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Publications on applications of ICT for Knowledge Networking and Development. Send information on publications relating to ICT, Knowledge Networking and Management to: 


Also see list of publications relating to E-governance on our Initiative at


Last Updated: December 2003                                                                              Number of Publications: 204

NEW additions to the list are on the top. Also see E-journals List towards the end of the page.


HIV/AIDS counselling, just a phone call away

Telephone helplines share some characteristics with other outreach techniques, such as mass media campaigns and peer education, and can work synergistically with them. For example, like mass media campaigns, helplines can reach large numbers of people and, like peer education, can offer a personalized service that responds directly to an individualâs concerns and questions. Unique to the helpline service is "the confidential, one-to-one, anonymous contact that callers have with counsellors [which] allows for difficult and awkward questions.


Inter-city marketing network for women micro-entrepreneurs using cell phone

Foundation of Occupational Development (FOOD) India marketing network final report.pdf 

The inter-city marketing network has sensitized the community and become self-propelling with little input from our side. New groups have stated forming themselves. During the initial stages we were providing the cell phones to the women groups and for many we were even paying the telephone bills for a few months. Now the new women groups have started to buy their own cell phones once they reach a minimum income level. They have realized that networking can help them to become economically sustainable. While it was proposed to organize 100 women groups during the project period, we have in fact crossed more than 200 groups networking among themselves.


Handheld computer technologies in community service/volunteering/advocacy

United Nations Information Technology Service (UNITeS)

The compilation presents examples of volunteers/citizens/grass roots advocates using handheld computer/personal digital assistants (PDAs) or phone devices as part of community service/volunteering/advocacy, or examples that could be applied to volunteer settings. Also included here is a section on Advocacy, and Online Software Directories for Handhelds.


Digital Dividends for the Poor: ICT for Poverty Reduction in Asia

Stuart Mathison, The Foundation for Development Cooperation

Since poverty is complex and multi-facetted, a cooperative approach from stakeholders in all sectors of society is needed to combat it. Government (enabling policy and regulation), civil society (connection to grass-roots), private sector (technical expertise, business acumen, product and market development), academia (research and dissemination) and networks (knowledge sharing, partnership building) all have important roles to play. Impact analysis is crucial. Unless an initiative can demonstrate positive impact there is little point in allocating resources to expand or replicate it. However, impact evaluation of ICT for Poverty Reduction initiatives is problematic because most initiatives utilise ICTs as tools in a broader strategy rather than as Îsolutionsâ in themselves.


The Warana Wired Village Project (India) in Retrospect

Bobde D. P., Deb A., and Rane R. R. National Informatics Centre, Department of IT, Government of India

Warana is a good model but it must not be overlooked that this region has the advantage of being one of the richest areas, enough water, good soil and high literacy level.  Could this work so well in less favorable circumstances -- which is what it may be like in other parts of the Country?

Empowerment through the Internet: Opportunities and Challenges for Indigenous Peoples

Bjorn-Soren Gigler, The World Bank

Can the Internet really empower indigenous peoples to effectively influence international policy debates and promote their rights? Does the Internet provide indigenous communities with a medium to share information among one another? To what extent can this new medium strengthen indigenous organizations÷or is it a threat to their traditional cultures and identities?  This article will provide, based on several case studies, a brief overview of Internet use by indigenous peoples; highlight key challenges; and give several policy recommendations on how to ensure that they can participate in and benefit from the new information economy, while maintaining their cultural values and identities.


Intellectual Property on the Internet: A Survey of Issues

WIPO has published a report, "Intellectual Property on the Internet: A Survey of Issues," that addresses the far-reaching impact that digital technologies ö the Internet in particular ö have had on intellectual property (IP) and the international IP system. After a brief introduction describing general trends affecting the evolution of the Internet, the Survey addresses the evolving digital economy and the migration of intellectual property to the Internet, as well as the broader questions raised for intellectual property by the impact of information and communications technologies in the digital environment. The Survey focuses on recent developments in the traditional fields of copyright, trademarks and patents, as well as domain names, and progress in private international law and alternative dispute resolution. It also explores the particular concerns that face developing countries in e-development, and outlines the ways in which WIPO is addressing these various issues.


Evaluating the Impacts of the Gyandoot Project (India)

Naveen Prakash

Lack of access to information results in lack of access to resources, which leads to deprivation. Traditional methods of information dissemination like posters, pamphlets etc. have failed to achieve the desired impact. New breakthroughs in terms of technology are unable to make a dent in the rural areas where probably the need is more. It is in this regard ICT is extremely helpful. The key to its success lies in making use of latest technologies to reach out to people in a way that is affordable & accessible and more importantly, is easy to use.  Gyandoot is an attempt in this direction. Using the concept of STD/PCO model, information kiosks were set up for dissemination of various kinds of information prominent of them being e-governance services like licenses, certificates, grievance redressal etc.


Telecenters and the Gender Dimension: An Examination of How Engendered Telecenters are Diffused in Africa

Kelby S. Johnson

Telecenters have become an important component to development programs that seek to narrow the digital and knowledge divides that exist throughout the world. Despite the proliferation of telecenters throughout Africa, women continue to be cut off from essential info-communication resources that could improve their lives. This thesis examines the relationship between gender differences, telecenter design and women's accessibility to information and communication technologies (ICTs). By examining how these elements interact in the context of the diffusion model, this thesis suggests that the incorporation of the gender dimension into telecenter designs can enhance the diffusion of engendered telecenters, thereby increasing women's access to ICTs and improving their ability to contribute to the evolution of Africa's information society.


Telecentres: Case studies and key issues

Commonwealth of Learning

Available for downloading in Acrobat format, this study is a valuable reference on community- and information technology-based telecentres in support of education and socio-economic development. It opens with a global overview of the multipurpose community telecentre movement and discusses the key issues of ownership, management, operational models and sustainability. There follows a series of case studies of telecentres drawn from Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia and Australia. The final chapters draw on the experiences, insights and findings of some of the experts in telecentres in regard to evaluation, teleworking, training telecentre managers and staff, and selecting and using technology.


Information/Knowledge Society: The Case of UAE (United Arab Emirates)

The paper examines the adoption of ICT in the United Arab Emirates. The paper is divided into five main sections: hard infrastructure, soft infrastructure, talent base, country readiness, and leadership.


Future Directions in Agriculture and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) at USAID

This report examines the impact that ICTs can have on agriculture development and productivity, outlines trends and emerging ICT opportunities in agriculture, and offers some guidance on how USAID/AFS can build on its considerable experience with using ICT for development to take advantage of these technologies to advance development assistance. This publication was developed by Winrock International, one of dot-ORG's resource partners, and the Academy for Educational Development, for the Agriculture and Food Security (AFS) division of USAID/EGAT.


Reaching the unreached: How can we use ICTs to empower the rural poor in the developing world through enhanced access to relevant information?

Subbiah Arunachalam

Often funding agencies and donor governments face the question should they support ICT activities in their development projects. Should the money be invested in computers and communication devices or will it be better spent on food, shelter, health, and education? The choice need not be 'either or'. If used intelligently and innovatively, ICTs can form an integral component of development projects, as is shown by the award-winning Information Village project of M S Swaminathan Research Foundation. The important point to remember is that one does not have to use technology because it is there, but one uses it if there is a genuine advantage. In any development programme, people and their contexts should decide how one goes about implementing development interventions.


Research Paper on Technology and Information Flow in Albania, A Tool to Increase Citizen's Participation and Benefits

Zana Vokopola

Albania is still fighting against its 50 years build up centralised system in this long transitional period. Networking is limited to those international organisations and a few government institutions. Technology as a tool for better governance and quality management is almost missing at the local level, while the Government of Albania is strongly committed to proceed with the local government decentralisation reform. Database processing and public use of information is at the early stage of development and still is considered as future potential expectation for better governance.


Sri Lanka ICT for Development Road Map (pdf format)

The e-Sri Lanka concept envisages using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to develop the economy of Sri Lanka, reduce poverty and improve the quality of life of the people. This vision will be realized through a five program strategy which encompasses building the implementation capacity, building information infrastructure and an enabling environment, developing ICT human resources, modernizing government and delivering citizen services, and leveraging ICT for economic and social development, through public-private partnerships.


"Surveying the Digital Future" (pdf format)

UCLA Internet Report, February 2003. 

the UCLA Internet Project surveys more than 2,000 households across the United States, compiling the responses of Internet users and non-users. Each year we contact the same households to explore how online technology affects the lives of those who continue to use the Internet, those who remain non-users, and those who move from being non-users to users, and vice versa. We are also noting changes as continuing users move their Internet access from modem to broadband.


Growth of ICT and ICT for Development: Realities of the Myths of the Indian Experience. August 2002. 

