This semester’s course on information communication technology for development has been an important tool to understand how ICTs can help or hurt a nation’s progress towards achieving development goals.
a) The most salient lesson that can be learned in ICT4D would be to understand the limitations to the one-size-fits all approach in implementing ICTs in a nation. This is a concept that must always be thought about with the introduction of any ICT into a new country and is extremely important to the success or failure of an ICT. Since the majority of ICTs are first invented in developed countries, they often work to aid development in this nation. Success in one nation does not indicate success in another nation. This means that the culture and environment of one place must be fully understand before any ICTs are introduced into the market.
b) Something that I have learned that may help me as a development professional one day is the importance of good data collection. As a development professional it is imperative that the right data is collected and understood for any development goals to be accurately met. Each nation’s development is specific to the personal needs of that nation and it is extremely important that before any ICT or development measures are taken, the correct information and data is collected before and after the fact so that success can be measured accurately. This also goes in part with the one-size-fits-all approach so that a nation’s specific needs are addressed. As a development professional, I think that much of the work I could contribute would be more analytical, so accurate data collection is important for my progress in the field.
c) As stated in both a) and b), the most useful theoretical concept that has been discussed regarding implementing ICT4D would be the one-size-fits all approach. This is a concept that must always be understood when any ICTs topic is discussed because specific development needs will never be fully achieved with a unilateral approach to implementation. Many perspectives and views must be understood so that progress can actually be made.