Technology in Developing Economies

There should be no difference among regions, urban or rural, among men and women, young and senior, when it comes to access to the IT society. The information brings equal opportunities to everybody and this — together with the use of modern technologies, are the key to changing our lives for the better. Mr. Benoit Blarel, the head of the Bucharest World Bank Office

Technological advancement means globalization, and globalization means cultural change. This section will examine the cultural consequences — both helpful and harmful — of the spread of technology in developing countries.

The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number

Technological dissemination, particularly since the advent of the Internet, is touted as a powerful weapon of democracy. Proponents of rapid information technology development in the third world argue that the benefits of introducing modern technology far outweigh the costs, economic and otherwise. The tools of the Information Age taken for granted by developed nations have power to bring health and wealth to the developing world like never before.

Organizations in the developed world are devoting enormous amounts of time and resources into technological infrastructure and computing-based education in the developing world. Their large-scale projects are dedicated to the goal of providing IT access to as many people as possible, which will ostensibly empower them to realize financial, educational, and social gains. These organizations include government-supported lending organizations as well as private businesses.

by Joe Cackler, Emily Gu, and Mike Rodgers
for CS 201: Computers, Ethics, and Social Responsibility
at Stanford University
on March 17, 2008