K. J. Joseph

The study shows that the unprecedented export performance of India‰s software has to be seen in the context of the national system of innovation that evolved during the last five decades when the state played a proactive role. Also, the country‰s high export growth cannot be attributed entirely to the market oriented policies of the 1990s. Higher growth rates in exports notwithstanding, it is shown that net export earnings have been much lower.


Telecom Privatisation

Praful Bidwai

Handing over telephony to the private sector will only retard the growth of telecommunications in India because the emphasis will be on profits. Backward areas, where telephones are most required, will be neglected.


Strategic Intentions: Managing knowledge networks for sustainable development

International Institute for Sustainable Development

IISD discusses the lessons learned through years of managing sustainable development knowledge networks. Topics include governance, cross-cultural communications and the engagement of decision-makers.


E-DEMOCRACY IN PRACTICE: Swedish experiences of a new political tool

There is a hope in many countries that IT will increase the degree of interest and involvement in politics and thus act as an aid to representative democracy. This hope is founded on the basic concept that the public should play an active part in everyday political life by interpreting what is good and what is bad.


E-readiness Assessment:  Who is Doing What and Where Readiness Map v2_4.pdf

There are a number of different organizations conducting e-readiness assessments in developing countries using a variety of tools.  In its Comparison of E-readiness Assessment Tools, evaluated major assessment models in terms of topics covered, level of detail, methodology and results.  This paper builds on the comparison by looking at where e-readiness assessments have been carried out, and by whom.



The Electronic Commerce and Development Report 2001 reviews trends that developing countries need to be aware of as they try to position their economies to take advantage of ICT and the Internet. It provides basic facts and figures about electronic commerce and discusses the impact on sectors of particular relevance to developing countries. It also suggests, with concrete examples, ways in which developing countries can create the necessary enabling environment for e-commerce.


From Access to Outcomes: Raising the Aspirations for Technology Initiatives in Low-Income Communities.
A Morino Institute Working Paper

In just the past several years, businesses, governments, and nonprofit organizations have dedicated billions of dollars and countless hours to the goal of closing the "digital divide" and ensuring that new information and communication technologies benefit families in low-income communities. These efforts have engaged leaders from all political viewpoints and all walks of lifeÖfrom school principals to US presidents, from community activists to Fortune 500 CEOs. that allow people to earn a decent wage as well as dignity and respect.


Latin America on its path into the digital age: where are we?

This paper is part of an investigation about the impact of modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) on Latin America. Based on the theoretical groundwork given in the introductory paper ("From industrial economics to digital economics: an introduction to the transition" ), the present paper gives an inventory of the state of development with regard to the regional transition to the so-called Information Society, in order to untangle and structure present dynamics.


Seeds of consensus

Daniel Taghioff

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have emerged recently as an area of increasing academic interest alongside the rise of the internet. Donor agencies have focussed mainly on Information Technology (IT) in the form of Tele-centres, which represent a high cost, "call shop" type solution that tends to be under-utilised and so financially unsustainable. This approach reveals an excessive focus on IT, and so brings with it the problems of outreach and literacy that are associated with that particular medium.


Software Applications and Poverty Reduction: A review of experience

Jane Millar and Robin Mansell

The potential for developing countries to apply information and communication technologies (ICTs) in support of their development goals is attracting attention because of the growing expectation that ICT applications can support renewed efforts to reduce social and economic inequalities. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are clusters of technological innovations based on micro-electronics hardware and software. The most topical recent applications involve the role of the Internet in opening access to vast stores of external information and in supporting e-mail communication.


Spanning the Digital Divide: Understanding and Tackling the Issues

This report provides a survey of what is known and what is being done about international and domestic digital divides, highlights trends, and draws some conclusions about what more is needed to tackle the range of problems.


Rescuing Digital Development

Steve Rynecki and Casey Wolfe

Learning the lessons of a new economy hasn‰t come easy to policy-makers in the development community, or their private sector counterparts. The hype surrounding the new economy must yield promptly to more effectively-designed technology solutions for ongoing development efforts.


Reliance and Reliability: The Problem of Information on the Internet
Robert Wachbroit

There are two issues regarding information on the Internet: a narrow issue regarding the reliability of information from a specific Web site, and a wider issue regarding reliance on the Web for information. This paper discusses some of the issues and their connection with recent discussions about community and fragmentation.


Gender, Information Technology, and Developing Countries: An   Analytic Study

Nancy Hafkin and Nancy Taggart

Information and communication technology (IT) has become a potent force  for transforming social, economic and political life globally.  Yet, the uneven distribution of IT within societies and across the globe is  resulting in a digital divide between those who have access to technology and those who do not.  Most women in developing countries are in the deepest part of the divide.


Vietnam-Canada Information Technology Project

VCIT was a five-year (1996-2001) ten million dollar CIDA-sponsored project. The project was designed to build the capacity of the Government of Vietnam (GoV) to plan and coordinate the management of the National Program on Information Technology (NPIT) implementation, which included an expected result of enhanced (IT) policy-making. NPIT‰s goal was to "leapfrog" Vietnam‰s use of IT from none to globally contemporary by the year 2020.


E-Commerce: Accelerator or Development?

E-commerce holds out enormous promises for producers in poor countries: easier access to the markets of rich countries and higher incomes resulting from these new trading opportunities. Many studies and policy documents, however, have underestimated the obstacles to reaping these benefits. It is not just a matter of bridging the 'digital divide' that arises from poor telecom infrastructure and lack of computer-related skills. Only with improvements in the transport of material goods and in the institutional arrangements that facilitate trust can e-commerce accelerate economic development.


Telemedicine in developing countries : May have more impact than in developed countries

The advent of modern communication technology has unleashed a new wave of opportunities and threats to the delivery of health services.Telemedicine, a broad umbrella term for delivery of medical care at a distance, has reached around the world, and now health professionals can communicate faster, more widely, and more directly with clients and colleagues, no matter where they are. Telemedicine may in fact have a more profound impact on developing countries than on developed ones. 


The Use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in Learning and Distance Education, South Africa, Ghana, Mozambique, Fiji, Trinidad & Tobago, Canada, COL International/Intelcon Research, 2000

Six country case studies were undertaken to examine ICT based learning and distance education across the Commonwealth. The countries were selected to be illustrative of the Commonwealth‰s diversity, based on criteria such as geographic size, economy and region. It was realised early on that six countries would not be enough to capture or represent a full picture, but the selection does provide an indication of both the possibilities and the challenges faced by Commonwealth countries.


Does the Internet Increase, Decrease, or Supplement Social Capital? Social Networks, Participation, and Community Commitment

How does the Internet affect social capital? Do the communication possibilities of the Internet increase, decrease, or supplement interpersonal contact, participation, and community commitment? Our evidence comes from a 1998 survey of 39,211 visitors to the National Geographic Society website, one of the first large-scale web surveys. We find that people‰s interaction online supplements their face-to-face and telephone communication, without increasing or decreasing it.


The Development Divide in a Digital Age: An Issues Paper 

In this paper, Cynthia Hewitt de Alc½ntara highlights the diversity of applications and services usually subsumed under the acronym ICT, and she urges greater originality in devising programmes that put some of these tools to good use for development. She also draws attention to the frequent contradictions between hopes for ICT-led progress and the actual course of change in particular circumstances. 


The Internet's new borders (The Economist print edition, April 9, 2001)

Long, long ago in the history of the InternetÖway back in February 1996ÖJohn Perry Barlow, an Internet activist, published a ‹Declaration of the Independence of CyberspaceŠ. It was a well-meaning stunt that captured the spirit of the time, when great hopes were pinned on the emerging medium as a force that would encourage freedom and democracy. ‹Governments of the industrial world,Š Mr Barlow declared, ‹on behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone.


Some Thoughts on How ICTs Could Really Change the World

John Gage

New technical capabilities are now emerging; their uses must

be matched to needs. Four technical advances, in particular,

promise to aid development÷peer-to-peer (i.e., device-todevice)

networks, precise local spatial data systems, sensor

fusion, and unique identity systems÷developments whose role

in economic development demands new understanding and

innovation. These advances are built from the innovations of

the past, but provide new tools for change.



Community Telecentre Cookbook for Africa
The UNESCO publication is a step by step guide on how to implement community based telecentres in an African environment complete with examples of telecentre infrastructure, baseline questionnaires, business plans etc.

Making new technologies work for human development, UNDP, HDR 2001

Technology networks are transforming the traditional map of development, expanding people's horizons and creating the potential to realize in a decade progress that required generations in the past.

Discovering the "Magic Box": Local appropriation of information and communication technologies (ICTs), SDRE, FAO (2 parts)

The aim was to select projects and initiatives that are representative of "local appropriation" (i.e. that are community-driven and therefore have a strong component of community participation and ownership). However, this criterion had to be revisited along the way since most of the projects tend to have some degree of support (technical and/or funding) from national and international development organisations.


