ICT4D: looking back

When I initially took this course, I really had no idea how technology would fit in the field of development. I remember the first class when Professor Ports asked if any of us knew about Information and Communication Technologies and I did not have a clue what she was talking about. I have never considered myself to be a very tech savvy person and my initial thoughts were that concepts from this class wouldn’t prove to be particularly vital.  Indeed, I proven wrong. We live in an extremely fast paced world that is driven by continuous technological advancements. The scope of technology and its’ applications extends across all sectors and ultimately, without a grasp on technology, one is unlikely to succeed.

Being exposed to the many real-world applications of ICT4D throughout the course is what really sparked my enthusiasm.  I was excited to see course lessons extend beyond the classroom walls and realized that the knowledge and skills gained  through this course will be applicable to any career path. It was also this class that solidified my career passions in the humanitarian sector.  Specifically, I was inspired by the ICT4D applications in disaster relief and humanitarian aid. I was amazed by the whole idea of crowd sourcing/HOSTOM and its’ ability to function efficiently in a situation when every second counts.  In addition, the experience we had working with  Geographic Information Systems gave me invaluable skills that will be extremely useful to a career in disaster management. After focusing on the humanitarian sector for my group project, I became really interested in other ICT4D applications that could bring even greater benefit! Any area of ICT4D that I feel deserves more attention is what our class recently covered in regards of cyber security. Its nearly impossible for the appropriate policies and regulations to keep up with technologies fast-pace nature. This leaves a huge gap in cyber security,  such as potential for cyber threats, and I think it is crucial that this aspect of ICT4D is  addressed as we move forward. We’ve seen endless examples of ICT4D applications bringing great benefit to the people and overall development , from advocating for human rights, ending corruption, to  e-medicine, and I’m excited for what the future of ICT4D holds.

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