Computer technology for developing areas

Computer technology for developing areas

Computer technology for developing areas is the donation of technology to developing areas by individuals and organizations (often charitable). However, donating technology without first coordinating its use, maintenance and final disposal can lead to misuse and potential problems.[1]



Developing countries lag far behind other nations with internet access and usage. For example, on average only 1 in 130 people in Africa has a computer[2] while in North America and Europe 1 in every 2 people have access to the Internet.[3] 90% of students in Africa have never touched a computer.[4]

Local networks can provide significant access to software and information even without utilizing an internet connection, for example through use of the Wikipedia CD Selection or the eGranary Digital Library.

Sources of hardware

Inexpensive new computers initiatives

Initiatives such as the $100 computer, Raspberry_Pi and the Sakshat Tablet are intended to provide rugged technology at a price affordable for mass deployments. The World Bank surveyed the available ICT (Information and communication technologies for development) devices in 2010.[5]

Electronic waste statistics Press Release

Unep, NEMA and Uganda Cleaner Production Centre

{{situational analysis of e waste in uganda}} uganda typically has both repair and refurbishers of computers. In some countries charitable NPOs can give tax-deductible donation receipts for computers they're able to refurbish or otherwise reuse. Increased use of technology especially in ICT, low initial cost, and unplanned obsolescence of electrical and electronic equipment has led to an e-waste generation problem for Uganda. A Joint Team from UNEP, NEMA and UCPC, Estimate the current e-waste generated in Uganda at 10,300 tonnes from refrigerators, 3,300tonnes from TVs, 2,600 tones from personal computers, 300 tonnes from printers and 170tonnes from mobile phones. However, as a result of the ban of used electronics, the accumulation of e-waste from 2010 to 2011 has reduced by a percentage of 40% An e-learning strategy is being developed consultatively involving various stakeholders in the environment sector which yet Uganda has no e-waste recycler with capacity to cab down the problem of accumulation of e-waste. List of Charitable organistaions

Microsoft Corporation has a global list of approximately 1,800 Registered Refurbishers - however, the size of these refurbishers varies very greatly.

Problems encountered

A 2010 research report from the Governance and Social Development Resource Centre[12] found "Very few ICT4D activities have proved sustainable... Recent research has stressed the need to shift from a technology-led approach, where the emphasis is on technical innovation towards an approach that emphasises innovative use of already established technology (mobiles, radio, television)."[13] However, of 27 applications of ICTs for development, E-government, E-learning and E-health were found to be possible of great success, as well as the strengthening of social networks and boosting of security (particularly of women).

One key problem is the ability of the recipients to maintain the donated technology and teach others its use.[14]

Another significant problem can be the selection of software installed on technology[15] - instructors trained in one set of software (for example Ubuntu[16]) can be expected to have difficulty in navigating computers donated with different software (for example Windows XP).

A pressing problem is also the misuse of Electronic waste in dangerous ways. Burning technology to obtain the metals inside will release toxic fumes into the air.[17] (Certification of recyclers to e-Stewards or R2 Solutions standards is intended to preclude environmental pollution.)

Finally, while the training, support, hardware and software may all be donated, it is rare for another vital component of technology, Internet access, to be made available at a discounted rate. "In about half the countries in Africa, one year of [dial-up] Internet supply will cost more than the average annual income."[18][19]

See also


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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