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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

Handhelds for health : SATELLIFE’S experiences in Africa and Asia

SATELLIFE
July 2005

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This report describes the SATELLIFE experience in implementing handheld computer projects to support health-care providers and institutions in a dozen countries in Asia and Africa. It captures SATELLIFE's experience and lessons learned as a 16-year veteran of using ICTs for health and an early adopter of handheld computers in low-resource environments. It also provide some pointers to other organisations that may benefit from their knowledge and experience, to optimize their own use of ICT in general or handhelds in particular

Financing ICTs for development : efforts of DAC members. Review of recent trends of ODA and its contribution

DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE COMMITTEE (DAC). OECD.
2005

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This report provides policy-oriented analysis of donor support for information and communication technologies for development, with particular attention to recent trends in bilateral ODA commitments for ICT infrastructure as well as other ICT assistance. This analysis is illustrated with an abundance of statistical charts, highlights and annexes. The study furthermore seeks to analyse the rationale of the donors and other stakeholders to withdraw from the ICT infrastructure support in the 1990s and shift to integrating ICT components into development assistance projects and programmes. New forms of multi-donor partnerships are appearing not only as a joint financing mechanism but also as a platform for exchange of experiences and learning among donor institutions

Good practice paper on ICTs for economic growth and poverty reduction

BATCHELOR, Simon
SCOTT, Nigel
et al
2005

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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

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

ARUNACHALAM, Subbiah
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)

Disabled people and the internet : experiences, barriers and opportunities

PILLING, Doria
BARRET, Paul
FLOYD, Mike
2004

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This report explores how provision of goods and services over the Internet affects people’s lives. While the Internet might have some capability to provide goods, services and communication at a distance, improving access in doing so, some research findings in the early days of e-commerce suggested diminished access for some groups.
This research focuses on the impact of the Internet on people with disabilities. There is the possibility that provision of information and services through the Internet might actually narrow rather than widen choices, because it might lead to the phasing out of traditional ways of providing services preferred by some disabled people

Estrategia nacional para la sociedad de la información

INSTITUTO DOMINICANO DE LAS TELECOMUNICACIONES (INDOTEL)
UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (UNDP)
WORLD BANK
2004

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The National Strategy for the Information Society of the of the Dominican Republic (e-Dominicana) is a joint effort of the Dominican society, led by the Dominican Institute of the Telecommunications, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank. For its formulation the different actors from the government, the private sector and civil society were consulted. The e-Dominican Strategy aims to promote human development, to construct competitive advantages and to offer Dominican people better opportunities, through the use, appropriation and development of the ICTs

Low cost access and connectivity : local solutions

UN ICT TASK FORCE
2004

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This publication, a UN ICT Task Force Working Group Paper, brings together case studies of local initiatives which highlight innovation in meeting the information and communication needs in developing countries. Seven papers explore connectivity and access issues in different countries. Papers on Benin and Cameroon are in French

ICT and MDGs : a World Bank Group perspective

WORLD BANK GROUP
December 2003

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A 2003 policy paper from the World Bank on the relationship between ICT and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The main objectives of this report are: (i) to illustrate the opportunities ICT offers policy makers and practitioners in their efforts to achieve the MDGs, with the assumption that the appropriate policies and institutions exist or will be forthcoming; and (ii) to highlight selected World Bank Group funded projects with an ICT component which have contributed to the intended development outcomes. "The report does not aim to establish proven empirical links between ICT and the achievement of the MDGs, but to illustrate the positive impact ICT can make as an enabling tool for development." Includes a section on ICT and health MDGs

Learning to share learning : an exploration of methods to improve and share learning

CHETLEY, Andrew
VINCENT, Robin
March 2003

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This is a report, commissioned by the UK Commission for Health Improvement (CHI) in March 2003, which provides a literature review looking at the sharing of learning in different sectors. A key aim of CHI’s approach is to encourage NHS organisations to embed learning in their work to help them improve their practice. The report draws on studies in the fields of education, psychology, organisational learning, personal learning, and participatory approaches to explore understanding of good learning practice. It includes more than 15 case studies that illustrate methodologies and approaches used to share learning in the business, public, and voluntary sectors, paying particular attention to the types of processes that encourage engagement with diverse communities of interest or multiple stakeholders

Wireless communication

VONK, Tjalling
MULDER, Rolof
March 2003

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The use of wireless networks in developing areas is promising. Since ground cables are only economic in high-density environments, a wireless network is much cheaper when long distances need to be crossed to rural areas

Information and communication technologies and poverty reduction in Sub Saharan Africa : a learning study (synthesis)

