February 2005

ICTs and the MDGs: On the wrong track?

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The purpose of this article is to prompt some questioning of current “e-Development” priorities. We have too readily assumed that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) must be the priority for application of ICTs. Yet the MDGs themselves can be challenged, as can the relevance of applying ICTs to those goals. This article will argue that we ought at least to be considering some different priorities if we want to make most effective use of the opportunities that new technology affords.

Questioning the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
Setting up of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the UN is an attempt to directly address fundamental injustices and inequities that currently blight our planet. It will be fallacious to assume that like Mother Teresa, MDGs are on the side of the angels, and we should follow their lead without questioning them. It might be true that their hearts are in the right place but development should be guided more by the head than by the heart, and we certainly have the right to question these goals.

We can firstly question them from a political angle. The MDGs arose as a counter-blast to the perceived failure of the 'neo-liberal' agenda

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