ICT4D — It may sound like the name of a Star Wars character, but it really stands for what has become a powerful set of tools to counter global poverty and spur development.
Across the developing world, Lutheran World Relief is harnessing the growing accessibility of smartphones and other devices to embrace new, effective ways to reduce poverty and spur sustainable development through ICT4D – shorthand for Information and Communications Technology for Development – or as it is increasingly known, simply as T4D, Technology for Development.
T4D is such a powerful development tool because people in the developing world — even in the poorest, most remote rural communities — are increasingly able to access these technologies. A 2015 Pew Research Center study found that two-thirds of the people surveyed in Africa reported owning a cell phone. The figure surpasses 90 percent in South Africa and Nigeria. Other research indicates that of the world’s 7 billion mobile connections, 4.5 billion are in developing countries.
For the smallholder farmer, a mobile phone is becoming as essential — and as commonplace — as the hoe.
What is T4D?
Integrating T4D with our development and emergency-response initiatives, Lutheran World Relief engages an increasing array of activities and services to improve livelihoods and well-being, such as: