Heeks’ views on the MDGs goals are very similar to my views. Development projects aiming to accomplish MDGs should be guided by the head more than the heart. Sometimes the heart has good intentions, but success is not found. The industrialized gets richer by implementing projects that will advance their economy. China’s work in Africa is a prime example. China claims to be helping with development in Africa by providing more work and improving its economy with more resources, but this isn’t true. Many Africans aren’t being hire by these Chinese companies, but these companies are bringing in their own people for labor. It is as if they are only using Africa for its resources and land. Philanthropy and social development aspects are only after-effects of these projects not the driving force behind them. As stated by Heeks, we should shift away from the hype of telecenters and e-government in remote regions where they will not be useful there. There isn’t proper infrastructure for these technologies in such rural places. The future of ICTs & the MDGs will rely on
- Breaking the hegemony by leaving the one size fits all view
- Back office implementation rather than front office implementation
- Following the cowpaths by using things that already exists rather than develop new ideas
Three good ways to merge ICTs into development that can accomplish the MDGs is to use ICTs directly, indirectly, and strategically. We must provide access to these new technologies, but also improve the efficiency and connection between these technologies and the resources available in developing locations. In addition, we must strategically implement ICTs in a way to support development perhaps as a tool or resource hub. This I believe can be done through education.
- We must engage users in the process. This will allow the population in question a way to voice their ideas, opinions, and state what they truly want rather than a “stranger” telling them what they need.
- We must identify resources, tools, and trends that will help ensure better results. Background work will allow project leaders to understand and predict what methods will work and what methods won’t rather than just going in heads first.
- Provide easy to understand and quick information to the population we are working with. This will promote advocacy for our project and gain more supports from those we are working to help.
- Display transparency to ensure that countries are not implementing development projects with hidden agendas.
I think the idea of using grassroots methods to increase participation and success is needed for ICTs to work with the MDGs. This will build trust and cooperation among all those involved in a particular project, both those helping and those being helped.