Document Type



This article discusses the justifications to implement public policies towards widespread access to information and communications technologies (ICTs) in the context of developing countries. It argues that the so-called universal access policies can be seen as important pieces of broader development strategies. In this sense, there is a strong case for governments of developing countries to foster access to ICTs. The work is structured in three parts. Part I examines the theoretical arguments and empirical evidence supporting the positive impact of access to ICTs on economic growth. Part II discusses the impact of access to ICTs on the improvement of human functionings and expansion of human capabilities. Finally, Part III addresses the impact of universal access policies on the reduction of inequality, relating this effect to sustainable development. A brief conclusion ties the three parts together.

Date of Authorship for this Version

August 2005