ICT has the potential to improve the quality and efficiency of cooperation and development efforts. However, there is a risk that ICT-enabled development projects will worsen the digital divide between urban and rural areas. It is therefore crucial to involve rural areas early in these development efforts, to make sure that their specific needs are addressed. Experiences in the field of health and healthcare have shown the potential of multilateral co-operation, the involvement of the periphery and the importance of supporting local contents development. Obviously, one of the challenges is to find sustainable ways to promote the ICT development of remote, rural communities. It is likely that specific solutions will be needed in different cultural and social contexts, but that replicable concepts will be identified. The proposed project, the “e-well”, based on a pilot implementation in rural Mali, will enable a reciprocal learning from parallel experiences of ICT-enabled multi-sectoral, integrated development plans, in several villages from different settings in Western Africa.
Key wordsdeveloping countries Digital Divide Internet access rural areas sustainable development tele-medicine
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