Information and Communication Technologies for Development, ICT4D, is the industry and academic term for technology focused on the Emerging World. It has a large body of work including subfields encompassing Health, Education, Agriculture, etc.
Internet in the Emerging World is often oversold. Compounds view bandwidth as a cost-center, while carriers view it as a profit-center. BGAN satellite Internet is $5/Mb. Projects should plan on semi-connected architectures such as message queues.
There are more active SIMs than humans, and 68% of all humans have a mobile phone. SMS texting is ubiquitous planet-wide. FrontlineSMS and Dimagi have robust tool ecosystems for supporting technology projects using SMS. IVR Interactive Voice Response can help with literacy problems. Nearly all featurephones support J2ME.
Half of all phones are smartphones. One-third of all phones in the Emerging World are smartphones; the % is increasing rapidly. 82% of all new smartphones are Android; 97% of all smartphones in Africa are Android.
“Parachute Technology” is bringing inappropriate technology into an environment which cannot support it due to training, infrastructure, or other issues. Parachute Technology is a common problem to be avoided. The ICT Principles for Digital Development provide a set of recognized Best Practices for doing technology in the Emerging World.
Fierbaugh, Stephen. (2016, August 30) ICT4D Information and Communication Technologies for Development [Webcast]. In Tech & Field Brownbag Lunch Series. Arlington, Seed Company