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ICT & Digital Divide by John Jacob
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ICT & Digital Divide by John Jacob


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  • 1. ICT & DIGITAL DIVIDE John Jacob II - M.A. Mass Communication Department of Electronic Media & Mass Communication Submitted to: M. Shuaib Mohamed Haneef Assistant Professor
  • 2. Defining the ICT
    • Information And Communication(s) Technology stresses the role of unified communications and the integration of telecommunications, computers, middleware as well as necessary software, storage and audio-visual systems, which enable users to create, access, store, transmit, and manipulate information.
    • The expression was first used in 1997 in a report by Dennis Stevenson to the United Kingdom government and Promoted by the new national Curriculum documents for the UK 2000.
  • 3. Defining the digital divide
    • The term digital divide refers to the increasing access gap between those who have and those who do not have:
        • access to information and communication technologies;
        • access to content that benefits them socially and economically;
        • skills to take advantage of ICT services;
        • the ability to afford to pay for digital services.
  • 4. Debate on the priority of ICTs for development – against
    • Critics argue:
    • ICTs are a waste of money
    • Funding should be directed to more important areas of impact and real need
    • There is the risk of disillusionment
    • ICTs will not necessarily provide benefits and may infact open people up to new forms of harm
  • 5. Debate on the priority of ICTs for development – pro
    • Supporters argue:
    • The digital divide will become perilously wider if ICTs are not promoted
    • ICTs can support other social and economic goals to improve peoples lives
    • Access to ICTs and participation in the Information Society will have far reaching benefits
  • 6. United Nations Millennium Development Goals
    • Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development.
    • Target 18: In cooperation with the private sector make available the benefits of new technologies, specifically information and communications.
    • Indicator 47: Telephone lines and cellular subscribers per 100 population.
    • Indicator 48: Personal computers in use per 100 population and Internet users per 100 population.
  • 7. ICTs and development goals (education & health)
    • ICTs as a subject: information literacy, programming and other related skills.
    • Computer - based training and distance education
    • Access to learning communities
    • Access to increased and up-to-date information
    • Telemedicine: broadband applications – from health clinic to hospital
    • Telehealth: phone and computer support for clinic management and information flows
    • Information sharing: information and exchange on health priorities, e.g. HIV / AIDS, TB, cholera
    • Epidemiology: statistics and information to support knowledge and disease management
  • 8. ICTs and development goals (SMMEs & governance)
    • ICTs can support routine business operations: accounts, letters, plans
    • ICTs can be an opportunity themselves: training, support, sale, program, web
    • Linking suppliers directly to markets: reducing role of intermediaries
    • Info for tenders, linking SMMEs, support & funding, supply and sales chain
    • E-Commerce opportunities
    • Access to government information, services and processes
    • Transparency of governance
    • Mitigation of corruption
    • Access to representatives: constituents direct link to members of Parliament
  • 9. Dimensions of gap
    • High vs Degraded quality of access
      • Low performance computers
      • Low performance connections
      • High price connections
      • Internet access through Internet café or at home
      • Internet connectivity
    • Different levels of skills
      • Ability to operate the technology
      • Ability to actually use the technology for some purpose
      • Need for reading and writing skills
      • Different levels of training capabilities
        • “ Computer-literate”
  • 10. Importance of “closing” gap
    • Economic equality
      • Important, possibly vital information may be accessed/provided through Internet
    • Social issues
      • Raise educational level of disfavoured socio-economic children
    • Gender issues
      • Eg. To allow girls to access information
    • Democracy
      • Increased information / Increased participation to elections, etc.
    • Economic Growth
      • Exploitation of latest technologies provide competitive advantage
      • Economic benefit further provided to highly educated population
      • Loop
  • 11. “ Global” digital divide
    • Widening of gap: the economic issue
      • Wide Internet access => high economics advances
      • Poor Internet access => low economics result
    • Awareness of
      • Importance of technology, in particular information and communication technology (ICT) for economic development
    • Problem
      • Difficult to connect both
  • 12. How to close the gap?
    • Make access easier and wider
    • Make content more useful and relevant
    • Promote entrepreneurial efforts
    • Change laws and policies at national level
      • foster information creation and knowledge sharing
    • Usefulness
      • adjust technology to human beings and their needs
      • provide ICT-enabled solutions to help the poor: 
        • using new technology to provide clean drinking water
        • improve (rural) health care services
        • extend quality of education
        • Internet-connected libraries
    • Inform people
      • advantages and prospect of ICT
  • 13. How to close the gap?
    • Investment in human resources
    • Investment in high quality education
    • Define strategy for
      • Combining openness to trade, education, government regulations
  • 14. THANK YOU John Jacob II - M.A. Mass Communication Department of Electronic Media & Mass Communication Submitted to: M. Shuaib Mohamed Haneef Assistant Professor