1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Technology and Society

Information Technologies and Social Development

  • Project from: 2000 to 2005


This project is designed to explore the institutional and policy environment affecting the likelihood that new information and communications technologies can be used to improve the lives of large numbers of people in developing countries.

Thematic studies on prominent global trends – including patterns of concentration within the global IT industry and the changing nature of international regulatory policy in this field – constitute one area of work within the project. At the same time, UNRISD is sponsoring new research by Third World scholars, businessmen and activists on the specific uses of information technologies in developing countries today. The first of these country studies has been carried out in Senegal, co-ordinated by Momar-Coumba Diop, which will be a prototype for future studies.

Readers interested in global trends should find the papers by Manuel Castells, Cees Hamelink, Robert Mc Chesney and Dan Schiller particularly interesting. They might also consult the UNRISD co-publication by Seán O’Siochrú and Bruce Girard, with Amy Mahan, titled Global Media Governance: A Beginner’s Guide (Boulder: Rowman and Littlefield/UNRISD, 2002). And they can watch for further information on a series of Briefing Papers for the World Summit on the Information Society, to be prepared within the UNRISD InfoTech network.