Yesterday, at a seminar at its headquarters in Washington DC, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) released Development Connections: Unveiling the Impact of New Information Technologies. The book, part of the IDB’s annual Development in the Americas series, takes an in-depth look at the ways in which information and communications technologies (ICT) have contributed to development, applying statistical methods to evaluate their impact on areas ranging from education to the environment.
The book recognizes that ICT—which it defines as “the application of both traditional and modern communications and computing technologies to the creation, management and use of information”—has revolutionized developing countries’ abilities to meet development goals, such as improved delivery of health care, better access to markets and credit, and even political empowerment, to name a few. Nonetheless, it finds that access to ICT alone is not a panacea for the challenges of economic development. The quality and capacity of institutions, regulations, people’s skills, and physical infrastructure all play a role in ensuring that ICTs have a positive impact on development.
To read the executive summary of Development Connections in English, click here.