One of the foremost decisions confronting developing countries is that of establishing the right technological choices. How does one from an intensive technological culture reach out to impoverished and third world countries in a relevant way? The answer is through appropriate technology movements. Appropriate technology “is generally recognized as encompassing technological choice and application that is small-scale, labor-intensive, energy-efficient, environmentally sound, and locally controlled” (“Appropriate Technology”). This can be applied in building and construction, agriculture, water and sanitation, energy generation, transportation, health care, food preparation and storage, finance, and information and communication technologies.
An example of appropriate information and communication technology is the “One Laptop per Child” initiative, whose goal is to provide sturdy, low cost and low power computers for children in third world countries. According to the International Telecommunication Union, mobile technology is the primary technology that will bridge in the least developed countries. Mobile phones are also gaining prominence in accessing the Internet, and power lines and satellite communications are offering new possibilities of access, particularly to rural areas. Since this is not an extensive overview of appropriate information and communications technology, I encourage you to do further research.
The Digital Divide refers to the “differing amount of information between those who have access to the Internet and those who do not have access” (“The Digital Divide, ITC and the 50 x 15 Initiative”). The difference is determined by access to information and communication technologies, as well as the availability of this access at an affordable cost. “Arguments regarding why closing the digital divide is important” (“The Digital Divide, ITC and the 50 x 15 Initiative”) include economic equality, social mobility, democracy, and economic growth. I came across statistics in regards to digital access, and it is given by list of countries with respects to their Digital Access Index (DAI) rating. The countries are listed from the highest access countries to the lowest, and the list also shows those countries not in the DAI list. As of right now, Sweden is placed at the top of the high access countries and Niger at the bottom of the low access countries. I found the listing very interesting, so if you’d like, click here to see these statistics.
“Appropriate Technology.” . N.p.. Web. 16 Oct 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appropriate_technology>.
“The Digital Divide, ITC and the 50 x 15 Initiative.” Internet World Stats. N.p.. Web. 16 Oct 2012. <http://www.internetworldstats.com/links10.htm>.