ICT in the developing world

21-12-2015

Over recent years, there have been increasing opportunities for inhabitants of low and middle-income countries (LMICs) to use information and communication technologies (ICT). ICT can potentially help LMICs tackle a wide range of health, social and economic problems.By improving access to information and enabling communication, ICT can play a role in achieving millennium development goals (MDGs) such as the elimination of extreme poverty, combating serious diseases, and accomplishing universal primary education. This study is aimed at examining the nature and extent of impact of ICT on poverty reduction in LMICs. A specific focus is developed for the health sector, elucidating which support ICT may provide to reduce inequalities and strengthen health systems in LMICs. In addition, present EU actions in the area of improving ICT diffusion in LMICs are assessed.  Building on three literature reviews, the study first describes the conditions hampering or facilitating the support of ICT to poverty reduction in LMICs, then focuses on the specific opportunities and obstacles in the use of ICT in the healthcare sector and, finally, it illustrates the EU policy approach for promoting ICT in LMICs. Evidence from desk analysis is complemented by the opinions of 145 surveyed experts, ten of which were also interviewed.  Experts’ opinions confirm the evidence of desk analysis pointing to health and education as the main areas in which ICT can play a significant role in LMICs development.  Building upon the evidence collected, the study provides policy options for future action which the EU could undertake to help LMICs profit from all the opportunities that ICT offer.

Over recent years, there have been increasing opportunities for inhabitants of low and middle-income countries (LMICs) to use information and communication technologies (ICT). ICT can potentially help LMICs tackle a wide range of health, social and economic problems.By improving access to information and enabling communication, ICT can play a role in achieving millennium development goals (MDGs) such as the elimination of extreme poverty, combating serious diseases, and accomplishing universal primary education. This study is aimed at examining the nature and extent of impact of ICT on poverty reduction in LMICs. A specific focus is developed for the health sector, elucidating which support ICT may provide to reduce inequalities and strengthen health systems in LMICs. In addition, present EU actions in the area of improving ICT diffusion in LMICs are assessed.  Building on three literature reviews, the study first describes the conditions hampering or facilitating the support of ICT to poverty reduction in LMICs, then focuses on the specific opportunities and obstacles in the use of ICT in the healthcare sector and, finally, it illustrates the EU policy approach for promoting ICT in LMICs. Evidence from desk analysis is complemented by the opinions of 145 surveyed experts, ten of which were also interviewed.  Experts’ opinions confirm the evidence of desk analysis pointing to health and education as the main areas in which ICT can play a significant role in LMICs development.  Building upon the evidence collected, the study provides policy options for future action which the EU could undertake to help LMICs profit from all the opportunities that ICT offer.

Autore esterno

External authors: Laura Delponte (lead author), Matteo Grigolini, Andrea Moroni and Silvia Vignetti (Centre for Industrial Studies - CSIL, Milan, Italy). Massimiliano Claps and Nino Giguashvili (International Data Corporation - IDC, Milan, Italy).