Over the past two decades, projects supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) have critically examined how information and communications technologies (ICTs) can be used to improve learning, empower the disenfranchised, generate income opportunities for the poor, and facilitate access to healthcare in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Considering that most development institutions and governments are currently attempting to integrate ICTs into their practices, it is an opportune time to reflect on the research findings that have emerged from IDRC’s work and research in this area.
Connecting ICTs to Development discusses IDRC’s investments in a wide variety of areas related to ICTs, including infrastructure, access, regulations, health, governance, education, livelihoods, social inclusion, technical innovation, intellectual property rights and evaluation. Each chapter analyzes the ways in which research findings from IDRC-supported projects have contributed to an evolution of thinking, and discusses successes and challenges in using ICTs as tools to address development issues. The volume also presents key lessons learned from IDRC’s Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) programming and recommendations for future work.
This book will be of interest to researchers and policymakers in the telecommunications sector, ICT and development researchers, as well as students and educators in the field of international development.
Laurent Elder is the program leader of the Information and Networks program at IDRC in Ottawa, Canada.
Heloise Emdon is manager of international projects at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.
Richard Fuchs is the founder and CEO of Futureworks Consulting, Inc., Hantsport, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Ben Petrazzini is a senior program specialist in the Supporting Inclusive Growth program at IDRC, Ottawa, Canada.