ICT4D Part 1: History of ICT4D

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What is ICT4D? ICT4D stands for Information Communication Technologies for Development. OMPT is an ICT4D organization, one of many that use modern communication technology to improve the lives of people living in developing nations. ICT4D isn’t a new designation—the field has been around in some form or other since the mid-1950s though the development of the internet. In more recent years, the growth of mobile networks and alternative energy sources have vastly increased the ability of ICT4D groups to effect change throughout the world.

The history of ICT4D can be broken down into three phases: 0.0, 1.0 and 2.0. Phase 0.0, which predated modern communication technology, was the longest and most uneventful, stretching from the middle of the 20th century to the late ‘90s. With the high price of computing technologies and the difficulty in sharing information, the technology’s impact in developing countries was severely limited. It wasn’t until the late ‘90s, when the internet reached widespread use in developed countries, that ICT4D organizations could affect significant change in developing nations. The proliferation of the internet marked the transition from pre-digital 0.0 into 1.0.

2.0, the current phase, emerged about a decade later during the late ‘00s. The exact transition point from 1.0 to 2.0 is vague, marked by the growing use of mobile phones and networks to enable internet access where before there was none. 2.0 also saw a change in the philosophy of ICT4D, a philosophy OMPT embraces: Citizens of developing nations are no longer just passive consumers, they themselves are content creators.

It’s this philosophy and approach that forms the backbone of OMPT. OMPT provides the technology—cameras, projectors and alternative power sources—and training to empower local organizations to create their own video content to help their neighbors and communities grow and learn. Self-sufficiency is an important step towards improving quality of life.

Sources

Highfield, Crysta. "Social Media and Development." Master of Development Practice. Accessed May 14, 2018. https://mdp.berkeley.edu/social-media-and-development/.

Heeks, Richard. "An Emerging Digital Development Paradigm?" ICTs for Development. February 28, 2017. Accessed May 14, 2018. https://ict4dblog.wordpress.com/tag/ict4d-history/.