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June 2001

Discovering the "Magic Box": Local appropriation of information and communication technologies (ICTs)

SDRE is pleased to present a paper on Discovering the ‘Magic Box -- Local Appropriation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). The paper was prepared as an FAO contribution to the work undertaken by the Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP), of which FAO is a member, to provide inputs to the on-going Digital Opportunity Task Force (Dotforce) consultation. The Dotforce was established by the G-8 countries to address how the digital divide between developed and developing countries can be bridged.

This paper also includes interesting case study summaries which highlight the types of projects currently underway in developing countries. Creative ways in which ICTs can be used to achieve development objectives are illustrated by numerous examples, including: a project which allows rural women in Peru to run an on-line bakery shop, a communication network which provides information related to HIV/AIDS to health professionals in Ethiopia, and a price information and analysis service aimed at rural Mongolian herders in order to provide them with the fair-market values of the wares they sell to city markets.

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