Information Communication Technology and Poverty Alleviation
Promoting Good Governance in the Developing World
Despite global economic disparities, recent years have seen rapid technological changes in developing countries, as it is now common to see people across all levels of society with smartphones in their hands and computers in their homes. However, does access to Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) actually improve the day-to-day lives of low-income citizens? This book argues that access to the internet can help alleviate poverty, improve development outcomes, and is now vital for realizing many human rights.
This book posits that good governance is essential to the realization of inclusive pro-poor development goals, and puts forward policy recommendations that aim to mitigate the complex digital divide by employing governance as the primary actor. In making his argument, the author provides a quantitative analysis of developing countries, conjoined with a targeted in-depth study of Mexico. This mixed method approach provides an intriguing case for how improvements in the quality of governance impacts both ICT penetration, and poverty alleviation. Overall, the book challenges the neoliberal deterministic perspective that the open market will "solve" technology diffusion, and argues instead that good governance is the lynchpin that creates conducive conditions for ICTs to make an impact on poverty alleviation. In fact, the digital divide should not be considered binary, rather it is a multifaceted problem where income, education, and language all need to be considered to address it effectively.
This book will be useful for researchers/students of development, communication technologies, and comparative politics as well as for development practitioners and policy makers with an interest in how modern technology is impacting the poor in the developing world.
Table of Contents
List of Figures
List of Tables
Chapter 1: Introduction: The ICT and Poverty Conundrum
Chapter 2: Theoretical Development: Enter Governance
Chapter 3: Quantitative Analysis: A Bird’s Eye View
Chapter 4: Case Study Mexico: Technological Bubbles and Blackholes
Chapter 5: Where Governance and Human Rights Meet: An Exploration of Mexico’s Constitutional Amendment Declaring Internet Access a Human Right
Chapter 6. Don’t be Evil: In the Digital Age Access to the Internet Should be a Human Right
Jack J. Barry is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Connecticut, USA