Drawing from a wide range of recent literature, this paper identifies five main stories that come together at many points in the literature: universal access, economic and social services, openness, human development, and innovation. It is worth underlining that this article is mostly about mobile phone access and use, as this is the dominant story of the last decade for people in the bottom or base of the pyramid. This is not to deny the importance of broadband, Internet connection, or computers and devices with computing power much greater than that of mobiles.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) have become common place entities in all aspects of life. Across the past twenty years the use of ICT has fundamentally changed the practices and procedures of nearly all forms of endeavor within business and governance. Within education, ICT has begun to have a presence but the impact has not been as extensive as in other fields. Education is a very socially oriented activity and quality education has increased. The use of ICT in education lends itself to more student-centered learning.
Although improved access to ICT has been put forward as a possible pathway from poverty, the mechanisms by which this takes place remain unclear. This is partly due to the need to further develop the conceptual and methodological tools necessary for such analysis. This article suggests a way in which indicators of multidimensional poverty can be incorporated into the analysis of access to ICT. Using data from four countries in East Africa, households without ICT are found to be poorer in all dimensions than those with ICT.
Climate change presents two types of disaster threat in developing countries. One is the potentially devastating impact on vulnerable communities of more frequent and more intense extreme weather events. This contributes to the second threat, the compounding of what are already complex development problems leading to a potential downward development spiral for the world’s poor. Effective disaster response demands rapid access to reliable and accurate data and the capacity to assess, analyse and integrate information from varied sources. ICTs can contribute to improve this.
ICT 4 the MDGs? A Perspective on ICTs’ Role in Addressing Urban Poverty in the Context of the Millennium Development Goals
This article assesses ICTs’ role in reaching the goals, with an emphasis on urban poverty. Over the lifespan of the MDGs, debate about ICTs and development has grown. On one side are those who see ICTs as enabling rapid growth and citizen empowerment; on the other side are those who warn that “technical fixes” cannot overcome the historic and structural causes of poverty. In this article, using the organizing framework of the eight MDGs, these debates are discussed by reviewing examples of ICT projects that aim to further the goals’ realization.
This article attempts to quantitatively measure the various influences on mobile phone adoption at the bottom of the pyramid (BoP) in Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Thailand. Based on an existing theoretical framework, adoption is modeled by fitting a logit model to a large sixcountry dataset. The study finds evidence for the importance of social influence in mobile adoption in two modes: one that exerts pressure on individuals to adopt, and another that helps to generate benefits via social networks that are tied in with economic and business networks.
ICTs for Democracy: Information and Communication Technologies for the Enhancement of Democracy - with a Focus on Empowerment
This report examines the potential of information and communications technologies (ICTs) for advancing democracy and empowerment, with a special focus on Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Conducted by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) in coordination with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the study documents evidence indicating that access to and the strategic use of ICTs help bring about economic development, poverty reduction, and democratization - including freedom of speech, the free flow of information, and the promotion of human rights.
With this Concept Note, the World Bank Group (WBG) is proposing to develop a new gender strategy to address how the institution can support client countries and companies to achieve greater gender equality as a key pathway to ensure lasting poverty reduction and shared security and prosperity.
This report aims to summarize the evidence available on the effects of ICT4D partnerships on poverty reduction. A further aim of the study was to use systematic and reproducible methods of investigation of the published literature to enable a judgement to be made about the quality as well as the content of the evidence available.