ICT4D Should Be About People, Not Technology

This keynote speech by Kentaro Toyama has pretty much summed what I have learned in this course.  ICTs are great in aiding development projects, but are not the answer to solving the problems of underdeveloped countries.  Toyama provides great examples about fishermen in India, which has been a discussion topic in the course.


One response to “ICT4D Should Be About People, Not Technology

  • laurenholtzman

    Although Kentaro Toyama’s ideas on ICT4D are controversial, I find him inspirational and I think that his ideology is what is needed to transform development. His first line in this video, “You cannot fix a broken system with technology” could not be more true in my eyes. He explains how successful development “focuses on a larger system that involves human beings.” I think the most brilliant point he makes is about how people have become so confused. While ICT4D professionals have perhaps come to understand that teaching a man to fish makes more sense than simply giving a man a fish for one day, they have not realized that creating a technology to help that man fish will not fix the issue either. Toyama speaks of education and organizing as being fundamental for creating change. I think these two key aspects of development are frequently forgotten by ICT techies. While advancements in technology can be beneficial, eventually all technology becomes obsolete. If developers made sure that everyone in Uganda or wherever had a cell phone, would that fix Uganda? Of course, not. It is imperative that we not only focus on how technologies can help people, but how education can empower people to make changes in their communities and in their lives.

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