Bringing the benefits of information technology to underserved populations: An introduction to ICTD for the library community

Abstract

Information and communication technologies and development (ICTD) is a field that has grown largely outside the purview of public libraries. In bringing information access and services to communities with fewer economic and social resources, the organizations and innovations emanating from the ICTD community have much to offer libraries. While libraries, too, offer a largely untapped vehicle for those in the ICTD community, the aim of this article is to introduce the defining features, tenets, and focus areas of ICTD, and to provide examples of how partnering with ICTD could benefit libraries. ICTD actors include government, development agencies, foundations, the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, and academic institutions. ICTD activities encompass research and development, national and community-based deployments, policy engagement, and social activism. The article concludes with a discussion of the overlap with telecenters, with its attendant opportunities and risks, and other suggestions for libraries when partnering with ICTD.

Recommended Citation

Coward, C. T. (2010). Bringing the benefits of information technology to underserved populations: An introduction to ICTD for the library community. IFLA Journal, 36.3.