ICT4D; Lessons Learned

In today’s world, ever globalizing use  information communication technologies is shaping development across sectors and countries. While many aspects of ICT4D will remain salient, I believe the application of crowd sourcing technologies is what we will see shape the future of international relations, development, and economies. Since the beginning of industrialization, nations have shared and stolen technologies from others. With the practically unlimited access to shared knowledge and ideas we have today, expanding and acting upon the base of shared information seems to be the most inevitable approach to future growth. In class we participated in crowd sourced mapping, in disasters we see the applications of crowd sourcing in emergency aid and relief, and in other sectors of economic development we see crowd sourcing that ranges from knowledge acquisition, market analysis, and social engagements. We see success where multiple minds work towards a collective effort, and this is the practice that has impacted me the most about ICT4D.

For my personal gain and professional development, I believe this class has helped me the most by demonstrating my own ability to learn new technologies and utilize them in a real way, whether it be JOSM, WordPress, or Twitter. I know my generation is supposed to be at the head of the tech game, but I am an anomaly to this rule. However, learning, and gaining proficiency in these areas has showed me my own ability to move forward in the professional world without fear of technological barriers, I at least knows its worth a shot. On the note of crowd sourcing, I do believe I will continue to seek opportunities to utilize crowd sourced information in my future careers and projects, hopefully gain a more complete perspective of the task at hand.

While I appreciate many of the frameworks we have discussed in class I find the capabilities approach to be the most useful. I have always been a member of the “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” school of thought. I believe the capabilities approach builds on this idea. When bringing in different aspect of ICT to a region, bringing in tools that are most applicable to the skills of the people and the infrastructure of the nation seem to be they will be the most sustainable. Just like we can teach a man to fish, we can teach a man to use technology, but doing so in a way that draws on inherent or existing capabilities will allow the technology to dig the deepest roots.



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