Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) is a general term referring to the application of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) within the field of socioeconomic decelopment. ICT4D concerns itself directly with overcoming the barriers of the digital divide. ICTs can be applied either in the direct sense, where their use directly benefits the disadvantaged population in some manner, or in an indirect sense, where the ICTs assist aid organizations or non-governmental orginazations or governments or businesses in order to improve socio-economic conditions. In many impoverished regions of the world, legislative and political measures are required to facilitate or enable application of ICTs, especially with respect to monopolistic communications structures and censorship laws.
ICT4D can be interpreted as dealing with disadvantaged populations anywhere in the world, but it is more typically associated with applications in developing countries. It is becoming recognized as an interdisciplinary research field as can be noted by the number of conferences, workshops and publications in the field. Such research have been spurred on in part by the need for scientifically validated benchmarks and results, which can be used to measure the efficacy of current projects.Many international development agencies recognize the importance of ICT4D. For example the World Bank's GICT section has a dedicated team of some 200 staff working on these issues.
A good example of the impact of ICTs on development are African farmers getting better market price information and thus not being impoverished by unfair corps buy-out people.Another example includes mobile telecommunications and radio broadcasting fighting political corruption in Burundi.
The dominant terminology used in this field is "ICT4D". Alternatives include ICTD and development informatics.
at 10:49 AM