Linking Computers and Community Organizations in Senegal

Aminata Touré (WARO)

How can community organizations successfully exploit the new information and communication technologies (ICTs)? That is the issue confronting Rabia Abdelkrim Chikh, an anthropologist and researcher with Enda Ecopole in Senegal. As leader of a project that aims to demystify computers for young people in some of the most crowded neighbourhoods of Dakar and its outskirts, and make them a commonplace work tool, she has had some success.


Developing Women: How Technology Can Help

Ashima Goyal

The paper addresses the question of whether women have lower earnings because of intrinsic feminine attributes or because of features of their environment. In a model of household resource allocation and the labor market we show that equilibria satisfy static efficiency but are dynamically inefficient. A small difference in technology of production of the household good, or in preference for it, magnifies relative costs of external work for women. They devote more time to the production of the household good. But this choice lowers human capital embodied in women and changes the perceptions of women's abilities.


Spanning the Digital Divide: Understanding and Tackling the Issues

There is a great deal of hype and fervour about the digital divide.  It is difficult to gain an overall understanding of the problem, the different approaches to solutions, and what is really making a difference when there are multiple definitions of the "digital divide," conflicting reports of whether it is growing or shrinking, and a range of opinions on the key factors affecting it.   What is clear is that the disparities between the "haves" and the "have-nots" is growing, and the potential impact on society -- whether good or bad -- will be exacerbated by technology.


The African Internet - A Status Report

Mike Jensen

The Internet has continued to grow rapidly in Africa, reaching some important milestones over the last 12 months. In November last year, Eritrea obtained a local Internet connection, finally bringing all 54 countries and territories online. Last year the number of dialup Internet subscribers passed the million mark and the total international Internet bandwidth reached over 1 gigabyte per second. 


Telecentres: Case studies and key issues
Colin Latchem and David Walker

The book opens with a global overview of the multipurpose community telecentre movement and discusses the key issues of ownership, management, operational models and sustainability. There follows a series of case studies of telecentres drawn from Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia and Australia. The final chapters draw on the experiences, insights and findings of some of the world‰s leading experts in telecentres in regard to evaluation, teleworking, training telecentre managers and staff, and selecting and using technology. 

Audio for Distance Education and Open Learning: A practical guide for planners and producers

The handbook sets out good professional practice in the design, development and delivery of audio materials š radio, audio cassettes and audio-vision š for open and distance learning. The handbook is intended for all those who are involved in the design, development, production and use of audio materials in distance education and open learning, including policy makers, managers, tutors/facilitators and trainers.

COTE D‰IVOIRE - Internet Potential despite political upheavals

Despite recent political upheavals, the internet in Cote D‰Ivoire continues to grow steadily. Although the semi-privatised state telco operates a monopoly, its regulatory regime has been sufficiently liberal to encourage new operators. As a regional hub for the computer industry it should have considerable future potential.

If you can‰t bill it, kill it: development mantra 

Madanmohan Rao
WHILE the dotcom backlash is taking a heavy toll on the B2C front, numerous start-ups are focusing now on another set of fronts on the convergent infrastructure side: the convergence between the Internet and telephony (dot-telecoms), the Internet and wireless communication (m-dotcoms), and the broadband internet and television (broad-coms).


Knowledge Series : Distance education start-up guides for practitioners

The series is brought out by The Commonwealth of Learning.

The Internet . . . Why and What For?

According to the authors, the IDRC project survey shows that connecting people to the Internet is only a first step, but much more is needed if this is to help in changing societies. Their report lays out a social vision for the Internet in Latin America, provides some lessons to achieve this vision, and states what different projects need to do to meet coming challenges.

Patterns of social diffusion and use of new information and communication technologies in Lima

In recent years, the Peruvian telecommunications sector has been deeply transformed, following the free trade and market-oriented model for economic development of the nation. The processes of privatisation and deregulation of this sector, initiated at the beginning of the 1990s, replaced the public monopoly attracting foreign firms. The expansion and modernisation of the telecommunications networks that followed highly increased the general access to fixed telephony. 

Telecenters for Socioeconomic and Rural Development in Latin America and the Caribbean

Investment Opportunities and Design Recommendations, with special reference to Central America

The Internet is central to the network revolution that is transforming the way people interact all over the world, and the Net has taken Latin America and the Caribbean by storm. The number of domain names in the region doubled in 1997 and 1998 and rose 136% in 1999, compared to 74% in North America, 60% in Asia, 30% in Europe, and 18% in Africa. The region, however, lags far behind. Its Internet infrastructure represents only 1.6% of the world's total. Only 2% of inhabitants of Latin America and the Caribbean use the Internet, com-pared to 40% in the United States and 36% in Canada. 

The Internet in Flux

Leonard R. Sussman

The trends in freedom of the Internet are mixed. Perhaps surprisingly, many traditionally authoritative countries now permit relatively unrestricted use of the Internet by citizens, while several of the most democratic states attempt to impose restrictions on the Internet in the name of protecting national security and public decency. And some countries seek international agreement to block certain cross-border news flows on the Web. 

Gender analysis of telecentre evaluation methodology

This document sets out to address the question of how gender can be meaningfully integrated into telecentre evaluation methodologies. It is animated by African experiences and examples and specifically by South African experiences and examples. A lack of resources and time has limited the scope of this document and it is recommended that more of both be put into further investigations of these issues. 

Global Networking for Change: Experiences from the APC Women's Networking Support Programme

In September 1996, the Programme surveyed over 700 women's groups and individual women by E-mail to identify women's electronic networking needs and opportunities. Summarised findings are available in English, French and Spanish.


A Tower of Babel on the internet? The World Bank‰s Development Gateway

In recent years the World Bank has rapidly increased its activities as a "Knowledge Bank". Recognising the importance of the internet, it has spent millions on its website and is now moving ahead rapidly with a vast new web initiative, the Development Gateway. This aims to be a supersite on all development issues, covering a range of material drawn from diverse organisations and attracting millions of site visitors per month. 


The Public Voice and the Digital Divide: a Report to the DOT Force

The Public Voice is a project of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) that seeks to promote the participation of NGOs in international decision-making bodies that address Internet policy. This report is submitted as a consultation to the Digital Opportunities Task Force (DOT Force), a Digital Divide initiative of the Group of Eight (G-8).

Telemedicine in South Africa

Sitting in an office in Pretoria and locating the beating heart of a foetus in a Free State hospital through a TV screen, a remote control and tele-ultrasound brings home the magic of telemedicine - the latest project of the health services in their drive to bring health care closer to people. While still in its pilot phase, the nationwide telemedicine project is promising to have far-reaching effects in improving access to specialist services for rural communities and in improving the quality of health care.


The Knowledge Gap
Avinash Persaud
For a long time, economists saw capital, labor, and natural resources as the essential ingredients of economic enterprise. In recent years, they have also come to recognize the role of technology, as well as information, innovation, and creativity, in expanding economic potential. Now the Internet has increased the scope of innovation by lowering information and distribution costs.


Foreign Affairs Periodical

Contains a series of Articles on Science and Technology. 

Digitally Empowered Development
Allen L. Hammond
Advances in information and communications technology did more than almost anything else to drive the last decade's economic boom and the integration of markets around the planet. New data networks, automated inventory control, and just-in-time manufacturing systems have made U.S. companies the most efficient in the world. The Internet has increased the speed of development -- electronic commerce, although still in an early phase, has already transformed industry after industry by enabling greater efficiency.

Telecentros para el desarrollo socioeconómico y rural en América Latina yel Caribe: Oportunidades de inversión y recomendaciones de diseño conespecial referencia a Centroamérica

Francisco J. Proenza, Roberto Bastidas-Buch, Guillermo Montero

La Red de Internet está en el centro de la revolución que está transformando la forma en que se interrelaciona el mundo, y América Latina y el Caribe le ha dado una vigorosa acogida. El número de infraestructura (dominios) en la región se duplicó en 1997 y 1998, y aumentó en 136% en 1999, comparado con un crecimiento de 74% en Norteamérica, 60% en Asia, 30% en Europa y 18% en Africa.

Global Opportunities

Mary E. Thyfault

In pockets of the developing world, those deepest in poverty are starting to discover that they can use technology to pull themselves up. In tiny rural villages and overcrowded urban areas, people are using the Web to find day jobs, sell everything from crafts to cows, communicate, learn skills, and improve their lives.

Curse of the digital divide

Alan Cane

While millions have yet to make their first phone call, it will require huge efforts to create the simplest communications networks in less-developed areas of the world. Unless a start is made, poor countries will be further marginalised. 

