Two hours of lecture and one hour of discussion per week. Discussion section will be held Tuesday 5-6 pm in room 107 South Hall.
What role can information and communications technologies play in transforming lives in developing economies? Some view ICT as a new tool for poverty alleviation while others see technology draining resources from more pressing social needs. Nevertheless a proliferation of initiatives from governments, non-profit and multilateral agencies, and corporations seek to develop and apply technology to meet the challenges facing poor economies. The course positions these efforts in the context of development theory and surveys both the strategies and methods of assessing contemporary projects that develop new technologies such as wireless communications or low-cost computing or applying ICT to areas such as healthcare, e-government, microfinance, and literacy.
The class will provide a conceptual framework as well as analytical tools for engineers developing technology for use in underserved regions, social scientists studying the impacts of these projects, and business students assessing the sustainability of development-oriented technology enterprises.