This article notes how, despite the explosion of mobile phone and internet users throughout the private sector, the governments of these developing countries have yet to fully embrace new technological opportunities. If they were to reevaluate their limited use of technology, they may be able to provide more consistent goods and services. The World Bank had the an internal evaluation done and the results were quite transparent. Despite funding and pressure on policy makers, there was little to no change in mobile provider’s expansion into poorer, more rural, and under-served regions of developing countries. More specifically, “targeted efforts to increase access beyond what was commercially viable have been largely unsuccessful.” According to the report, there have been successes in other areas concerning ICT4D projects funded by the World Bank, however, universal access is where we see failure rates as high as 70%. Despite this being a seemingly bad thing, there is also a silver lining. A 30% success rate is not bad when the World Bank is dealing with developing nations, ones that probably have bigger concerns the mobile phones, such as corruption or disease. Because of the World Bank’s transparency in its self-evaluation, this enables open discussion about alternatives and what clearly, doesn’t seem to be working. This high failure rate also makes an incredibly strong case against a one-size-fits-all approach.This is similar to the argument that Heek’s makes in his article about the Millennium Development Goals, about how they are too top-down and too “cookie cutter” to have the same impact in each country. Countries need to be able to tailor projects and goals to what is most applicable for them, their needs, and their priorities. I believe that the actions of the World Bank set a very good precedent for any organizations that wants to take on an ICT project.
21 September 2012
The World Bank’s Role in ICT4D and Transparency
This entry was posted on Friday, September 21st, 2012 at 12:13 am and tagged with Evaluation, government involvement, high failure rates, self-reporting, transparency, universal access, World Bank and posted in IDEV & ICT Resources, Rural Development. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
One response to “The World Bank’s Role in ICT4D and Transparency”
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