Lessons from ICT4D

This class has not only helped to understand how to implement ICTs and ICT related projects in developing countries, but it also built on a framework that we have discussed in previous International Development classes. One important lesson from this course which many of my classmates have touched on is the importance of having a flexible implementation model. Projects should be adapted based on the culture and location of the project, and it is of up most importance to have information available that fits the needs of the local community.This is an important lesson for all development projects, but it is especially important in ICT4D. All communities are in different stages of their relationship with ICTs, and these must be considered.

In addition, another important theme is the continual monitoring of projects and the updating of technologies. As seen in the past several decades, technology changes rapidly. Projects must be kept up to date but not changed at such a rapid speed that it becomes impossible to keep up. Local stakeholders must be trained to use the technologies rather than just supplying the technologies but not giving the necessary tools to use them. After the training and implementation, monitoring must continually occur.

Like many of my classmates, I feel that I came into this class with completely different expectations. It was interesting to see downsides of ICTs, and investigating projects that failed was eye-opening. The lessons I learned will most certainly translate to later endeavors.

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