Members of the Pygma Consulting team were commissioned by the ITU to prepare a user-friendly and practical toolkit (Funding Universal Service and Access Toolkit) to assist regulators and fund managers on the formulation and implementation of universal service funds in the SADC region. The toolkit was informed by extensive research and analysis, looking at approaches the SADC countries have taken in designing effective Universal Service and Access (USA) financing mechanisms and comparing these to benchmarked studies. The toolkit focused on the key elements ICT regulatory bodies ought to consider in implementing such a toolkit based on global experience and good practice.
The team assessed various factors that play a crucial role in facilitating the implementation of a functional funding toolkit based on best-practice approaches for universal access funding, methods for fund allocation and management, project implementation, and monitoring and evaluation processes. Underpinning these success factors are key principles that shape a successful USA Fund including alignment with regulatory and policy framework, good governance, market orientation, innovation and localisation of projects and processes.
The toolkit also identified enablers to the success of any USA Fund, such as institutional frameworks; fair licensing regimes and harmonisation with regional and global approaches and standards.