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Subject: Information Technology | Issued in: 2009 | Symbol: E/ESCWA/ICTD/2009/15

Impact of ICT on Community Development in ESCWA Member Countries
أثر تكنولوجيا المعلومات والاتصالات على تنمية المجتمعات المحلية في البلدان الأعضاء في الإسكوا

Measuring the multifaceted information society is a very complex task. In the past, measurement approaches were confined to simply aggregating a variety of data on selected information and communications technology (ICT) indicators, adjusting the weight of some factors, and applying statistical tools. Those approaches, however, lacked theory and validation. While measuring the ever-changing ICT landscape might seem to be enough, this study emphasizes that societies are not exclusively driven by technology. Consequently, assessment efforts should go beyond measuring ICT diffusion and investigate the social context within which those developments are taking place.
This study describes the progress made by the international community in measuring the information society. It underlines the importance of developing a unified model that is able to address the many aspects of the information society, including the impact of ICT on community development. Moreover, it investigates evaluation mechanisms that could assess the pivotal role of telecentres in community development in the ESCWA region. The study proposes a framework and a set of indicators for measuring the impact of ICT on community development. It is hoped that such tools would greatly empower analysts to understand the effectiveness and impact of ICT for Development (ICT4D) projects and would enhance prospects for the development of the information society in the ESCWA region.

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