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Ict and Its Impact

By ethila Jan 17, 2013 6578 Words
ICT and its awareness for reducing Poverty in Bangladesh

2012

ABSTRACT:
Of all the Millennium Development Goals, halving poverty by 2015 is the most important and challenging one. This challenging job can be done quite successfully if the information and communication technology (ICT) can be integrated in the Government and civil society initiatives towards alleviating poverty. This paper discusses the significance of ICT revolution in the context of reducing poverty in Bangladesh. Some important ways in which ICT can be used for alleviating poverty in Bangladesh are: (a) Farmers and small businessmen can have information about market prices and competition through radio, TV, phones, and websites. In this way, they can take more informed decisions about which markets to sell to, avoiding middlemen, or they can have more bargaining power if they ultimately sell their goods to these middlemen; (b) Different rules and regulations of doing business and the overall investment climate in Bangladesh can be easily presented in an accessible format through websites. Therefore, business confidence will be increased, and it will pave the way for more investment (both local and foreign), leading towards an increased level of employment. It will surely have a positive impact on poverty; (c) with the help of ICT people can access easily and this therefore assists in achieving universal connectivity and access, (d) using the facilities of telemedicine, rural patients and village doctors can consult with specialist doctors in cities. This may ensure the improved health services to the poverty-stricken rural people living. Moreover, information about health hazards, hygiene, nutrition, etc. can also be disseminated through radio, TV, and websites; and (e) No poverty-alleviation strategy can be successful without ensuring quality education for the poor and marginalized people. To reach standard education to every nook and corner of the country, the ICT can play an important role. Using the virtual education system, the poor will be able to get world-class education with minimum cost. The distance-learning approach can also be useful in this regard; (f) Intermodal Transportation Systems (ITS) is also an invention of ICT. It allows more efficient, cost effective and sustainable transportation than the traditional transportation systems. With the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), operative issues can be dealt in a different way than in the past, taking advantage of the effective impact of these innovative technologies on ITS decision making. In this age of ICT, concerted efforts are needed from the Government, NGOs, and all concerned for the investigation, design, and implementation of necessary measures towards alleviating intense poverty in Bangladesh through the use of ICT.

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INTRODUCTION:
Information and communication technology (ICTs) comprises of three separate words – information, communication and technology. Information is defined as any kind of message; written, audio, visual or audio-visual through which a person gets knowledge about a new person, place, thing, situation, or environment. Similarly, communication is the way of transferring such message to others which needs a medium, a clear message, and sender and receiver. Information & communication technology is the use of modern technology to aid the capture, processing, storage and retrieval, and communication of information, whether in the form of numerical data, text, sound, or image (Rahman, M. A., 2008) and the ICTs infrastructures are defined as the devices which are used for communication and exchange of information. There has been rapid development of information technologies internationally in the last two decades. Studies from Newly Industrialised Countries (NICs) and the developed world have shown that ICT can positively contribute to economic growth and development (Hamelink, 1997). It is further argued that ICT have the potential to reduce poverty and improve livelihoods by empowering users with timely knowledge, reducing transaction costs, and appropriate skills for increasing productivity (Kenny, 2000). This paper explores the link between ICTs and poverty reduction by analyzing the role of ICT devices in enhancing the poor’s livelihood. ICT devices are major catalysts for information and knowledge that can create development opportunities and choices for all communities (UN, 2004: 2-3). These can, under certain conditions, help improve the living conditions of the poor people through better and more sustainable livelihood strategies. What is the role of ICT in poverty reduction? Does ICT create new divisions between rich and poor or does it reduce existing socio-economic divides? Does it have any direct role in reducing poverty or is it just a luxury that the poor can ill afford? There are two “opposing opinion camps”: those that consider ICT to be the panacea for poverty reduction and those that claim that ICT has no reasonable role in poverty reduction as long as the basic needs of the poor are not met (Anita Kelles, 2003). ICT is, on the one hand, the most recent, most exciting manifestation of general technological progress — hence contributing directly to economic growth — and, on the other hand, generally seen to be an industry where increasing returns are pervasive: creating the first copy of

