Learning to Use ICTs to Reach the MDGs

This report by Professor Clement Dzidonu, commissioned by the Division for Public Administration and Development Management of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, explores how information and communication technology can be used to help reach the Millennium Development Goals, focusing specifically on Africa.

The first several pages are spent discussing the role of ICTs in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. As the report states, “There is now a consensus that in what is increasingly becoming a highly competitive information-driven world economy, development without ICTs is not possible.” The report graphically demonstrates the way that ICTs can impact development in eight major sectors: the public, agricultural, service, industrial, research & development, education, health, and private sectors.

Interestingly, the report mentions that ICTs can facilitate the development process not only in developing countries, but also in more developed countries, a point that is sometimes overlooked. It also states that technology is not a goal in and of itself; instead, it can be used as an “enabler of development goals.” The report then describes ten areas where the introduction of ICTs has had a major impact on development, ranging from good governance to more productive agriculture.

Finally, the report delves into the specific case of the African continent, examining country case studies and how ICTs might help to meet the MDGs in African nations. The report includes not only examples of programs and strategies, but also the very important “lessons learned” that will help future practitioners gain insight into the successes, failures, and potential replicability of these programs. These case studies and strategies are useful not only to African nations; they might also provide clues as to how ICTs can be implemented in other regions of the world where the MDGs have yet to be met.

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About AmeliaConrad

Hi! I'm a senior at Tulane University studying International Relations, International Development, and Spanish. I'm passionate about a lot of things and my current activities include the following: serving as a Fall Fellow for the Obama campaign, president of the Tulane chapter of RESULTS, vice president of Women in Politics, and co-chair of the Leadership Conference for Middle School Girls for Mortarboard; working as a resident advisor at Tulane; and interning at Save the Children! I'm really excited to pursue all of these opportunities this year. View all posts by AmeliaConrad

One response to “Learning to Use ICTs to Reach the MDGs

  • zgoldmann

    I found this report interesting, though it did lack some things I would have liked to know especially in the education section. Primarily it talks about equipping schools with computers and internet connections. But I feel like two main points are lacking.

    1. Maintenance. In many developing countries both internet and power are unreliable, especially during times like the rainy season (if there is one). This report lacks any information about the quality of the equipment or the maintenance.

    2. It doesn’t state how this access is going to be used to improve any particular part of education, or if there are computer programs/specific skills sets they are hoping children will learn.

    I feel like this attitude still false towards the side of the “telecenter” mentality, and not actually using these funds and technology to develop how these children think, learn and interact with the outside world.

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