ICTD2016| Deploying ICTs for Development: An Evolutionary Perspective
As contemporary ICTs (information and communication technologies) become increasingly powerful and affordable, deploying them to improve the lives of the underprivileged is alluring. While the literature has mostly focused on investigating the efficacy and outcomes of ICT deployments in diverse domains, this article situates such deployments as a socially, spatially, and temporally specific outcome within shifting conceptions of development, from capitalist economic expansion to poverty eradication and inclusive growth. By so doing, the article explains why ICT deployments possess the characteristics that they do. The article highlights not only the novelty of ICTs, but also why deployments seek new forms of innovation (frugal innovation) and partnerships (which bring together historically antagonistic players such as multinational enterprises and nongovernmental organizations) in a quest to include hitherto-excluded populations (at the bottom of the pyramid).