ICT for development and the novel principles of the Sustainable Development Goals

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Abstract

With the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the United Nations (UN) presented their ambitions for the years until 2030. These new goals also present a new point of reference for the UN’s work on Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D), meaning the use of ICTs in support of the international development agenda. Despite a growing amount of research regarding the potential of ICTs to accelerate progress towards individual SDGs, the actual link between ICTs and the underlying principles of the SDG agenda remains rather opaque. In this paper, we focus on the SDGs’ novel principles of universal, global and integrated development. Based on an analysis of 120 ICT-related publications by different UN entities, we explore to what extent these principles are being applied in their work on ICT4D. In particular, we identify a gap in the application of the SDGs’ integrated principle, as a majority of documents make no explicit references to side effects of the use of ICTs. The findings allow us to identify challenges in implementing the SDGs in ICT4D, and to discuss how future research can contribute to bridging the current gaps.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1495-1514
Number of pages20
JournalThird World Quarterly
Volume43
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2022

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