Harvard Forum II was convened by Nobel Laureates Amartya Sen and Michael Spence, in collaboration with Randy Spence and theInternational Development Research Centre. Its aim was to bring together leading thinkers in the area of development to discuss how ICTs could contribute to poverty reduction in developing countries, both now and in the future. It was a follow-up to the Harvard Forum I held in 2003, where several needs in the ICT for development (ICT4D) area were identified (including ICT governance and regulatory reform, especially in the telecommunication sector). One of the outcomes of Harvard Forum I was the funding of organizations such as LIRNEasia that seek to remove policy and regulatory barriers to the use of ICTs. This time, the focus was on “what next?”. Implicit was the question of whether such organizations need to shift their focus to applications, since the access problem has been more or less solved. One of the key takeaways was the need to concentrate on incentives, rather than on interventions.
Rohan’s paper on “Leveraging the Budget Telecom Network Business Model to Bring Broadband to the People” has been published in a Harvard Forum II Special Edition of Information Technologies & International Development (ITID) journal. It is available for download here.