The World Bank asserts that Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are no longer a luxury for developing countries. The ICT Sector Unit at the World Bank acknowledges that the world’s Information and Communication infrastructure is creating new ways of communicating, doing business and delivering services, and is a driving force behind economic development.
Several studies have documented the growing impact of mobile technology on economic development, attributing up to an .8 percent growth in economic development to an increase of just 10 mobile subscriptions per 100 people.
Among the benefits of mobile phones for communication and data collection are real-time access to information, better market information, lower transactions costs, savings in travel costs and time spent traveling, and opportunities to improve one’s livelihood.
In a recent World Bank report, IC4D 2012: Maximizing Mobile, the infoDev global partnership program within the World Bank Group reports the number of subscriptions for mobile phones in developing countries has increased from 200 million in 2000 to 3.7 billion in 2010, and the number of Internet users has grown more than tenfold.
The study also analyzes the growth and evolution of applications for mobile phones and their use in agriculture, health and financial services, employment and government. The penetration and growth of ICT networks and data collection applications for mobile phones have now created a far-reaching service delivery and citizen participation platform for under-served populations.
For more information on the initiatives of the World Bank and other organizations to harness the power of mobile phones and mobile data collection for economic development, view the articles below:
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