Community Radio:  a "most appealing tool for the common man" 

For over five decades, radio has been the "most appealing tool" for participatory communication and development. It "has always been the ideal medium for change", says a new book on how radio, the Internet and other technologies are helping the poor get a better grip over their lives. Titled 'Making Waves' this 352-page report focuses on how radio stations across the globe are making a difference, often to those who lack other means of communication. It also looks at how other tools are being used for this purpose -- including computers, the Internet, multimedia, threatre and video.  


The Broadband Report

Millions of internet users enjoy high speed internet access, but many more are still waiting for cost-effective quality broadband connections. The Broadband Report is a comprehensive update on the current state and future predictions for both the consumer and business broadband market in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America.


Enemies of the Internet

With nothing more than a computer and an Internet connection, a single person, in their living room or in a cybercafé, can tell the whole world what they think. All they need to do is set up a web site, take part in a newsgroup or send e-mail messages. This person can even freely denounce human rights violations or repression in their country, no matter how authoritarian and closed it is.

South Africa's Digital Planet : a hybrid e-commerce model 

Balancing Act

e-commerce was meant to completely rewrite the business model. Bricks and mortar suppliers were meant to become a thing of the past. Now e-commerce is struggling to reach the second generation, "hybrids" is the buzz word: sites that put together more than one approach to e-commerce. South Africa‰s Digital Planet combines a combines a community-based site (for IT professionals) with e-commerce and auctions.


A Preliminary Evaluation of Online Access Centres: Promoting Micro E-Business Activity in Small, Isolated Communities

Judy Young, Gail Ridley, Jeff Ridley

This paper reports on a study of 18 of the 20 first round of community online access centres introduced in Tasmania, the only island state of Australia. The access centres were designed to redress some disadvantages of living and working in rural regions of Tasmania, such as isolation and economic inequity. The investigation aimed to determine and evaluate trends in micro e-business activity associated with use of the centres. Statistical data collected over a two year period in eighteen community online access centres were utilized. 

Comparing Approaches: Telecentre Evaluation Experiences in Asia and Latin America

Katherine Reilly, Ricardo Gómez

IDRC has telecentre evaluation initiatives in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Each of these is in the process of establishing evaluation frameworks and each is adopting very different approaches. The current paper seeks to build on the outputs of IDRC‰s Far Hills Workshop on Telecentre Evaluation (September 1999) to explore the experiences in the two regions. These explorations will in turn contribute to IDRC‰s current initiative to develop a framework for ICTs evaluation.

Comparing Urban and Rural Telecenters Costs

Hani Shakeel, Michael Best, Bruno Miller, Sam Weber

If deployed in both urban and rural areas, telecenters can decrease the gap in social services and economic opportunities that often exist between the two. However, establishing and operating rural telecenters is perceived to be more costly than urban ones. This paper presents a cost comparison of establishing urban and rural telecenter in Costa Rica.

Building a Knowledge Infrastructure for Learning Communities

Kate O'Dubhchair, James K. Scott, Thomas G. Johnson

Throughout the world, local communities are being asked to take greater responsibility for their collective future. These communities must both interface with the changing face of local and regional administration, redefining roles and functions, (Scott and Henness, 1999) and meet the challenge of competing in the global marketplace while yet retaining a sense of place and a community. Communities must acknowledge that the nature of modern society is one of ongoing change.

True Stories: Telecentres in Latin America & the Caribbean

Patrik Hunt

The challenge is to make the communication and information infrastructure serve people‰s primary needs and legitimate interests, especially those of marginalized populations. People need to be able to exercise their responsibilities and rights of citizenship, using information and communication to practice active citizenship. They also need the capacity to acquire knowledge and information to improve economic productivity (supported by a modern public sector, which is conscience of its role as a development catalyst). 

The Worldwide Digital Divide: Information Poverty, the Internet and Development

Pippa Norris

There are many reasons why new communications technology, particularly the role of the Internet, may potentially level the playing field allowing nations with moderate levels of development, like Malaysia, Estonia and Brazil, to catch up with post-industrial societies. 

Potentially the effect of the Internet in broadening and enhancing access to information and communication may be greatest in poorer nations, because once past the barriers of access the new technology offers a relatively cheap and efficient service.

Rural Access by Radio and Internet Helps Close the Digital Divide
Lynne Gallagher and Djilali Benamrane 

Convergence of the Internet and broadcasting is a critical priority in developing countries and is already happening in many areas. Strategies to bring the power of communications to rural communities marry the power and reach of radio broadcasting with the power and interactivity of the Internet. Radio delivers information to many listeners.

Gender and the Information Revolution in Africa

edited by Eva M. Rathgeber and Edith Ofwona Adera 

The essays in this book examine the current and potential impact of the ICT explosion in Africa. They focus specifically on gender issues and analyze the extent to which women's needs and preferences are being served. The authors underscore the need for information to be made directly relevant to the needs of rural women, whether in the areas of agriculture, health, microenterprise, or education. They argue that it is not enough for women simply to be passive participants in the development of ICTs in Africa.

Developing the Internet in Developing Nations
Wendy Rickard

Throughout the developing world, small groups of citizens are changing their worlds based on the shared belief that information and communication technology (ICT) can make a difference. And while in the developed world the pumped-up information economy has officially transformed how its citizens work, live, learn, and entertain themselves, emerging economies are wrestling with more basic issues, such as connectivity, content management, training, and public policy.

Development of Telecommunication in Pakistan

Dr Noor Ahmed Memon

The Pakistan Telecommunication Development was established in August 1947, which was responsible to run the services under the Telegraph Act 1885. In 1968 the services were separated from the Post Office and new entity called Telegraphs and Telephone Department (T&T) was established under the Ministry of Communications. On 15th of December, 1990, Pakistan Telecommunication Corporation (PTC) was established to take the function of (PT &T).

Access to the Internet: The Costs of Connecting
David Maher
For most Internet users, a major issue in getting connected is the cost of telephone service to a service provider or other network connection. Whether your connection is by network or by modem, telephone charges are a subject of considerable interest. 

Rethinking Telecenters: Knowledge Demands, Marginal Markets, Microbanks, and Remittance Flows

Scott S. Robinson
The international telecenter movement is barely under way in Latin America (see Public schools languish without connectivity, and social services have been curtailed across the board. At the same time, the let's-get-everybody-connected slogans, such as those that appeared in last April's Time Latin American edition-confuse public opinion, and costly, high-profile, difficult-to-replicate pilot programs may be polarizing the development business.

Paving the Way for Internet-Rich Environments in Developing Nations

George Sadowsky

More than seven years have passed since the Internet Society began its series of Network Training Workshops at Stanford University in August 1993. In that time, the main workshops and those derived from them in Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Africa have trained more than 2,500 students intensively in network connectivity, network backbone routing, resource discovery and information serving, national network management, and Internet-provider business skills.


Rural Access by Radio and Internet Helps Close the Digital Divide
Lynne Gallagher and Djilali Benamrane 

Convergence of the Internet and broadcasting is a critical priority in developing countries and is already happening in many areas. Strategies to bring the power of communications to rural communities marry the power and reach of radio broadcasting with the power and interactivity of the Internet.


The Internet in Laos: A Rough Guide
Madanmohan Rao 
Tucked away in Southeast Asia between Vietnam, China, Thailand, Myanmar, and Cambodia, the 5-million-people nation of Laos has only recently opened its gates to the Internet. Caught often in the crossroads of Big Power conflicts, this landlocked communist nation now faces a new set of challenges in the world of the globalized Internet, but also offers a lot of potential.

Health Goes Digital: Telemedicine

Telemedicine is the new way forward for health care. It was introduced in the 1970's for the exchange of medical data in the USA. Today, medical professionals are using computers and telecommunications equipment to provide health care over long distances. It is actually an advanced version of a telephone conversation between doctor and patient, although it is more reliable since it uses Virtual Communication, and we can see the person on the other end.

Surfing villages: Can Indian villages be logged on to the infotech highway?

Are they for real and do they stand to benefit from artificial intelligence? Can India's villages ride on the infotech highway to development? To a certain extent this is already happening but it is a knotty situation. Can IT evolve to serve rural India‰s needs? The dairy cooperatives of Anand in Gujarat are using IT applications to streamline procedures, making a significant difference to the lives of milk producers in surrounding villages.

Peddling the E-Ticket to the Development Train: Washington's Global E-Commerce Agenda

U.S. policy makers are aggressively promoting high tech's global interests by breaking down barriers to electronic commerce. While e-commerce has been central to the free traders' agenda, the critics of corporate globalization have largely ignored the issue. It's time for anti-globalization forces to start paying attention, according to Sarah Anderson, Director of the Global Economy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington.

The State of the Internet 2000

This year‰s report, The State of the Internet 2000, provides an overview of the continuing expansion of the Internet and gives special attention to the increasingly international nature of the Internet.The Internet has far surpassed its humble beginnings as the Department of Defense‰s ARPANET.It has become truly global in scope, growing more so with each passing day.The Internet draws people of all countries, cultures, and languages.This year over 300 million people are online, with fewer than half from North America.

