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ICT (Information and Communication Technology)

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is often used as an extended synonym for Information Technology (IT), but is a more specific term that stresses the role of unified communications and the integration of telecommunications (telephone lines and wireless signals), computers as well as necessary enterprise software, middleware, storage, and audio-visual systems, which enable users to access, store, transmit, and manipulate information. The term ICT is now also used to refer to the convergence of audio-visual and telephone networ s with computer networ s through a single cabling or lin system. There are large economic incentives (huge cost savings due to elimination of the telephone networ ) to merge the audio-visual, building management and telephone networ with the computer networ system using a single unified system of cabling, signal distribution and management. The term Infocommunications is sometimes used interchangeably with ICT. In fact Infocommunications is the expansion of telecommunications with information processing and content handling functions on a common digital technology base. ICT came with the information age. The Information !ge (also nown as the Computer !ge, "igital !ge, or #ew $edia !ge) is a period in human history characteri%ed by the shift from traditional industry that the industrial revolution brought through industriali%ation, to an economy based on information computeri%ation. The onset of the Information !ge is associated with the "igital &evolution, 'ust as the Industrial &evolution mar ed the onset of the Industrial !ge. The digital revolution and computer based economy reached its pic with ICT. (or ing field for ICT is vast) in fact the whole society*s development now depends on ICT. !ctually more and better information and communication furthers the development of a society. The use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the fields of socioeconomic development, international development and human rights is beyond imagination. It also covers the area of community development, poverty, agriculture, healthcare, and basic education. ICT is wor ing to bring appropriate technology to aid economic development by fostering e+uitable access to modern communications technologies. It is a powerful tool for economic and social development. The use of ICT in weather forecasting is broad. #owadays, weather forecasting offices are using mass media to inform the public on weather updates. !fter Tropical ,torm -ndoy in the .hilippines, the /ilipino people are more curious and aware about the weather ha%ards. $eteorological offices are also using advanced tools to monitor the weather and the weather systems that may affect a certain area. Climate change is a global phenomenon affecting the lives of man ind. In time of calamities we need information and communication technology for disaster management.

0arious organi%ations, government agencies and small and large-scale research pro'ects have been exploring the use of ICT for relief operations, providing early warnings and monitoring extreme weather events. ! review of new ICTs and climate change in developing countries highlighted that ICT can be used for (1) $onitoring2 observing, detecting and predicting, and informing science and decision ma ing) (3) "isaster management2 supporting emergency response through communications and information sharing, and providing early warning systems) and (4) !daptation2 supporting environmental, health and resource management activities, up-scaling technologies and building resilience. !ccording to (orld 5ealth -rgani%ation ((5-), 167 of the world8s total population have disabilities. This is approximately 9:: million people wherein three out of every four are living in developing countries, half are of wor ing age, half are women and the highest incidence and prevalence of disabilities occurs in poor areas. (ith ICT, lives of people with disabilities can be improved, allowing them to have a better interaction in society by widening their scope of activities. ;oals of ICT and "isability (or

;ive disabled people a powerful tool in their battle to gain employment Increase disabled people*s s ills, confidence, and self-esteem Integrate disabled people socially and economically into their communities) &educe physical or functional barriers and enlarge scope of activities available to disabled persons

;lobali%ation and technological change are one of the main goals of ICT. -ne of its main sectors that should be changed and modified is education. ICTs greatly facilitate the ac+uisition and absorption of nowledge) offering developing countries unprecedented opportunities to enhance educational systems, improve policy formulation and execution, and widen the range of opportunities for business and the poor. -ne of the greatest hardships endured by the poor, and by many others, who live in the poorest countries, is their sense of isolation. The new communications technologies promise to reduce that sense of isolation, and open access to nowledge in ways unimaginable not long ago. ,ince the education sector plays a vital role in economic development, <ducation ,ystem in developing countries should align with the fast evolving technology because technological literacy is one of the re+uired s ills in our current era. ICT can enhance the +uality of education by increasing learner motivation and engagement, by facilitating the ac+uisition of basic s ills and by enhancing teacher training which will eventually improve communication and exchange of information that will strengthen and create economic and social development. <ver since people have this natural way of thin ing on how they can survive and ma e a living by harvesting crops used for food and fiber, raising livestoc such as cow, sheep and poultry that produces animal products li e wool, dairy and eggs, catching fish or any edible marine life for food or for sale, forestry and logging to grow and harvest timber to

