ICTs and the Millennium Development Goals

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have set targets for development, and ICTs have a role to play. For background reading, the sections entitled ‘achievements towards the MDGs’ and ‘ICTs and the MDGs’ present mainly policy-level documents that examine the link between ICTs and MDGs. The specific focus of ICTs in health-related MDGs is less well documented; however there are still some key documents, which are presented here, again mainly at policy level.

The research for this list was carried out by a team of researchers working on an infoDev contract to explore the use of ICTs in the health sector in developing countries. The research team was led by a consortium involving Healthlink Worldwide, AfriAfya and the Institute for Sustainable Health Education for Development. Source welcomes additions to this list. Please email any resources you know to be useful (such as printed materials, websites, CD-ROMs, programme evaluations, organisations) to sourceassistant@hi-uk.org.

Selected resources

Achievements toward the MDGs

Human development report 2005 : international cooperation at a crossroads. Aid, trade and security in an unequal world

WATKINS, Kevin
2005

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The 2005 report takes stock of human development, including progress towards the MDGs. Looking beyond statistics, it highlights the human costs of missed targets and broken promises. Extreme inequality between countries and within countries is identified as one of the main barriers to human development and as a powerful brake on accelerated progress towards the MDGs. The report argues that poverty and inequality need urgent attention. It gives a comparison of life expectancy in various countries and puts forward a case that the response from the international community to HIV/AIDS pandemic has been lacking. The report indicates that child mortality has been on the rise compared to the 1980s when the trend had been reversed

Health-focused MDGs

Health and the Millennium Development Goals

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO)
2005

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The report presents data on progress on the health goals and targets. It looks beyond the numbers to analyse why improvements in health have been slow and to suggest what must be done to change this. The report points to weak and inequitable health systems as a key obstacle, including particularly a crisis in health personnel and the urgent need for sustainable health financing

ICTs and the MDGs

Development policy guidelines for ICT and the information society

MINISTRY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF FINLAND
March 2005

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These guidelines are designed to help development cooperation activities achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals, through greater accessibility to information and communication technology, and the creation of information societies in developing countries. The document calls for the mainstreaming of ICT into almost all sectors of development policy. The creation of a sustainable information society, it is argued, rests on the development of four complementary areas: political strategies and regulatory framework; information and knowledge; knowledge economy; infrastructure and availability of ICT. Several examples are used to support the claims

How ICTs can help achieve the Millennium Development Goals

2003

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Report prepared for the Joint OECD/UN/World Bank Global Forum "Integrating ICT in Development Programs" held on 16 March 2003. It presents the goals and targets adopted in the Millennium Declaration and shows how ICTs might be utilised in reaching them. It is intended for use in compiling notes on best practice

ICT and MDGs : a World Bank Group perspective

WORLD BANK GROUP
December 2003

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A 2003 policy paper from the World Bank on the relationship between ICT and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The main objectives of this report are: (i) to illustrate the opportunities ICT offers policy makers and practitioners in their efforts to achieve the MDGs, with the assumption that the appropriate policies and institutions exist or will be forthcoming; and (ii) to highlight selected World Bank Group funded projects with an ICT component which have contributed to the intended development outcomes. "The report does not aim to establish proven empirical links between ICT and the achievement of the MDGs, but to illustrate the positive impact ICT can make as an enabling tool for development." Includes a section on ICT and health MDGs

Innovation and investment : information and communication technologies and the Millennium Development Goals

GILHOOLY, Denis
2005

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The intersection of ICT and the MDGs forms a critical nexus for the future of sustainable human development and poverty eradication. This paper argues that while the means to meet the challenge for scaling up innovation and investment in ICT for development are actually close at hand, the so-called "digital divide" has shifted perilously in recent years to the detriment of the poorest and Least Developed Countries (LDCs), with major missed opportunities for the achievement of the MDGs

Measuring and enhancing the impact of ICTs on the MDGs

WILD, Kate
February 2003

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This discussion paper explores the feasibility of creating tools for documenting ICT projects, evaluating their results and measuring their impact. The paper provides an assessment of the quantitative (indicators of national e-readiness) and qualitative (case studies and stories) components of the knowledge base on ICTs for development, and a very selective review of ICT experience relevant to the poverty reduction, education, health and sustainable development goals