The Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs, through its Smart Cities for All (SC4A) Initiative, welcomes the cities of Istanbul and Quito into the Inclusive Procurement Launchpad project working to encourage stronger, more accessible communities through city procurement policies.

ATLANTA (May 26, 2022) — G3ict, the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs, is welcoming the cities of Istanbul and Quito into the Inclusive Procurement Launchpad project. The project, initiated in 2021 in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Secretariat for the G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance, helps cities worldwide adopt technology procurement policies that support greater inclusion of persons with disabilities.

City leaders from both Quito and Istanbul will work with G3ict, its partners, and global experts to adopt and implement an approach to technology investments that supports greater inclusion for all.

“With the increasing economic crisis and the pandemic conditions around the world, we notice that the need for enriching our digital urban service solutions towards an ‘Enabled City for All’ is increasing, not a ‘Disabled City’,” said Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu. “As Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, we initiated a new approach of ‘bridging the digital divide’ through an inclusive motto within our procurements: It is not the ‘disability of the people’ that needs to be addressed but the ‘innovative and enabled urban solutions for all habitants for the city’. Hereby we declare our solutions to cover not only citizens but also tourists, children, urban refugees and street animals.”

“Adopting accessible information and communication technology procurement policies guarantees that institutions, contracting services for public use, include in their processes intuitive technologies that ensure equal rights for all citizens, especially persons with disabilities, while they interact with the public space and with services that our city can offer through the different technological platforms,” said Ricardo Alberto Pozo Urquizo, Mobility Authority Secretary, City of Quito.

Under the Inclusive Procurement Launchpad project, G3ict, a nonprofit organization leading global efforts to define how cities can be both smart and inclusive, first partnered with the city of Los Angeles to adopt the Forum’s model policy that uses the procurement process to support more accessible digital city services for all, including persons with disabilities.

Cities worldwide are leading a digital transformation of government services and activities. They are uniquely positioned to use their considerable purchasing power, including of ICT, to advance the rights and digital inclusion of persons with disabilities and older persons. The Forum’s procurement model policy requires any ICT purchases be accessible as defined by global standards.

“Thanks to the Launchpad, both Istanbul and Quito will be well positioned to demonstrate how cities can prioritize accessibility through the procurement,” said Rushi Rama, who leads the G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance, an initiative of the World Economic Forum to advance the responsible and ethical use of smart city technologies. “This is the surest pathway to making cities more equitable, both physically and digitally.”

“It is not surprising that these two cities, innovators in different regions of the world, each continue to demonstrate leadership in being both a smart city and an inclusive one,” said James Thurston, Vice President for Global Strategy and Development at G3ict. “We look forward to collaborating with and supporting city departments in both Istanbul and Quito as they build on their commitment to digital inclusion and ICT accessibility.”

The Microsoft Corporation, in alignment with its commitment to help reduce the digital divide for people with disabilities in areas such as education, employment and access to technology, contributed to the advisory group that developed the Forum’s model policy, and is providing funding and expertise to this new global initiative.

“Adding accessibility criteria to procurement policies is a proven inclusion strategy that governments at all levels can adopt,” said Laura Ruby, Director of Accessibility Policy and Standards at Microsoft. “Microsoft applauds this collaboration of G3ict, the World Economic Forum, and G20 Smart City Alliance and their support for leading cities like Istanbul and Quito.”

HearColors, an accessibility consultancy leading inclusive digital transformations across the Americas, contributed to the advisory group that developed the Forum’s model policy and is a G3ict’s strategic partner helping cities worldwide to adopt it.

“Cities, by adopting and implementing inclusive ICT procurement policies, will not only ensure that government digital products and services serve everyone in society but, also, will foster an inclusive and innovative ICT ecosystem. Firms will compete adding value for their universality,” said Monica Duhem, Founder of HearColors. “HearColors sees this collaboration with G3ict around the G20 model policy as key to more inclusive cities worldwide.”

For more information about this global initiative to support more inclusive smart cities and to learn more about help for your city, visit the G3ict Inclusive Procurement Launchpad Project webpage.

About G3ict

G3ict – the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies – is an advocacy initiative launched in December 2006, in cooperation with the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at UN DESA. Its mission is to facilitate and support the implementation of the dispositions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) promoting digital accessibility and Assistive Technologies. Participating organizations include industry, academia, the public sector, and organizations representing persons with disabilities. G3ict promotes good practices in digital accessibility policies and programs and provides tools for advocates around the world, including its Digital Accessibility Rights Evaluation Index (DARE Index) designed to benchmark countries’ progress. Through its division IAAP, the International Association of Accessibility Professionals, G3ict offers professional development resources and certification to more than 2,000 members in 46 countries. For more information, please visit the G3ict website.

About Smart Cities for All

In 2016, G3ict partnered with leading civil society and industry organizations to launch the Smart Cities for All global initiative. Since then, Smart Cities for All has defined the state of ICT accessibility in cities worldwide and created tools and a path forward to improve the digital inclusion of persons with disabilities and older persons. The goal of Smart Cities for All is to eliminate the digital divide for persons with disabilities and older persons in urban environments around the world. The global initiative partners with leading organizations and companies to create and deploy the tools and strategies needed to build more inclusive Smart Cities. For more information, please visit the Smart Cities for All website.


Contact: Udita Singh, Communications Manager, G3ict, [email protected]