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a new working piece of software or the first design of a new semiconductor chip is costly, but running off further copies costs virtually nothing. In this reasoning, agglomeration and lock-in characterise ICT while at the same time ICT contributes to overall economic growth (Quah, Danny, 2001). The argument in this paper comes somewhere in between. It is argued that ICT, if supported with the right policies and with cross-cutting and holistic approaches, will complement and strengthen other multi-sectored efforts that are required for poverty reduction, including those meeting basic needs (Anita Kelles, 2003). It has been estimated that over 700 million of the world's poor live in Asia-Pacifiui region i.e., those who earn $1 or less a day. Nearly one of three Asians is poor. The poverty encourages corruption, anti-social activities like drugs, smuggling, prostitution, and all sorts of deviant behavior. If we want to reduce poverty then we have to get aware of the tools that can help us in this aspect. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) or some of its devices like telephones, televisions, radio, mobile phones, internet, etc. are recently the most available and reliable tools that can help us in our aim. This is one of the reasons why we need to get more aware of the roles of ICT in reducing the poverty. Through the usage of ICTs better and more sustainable livelihood strategies which can help to improve the living condition of the poor Bangladeshi people. Some of the examples of the roles of ICTs are as follows (Phil Marker et al. 2002): Increase access to market information and lower transaction costs for poor farmers and traders Increase efficiency, competitiveness and market access of developing country firms Enhance ability of developing countries to participate in global economy and to exploit comparative advantage in factor costs (particularly skilled labour).

OBJECTIVE:
ICT and its development in Bangladesh:
According to most of the recent findings, the role of ICTs in development has been mostly through new technologies, such as the internet and mobile phones (Falch & Anyimadu, 2003). There is a vast usage of devices like Mobile phones and Televisions in all over Bangladesh. These devices undoubtedly helped the people of Bangladesh in various sectors; some of the important ones are as follows (Phil Marker et al. 2002):

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Agriculture: The farmers can get aware of the market prices of their crops and their required materials and save themselves from getting deceived by both their customers and suppliers. ICTs can also help the farmers by making them aware of some new, efficient and cost saving methods of agriculture. Education: Educational and Literacy programs in television can help to encourage the children for education and get aware of the government facilities for the poor to get educated. Healthcare: Monitoring and information-sharing on disease and famine can be significantly increased. Business: Information about and benefits of the products can be more easily and affectively conveyed to the overall population. Employment: ICT provides employment information to the unemployed people through newspaper, mobile and internet which help them to be self reliant. In Bangladesh the most successful example of the role of ICT was the micro-credit system introduced by the Grameen Bank (Alexander G. Flor, 2001). This system remarkably helped in the revolution of many poor families in the rural areas.

ICT’s helps in reducing Poverty:
ICT helps small farmers and artisans by connecting them to markets (Zijp, 1994). This helps the prevention of deceitful acts by various participants in the supply chain. ICTs have an important role in reducing poverty by improving flows of information and communications within the general population of Bangladesh (Kearns & Grant, 2002).

Recommendation for future step:
The implementation of ICT projects needs to be performed by organizations and individuals who have the appropriate incentives to work with marginalized groups.

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LITERATURE REVIEW:
Drawing from a wide range of recent literature, we identify some important ways that come together at many points in the literature: universal access, education, agriculture, communication and health.

Connectivity and Universal Access:
There has been dramatic global increase in ICT connectivity and use, with usage nearing universal in some developing, as well as many advanced, countries. The poorest of the poor are still unconnected, but quite income poor people spend surprisingly large fractions of disposable income on mobile phone use, including calls, messages, and other innovative techniques to communicate cheaply or for free (e.g., beeping and “missed call” messages). Research shows that poor people like others, highly value communication for social, economic, and other benefits. Both need and effective demand exist. Increasingly, so does supply, through low-priced business and nonprofit activity, as does public support in terms of basic infrastructure, policy and regulation, universal access schemes, and investment in full range of public and social e-services (Randy Spence and Matthew L. Smith, 2009). This therefore assists in achieving universal connectivity and access, and helps (particularly rural) farmers to engage with the global market systems that affect their livelihoods (Falch and Anyimadu, 2003). So, this is a story of demand on one side, and on the other, the combination of technology and all the processes (market, public, nonproªt, political, etc.) that produce affordable supply. Connectivity is the basis on which all the potential beneªts (and costs) of ICTs rest (Randy Spence & Matthew L. Smith, 2009). And while major increases have taken place with mobile phones, there is still a long way to go in many countries and very poor populations— and even longer to reach global universal broadband connectivity.