build shelter. (ith agriculture, people learned and ac+uired nowledge through sharing information with each other but of course this is not enough as there are also changes and developments in agriculture. /armers should be able to ta e hold of updated information li e prices, production techni+ues, services, storage, processing and the li e. <vidently, updated information with the change and developments in agriculture can be addressed by the effective use of ICT (the Internet, mobile phone, and other digital technologies). .oor families in the rural areas have limited or no access at all to information and communication technology. 5owever, these people also needs access to ICT since this technology would help lessen their expenses on their resources li e time, labor, energy, and physical resources, thus, would have a greater positive impact on their livelihoods and incomes. The lives of the rural poor could be alleviated through the application of information and communication technology through the following2 1. =y supplying information to inform the policies, institutions, and processes that affect their livelihood options. 3. =y providing access to information needed in order to pursue their livelihood strategies, including2

Financial Capital > online and mobile ban ing will allow rural poor to have greater access to ban ing facilities and provide a secure place for cash deposits and remittances. Human Capital > using ICT will allow intermediaries or nowledge providers impart updated nowledge, techni+ues and new developments in technology to the locals. Physical Capital > service providers will be able to monitor access to local services. Natural Capital > access to information about availability and management of natural resources will be enhanced. !lso, mar et access for agricultural products will be enforced. ?astly, ICT could provide early warning systems to reduce the ha%ard to natural disasters and food shortages. Social Capital > connectivity, social networ ing, and contact for geographically disparate households will be reinforced.

In the advent of ICT it offers new opportunities to support development of the rural livelihoods. It strengthens the production and increased mar et coordination which are the main processes that can contribute to the future opportunity of the sector and create income for the people that depend on it.

/armers who have better access to ICT have better lives because of the following2 1. !ccess to price information > farmers will be informed of the accurate current prices and the demands of the products. 5ence, they will be able to competitively negotiate in the agricultural economy and their incomes will be improved. 3. !ccess to agriculture information > according to the review of global and national agricultural information systems done by IIC" with support from "/I" in 3::4, there is a need for coordination and streamlining of existing agriculture information sources, both internationally and within the developing countries. The information provided is usually too scientific that farmers cannot comprehend. Therefore, it is vital that the local information to be relayed to the farmers must be simplified. 4. !ccess to national and international mar ets > Increasing the level of access of farmers is very vital in order to simplify contact between the sellers and the buyers, to publici%e agricultural exports, facilitate online trading, and increase the awareness of producers on potential mar et opportunities including consumer and price trends. @. Increasing production efficiency > due to several environmental threats such as climate change, drought, poor soil, erosion and pests, the livelihood of farmers are unstable. Thus, the flow of information regarding new techni+ues in production would open up new opportunities to farmers by documenting and sharing their experiences. 6. Creating a conducive policy environment > through the flow of information from the farmers to policy ma ers, a favorable policy on development and sustainable growth of the agriculture sector will be achieved.

In 3::4, the (orld ,ummit on the Information ,ociety ((,I,) held in ;eneva, ,wit%erland came up with concrete steps on how ICT can support sustainable development in the fields of public administration, business, education and training, health, employment, environment, agriculture and science. The (,I, .lan of !ction identified the following as sectors that can benefit from the applications of ICT2

E-go ernment

The e-government action plan involves applications aimed at promoting transparency to improve efficiency and strengthen citi%en relations) needs-based initiatives and services to achieve a more efficient allocation of resources and public goods) and international cooperation initiatives to enhance transparency, accountability and efficiency at all levels of government.

