Information Technology for Development: Opportunities and Future Directions |

Information Technology for Development: Opportunities and Future Directions


Information Technology for Development (ITD) is the implementation and evaluation of Information Technology infrastructures to stimulate economic, social and human development. The word Development continues to be used to describe a number of ways in which people living in communities with limited resources and in often impoverished conditions attempt to make better lives for themselves. A recent world bank report found that the number of people living under a dollar and twenty five cents a day is 1.4 billion (New York Times August 27, 2008). Poverty has decreased in some countries such as China from 835 million in 1981 to 207 million in 2005. We know that China is becoming a strong economy leading the development of IPv6. At the same time, poverty has increased in countries such as India from 420 million in 1981 to 455 million people in 2005 while attracting outsourcing projects from Western countries during that time period. These numbers hardly reflect the changes countries have been going through when their people implement and use Information Technology infrastructures to promote their businesses. The question that this raises is how do we know that improvements in people’s lives are taking place? What are the ways in which these improvements can be assessed? How do we assess the effects of Information and Communication Technologies on the lives of people ? Under what conditions do Information and Communication Technologies bring about development?
There is evidence to suggest that use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) can play an important role on the growth of small businesses, their communities and regions. In this sense, it can be employed to bring about increased competitiveness if it enables businesses to create new jobs, increase productivity and sales through access to new markets and administrative efficiencies. These outcomes can be seen through measurable improvements in the lives of people living with limited resources to sustain themselves. My research investigates how Information and Communication Technologies may bring about Development. In order to investigate this relationship, I draw upon three perspectives in development: Economic, Social and Human. I bring these three perspectives together into a theoretical model of Information Technology for Development which is used to inform further research, practical applications and assessment in this area.

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Sajda Qureshi, Associate Professor, Department of Information Systems & Quantitative Analysis, College of Information Science & Technology, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Tuesday, 29 September 2009
12.15 p.m. - 1.30 p.m.

Seminar Room 2-2
Level 2, Manasseh Meyer
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
469C Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 259772

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