Information and Communicative Technologies (ICT’s) play a crucial role in sustainable development. ICT’s allow the quick and efficient spread of information across wide distances. They let people participate and collaborate on projects that would otherwise be inaccessible to them. Part of developing sustainably is finding new ideas and insights that no one has yet considered to be a solution. If not everyone can participate in the creation of solutions, there are thousands of human resources with knowledge, insights, and ideas that are being lost. From a very realist perspective, it is a loss of human capital that could theoretically be used to improve civilization. In additions, ICT’s ensure that information about governments and policies is available to all people and can be accessed easily. This bolsters transparency and breaks down walls that divide people from their governments. Part of sustainable development is political freedom. If the people are disconnected from the people and institutions that govern them, how will society develop at all? If one applies this to disability inclusive development, participation can be a major problem for those with disabilities. For example, a family friend of mine is a quadriplegic who has no motor control below the neck. One would think that accessing systems of governance would be nearly impossible for him. However due to his expertise in computers and privilege to access technologies he has been a member of my town council for over 10 years. ICT investment leads to online translators, screenreaders, training seminars, and much more. ICT’s also keep the outside world updated on developments in sustainability for a particular country. ICT’s allow everyday citizens to judge the progress of a state and keep them motivated towards progress.
ICT’s work very well when applied to the Sustainable Development Goals. There is a strong connection between goal #4 quality education and information technology. Schools are starting to integrate online learning and technological innovations into education at all levels. While the integration of ICT’s is evident at a secondary level, given the nature of this class, I believe integration of ICT’s at a primary level deserves more attention. Primary education, particularly in the Western world, is very standardized in order to measure the progress of all children at an even level. However, this standardization excludes young students who aren’t able to fit this model and very brilliant students are left behind. In less developed states students may not have the access to the resources and knowledge to educate themselves as much as they’d like. ICT’s can aid in giving all students the same access to educational resources, no matter where they reside or if they have a disability. ICT’s also aid in Goal #9, developing industry, innovation, and infrastructure. ICT’s increase the flow of information across borders and distances. This allows industries to reach new areas and economic opportunities they may not have had access to previously. Meanwhile, ICT’s challenge people to make new technologies and innovations that will benefit the world in the future. Lastly, ICT’s aid in reducing inequalities, Goal #10. Disparities in technological access prevent many developing communities from using the same resources to build socially and economically. The Maitland Commission Report and the World Summit on the Information Society both advocate for integrating technology into developing communities at affordable rates. Technology is expensive but it would be unjust to prevent whole groups of people from accessing these technologies simply because they do not have the wealth to do so. A global effort to create strategies and policies that place infrastructure for technological development is integral to sustainable development.