Education:
Education should offer conditions needed to optimize learning and promote the transfer of knowledge and skills. Authenticity is an important issue which should be addressed in the design and development of learning environments (Collins, 1996). National ICT policies have reached an established position in both developed and developing countries. A study funded by the Australian Department of Education, Science and Training revealed that most national ICT policies focus on the educational sector (Kearns & Grant, 2002). Education is put forward as the central actor to pursue and attain the objectives of the ICT policy; other sectors are expected to benefit indirectly from this approach. Educational ICT policies have been designed in a variety of ways, depending on the dominant rationales that drive curriculum development. As early as 15

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years ago, Hawkridge (1990) discerned four different rationales that drive policies related to the integration of ICT and the use of computers in education:  An economic rationale: the development of ICT skills is necessary to meet the

need for a skilled work force, as learning is related to future jobs and careers;  A social rationale: this builds on the belief that all pupils should know about and be familiar with computers in order to become responsible and well-informed citizens;  An educational rationale: ICT is seen as a supportive tool to improve teaching and learning;  A catalytic rationale: ICT is expected to accelerate educational innovations. According to a research, since 2001, The Directorate of Vocational Education has started a program whose objective is to train teachers and students in using information technology especially the internet at schools. This program has a huge effect on the scenario of results of the students of Bangladesh. Since the ICTs like internet and educational television programs had been introduced, the literacy level has become quite better. Some of other important examples (Phil Marker et al. 2002) which reflect the role of ICT are as follows:  Increase supply of trained teachers through ICT-enhanced and distance training of teachers and networks that link teachers to their colleagues both in-country and internationally  Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of education ministries and related bodies through strategic application of technologies  Broaden availability of quality educational materials/resources  Deliver educational and literacy programs specifically targeted to poor girls & women using appropriate technologies to encourage the women to get educated. The ICT literacy among students and teachers are still low, those who live in the perimeters or remote areas. We have to take huge public awareness campaign through various media. Poverty and underdevelopment is in-built with our culture. For sustainable socio-economy development we need to change this attitude and give proper attention to education & ICT.

Health:
The importance of the social sciences for medical informatics is increasingly recognized. As ICT requires interaction with people and thereby inevitably affects them, understanding ICT requires a focus on the interrelation between technology and its social environ-ment. Sociotechnical approaches increase our understanding of how ICT applications are developed, introduced and become a part of social practices. Sociotechnical approaches share several starting points: 1) they see health care work as a social, ‘real life’ phenomenon, which may seem ‘messy’ at first, but which is guided by a practical rationality that can only be overlooked at a high price (i.e. failed systems).

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2) They see technological innovation as a social process, in which organizations are deeply affected. 3) Through in-depth, formative evaluation, they can help improve system design and implementation (M. Berg et al. 2003). Malnutrition is responsible, directly or indirectly, for about half of deaths that occur annually among children aged less than 5 years in Bangladesh (Shamsul Huda Patwary et al. 2007). Improving poor people as well as child, health care is one of the most promising areas for poverty alleviation with ICT. Information and communications technology (ICT) has the potential to improve access to, and the quality, safety, and efficiency of health care in Bangladesh. Public broadcast media such as radio & television provides necessary information which creates awareness among mass people. For emergency case mobile operators of Bangladesh- GP, Aktel and Bangla link have come forward to provide primary health care service through doctors. Any patient with the help of mobile can contact with the doctor & can take doctor’s prescription at the cost of a call rate. Using the facilities of telemedicine, rural patients and village doctors can consult with specialist doctors in cities. This may ensure the improved health services to the poverty-stricken rural people living. Some of the examples of role of ICT (Phil Marker et al. 2002) in health care as follows as: Enhance delivery of basic and in-service training for health workers. Increase monitoring and information-sharing on disease and famine. Increase access of rural care-givers to specialist support and remote diagnosis. Increase access to reproductive health information, including information on AIDS prevention, through locally-appropriate content in local languages.

