematic group on ICT and education, which helps to maintain the organization's internal knowledgebase on related topics and sponsors numerous speakers and knowledge-sharing events each year.

Previous work

Mike previously served as the ICT and Education Specialist at infoDev, the multi-donor 'ICT knowledge shop' housed within the World Bank's Global ICT Department (GICT), where he coordinated activities related to information and communication technologies and the Millennium Development Goals ("ICTs for MDGs"), especially as they related to education. He also led infoDev's work exploring the use of various low-cost ICT devices to meet developmental objectives in the social sectors, and managed the program's mobile banking work.

Highlights during his time at infoDev include Knowledge Maps: ICT and Education (what we know, and what we don't, about ICT use in education in developing countries), over 75 country-level surveys of ICT and education in Africa and the Caribbean, a handbook on Monitoring and Evaluation of ICT in Education Projects, and the ICT in Education Toolkit for Policymakers, Planners & Practitioners (with UNESCO, used in over 25 countries to date). While at infoDev, he curated a popular list of 'low cost ICT devices and initiatives for use in the education sector in developing countries'.

Mike joined the World Bank Group in 1997, first working at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and as part of the education team at the World Bank Institute, where he was a core member of the team that developed the World Links for Development Program, which helped introduce educational technology programs for the first time in 22 medium and low income countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia.
External advisory work
In support of work around the world to benefit educational objectives through the use of new technologies, Mike serves on a number of international working groups, such as the Working group on ICT Statistics in Education and the mEducation Alliance; as well on external advisory groups for a number of non-profit organizations, including the International Institute for Communications in Development (IICD) in the Netherlands, the U.S. Library of Congress's Literacy Prize, NMC's K-12 Horizon report, and the Toronto-based Mastercard Foundation.

You can follow Mike on Twitter @trucano.

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About the World Bank and its work in education and in ICT 

Globalization and rapid technological change have made knowledge a critical determinant of competitiveness in the world economy. The World Bank is playing an important role in assisting countries in taking advantage of the opportunities in information and communications technologies (ICTs) to contribute to education goals and poverty reduction strategies. With globalization, the information revolution, and increasing demands for a highly skilled work force, it is clear that nations must accord high priority to building the capacity to effectively utilize technology in education.

The World Bank recognizes the critical importance of effectively utilizing new information and communication technologies (ICTs) to meet the growing need for a more sophisticated labor force, manage information systems, and contribute to poverty reduction around the world. Indeed, the vast majority of active World Bank education projects contain an ICT component. Support for ICT in education includes assistance for equipment and facilities; teacher training and support; capacity building; educational content; distance learning; digital literacy; policy development; monitoring and evaluation; and media outreach.

The World Bank works in partnership with governments and organizations worldwide to support innovative projects, timely research and knowledge sharing activities related to the effective and appropriate use of ICTs in education.

Part of the United Nations family of institutions, the World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. The World Bank is one of the largest external education financiers for developing countries, managing a portfolio of $9 billion, with operations in 71 countries as of January 2013. The World Bank supports education through an average of $2.6 billion a year in new financing for the poorest countries as well as for middle-income countries.
The World Bank helps countries achieve their education goals through finance and knowledge services in the forms of analytic work, policy advice, and technical assistance. This support includes working with countries to help identify the role and contribution of education to their overall development strategies and poverty reduction. This means understanding countries’ individual priorities, needs, and constraints, and collaborating with governments, donors and development partners to design programs in response to countries’ respective needs.
Since 2003, the World Bank has committed over US$1.3 billion for investment in standalone ICT projects and supports IT components in lending projects across other sectors, such as education, health, and public sector management (in a 2006 study, this figure was estimated to be US$7.3 billion in some 1,700 active projects under preparation or implementation).
The World Bank’s investments have helped to attract over US$30 billion in private sector investments in ICT in low-income countries from 1997-2007.



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