A Global Approach to the Capabilities Approach – Blog Post 3

In last week’s reading  Erwin Alampay discussed the capabilities approach in regards to ICT in developing nations.  The article spoke about how an understanding of the capabilities for developing nations is critical to integrating ICT in a nation’s social and economic structure.  If a nation aims to provide assistance to another nation in the use of ICT they must understand the productive capabilities of the particular society.  This means that a humanistic approach is considerably important to success in development.  In understanding a nation’s capabilities, the individual’s freedoms, values, happiness, and human welfare must all be understand for effective implementation of ICT in any country.  One-size-fits all methods to ICT4D are not truly effective ways to aid developing nations in development by maximizing their existing capabilities

This brings about the idea that developed nations must  have a strong grasp of their own capabilities to ever be able to effectively assist another nation.  If a developed nations like the United States does not understand how to utilize existing technology in school systems in rural states, they should not be in the process of implementing these technologies in rural states in the developing world.  There are still many divides in ICT usages across the United States that lead educational inequality and differences in individual capabilities.  This is especially evident due to the lack of national guidelines that regulate technology in public schools.  I grew up in the public school system of rural Maine and received a very progressive education that incorporated ICT in our daily lives.  Beginning in middle school each student was provided with a laptop and later an iPad for personal and school related use.  All classrooms were equipped with ‘smart boards’ and all students were required to take computer applications and related courses in order to graduate.  When I arrived at Tulane it was shocking to see the difference in education that I received from some of my other classmates who had attended schools in different areas across the US.  Although ICT in the school system across the nation has improved, there still exist issues of inequality between different areas.  When the United States and other developed nations decide to assist a developing nation with ICT use, they must first look to their own national capabilities and attempt to learn from this information so it can be curtailed and tailored to each nation’s development needs.

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One response to “A Global Approach to the Capabilities Approach – Blog Post 3

  • vceaser

    I think you bring up a good point about the Capabilities approach, that nations must assess and understand their own capabilities before they can help themselves or developing nations. But you bring up a good point about regional differences across the nation that make it more difficult to identify these broad-based national capabilities. I think this just emphasizes the importance of local participation and local governance is assessing the capabilities of their own areas and creating policies and programs based off such needs.

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