ICT4D Donor Agencies and Networks

wileyA new article titled ICT4D Donor Agencies and Networks, co-written with Paula Uimonen, is now published in The International Encyclopedia of Digital Communication and Society (Feb 2015, edited by Robin Mansell and Peng Hwa Ang). It focuses on the roles of donor organisations and networks within ICT4D. Abstract: Information and communication technology for development (ICT4D) evolved as a field of development cooperation in conjunction with the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in 2003 and 2005. Prior to this United Nations summit, few donors were involved in ICT4D, but as policymakers around the world became involved in the WSIS process, ICT4D emerged as an important aspect of the global development agenda. Donors started to recognize that ICT offered a tool for development, not least for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). After the WSIS interest dwindled among leading donor agencies, but resurfaced as mobile technologies became widespread even in income-poor countries and among poor populations and after the digitally mediated social uprisings of the so-called Arab Spring which highlighted the social and political significance of the internet. New actors are becoming involved including philanthropic organizations, while the ICT4D field continues to explore new working methods like multistakeholder partnerships. Meanwhile, ICT is gradually becoming integrated into development efforts, although global patterns of digital stratification still remain to be overcome.

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