Developing Women: How technology can help 

Ashima Goyal

In a model of household resource allocation and the labor market we show that equilibria satisfy static efficiency but are dynamically inefficient. A small difference in technology of production of the household good, or in preference for it, magnifies relative costs of external work for women. They devote more time to the production of the household good. But this choice lowers human capital embodied in women and changes the perceptions of women's abilities. Women are relegated to low productivity work in a self-reinforcing low-level trap that lowers their self-esteem.

Is the Global Digital Divide a problem or a business opportunity

That is the question that brought leading executives from digital companies to a meeting October 16-18, 2000 in Seattle. The powerful answer that emerged from the conference, shared by nearly all participants, was that the digital divide is both an urgent problem and a potentially significant opportunity.  As Internet founding father and WorldCom Senior Vice President Dr. Vinton Cerf put it, "The Internet is for everyone." 

From Digital Divide to Digital Opportunity
Ross Shimmon

t may not always feel so, but we are the lucky ones in the digital revolution. As a prelude to considering the digital divide, I want to explore some characteristics of the world we inhabit. We believe that it is changing fast. Those of us in our fifties can certainly look back on our childhood - and realize that it took place in an impossibly different, post-war world. Those black and white clips from British Movietone News we sometimes see on television serve to confirm that.


Guidelines on the use of electronic networking to facilitate regional or global research networks

Steve Song

Recent developments in information and communications technologies (ICT) - including the rapid spread of telecommunications infrastructure and the growth of the Internet - have dramatically lowered the barriers to research collaboration in the developing world. Electronic networking offers the potential for researchers anywhere to communicate with peers in their field and to gain access to valuable research information via the Internet.

Promoting equitable access, meaningful use and appropriation of the Internet: recommendations for ECOSOC

Paul Fervoy, Juliana Martínez, and María Sáenz

During the past twenty-five years Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have played a key role in fostering democratization and social equity, often filling the gap between national public policies and people‰s needs. As such, the strengthening of CSOs has been vaunted as part of the solution for the region‰s socio-economic problems and search for alternative development paths.

Bridging the digital divide : a special report by BBC UK 
The Internet has ushered in the greatest period of wealth creation in history. It's rocked the way we deliver and receive information and the way we do business. And so, for many, it is easy to accept euphoric claims - like those of Vice President Al Gore - that the Internet is also bringing about a brave new world replete with an "electronic agora" and "online democracy".

ICT : Lessons for Development from the 'New Economy'

Richard Heeks

The new economy is seen principally as an American phenomenon. An effect of sustained growth with low inflation is caused by á what? Until recently, the answer would have been 'Amazon' and the like: new firms making use of new technology to develop new customer markets. That's a lesson that seems to have been taken to heart in 'ICTs and Development' initiatives and debate. The current thrust in ICTs and development has been to help communities and small enterprises utilise the new technology.

A social vision of the Internet and public policies: ideas on strategies for bringing civil society's influence to bear

Juliana Martinez

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to a debate that must necessarily be collective and based on existing experience: to outline a strategy for influencing public policies aimed at developing the use of new information and communication technologies, and in particular the Internet, in Latin America. 

Beyond Connectivity: New Information and Communication Technologies for Social Development
Ricardo Gómez, Juliana Martínez and Fundación Acceso

New Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are tools that have the potential to contribute to the realization of democracy, prosperity and human potential in the Americas. To this aim, governments in the region need to promote a socially responsible use of ICTs for development. 

A socially responsible understanding of connectivity goes beyond providing equitable access to ICTs, and includes meaningful use and appropriation of ICT tools for social development.

The Hall of Mirrors: The Internet in Latin America

Ricardo Gómez

Published in Current History, Vol. 99 No. 634, p.72., 2000.Half a century ago, Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges published two short stories, ‹The Library of BabelŠ and ‹The Aleph.Š The first describes an infinite library containing every book imaginable. The second speaks of a place in which one can see all things that exist in all places, from all possible angles and perspectives, in that single place and time.


INFORMATION, TECHNOLOGY AND SMALL ENTERPRISE : A Handbook for Enterprise Support Agencies in Developing Countries

Richard Heeks and Richard Duncombe

This handbook is for staff in agencies that support the development of small enterprise in developing countries. It aims to provide those staff with a better understanding of information and of information and communication technologies in enterprise development. The handbook will also be of value to staff in donor agencies, government departments and professional business associations, and to researchers and students dealing with ICTs, with enterprise, and with development.


INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY :A Handbook for  Entrepreneurs in Developing Countries

Richard Heeks and Richard Duncombe

This handbook is for entrepreneurs running a small business in a developing country. It aims to help those entrepreneurs understand new information and communication technologies, and their application in business. The handbook covers four areas: an introduction to ICTs in small business; guidance for particular types of small business; advice sheets on communicating with customers; and advice sheets on using the new technology.


The impact of the new economy on poor people and developing countries

KPMG Consulting was commissioned to review the secondary evidence on the impact of the new economy on poor people and developing countries and to consider the policy implications for institutions involved in supporting pro poor growth.The focus of the review was on the impact of new economy ICT developments and in particular the internet (eICT).

Assessing community telecentres: guidelines for researchers

These guidelines in this handbook are designed to support research and evaluation studies of community telecentres, particularly in Africa, where the Acacia Initiative of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and its partners will be undertaking such studies. The guidelines identify the key questions facing the research and evaluation team, propose alternative solutions and best practices based on experience from similar field situations, and facilitate comparability of pilot projects by providing a common reference and starting point. 

Okinawa Charter on Global Information Society

At the Kyushu-Okinawa Summit 2000, the Okinawa Charter on Global Information Society (IT Charter) was adopted, in which the G8 agreed to establish a Digital Opportunity Taskforce (dot force) and to look into activities aimed at eliminating the digital divide, which would be reported to G8 Leaders at the G8 Summit to be held in Genoa, Italy.


Information Technology and Public Sector Corruption

Richard Heeks

Corruption is a major problem for many parts of the public sector. One dominant vision of corruption restraint š the ëPanoptic vision‰ š sees information technology (IT) as a key enabler of management control. This paper presents five short case studies of IT and public sector corruption to test the realities of this Panoptic vision. From these it is concluded that, while IT sometimes does detect and remove corruption, it can also have no effect or even provide new corruption opportunities for some public servants.


Information Management, IT and Government Transformation: Innovative Approaches in the new South Africa

Michael Kahn and Russell Swanborough

This paper considers problems with existing government processes in South Africa, and presents a generally-applicable framework for analysis of existing government information systems prior to transformation. It argues that a central theme of government transformation is development of a culture of information management to ensure that information systems fit the task for which they are procured.

Information Age Reform of the Public Sector: The Potential and Problems of IT for  India

Richard Heeks

As in many countries, public sector reform in India has consisted of five main components: increased efficiency, decentralisation, increased accountability, improved resource management, and marketisation. 'Information age reform' means delivering these ongoing reform components with a more overt role for information and with greater use of information technology. A review of global experience suggests that information age reform has great potential to improve public administration and other components of the public sector.


Planning and Creating a Government Web Site: Learning from the Experience of US States

Linda DeConti

Many governments have created, or are seeking to create, a Web presence. A set of information delivery principles and Web site design criteria are therefore presented. These criteria are then used to evaluate the Web sites of forty-eight US State governments, providing insights into both best and worst practice for government. The paper concludes with some details of the strategic approaches to Web site development that governments may need to adopt.


Women in Agriculture and Modern Communication Technology : proceedings of a workshop

Contains several papers of a workshop conducted from March 30 - April 3, 1998 in Tune Landboskole, Denmark.


Digital Dividend Articles

Articles taken from the website of Digital Dividend- a conference conducted by WRI on Digital Divide in October 2000.

Connecting Bangladeshi Villages

Iqbal Z. Quadir

Illustrated by the author's personal communication experience and the potential good communication connections have in enabling development the paper describes an initiative in Bangladesh that within a few years will bring cellular phones into the 35,000 villages covered by the Grameen Bank. The company - GrameenPhone - in a pilot program involving 150 villages has confirmed that the village phone concept is economically viable. 

Agriculture, Forestry and Knowledge in Communication Technology

Kirsten Ewers Andersen

Women in countries like India and Nepal possess deep-rooted knowledge about their immediate environment due to their economic dependence of their surroundings. On the basis of a discussion of women‰s knowledge and technology, indigenous knowledge and gender, problems in scientific technology transfer and the value of indigenous knowledge and intellectual property rights, the main argument of the paper is that although there are often contradictions in the goals of international development work, it is in fact possible to combine them in the agricultural, livestock and natural resource management sector, when women‰s knowledge is used in the right manner.


