The Global Community project on Information Technologies and Social Development is designed to explore the institutional and policy
environment affecting the likelihood that new information and communications technologies can be used to improve the lives of large
numbers of people in low-income countries.
In low-income countries where institutions exist and provide a positive learning environment, improved access to information or communications is a vital element in people's potential well-being.
Information and communications technologies (ICTs) such as the Internet can play a role in improving the level of living and quality of
life of people.
Low-income countries depend on development assistance and on foreign institutions to create both an adequate telecommunications
infrastructure and a regulatory framework. A relative lack of access to ICT is a strategic disadvantage that should be tackled
distinctly from the multitude of other development challenges.
In some cases, Internet use may prove too expensive or too difficult for local people to maintain, and thus be unsustainable. And in others,
the Internet is simply not the best medium for supporting local socioeconomic and political progress.
In many low-countries mobile telephones have transformed people's quality of life. Digital radio stations are reaching a wide public
in an interactive way through call-in programmes.
Monitoring of local elections are reported by radio. Satellite television enormously expands the range of programming
Video cassettes provide uncensored news to a network of viewers, at the same time that cassettes
allow millions of migrants to stay in touch with their families back home.