Research Summary: Why public access to ICTs matter

Abstract

This research summary provides an overview of the Global Impact Study of Public Access to Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Libraries, telecenters, and cybercaf├ęs play a critical role in extending the benefits of information and communication technologies to a diverse range of people worldwide. However, their ability to contribute to development agendas has come into question in recent times. The Global Impact Study was designed to address this debate by generating evidence about the scale, character, and impacts of public access ICTs in eight countries: Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, Chile, Ghana, Lithuania, the Philippines, and South Africa. The results show that a central impact of public access is the promotion of digital inclusion through technology access, information access, and development of ICT skills. Both users and non-users report positive impacts in various social and economic areas of their lives.

Recommended Citation

Technology & Social Change Group (TASCHA) (2014). Research Summary: Why public access ICTs matter. Seattle: Technology & Social Change Group, University of Washington Information School.