Agriculture:
Agriculture, besides representing an important source of revenue for producers and processors in developing countries, remains an important source of livelihood for both the rural and urban populations, especially for women, and as such, represents an important option for the reduction of poverty. Unfortunately, no region wide statistics are available to estimate the numbers of people employed in agriculture (Julian May et al. 2007). As with other economic sectors, effective agricultural development requires access to information on all aspects of agricultural production, processing and marketing and it seems likely that if anything this need is increasing (Jones, 1997). A rural farmer could have the latest crop prices, but still be unable to get a fair price for his or her crop because of unequal power relations with middle-men or poor road networks. Information and communication can be used as tools to exert power over others, encourage violence or perpetuate inequality or prejudice. While improving

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information and communication flows, and infrastructures, within a society might foster economic growth at a macro level, the benefits of that growth can be distributed very unequally within society. Therefore, addressing the information and communication needs of the poor must form one important component of a wider strategy to tackle poverty (Phil Marker et al. 2002). ICT is already showing the potential to play an important role in the delivery of this information to this sector in both developed and developing countries (Zijp, 1994). Through ICT, agricultural extension agents can more effectively access and share local and global knowledge on crops, pest management, irrigation and other aspects of small-scale agriculture relevant to the needs of the poorest (Phil Marker et al. 2002). With the help of ICT the farmer may also seek advice where and when he needs it. He will be able to describe the problem by natural speak illustrated by photos or video recordings; time and location are recorded automatically. He may then send the problem by e-mail to the extension officer and receive a reply after some time, or he may solve the problem interactively in a dialogue with the extension officer or with an on-line decision support system. On very large farms, the farmers in the above lines may be replaced by the farm staff and the extension officer may be replaced by the farm manager (Iver Thysen, 2000). The FAO distinguishes five broad categories through which ICT are used in the agricultural sector. These are technical and economic development for agricultural producers; community development; research and education; small and medium enterprise (SME) development; and media networks (FAO, 2006).

Intermodal Transportation Systems (ITS):
Intermodal Transportation Systems (ITS) are logistics networks integrating different transportation services, designed to move goods from origin to destination in a timely manner and using multiple modes of transportation (Caris, Macharis & Janssens, 2008, Macharis & Bontekoning, 2004). The ITS management and planning are currently relevant subjects of research because; it allows more efficient, cost effective and sustainable transportation than the traditional transportation systems (Crainic & Kim, 2007, European Commission Task Force, 1997). However, ITS decision making is a very complex process, due to the dynamical and large scale nature of these systems, the hierarchical structure of decisions, the multiplicity of actors involved, as well as the randomness of various inputs and operations. A systematic way to capture all decisions in the management of ITS typically proposed in the related literature is based on a three-level hierarchy: strategic, tactical and operational ones. Strategic level planning involves ITS design and considers time horizons of a few years, requiring approximate and aggregate data. Tactical level planning basically refers to the optimization of the flow of goods and services through a given logistics network. Finally, operational level management is a short-range planning, involving transportation scheduling of all transporters on an hour-

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to-hour basis, subject to the changing market conditions as well as to unforeseen transportation requests and accidents. With the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), operative issues can be dealt in a different way than in the past, taking advantage of the effective impact of these innovative technologies on ITS decision making. Indeed, ICT solutions can increase the data flow and the information quality while allowing real-time data exchange in intelligent transportation systems and traffic networks (Crainic & Kim, 2007, Dotoli, Fanti & Meloni, 2006). As discussed by Giannopoulos (2004), numerous novel applications of ICT to the transportation field are currently in various stages of development, but in the information transfer area the new systems seem to be unimodal. In the application of ICT solutions to multimodal chains, an important and largely unexplored research field is the assessment of the impact of the new ICT tools on management and control of ITS at the operational level before their implementation, by a cost-benefit analysis (Xu & Hancock, 2004, Zografos & Regan, 2004). In particular, an effective ITS model at the operational level should focus on evaluating performance indices 3 describing activities, resources (cost, utilization and inventory), output (throughput, lead time) and flexibility (lead-time, lead time variability) (Viswanadham, 1999) by integrating information flows.

