Typically, the development industry can be described as rather reactionary. While the private sector constantly drives innovation, in development things generally seem to take a bit longer. It is then not surprising that when it comes to utilizing Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in and for development, things could be more dynamic and up-to-date.
Uber Technologies Inc is the Silicon Valley-based business behind the highly successful ride-hailing app through which the company wants to transform the future of human transporting. The technology company has however not been embraced everywhere and now faces a regulatory onslaught as it is expanding in Europe. Some will compare the business with successful tech giants such as Facebook and Google, whereas others might see it as yet another example of a company setting out to solve global problems in a ”solutionist” era.
By 2020, the majority of data available worldwide will be geo located, i.e. linked to internet and mobile activity. Like all change this offers threats and opportunities to stakeholders, both to international organizations, viewed as the traditional heralds of world statistics, and the source of most of it, i.e. the Global South. The cornelian dilemma is whether and how the cyber corporations, today’s legal owners of data, are willing share this new source of competitive advantage?
As computers and mobile phones are steadily getting cheaper more people in the world gets access to the internet. In the Global South many countries have ‘leapfrogged’ to mobile devices. With the rapid spreading of digital communication technologies, many international development organisations see an opportunity to fill gaps when it comes to data information available on populations in low- and middle income countries.