Practical Insights on Economic Development for ICT4D Projects

ICT economic development

Economic Development in Africa

Since the early 2000s, the sub-Saharan African region experienced a profound economic transformation. The drivers of the region’s economic development are diverse, and include:

  • Improved governance and policy reforms in many countries.
  • Strong agricultural employment and profitable off-farm activities.
  • Increased local and foreign direct investment.
  • High global commodity prices.
  • Widespread new technology innovation and adoption.

ICT Impact on Economic Development

Information and communication technology (ICT) investments are creating structural changes across the continent.

Many African economies are reorganizing around technology innovations and global information availability. This increases trade, capital flows, and economic development. ICT4D, artificial intelligence, geographic information systems, and other advanced technologies continue to rapidly transform the nature of work.

ICT programs to improve economic outcomes are often very dynamic, evolving through several stages of maturity during which the monitoring and evaluation needs of the intervention also change rapidly. These ICT4D program intervention stages include:

  • Exploring the identified needs of constituents
  • Developing the technical functionality and feasibility
  • Deploying the technology solution with stakeholders
  • Assessing user satisfaction with the deployed technology
  • Evaluating the intervention’s effectiveness and attributable impact
  • Calculating the key stakeholders’ “value for money”.

COVID-19 Economic Development Impact

COVID-19 is expected to cause massive economic disruption, exacerbating the effects of technological transformations.

Low-skilled, informal, and migrant workers are most at risk of being displaced through the looming coronavirus recession and the technological transformations of work. Yet with COVID-19 digital response, these transformations can present opportunities for new businesses and jobs.

  • Small and new businesses can weather economic shocks, prosper, and create good jobs through access to capital, networks, and technology.
  • Support workers can advocate for and access living wages, social safety nets, and financial security in order to prepare for, withstand, and recover from economic shocks.
  • Workers can obtain technological and digital literacy as well as the durable skills needed to stay apace with the changing job market and economic downturns.

ICT4D Economic Development Programs

There are many examples of ICT4D economic development programs increasing jobs and wealth in developing countries. Here are examples of digital solutions to Africa countries’ economic problems from international development and humanitarian relief organizations.

What is the Food Security Impact of COVID-19 in African Countries?

What is the Food Security Impact of COVID-19 in African Countries?

Published on: Aug 20 2020 by Wayan Vota - 9 Comments
The novel coronavirus pandemic has an immense impact on healthcare across the African continent.  South Africa in particular has become a viral hot spot, with...
Apply Now: $10 Million for COVID-19 Response Data Science Solutions

Apply Now: $10 Million for COVID-19 Response Data Science Solutions

Published on: Jul 07 2020 by Wayan Vota - 6 Comments
The novel coronavirus global pandemic is affecting global society in profound ways and will require new and innovative approaches. Beyond the impacts on public...
Apply Now: $1.5 Million Grant Funding for Inclusive Digital Economy Solutions

Apply Now: $1.5 Million Grant Funding for Inclusive Digital Economy Solutions

Published on: Jun 15 2020 by Wayan Vota - 7 Comments
 Automation, artificial intelligence, and other advanced technologies continue to rapidly transform the nature of work. Meanwhile, COVID-19 is expected to cause...
Apply Now: $250,000 for Digital Remittance Solutions to Support Migrants

Apply Now: $250,000 for Digital Remittance Solutions to Support Migrants

Published on: Jun 01 2020 by Wayan Vota - Comments Off on Apply Now: $250,000 for Digital Remittance Solutions to Support Migrants
As the world suffers coronavirus’ socioeconomic repercussions, global remittances are slowing substantially. Countries with high COVID-19 cases host 75% of...
Digital Solutions Are Transforming Informal Workers into African iWorkers

Digital Solutions Are Transforming Informal Workers into African iWorkers

Published on: Jul 17 2019 by Guest Writer - Comments Off on Digital Solutions Are Transforming Informal Workers into African iWorkers
The defining characteristic of most work in Africa is its informality: ​according to the ILO​, 85% of work is done in the household, in smallholder agriculture...
3 Digital Business Opportunities with Micro Merchants in Bangladesh

3 Digital Business Opportunities with Micro Merchants in Bangladesh

Published on: Feb 06 2019 by Guest Writer - Comments Off on 3 Digital Business Opportunities with Micro Merchants in Bangladesh
  Imagine you could impact over 1.3 million people and their families, who represent 13% of the gross domestic product of Bangladesh. That’s the promise with...
DER Senegal: Innovative Government Funding for African Entrepreneurship

DER Senegal: Innovative Government Funding for African Entrepreneurship

Published on: Dec 19 2018 by Guest Writer - 3 Comments
Most of the coverage of La Délégation Générale à l’Entreprenariat Rapide – “la DER” in Senegal fund has been in French, yet the Rapid Entrepreneurship...
Oops! Satellite Imagery Cannot Predict Human Development Indicators

Oops! Satellite Imagery Cannot Predict Human Development Indicators

Published on: Dec 05 2018 by Wayan Vota - 1 Comment
In many developing country environments, it is difficult or impossible to obtain recent, reliable estimates of human development. Nationally representative household...
Ethiopia’s Surprising Progress in Digital Financial Inclusion

Ethiopia’s Surprising Progress in Digital Financial Inclusion

Published on: Nov 19 2018 by Guest Writer - 1 Comment
Ethiopia’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy, released by the National Bank of Ethiopia in 2017, sets a broad government vision and aggressive targets for...
The Mobile Money Revolution in International Remittances

The Mobile Money Revolution in International Remittances

Published on: Aug 27 2018 by Wayan Vota - 2 Comments
For those living in poverty or in fragile countries, remittances are a lifeline that far surpasses international aid as a source of income. If properly harnessed,...