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Information and Communication Technologies for Development, or ICT4D, include:
- Telephony (especially mobile phones and especially text message services - see Mobile phones in development and disaster management)
- Affordable internet
- Affordable and appropriate computing.
Such ICT follows the principles of appropriate technology and aims to make the benefits of these technologies as widely available as possible.
Key principles for ICT4D
These are general principles that will vary according to the specific application and context:
- Minimize power usage, because:
- Less power means less infrastructure, and infrastructure can be expensive
- Power means heat, means fan, which means sucking in dust, which means breakage and need for repairs; it also means all parts of the system heat up, which can lead to malfunctions. So the less power, the less breakage.
- Locally maintainable, through a combination of:
- Ease of use and repair
- Interchangeable, standard parts as far as possible. This is not strictly possible in a village context, but don't be more exotic in hardware choice than necessary.
- Upgrades and reinstalls freely available without need for payment. The use of open source software has the advantage on this point.
- Support materials in the local language, or (next best option) in a language that local people can understand.
- DecTop, LinuTop, and other nettops, combined with Lumenlab Evo 1.2 or diy-projector
- Green IT, which shares a focus on minimal resource use.
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