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D i g i t a l G o v e r n a n c e . o r g


Catalyzing good governance in developing countries through use of

 Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

The use of ICT by individuals and institutions is constantly growing in developing countries.

An immediate outcome of it is:


"Increase in communication among and between individuals and institutions"


While this is a largely automatic outcome of use of ICT, the outcomes need not be limited to it.

Use of ICT can also lead to far-reaching changes, namely:


 "Restructuring of 'access' and 'flow' of information and knowledge in our society"


When there is restructuring of "access" and "flow" of information and knowledge in a society, it leads to re-organizing of "power-relations" within the society. The opportunity for individuals and institutions to profit from / exploit information accessible to a few gets negated when the same information becomes available to more people or when it enters the public domain. At the same time, access to information and knowledge by more people provides them with another resource/ opportunity to empower themselves and seek ways to benefit from it.


The impact on the governance sphere in developing countries can be almost revolutionary-- because of the skewed power-relations which exists pivoted on asymmetrical information "access" and "flow" structure that is disadvantageous to the poor ("the majority").


But such changes may not happen on their own and they require a directed and innovative approach to the use of ICT.

And since, there will always be "losers" in any re-organizing of power-relations, the directed approach should also be a determined approach to overcome the opposition to changes in information "access" and "flow" structure within a society.


With the emergence of informed and empowered societies- "the Knowledge Societies"- Governments and other institutions will have no choice but to constantly enhance efficiency, accountability and transparency in their functioning.  We are approaching a brave new world where it is "Not the leaders who govern people but it is the people who will let the leaders govern them." conceived and propagated by


Vikas Nath

Inlaks Scholar (2000-1), London School of Economics, UK

Founder, Initiative for Knowledge Networking


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