Rural Women and Telecommunication in Developing Countries

Helen Aitkin

The purpose of this paper is to analyze how the rapid proliferation and development of telecommunications and information technology are effecting women in developing countries, particularly in rural and remote areas. The study will examine trends in rural telecommunication in general, focusing primarily on rural telephone system installations; identify the positive benefits for women; take a look at the obstacles preventing women from taking full advantage of telecommunication tools and opportunities. 

Life at Work in the Information Economy (ILO 2001 Report) 

The World Employment Report 2001 examines the impact of the new information and communication technologies on life at work at a time when the global employment situation still remains of considerable concern. While there have been some significant positive developments, especially in the United States and some industrialized countries, in most parts of the world the growth of new employment opportunities still remains insufficient to productively employ those who have lost jobs due to restructuring and the new entrants into the labour force.


Information and Communications Technologies and Social Development in Senegal: An Overview (PDF Format)

Olivier Sagna

This paper explores the development of information and communications technologies in the country from the introduction of the telegraph in the mid-nineteenth century through the explosive growth of telephone access during the 1990s. The paper includes a review of academic, NGO, government and donor-sponsored studies on IT and development, and it highlights some of the most significant gaps in understanding how IT is being used by different social groups.


Online Communities: Commerce, Community Action, and the Virtual University edited by Chris Werry and Miranda Mowbray

Online communities are increasingly important in commerce, in education, and in the nonprofit sector. In this book, experts from these three areas write about the theory and practice of online communities. Issues discussed include the effects of commercial communities on the social interaction of community members; intellectual property implications of the commercial provision of educational online communities; alternative models for online community organization; and lessons drawn from contributors' experiences in the use of online communities for development work, in online activism, and in the Open Source movement.


Doctors begin to see benefits of wireless devices, but the health industry is being cautious 

John Edwards

Few would deny that healthcare-oriented mobile devices provide impressive capabilities. Mobile monitoring devices let nurses track patients' vital signs from a distance. PDAs provide doctors with patient records and reference materials, and they can transmit legible prescriptions to pharmacies. But with medical providers already facing spiraling costs, the new, largely experimental technology is proving to be a hard sell.


Community Radio š the new Tree of Speech

Steve Buckley

The dynamics of power and knowledge in the global information economy pose a dual and contradictory challenge for education and social development. There is a Hausa proverb which tells us "lack of knowledge is darker than night" but, in the politics of the information economy, it is the nature of knowledge itself that is contested.


Astride the Digital Divide

Stephen G. Greene

At the start of the 21st century, the nonprofit world is far from ready to take full advantage of the flowering of the Information Age. A few groups have found that by exploiting the Internet and other information technologies they can slash expenses, extend the reach of their programs, and transform the way they work. But many others have been frustrated as they wrestle with increasingly complex hardware and software, hampered by a lack of technical expertise, unable to raise funds to get the equipment and training they need, or perhaps merely skeptical about the need to change. 

A Case Study of Electronic Commerce in Nepal

Larry Press, Tim Kelly, Michael Minges

The authors conducted a study of the state of the Internet and telecommunication in Nepal during January, 2000 (ITU, 2000).Part of our charge was to recommend electronic commerce projects that would generate hard currency and increase social and geographic equity and rural employment.


Financing for Development and Transition to a Knowledge-Based Economy

The text was prepared by Information Habitat: Where Information Lives for the Global Business Hearings for the High-Level Intergovernmental Event on Financing for Development, United Nations, New York, 11-12 December 2000. 


An Internet of Democracy

Steven Clift

To write about the use of information and communication technology and democracy requires not a hyper-speed view that everything will change in the next two years. Rather it is the principles we establish and the actions we take now that will set the course for the next two hundred years of democracy in the information age. We must ask ourselves - Do we want to build the Internet into the very nature our many democracies?

Mountain Focus on ICTs and Bulletin Sustainable Development


The Electronic Networking Project for Sustainable Development of the Hindu Kush -Himalayas (ENP), April 1997 to June 2000, was formulated and implemented by ICIMOD and funded by the International Development and Research Centre (IDRC). Its objective was to build capacities and develop a network of "like-minded" researchers, development administrators, practitioners, planners, and policy-makers from government agencies, university departments, research institutions, and NGOs. 


Empowerment and Governance through Information and Communication Technologies:women‰s perspective

Vikas Nath

The paper explores the avenues created by ICT enabled networking processes for women in the areas of empowerment and governance, the hindrances facedin engendering of these processes andgoes on to suggest ways to ensure that greater benefits accrue to women in a distributed manner. 

Why Health Care Information Systems Succeed or Fail

Richard Heeks, David Mundy and Angel Salazar

Some health care information systems (HCIS) do succeed, but the majority are likely to fail in some way. To explain why this happens, and how failure rates may be reduced, this paper describes the ëITPOSMO‰ model of conceptionÖreality gaps. This argues that the greater the change gap between current realities and the design conceptions (i.e. requirements and assumptions) of a new health care information system, the greater the risk of failure. 


Networking in Disaster Management

Asian Disaster Management News

The Disaster Management News (Vol. 6, No. 3-4 July-December 2000) published by the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), Bangkok, Thailand is now available on-line on ADPC web site. This issue focuses on Networking in Disaster Management.


Benefits of IT-Based Decision-Making in Developing Countries

Dietrich Splettstoesser

Despite the irritatingly slow progress of economic and social development in the world's least developed countries (LDCs), a gentle but nevertheless dramatic change has begun to dawn in their institutional decision-making: the increasing use of IT-based decision support systems. This paper, based on a study in one of the poorest African countries, demonstrates that decision support systems (DSS), which are increasingly though still insufficiently used, have already generated some benefits for the utilising organisations. 

Coming of Age in the Information Age

We live in an information age that is transforming the prospects of communities and nonprofit organizations. Inboxes, both real and virtual, are often overflowing with information from think tanks, foundations, national organizations, university research centers, and others about what works to strengthen communities.


Information Technology in India: the shift in paradigm

While the initial phase of IT India had little government and entrepreneur support at the business level, the new phase has large government strategic support ti chaneg the macro environment and entice more entrepreneurs and SMEs into the fray.


Integrating ICTs in Rural Support Programmes

Zubair Faisal Abbasi

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are not only a significant factor in the performance and growth of economies - the importance of which is continuously growing -,but they also represent a novel and effective tool to help advance sustainable human development (SHD).


Creating an African Virtual Community College: Issues and Challenges

Osei K. Darkwa and Steve Eskow

This paper proposes the establishment of an African Virtual Community College (AVCC) which uses the power of information communications technologies to overcome the financial, physical and informational barriers preventing increased access to higher education in several African countries. AVCC will utilize new technologies as the central media of its educational and training programs. This paper outlines the assumptions underpinning the AVCC model, its components and its advantages over existing educational models.

Gender and Information and Communication Technology: Towards an Analytical Framework 

The past two decades have demonstrated the growing strength of the global women‰s movement in advocating issues of women‰s equality and empowerment. Among these issues is that of women‰s marginalization and invisibility in all aspects of technology. There exists an array of literature that speaks to this topic.

Kamrat: the Story of a Virtual Multicultural Learning Community in Israel

Prof. Edna Aphek

Israel is a multicultural country, a country made up of different ethnic groups : many having their own culture, language and even religion. There isn't much contact between some of the groups, especially between the secular Jews and the ultra orthodox Jews and between the Jewish population and the Arab population which comprises about 1/6th of Israel's population. The new technologies and especially the technology of on- line computer telecommunication endow us with new tools and possibilities for on- going multi- cultural and multi- age communication between different ethnical groups. The new technologies know no stigma and no prejudice and as such easify and make possible neutral, less biased communication between groups, which are much apart. 


Surely Someone Knows How To Do This: Organizing Information Flows of Community Technology Centers

The community technology center movement has come of age. Particularly over the next few years as funding to start and expand thousands of new centers becomes available, the opportunity to impact millions of lives presents itself. To realize this potential, however, efforts must be made to enhance the efficiency of community technology centers (CTCs).


The role of information and communication technologies in rural development and food security

Information and knowledge play a key role in ensuring food security and sustainable development. In order to address policy issues related to management and access to agricultural information, FAO and its World Agricultural Information Centre (WAICENT) organised in June 2000 the First Consultation on Agricultural Information Management. The Consultation aimed to discuss ways of improving the capacities of decision-makers, professionals and the public to access and use information essential for achieving sustainable agricultural development and food security. This link provides a further link to some interesting articles on ICT and Food Security.

Electronic Democracy and Environmental Governance: a survey of the states

A new paper by researchers at Resources for the Future (RFF) says that state - level governments are in an early and experimental phase in applying the principles of electronic democracy to environmental decisionmaking. The paper describes an RFF survey examining how all 50 states in US use the Internet to engage citizens in environmental issues.

