Loose Strands: Searching for Evidence of Public Access ICT on Development
Type of work: Communication
Categories:ICT Infrastructure | ICT4D
Telecenters, libraries and internet cafés are often credited as being important venues for making information and communication technologies (ICTs) more widely available for people in developing and developed countries. Although numerous case studies and evaluations show the contribution public venues can make to socio-economic development within certain contexts, the body of research provides a fragmented view of outcomes and impacts of public access ICTs in general. This paper uses a broad outcomes approach to review existing research on the impacts of public access to ICTs, including the extent to which public access ICTs are used and how they contribute to socio-economic development. We find that most research adds primarily to the body of knowledge on public access ICT operational conditions, users and uses. While some insights are provided into what may be classified as outcomes and impacts, there is relatively limited hard evidence at this level.