Does IT Help or Not?: Computers for Development in the Andes

Does IT Help or Not?: Computers for Development in the Andes

Antonio Díaz Andrade (Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-997-2.ch004
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The number of initiatives aiming at improving people’s living conditions through the provision of information and communication technology (ICT) has been increasing around the globe during the last decade. However, the mere provision of ICT tools is not enough to achieve such goals as this chapter illustrates through the examination of the existent conditions in Huanico, a remote village in the northern Peruvian Andes. Using an interpretive case study design, the author analyzes and explains why under circumstances of severe scarcity and geographical isolation computers can do little in helping local people. The findings challenge the sometimes over-optimistic stances on ICT benefits adopted by international development agencies and governments. Conversely, it confirms the need to provide basic infrastructure and stresses the importance of establishing priorities correctly before launching any ICT for development initiative.

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