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ICTs : information and communication technologies for the poor

TORERO, Maximo
VON BRAUN, Joachim
November 2005

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This 'issue brief' describes the proliferation of electronically communicated information, which has accelerated economic and social change across all areas of human activity worldwide. It observes that the rapid growth of ICTs in developing countries is partly a result of very low initial access, and therefore in absolute terms developing countries are still well behind the developed world in access to ICTs. It concludes that ICTs offer an opportunity for development, but not a panacea. For the potential benefits of ICTs to be realized in developing countries, many prerequisites need to be put in place: prompt deregulation, effective competition among service providers, free movement and adoption of technologies, targeted and competitive subsidies to reduce the access gap, and institutional arrangements to increase the use of ICTs in the provision of public goods. The paper advocates for the importance of all three "Cs": connectivity, capability to use the new tools, and relevant content provided in accessible and useful forms

Development policy guidelines for ICT and the information society

March 2005

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These guidelines are designed to help development cooperation activities achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals, through greater accessibility to information and communication technology, and the creation of information societies in developing countries. The document calls for the mainstreaming of ICT into almost all sectors of development policy. The creation of a sustainable information society, it is argued, rests on the development of four complementary areas: political strategies and regulatory framework; information and knowledge; knowledge economy; infrastructure and availability of ICT. Several examples are used to support the claims

Chennai statement on up-scaling pro-poor ICT policies and practices

et al
January 2005

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The Chennai Statement is intended to serve as an input into the on-going global debate on the role of ICTs for development, particularly in view of the poverty reduction oriented agenda for the implementation of the WSIS Principles and Action Plan in the context of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

Good practice paper on ICTs for economic growth and poverty reduction

SCOTT, Nigel
et al

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This report aims to give an overview of what DAC members currently know about how information and communication technology (ICT) use in developing economies can stimulate economic growth and poverty reduction. It draws attention to the cross-cutting applications of ICTs, to their role as tools, not goals, and links their use to development co-operation

ICT, PRSPs, and MDGs

October 2003

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This paper considers the dissemination of ICT within various conceptual frameworks, calling for approaches that start with the needs and desires of poor people for information. It is strongly illustrated with examples from India and Pakistan. Banuri then turns to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and to the potential of ICT to support progress in meeting these goals. Finally, he criticises governments for lack of a coherent, human development-based ICT policy emphasizing the MDGs, while suggesting that civil society has done better

ICTs and poverty : a literature review

ADEYA, Catherine Nyaki

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This literature review explores the concepts of ICTs and poverty, and their implications on development. It is divided into the following sections: Section 2 examines the concepts of poverty and ICTs, as well as some related issues, while the next section evaluates the relationship between ICTs and poverty in some detail; Section 4 then presents some case study literature on ICTs and poverty. This section is followed by an assessment of literature on ICTs and poverty reduction from the perspective of development in Section 5. The focus of Section 6 is ICTs and a selection of thematic areas that include agriculture, culture, education, health and gender. Section 7 has some concluding remarks and the last section gives recommendations for further research

Measuring the impact of information on development

MENOU, Michel J

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This report documents an initiative that, through its methods and focus, aimed to provide a realistic starting point to understanding the impact of information on development. It consisted of a electronic conference, followed by a workshop through which ideas about information and evaluation were shared and built upon. The report weaves together the input of dozens of information users and providers, policymakers, information scientists, and others from the South and the North, and presents a preliminary assessment framework as a starting point to future work in this area


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