Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICTD)

The field of Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICTD, ICT4D, Community Informatics) deals with the use of computers and the internet (although other technologies can be considered as well) to promote social and economic development. I argue that access to computers and other technologies is not sufficient to achieve human development. Beyond access, the skill and capacity to make effective use of the technologies (something we have called "social appropriation"), and the existence of an enabling environment (policy, regulation and good will) are also crucial if ICT are to contribute to improve the lives of marginalized and underserved communities.

Technology is not good or bad, but it is not neutral. Left alone, it tends to replicate or amplify existing inequalities in society.

The goal of my research is to understand the ways in which use of ICT, in particular computer in public places such as libraries, telecenters and cybercafes, helps people in marginalized communities to improve their lives.