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Welcome to OCCAM

The Observatory on Digital Communication was established in 1996 by UNESCO in Milan, with the Agreements signed by the Director General, Federico Mayor and Mayor Marco Formentini in June 1996. The acronym stands for Observatory for Cultural and Audiovisual Communication in the Mediterranean.
Since 2003, OCCAM has been associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information, while in 2005 it received Special Consultative Status at the UN’s Social and Economic Council (ECOSOC). Since 2006 OCCAM is leader of the e-service for development Community of Expertise within the Global Alliance for Information and Communications Technologies and Development (UN – GAID), initiative launched by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in Kuala Lumpur.
OCCAM was founded with the mission to fight poverty as effectively as possible using the new technologies and to promote sustainable development actions in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and works to support the UN strategies for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), former Millennium Development Goals (MDGs, 2000-2015).
OCCAM’s actions, besides its function of Observatory on Digital Communication with studies and research, focuses also on two other main initiatives:
the Infopoverty World Conference that has been held annually since 2001 in the UN headquarters in New York; it takes stock of the phenomena of the digital revolution as it can be employed to strengthen the fight against poverty;
the Infopoverty Programme that collects the operational suggestions emerging from the conference to turn them into projects realized in various parts of the world.
As part of the Infopoverty program, OCCAM promoted the foundation of the Infopoverty Institute at the University of Oklahoma in 2004, to spread the Infopoverty vision in the American academic world, having as its scope to improve the living conditions of the population with ICT.

Infopoverty World Conference

Infopoverty World Conference is one of the our best-known initiatives, founded in 2001.
Since then, the conference has been held annually at the UN seat in New York. Considered as one Flagship Event, as stated by UN, it has seen more than a thousand representatives of large international organizations and institutions, avant-garde companies, universities and pioneers of the digital revolution, to find winning digital solutions for fighting poverty and sustainable development.
Since its inception, the IWC has reached a high government level…


The Infopoverty Programme

The Infopoverty programme, born at the instigation of the Infopoverty Conferences as a moment of implementation of the related resolutions, deals with the development of operational projects in favor of the most disadvantaged communities, using new technologies, from solar to web, providing internet connections and digital services, oriented towards the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Many projects have been launched over the years, including ICT Villages to redeem poorer communities (SDG 1) from poverty, eMedMed for telemedicine (SDG 3), World Food & Health Security e-Center for agricultural development and food security, (SDG 2). The Program is updated annually at each UN Infopoverty conference and illustrated with specific exposures.


The ICT Village project stems from the need to provide technologies and services to the most disadvantaged communities to enable them to promote their own development. The replicable model of ICT Village focuses on three types of intervention…


eMedMed is the project born in the context of the Union for the Mediterranean; it aims to promote a more widespread and efficient diffusion of the health service in Tunisia, Morocco, Libya and Egypt, through telemedicine. It is the result of the experimentation of over 15 years of applications in the various ICT Village in the field of maternal care, emergencies, cardiology, and traumatology.
It has been selected among the most relevant projects for the development of the Mediterranean by the French Senate…

World Food&Health Security e-Center

The Centre was created for MilanEXPO 2015 and launched at the International Conference “Beyond EXPO: The New Digital Services for Food Security” held at the Palazzo Lombardia in Milan in October 2015. The Center was adopted on 17 November 2016 at the COP22 – UN summit on climate change in Marrakech, as a tool able to provide rapid and low-cost solutions to rural communities, thanks to digital services provided by prestigious centers of excellence and networking of connected service providers thanks to the Infopoverty platform, able to share expertise with remote users, transfer data and support and connect local institutions with the main facilities for assistance. The center is also distinguished by the use of sustainable and modular technologie…

Infopoverty Simultaneously Project

Simultaneously with the various conferences and seminars, OCCAM has set up exhibitions illustrating its activities and the results achieved…

Our operational structure

The Observatory is organized into 5 segments:

  1. Observatory on the phenomena of the digital revolution;
  2. Research and experimentation, on social-oriented ICT innovations;
  3. Infopoverty conference, which organizes the annual IWC in NY;
  4. Infopoverty programme for monitoring and management of the projects;

Communication and secretariat. OCCAM makes use of qualified high-level advisors, grouped in specific task forces, with a promotion and development committee.

The observatory has two representations at the UN, one in New York and one in Geneva and an international head of Institutional Relations.