Communication:
Much of the recent attention to the role of ICTs in development has focused on new technologies, such as the Internet and mobile phones. Yet the full range of ICTs is relevant to the fight against poverty. Radio and television are important information tools that are much more widespread in developing countries than telephones or the Internet. Print media is vital both to the spread of information and to fostering participation and diversity of views in society. Computers, even if not linked to global networks, are an important tool to increase efficiency in all sectors of society (Phil Marker et al. 2002). New technologies do not change the fundamental role of information and knowledge as drivers of development and poverty reduction, nor obscure the role of more established information and communication technologies. However, they create new opportunities to expand the availability, exchange and impact of information and knowledge. According to the World Bank (2001) the experience with the African internet service providers suggests that countries with a highly liberalized telecommunications network had costs of Internet access eight times lower than those with a completely closed market. According to the World Bank, the retail segment of the market needs to be liberalized with the non prohibition of reseller activity, at least, when it comes to phones. At the same time, it is worth noting that liberalization does not always increase household access to telephones. This has been the case in Eastern Europe and Latin America. A wider policy reform is, therefore, required that includes a pro-poor ICT policy together with the reforms in investment policy, education and special support to ICT provision in rural areas. The promise of ICT has become stronger with the passage of time & a future without ICT in any part of the world is unthinkable (BBS, Household

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Income & expenditure Survey, 2005). As a part of this movement, more specifically due to the boom in ICT, Bangladesh is already connected to the outside world. Yet, our only success lies in mobile telecommunication, which has brought a huge change in telecommunication scenario of the country. In spite of such development there is still digital divide in the country. There is less penetration in rural area. Digital gap between rural &urban people- only 0.33% rural people use telephone, 6.05% use mobile which is much less than urban. From the data it is inferred that rural people has less access to information (Bangladesh Demographic & health Survey, 2007). There are six mobile operators in Bangladesh. The mobile operators are Grameen phone, Bangla link, Robi, City cell, Tele talk, Airtel. For competitive environment mobile operators are expanding their business competitively which results in increase the number of subscribers. Total number of mobile subscriber in Bangladesh is 5.47 crore (The Daily Star, 2010). But, as per mobile operators report, there is still less access to mobile phone in rural area. According to the Finance Minister’s budget speech/2010, Bangladesh telecom penetration rate is around 38%, which means that 62% is still beyond reach of telecom services (The Daily Star, 2010). To ensure development digital divide to be minimized & universal access to ICT especially to mobile phone to be ensured. Universal access to ICT requires proper policy formulation & its implementation.

It is worth underlining that this article is mostly about mobile phone access and use, as this is the dominant story of the last decade for people in the bottom or base of the pyramid. This is not to deny the importance of broadband, Internet connection, or computers and devices with computing power much greater than that of mobiles. Initiatives in tele-center development and “one laptop per child,” for example, are important in bringing more complex services to poor people, and have had mixed success and reviews. But for many poor countries, the rate at which ICTs are developing is slower than in developed countries. Recent research (Rodriguez & Wilson, 2000) found Evidence shows that new ‘digital’ sources of information and knowledge, while benefiting the minority of the well off and educated, are bypassing the less educated and the poor (UNDP, 1999; Wilson, 1999). One of the most successful financing models that emerged from the Third World is the micro-credit system introduced by the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh. Because of this system many people in the rural areas was successful in improving their living standard. After this innovative idea the founder of Grammen Bank, Professor Muhammad Yunus, has come up with another extraordinary idea, which is a cellular phone project (Alexander G. Flor, 2001). According to this project, one individual from almost 45,000 villages can acquire a mobile phone through a small loan from the bank, which will be used to give residents’ access to ICT. This phone becomes a village telephone service provider, earning income for the owner besides providing a much-needed utility to the community.

