Much has been discussed and written about information and communication technologies (ICTs) being a possible panacea for the difficulty that all sectors of society have in accessing all kinds of information. Indeed, there have been many studies and initiatives concerned with ensuring that countries are prepared to meet the challenges of the information age, and much seems to revolve around access to ICTs and ICT policy development in general.
In this period of rapid technological developments and an ongoing information revolution, one of the key by-products is incessant change. Two of the main characteristics defining this historical period are the twin concepts of globalization and the information economy. This transformation – which embodies social, economic, political, technical and cultural processes is affecting nearly all economies and creating tremendous challenges and opportunities in its wake.
The use of computers and networks in information dissemination has greatly enhanced human development in our society. The digital revolution has posed great development to the world, allowing it to leapfrog through stages of development. Developing countries strive to catch up with more developed countries. Fueled by advancement in hardware and software, the role of computers has steadily increased in scope. This has become more apparent with the introduction of the Internet. The idea of joining the global information society is pursued vigorously worldwide.
This may be define as a term that encompasses all forms of technology used to create, store, exchange, and manipulate information in its various forms (business data, voice input, still images, motion pictures, multimedia presentations, and other forms including those not yet conceived). The term is often used for encompassing both telephony and computer technology together. Information Technology is driving what has often been called “the information revolution”. And it is also an acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of all types of information using computer technology and telecommunication systems.
The extend to which humans have been developed due to the rapid growth of ICT cannot be over-emphasized. The flexibility in accessing information, disseminating information, and solving so many problems today is all addressed to ICT development.
As a field of study, Human Development examines the context of families, schools, work and community and studies how these contexts can enhance or limit development from birth through the end of life.
Human development is about much more than the rise or fall of national incomes. It is about creating an environment in which people can develop their full potential and lead productive, creative lives in accord with their needs and interests. People are the real wealth of nations. Development is thus about expanding the choices people have to lead lives that they value. In the next part of this article (Part 2), we shall broadly look at Computerization and Internet in relation to Human Development.