Huge resources are invested into plans and projects that are designed to connect some of the billions of people who still lack any sort of digital connectivity. Yet, it is surprising that there is a relatively sparse evidence-base about how greater access and connectivity can facilitate or enable various types of economic development.
As such, our research group has begun to pull together a paper based on three questions:
- What are international institutions and African governments claiming about the impacts of connectivity on economic development?
- What evidence is cited to support those claims or assumptions?
- What evidence actually exists and is ignored within those key claims?
In answering the third question, we will conduct a through review of the available scientific evidence from economics, sociology, development studies, geography, anthropology, information studies, and related disciplines. We are currently chipping away at each one of the questions (this is an ambitious undertaking, so will take a while), but – as we do so – would welcome suggestions of key resources in the meantime.