This report, in book format, is the fifth annual report that monitors global trends related to information and communication technologies (ICTs) from a development perspective. From the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the 2010 edition gives special attention to the potential impact of ICTs in enterprises for reducing poverty and improving livelihoods. The evidence presented suggests that policymakers and other stakeholders give more attention to opportunities in this area.
The Information Economy Report 2010 includes:
- how improved access to ICTs - especially mobile phones - in low-income countries can impact on development and poverty;
- the opportunities for inhabitants of remote locations in low-income countries to get connected via ICTs; and
- the opportunities for economically poor farmers, fishermen, or entrepreneurs in urban slums to develop their businesses and livelihoods, reduce information search and transactions costs, and benefit from improved market efficiency.
The report explores policy options for countries seeking to make the most of the new opportunities to leverage ICTs and enterprise to bring tangible benefits to the economically poor. "The analysis draws on specific cases from around the world - for example (a) mobile vendors in the Gambia; (b) mobile money services in Afghanistan and Kenya; (c) "social outsourcing" in India; (d) ICT manufacturing in China; (e) animation services in Nepal; (f) village phone ladies in Bangladesh, Uganda and Ghana; (g) PC/Internet-related micro-enterprises in Nigeria; (h) ICT use by dairy farmers in Bhutan, onion growers in Ghana, fishermen in India, women weavers in Nigeria, farmers in the United Republic of Tanzania, and artisans in Viet Nam." The Statistical Annex provides data on ICT infrastructure, ICT use, the ICT sector, and ICT trade for up to 200 economies.
The table of contents includes the following:
Preface, Acknowledgements, Abbreviations, and Executive Summary
Chapter 1: Exploring the Link between Poverty, ICTs, and Enterprises
B. Characteristics and distribution of poverty
C. The evolving role of ICTs
D. The role of enterprises
E. Linking ICTs, enterprises and poverty
Chapter 2: Trends in Connectivity and Affordability
A. Trends in ICT diffusion
B. Affordability trends
Chapter 3: The ICT Sector and the Poor
A. Mapping the ICT sector
B. ICT goods manufacturing
C. IT and ICT-enabled services
D. ICT micro-enterprises and the informal sector
E. Concluding remarks
Chapter 4: ICT Use by Enterprises and Poverty Alleviation
A. Analyzing the implications of ICT use by enterprises
B. Case evidence on ICT use in value chains relevant to the poor
C. Implications of ICT use for poverty reduction
Chapter 5: The Policy Challenge
A. The need for holistic and more demand-driven policymaking
B. Implications for national policymakers
C. Implications for development partners
D. Conclusions and recommendations
References, Statistical Annex, Selected UNCTAD publications and Readership survey
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development website, November 22 2010.