Capturing Technology for Development

An Evaluation of World Bank Group Activities in Information and Communication Technologies

Information and communication technologies (ICT) can be leveraged for development, but harnessing this potential depends on an enabling environment for their production, diffusion, and use. Otherwise, technology can widen rather than narrow existing inequalities. Progress has been noteworthy in mobile telephony, where the gap between developing and developed countries is narrowing rapidly. But outside mobile technology, there are large and widening gaps specifically in the areas where ICT can have greatest developmental impact, such as in high-speed Internet access and broadband connectivity, the development of local information technology industries, and of ICT applications.