The Development Dimension

1990-1372 (online)
1990-1380 (print)
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A series of OECD books analyzing  the development aspects of policies in other domains, such as economic, financial, environmental, agricultural or trade policies. By systematically taking the development dimension of member country policies into account, OECD analysis and dialogue can help change behaviour in support of development in an ever more integrated, interdependent global economy.

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ICTs for Development

ICTs for Development

Improving Policy Coherence You do not have access to this content

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22 Jan 2010
9789264077409 (PDF) ;9789264077393(print)

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Information communication technologies (ICTs) are crucial to reducing poverty, improving access to health and education services and creating new sources of income and employment for the poor. Being able to access and use ICTs has become a major factor in driving competitiveness, economic growth and social development. In the last decade, ICTs, particularly mobile phones, have also opened up new channels for the free flow of ideas and opinions, thereby promoting democracy and human rights.

The OECD and infoDev joined forces at a workshop on 10-11 September 2009 to examine some of the main challenges in reducing the discrepancies in access to ICTs and use of ICTs between developing countries. The workshop discussed best practices for more coherent and collaborative approaches in support of poverty reduction and meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

There is much work to be done on improving policy coherence and there is a need to engage more actively with partner countries. Making the most of ICTs requires that they are seen as part of innovation for development, rather than just another development tool.

This publication examines access to ICTs, as a precondition to their use; broadband Internet access and governments' role in making it available; developments in mobile payments; ICT security issues; ICTs for improving environmental performance; and the relative priority of ICTs in education. 

For more information

The OECD/infoDev workshop on ICTs for Development:

OECD work on Policy Coherence for Development:


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  • Acronyms and Abbreviations
  • Executive Summary
    The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank’s Information for Development (infoDev) programme joined forces to organise a workshop on Policy Coherence in the Application of Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D), held 10-11 September 2009 in Paris.
  • Why ICTS Matter for Development
    Realising the full benefit of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for development requires that they be seen as a development innovation rather than just another development tool. This chapter gives a general overview of the six ICT-enabled applications discussed at the OECD/infoDev workshop, outlining how each may contribute to development while presenting some of the challenges faced by countries currently implementing them.
  • Where Next for ICTs and International Development?
    There are problems with the coherence of Information and Communication for Development (ICT4D) policies today. This chapter identifies some of those problems and proposes, if not solutions, at least a shape or framework for moving forward. It then charts the logic and chronology of applying ICTs to developing countries.
  • How the Developing World may Participate in the Global Internet Economy
    Full participation in the global Internet Economy requires electronic connectivity of increasing complexity. Today, due to a wave of liberalisation and technological and business innovation, much of the world is electronically connected, albeit not at levels that support full participation. This chapter examines the contributions made by competition and business innovation to achieving current levels of connectivity and the possibilities for extrapolation to ensure widespread participation in the global Internet Economy.
  • What Role Should Governments Play in Broadband Development?
    The World Bank’s Information and Communication for Development 2009 report suggests that the contribution of broadband to economic growth is substantial, and may be more profound than comparable narrowband or voicebased ICTs.
  • Regulatory Issues around Mobile Banking
    The rise of the mobile phone in emerging markets, particularly Africa and large parts of Asia, is well documented, as is its use in a growing number of initiatives to increase the availability and variety of financial services in emerging economies. This chapter explores relevant issues by recounting the experience of the IT consultancy firm Consult Hyperion in the conception, development and deployment of M-PESA, a mobile payment service in Kenya and Tanzania, as well as their conversations with a range of financial regulators from around the world.
  • ICTs and the Environment in Developing Countries
    Developed and developing countries face many environmental challenges, including climate change, improving energy efficiency and waste management, addressing air pollution, water quality and scarcity, and loss of natural habitats and biodiversity. This chapter explores how the Internet and the ICT and related research communities can help tackle environmental challenges in developing countries through more environmentally sustainable models of economic development.
  • Policy Coherence in ICTs for Education
    Education is a key requirement for social and economic prosperity. In the developing economies of South Asia it is often seen as the only means to social mobility and financial self sufficiency. Recognising the significance of education, governments across the region have devoted considerable resources in terms of money and comprehensive programmes for improving access, quality and delivery mechanisms.
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