University of Hertfordshire

  • Jyoti Choudrie (Editor)
  • Sherah Kurnia (Editor)
  • Panayiota Tsatsou (Editor)
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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages376
StateE-pub ahead of print - 28 Dec 2017


I nformation and Communications Technology (ICT) has much potential to improve people’s lives and make the world a better place. The promise is that ICT can make people more productive, improve health outcomes, provide better government services, and help people to be more connected to their family and friends. This book focuses on innovative ICT-enabled services for social inclusion. Designed and used appropriately, ICT-enabled services can enable people to more effectively communicate, contribute, and participate at work, at home, and in the wider society more generally. However, as the chapters in this book illustrate, achieving these benefi ts is not always straightforward. There are many challenges that need to be addressed. For example, how can we ensure that people are not digitally excluded? If they do not have access (e.g., they cannot afford it), it is simply not possible for them to take advantage of ICT-enabled services. This is the case in many underdeveloped countries where ICT4D has become an important topic. Similarly, if they do not have the skills to use ICT appropriately, then there is no way for them to effectively communicate, contribute, and participate. Digital literacy, or as I prefer to call it nowadays, digital fl uency, has become an important prerequisite for participation in today’s digital world. Another important consideration might be various technological barriers themselves—sometimes the software or advice can prevent people from doing things, particularly if it is not designed well. This book looks at all these issues from a variety of perspectives. There are conceptual and theoretical chapters looking at what it means to be socially inclusive and there are empirical chapters that look at social inclusion in various countries. Some chapters look at the use of ICT at work, in particular mobile knowledge work and telemetry work, whereas others look at ICT for entertainment; some chapters look at ICT services for health, particularly in rural areas (sometimes called e-health), whereas others look at ICT services for government (often called e-government). The development of smart urban spaces in smart cities is something that many local government organizations are investigating if not already introducing. In contrast to the use of ICT-enabled services for government, there are various groups of people or social movements that use ICT to protest against
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xiv Preface current government policies and services. One chapter in this book looks at a group of people, older adults, who for one reason or another feel excluded or disadvantaged in some way, and thus ICT becomes a way of them to more effectively voice their grievances. In summary, the opportunities for the use of ICT-enabled services for social inclusion are great, but so are the challenges. I trust this book will provide those who are interested in this topic with a deeper understanding of the issues. Using ICT to improve the welfare of disadvantaged people, to improve health and government services, and, more generally, to make the world a better place is something that we should all be working toward. I trust that this book will contribute in a both intellectual and practical way to the achievement of these goals. Michael D. Myers Professor of Information Systems University of Auckland New Zealand

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