Evaluating and understanding the challenges and potential of ICT based aid to least developed countries: A case study in the Lao PDR
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This thesis describes the challenges and benefits of introducing new information and communications technologies (ICT) to developing countries using a field case study of the Lao PDR as an example. The thesis starts by describing the visions and plans defined by the United Nations (UN) when it proposed ICTs as important tools for developing countries to move towards UN defined development goals. Specifically, the UN proposed that inclusion in the information society would have social and economic benefits for developing countries. Areas thought to have great potential to benefit from ICTs are education, health, farming and government. The Lao PDR, a Land Locked and Least Developed Country was chosen for a field study to reveal the Lao peoples´ understanding of the benefits and challenges from using ICTs and to investigate the potential for achieving the UN strategic development goals through ICT development aid. Interviews were carried out with representatives from the educational sector, the government and donor organizations. These findings are the framework for developing the Country Design Development Project (CDDP) model The main feature of the model is the emphasis on knowledge of the target group to tailor ICT developing projects to their specific needs. Applying the model can add important insight to the theoretical and macro perspective provided by international organizations such as the UN. This can give support to the idea that ICT can be used to foster social and economic development in a developing country. Keywords: ICT, Development, Field Studies, the Lao PDR.
PublisherThe University of Bergen
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