E-!usiness

;overnments, international organi%ations and the private sector are encouraged to promote the benefits of international trade and e-business) stimulate private sector investment, foster new applications, content development and publicAprivate partnerships) and adapt policies that favor assistance to and growth of ,$$<s in the ICT industry to stimulate economic growth and 'ob creation. ! specific sector that has received some attention has been tourism. &oger 5arris was perhaps one of the first to showcase the possible benefits. 5is wor focused on a remote location in $alaysia and highlighted some of the possibilities of small tourism operators using the internet. -thers have shown the possibilities for small tourism operators in using the internet and ICT to improve business and local livelihoods.

E-learning

Capacity building and ICT literacy are essential to benefit fully from the Information ,ociety. ICT contributions to e-learning include the delivery of education and training of teachers, offering improved conditions for lifelong learning, and improving professional s ills.

E-health

ICTs can aid in collaborative efforts to create a reliable, timely, high +uality and affordable health care and health information systems, and to promote continuous medical training, education, and research. (,I, also promotes the use of ICTs to facilitate access to the world*s medical nowledge, improve common information systems, improve and extend health care and health information systems to remote and underserved areas, and provide medical and humanitarian assistance during disasters and emergencies.

E-employment

The e-employment action plan includes the development of best practices for e-wor ers and e-employers) raising productivity, growth and well-being by promoting new ways of organi%ing wor and business) promotion of tele wor ing with focus on 'ob creation and s illed wor er retention) and increasing the number of women in ICT through early intervention programs in science and technology.

E-en ironment

The government, civil society and private sector are encouraged to use and promote ICTs as instruments for environmental protection and the sustainable use of natural resources) to implement green computing programs) and to establish monitoring systems to forecast and monitor the impact of natural and man-made disasters.

E-agriculture

(,I, recogni%es the role of ICT in the systematic dissemination of agricultural information to provide ready access to comprehensive, up-to-date and detailed nowledge and information, particularly in rural areas. It also encourages public-private partnerships to maximi%e the use of ICTs as an instrument to improve production.

E-science

The plan of action for e-science involves affordable and reliable high-speed Internet connection for all universities and research institutions) electronic publishing, differential pricing and open access initiatives) use of peer-to-peer technology for nowledge sharing) long-term systematic and efficient collection, dissemination and preservation of essential scientific digital data) and principles and metadata standards to facilitate cooperation and effective use of collected scientific information and data.

E-security

The number of prevalent crimes online and offline, local and international (terrorism and acts to it) has led to the increased development of arsenals (including ICT) to preempt and enforce proper security measures that lead to it and put public security, peace and order a number one priority. In recent years, development in mobile computing and communication led to the proliferation of mobile phones, tablet computers, smartphones, and netboo s. ,ome of these consumer electronic products, li e netboo s and entry-level tablet computers are often priced lower as compared to noteboo sAlaptops and des top computer since the target mar et for these products are those living in the emerging mar ets. This made the Internet and computing more accessible to people, especially in emerging mar ets and developing countries where most of the world*s poor reside. /urthermore, these consumer electronic products are e+uipped with basic mobile communication hardware li e, (i/i and 3.6;A4; Internet B,= stic s. These allowed users to connect to the Internet via mobile and wireless networ s without having to secure a landline or an expensive broadband connection via ",?, cable Internet or fiber optics. !ccording to International Telecommunication Bnion, mobile communications and technology has emerged as the primary technology that will bridge in the least developed countries. This trend can be further supported by the rosy sales reports of technology companies selling these electronic devices in emerging mar ets which includes some of the least developed countries. In fact, some multinational computer manufacturers li e !cer and ?enovo are focusing in bringing cheaper netboo s to emerging mar ets li e China, Indonesia and India. ICT is central to today8s most modern economies. It is creating artificial intelligence for development of various sectors. (orldwide many organi%ations are wor ing for the development of ICT. They are introducing helpful pro'ects for the purpose but pro'ects

which deploy technologies in underdeveloped areas face well- nown problems concerning crime, problems of ad'ustment to the social context, and also possibly infrastructural problems. (hile a lin between poverty reduction and ICT exists, the connection is yet to be fully understood. In fact, the relationship between infrastructure investment and increased output commonly encounter problems with reverse causality and false correlations.