poverty alleviation

Information Economy Report 2010: ICTs, Enterprises and Poverty Alleviation

Posted by MarkWeingarten on Mar 09, 2011
Information Economy Report 2010: ICTs, Enterprises and Poverty Alleviation data sheet 1232 Views
Fredriksson, Torbjörn, Cécile Barayre, Scarlett Fondeur Gil, Diana Korka, Rémi Lang, Anvar Nigmatov, Malorie Schaus, Mongi Hamdi, and Anne Miroux
ISSN/ISBN Number: 
Publication Date: 
Jan 2010
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

The world is witnessing a new dawn with regard to the potential of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to contribute in the fight against poverty. For the first time, there are now realistic opportunities for inhabitants of remote locations in low-income countries to get connected via ICTs. Farmers, fishermen as well as entrepreneurs in urban areas are rapidly adopting mobile phones as a key tool to advance their commercial activities, and some poor people are finding new livelihoods on the back of this trend. Against this background, the Information Economy Report 2010 focuses on the nexus of ICTs, enterprises and poverty alleviation. Whereas the knowledge base needs to grow considerably, the evidence presented in this Report suggests that more attention should be given by policymakers and other stakeholders to this new set of opportunities.

The Report is organized into five chapters. Chapter I introduces a conceptual framework for the analysis that follows. Chapter II reviews recent connectivity and affordability trends to gauge the degree of access and uptake of different ICTs among the poor. Chapter III turns to the role of the poor in the production of ICT goods and services (the ICT sector). In chapter IV, the focus shifts to the use of ICT by enterprises, with emphasis on those that matter most for poor people, namely small and micro-enterprises in urban and rural areas. Finally, chapter V presents the main policy implications from the analysis.

Informing Development: Mobile Telephony, Governments, and Local Stakeholders in Africa

Posted by bcullum on Aug 27, 2010
Informing Development: Mobile Telephony, Governments, and Local Stakeholders in Africa data sheet 1504 Views
Brannon Cullum
Publication Date: 
Aug 2010
Publication Type: 

It is believed that once groups acquire information and communication technologies (ICTs), they will prosper. When the most marginalized members of society have better access to information and knowledge, the likelihood of improving their livelihoods also increases. Past literature has dealt with the difficulties that such groups have had in accessing and acquiring technology because of institutional obstacles. This thesis examines the institutional obstacles and constraints faced by groups once they have
acquired ICTs.

I intend to examine why, despite the rapid diffusion of ICTs in developing countries over the past decade, there has not been a dramatic improvement in the alleviation of poverty. In particular, this thesis will explore the use of mobile phones in the context of development and poverty reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa and the relationship between institutions and local stakeholders to strengthen livelihoods.

This thesis hypothesizes that development initiatives using a collaborative, hybrid approach that integrates effective institutional involvement with inclusive grassroots participation will be more sustainable and scalable than those that attempt solely topdown or bottom-up approaches. In other words, initiatives devised by institutions that rely upon structures incorporating local communities into projects will be found to be more successful in both the short-term and long-run. Case studies have been selected to illustrate how this hybrid approach is ultimately more successful in improving the livelihoods of the rural poor than approaches that are either primarily driven by the topdown or bottom-up.

The four cases considered in this thesis will describe the extent to which projects or initiatives using mobile phones have been successful in meeting the needs of local beneficiaries and improving their livelihoods.