Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation
ICTs for Development
Improving Policy Coherence
Information communication technologies (ICTs) are crucial to reducing poverty, improving
access to health and education services and creating new sources of income and employment
for the poor. Being able to access and use ICTs has become a major factor in driving
competitiveness, economic growth and social development. In the last decade, ICTs,
particularly mobile phones, have also opened up new channels for the free flow of
ideas and opinions, thereby promoting democracy and human rights.
The OECD and infoDev joined forces at a workshop on 10-11 September 2009 to examine
some of the main challenges in reducing the discrepancies in access to ICTs and use
of ICTs between developing countries. The workshop discussed best practices for more
coherent and collaborative approaches in support of poverty reduction and meeting
the Millennium Development Goals.
There is much work to be done on improving policy coherence and there is a need to
engage more actively with partner countries. Making the most of ICTs requires that
they are seen as part of innovation for development, rather than just another development
This publication examines access to ICTs, as a precondition to their use; broadband
Internet access and governments' role in making it available; developments in mobile
payments; ICT security issues; ICTs for improving environmental performance; and the
relative priority of ICTs in education.
For more information