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The potential and the constraints in low income countries

July 2002

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This paper outlines the potential offered by technological progress in the information and communication technologies (ICTs) industries for the health sector in developing countries, presents some examples of positive experiences in India, and considers the difficulties in achieving this potential. Conclusions are that the development of ICTs can bring about improvements in health in developing countries but there are barriers including the limits on physical access to new technologies, the high cost of providing such access for the less well endowed, and exclusion from access due to the inadequate capabilities of large sections of the population. These constraints suggest that the ICT revolution could, in turn, generate a new digital divide

Information and communication technology : poverty and development in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia


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This lengthy report examines the patterns of utilization, ownership and affordability of ICT in these two regions. It also discusses the application of ICT to the poor by the private sector, government and NGOs. The paper notes the significant gap between industrialized countries and these two regions and two internal gaps - between the richest and poorest and between the urban and rural areas. It also notes several principles for ICT use to alleviate poverty.