China is not a country that has explicitly laid out its plans for information and communications technologies development, but they have published a few documents that outline some of the ways they plan to improve these areas of development. The closest document they have to a ICT4D policy is called, “China’s Informatization Strategy and its Impact on Trade in ICT Goods and ICT services”, was published by the General Office of the CPC Central Committee and General Office of the State Council of China in 2006. China’s 5 year plans published by the National People’s Congress, most recently published in 2010, also contain some information related to ICTs.
China’s Informatization Strategy
China’s 12th 5-Year Plan can be found by searching for it, but is only available in downloadable .pdf files
Other Agency and Organization Publications:
Rural Informatization in China can be downloaded from the World Bank. This is a working paper, so new versions are published when major changes need to be made.
IDC’s Top 10 Predictions for China’s ICT Market in 2014 and Beyond is a press release from a data analysis company highlights some of the more important indicators and what they might mean for the future.
Remember that the Chinese government is not keen on publishing documents that are clear in their intentions or expectations. So, market trends, data indicators, and other sources of information are the best way to understand China’s relationship with ICT4D’s.
1. National Information and Communication Policy,published by the Ministry of Communications in 2006 National Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Policy by the Ministry of Information and Communications (2006)
3. The case study I examined was that of a project called eLimu, who delivered tablets and educational software to schools in Kenya in 2012. http://e-limu.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=27&Itemid=51
4. External Resources
5. It was relatively easy to find quantitative data on Kenya’s ICT usage, because there is a lot of statistical data available, however this does not give an extremely accurate picture of what the average Kenyan’s ICT usage looks like. More reports and case studies would be helpful, although the data available is a good start.
1. The National ICT policy written 2013 by President Nieto, the document was an important step in Mexico’s ICT development . It was written officially by the office of the president and is all in Spanish. Here is another great page about the plans expected effects.
There WAS also a very important project to increase the amount of ICT’s in use by Mexican citizens called compuapoyo . It was very successful and allowed mexican citizens to purchase ICT’s at reduced prices. Here is a video explaining
2. Mexico’s ICT policy is overseen by the office of the president here
3. There are important non- official programs and NGO’s in Mexico that are integral to the ICT process:
The NGO that is very involved is called CUDI, it is involved in connecting Mexico’s schools, research centers, cities, and libraries. This organizations is so far very successful and has already laid down 8,000 KM of cable.
Two great newspaper article sabout the new national policy here and here
4. The resources for Mexico are relatively easy to find but they all in Spanish. Mexico is also an interesting country to pick because they are really taking their ICT development seriously
YOU MUST AT LEAST KNOW BASIC SPANISH (on at least the 2030 level). If you know Spanish but are not fluent I would recommend this website as the best translator that is free on the internet Spanish Translator
I think one of the most salient lessons I learned from ICT4D is that information and communication technology can be used as a tool to expedite process from developing nation to developed, when implemented properly. It is also important to remember that ICT is not necessarily complex, expensive software and programs but can be as basic as a mobile phone. ICTs that provide access to the internet hold vast knowledge and information that, when available to developing nations, holds the potential to educate those that lacks alternative, feasible access to education. ICTs can not only provide knowledge and information, but can be used as a tool for harnessing the knowledge of individuals through crowdsourcing.
Because of this, I think the most useful theoretical framework in ICT4D is the people-centered approach. I’ve discussed this approach in several blog posts and don’t think its importance can be stressed enough. In development, we deal with these complex, vast issues that face such large numbers of people. It is easy to get wrapped up in the statistics and logistics and forget that it is the people we are trying to serve. ICTs can be used to empower individuals and increase their capacity for economic and personal growth. While it is nice to consider the large-scale effects of programs, it important to remember that one empowered individual will create a positive rippling effect throughout the community.
For me, this class reinforced the importance of addressing the needs of a community and their cultural context in IDEV initiatives. The instillation of thousands of laptops to a community is meaningless if the people do not have the knowledge to utilize them or if there exists a cultural blockade that would hinder use. This applies to all development programs. Access, supplies, tools, and money are not enough on their own. At the beginning of the semester, I was a bit scared to take an ICT4D class when I’m technologically stunted. Being forced to use new platforms such as WordPress and Twitter empowered me, in a sense, to begin becoming familiar and utilizing other available platforms.
Throughout this semester as we have learned about and discussed ICT4D project a few reoccurring themes stuck out to me. First, that pre-planning is crucial for any successful project. This type of planning is often overlooked when top-down projects are implemented. You need to fully understand the area in which you plan to work and the resources, both human and physical, that it has. A project won’t succeed if the people they are aimed at helping do not have the resources to charge devices you give them, to access the Internet, or do not possess the skills of how to use the ICT. This idea goes hand in hand with avoiding one-size fits all solutions. Each project needs to be tailored to the community and account for the unique culture and structural needs.
Second, it is important to ensure that whatever ICT project you develop is sustainable. You need to ensure that you plan for what happens when devices break or technological changes occur. Sustainability is important for all projects but especially in ICT4D because of the high cost of equipment. When planning for a project you need to account for which technologies are effective today and will remain the most relevant in the future. It is not sustainable to develop a project that uses technologies that will not stay relevant.
Most importantly, whenever possible it is important to partner with both the local government and community organizations. This gives your project the best resources possible. It ensures that you have community support and that your project is relevant to the community at large while simultaneously working with the government to help accomplish larger development goals.
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