For the unfamiliar, ICT4D is the acronym for “Information and Communication Technologies for Development”. An area that I am very passionate about, ICT4D is the key to unlocking the 8% growth South Africa has found elusive. This section of the website amalgamates components of the Technology, Africa and Gov sections. This is the space where these three forces need to work together to enhance the lives of those who need it most.
The history of ICT4D can, roughly, be divided into three periods:
ICT4D 0.0 | mid-1950s to late-1990s.
During this period (before the creation of the term “ICT4D”), the focus was on computing / data processing for back-office applications in large government and private sector organizations in developing countries.
ICT4D 1.0 | late-1990s to late-2000s.
The combined advent of the Millennium Development Goals and mainstream usage of the Internet in industrialised countries led to a rapid rise in investment in ICT infrastructure and ICT programmes/projects in developing countries. The most typical application was the telecentre, used to bring information on development issues such as health, education, and agricultural extension into poor communities. More latterly, telecentres might also deliver online or partly online government services.
ICT4D 2.0 | late-2000s onwards.
There is no clear boundary between phase 1.0 and 2.0 but suggestions of moving to a new phase include the change from the telecentre to the mobile phone as the archetypal application; less concern with e-readiness and more interest in the impact of ICTs on development; and more focus on the poor as producers and innovators with ICTs (as opposed to just consumers of ICT-based information).
The Western Cape government currently focuses it’s ICT4D efforts in the Cape Access Programme with it’s e-centres that are found at various towns across the province. The planned Broadband roll out shows commitment to bringing ICT solutions to the lesser developed regions of the Western Cape province. My concerns however question the sustainability of laying infrastructure without placing a priority on the online skills of the users in these regions.
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Current @WesternCapeGov - Deputy Director: Web Services Programme Manager. Husband to @Sue_levy. Proud Father. Implement Information System solutions one day at a time, but with a longer term view. Currently applying myself to further e-Government goals in South Africa. Self confessed Geek who loves eating, gokarting and tinkering with technology