ICTs and Inclusive Sustainable Development

Today in class we discussed Information and Communication Technology (ICTs) and its implication in regards to its increasing role in global governance as well as the disparities of technological access between the Global North and Global South.

Throughout the discussion we focused on two primary documents The Missing Link and Falling Through The NET. The Missing Link is a document produced by the International Telecommunication Union, which is a United Nations organization and today I found out that it is the oldest UN organization. The Missing Link discusses telecommunication disparities throughout the rural global south and how lack of access to telephones presents security and financial concerns due to the fact that when people are not able to telecommunicate they are immediately isolated thus placing them in vulnerable situations. What I found interesting about The Missing Link is that it alludes to the digital divide that is an ongoing discussion presently within my academic, professional and personal circles. But what also shocked me is that presently there are people without telecommunication access and is a concept I would like to explore more in-depth. Falling Through The NET is a document created by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and discusses the lack of access to the internet also known as digital data transfers. Both documents go hand in hand with one another, always reminding those who do have access to remain cognizant that access whether it be through telecommunication or via the internet, is a privilege and luxury that majority of the world is not allotted and are freedoms that should not be taken for granted.

Although we did not fully address the WSIS Forum, the article that was assigned to the class, did introduce a new subject of ICTs and their use for global governance. The WSIS forum is the World Summit on the Information Society, the summit was hosted 25-29 May in 2015 with the purpose to create linkages that maximize ICTs in order to promote development goals. This particular document creates a matrix that I found interesting and helpful especially in regards to the proposed indicators which could be useful within my research paper. The proposed indicators where broken down by the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) that correlate with it. Overall, I though the document was beneficial to read as well extremely helpful establishing the connection between ICTs and the SDGs.

One important takeaway from this class was that the digital divide is a crucial aspect to acknowledge within my research, and future research. This class session also reinforced the importance of access to the internet and basic telecommunications, and that having the ability to be and maintain connection with others correlates directly to the physical and financial health of one’s self.