• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Work with all your cloud files (Drive, Dropbox, and Slack and Gmail attachments) and documents (Google Docs, Sheets, and Notion) in one place. Try Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) for free. Now available on the web, Mac, Windows, and as a Chrome extension!



Page history last edited by Christy Martell 13 years ago






1.     What is ICTD?

Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICTD) is a highly-complex field involving access to and the exchange of information as well as the technology systems used to transmit this information. ICTD can be applied across multiple sectors and multiple issue areas.

2. Who are the participants in ICTD projects?

ICTD initiatives and projects may be designed and implemented by international institutions (e.g. United Nations Global Alliance for ICT & Development), private companies (e.g. Intel's Classmate PC and World Ahead Program or AMD's 50x15), governments (e.g. e-Mexico initiative), non-governmental organizations and non-profits on the ground (e.g. Kiwanja, Inveneo), virtual organizations (e.g. OLPC.org), or universities (TIER group at UC Berkeley).

3. What type of challenges does ICT address?

  • Infrastructure: providing suitable computer hardware, operating systems, software, and connectivity to the internet. These would include the affordability of software and hardware, the ability to share software (as echoed in the Free Software movement), and the ability to sustainably connect to the internet. Also includes power as well as networking and associated hard/software.
  • Capacity building and training in ICT: installing, maintaining, and developing hardware and software, digital literacy (technological literacy and informational literacy) and e-Awareness; training in use and administration of ICTs; in case of education applications, includes design of curriculum; must include human ownership of project on multiple levels (from organizational leadership to users to IT staff)
  • Digital content and services: e-services (e-learning, e-health, e-business/e-commerce, e-gov), including concerns related to local-language solutions in computing, and the Open Access agenda (what is Open Access agenda?); also includes content and services driven from user/community (user-centric design, best performed by user representative)
  • Regulation of the ICT Sector and digital rights: Universal Access vs. monopolistic structures (these can be the same thing, e.g. one company that provides free city-wide broadband; better to say universal access v. market segmentation, or multiple providers v. monopolistic structures), Intellectual Property Rights, privacy, security, and digital identity.
  • Ethics and Social Contexts: Free and Open Source Software; privacy
  • (Source: Wikipedia)



4.  How have ICT been applied to different issue areas?

  • Community and Communications Access
    • Examples: internet cafes, Grameen’s VillagePhone
  • Economic Development
    • Examples: internet/web-based sales, access to market information (market prices, weather forecasets, agricultural advice)
  • Healthcare
    • Examples: community/patient-record keeping, compilation and analysis of health-related statistics, telemedicine
  • Education
    • Examples: Deployment of computers in secondary schools, distance education
  • Government
    • Examples: Administrative support, access to the accurate, timely and up-to-date information that is needed to understand the magnitude or details of poverty issues, or to gauge the success of poverty reduction programs.



5. What are some key indicators of ICT development in a country?

The key indicators of ICT development include access, quality, affordability, efficiency, sustainability, and applications. (Source: Global Trends and Policies 2006 Information and Communications for Development, The World Bank)



6. Why are countries interested in ICT development?

ICT can lead to sustainable poverty reduction, because it has the potential to make a country’s economy more efficient and globally competitive, improve health and education services, and create new sources of income and employment for poor people. In addition, ICT can enhance social inclusion and promote more effective, accountable, democratic government, especially when combined with effective freedom of information and expression. (Source: Global Trends and Policies 2006 Information and Communications for Development, The World Bank)



7. How has this field evolved over time?


The focus has shifted as technologies have shifted.  First this field was about connection to radio and phone landlines.  Then it moved to computer and internet access.  Now there is growing interest in mobile opportunities. Also because emerging markets have an increasingly greater impact on large technology companies business models than in the past there has been an increased interest from those organizations.



8. What are some of the "hot areas" in ICTD?

There is a lot of innovation happening in this area but a few “hot areas” include: low cost and shared access computing, Telecommunications and network infrastructure, Telemedicine, and Mobile applications and payments



9. What are the Millennium Development Goals and how do they involve ICTD?

The UN developed the Millennium Development Goals – a list of eight ambitious objectives that, if achieved, would provide better education, healthcare, nutrition, gender equality, and communications technology to a far greater percentage of the world’s poor.  When the MDGs were conceived eight years ago, there were only 738 million mobile subscribers, which represented approximately 12% of the global population (assuming one subscription per person). Today, over 3.5 billion people – half the world’s population – own mobile phones, and the GSMA estimates that mobile networks will cover 85% of the world’s population by 2010 – five years before the MDGs are supposed to be achieved. The Millennium Development Goals are now being re-thought in terms of how mobile technology (and technology in general) can contribute toward their achievement. In fact, nascent sub-industries like mServices – the delivery of critical services like healthcare and banking through mobile phones – have gained valuable support from governments and influential development organizations.  (Source: Vital Wave Consulting)




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