Primer 1 is designed to provide background information that students in undergraduate and graduate programmes can use as a starting point in the exploration of the various dimensions of the linkages through case studies of ICT applications in key sectors of development in Asia-Pacific countries.
As the youth of today go on to occupy leadership positions in society in the coming years, and assume the roles of policymakers and key decision makers in government, academia, private sector and civil society, their ability to recognize and leverage the link between ICTs and developmental goals will prove crucial. From this perspective, creating a critical mass of future leaders and decision makers with a comprehensive understanding of the potential of ICT for development (ICTD) and having the essential skills to tap the opportunities presented by ICTs is a pressing requirement. Yet, extensive research and assessment by APCICT reveal that there is a gap between this urgent need and the actual provision of opportunities for young people to gain knowledge and experience in the area of ICTD.
To fill the gap, the United Nations Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Informaiton and Communication Technology for Development’s “Primer Series on ICTD for Youth” (Primer Series) aims to impart to university and college students an understanding of how ICTs can be effectively used to improve the lives of people across the Asia-Pacific region. This Primer Series is part of a wider programme of APCICT—“Turning Today’s Youth into Tomorrow’s Leaders”—which is focused on building the ICTD capacity of the next generation of leaders.
Primer 1: An Introduction to ICT for Development seeks to provide an introduction to and preliminary understanding of the linkages between ICTs and the achievement of the human development goals in society. Today, this newly emerging academic discipline is called ICT for Development (ICTD or ICT4D).
The Primer is designed to provide background information that students in undergraduate and graduate programmes can use as a starting point in the exploration of the various dimensions of the linkages through case studies of ICT applications in key sectors of development in Asia-Pacific countries. The aim is to foster a better multidisciplinary understanding of how ICTs can be used for social and economic development, and to equip students of different fields, from engineering to the social sciences with the understanding needed to use ICTs to meet a country’s development goals and needs. This primer can be used by all students, it does not focus on any aspect in detail; and it seeks to avoid the technical jargon that a specialized study of any aspect of ICTD may entail.