The ICT4D 2.0 Manifesto: Where Next for ICTs and International Development?

When talking about ICT4D, as the author mentions, why should we give any priority to ICT application for the poor in development? In such a moral argument, I can see the growing enlightened self-interest because of globalization both at  macro and micro level. The problems of poverty directly or indirectly affect those countries and individuals at the top of the development pyramid. We can also say that the world is so connected nowadays that it’s not appropriate to only care about oneself without the concern for others’ well-being.

ICT4D 1.0 was initiated to address the need of the poor because of the MDGs and the general availability of the Internet. But the outcomes turned out to be a mixture of failure, restrictions and anecdote. Then ICT4D switches its focus to new priorities, such as what kind of technologies can be actually used and applied in development based on the new hardware and applications. Combining this topic with my own experience makes it easier to understand. We do not lack technological breakthroughs. We are living in a era when inventions have grown so quickly that a lot of us are chasing the footprint of new and better technologies. However, when we just keep insisting the importance of tech innovation, I don’t really see a lot focus on the application and integration of high tech into our daily life or into the field of development to meet the need of the poor. This might be another factor of the Digital Divide. So absolutely, we need new models for ICT4D 2.0. As follows, some new innovation models for ICT4D are introduced in this article, such as Laboratory” (pro-poor) innovation, “Collaborative” (para-poor) innovation and “Grassroots” (per-poor) innovation, as well as some new implementation models from the aspects of actors, approaches and techniques.

In conclusion, I do agree with the author that we need to have new and broader world views integrated different perspectives to guide ICT4D 2.0 projects, instead of only using techno-centric world views.

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About Tim H.

Just another awesome social worker. View all posts by Tim H.

2 responses to “The ICT4D 2.0 Manifesto: Where Next for ICTs and International Development?

  • npham2

    The lack of focus on the application and integration of new technology into daily life is a problem. When using technology in a development setting, one thing to keep in mind is that these places still lack the proper resources and infrastructures to handle these new technologies. It is hard to integrate something people can’t use into their daily life. Even if people make an effort to integrate the new technology, it can result in failure due to incompatibility. The digital divide will just increase as a result of this as new technologies are produced daily, but developing countries can not even use the old already existing technologies.

    • TIM0603

      Absolutely. Sometimes even though we don’t actually use some kind of “seemingly old” tech in our daily life, the alternative infrastructure should still be set up as a backup plan to prepare for disasters or emergent situations when daily response systems fail.

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