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Course Details

Course Number: 94-812

Technology for International Development

Units: 6

This course will look at meaningful ways that information and communication technologies, especially the Internet and mobile phones, are being used to support development in the world’s poorest communities. How can technology be used to address the challenges of healthcare, education, good governance, environmental sustainability, disaster management, and economic development? And how is technology misapplied? Technology for development has received increased interest in academia, industry (emerging markets), government (a shortcut to development), social enterprise (enabler of micro-credit, micro-finance, micro-insurance), and beyond. This has created a rich literature and interesting debates that draw on insights from a large number of fields. This course intends to bring together technology and policy students to investigate jointly how technology can play a positive role in international development.

This is a graduate seminar class for students interested in exploring recent literature on the topic. There are few instructor-led lectures, and students have the opportunity to help choose topics that will be covered, and the responsibility to identify, synthesize, present, and lead interesting discussions concerning the use of technology to meet development goals. Students will also define and complete a final project of their choice.

More information about the course, including the syllabus, can be found on the class wiki:


Joseph Mertz