1st Edition

ICT and Rural Development in the Global South

By Willem van Eekelen Copyright 2024
    226 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    226 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book dives into the achievements, opportunities, risks and dangers of ICT in the rural Global South, and takes a look at the likely future.

    Drawing on years of experience across 45 counties, as well as extensive original academic research, Willem van Eekelen situates the evolving role of ICT in wider development patterns in the Global South. He discusses the effects of ICT on agriculture, trade, financial flows, resource management and governmental performance. He then considers the associated risks of financial insecurity, online gambling, exclusion, misinformation and the effects of ICT on people’s freedom. The book concludes with six recommendations to maximise the usefulness of rural ICT investments and minimise the risk of them causing harm.

    This engaging and authoritative account of ICT and rural development will help students, academics, governmental policymakers, donors and investors wishing to support socio-economic development in the Global South.

    PROLOGUE

     

    PART 1: ICT’S CONTRIBUTIONS TO RURAL DEVELOPMENT

    Introduction

    Chapter 1: Agricultural production processes

    Chapter 2: Trade

    Chapter 3: Diversified livelihoods

    Chapter 4: Microfinance

    Chapter 5: Remittances and social assistance

    Chapter 6: E-government

    Chapter 7: Climate change and natural resource management

    Chapter 8: The spread of ICT products and services

     

    PART 2: THE RISKS, DANGERS AND EXTERNALITIES OF ICT

    Introduction

    Chapter 9: Farming and rural employment

    Chapter 10: Financial safety and security

    Chapter 11: Gambling

    Chapter 12: The digital divide and its effects

    Chapter 13: Misinformation

    Chapter 14: Inclusivity and civic space

     

    CONCLUSIONS

     

    ANNEX 1: METHODOLOGY

     

    ANNEX 2: RESEARCH INTEGRITY AND ETHICS

    Biography

    Dr Willem van Eekelen is an economist who worked for a range of companies, donors, UN agencies and non-governmental organisations – always in the broad field of international development. Until 2010, Willem mostly held policy and programme positions. Since then, he has worked as an independent evaluator in the humanitarian and development sectors. In parallel, Willem supports organisations with their strategy development, holds occasional trusteeships and teaches at the University of Birmingham. Willem co-owns Green Visions, a rural adventure tourism company. His previous publications include academic works (including Routledge’s Rural Development in Practice) as well as a few tourist guides and Bloomsbury’s 100 ideas for Dads who love their kids but find them exhausting.

    The book provides a fresh and exciting view of how technology is used in rural areas in the Deep South. I enjoyed reading the examples and feedback as well as the opportunities, future, and challenges experienced in their own contexts. I think a tremendous amount of knowledge is shared that can assist similar future projects in knowing how to approach ICT in rural contexts and what the pitfalls and dangers to be aware of. 

    M. E. HerselmanCouncil for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), CSIR, Pretoria Campus, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

    Willem van Eekelen, in ICT and Rural Development in the Global South, provides an open and honest review of ICT4D in the Global South. Van Eekelen's experience is clear to anyone who has worked in this field, and his knowledge of the benefits and risks is reflected on each page. Not only does he debunk many myths of ICT for development, but he also provides insight into where ICT can be beneficial, what risks ICT4D faces,
    and how to mitigate them. [...] ICT and Rural Development in the Global South is a must-read for anyone involved in ICT4D wanting to make a noticeable difference to livelihoods in the Global South.

    Malcolm GarbuttUniversity of the Western Cape, Bellville, South Africa