Knowledge Networks, the Internet, and Development
22 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2001
Date Written: October 2001
Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) are playing a significant role in economic, political and cultural development. The relationship between technologies supporting information processing and distribution, and the application of that knowledge for development purposes has only recently come into focus. The discovery, publication and application of new knowledge, the dissemination of information concerning best practices and the exchange of views and opinions are now considered essential elements of development work. These functions it is now increasingly recognized, are effectively facilitated by ICTs. In the area of economic development ICTs can create new jobs, new industry and service sector opportunities and a more educated work force. They make possible the cross-border flow of information, promote international trade, particularly high technology, bits rather than atoms, type trade and help to attract foreign direct investment. ICTs can also contribute to political development by fostering good governance and streamlining bureaucratic procedures through intra-governmental networking. The creative use of ICTs, particularly the Internet, in the areas of health care, education, environmental protection and in other developmentally important fields can substantially contribute to the advancement of developing societies. This paper identifies the causes and consequences for these trends and considers their implications for the further development of knowledge networks for development of the global Internet economy.
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