ICT4D Course Lessons; The Importance of Understanding Local Context

After taking ICT4D, I believe the most important thing I have learned this semester is the importance of having a good understanding of the local population that is being aided by a given ICT project. If there is one area that I have noticed many ICT4D programs struggle with, it is not having a solid understanding of their target populations. While it may seem extremely intuitive, not everyone in the world can speak English and use computers. Yet many ICT programs wrongly assume this and often fail in their goals.

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A proper understanding of local cultures and knowledge is vital  in order to utilize that knowledge to aid the target population. That knowledge the#in provides guidance as to which ICT technologies to utilize and how to properly implement an ICT initiative. Without that firm base of knowledge, an ICT program is that much more likely to fail in its goals. I hope to use the knowledge gained in this class to better inform my future decisions and ensure that I don’t make the same mistakes that many development professionals do.

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