Indicators for assessing the impact of ICTs in development
Download full PDF(849 Kb)
FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS (FAO)
Communication for Development, as a discipline, has reached an important crossroads with the emergence of new information and communications technologies (ICTs), the Internet and mobile telephony in particular. There has been sustained growth of ICT access and use across the globe with many developing countries choosing to invest heavily in ICT infrastructure as a key pillar of their poverty reduction strategies. These technologies have transformed how we work, organise and communicate with each other. Not only are technologies converging (a mobile phone device also allows access to the internet and radio) but so too are different disciplines or 'schools of thought' bumping up against one another such as Information Technology, Knowledge Management and the newly emerging discourse of ICT for Development.
New ways of working and approaches to technology have lead communication for development specialists to re-examine the social embeddedness of these technologies and how we assess their impact. The earliest discourse on ICTs for development focused on the issue of access and capacity building (and latterly content) However, in some areas the ICT revolution served only to widen existing economic and social gaps prompting communication for development specialists and others to argue that that if the opportunities offered by ICTs are to be realized, poor people must be active determinants of the process, not just passive onlookers or consumers. Access and use of ICTs are relevant therefore to the degree that they enable people to participate in and influence society.
The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) concerning the legal or development status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The mention of specific companies or products of manufacturers, whether or not these have been patented, does not imply that these have been endorsed or recommended by FAO in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned.
All rights reserved. Reproduction and dissemination of material in this information product for educational or other non-commercial purposes are authorized without any prior written permission from the copyright holders provided the source is fully acknowledged. Reproduction of material in this information product for resale or other commercial purposes is prohibited without written permission of the copyright holders. Applications for such permission should be addressed to:
Electronic Publishing Policy and Support Branch
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153 Rome, Italy
or by e-mail to: email@example.com
© FAO 2009