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Who are we?

The Information Technologies Group is a global thought leader in the area of ICTs and development. We endeavor to translate cutting edge thinking about how ICTs can improve economic development into practical projects, advice and action.

The ITG works at the intersection of business, policy and technology to understand the issues at the core of global efforts to use ICTs to enhance the economic development process.

We carry out our work through a variety of channels:
  • Core research that illustrates the impact that ICTs can have upon economic development
  • The creation of tools that global leaders can use to help guide their decision-making. 
  • Outreach in the form of seminars, workshops and (soon) teaching. 
  • Policy advocacy and advice for high level policy makers in the developing world. 
  • Participation in major international forums and policy discussions to catalyze appropriate action. 
  • Dissemination of our findings and work through writing in leading academic and mainstream journals and presentations in conferences and symposia. 
  • On-the-ground projects that explore the impact of ICTs on people’s lives and the economic development process.

We feel that most of the development paradigms of the past have not worked. The power of new technologies, and the excitement that still exists around them, offer us a chance to rethink and redesign our approaches to international development. If we can meld the lessons from the past with the potential of ICTs in the present and future, we feel that we can positively change the world.

What is the Need?

While the growth of the Internet and the growing "digitalization of society" are much heralded events in more developed countries, this is not true for much of the world. Most of the world has never seen a computer, let alone participated in the global information and communication networks that leaders in business, health and education now rely upon.

Leaders in the developing world are concerned by this, and are asking important questions:

  • How can information technologies help their businesses, governments and communities become more productive? 
  • What policies are best developed to jumpstart economic activity with ICTs? 
  • How can they attract needed investments to revitalize their economies with new technologies? 
  • How can the learning process be enhanced through the incorporation of ICTs? How can the many mistakes of the past be avoided?
  • Can ICTs improve global health through better training, better access to information and more efficient logistics and coordination of health care? 
  • Can governments better fulfill their mandates by using ICTs to improve their dealings with their citizens, businesses, other governments and themselves? 
  • What are the best practices globally?

Our work at ITG attempts to fulfill these need and to answer these questions.

It is a considerable challenge – we are always looking for collaborators and supporters.



International Technologies Group • Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School •
1587 Massachusetts Avenue • Cambridge, MA 02138 • USA
Copyright © 2002 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College

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