Gender and the Information Revolution in Africa

The essays in this book examine the current and potential impact of the ICT explosion in Africa. They focus specifically on gender issues and analyze the extent to which women's needs and preferences are being served. The authors underscore the need for information to be made directly relevant to the needs of rural women, whether in the areas of agriculture, health, microenterprise, or education. They argue that it is not enough for women simply to be passive participants in the development of ICTs in Africa. 


African Youth on the Information Highway: Participation and Leadership in Community Development

This book describes a new initiative to promote the involvement of youth in Africa's new information economy. It reviews existing infrastructure, the policy environment and its impact, and the feasibility of increased ICT applications in rural communities. It will appeal to decision-makers and ICT producers and users, as well as to development professionals, academics, students, policymakers, and practitioners in international development and information technology. 


Benefits of IT-Based Decision-Making in Developing Countries (PDF format) 
Dr Dietrich Splettstoesser
Despite the irritating slow progress of economic and social development in the world's least developed countries (LDC), a gentle but nevertheless dramatic change has begun to dawn in their institution decision-making: the increasing use of IT-based decision support systems. This paper, based on a study in one of the poorest African countries, demonstrates that decision support systems which are increasingly though still insufficiently used, have already generated some benefits for the utilising organisations.

Cultivating Technological Innovation for Development (PDF format) 
Stephen Corea
The paper essays the viewpoint that the development or innovation in society of technologies, such as information and communication technologies, should be self-cultivated rather than imported. Ideas are drawn from multiple research disciplines to inform the elaboration of this perspective.

Training Women for Leadership and Success in IT 
Nancy Taggart and Chloe O‰Gara
As the ‹digital divideŠ is fast becoming a household word, the importance of women's access to information technologies (ITs) is emerging as a priority. The Internet economy‰s ever-increasing demand for skilled workers and innovators holds great potential to positively impact women‰s well being, if they gain access and relevant skills. Women in developing countries face particularly severe obstacles to access and use.

Rural Development and Food Security : a "Community Informatics" based Conceptual Framework 
Michael Gurstein
There is a window of opportunity at this time when policy decisions are being made in regard to both the creation of a network of Telecentres and the creation of on-line Rural Development support services. Integrating the planning and operation of these endeavours could provide considerable cost savings and increase the effectiveness of programs, particularly if the infrastructure required is coordinated and cost-shared with the extension network that is already in place.

Voices of the Heart: Dream Makers Bridging the Digital Divide 
This story relates the realization of a dream of a dedicated virtual community of globally dispersed volunteer Sri Lankan academics, who mobilized Sri Lankan Diaspora for funding; and then formed horizontal partnerships with local and international agencies to set up a computer center in rural Sri Lanka.

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for Rural Development and Food Security: Lessons from Field Experiences in Developing Countries 
Hilda Munyua 
Developing country governments are increasingly aware that they have a major responsibility for rural development and food security, but lack the capacity and solutions to meet the challenge. In 1996, the world‰s heads of state meeting in Rome committed their countries to eradicating hunger and reducing the number of undernourished people by 50% by the year 2015 (FAO 1998).


East meets West: the teletao of knowware (Word Format) 
Gilson Schwartz and Paul Lemos
Socially significant applications of information and communication technologies (ICTs) require careful perception of cultural, epistemic and institutional dimensions. The challenge of designing the architecture of virtual learning communities is one key example of such factors at play. This paper summarizes the issues at stake and then presents the methodological foundations and a basic description of a cross-cultural, community-based, Internet-mediated permanent learning environment (Telementor) in a developing Latin American society, Brazil, which is attempting to merge into one meaningful ICT application cultural values of Eastern and Western origin.

Integrating ICTs in Rural Support Programmes 
Zubair Faisal Abbasi
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are not only a significant factor in the performance and growth of economies - the importance of which is continuously growing -,but they also represent a novel and effective tool to help advance sustainable human development (SHD).

Information Technology, Globalization and Social Development 
Manuel Castells
The author discusses the historical transformation that we find ourselves in at the turn of the millennium. This paper aims at clarifying the meaning of this transformation, particularly focusing on the processes that are usually considered to be its triggers: the information technology revolution and the process of globalization.

Struggling with the Digital Divide 
Internet Infrastructure, Policies and Regulations
The Internet is growing at the rate of 30 per cent per annum in number of users, and 100 per cent per annum in hosts on Internet. It is expected that by the end of the year 2000, the user base will touch 200 million. It is estimated that there are 7,000 ISPs worldwide, mostly in the US.


Online Content in South Asia 
Opportunities and Realities
There will soon be close to one and a half billion people in the Indian subcontinent, and the global Internet user population is already close to 150 million. But the south Asian diffusion and adoption of the Internet continues to fall far short of the region‰s potential. Much of the success of the Internet as a medium and as an economy in south Asia will depend on universal or near-universal access for citizens to cyberspace.

Shaping Our Communities: The Impacts of Information-Technology 
This Resource Guide provided by the Planning Commissioners Journal is designed to get you thinking about the impacts that telecommunications and information technology will have on our communities.

Development and the Information Age: Four Global Scenarios for the Future of Information and Communication Technology 
This IDRC book presents thoughts on four distinct futures with different measures of cooperation, protectionism, and preparedness, and provides a stark and realistic view of the relationship between the new information and communication technologies and the goal of global sustainable and equitable development.  


META Group's Global New E-Economy Audio Briefing 
The index, which will be updated continuously beginning in 2001, evaluates national competitiveness based on advancement levels in five technological categories: knowledge jobs, technological innovation, degree of transformation to a digital economy, economic dynamism, and globalization. The overall Index ranked the United States well ahead of the 46 other nations in technological competitiveness.  


Local language computing has no alternative 
an interview with M. Anandakrishanan, vice chairman of Tamil Nadu IT Task Force, India.
In an interview to Computers Today's K. Jayadev, he explains about the state government's various proposals and plans to help masses become a part of the IT revolution.

Heralding ICT enabled Knowledge Societies 
Way forward for Developing Countries
Vikas Nath
The info-technological revolution, led by advances in information and communication technology, is re-structuring the global social economic equations - shifting from income divide to knowledge divide. The revolution on one hand is spearheading the growth of knowledge societies in developed countries and has aroused much interest among civil society, markets and the agents of change. On the other hand, more than 850 million people in developing countries are excluded from a wide range of information and knowledge. 

Assessing Community Telecentres : Guidelines for Researchers 
Anne Whyte
This guidebook will assist researchers as they assess and evaluate the role and impact of community telecentres. It provides an introduction to some of the key research issues, a framework for telecentre evaluation, and an impetus for research teams to share ideas, instruments, and methods. Assessing Community Telecentres will interest researchers, practitioners, and academics in information science, communications, international development, and evaluation, including telecentre operators, telecentre managers, and community leaders.


Across the Cybergap 
Computers and the Internet are changing the way Americans live, work and learn at astonishing speed-so fast, some say, that millions of people, including the poor and less educated, are being left behind. A new PBS special, "Digital Divide: Technology and Our Children's Future," explores the contours of this gap. The two-hour show, broadcast nationally in January, reveals how computer access varies greatly in schools and in communities across the United States.

Governing the Global Knowledge Society 
Philippe Quéau
One cannot compare knowledge to other commodities. Knowledge has very specific properties, very different from the outputs of the industrial model. Like fire, it can spread quickly, at almost no cost, with the proper winds. The "net-economy" shows that knowledge can allow extremely high returns, or none at all. Besides one can argue that knowledge is really not a product but rather a mindset.  


Technical Education in India-A view point 
Prof. M. A. Pai, Univ. of Illinois.
The success of the software industry in India in terms of its global impact has clearly underscored the fact that Indian engineers can rival the best in the world. Software has provided a quick vehicle to demonstrate this point, although for those who have seen the achievements in nuclear, space and the missile development, this was obvious long ago.

The Networking Revolution: Opportunities and Challenges for Developing Countries (PDF Format) 
INFODEV Working Paper : This paper briefly reviews the dynamics of the networking revolution in the 1990s, the role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the process of development, and the numbers behind the ‹digital divideŠ debate. It concludes with a discussion of ways to promote ‹digitalŠ opportunities via policy reform and specific initiatives.  


Building Gender Considerations Into ICT Evaluation Work

This paper introduces our approach to, and practice of evaluation, and shares some experiences and lessons learned applying the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Audit Framework, an evaluation tool to learn more about the role and impact of ICTs on development projects. Conclusions drawn from this experience point to the need for evaluation frameworks that consider broader issues such as gender, race, ethnicity and class.  


