It might sound like how we value our video games or movies nowadays, like 3D vs. 2D, but ICT4D is a totally different topic. In this blog post, we venture into the world of ICT and its application towards our community, how it greatly influences our current way of life, and how it affects the development of the poor and marginalized people and communities in this Information Age.
Revisiting the Information Age
Current news delivered quickly, high-end gossips around the neighborhood spreading widely, access to government services like applying for a passport, renewal of professional license cards, learning a foreign language even while at home, and many more, are just few of the many benefits we are experiencing in this Information Age we are in. In more advanced countries, the use of ICT technologies are even maximized in the fields of agriculture, education, health and so. But how about for developing countries just like the Philippines?
Aimed towards bridging the digital divide and providing equitable access to technologies between the poor and marginalized people and communities, and to the people who can easily access such, ICT4D stands for Information and Communication Technologies for Development that refers to the application of ICT technologies towards an organization’s social, economic and political development.
ICT Access and its Applications
Farmers in developing countries start applying ICT to access price information as well as to connect to policy makers and other farmers. Some even make use of smartphone applications to know the status of his crops and irrigation system remotely.
ICT4D initiatives in agriculture can be generally classified into direct interventions, when farmers are connected to information and opportunities that can directly improve their income or wellbeing, and indirect interventions – supportive, long-term programs that can improve established agricultural services over time through capacity building, research, and training.
ICT4D not only strengthens agricultural production but also helps in market development. Thus it supports creating future opportunities for agricultural sector and the development of rural livelihoods.
The use of ICTs in the education system would not be able to solve the current problems in the educational system, but rather provide alternative solutions to the obstacles encountered in the conventional educaitonal system. ICTs would be able to provide education and knowledge in a wider reach, even with a limited amount of resource, unlike conventional systems of education. 
As education is a key factor of country’s socio-economic development, the education system of developing countries must be aligned with modern technology to improve the quality of education and bring better outcomes by making information more accessible to students and making trainings more available to teachers.
With ICT, lives of people with disabilities can be improved, allowing them to have a better interaction in society by widening their scope of activities.
ICT can be a supportive tool to develop and serve with reliable, timely, high quality and affordable health care and health information systems and to provide health education, training, and improve health reserch. 
- E-Government and Civic Engagement
New forms of technology, such as social media platforms, provide spaces where individuals can participate in expressions of civic engagement. For example, in Facebook alone, there are multiple profiles and pages that give the latest announcements and news in the conduct of its operations. Just like this year’s Sinulog (2017) activities, where a mobile network signal disconnection was announced in response to threats of terrorism. The announcements and schedule were posted online and various reactions can be read from the people.
In summary, technology amplifies human intent and capability as well as its competence, however, it should still be up to the individual or organization to keep up with the advances in modern technology.
- Reddi, Usha Rani Vyasulu. “Primer 1: An Introduction to ICT for Development”. unapcict.org. United Nations – Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- Milea, Oana Maria, PhD, Emilia Pascu, PhD, and Petronela-Sonia Nedea, PhD.Telecommunications Services in the Knowledge Economy. XIX vols. Timisoara: Faculty of Economics, Tibiscus U, 2013. Ser. 2013. Facultatea De Stiinte Economice. University of Tibiscus. Web. 20 Nov. 2015.
- Reddi, Usha Rani V (2011). Primer 1: An Introduction to ICT for Development. Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development (APCICT).
- Edmon Agron, “1st eHealth Summit brings ICT and health sectors together – eVolved by worldngayon.” Worldngayon.com. Retrieved 2014-6-23