Publications and Resources

What can ICTs do for the rural poor?

First wrong assumption: development is a matter of technology.
Second wrong assumption: development is a matter of information.
Third wrong assumption: information technologies are equal to development.

I'm afraid these assumptions are leading the camp of the official representation at the World Summit of the Information Society (WSIS). During the long preparatory process, we have seen how reluctant are certain governments and agencies to deal with the issue of information from the point of view of society, and how inclined they are to keep the discussion limited to a wider distribution of ICTs in developing countries. We have seen the most encouraging participation from the organised civil society at the country level, and great willingness from all sectors of society to frankly discuss with governments and the private sector, the issues that are crucial for social, economic and cultural development. However, the results of all preparatory conferences are very poor. They just want to go ahead with the usual business, with little concern for a social and human rights based approach. In the minds of the profitable organisation "bureaucrats without borders", technology supersedes content.

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