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Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) refers to the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the fields of socioeconomic development, international development andhuman rights. The theory behind this is that more and better information and communication furthers the development of a society.
Aside from its reliance on technology, ICT4D also requires an understanding of community development, poverty, agriculture, healthcare, and basic education. Richard Heeks suggests that the I in ICT4D is related with “library and information sciences”, the C is associated with “communication studies”, the T is linked with “information systems”, and the D for “development studies”. It is aimed at bridging the digital divide and aid economic development by fostering equitable access to modern communications technologies. It is a powerful tool for economic and social development.Other terms can also be used for “ICT4D” or “ICT4Dev” (“ICT for development”) like ICTD (“ICT and development”, which is used in a broader sense) and development informatics.
ICT4D can mean as dealing with disadvantaged populations anywhere in the world, but it is more seen with applications in developing countries. It concerns with directly applying information technology approaches to poverty reduction. ICTs can be applied directly, wherein its use directly benefits the disadvantaged population, or indirectly, wherein it can assist aid organisations or non-governmental organizations or governments or businesses to improve socio-economic conditions.
The field is an interdisciplinary research area through the growing number of conferences, workshops and publications. This is partly due to the need for scientifically validated benchmarks and results, that can measure the effectiveness of current projects. This field has also produced an informal community of technical and social science researchers which rose out of the annual ICT4D conferences.
Source: Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICT_for_Development), retrieved June 03, 2013 at 16:50h