Practical Insights on ICT4D

what is ICT4D?

What is ICT4D?

Information and Communications Technologies for Development (ICT4D) is the use of digital solutions to magnify the intent of communities to accelerate their social and economic development.

Information and communication technologies (ICT) include hardware, software, content, and the design and implementation methodologies required for their successful adoption. ICT4D employs all technology interventions that can assist poor and marginalized people. Radio, television, mobile phones, artificial intelligence, blockchain, UAV drones, and geographic information systems are common digital tools.

Who Uses ICT4D Solutions?

ICT4D advisors use digital development approaches to deploy cutting-edge innovations in the world’s more difficult environments. They work to reduce the digital divide in education, healthcare, agriculture, and civil society. Advisors  ensure equitable access to information and communication technologies around the world, minimizing disparities in gender, geography, and wealth.

Experts in ICT4D solutions work for major donors, like USAID, DFID, and the Gates Foundation, their implementing partner organizations, and humanitarian aid organizations. They also work in national and local governments, and the private sector.

What Are ICT4D Solutions?

ICTs are deploying in multiple sectors to improve international development outcomes. Here are the three most popular ICT4D solution areas:

  • Healthcare: Mobile phone applications can help patients self-diagnose their ailments using the camera, microphone, or other sensor. Front line health workers can use electronic medical records to track patients, and healthcare managers employ big data and algorithms to see disease patterns at national scale.
  • Education: Students read eBooks to improve their reading ability while teachers employ computer-assisted adaptive testing to understand learner needs. School headmasters leverage educational management information systems to predict learning solutions.
  • Agriculture: Farmers work with drones and GIS to modernize farming practices taught by extension agents trained in online learning programs. Ministries estimate crop yields with real-time satellite data.

Examples of ICT4D Solutions

ICTworks is constantly researching emerging ICT4D programs to identify successful interventions and share lessons learned with our growing readership. You can learn more about impactful projects in the expanding list below:

Surprise! We Sell Sexy ICT4D Success Stories to Survive

Surprise! We Sell Sexy ICT4D Success Stories to Survive

Published on: Jan 17 2019 by Wayan Vota - 6 Comments
Recently, the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) commissioned a Baseline ICT4D Ecosystem Study to understand the current aspects and experiences of the digital development...
Is a Post-ICT4D World Coming? What Will You Do About It?

Is a Post-ICT4D World Coming? What Will You Do About It?

Published on: Jan 10 2019 by Wayan Vota - 6 Comments
I’m finding great unease in recent conversations with leading technology for development practitioners in Washington, DC and elsewhere. They are all nervous...
What Do We Call Ourselves Now: ICT4D? Digital Development? Or…?

What Do We Call Ourselves Now: ICT4D? Digital Development? Or…?

Published on: Sep 27 2018 by Wayan Vota - 8 Comments
Recently, a young Millennial was shocked when I said I was an ICT4D practitioner. She responded with a credulous, “Who calls it ICT4D anymore?” and...
Three Ways to Improve the Impact of ICT4D Research on International Development

Three Ways to Improve the Impact of ICT4D Research on International Development

Published on: Sep 12 2018 by Wayan Vota - Comments Off on Three Ways to Improve the Impact of ICT4D Research on International Development
A primary objective of any research field, and ICT4D is no exception, is to have a significant research impact on their domain of interest. The thrust of In ICT4D...
What is the Future of Digital Development in 2028?

What is the Future of Digital Development in 2028?

Published on: Mar 12 2018 by Guest Writer - 4 Comments
I am Jonathan Donner, Senior Director of Research at Caribou Digital, and for the USAID Digital Development Forum, I was asked to give a keynote presentation on...
Alexa, When Will Natural Language Processing Revolutionize ICT4D? Your Weekend Long Reads

Alexa, When Will Natural Language Processing Revolutionize ICT4D? Your Weekend Long Reads

Published on: Jan 27 2018 by Steve Vosloo - 1 Comment
While ICT4D innovates from the ground up, most tech we use comes from the top. Yes, it takes a little time for the prices of commercial services in Silicon Valley...
Are Your ICT4D Success Metrics Realistic or Fantastic?

Are Your ICT4D Success Metrics Realistic or Fantastic?

Published on: Jan 18 2018 by Wayan Vota - Comments Off on Are Your ICT4D Success Metrics Realistic or Fantastic?
At a past employer, my team was talking with our farmer constituents about their adoption of our new rice-growing ICTforAg technology. The team was shocked and...
What is Your ICT4D Strategy in International Development?

What is Your ICT4D Strategy in International Development?

Published on: Dec 06 2017 by Catholic Relief Services - Comments Off on What is Your ICT4D Strategy in International Development?
In a mobile-first and cloud-first world, where information comes in torrents and connectivity gets ever-closer to ubiquitous it can be tempting to assume that the...
Who Is Really Leading Your ICT4D Intervention?

Who Is Really Leading Your ICT4D Intervention?

Published on: Nov 29 2017 by Wayan Vota - 4 Comments
At a previous employer, I was always shocked at the role of the national staff in the organization. Here were some of the smartest, most dedicated professionals...
Your Current ICT4D Skills Should Be Obsolete in Five Years

Your Current ICT4D Skills Should Be Obsolete in Five Years

Published on: Nov 16 2017 by Wayan Vota - Comments Off on Your Current ICT4D Skills Should Be Obsolete in Five Years
What is the role of ICT4D professionals within an international development organization? I was recently asked this question by three large USAID implementing partners....