Post Title: [COUNTRY NAME] ICT4D Resources
1. Status of ICT Policy Development. Country Report Argentina. http://www.pro-ideal.eu/drupal/sites/default/files/D5.1_Status_of_ICT_policy_development_Country_report_Argentina.pdf. It was last updated in 2011. Written in English. It was created and published by pro-ideal.edu.
2. See above.
4. All relevant websites and sources are in listed in the links presented above.
5. It was relatively difficult to find information regarding ICT Development progress in Argentina because the country lacks a unified, agreed upon report. There are organizations, as the ones presented above that are not affiliated with the government that have goals to track the progress of ICT use and implementation in Argentina starting in 2011.
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.
Social media is extremely important for professionals in any aspect of business. The social networking website, Ryze.com is a free and paid website designed for business professionals. The site is focused towards new entrepreneurs who are looking to promote their business. The website is widespread in the business world of entrepreneurs, but is still looking to gain more widespread exposure. The site claims to have over 500,000 members in 200 countries. It also states that over 1,000 external organizations use the website to network. The website was founded in San Francisco in 2001 at the beginning of the new generation of social networking services. The website is similar to LinkedIn in the sense that new businesses can gain exposure and network with other professionals, but has not seen as much popularity as its counterpart.
Here’s a YouTube video that explains Ryze and how to create an account and use the website:
From the research I’ve done about Ryze, it seems like a great idea to get entrepreneurs connected and network new and innovative ideas. This could be potentially helpful in the developing world, especially with NGOs and businesses that are focused on development, but the organization must place a larger emphasis on marketing it’s product to be utilized by a greater degree of professionals.
In this week’s class we discussed our personal experiences with technology in the education system and how it has evolved from when each of us began formal schooling to where we are at now. This presented a good discussion about how technology has been implemented on many different levels across various areas around the United States. Our experiences with technology in the United States is extremely different the approaches that have been taken to implement new forms of technology in the developing world.
The article below discusses the top 6 technology challenges that developing nations face and presents reasons for why the developing world has struggled to implement ICT successfully on many nations.
The article discusses that the obvious issues of power, access, bandwidth, cost, maintenance, and content are very obvious reasons that the developing world has lagged behind the developed, but the major six reasons that the author found to be most pervasive are: (1) ease of use (2) lack of focus on voice communication and less on SMS text messaging (3) data security (4) open interfaces (5) multi-modal data transfer and (6) price. The article concluded by stating that optimism is the key to facing these challenges and that adaptation is necessary for developing nations to ever implement any new technology successfully.
Farm Radio is a non-profit organization based out of Canada that works with radio broadcasters to help improve food security and certain modes of agriculture for small African farmers. Here’s an example video of how to program works
After watching this video I understood the basics of how the Farm Radio program works to help farmers gain knowledge and information on crops and food that they would have not otherwise had in small parts of Africa. The video did seem slightly puzzling as to who the audience was targeted towards. It seems as though the target audience is for a very “dummed-down” English speaking individual that would be a potential donor. If farmers in these rural parts of Africa don’t have the technology to understand information about the crops they are dealing with, then how would they be able to view this video that explains to them how Farm Radio International works in a simplistic manner.
After looking over the Farm Radio International’s website it is shown that the organization works with a great deal of individuals across Africa. It is great to see that the organization realizes the technological capacity that is present in Africa, with 76% of African farmers with access to a radio set and only 3% with access to Internet. My only question here is how does Farm Radio International expand to reach a larger population in a continent in which food is so scarce.
Here’s the link to their website: http://www.farmradio.org/
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.
In class we discussed the difference between knowledge and information. When these two terms were dissected, we decided that knowledge is the understanding and use of information that can be applied to the formal sectors of society. This brings apparent the idea of knowledge and information societies. The United States and much of the developed world can be considered a knowledge society as they are responsible for producing and sharing present information to all members of society to improve human conditions. Knowledge societies process the data and information to further economic, social, and political wealth.
The concept of knowledge societies are extremely important to the relationship between developing and developed countries. Since knowledge societies are responsible for making all information and data available to their own nation, the responsibility of these developed societies in bridging the knowledge gap between the developed and developing world can often be in question. Particularly with information technology and the digital divide, new information is constantly being circulated throughout the developed world. As a knowledge society with a moral responsibility for the social welfare of the developing world, the United States must further use its available knowledge to aid developing nations and build an infrastructure that will allow these countries to also further advance as knowledge societies.