From ICT towards information society: Policy strategies and concepts for employing ICT for reducing poverty

Hannes Toivanen

    Research output: Book/ReportReport

    Abstract

    ICT is recognized as an important vehicle to address global development challenges. As a general purpose technology, ICT has the evident potential to improve the delivery of basic services, such as health, education and information, in under-served areas and regions, and thereby address many of the deprivation conditions that create and maintain poverty. Deservedly, policy frameworks and practices of harnessing knowledge, new technologies and ICT for the benefit of the world's poor are being re-considered in the developing countries, donor governments, as well as by academics and other stake-holders. This paper approaches the possibilities offered by ICT in development specifically from the vantage point of the new ICT ecosystem, as proposed by Martin Fransman, and its underlying sectoral innovation system. While this may be un-orthodox and unaccustomed perspective in the context of development and poverty alleviation, it enhances our understanding how different stake-holder groups, even regions and countries, can relate and employ ICT. Regions, countries, organizations, communities and people differ greatly in their capacity to create, adopt and use new technology. Economic, social, cultural and technological factors determine to a great degree how people can access and shape new technologies and their applications. These varying factors are well identified in literature on development of ICT in Sub-Saharan Africa, but less attention has been given to how hierarchically organized ICT ecosystem, consisting of technological, economic and social elements, shapes these opportunities. This report offers a short theoretical and conceptual discussion of ICT strategies in the context of Sub-Saharan Africa, and investigates in more detail the Tanzanian case.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    Number of pages42
    ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-7500-8
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible

    Publication series

    SeriesVTT Working Papers
    Number158

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    Keywords

    • information society
    • innovation
    • ICT
    • ecosystems
    • Africa
    • Tanzania
    • development
    • poverty reduction

    Cite this

    Toivanen, H. (2011). From ICT towards information society: Policy strategies and concepts for employing ICT for reducing poverty. Espoo: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. VTT Working Papers, No. 158