Perspectives on development: why does studying information and communication technology for development (ICT4D) matter?
ABSTRACT: The concept of development has been used by scholars and practitioners to demonstrate changes for the better in the lives of individuals, communities, nations and regions. Historically, the practice of development has been associated with interventions and categorizations that have had the opposite effect in countries and regions deemed to be developing. Current notions of development predicated on respect for individual rights, human freedoms, environmental sustainability, health and well-being and education have been more successful in achieving improvements in the lives of people. Yet, historic notions of development persist and continue to drive failing projects. This editorial explores the historical notions of development that persist to this day and offers a view of contemporary perspectives on development. As a growing set of development interventions and papers in this issue involve Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), the question of why Information and Communication Technology for Development matters? is addressed in the light of development perspectives.
Keywords: Human capital, Information and Communication Technologies, socio-economic development, World Economic Forum, social capital, Gender Development Index, Communication Technology for Development