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The Role of ICT in poverty eradication

The Role of ICT in poverty eradication

Technological developments are creating new opportunities for the achievement of positive outcomes in poverty eradication across the world. The first effect is that ICT increases awareness and literacy levels in communities across the world. The more educated a population is, the more likely that it will be able to embrace practices that promote its growth and development. The technology ensures that people are able to access new ideas and solutions to both existing and emerging problems. Most importantly, the transformation of poor communities to smart villages increases access to social services and provides opportunities for social-economic mobility.

Fig 1 The concept of smart villages (Kanishk, 2014).

Government response

Governments across the world have recognized the positive effects of technology in positioning them to reduce poverty. As such, they have invested heavily in ICT infrastructure and access to the internet to promote inclusive growth and development. They are embracing the deregulation of the ICT sector. This is expecting to increase access to affordable internet services.

Digital in development

The term digital in development has emerged in reference to the use of technology by development partners with the aim of tackling poverty across communities in modern society. Digital for development refers to the design and development of tools that can be used in tackling poverty across the world (Tony, 2019). Stakeholders in the development sector have accepted that ICT is crucial in widening the reach of development programs.

Challenges in the use of ICT in poverty eradication

However, the use of technology in poverty eradication has been undermined by the interests that shape policy decisions and development agenda. For example, there are concerns that Big Tech is influencing the digitization of development to entrench its position in emerging markets. In addition, there are growing concerns that the adoption of technology in the development sector is alienating many groups.

According to Jackson (2019), technology has been observed to entrench racial, social and economic inequalities because of the flawed decisions made by actors in the development ecosystem. In other words, technology poses the risk of entrenching poverty among some groups at the expense of others. It is evident that technology can push some communities into poverty while enriching a few. Therefore, this observation calls for a strategic effort aimed at ensuring that technology works for everyone.

Technological Innovations and development

Innovations such as mobile banking have transformed economies around the world and created opportunities for increased participation in the financial sector. Inclusive financial services are essential in enabling society to serve the needs of different groups. They are vital in ensuring that communities are able to respond to evolving challenges in their business environment.

The rise in mobile healthcare has created an opportunity for increasing access to quality healthcare services. Technology has contributed to an improvement in the quality of human life. More people have access to healthcare information that enables them to make informed lifestyle choices and to seek preventive care. In addition, technology is contributing to an improvement in healthcare indicators in poor communities.

Technological advancements have a lot of potentials to disrupt the agricultural sector. In most poor communities across the world, agriculture is mainly used to fulfill subsistence needs, is dominated by retired persons and elderly seniors and is inefficient. Technology is contributing to an increase in the adoption of digital tools such as drones, automated water pumps, and farm management systems aimed at improving productivity. However, there is the potential that technology may increase access to new markets. Technology has the potential to increase the accuracy of weather forecasts and to allow farmers to plan more effectively in their farming practices.

Technology has demonstrated that it can be a force for good or bad in poverty eradication. Stakeholders should implement effective intervention measures to ensure that technology has a positive effect on agricultural communities. It is essential to create a framework that promotes inclusive growth and development. It is evident that organizations can adopt strategic measures to ensure that technological developments promote inclusive growth and address the needs of vulnerable populations.

The development of technology in rural communities bridges the gap with urban areas by allowing farmers to have access to a global market. Technology creates opportunities for data-driven policy-making and governance. The practice is vital in ensuring that poor communities receive the resources and support they need to achieve their goals. It is crucial in giving poor communities a voice through social media and online programs in the development sector. In addition, the growth of digital economies creates opportunities for people from poor communities to provide services and sell goods in the global marketplace. Similarly, technology is broadening the opportunities that are available to poor communities to achieve social-economic mobility.

In conclusion, technological innovations have created new tools that can be used to eradicate poverty across the world. Their success will be determined by the allocation of adequate resources and appropriate policy tools to support the utilization of technology. It is important to ensure that inclusive approaches are used in the adoption of technology. This will prevent the entrenchment of poverty among some groups while creating opportunities for only a few.

References

Jackson, J. (2019). Black communities are already living in a Tech dystopia. Retrieved from https://fair.org/home/black-communities-are-already-living-in-a-tech-dystopia/

Kanishk. (2014). Poverty eradication. Retrieved from https://www.slideshare.net/kanishk03/poverty-eradication

Tony. (2019). Digital Development what is in a name? Retrieved from http://appropriatingtechnology.org/?q=node/302

One comment

  1. Katja Gru

    Great article Masud! The presented material is a great source for those who never touched upon this subject and never heard of ICT. Interesting to know rather there is another side of this coin, what are disadvantages of ICT intrusion and what this massive development could have for side effects?

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