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The Internet and Human Development: Role of Mobile Phone?

October 29, 2009

Increasingly the mobile phone is now seen by development agencies as the ICT that can democratize communication in less-developed economies.  “Communication enabled by ICTs, notably mobiles, is instrumental in building capabilities and enhancing freedoms”, said Randy Spence and Mathew Smith of the Canadian International Development Research Centre in their second Harvard Forum on Communication and Human Development (Spence and Smith, 2009).   However, at this Forum participants, including Amartya Sen were cautious about the efficacy of the mobile for extending human freedoms, for ensuring educational opportunities, and what sorts of creative engagement it could engender.

See: Communication and Human Development: The Freedom Connection?, with Amartya Sen, Michael Spence, Yochai Benkler, Clotilde Fonseca, and moderated by Michael Best. Sponsored by IDRC  and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. 

–Spence, Randy and Matthew Smith. (2009, September 21). A Dialogue on ICTs, Human Development, Growth, and Poverty Reduction. IDRC Forum, Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University.

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