Are Poor Countries Losing the Information Revolution? (MS Word Format) 
Francisco Rodríguez and Ernest J. Wilson, III May, 2000 
Are Information and Communications Technologies contributing to widening the gap between poor and rich countries? Are these countries converging in terms of ICT outputs and inputs? Are ICTs helping to lower the gap between the poor and the rich within economies? What is the relationship between the gap in GDP per capita and the gap in ICTs? Francisco and Ernie attempt to answer these questions with summary cross-country indicators of ICTs.   


ICTs and Small Enterprise in Africa : Lessons from Botswana 
Richard Duncombe & Richard Heeks, DFID Project Document 
This research project investigates the role of information and of ICTs in small enterprise development.


Knowledge Networking in Cross Cultural Settings (PDF Format) 
Karamjit S. Gill
Knowledge Networking is seen here in terms of creating new alliances of producers, users and mediators of knowledge. At the global level, knowledge networking is about a symbiotic relationship between local and global knowledge resources. Cross cultural setting here focuses on promoting a culture of shared communications, values and knowledge, seeking cooperation through valorization of diversity.

Knowledge Societies : Information Technology for Sustainable Development 
Robin Mansell and Uta Wehn

Knowledge Societies in a Nutshell: Information Technology for Sustainable Development 

Scan Globally, Reinvent Locally: Knowledge Infrastructure and Localization of Knowledge(PDF format) 
Joseph Stiglitz

Readiness for the networked world: a guide for developing countries 
Centre for International Development, Harvard University.

Kolkata: City of the Future in the Emerging Information Society
Prof. Swasti Mitter, UNU/INTECH, Maastricht, The Netherlands

Innovation in Communications Policies 
Dr. Mahesh Uppal


Technological Innovations and Sustainable Development 
Dr. Ashok Jain,University of Delhi

Knowledge Networking and Sustainable Development Networking Programme 

Vikas Nath
Within the last decade, concern about environment and development have become a central feature of development ideologies and debates in the Third World. Working towards sustainable development is no longer an exclusive prerogative of the government but is emerging as a front-line issue involving the civil society. 


Future Societal Challenges of the information Society: How can ICT assist in building an inclusive, sustainable and democratic society capitalising on cultural diversity? 
Marc Luychx, Former Member of the Forward Study Unit, European Commission

The Building of a Virtual Institute of Cross Cultural Innovation: The Human Centred Perspective 
Prof. Karamjit. S. Gill, University of Brighton


Culture and Content - Some Thought on I.T. and Globalisation 
Dr. Chris Boyne, University of Brighton 
Michael Patek


Harnessing Information for Development 
Eduardo Talero and Philip Gaudette March, 1996
This draft document begins to tackle a major problem - how should the World Bank Group harness the information revolution for its mission of poverty alleviation and sustainable economic development. The goal is a vision of the role of information in development and a strategy for the World Bank Group based on that vision. 


Towards Enabling India through Telecom and Internet Connections 
Ashok Jhunjhunwala 
Internet today is not just another means of communication. Those who use Internet regularly, know that Internet is POWER. It gives a user not only all kinds of information, but also enables him/her to do things one could not even dream of till recently.

The National Access Point: The Dilemma of Vision (ICT in Pakistan) 
Zubair Fasial Abbasi 
While rest of the world including our neighbour is preparing to cultivate the benefits of Information Technology revolution, Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited [] is nestling into one of the most regressive and myopic policies of control.

Can Information Technology Help Transform India? 
Ashok Jhunjhunwala 
Can IT be used in India to transform the country by providing a new vision to the youth of the country, enabling them to stand up, no longer feeling inferior to others in the world? This article addresses such questions in the context of the IT task force reports.

Virtual villages: Technology and the Developing world 

Contains articles by Dewang Mehta and Kanwal Rekhi.

Human Resource development to meet the challenges of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) (Word File) 
Prof. R. Narasimhan 
An in depth analysis and strategy for training of IT work force for India

"Knowledge for Development
World Development Report 1998/99, World Bank 

From Swords to Ploughshares 
Nick Milton and Paul Whiffen 
Transferability of Knowledge Management process from the private sector to a NGO.


International NGOs: Networking, Information Flows and Learning 
Shirin Madon

The Internet and Socio-Economic Development : Exploring the interaction 
Shirin Madon 

Information and Communication Technologies, Poverty and Development 
Richard Heeks 


The Tyranny of Participation in Information Systems: Learning from Development Projects 
Richard Heeks

Information, ICTs and Small Enterprise: Lessons from Botswana 
Richard Duncombe & Richard Heeks 

Software Strategies in Developing Countries 
Richard Heeks 

Momentum of Knowledge Management 
Debra M. Amidon 
The paper summarises recent developments in the field of Knowledge Management.

Blueprint for 21st Century Innovation 
Debra M. Amidon 
The paper argues that the foundation for a new economic order has been laid. It is one that rests on the value of human potential and how it might be systematically leveraged for the benefit of mankind. The challenge is to determine the integral linkage between human potential and economic performance.

Electronic Networking for Rural Asia-Pacific (ENRAP) 
A Participatory Approach to Developing Local Applications
Richardson, Don & Scott McConnell 

Knowledge Networking for Sustainable Development 
Vikas Nath 
The paper aims to stimulate discussion on knowledge-based networking approach to sustainable development. The cornerstone of this approach is global access to information and human resources, enrichment of information during different steps and an efficient mechanism for collective learning and sharing of knowledge between nations, communities and individuals through bridging of gap between users and sources of information.

Knowledge for Development: Economic Science, Economic Policy and Economic Advice 
Joseph Stiglitz  

Public Policy for a Knowledge Economy 
Joseph Stiglitz 

Harnessing Information for Development 
a proposal for a World Bank Group Strategy 

Revolutions in Technology for Development 
Kristin Hallberg and James Bond 

Electronic Conferencing and On-Line Dialogue for Development Purposes 
Darren Saywell 

Focus on Telecentres: How can they contribute to social development? 
Ricardo Gómez, Patrik Hunt, Emmanuelle Lamoureux 
The paper examines the notion of telecentres under a critical light, suggests a typology to describe the diversity of experiences emerging, calls attention to the need for assessment of their impact on communities, and describes preliminary telecentre efforts in Latin America. 


Bridging the Gap between Knowledge and Policy 
Ela R. Bhatt 


"Investing in Knowledge: Sharing Information Resources on the Web" 
ECDPM. 2000 


The Internet Comes to Rural India 
A pilot project is bringing the Information Age to rural Indian villagers in the form of communal telephone and Internet access. Based on the experiences to date of a half-dozen local 'information shops' in southern India, another 12 villages have requested their own information shops, if funding can be found.

A Survey of Collaborative Internet Technologies 
Alison Ball Information, Knowledge and Development
Panos Institute, 

Knowledge Network of Grassroots Green Innovators 
Prof Anil K Gupta, Ahmedabad, India 


The Governance of the Global Development Network

Participatory Development Communication 
A West African Agenda 


"Information for Decision-Making", Chapter 40 of Agenda 21

Information for decision-making is the subject of Chapter 40 of Agenda 21, which emphasizes that, in sustainable development, everyone is a user and provider of information considered in the broad sense. That includes data, information, experience and knowledge. The need for information arises at all levels, from that of senior decision-makers at the national and international levels to the grass-roots and individual levels. Two programme areas, in particular, need to be implemented to ensure that decisions are based increasingly on sound information. 



  Web Journals/Magazines/Portals

Electronic Journal for Information Systems In Developing Countries 
The Electronic Journal for Information Systems In Developing Countries (EJISDC) strives to become the foremost international forum for practitioners, teachers, researchers and policy makers to share their knowledge and experience in the design, development, implementation, management and evaluation of information systems and technologies in developing countries.

The weekly Politicker 

The Newswire of Politics on the Internet - a publication of PoliticsOnline.



InteRadio is primarily a feature magazine. It examines key issues affecting the community radio movement around the world linking it to the democratization of communications at large. The international community radio struggle for recognition and legitimacy as an essential broadcast sector are explored through concepts like the Right to Communicate. Themes are examined globally and through stories or perspectives from particular regions.


The Information Society (TIS) Journal 
The Information Society (TIS) journal, published since 1981, is a key critical forum for leading edge analysis of the impacts, policies, system concepts, and methodologies related to information technologies and changes in society and culture. 


Bytes For All 
An Online Newsletter from South Asia. 
WWW Virtual Library on Knowledge Management 

ICASIT's Knowledge Management Central
Comprehensive repository of Knowledge Management resources on the internet.

Knowledge Management magazine

KM is a case study-based journal featuring articles from global companies, reinforced with contributions from leading academics. Articles cover all aspects of intellectual capital management. The magazine comes in both printed and electronic format, and subscribers have access to an online database of articles published in previous issues, as well as receiving special reductions on related seminars and workshops. Initiative is conceived and managed by:


Vikas Nath

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

Founder,  Initiative


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