“Achieving millennium development goals: Role of ICTS innovations in India”

This week we talked about the Millennium Development Goals and the role that ICTs have or have not played in meeting these UN targets. This article focuses on the ways in which ICTs have been used to meet MDGs in the rural regions of India.  Although India has recently experienced much economic growth, rural poverty remains a pressing problem, and Rao states that over the past decade, “India has become a test bed for innovations in ICTs to serve the rural poor”. (pg 130) The author, Siriginidi Subba Rao, suggests that India’s large, skilled ICT workforce can and has been instrumental in building the ICT infrastructure that will eventually tap into the semi-unexplored market represented by the country’s poor.  Rao, who begins be stating that “Information is the key to democracy,” (pg 127) goes on to list each of the MDGs and the ICTs and ICT programs that have been instituted to achieve them in India. The article appears to refute Heeks’s assertion that the MDGs deemphasize ICTs, and even states that one project designed to allow women greater access to governmental resources, “dispels the myth that IT solutions are not for the poor and women.” (pg 134) Rao presents an interesting point of view, but while the focus on naming and explaining specific programs gives us an intriguing summary of development work in India, there seems to be little attempt to find the causal link between the projects themselves and the strides India has made towards the completion of the MDGs. Regardless, here are some of the links to projects mentioned in the article:

Hole in the Wall Training System,

The Habitat Learning Center

The Community Led Environmental Action Network (CLEAN)

The Datamation Foundation


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