UVA Darden School, Concordia and US Department of State Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships Announce TV White Space Partnership in the Danajon Reef as Winner of P3 Impact Award

02 October 2015

By Laura Hennessey Martens

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business Institute for Business in Society,Concordia and the U.S. Department of State Secretary’s Office of Global Partnershipstoday announced TV White Space Partnership in the Danajon Reef as a model public-private partnership (P3) and winner of the second annual P3 Impact Award during the 2015 Concordia Summit in New York City. U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry revealed the TV White Space partnership as the winner, appearing remotely via video satellite.

TV White Space Partnership in the Danajon Reef — a public-private partnership between Microsoft, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Philippines’ Department of Science and Technology’s Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICTO) and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources — piloted, for the first time in the Philippines, a new technology that taps unused television broadcast frequencies (“TV White Space”) to extend high-speed, wireless Internet access to remote parts of the country.

“We are delighted to partner with Concordia and the U.S. Department of State Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships to present the second annual P3 Impact Award,” said Darden Professor Mary Margaret Frank, academic director of the Darden Institute for Business in Society. “The TV White Space partnership is a perfect example of the creative and impactful solutions that can result when multiple sectors work together collaboratively.”

Under this partnership, USAID tested the use of TV White Space to enable a mobile, online system to formally register fisherfolk in Bohol. The Bohol province was previously one of the most biodiverse and productive marine areas in the Philippines, but extreme overfishing over the past five decades has decreased the fish population by 90 percent. Registering the fisherfolk provides the information necessary to create a plan for sustainable fishery use, not only critical to the survival of the marine life, but also to the human populations depending on them. Registration is a key step toward sustainable fisheries management, and allows fisherfolk to access vital government services, including health care, insurance and poverty alleviation funds.

Since TV White Space connectivity was established in April 2014, over 16,000 fisherfolk have been registered in the pilot municipalities, with almost 4,000 of those registrants exclusively registered through TV White Space technology. As a result, government counterparts have begun to use this new registration data to design and deploy better fisheries management interventions.

The partnership has also provided free Internet access for 20,000 Philippines citizens who previously did not have any. Because entire communities now have access to high-speed Internet, public institutions such as medical clinics and schools are able to provide improved services. Following these successes, the government has expanded the use of TV White Space to other locations in the Philippines to support its goal of providing wireless Internet access to 99 percent of its population.

“Today’s global challenges require a coordinated approach,” said Natalie Pregibon, Director of Research at Concordia. “When sectors work together by aligning interests and leveraging their respective strengths, the impact is not only substantial, it is also sustainable.”

“The P3 Impact Award is meant to recognize the best existing partnerships and inspire others to use the power of partnerships as a mechanism to affect change in communities anywhere in the world,” said Andrew O’Brien, Special Representative for Global Partnerships at the U.S. Department of State. “We believe that partnerships allow us to do more together than we can do alone, and hope others can learn from the example set by the TV White Space Partnership in engaging diverse stakeholders in their goals.”

TV White Space Partnership in the Danajon Reef is highlighted in a special edition of the Darden School’s thought-leadership publication Darden Ideas to Actionprovided at the Concordia Summit. The publication features leading practices and actionable insights from the TV White Space partnership and four additional P3 Impact Award finalists. It will also be used to develop teaching cases and other materials to share and advance best practices with other public-private partnerships around the world.

The additional award finalists included: Partners in Food Solutions-TechnoServe AllianceThe Nature Conservancy-Dow Chemical Company Collaboration, Madagascar: Improving Water and Sanitation Services to Low-Income Communities and U.S. Global Development Lab’s Partnering to Accelerate Entrepreneurship (PACE) Initiative and VilCap Investments: Catalyzing Investment to Democratize Global Entrepreneurship. The winner and finalists received international recognition at the Concordia Summit. As the winner, TV White Space Partnership in the Danajon Reef will also receive a full scholarship to attend a week-long Darden Executive Education course.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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