An Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Framework for Developing Regions

UC Berkeley and Carnegie Mellon University

Wed 11-2 in 290 Hearst Mining
CCN: 27274

Eric A. Brewer, Prof. of Computer Science
Richard Newton, Dean of the College of Engineering
Tom Kalil, Special Assistant to the Chancellor

CMU Instructors:

- Prof. Raj Reddy, Robotics Institute/Computer Science
- Rahul Tongia, Institute For Software Research International
- M. Bernardine Dias, Robotics Institute

Note: See the Expanded Course Description

This Special Topics course explores the key research and deployment issues for novel Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for the world's poorer 4 billion people who today lack access to modern technologies and infrastructure. Although there are a number of technologies that are a part of development, we focus on ICT.

Looking beyond digital divide issues, which are important, we consider ICT to be an enabler of sustainable development. Hence, we will study the intersection of technology, policy, and business issues related to ICT and sustainable development. The course is jointly taught at the University of California Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon University and University of Washington via videoconferencing, and will include several guest lecturers from a wide variety of backgrounds relevant to the discourse.

Although listed in computer science, we are encouraging advanced undergraduates and graduates in social science, business, regional planning, public policy to take the course as well.

The course will address:


Draft Syllabus

Presentations and Reading List

Week 1: Presentations: Tongia Overview [pdf],  Newton Overview [pdf]
Week 2: Presentations: Prahalad Notes [pdf]
Grassroots ICT Projects in India: Some Preliminary Hypotheses
Serving the World's Poor, Profitably [Harvard Business Review, Sep 2002]
What Works: Serving the Poor, Profitably [optional longer version from Markle, WRI] [pdf]
The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid (another Prahalad and Hart article; from strategy+business issue 26)

Lecture notes: PowerPoint, PDF  

Week 3: Presentations: Kalil Policy Overview
Reading List [Microcapitalism paper]

Week 4: Presentations: Tongia Issues and Opportunities, Brewer Technology Roadmap
This is all background reading; it varies in technical depth...
Internet Overview
Internet Address Space Issues
Scientific_American article on wireless and cell phones
802.11 Primer
(reference) calculator for WiFi range
Ericsson MiniGSM
Satellite overview
Telkom South Africa Case Study (from vendor)
Week 5: Presentations: ICT and Electricity
Reading List
Week 6: Presentations: E-Government in Sri Lanka,  Dr. Nagy Hanna

Week 7: Presentations: Guest lecture on economics by Prof. Brad DeLong
Economics Primer - to be used for the upcoming homework


This is a book chapter that deals with investments and economic evaluation in a construction sense, but the principles apply universally. Feel free to skim some sections, but do read 6.l - 6.6 and parts of 6.8 and 6.9. Some later sections also get into taxes and tax shields. Some of you might already know the material, in which case this should be a quick refresher.
Week 8: Presentations: Online Learning Initiative, Dr. Joel Smith,   Automated Reading Tutor, Dr. Jack Mastow [pdf]

Week 9: Presentations: User Interfaces, Prof. Jennifer Mankoff,  Machine-Based Translation, Dr. Rodolfo M. Vega
Norman.pdf ( 1643061 Bytes )
The Design of Everyday Things, Chapter 1. Donald Norman.
 Handheld computers for rural healthcare, experiences in a large scale implementation. V. Anantraman et al. Development by Design 2002.
A toolkit for building accessible user interfaces. A. Moudgal et al. Development by Design 2002.
Recommendations for Improved Development by Design. K. Donaldson. Development by Design 2002.
Value sensitive design: Theory and methods. B. Friedman et al. University of Washington Tech.

Week 10: Presentations: Student Project Presentations

Week 11: Presentations: Business Model Panel, moderated by Richard Newton
Week 12: Presentations: Health Care, Dr. Roger Thorpe (photos only)
Healthcare and ICT - This is from a workshop CMU hosted on IT and Sustainable Development, with active partcipation of all the faculty.


This paper is Dr. Henry Mosley's talk, about alternative structures for handling healthcare, in that the family and women especially are critical; it talks less on technology. FYI, http://www.developmentgateway.com/itsd has general info on the workshop.
Week 13: Presentations: Overview of HP Labs India, Gita Gopal

Week 14: Presentations: Technology Peace Corps, Dr. Mel Siegel,   IP Issues, Dr. Michael Shamos

Week 15: Final Student Project Presentations