Business:
There is an on-going view that IT is totally irrelevant for the poor who are generally illiterate; IT is too expensive for them to reach out to; the poor do not need fancy IT,

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they need food. These are the voices of the skeptics. Now in three years there are more than 5000 Telephone Ladies in Bangladesh villages doing roaring business selling telephone service said Mohammed Yunus in 2001. Over the past several decades, the development of new information and communications technologies (ICTs) has resulted in significant changes in the global economy and the way people, companies, and countries interact and do business (Bhagwati, 2004, Sachs, 2005 et al. 2002). The reduced costs of communication and transportation have lowered barriers to the flows between countries of goods, services, capital, knowledge, and, to a lesser extent, people. Increased global trade is associated with significant economic growth. This growth has, in turn, corresponded to an increased standard of living for millions of people across the globe, although the benefits of this growth have not been uniformly distributed across and within countries (Sachs, 2005; World Bank, 2002). Entrepreneurs are pulled into enterprise by the opportunities for income generation and growth. Entrepreneurial enterprises tend to encompass more diversified activities, including small-scale manufacturing and the provision of services and trade. Some may be registered and thus part of the formal sector. Microenterprises that are entrepreneurial tend to be comparatively small in number but can play a greater poverty-reducing role than survivalists, because of their higher growth, income, and employment- generating potential (Daniels 1999). Entrepreneurial enterprises may employ some labor and use more sophisticated technologies than survivalist enterprises. They will probably interact more effectively with established local (and possibly distant) markets and their owners are more likely to possess business and technical skills, as well as the personal attributes (e.g., self-confidence and motivation) necessary to identify and exploit market opportunities (Shaw 2004). Botswana represents a useful case study of ICT application for microenterprise because it possesses an urban and rural-based population that participates in a broad range of microenterprise activity; a rapidly expanding and modern communications infrastructure; and a government that has made a strong commitment to poverty reduction through expansion of the business sector and the use of new technologies (UNDP 2005).

METHODOLOGY
Secondary data:
We have collected articles from Google Scholar, IUB Library by browsing internet.

Direct observation:
We have used our ideas which we gained by observing the usage of ICT devices, of the Bangladeshi people, in our daily lives.

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FINDINGS:
Statement Relevant findings
The relationship between access to ICT & getting education information is positive. Increase in access to ICT results increase in education information.

Gaps
Using ICT across the curriculum and access to courseware to integrate ICT within the core curriculum is not enough.

ICT provides education information

Access to ICTs; provide better communication with nearest one.

Increase in access to mobile ICTs results in strengthening relationship with nearest one because there exists a positive relationship between access to ICT & communication with nearest one.

There is increased divergence in the technological progress (an index composed of measures of personal computers, Internet hosts, fax machine, mobile phones and television) across countries. The inequality in access to ICTs is larger than income inequality.

Monthly income of mobile usurers is positively related Access to mobile to access to mobile phone. phone helps to rise in With increase of access to mobile phone income of the income mobile users increased significantly. ICT provides agricultural information The relationship between access to ICT & getting agricultural information is positive. Increase in access

Mobile phone ownership in urban area is 54.7% while in rural area it is 25.3%. Mobile penetration in rural area is still much low compared to urban area.

The farmers' uptake of IT is disappointingly modest, even for applications that have demonstrated

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to ICT results increase in economical benefits (Gelb, agricultural information 1999; Parker, 1999). This lack of interest in IT by farmers is often explained by factors such as low levels of education and relatively high age. Increase in prices of commodities is positively related to access to mobile phone. Relationship is more or less strong. Strategies to redirect educational practice and opportunities for professional development are not enough.

Access to ICTS help to get better prices of commodities

ICTs’ proper access acts as a remarkable factor to improve the economic condition of a nation. Access of education, health, government and financial services can be improved by ICT through availability, exchange and impact of information and knowledge. This will help to recover the economic condition of the poor people of Bangladesh up to some extent. An overall scenario is illustrated in the figure showing the changes that occurred in 3 developing countries that took place with the help of ICT.