GERSTER, Richard
ZIMMERMAN, Sonja
2003

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A report of the learning study carried out as part of the Building Digital Opportunities (BDO) programme.The study focuses on mapping the experiences of BDO partners with ICTs and poverty reduction in order to enable BDO partners to improve their understanding of the role of ICTs in poverty reduction and play a pro-poor role in multilateral forums like the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). It draws on research into the use of information and communication technology in Mali, Uganda and Zambia, and examines progress in fulfilling BDO's global objective to ensure that such technology contributes to the achievement of the 8 Millenium Development Goals and 17 Millenium Development Targets

Revisiting the "magic box" : case studies in local appropriation of information and communication technologies (ICTs)

BATCHELOR, Simon
O’FARRELL, Clare
2003

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This book looks at the way communities and groups in developing countries are appropriating information and communication technologies (ICTs) to address their needs. It finds that ICTs are being integrated into wider community-based activities and adapted to fit different contexts. It follows on from the paper "Discovering the Magic Box". It finds that there are still few examples of community-driven and locally appropriated ICT initiatives and an absence of standards or guidelines to evaluate ICT-based projects. The book includes some analytical frameworks and indicators to identify good practice and evidence of impact A significant development has been in the growth of telecommunications, in particular mobile phones, that are relatively cheap and powerful tools for poor communities, even in remote areas. The book concludes that the power of oral communication through telephones and radio cannot be underestimated. The book proposes that the main challenge is to adapt the new, usually computer-based ICTs to the needs of poor, predominantly oral-based communities so that they can be appropriated effectively and quickly

From beedees to CDs : snapshots from a journey through India's rural knowledge centres

FERGUSON, Julie
January 2003

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Rural ICT centres, if properly designed and managed, can be much more than just 'access centres.' They can become community owned 'knowledge centres' that directly and indirectly empower people living in rural areas. This was the conclusion reached by participants in the first South-South travelling workshop on ICT-enabled development, organised by the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation [Publisher's abstract]

The significance of information and communication technologies for reducing poverty

MARKER, Phil
MCNAMARA, Kerry
WALLACE, Lindsay
January 2002

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A study for DFID staff, and for policy consideration, about the role of ICT in development. Identifies and assess the links between information and poverty, and concludes that although spreading ICT ('bridging the digital divide') should not be an end in itself, there is enormous potential for ICTs to increase information flow and empower poor people. The study then discusses the potential role of the international community, and sets out specific recommendations for DFID. Includes several appendices containing: a bibliography; brief case studies of Chile, Costa Rica and India; and list of related DFID funded projects. The study concludes that ICT should not be viewed as an end itself but has the potential as a tool to increase information flows and empower people. It can play a part in achieving International Development Goals

Ethics and the Internet in west Africa : toward an ethical model of integration|Les enjeux éthiques d’Internet en Afrique de l’Ouest : vers un modèle éthique d’intégration

BRUNET, Patrick
TIEMTORE, Oumarou
VETTRAINO-SOULARD, Marie-Claude
2002

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This book focuses on ethical questions related to the use of the Internet in west Africa. It examines the manner in which the spread of the Internet in Africa raises serious ethical issues; issues that should be identified to ensure that, in the future, the adaptation and integration of Internet technology will be compatible with the development of Africa's nations. The book is based on field suveys in five west African countries, two anglophone and three francophone. For each country, a portrait of Internet users' ethical behaviours was created. The book demonstrates how the Internet, by virtue of its content and how the technology is uses, is creating upheaval in the practices and modes of communication within African communities. The book culminates with a proposed ethical model for the assimilation of the Internet that could serve as a reference for development policies in each of the respective countries and, more broadly, throughout Africa

Information and communication technologies and disability in developing countries : a technical note

SANDHU, Jim S
SAARNIO, Ilkka
WIMAN, Ronald
2001

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This study highlights the role information and communication technologies (ICT) can play in the fight against poverty of disabled people in developing countries. The study addresses the possibilities and barriers ICT can cause for disabled people. It shows the role ICT can play in the provision of services and information for disabled people in the context of middle and low income countries

The internet and rural and agricultural development : an integrated approach

RICHARDSON, Don
1997

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Discusses the potential benefits of using the Internet for rural / agricultural development. Contextualises the growth of the internet in development initiatives and addresses the potential of the internet in specific areas, eg community development, research/education, small and medium enterprise development, and news media. Finallly, identifies several areas of best practice to guide effective use of the internet. Recommends engaging intermediary agencies involved in (project support, research, extension, health etc) in internet initiatives, as well as stakeholders and intended beneficiaries. Warns against the widening information gap between haves and have-nots

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