ICT4D is a very interesting topic and class to take as an international development major because it really drives some concepts and common mistakes home. The lesson that I think is the most powerful and useful thing we learned is the rule of implementation, this means the success of an initiative is based primarily on its implementation. At first this might seem obvious, but as development majors we too often forget this; that no matter how incredible the technology or idea is, implementation is key. And we saw time and time again that the technology in some instances does not have to be incredible, Farm radio is a great example, but with good implementation and a culturally specific plan it has been very successful.
Crowd sourcing development tasks is the thing that i thought was most interesting we learned this semester. And it comes in many shapes and sizes from GIS to social media in disasters. In many instances this crowd sourcing can take stakeholder participation to a whole new level. This allows seeming insurmountable tasks to be accomplished as well as getting even more instantaneous feedback and thus better response times.
Finally the most important concept is the empowerment that ICT’s can bring, having a stable income is certainly empowering and necessary but this doesn’t translate necessarily into increased political or social power. But ICT’s can do just that their power lies in being connected to everything, similar to economics but the difference in many cases is as simple as viable access. Increased health, political power and greater social security can all result from all access to an ICT. But as we have also reviewed in class Governments have been slow to adopt and similar to wealth disparity the technology gap is widening and in many ways the third world is falling behind. This whole paragraph right here has been the main point of the class and is so important for development professionals to recognize and appreciate the power of ICT’s