Information for 17051IIED
Village voice: towards inclusive information technologies
Briefing, 4 pages
A decade ago it was dubbed the ‘digital divide’. Now, the gap in information and communications technologies (ICTs) between North and South is slowly shrinking. The developing world accounts for two-thirds of total mobile phone subscriptions, and Africa has the world’s fastest growing mobile phone market. By gaining a toehold in affordable ICTs, the poor can access the knowledge and services they need, such as real-time market prices, to boost their livelihoods. But to be sustainable, technologies need to factor in social realities. These include how people already share knowledge, and adapt to introduced technologies: mobile phones, for instance, confer status but can eat into much-needed income. Many development agencies opt for technology-led solutions that fail to ‘take’. Participatory approaches that keep development concerns at their core and people as their central focus are key.
Focusing on the rising importance of technologies for communications, knowledge and capacity building in sustainable development
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Information and communications technologies for sustainable development