1.2.3 Contents of Chapter 4. What is the role of Indigenous communities in the use of ICTs for their own development?

The arrival of a new technology does not always generate benefits to the community. There have been cases of communities that used to be self-sustaining, but with the arrival of electric power ceased to be so1, leaving them completely dependent on external support. New technologies always promote changes; whether these changes are beneficial or harmful for the community depends on its ability to seize the possibilities and utilize them in the most optimal way, according to their development aspirations.

The government’s role is to provide all of the necessary facilities in order to sustain ICT programs. It provides the enabling environment. But the success or failure of these programmes, depends entirely on the community. It is the community that determines how ICTs are used and for what purposes.

Chapter 4 draws attention to some of the key factors that communities must take into account during the installation of school digital centers. It explores what questions should be asked and answered before the implementation of these projects, and it highlights the organizational aspects that can be developed, along with ways to measure organizational performance.

Chapter 4 offers examples of practices followed by several communities in order to guarantee that ICTs provide benefits for them.

1 Inishbofin Island in Ireland is such a case.