Browse themes
About publications

Information for 17051IIED

Village voice: towards inclusive information technologies

Ben Garside

IIED 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.

Publication information

Download and Sharing

Free PDF 305k

Share with your network:

Project information

Focusing on the rising importance of technologies for communications, knowledge and capacity building in sustainable development

More at www.iied.org:
Information and communications technologies for sustainable development

We use cookies to help improve this website. Clicking any link on this site will be taken as your consent to this.