Development is about change. Change for the better. And all governments, irrespective of levels of development or political ideologies are interested in bringing about such change within their social and political systems. This may mean changing a health care system to benefit more poor and the elderly, or providing access to primary education for all. To do this, countries use all strategies and tools at their command to accelerate this process of change.
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are among the powerful tools that nations seek to deploy. Sometimes, the link between ICTs and development goals appears clear; at other times, it seems fuzzy. Yet, across the world, billions of dollars are spent every single year by the governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector in ICT projects with the hope and intention of succeeding. Some succeed some fail. To know the reasons for their success or failure require an understanding of both ICTs and development. This primer seeks to provide an introduction to and preliminary understanding of the linkages between ICTs and the achievement of the human development goals in society. Today, this newly emerging academic discipline is called ICT for Development (ICTD or ICT4D).
We will use the term ICTD during the discussion in this primer. This primer is designed to provide background information that students in undergraduate and graduate programmes can use as a starting point in the exploration of the various dimensions of the linkages through case studies of ICT applications in key sectors of development in Asia- Pacific countries. The aim is to foster a better multidisciplinary understanding of how ICTs can be used for social and economic development, and to equip students of different fields, from engineering to the social sciences with the understanding needed to use ICTs to meet a country’s development goals and needs. This primer can be used by all students, it does not focus on any aspect in detail; and it seeks to avoid the technical jargon that a specialized study of any aspect of ICTD may entail.
||Information and Organizations Communication Technologies for Development
||ICTD Applications in Core Sectors of Development
||ICTD Applications in Sustainable Development
||ICTD Applications in Governance and Peace
||ICTD Applications in Culture and Tourism
||Issues in Project Management
||ICTD Human Capacity Building
||ICTD Project Evaluation
The learning objectives of this section are to introduce learners to:
- The basic concepts of human development
- The link between communication and development
- The concept of the “digital divide”
- The definitions of information and communication technology (ICT)
- The strengths and weaknesses of ICTs
After completing this section, learners will be able to understand:
- Key concepts in human development
- The basic elements of using communication for development
- Ways of bridging the digital divide
- ICTs and their strengths and weaknesses
- Key concepts and trends in ICT for development (ICTD)