Accepted paper:

Digital Inequality and the Empowerment of the Poor through Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in Rural Bangladesh

Authors:

Mohammad Sahid Ullah (University of Chittagong)

Paper short abstract:

This study examines the existing power dynamics in rural society in Bangladesh and how these dynamics influence benefits and/or limitations of government initiated ICT ptoject to serve marginalised citizens, focusing on the rural information centres namely the Union Digital Centre (UDCs).

Paper long abstract:

This study examines the existing power dynamics in rural society in Bangladesh and how these dynamics influence benefits and/or limitations of government initiated Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to serve marginalised citizens, focusing on the rural information centres namely the Union Digital Centre (UDCs). Of particular interest is how people accumulate, conceptualise and perceive the relationships between social, economic and political power and their various uses in daily rural life. Based on ethno-methodological observations of service seeking and delivery trends in six rural UDC service areas across Bangladesh, along with 55 in-depth interviews from both users and non-users of the UDCs, this study unpacks the digital inequalities that have arisen instead of bridging the gap between the power-rich and power-poor in rural Bangladesh.

panel D01
Digital inequalities and development (Paper)