PsychNology Journal, Volume 3, Number 3, 228-242

Virtual enclaves or global networks? The role of Information and Communication Technologies in development cooperation

Iginio Gagliardone
UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa – Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)

 

ABSTRACT

This article investigates the evolution of the struggle for bridging the digital divide in developing countries. Taking into account tendencies that have been registered in disciplines other than development, such as urban sociology and social psychology, the author demonstrates how a frequent over-estimation of the potential of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) has influenced the previsions about their impacts and led to results and phenomena different from the expected ones. ICTs have been perceived more as a black box that can produce the same effects everywhere, independent from pre-existing cultural and socio-economic contexts, than as an open artifact, capable of integrating local needs in their functioning mechanism and being adapted according to different conditions of use. Nevertheless 10 years have passed since the first pioneers launched their projects for reducing the digital gap and new approaches have emerged since then. ICTs are more and more at the heart of the strategies developed by international organizations for providing a better future to new generations and a new consciousness has emerged as a result of the many errors. The article describes some of the new approaches in the fight against the digital divide, explaining how they have a better chance to success and bring digital equity.

 

KEYWORDS

Digital divide, development cooperation, Africa, ICTs for development. .

 

CITE AS

Gagliardone I. (2005). Virtual enclaves or global networks? The role of Information and Communication Technologies in development cooperation, PsychNology Journal, 3(3), 228-242. Retrieved [month] [day], [year], from www.psychnology.org.

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