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CONCLUSION:
Poverty and Crime moves hand in hand and the devices of ICT acts an incomparable role in reducing the poverty. It is often said that ICT has its negative sides, but it can be argued that, it is not the Technology who has a negative side but it is its use that has its negative impact. Poor communities have a right to access those technologies which they know to be shaping their contemporary world and their and their children’s future, not only in order to make use of them, but also to gain a more practical and realistic understanding of how to locate themselves in that ‘modern world’ to their advantages. Department for International Development (DFID) should work with different institutions to address the information and communication needs of the poorest and most marginalized who are least likely to be able to access information and communication services. This would include encouraging intermediaries such as NGOs, educators, or local entrepreneurs to act as a conduit for information available via technologies such as the Internet. DFID should work to increase the capacity of developing country partners to engage substantively on ICT issues in international negotiations. ICT and media initiatives must be as responsive, creative, reflective and innovative as the users have shown themselves to be. It is the responsibility of the initiatives and programs to find and develop the more specific connections between ICTs and poverty reduction, and to do this by making their organizations responsive on the basis of sensitive, location-specific knowledge (research and experience) both of local media use and of the local structures, dynamics and meanings of poverty in their community. The correlation of ICT and poverty is unmistakable. Efforts should be made to develop viable ICT Poverty Alleviation programs. These programs should be coordinated across agencies in the best spirit of networking, to ensure proper focus in resource use and synergy in development efforts. Technological interventions should be supplemented by strong content provision. It should run parallel with a development program, thus providing mutual reinforcement between ICT utilization and impacts. The educational applications of ICT should be fully supported for their economic potential. These approaches may enable us at the development assistance sector to ensure that wisdom is not lost in knowledge and that knowledge is not lost in information in our poverty alleviation undertakings.

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Alexander G. Flor: Paper for Third Asia Development Forum on “Regional Economic Cooperation in Asia and the Pacific” organized by Asian Development Bank 11-14 June 2001, Bangkok. Anita Kelles -Viitanen, 2003: The Role of ICT in Poverty Reduction, page-82. Bangladesh Demographic & health Survey, 2007 BBS, Household Income & expenditure Survey, 2005 Caris, C., Macharis, G., & Janssens, K. (2008). Planning problems in intermodal freight transport: Accomplishments and prospects. Transportation Planning and Technology, 31(3), 277-302. Crainic, T. G., & Kim, K. H. (2007). Intermodal transportation. In C. Barnhart & G. Laporte (Eds.), Transportation, handbooks in operations research and management science, 14 (pp. 467-537). Amsterdam: North-Holland. Daniels, L. (1999). “The Role of Small Enterprises in the Household and National Economy of Kenya.” World Development 27(1): 55–65. Dotoli, M., Fanti, M. P., & Meloni, C. (2006). A signal timing plan formulation for urban traffic control. Control Engineering Practice, 14(11), 1297-1311. Drake William J. 2001: Democracy and the Information Revolution. Background paper for Democracy Forum. IDEA, Stockholm, June 27-29, 2001. European Commission Task Force (1997). Transport intermodality, intermodality and intermodal freight transport in the European Union - a systems approach to freight transport”, Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council. [Online]. Available: ftp://ftp.cordis.europa.eu/pub/transport/docs/intermodal_freight_transport_en.pdf Falch M and Anyimadu A (2003), Tele -centres as a way of achieving universal access – the case of Ghana. Telecommunications Policy: Pergamon (27) 21 – 39. FAO, (2006), The Internet and Rural and Agricultural Development – An Integrated Approach Food and Agriculture Organisation, Rome, http://www.fao.org/docrep/w6840e/w6840e05.htm (Accessed on 16/10/06) Flor Alexander C. 2001: ICT and Poverty: The Indisputable Link.. Paper for the Third Asia Development Forum on .Regional Economic Cooperation in Asia and the Pacific. by the AsianDevelopment, 11-14 June 2001 Bangkok. Giannopoulos, G. A. (2004). The application of information and communication technologies in transport. European Journal of Operational Research, 152, 302-320. Hamelink, C.J. (1997), New Information and Communication Technologies: Social Development and Cultural Change. Discussion Paper No. 86, UNRISD

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